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Control Surfaces For Pro Tools and HUI
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Rappy
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#1
30th July 2009
Old 30th July 2009
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Control Surfaces For Pro Tools and HUI

Hi there. I've been researching control surfaces to use with Pro Tools LE and M-Powered. Looking at the Command 8 and the Control 24 mostly. I might be upgrading to HD in the next year or two, which would widen my options.

I've noticed that some people have recommended against using 3rd party control surfaces using HUI protocol with Pro Tools, and say to definitely go for a Digidesign surface. My question for people who have used both HUI and Digidesign control surfaces with Pro Tools, is what features, specifically, do you find limiting with HUI? It it unstable? Is there noticeable latency between the faders, buttons, and encoders on the control surface when writing automation?

I did find this one old post, which maybe someone can confirm:

"The disadvantage of the Mackie stuff over the command 8 is in fact tha HUI Protocol.

In HUI Protocol u only have 4 dedicated knobs for plugins. That makes it a nightmare for a lot of plugins out there.

The command 8 uses all its 8 knobs for plugin control."

Thanks for your advice,

Rappy
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30th July 2009
Old 30th July 2009
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I use my HUI on a daily basis, and often use Control 24's and Pro Controls elsewhere. I've never noticed any latency with the HUI. It will occasionally decide not to be touch-sensitive (on exceptionally dry days), but that's an issue with the device, not the protocol.
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30th July 2009
Old 30th July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
Hi there. I've been researching control surfaces to use with Pro Tools LE and M-Powered. Looking at the Command 8 and the Control 24 mostly. I might be upgrading to HD in the next year or two, which would widen my options.

I've noticed that some people have recommended against using 3rd party control surfaces using HUI protocol with Pro Tools, and say to definitely go for a Digidesign surface. My question for people who have used both HUI and Digidesign control surfaces with Pro Tools, is what features, specifically, do you find limiting with HUI? It it unstable? Is there noticeable latency between the faders, buttons, and encoders on the control surface when writing automation?

I did find this one old post, which maybe someone can confirm:

"The disadvantage of the Mackie stuff over the command 8 is in fact tha HUI Protocol.

In HUI Protocol u only have 4 dedicated knobs for plugins. That makes it a nightmare for a lot of plugins out there.

The command 8 uses all its 8 knobs for plugin control."

Thanks for your advice,

Rappy

Someone please correct me on this but i think HUI has less resolution on your moves than digi stuff does...

not a drastic amount less, but less.
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30th July 2009
Old 30th July 2009
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yes its less since it's a MIDI protocol essentially.
Rappy
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31st July 2009
Old 31st July 2009
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Thank you for the comments so far!

Cheers,

Rappy
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31st July 2009
Old 31st July 2009
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I've found that some HUI controllers have 0.2dB fader resolution :M audio ProjectMix for example. And some have 0.1dB resolution: Frotier Design Alphatrack.

semi interesting.
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31st July 2009
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i use euphonix mx mix for all daws i use. of course reolution is far better im logic than in pt since its hui in pt and their eu control format in logic... still good though
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31st July 2009
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Some Systems use two sets of bits. For instance SSL on the AWS 900 and others in their lineup use A MSB/LSB set. You can get in theory 14 bits of resolution out of HUI if the system can use that setup.
HUI can be very good. But as I own both an ICON and an AWS i can tell you as far as Protools control the ICON is the way to go.
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31st July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Burrows View Post
Some Systems use two sets of bits. For instance SSL on the AWS 900 and others in their lineup use A MSB/LSB set. You can get in theory 14 bits of resolution out of HUI if the system can use that setup.
HUI can be very good.
Bingo.

If you take into consideration the hysteresis of the motor fader, you'll see that 0.1dB is probably over-kill and hype. Under most circumstances, the 127 point resolution of midi volume would suffice. Can a human even move a 100mm fader 127 times through it's path by hand? Hmmm...
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31st July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juniorhifikit View Post
Bingo.

If you take into consideration the hysteresis of the motor fader, you'll see that 0.1dB is probably over-kill and hype. Under most circumstances, the 127 point resolution of midi volume would suffice. Can a human even move a 100mm fader 127 times through it's path by hand? Hmmm...
Correct, but we can HEAR the difference between writing smooth automation with an ICON and writing less smooth automation with a HUI control device.

One of the selling points of pro tools is high res automation.

Obviously playing back automation does not matter.
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31st July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
Correct, but we can HEAR the difference between writing smooth automation with an ICON and writing less smooth automation with a HUI control device.

One of the selling points of pro tools is high res automation.

Obviously playing back automation does not matter.
Smoothness is not necessarily a function of the resolution. Point is, in the analog world with a motor controlled fader, I'm not sure you'll get 0.1dB increments - even if the resolution is there in the control system. I've not measured this on FF or Ultimation, so take this all as a "line of thought", not fact.

Anyone sitting in front of FF or Ultimation care to test this?
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31st July 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juniorhifikit View Post
Smoothness is not necessarily a function of the resolution. Point is, in the analog world with a motor controlled fader, I'm not sure you'll get 0.1dB increments - even if the resolution is there in the control system. I've not measured this on FF or Ultimation, so take this all as a "line of thought", not fact.

Anyone sitting in front of FF or Ultimation care to test this?
I'd agree with that... but then again we are not talking about analog consoles with motorized faders....

Perhaps I am not following you,

But in the case of volume or pan automation I would say smoothness IS a function of resolution. Similar to the difference between a fully variable control and a 10 position switch.

And again, my point only applies to WRITING automation VIA the physical fader because playing it back the fader position on your HUI is not really important.
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31st July 2009
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True that...

I was referring to Skips comment about SSL AWS900, which does both
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1st August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juniorhifikit View Post
True that...

I was referring to Skips comment about SSL AWS900, which does both
Ahhh that makes a ton of sense then! good points!!!!!!!
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3rd August 2009
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The resolution of the faders in the Mackie Controls in the HUI is 1024 steps just like an SSL 9J or whichever analogue desk one wishes to throw out there.

The MIDI hardware is used (I/O jacks, opto-isolators) but not MIDI protocol. Even though the resolution is 1024 it could have been less since the DAW software will create interpolation points between automation nodes. I think that this is what Scott was getting at.

The ICON is definitely the best possible choice for PT integration. It is also built upon years of technology growth and observation of the market. The HUI was the 1st one out of the gate. It is still a good piece though.
BTW, there is no end to the amount of knobs available for plug-in or other control. They are soft knobs and the parameters are scroll-able.
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