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Hi everyone,

I've been looking around for a better Protools-controller. A few years ago I bought a Novation controller, but I didn't know that the faders would become more important than the knobs. It's a great plugin controller, but for protools it's just not working for me.

So I looked around and found the Avid Artist Control V2. It seems to work great, with dedicated buttons and a jog wheel. I've read some stuff about screen flickers and noisy faders, but that seems to be a small issue. It could be a workflow enhancement if I can get into it's design principles (I'm back to reading the manual, after I'm done writing this)

I was wondering what your experiences are? Specifically, how does the touch screen work for you? And is it possible to work with in a way that minimizes mouse/keyboard actions (ergonomics and implementation).

UPDATE: bought it, have to get used to the touch screen though. otherwise nice machine!

Thanks in advance! Arnoud

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I have an Avid branded Artist Control (the all black version). Overall, I love it and would recommend it to other people.

To answer you concerns about screen flickers and faders...I've never had any issues with the screen. The fader noise issue you mentioned had something to do with one of the previous firmware versions. The faders would basically oscillate over a very tiny range when they weren't in receiving commands to track (note: never experienced this myself...this is what I've heard from other people). This was fixed in one of the more recent firmware updates, which came before I purchased mine. The faders have been smooth the entire time I've owned it.

Other Notes:

-This won't eliminate the speed you get from keyboard hotkeys for editing. You CAN do all of your editing using the interface, but navigating through the pages to get to the specific function you need is going to be slower than the keyboard. You can put your most common commands on the first page though, so that will make things easier.

-Where this device really shines is the programming of macro commands (very similar to QuickKeys). Make sure any commands that you create as "repeating" (while you hold down a soft button) don't repeat more than 3 (maybe 4) times per second though. Things can go a little crazy otherwise.

-The built in jog wheel is mediocre. Decent for changing zoom levels or shuttle, but absolute crap for scrub. It's a "stepped" controller. You'll feel every detent that's built into it, and it feels janky. I've heard marvelous things about the Transport controller, and I'm thinking of picking one of those up in the future.

-Although I haven't used it as much as I'd like to so far, the touch screen panner is awesome.

Hope that helps your decision making. Let me know if you have any other questions, and I'll answer them as best I can.

  • Hi Shaun, great little review you've given me! Thanks Some questions: What does 'Things can go a little crazy otherwise.' exactly mean? Will Pro Tools crash or become unreliable? Or just a temp halt of processes? Regarding the jogwhweel 'it feels janky' and 'absolute crap for scrub'. I'd love to do some scrubbing with it, but that is not possible because it's too cheap (plasticky?) or because it's a stepped attenuator? I'll keep my trackball around then... – Arnoud Traa Jan 7 '13 at 17:47
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    "crazy" kind of depends on the process and your computer. i've had some where automated edit processes spot to the wrong locations on the timeline, making me have to undo/revert to saved to correct its mistakes. i've also had some where it gets stuck in a loop, requiring a hard reset of the computer (don't ever use the selection "as fast as possible" or whatever it's called). re: scrub...it's the stepped attenuator...low resolution. nowhere near as precise as a mouse or the jog wheel on my D-Control at work. – Shaun Farley Jan 7 '13 at 18:47
  • Hi, I'm testing the waters with the artist control. So far it's impressive but also a lot to take in. I have some issues with the jogwheel. If I use the wheel to ffwd to a different part of a region and press play it still starts playing at the point of the cursor... how can i change that? – Arnoud Traa Jan 11 '13 at 13:55
  • Ok to state the issue more clearly: I want to relocate my cursor/locator to another point on my timeline with the jogwheel. What do I need to do to make that work? Is it a artist control feature missing or is it a preference in Protools 9 (non CPTK)? – Arnoud Traa Jan 11 '13 at 14:02
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    sounds like you just need to turn on the "edit insertion follows scrub/shuttle" feature in Pro Tools' [setup > preferences] menu (in the "transport" section of the "operation" tab). – Shaun Farley Jan 11 '13 at 14:22
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I agree with most of Shaun's suggestions and observations. I own all of the original Euphonix MC Arist units.

If you where going to just get one, the Control's the one to get - but that transport control is indeed pretty janky. If you were going to get two, my honest advice would be to get a Transport and a Mix: Fewer touchscreen tidbits but if you're a keyboard command whiz, you'll get more faders and a real jog/shuttle wheel with a nice feel for the price. (I'm also a former video editor, so that's the control surface that works for me.)

My workstation is OS X based and runs off a laptop with an external display. I've had zero issues. Every once in a while a reboot of whatever Ethernet hub you're using may be necessary, but I've had no flicker or noise issues. Been smooth sailing!

  • +1 on the Transport and a Mix. Thats what i went for and it really works well for me, together with the keyboard shorts. There is a lot of negative writing about these, but i haven't noticed anything yet. Smooth and silent compared to a lot of other brands. – Tommy Jansen Jan 10 '13 at 20:56
  • Hi noisejocky and tommy. Thanks for your updates, even though I already decided and closed the question :) I've bought a second hand unit, but I can't register it yet and so I can't run it on PT9 because I can't download the 2.6.2 software... – Arnoud Traa Jan 10 '13 at 21:57
  • Otherwise the unit works nicely, vegas mode is good and screen calibration worked perfectly. – Arnoud Traa Jan 10 '13 at 21:57
  • Also I don't need more faders, 4 is perfect (DX,SFX,AMB,MUS/FOL) – Arnoud Traa Jan 10 '13 at 21:59
  • Cool! Maybe you should concider to uppgrade to PT10 though, to get eucon support? – Tommy Jansen Jan 10 '13 at 23:25
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I have used both the 8 fader & 4 fader plus controls. I tend to prefer the keyboard commands vs the soft buttons yet found the surround panner quite nice. I am going with the 8 fader control unit as I tend to want more faders for my work flow. My setup is paired with a Wacom cintiq monitor/tablet combo. I use the tablet for a lot for isotope, but do not think it is worth ditching the mouse. The transport controller is good, but I don't do much scrub/shuttle often. The plug-in control with 8 fader unit is okay, but is a requires a bit too much navigating. The faders are a bit noisy, but nothing like a old Control 24.

Good Luck!

Michael

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