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C24 and ICON, what's the major difference Control Surfaces
Old 19th May 2018
  #31
Here for the gear
 

Finally a great review!

OMG I've been waiting for a proper comparison of these items for months. Most pple just nip away at each other's choices with biases and such. Or write reviews without any accompanying details. This is GREAT and I thank you for it. It's also recent, and most stuff online is from 2012.

I tried the S6, hated it. And it's insanely expensive. I was almost ready to pull the trigger on a C24. They're being blown out right now. Until I read this article. I also had an S3 for a while and hated it. Wanted it for the EUCON functionality as I sequence in Logic. However I don't mix in Logic (ughhh), so I sold it and went back to my Artist Mix, didn't see enough difference. And I can keep those around for little Logic projects as necc. But ultimately what I am looking for is maximum functionality, to save eye strain and back pain staring at monitors. I even tried an MTX, but talk about eye strain. You look at a monitor constantly, that's what it is. And a low res one at that. It's cool and all, but for long term use it's a burn out for me. And only does Stereo atm.

I spoke to Frank Fillipetti, who still uses his D Command and thinks it's still the best thing around for the coin. He could have gone Control but went Command. Interesting, tho he does mostly record mixes. I do more large orchestral templates for film/library production demos and occasionally final mixes. As well as record 'song' stuff. Never beyond 5.1 at home tho.

Now to decide between DCommand and Control. Thoughts? Thanks again for this tremendous and comprehensive run down. Amazing. Only wish you'd written it a year ago lol. Cheers!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro5 View Post
some info for future reference even though it's an old thread.

C|24 lacks a TON of excellent and heavily used features that the ICONs (D-Command and D-Control) have. From touch sensitive knobs for much handier encoder automation and functions, value readings, to the advanced automation/VCA spilling, Custom Faders, Custom Plug faders, custom soft keys (User menu on right) 4 pages of your most used features (for example coalesce trim and VCA automation down to group/track), better ergonomics/layout/readability (C24 has some issues with pots being in the way of LED screens), the entire dedicated EQ and COMP sections which are 1 of the stars of the show and one of the best reasons to even own any controller, XMON + monitor control section which sonically and functionally is up there with the best 'pure analog pass through' monitor controllers and is worth £2k of the used price alone), not bogged down or 'cursed' with poor preamps and bad monitoring sections like C24 and Control 24 which are a big part of the price you pay for those, while on ICON you are paying for much better 'real payoff' control, higher quality build, faders, materials etc.

Icon is all steel panels with lexan surfaces. Only plastic is on the end caps.

The faders on C24 are half the price of the D-Command (and Command's are half the price of D-Controls).

C|24 uses 'on surface' faders, by ALPS where the brush actually sits on top of the track and can drag, and wear, not as smooth. Gets dust in it etc.

D-Command uses ALPS Side layout faders, where the weight of the fader doesn't rest on anything at all, it 'floats' on two strong steel bars per fader (inside the assembly) and the brush is on the side and swipes along the track with zero pressure, less cleaning, much smoother and accurate operation.

D-Control uses P&G high quality faders, I guess similar style to D-Command but higher quality.

Blue D-Command's originally used conductive plastic faders, just means the resistive strip inside was extremely smooth and 'slippy', but overtime the tracks could wear or the contacts could (like any fader) not press on as hard. Often these can just be rejuvinated with a good clean, bend the contacts back and lube the steel bar guides, good as new, if not then you can pop in the new Carbon faders. Same physically except has a more 'raw' surface (carbon) that's less prone to getting glossy/lost contact over time. The Carbon faders are what AVID replaced some D-Commands with, not Penny and Giles (they were D-Control only UNLESS you got lucky or they messed up or you paid extra! THey cost twice as much as the ALPS).

You can mix and match carbon with plastic even though they say you shouldn't, this is likely more to do with the slightly different feel (the carbon ones being a little less slick but still much less draggy than C24/ Control 24 and cheap generic fader controllers).

As others said, ICON is amazing to work with. I think it's better than S6 in many ways still and definitely gives a 'real console' feel, you don't need the monitor on at all when mixing on ICON, nor do you need a mouse or keyboard (D-Control's keyboard would be wasted on me as you only "NEED" it for track naming or file save naming and I can easily reach over to my PC/Keyboard at a right angle to the ICON when I need to do that).

C24 is still light years ahead of the generic mackies, faderports , behringers etc with PT or other DAWS (StudioLive 3 on S1/Presonus is one of the better ones but still pales next to C24 and C24 pales next to ICON)

You can also expand D-Command to 40 faders (though 24 is great - even just 8 is great for D-Command as it's so useful and fast to work on I'd take the dedicated comp/eq/custom faders/vca spills and everything else on just an 8 fader D-Command over a 24 fader C24 or even an 80 fader S6.... ergonomically D-Command is a real sweet spot both width, depth and 'between monitors' wise.). D-Control is a beast, but I'd still use the dedicated sections more than the 4 extra per channel encoders, and you do need to stand up / reach far on a big D-control setup vs the smaller but still large enough to feel like a real console D-Command.

Vs ES?

Aside from the colour difference, made mainly so newbies could read all the text on the surface (trust me, after a month you will barely ever need to read any text on D-command, you build up muscle memory even in the dark. I often mix in the dark on it with screens off. I know what each button does by layout now. Inc advanced automation and (most of) the menu softkeys that I use most. I also prefer the lighter/blue versions a bit as they don't look as stark and never get dusty (Black ones always seem dusty?), that said, the black ones look cool, less 'happy' as some post houses said of the blue one and both work amazingly. Either is good. Don't let fader stories put you off. Very easy to service or fit new ones, not that expensive.

ES also had the updated comms board in some (if not all?) of them, which basically let you switch to another PT rig, not something many music mixers need, more for post I think so a non issue. That board can also be fitted to blues.

ES had a red tipped knob for the monitor controller, and changed the dark blue knob tops for black. Cosmetics. I like either but the blues are bargains.

XMON is great, for what it is, and gives D-Command a complete feel, even if just using it to switch between sources and sets of speakers (or headphones) and not using all its features. Xmon works with all D-Commands/Controls and automatically goes to 7.1 surround for D-Control (limited to 5.1 on D-COmmand), I don't use surround so a non issue for me anyway.

I love the gain reduction meters on the compressor section, really feels like working with hardware when you see real LEDs kicking in as you increase the input/threshold or ratio. The EQ section is a joy, full hands on eyes off mixing. I've heard many say that ICON "IS" the workstation and Pro Tools just becomes the mere engine for it, like real hardware, while most controllers inc C24 feel more like extensions of Pro Tools (where you'll still probably need a mouse nearby at all times).

ICON is a real winner and I've seen at least two top mixers who said they still prefer them to S6, due to things like space/size (proper spacing around controls, no skimping/cramped faders, not overly busy/visual like S6 etc). Sure S6 looks nice and is colourful, but ICON gives you everything you need to mix and very little distraction. That is the point of getting away from the computer screen (and horrible touchscreen mixer panels like Raven) in the first place!

And for those that haven't ever use a real console or an ICON that feels very close to a real console, you can not beat the feeling of really playing the mix, a bunch of faders at once, or encoders, or solo/mutes, often 2-5 functions at once or very quickly, it makes mixing intuitive, musical and fun. A far cry from hitting a single function at a time with a finger on your mouse. Also you WILL listen more and look less, everything feels better and sounds better vs picking away and over thinking on a screen.

Worst move on S6 was removing the dedicated EQ/Comp knobs and putting in generic encoders around an horrible touchscreen (you may as well be staring at PT itself again with a simple midi knob box in that case!). They should never have stopped making the ICON, just upgraded/improved it's small issues and made it more modern looking (though I like the spacey looks just fine).

Oh one last thing, the metering on ICON is really quite good. Enough LEDs for simple a/b level checks and general activity, and love the automation status leds between each fader. Again, on S6 they ruined that by putting the meters between the faders and the automation lights up in a less obvious area. Space saving gone mad! C|24 thankfully doesn't have its meters between faders but DOES lack the intuative/useful automation lights there in the right place! Also the faders are cramped together on C|24 vs ICON, and I'm not a fan of faders being too close together (though hardly as bad as the Faderport 8 I tried out once - haha.. that was terrible there was no 'feel' to it as you fingers were all clumped together)

Sorry if this necro thread post bump annoys anyone but may be useful for future reference as a lot of ICONS may be getting dumped on the used market after august (Official cut off of support for ES) though they should work fine for years to come (unlike Control 24 they are in a ton of pro studios and post houses so won't be cut off fast).

Famous users of ICON, they may have moved to S6 now but unlikely...

Tony Maserati
Tchad Blake
Frank Fillipetti
Butch Vig
Tony Sheppard
Val Garay
Andy Bradfield who writes...



And quite a few more I see on my travels (in reality and on the net)

To those that think these are just giant mouses, by all means continue to 'mix' with a mouse and leave these beauties alone on the 2nd hand market for those that love and understand them. They are, to all intents and purposes, as close to mixing on a real console as you can get while also deeply harnessing and empowering you with everything that is so great, flexible and useful with ITB mixing. I'd honestly never take an analog console over an ICON + PT with some nice tracking hardware for the analog 'sound' (on recording). I have no console fetish, no yearning for anything other than the physical control aspect of consoles + the rapid workflow and flexibility of ICON that many "real" consoles wished they could have. It's the best situation, the absolute sweetspot for modern ITB mixing with very few drawbacks. just stick whatever great analog pres/eqs/comps/front ends you want in a rack and track/print through them via ICON for the best of all worlds. No need for 32 SSL channels when you can have many more flavours + physical control of plug-ins (that get better each day) for a lot less.

Old 21st May 2018
  #32
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
Anyone using the Presonus StudioLive Series 3? Seems kind of insane for for the price, and I can't afford an SSL Matrix 2 right now.
Old 21st May 2018
  #33
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Man_O_Music View Post
OMG I've been waiting for a proper comparison of these items for months. Most pple just nip away at each other's choices with biases and such. Or write reviews without any accompanying details. This is GREAT and I thank you for it. It's also recent, and most stuff online is from 2012.

I tried the S6, hated it. And it's insanely expensive. I was almost ready to pull the trigger on a C24. They're being blown out right now. Until I read this article. I also had an S3 for a while and hated it. Wanted it for the EUCON functionality as I sequence in Logic. However I don't mix in Logic (ughhh), so I sold it and went back to my Artist Mix, didn't see enough difference. And I can keep those around for little Logic projects as necc. But ultimately what I am looking for is maximum functionality, to save eye strain and back pain staring at monitors. I even tried an MTX, but talk about eye strain. You look at a monitor constantly, that's what it is. And a low res one at that. It's cool and all, but for long term use it's a burn out for me. And only does Stereo atm.

I spoke to Frank Fillipetti, who still uses his D Command and thinks it's still the best thing around for the coin. He could have gone Control but went Command. Interesting, tho he does mostly record mixes. I do more large orchestral templates for film/library production demos and occasionally final mixes. As well as record 'song' stuff. Never beyond 5.1 at home tho.

Now to decide between DCommand and Control. Thoughts? Thanks again for this tremendous and comprehensive run down. Amazing. Only wish you'd written it a year ago lol. Cheers!
Never used Command but you can’t go wrong with Control if you want to go hands on. I only got to use Controls outside my studio/comfort zone, so still needed the keyboard, but it really was great to have all the obvious controls right in front of me. I had an Artist mix at the studio but it was only ever a toy.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #34
Lives for gear
 
pixelhead's Avatar
I love my D-command. I have tried the S3/Dock and artist series and they are weak. I have not used an S6 but for me to replace my 24 fader d-command it would be 71k for the S6, **** That. What is Avid thinking at the price for the S6. I think the Icon's are the best control surface out period. And nowadays you can get one for cheap. I have a blue one and upgraded all the faders and it is working great.
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