SPL Audio MTC 2381 by gward
I bought this as a replacement for my Mackie Big Knob with the intention of upgrading my monitoring chain. I bought it used and with the sale of the Mackie the outlay for this compared to what SPL MTCs sell for new was totally worth it.
One feature that that I got very used to on the Big Knob and has become indispensable to my workflow is the dim knob feature. When I am doing long sessions I can monitor with this and it is a great way to avoid fatigue and since I use PMC monitors, I can still hear the bass perfectly even at low volumes. When I started looking for a higher end monitoring controller with this feature, my options narrowed dramatically. SPL was one of the few that did offer this and this feature was one of the main deciding factors in going with it.
Another feature that I was aware of but didn’t really appreciate until I used it was the Latency Free Cue Mix feature for tracking musicians. The cue signal is comprised of the musicians track and the track mix with one knob that blends between the two. It is a very simple thing but when I used if for the first time I loved how easy it was to use.
Build quality is excellent and robust with satisfying feel to the knobs and everything on the back is labeled well (upside down so you can read it peering over the top). There is talk back, talkback remote switch, slave output and headphone out.
One negative/ positive is the fact that the MTC doesn’t use speaker trims. The downside is that you have to use the trims on your monitors to set levels and this is a little fiddly. The upside to doing this is SPL could dispense with extra circuitry and keep everything to a minimal sound path for the highest sound quality. Once it is set up, it is fine and sound quality is great. Only other negative I have noticed is some scratchiness to a few of the switches and one knob. Mine was used so I don’t know if this is indicative of all of MTCs build quality or just mine. Overall I am very pleased with the quality and ergonomics of the MTC and would definitely recommend it.