ControlBLADE ES Workstation Offers “Much More, For Half The Price”


Music Computing has released the ControlBLADE ES, described as ‘a professional music production workstation on a hobbyist budget’.

ControlBLADE ES is an all-in-one music production station, powered by high-performance computer cores utilizing an Intel Dual-Core 2.6GHz third-generation (Ivy Bridge) processor. The Windows 7 (64-bit) operating system is preconfigured for music production.

According to Music Computing’s CEO Victor Wong, the ControlBLADE ES is “far more powerful than any other traditional keyboard workstation and can do much more for half the price.”

The ControlBLADE ES

The ControlBLADE ES is a 61-key model and comes standard with 4GB of RAM, which is upgradeable to 8GB, a 500GB 7200 rpms hard drive with upgrade options of 1TB, 2TB and 3TB, a DVD Burner, an external USB mini audio interface with 2ins and 2outs with various upgrade options, and bundled software including Windows 7 (64-bit) Home Premium OS, SonicSource Producer (8GB of VSTi sound presets), Audacity audio editor and recorder, and Tracktion audio production software.

The ControlBLADE ES provides two (2) video monitor ports, which can be connected to standard LCD / LED TVs, general purpose computer video screens or Music Computing MotionCOMMAND touchscreens.

The ControlBLADE ES is available for $999 via the Music Computing site.

25 thoughts on “ControlBLADE ES Workstation Offers “Much More, For Half The Price”

  1. I wonder if these guys are still using Macs as the ‘computing core’ of the platform, because aside from the harddrives (which can be connected externally), the specs sound a lot like the current Mac Minis being sold.

    1. Click the link in the story above, and wonder no more.
      If that’s too much trouble I’ll just tell you -they have both Windows and Mac OS.

      Sheesh, it even says it is bundled with Win7 64 bit right in the story….

      1. Zymos,
        For the record, there was never any confusion about the operating system being used.
        I was questioning the hardware part only.
        Mac Mini HARDWARE makes a lot of sense in this type of design, they’ve used Minis before and they can run windows perfectly well. You shouldn’t be so quick to try to shame someone…

  2. It appears they are doing separate hardware versions on this one.
    Though I seem to recall them using Mac Minis at the heart of the DAWBlade and ControlBlade in the past, whether running either Win or OSX… since a mac mini will run either one just as well…..
    Cheer up, buddy man guy dude champ, etc……

  3. Mr Victor Wong is at it again.
    He’s got a product made from overpriced spare parts every year.

    Just goggle “victor wong”
    …or, really, dont.

    1. Translation: “I know nothing about this product so I’ll call it an overpriced POS”.

      Maybe it’s not your cup of tea, but I like that this will run any synth you like and turn it into a piece of hardware. $1000 is a pretty good price for an integrated Windows based workstation.

  4. Funny, that’s the first time I’ve heard it described like this – “proprietary Linux operating systems […] open operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X” 😉

    Still, this thing looks positively bulky – you have to lower your desk or stand to get it to comfortable playing height.

  5. From their website:
    “Keyboard workstations use low-powered processors, run proprietary Linux operating systems and are closed hardware and software-wise, thereby severely limiting their capabilities.

    ControlBLADE keyboard production stations on the other hand, are equipped with high-power computer cores (up to 10 times more powerful), run open operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X, have vastly more expandability”…

    HAHA “Proprietary Linux” and “open operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X” had me absolutely in hysterics.

    1. When they say ‘proprietary Linux’, that refers to a vendor’s custom OS based on Linux kernel.

      Don’t think you’re going to load Ubuntu onto your Korg/Roland, but you can run any apps you want on Windows or OS X!

  6. Perhaps “flexible and updatable OS” would be more accurate than “open”. Most DAW’s apart from Kurzweil’s and maybe Korg’s don’t offer software updates, so you are stuck with the OS as-is.

  7. $1000 isn’t casual money, so I’d be debating this vs. a Novation controller at half the fee. Most of us already have much of those means in our computers. Its a courteous SOP to include a couple of synths and utilities in such items, but do I really need a workstation minus the sound design work and polished GUI of something like a Triton or Kronos? People argue over it a lot, but most synths persevere because the sound design team offered good presets. No problem if you are all soft-synth, but I found that a hybrid approach of software and refined hardware gave me the most range.

    This is a very well thought-out unit and probably worth its price. I personally like the idea of a central controller, where familiarity pays off in greater musical flex. You’ll simply have to decide if it will up your game or if careful planning within Kontakt or Mainstage can do the same job. Yo’ budget may vary.

  8. This thing simply comes down to interface. Is it a good sampler? OS? Is it completely open source?

    A dedicated synth/computer is a great idea, and the price is reasonable compared to some of the latest offerings, but if the hardware interface isn’t tops, that would crumple this deck of cards.

  9. In this era of super cheap and powerful generic purpose devices, I would never buy customized hardware like this even if I liked it. You are one bad decision or market fluctuation away from no drivers, support, function, etc.

    1. It’s stock windows hardware and OS integrated with an audio and MIDI controller, so what are you referring to?

      1. It’s the “stock” and “integrated” vectors I refer to. If it’s just “stock” stuff, why pay someone else to pick and put it together for you? And if it’s “integrated”, that means you need special drivers, cables, or any number of other components for that combination to keep functioning because it is no longer “stock”. And any time you make yourself dependent on that combination you end up with a gizmo that stops working at some point, or that you pay upgrades to get continued support for. And it’s very rare that anyone can take “stock” stuff and “integrate” it any better than the user themselves could.

  10. i think its ultra sketchy how they took the presonus logos off the interfaces, and dont mention the company anywhere on the page. smells a bit scammy to me.

  11. Workstations are a no go for me. After the Kronos 73 debacle (gave it the boot) I will never buy one again.
    You are stuck with propriatary hard and software with no say what should be improvemed. The Kronos has no decent sequencer and the filesystem is beneath WIN 3.11 standards. Even Atari ST has longer filepaths. You get > 30GB to store all your files and have only 76 characters for the whole path. Korg, are you insane. And this “feature” they use since 1995. And if you buy a library of sounds it is bound to that specific machine! (Ok, calm down)
    The Studioblade is surely an improvement over Korg, Roland, Kurzweil and Yamaha stuff of the same category, but I think computers are still the future. They are much more flexible and can be tailored to your personal needs and are much cheaper. It´s only the presets and some synth engines that give those f**king WS a license to live on for a while. But enterprises like Arturia, NI, GEFORCESOFT etc. make the big whales obsolete with time.

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