Mixing Control Surfaces For Your Daw

If you are getting frustrated with your mouse, you might want to look into using a mixing control surface to control fader levels, plugins and other functions of your daw without constantly reaching for your mouse. Often times, it will make your music producing/mixing experience much more pleasureable. ┬áLet’s look at a few great contenders at various price points.

Korg nanoKONTROL2 $59.99

On the cheapest end of the spectrum, the Korg nanoKONTROL2 offers value and extreme portablility. You get 8 tiny faders, pan controls, a transport section and marker keys. I think it’s great to arm tracks and do a rough mix, but with such tiny faders, it would be hard to get an accurate mix on one of these.

Korg nanokontrol2 control surface

 

Presonus FaderPort $129

The Presonus FaderPort is a very popular solution for many home and project studios. It gives you a great workable solution in a compact form. You get 1 full size (100mm) motorized fader and a really nice transport control to access the most used functions in daily music production. You can quickly scroll through different channels and you’ll find that you won’t have to resort to using your mouse too much with this convenient control surface.

Presonus faderport control surface

 

Behringer B-Control Fader BCF2000

Although Behringer no longer makes these units, they are still around and are very handy for the price. You get 8, 100mm motorized faders, rotary encoders and 20 illuminated buttons to access practically any parameter (volume, pan, effects sends, plugins, etc). It’s probably the best value control surface out there at the moment.

Behringer B Control Fader BCF2000

 

Nektar Panorama P1 $299

This is a fantastic dedicated control surface for either Cubase or Reason. It fully integrates with both softwares to give you the utmost control of practically any parameter you wish to access, quickly and easily. It will also run in other daw software as a generic controller, but you should really use this with Cubase or Reason to get the most out of it. It’s got a very solid build quality, 9 45mm faders (full size would have been better), a nice transport control, rotary encoders, quick keys for your mixer/instruments and a handy LCD screen to show you your current parameters.

Nektar panorama p1 control surface

 

Mackie Control Universal Pro $1099

The Mackie Control is still a very popular control surface for small to mid sized studios. It gives you professional, 100mm touch sensitive faders, tape style transport controls, V-pot control for software instruments and plugins, and full meter display so you can quickly see the tracks you are working on.

Mackie Control Universal Pro control surface

 

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