This is the official demo video for the new Softube Console 1 hardware & software mixing system, introduced at Musikmesse 2013, with product manager Niklas Odelholm.
Softube Console 1 is an integrated hardware/software music mixing solution which includes a rugged hardware controller and a modeled analog console channel with some unique additions. According to Softube, you can use the system with any major DAW and ‘enjoy the biggest advantages from digital and analog mixing environments – plus a few new ones’.
See the Softube site for details.
11 thoughts on “Softube Console 1 Demo”
Softube gives me a really hard time with this upcoming Console 1 product…
On the one hand, I think the announced price of 800€ is simply too much for a software channelstrip + hardware controller. I guess something about 600€ would have been far more appropriate – take a look at the price of NI Maschine for example (which is, essentially, a similar concept).
But on the other hand, having hands-on control over every channel of the DAW (including EQ und dynamics) simply is a long overdue requirement of the modern digital audio era, at least in my opinion. Yes, there is Mackie Control and similar protocols. But they all only focus on channel faders and pan pots. The moment you need to do any effects processing, you need to use the mouse. And yes, you could map plugin controls to MIDI controllers. But I didn’t have much luck with that either…
I know myself well enough to say that such a product would help me. When I’m working with mouse and keyboard, I tend to enter numeric values into EQ/compressor settings rather than dialing a knob. Such a hands-on interface would most likely make me listen more to the results and ignore parametric values.
The concept of a all-in-one controller for mixing duties is really tempting. At least for me, it seems far more attractive than having a multitude of controllers lying around. But the price just feels too high…
Well – it was done before and it it called Automap. Lot cheaper and very similar.
Hello, Henrik from Softube here. Thanks to Synthopia for posting this and thanks for the comments! Let me add a few things.
First off, Console 1 is much more of a mixer that you use with your DAW than just a plug-in with a controller. As you can see in the video, the channel selectors, the meter bridge and the feature-filled channel strip really puts you in complete control of your mix, without using the mouse. So price wise, Console 1 should be compared to other mixers. And when you do that, you’ll see that the targeted 800-900 Euros (excluding sales tax) is not that bad. The reason we could keep it that low is that we threw a lot of unnecessary stuff overboard, such as DSP powering and motorized faders.
Second, with the purchase of a Console 1, you get our new channel strip plug-in, the UK 4k. It consists of four different sections and has the same quality that made Softube world famous in the first place. If you compare this to our current line of plug-ins, you’ll find that the UK 4k plug-in alone would probably be in the 400-500 Euro range. So you don’t only get a really nice and intuitive workflow, you also get the great analog sound of a very famous and well-sounding British mixing console.
With all that said – we are doing our very best to keep the price as low as possible. If we can get below the 800-900 Euro range, we will. Scout’s honor. But the unit is built here in Sweden of quality components and in a rugged metal casing, and that type of quality costs.
very nice of you henrik to reply directly here. this is the sort of company policy i respect alot.
i will be looking at softube console but alot of people will argue that touchscreen will just be more practical for daw interaction.
is it possible to control other st plugins with the controller, without extra mapping?
also the image on the website is strangely slanted. is that a mistake?
It’s quite possible some people will prefer a touchscreen, I guess Console 1 is simply not for them. But I think upon trying the physical knobs, most will prefer that to a touchscreen. I guess we’ll just have to see about that!
All the current Softube equalizers and compressors will be detected by the Console 1 system, and they will be factory mapped. So no extra mapping will be necessary from the user’s side, just load them up and start mixing.
I guess the slant of the hardware unit was a creative stroke from the photographer. In real life, it rests quite heavily on the desk!
thank you for your fast and straightforward reply. indeed i am not a fan of touchscreens and like the feedback from knobs alot more.
console is definitely something i will be considering. i hope it will be included in some of the bundles for people that want an all softube experience and like myself do not own any plugins yet.
Thanks for the kind words. We’re very much looking forward to getting the system out in stores so people can actually try it out for themselves. It looks like we’ll be showing it on a couple of events in both US and Europe in June. Anyone who’s interested can follow us on Facebook or Twitter (SoftubeStudios), or sign up for our newsletter at http://www.softube.com to get the details.
I have just come back from seeing the Console 1. Here is Australia the price is prohibitive. It seems to work well yet the lack of auto name recognition is a show stopper. For that price it should also do your laundry! I presume that it will come as a software update but still… The other interesting aspect is that the workflow is totally reliant on the Console 1 being applied to every track of your DAW and song. Otherwise it becomes tedious not too mention confusing. I’m still not sure how to use other Softube plugins but I have seen it on the video and looks good but it raises the question can you only have one input at a time? E.g. Replacing the incumbent compressor with another Softube one means you can or can’t stack?
The price is way too high here regardless of what it cost to make. IT recommends retails at $1600.00 AUS. Get a Mackie MCU or AVID for less.
I love Softube plugins, but I don’t think they did a great job on this Console 1.
I see many reasons why, starting by the very disruptive workflow if you’re not living in the Softube world. I mean, if I do mix, I’m not only using Softube plugin or channel strip… therefor, switching between your DAW and Console 1 back and forth will just make things more complicated and slower. It’s easier and faster to just press a button to open a plugin and tweak it, than switching from your DAW to “Softube World”, tweak it, close it to go back to your DAW to insert a non-Softube plugin on your track…
Then it’s not very clear if the pan and volume of Console 1 is inside Console 1 software only or if it adjusts the DAW tracks parameters. Because, if you want to adjust the pan and volume of your track, again, you probably just want to do it from the DAW Mixer directly… and not have to open the Console 1 mixer, tweak it, close it…
And there’s no transport feature neither. So you can’t really keep the Console 1 always open. You need to see your DAW session, to select a loop you need to hear again and again while tweaking… Then you go back few measure back to hear it… or even move to the next spot, etc… So you definitely need to see your session for your Transport tools if you don’t have any Transport control in your controller. And if you need to add a transport controller, you might end to the same price than some well designed generic surface control with transport control, motorized fader, etc… (a real console experience to me).
So, from where I’m standing, I do like way better to use good surface control that will work with any plugins from any manufacture and will control my DAW (Maschine and Push might be good solution pretty soon, otherwise the Avid MC Artist stays what I like the most for now).
I’m not trashing Softube to try (because this kind of surface control is a long due), but they just didn’t do a good job to me… They might probably think too much for their ideal world point of view where everyone is using Softube product and only Softube product… which is definitely NOT me. Sorry!
Thanks for your comments!
Using a Console 1 does not in any way prevent you from working with other developer’s plug-ins just like you do today, nor does using other developer’s plug-ins get any more cumbersome. You don’t even have to use a mouse to go back and forth from Console 1 and your DAW, there’s a dedicated button on the Console 1 hardware for toggling on and off the Console 1 on-screen display. There’s also an Auto setting that makes the Console 1 on-screen display pop up as soon as you tweak a knob, and then go automatically go away after a few seconds. So Console 1 will just enhance your workflow and sound, not take anything away that you have today.
Regarding the Pan and Output Volume knobs, these control the Console 1 system only. Actually, the Console 1 hardware doesn’t control any aspect of your DAW. So you’re correct, this also means Console 1 has no transport control for the DAW. But of course, the same keyboard commands (or hardware transport controller) you use with your DAW today still work, even with the Console 1 on-screen display open. So nothing is being taken away from you if you get a Console 1.
Again, going back and forth between your DAW and Console 1:s on-screen display really is no problem. We of course realize Console 1 isn’t going to be for everybody! But I hope you take no offense if I say I think you may be seeing problems that aren’t really there.
All the best,
The Auto setting u say opens when u tweak a knob.
But what channel will it be tweaking ? the 1 selected in your DAW ?
or just the last channel u had selected in console window ?
if its the latter, whats the point ?