PAD Console Buyers Guide

PAD Console Buyers Guide

Are you ready to go with an actual console or control surface?


Analog or Digital

It’s the timeless debate. A digital control-surface will help with ergonomics and workflow, keeping all audio “in the box,” while going with analog can provide unmatched character and color. This decision comes down more to your sonic preferences than it does budget. There are good choices out there in both analog and digital domains for almost any budget-range.

Control Surfaces

In terms of control-surfaces, there are some very smart and advanced digital systems out there now, made by Slate Digital, Avid, SSL and others. Audio does not actually pass through the surface, but instead of having to use a mouse, you have tactile control over the DAW’s parameters. You’re mirroring the DAW functions on the screen…faders, mutes, pans, sends, etc…with an actual analog-like user interface. For many, this makes working far easier and quicker. Audio is typically flowing in and out of the computer via an external interface.

Budget Considerations

First of all, do you have the right budget? A $10,000 used console needs a $15,000 budget; there’s shipping, servicing and installation costs. It’s not sexy and no one likes to pay for it, but cabling is not free, far from it. We have all-to-often seen novice console buyers get in a pickle by buying the desk and then not having the proper resources to do all the other necessary things

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