The Future Of Studio Control

Slate Media Technology has announced RAVEN 2.0 Control System, for the RAVEN series of Multi-touch Production Consoles.

Or as they like to call it, ‘the future of studio control.’

In the official intro video, Steven Slate offers a sneak preview of the new features. While the video focuses on RAVEN Control for Pro Tools, RAVEN Control also supports Logic X, and is expected to soon support Cubase, Nuendo, Studio One, and Digital Performer.

Note: RAVEN 2.0 is set to release June 27, 2014 and will be a Free Software Update for all RAVEN users.

See the Slate site for more info.

27 thoughts on “The Future Of Studio Control

  1. I keep on getting the feeling that this is more of a “look, mine’s bigger” thing than it is really special or useful… A lot of what I’m seeing here can be done in software like Reaper combined with something like Lemur. Of course you don’t have a massive touchscreen but Reaper + Lemur costs about 80$ and I’m guessing the device shown here will cost quite a lot more…

  2. Sorry.. I Dont like it.. im all up for the future & all that.. but this is horrid.. i want my faders “Off” the screen” not taking up all the space.. i want a tactile motorised fader thats separate from my working screens, which have a lot of other apps open at the same time, not just full screen mixing board / DAW. & not at that angle.. people are going to get proper arm ache & stuff with this, i know i would be sacking it off for the mouse after 20 minz.. i think its a nice idea but totally impractical. looks brash, almost DIY.. and ergonomically its going to be the elephant in the room. soz, love the slate plug ins, but this is not going to take.

  3. This is where the iPad logically leads too – but I’d much rather have a giant iPad, that could load lots of apps, than a dedicated mixing touch screen.

    1. No kidding. I don’t even know why they attempt to make it look like a real control panel. It’s almost like they’re reinventing it but with much less feel and feedback. It’s just a flashy hey-look-what-i-bought gizmo for a studio engineer with a little bit too much time and money as far as I’m concerned. I hear that’s a really great market ????

  4. As much as i love these touch screens and the software like osc lemur ect, my preference would be a real fader to work with. What i would like to see is automated faders, endless encoders and a touch screen working in tandem with tightly integrated software……. Also would like the money to buy it if it was ever made.

    1. is it just me or are we all just sat here waiting for someone to do this right ? like an updated avid artist or expandable xtouch.. its mental isn’t it.. every single day i google DAW control surface.. im really not asking for much, but manufacturers are repeatedly missing the point…

      P.S. those videos.. no one that works in studios has arms like that.. im pretty sure he couldn’t mix a bag of sweets. 🙂

  5. Its a superior operational upgrade over other current touchscreen setups. The batch functions are brilliantly implemented. Having the option of fader sensitivity is extremely smart. Being able to group-process stems is totally pro. Its what iPads are trying to become, in a sense. I’d sure love to see a price, though; there’s a LOT of code in there!

    I’ll stick up for the traditional mixer layout, too. I think many seek novelty for its own sake, but faders are central to our consistency-loving natures. We need “grids” in certain places, because even abstract music is still about partitioning events carefully over time. There is a visual/tactile feedback aspect you should never dismiss. Volume sliders FEEL better, even in software! I can see where a person might get screen-fatigue from hunching over it for hours on end, but the ergonomics are still outstanding. Its Macro-Heaven. The ‘trick’ is to develop a second-nature touch with your rig so you can do more, a bit faster. This thing ups the term ‘customization’ by a couple of parsecs. Its a bigger tool than I need, but seeing it already keyed for Logic and Pro Tools suggests that we’ll see some good eventual trickle-down from it. Don’t casually diss it *or* overestimate it. Look at it as a solid guidepost in the field, because more people will be going this way for practical reasons.

  6. “The Future” would not emulate decades old control methods. A real future controller would be optimized for it’s form factor and features… in this case a touch screen. They could at least rip off some of the excellent human user interface advancements that have been happening in so many mobile apps. But this is purely rediculous.

    This product is aimed squarely at aging baby boomers with money to burn and an inherent dislike of change.

    1. You guys look too hard for something to trash. Its music gear, not a white slave trade ring. 🙂 I’d be wary of falling prey to the Synclavier Syndrome here, where the company suddenly becomes vaporware. That’s a lot of proprietary code in a Rolls framework, with the associated risk. The Raven is overkill below the pro studio level, but in a few more years, something in the middle will start winning a lot of fans. $16k flagships are where the future $2k versions come from. You’ll like it fine when you can run Live or Logic on a roll-up touchscreen with a section for several customizable work spaces. I find the accusation of mixers being old-fashioned pretty amusing when they continue to appear steadily as both hardware and software. No dis intended; that’s just how the mechanics of it roll. Only a brave few will tackle a MAX environment and build a custom controller. So I stand by my statement that the Raven is a conceptual step up, because it offers some notably better ergonomics, which can mean everything when you are in the zone. Been there, learned that.

      1. >Been there, learned that.

        Yeah, me too. Which is why I stand by the belief that skeuomorphs are crap for functionality. And we won’t have 2k versions of this soon. We already have better versions of this as iPad controllers, and they don’t emulate sliders and knobs. (And if you want to take it outside local focus, the economics won’t allow 2k controllers anymore) I can mix just as well by spinning a numerical value in Ableton today as I did by pushing faders 20 years ago. It’s all just hand motion. Only being able to use one of those scenarios is a limitation, not a strength.

        >I’d be wary of falling prey to the Synclavier Syndrome here, where the company suddenly becomes vaporware.

        Now this I agree with, and I would go so far as to say we can count on this product being obsolete and abandoned in short order.

        >I find the accusation of mixers being old-fashioned pretty amusing when they continue to appear steadily as both hardware and software.

        Not at all. Look at any new technology ever, and how long it takes us to do something original with it. Film for instance. We arguably “filmed live action plays” for the first 100 years before the medium started to be used for things outside of that. Even in the early days we had live musicians playing to films, then recordings of live musicians playing to films… etc. And only in the last decade has it started to be ok to not use traditional orchestra instruments for film soundtracks. Do you really think that audio professionals with years of locked in work processes and tons of money invested will embrace a truly new and unique user interface in less than a decade? No way, at least not the mainstream. We monkeys are slow to change! 🙂 “Digital faders” are just a bridging product, doomed to disappear.

  7. I feel like 95% of the commenters here don’t really understand what some of these batch functions are doing because they don’t have any experience using Pro Tools, let alone how deep they can go within their own DAW. The things that the video is showing are insane. Some of it less so, if only because Pro Tools 12 will feature Track Freeze which most DAWs already have, but the point of the video is that a lot of these batch functions save tons of time and headache in what would obviously be a studio environment. It’s simply just a very good (and only) solution for a niche market. Take it as it is and hope this tech trickles down to the common people. One day

      1. >>> World’s most ergonomically-advanced audio mixing desk.

        Okay, that’s getting closer, alright. Very classy. AS USUAL, they don’t want to tell you WTF it costs up front, but if you need to ask… *gulp* Its a good hybrid approach, though. There are pluses to both hardware and software mixers, same as with synths. These guys are really up on their game.

    1. ^ This right here ! It’s a good idea because Protools is 5 years behind every DAW out there.In terms of these simple functional shortcuts.In an environment where you MUST use Protools because it’s the standard.However , I wouldn’t pay 16k for it. The software itself would be awesome , and just use any midi controller you like.The ability to bind shortcuts and layer commands is the key selling point of the hardware ?

  8. The guy look like some freakey evangelical, he sounds like a preacher. Is this an advert for beard colouring products? His delivery is pretty much nauseating and he may do well to see a parallel with music arrangement and his own scrappy over enthusiastic flat robotic out of sync delivery. Bad video for a duff product. Does he have a batch command to make this seem sincere delivery?

  9. like the idea. do not like the hardselling tonality of the video.

    this idea will be the future. but only when they overcome imitating the present approach. faders are best when they are real – what we want is a better idea than faders. go and find one! use your technology to create, not to imitate!

  10. Hm. For the same price you could by a Music Computing keyboard, with a PC or Mac built in and its giant touchscreen to manipulate DAW of choice, and buy choice of DAW, super high quality audio I/O, UAD and ton of plugins, high quality mics, all the Komplete and Arturia plugins, a decent compressor and the cost of a in-house trainer. Hmm. I think they have a cool product for the PRO market that likes this concept, but all the baby consoles with DAW support, adding a touchscreen to your Mac or PC, is another sideways option. Not for me, but sure some people are having geargasms.

    1. exactly, this is purely marketed towards the pro market, but the batch commands are something everyone here is frothing over and it doesn’t necessarily need to be packaged in that way to reach the common consumer. Were all grownups here, whats not to like about this functionality really other than price? hand drawing in automation, sub 5ms latency, even the “virtual” faders provide huge workflow gains (sorry for the ramble, this isn’t really meant towards you really)

      1. If I operated a project studio with many clients, and needed speedier workflow for Pro Tools, but didn’t want to buy a $30K Avid Console, this would definitely be on my consideration list. I think the average person on Synthtopia might not be the target customer 🙂

  11. Noone’s yet pointed out that key / mouse / whatever macros – for any DAW – can be programmed with something like the free AutoHotKey. We use Live for most everything audio at our game studio and I’ve written auto exporters in AHK that have been extremely useful in exporting and autonaming large numbers of assets, then churning them through other software for additional processing – all automated. That’s on the more complicated side of things. Or you can write simple scripts that make audio editing faster and more comfortable – for example, anytime your DAW’s in focus, prepend a CTRL to all your edit key commands (c / v / x / z / etc) – great for reducing fatigue due to that ctrl-pinky-stretch.

    Anyway, that seems to be the big sell here – macros. And you definitely don’t need a 16k touchscreen for that. Write your own with AHK… and spend that 16k on other shit that you don’t need. :p

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