Music production tools give us the possibility of creating some incredible and unique sounds. There are great digital audio workstation tools that can give you the freedom to add sounds, record sounds, and mix them all together. Pro Tools is a great DAW system that has even won Grammy Awards. It gives you the ability to create sound fluidly and do it fast. But at the same time, you can make your set-up even better by adding a great control surface to your tool kit. Today we are going to look at some of the best control surfaces to combine with your existing music production set when you are using Pro Tools.
A Big Asset to Your Tool Kit
There were a lot of things that got me interested in all things sound. How it works and how you can change sound and edit it. It fascinated me to explore all the ways that sound can change when you listen to it in different environments. This fascination, combined with the deep love of music my parents instilled in me, quickly led to a kid that was exploring music production.
Pro Tools is a great DAW and you can do a lot with this software and just a normal computer. You have many different audio editing features that can create something really interesting. For someone who is doing audio editing as a hobby or on a smaller scale, you can completely get away with just using a digital audio workstation and your computer.
But if you want to take your audio editing to a whole new level then you might need a great control surface that works well in combination with Pro Tools.
A control surface is a lot more powerful and it gives you a much wider range of control since it is more sensitive than your computer keyboard and mouse. Many producers also just enjoy the feeling of working with a control surface and the faders and knobs that they give you.
Let’s look at some great control surfaces that can work well with Pro Tools.
1. Avid Pro Tools S3 Control Surface
- What I Love: It has many different channels and controls to give you options
- What I Dislike: It can feel overwhelming when you are a first-time user of a control surface
This is a control surface that combines well with Pro Tools and many different users have found that it speeds up the process and accuracy of working with the DAW. It gives you all of the options that you can ever wish to have.
This control surface will give you loads of control over the software that is EUCON-enabled including Pro Tools. It has 12 control layouts that are fully customizable, and also the versatility of 16 faders. You can change the audio that you are working with completely. You can even combine the setup with many plugins.
If there is a feature that you need then it is almost a certainty that you will be able to find it on the great design of this control surface. The only problem with all of the options that the control surface provides is that there are just too many of them.
If you are a new user of this type of tool, then it can feel very overwhelming to use and even a little bit confusing. You might need to go over the instructions very carefully or just play with all of the features extensively before you will know what this control surface can do.
But this is a great control surface if you are a user that has been working with this type of tool for a while and you want one that is advanced and packed with features. Or for anyone that wants to take the time to get to know the many features that this tool provides.
It is also a control surface that is more on the expensive side of control surfaces, but for what it offers, you might feel like it is worth the high budget.
2. Behringer X-TOUCH
- What I Love: A control surface that gives a great performance
- What I Dislike: It Is a bit thick and clunky
Behringer is not a company that is well known for its audio equipment. And many of their products aren’t the most high-end. And yet with this control surface, they have created a tool that is powerful and gives a great performance.
The Behringer X-Touch is compatible with many different DAWs including Logic Pro X. And it has quickly become one of the most popular control surfaces that are around.
In part, you can attribute its popularity to the fact that it can compete with the function and usability of many of the most expensive control surfaces. Yet, the X-Touch is a lot cheaper and more affordable.
It gives you plenty of features to play with, including different knobs, faders, and buttons that are sensitive enough to use smoothly. The nine motorized faders give you a lot of control. They can sometimes be slightly noisy but it is worth it with the features you get.
The control surface can also connect to many other devices since it has many different connectivity options available on the unit. The drawback with all of the features that the control surface provides is the fact that all those features take up a lot of space.
This is not the smoothest, slickest control surface you will ever see. It is quite thick and clunky. It is definitely not portable and you will even need plenty of space on your desk. But if you want a control surface that works great with Pro Tools and can compete with high-end models at a better price, then this is a great option.
3. Akai Pro MIDIMix
- What I Love: Great budget option
- What I Dislike: Smaller knobs that aren’t very user friendly
This 3rd option is great if you are just starting your journey with using a control surface. The budget for this product is much lower than any of the other options on the list. At the same time, it still gives you a lot of great features and the value for money is next to none.
You will be able to use the Akai Pro MIDIMix with Pro Tools to edit your audio and create some really rich interesting sounds. You can make vocals sound fuller and warmer. Or you can add layers of sound to your creation. Your imagination is the limit with this tool combination, even with its smaller price tag.
The control surface is built well and it doesn’t feel cheap. It is a solid product and really easy to use. This will not be a control surface that you will struggle to understand. Instead, you can start creating awesome music and audio right from the moment you get it. It is also small enough to be portable and to take with you to events and gigs.
The only downside to the MIDIMix is that it has smaller knobs and buttons. That can make it harder for people who have large hands to use the control surface as easily.
Control Surface for Pro Tools
Pro Tools is a great DAW and very popular among many music producers. That is why there are many different control surfaces that will work well in combination with the software. Choosing the best one for you depends on your budget and priorities. The tools on this list are a great place to start looking.