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ICON Qcon Pro X

ICON Qcon Pro X

2.65 2.65 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

This unit is good for the price and looks great in the studio. It's not perfect, the button layout is a little schizo, but overall a great piece of gear and very usable.


19th September 2018

ICON Qcon Pro X by poetnprophet

  • Sound Quality N/A
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.25
ICON Qcon Pro X

I have the ProX paired with the XS extender giving me 16 channel strips. I've only had these for about 1 week, but I've had a lot of time with the setup now. My DAW is Reaper, so setup and configuration is not easy. My experience and comparison to this would be older Akai and Mackie mixers, and most recently the Roland VS700 system for use with Cakewalk.

Look and Feel: This unit looks really nice. Matte black finish with chrome knobs and faders, and colorful lighted buttons. There are 2 LCD displays, but the bottom one near the faders doesn't work with Reaper. Meaning, it has no function. There are contrast dimmers, for both, so I have just turned it down to black for now. The top LCD has 2 rows, so it can display useful info, depending on how the DAW is setup to use. Timecode display is standard, nothing fancy. The buttons look like they would be rubber, but they are clicky plastic buttons. They don't click as loud as the Mackie or VS700, but they aren't totally quiet either. Sometimes the buttons either stick so they press twice, or don't press at all. Maybe after some wear they will be more consistent. Happens every so often, but I do need to make sure my button presses are purposeful. The rotary knobs feel great, sliders are smooth and pretty quiet, although they do slam down pretty hard when banking tracks or closing a session. Jog wheel is nice and sturdy with a nice resolution for quick scrolling. And the meter bridge! Oh, the meter bridge is easily the most prominent feature on this and it's beautiful and handy. Everything is metal (except the buttons) so it has that nice, cold feel to it.

Use: Works just like any mixer with channel strips and transport controls. It uses the MCU protocol and it nearly mimics the MCU unit in terms of button layout, but is missing some V-Pot assign buttons and a couple others. Depending on how your DAW uses the MCU protocol, this may or may not be an issue. For instance, there is no SEND button, so if you want to use for controlling sends (and your daw supports it), you may be out of luck. More about that in the Setup section below. Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of use. However, the transport buttons are much too close to the jogwheel, so play and record buttons seem to be in the wrong place. Looks like they fixed that in the new G2. On my setup, seems that the transition time when banking is slower on the XS than the main unit - the display shows up more slowly on the XS, but on the main unit it all snaps on screen. And, the master stereo meter doesn't work, but the fader does. Overall, though, it works just like it should.

Setup: If you use Reaper, then you already know how how painful this process can be for a new controller. No different with the Qcon. There are 3 choices with Reaper, all with different functionality.
MCU (default): Standard functions. Can remap most unused buttons
Klinke: Standard functions, plus plugin control. Send control not available because there is no Send button! Cannot remap unused buttons.
CSI (not official yet): Standard functions plus lots more control. Hard to setup, not fully working yet. Can remap most unused buttons. I'm currently using CSI, and everything is working pretty well.

Support: I read many reviews and comments that Icon has terrible customer service and support. In my experience, this is not true. Icon itself is impossible to contact, but their authorized dealers can be contacted. We have one in CA, Mixware. I contacted them with questions and they got back to me the same day, and I'm still communicating with them. The level of support I've gotten so far is amazing, actually.

Overall: Although this unit isn't perfect, it really gets the job done. Comparable units all lack something, either good level meters, or build quality, or functionality. This unit has everything and sits more middle of the price range, so the bang/buck ratio is awesome. The included iMap software also allows some customization (although I didn't use it) and easily updates the firmware. And, support seems to be easily available. There are some quirks, such as the master meter not working (that's per the DAW, however), and the placement of the transport buttons to the jog wheel...and the sometimes sticky clicky buttons....maybe I just need to get used to the way these buttons feel. Coming from the VS, it's just a different feel. I admit, I do prefer the tactile feel of the VS700, but it's limited to 8 faders only and the Qcon fills the gap. Overall I am really pleased with this unit and I would recommend to anyone looking something like a Mackie MCU.

10th March 2019

ICON Qcon Pro X by bace

  • Sound Quality N/A
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 0.75
ICON Qcon Pro X

I got this unit since the old qcon pro are getting old and some knobs are not responding at all. So Im quite familiar how this things should work. The function is the same. They use the technology developed by Mackie. It seems that they have not bought any license or rights from mackie so it is based on piggy backing on their work with software contribution to daw manufactures. However they have on the proX also added some new features. The secondary display and a stereo master level meter is the obvious additions. However they are not documented for the owner of the device. Fortunately bitwig get some some technical specs for the unit using bitwig mode. So it is possible to write to the display and master meter.
The master meter is strait forward, it is the same procedure as 1-8 that is sending channel pressure data on midi channel 0. The master is channel 1&2 but on midi channel 1. The display is a more dirty hack, that really showing the attitude and knowhow from this company. The main display receive it data trough midi sysex messages. It is using a sysex header F0H 00H 00H 66H that belongs to mackie see Manufacturer SysEx ID Numbers, on the second display they also use sysex in a very similar way. However they have changed the addess to 0FH 00H 00H 67H. According to midi.org this address space belongs to compuserve. This is a very serious violations of midi spec. It is very ugly, it is not that hard to get a own address space from midi.org. This type of bugs can get other manufactures to have very strange bugs. However I doubt anyone uses midi gear from compuserve.

Most of the functionality is done within daw, this type of gear is only a collection of knobs, faders,buttons, leds and display. But they need to work, and this one as a very annoying bug for the most basic functions, it pot knobs has a bug in their quadrature decoding for the "pan" pots. (Jog is ok) When jiggling back-and-forth one direction dont send any midi data, so the daw will only see one direction on the turns. Do a double step and the missing direction switch. This did not happen on the first Qcon pro (without X). Most likely this can be fixed with a firmware update. But as it is now this is very poor quality and bearably usable. I have tried to get Icon to fix this issue, but think it is the daw. (it is clearly not since the unit does not send any midi data when it occurs) I found several other bugs but they are minor compared with malfunction of pots.

Pros: Better finish the previous model, and better resolution on faders.

Cons: The buggy pots are totally unacceptable. Do not buy this unit until it fixed.

Bugs:
1. The quadrature decoding on their pot's are broken.
2. They use other manufactures vendors id's for their own extensions.
3. Their configuration software can map "Daw mode" and the top "<<" & ">>" buttons. But they dont send the specified commands or anything at all. (tested cubase and bitwig modes)

Note:
This is based on firmware v1.15 for the master and v1.10 for the extender and version 2.0.4 of QCON PRO X/XS tool. Last release from 2017.
The bugs on the pots have been reported to Icon, they dont accept them as bugs and refer to the daw manufacture.

2 weeks ago

ICON Qcon Pro X by bace

  • Sound Quality N/A
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 0.75
ICON Qcon Pro X

This is an update to my pervious review. I can not be edited.

Icon has released 2.x of the firmware for this units. With that update they dont change the keybindings with the switch-able plate. Custom configurations does not work with motors. (Known problem that they try to fix) The pot's is still not fixed and they will not fix them. They are not working as in the Mackie MCU and it is by design so it wont get fixed. The difference is the "turns" on a real Mackie you get symmetric behaviour. They are dented, and you turn X left and X right you do not end up where you started. So you need to know where you started to be able to get back. This is very cheep "design" and make the unit crap.

So you are warned. If you still thinking of buy this, make sure that you get a version 2 of the button plate with the unit. I think all old stock uses Cubase/Nuendo version 1 and that is not compatible with version 2 firmware. And you want version 2 firmware since it has a layer2 button (and shift). Firmware you can update, but button plate need to be replaced.

 
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