Softube Console 1 MKII
Softube Console 1 MKII is a USB controller providing seamless control over 70 plug-ins by Softube and Universal Audio pre-mapped to the surface, with the included model of SSL 4000 E console.
At first glance, you might think that Softube Console 1 is just another desktop controller for bedroom producers, but don’t let the low price lull you into a false sense of superiority. So park your high horse, the Softube Console 1 is a serious controller for serious mixers, including Michael Brauer, who currently calls Electric Lady Studios home. If you’re up on the who’s who of A-list mix engineers, you’ll know what a big deal that is, since Brauer mixed exclusively in the analog domain on an SSL 9000, claiming that his multi-bus compression technique could only be done in analog, since software emulations of his process were not musical. When you consider that Brauer is completely satisfied with his digital mixes, it’s quite a testament to Softube console and outboard emulations, as well as the Console 1 hardware. Now you can mix with the sound of SSL and the world’s best outboard without dropping seven figures.
Softube Console 1 MKII—Just the Facts:
- A unique centerpiece for any DAW-based studio
- Included model of Solid State Logic SL 4000 E console
- Get the classic SSL crunch and character, straight out of the box
- Expand the system with over 70 Console 1-ready plug-ins from Softube and Universal Audio
- One control per parameter
- No mouse, no MIDI mapping, no hassle
- Premium quality hardware
- Mk II version offers the same quality at a much more affordable price
- Expand your options with the many available plug-ins from Softube and Universal Audio.
- Console 1 works with any major DAW on the market and offers extra deep integration with select DAWs
Softube Console 1 MKII—Under the Hood
Console 1 hardware has no onboard DSP. All audio processing takes place within your computer, which has several advantages compared to a physical mixer, such as portability, lower cost, and no need for an external power supply.
The Console 1 comprises five control sections, starting with the input section, with gain, high- and low-cut filters, phase reverse, preset select, input level meter, and a button that assigns filters to the compressor sidechain, so that you can control which frequencies are ignored by the compressor—a great way to prevent low-frequency energy from pulling down your mix, or prevent excessive peaks from punching holes in it, as the frequencies below the transients are attenuated along with the peaks.
Next comes the Shape section, which offers envelope control, including a gate with hard and soft knee response, and a transient shaper, with controls for punch (attack) and sustain. Moving to the right, alongside Shape is the Equalizer section, which enables four-band parametric control, with high- and low-frequency semi-parametric with selectors for cut, bell, and shelf. The low mid and high mid bands have fully parametric control including Q (bandwidth). To the right of the equalizer is the compressor section, which includes standard attack, release, threshold, and ratio controls, plus a wet/dry control for parallel compression and a gain-reduction meter. The far right of Console 1 has a volume knob, solo and mute buttons, and output level meter. There are also two special knobs for Drive and Character, which let you dial in saturation distortion for the overall mix.
There is also a row of control buttons across the top of Console 1 that includes 20 bankable track select buttons, as well as group, select, a copy button that lets you copy settings from one track to another, as well as buttons that control sidechain sends and the order in which the processors appear. There are also secondary functions (in yellow print) that are enabled by pressing a shift button.
Seamless integration and control
One of the greatest advantages of Console 1 lays in its seamless integration with software, giving you the feeling of control you get from analog potentiometers. With Console 1 you can adjust EQ with both hands, for example, something you can’t do with a mouse. In fact, if you’ve ever tried to notch out a problem frequency, the procedure with a mouse is near impossible. First, you select a frequency, switch from frequency to gain, and see if you got it right. If you’re doing it in a graphic interface, there’s a good chance while pulling down the gain, you’ve inadvertently moved the center frequency when you grabbed the peak of the EQ curve. Repeating this procedure until you find the right frequency, attenuation, and Q (bandwidth) can be quite frustrating, often invoking the phrase, “I’ll come back to this later.” With Console 1, you can control center frequency and gain with both hands simultaneously, making the process a lot more efficient without taking you out of the zone.
With Console 1, you get the famous black knob E242 equalizer, the classic channel compressor, the very musical gate/expander, and the sweet high-/low-cut filters from the SL 4000 E channel. Softube also modeled the unique harmonics, distortion, and nonlinearities you get from running the SL 4000 E into overdrive. Controlled by Console 1’s Drive knob, you can use it subtly on all channels to glue the mix together like a slightly overdriven SL 4000 E does, or not so subtly to add edge and presence to selected sounds.
In addition, you get Softube’s unique Transient Shaper, which is not modeled on the Solid State Logic SL 4000 E or any other unit for that matter. Softube’s model of the Solid State Logic SL 4000 E channel is only available as part of the Console 1 system and not as a single plug-in. Softube will continuously release more channel strip models.
Control over 70 plug-ins by Softube And Universal Audio
Mix with the sound of the included Solid State Logic SL 4000 E. Quickly switch between your tracks and control EQ, compressor, gate and more. Or customize your channels to fit your needs—there are over 70 Console 1 ready plug-ins available from Softube and Universal Audio. In addition to the included SSL 4000 E, there are entire channel strips available, with EQ, compressor, gate and modeled saturation from the original analog hardware. Mix and match units from Chandler Limited, Fairchild, Teletronix, Tube-Tech, Abbey Road Studios, and many others.
With Apollo Central, you can control your UAD channels and plug-ins in the Apollo Console from the Console 1 hardware. Switch your Console 1 to “Apollo Central mode” and you’ll be able to load plug-ins and presets directly in your Apollo Control, giving you control of the plug-ins, channels, sends, monitoring. You can set up a recording chain with a UA 610 on the vocals, adjusting gain, sending a bit of that to a send with the Lexicon 224, and outputting it to the vocalist's headphones only by using the Console 1 hardware.
Apollo Central/Console 1 features:
- Channel settings, such as Volume, Pan, Solo, Mute, Sends
- Preamp settings, such as Low Cut, Input Gain and also control of Unison plug-ins
- Plug-in inserts. All UAD plug-ins come pre-mapped to the Console 1 hardware. Just insert a plug-in and you can easily access and tweak its parameters
- Output monitor track
- Presets and channel presets
Console 1 works with every major DAW on the market
Console 1 offers tightly integrated control of Presonus Studio One, Steinberg Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar and Cockos Reaper feature additional integration: select tracks and control their pan, volume, sends & more directly from the hardware.
Console 1 compatible DAWs:
- Studio One
- Logic Pro X
- Ableton Live
- Pro Tools
- (and more)
What Console 1 users are saying:
"I'm using Console 1 on pretty much everything I do, and it suits my workflow very well." — Pete Townshend (Rock legend with The Who)
"Console 1 lets me have the hands-on feel of analog, without losing the flexibility of the digital world. It’s the centerpiece of my hybrid mix room."
— Michael Brauer (Seven-time Grammy-award winner; The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Coldplay)
"When Console 1 came it was just like ... that's what everyone's been looking for!" — Jason Goldstein (Grammy award-winning mix engineer for Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and The Roots)
“Console 1 is an elegant solution to a problem I didn't fully realize I had until I started using it. Mixing should be about listening, not mouse clicks and waveforms, and Console 1 brings listening front and center to the mix process. I am looking forward to watching this platform expand.”
— Geoff Sanoff (Bruce Springsteen, Sarah Brightman, Green Day, Television, and Michael Stipe)
“I think finally console emulations are worth the time and trouble to use ... what Console 1 adds is a workflow and sound quality that very closely resembles mixing on a traditional console.” — Alan Branch (Jeff Beck, U2, Nine Inch Nails)
Softube console 1 proves that a mixing desk doesn’t have to be 10 feet long to do great things. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist—or order yours today.
**For a limited time only**
The British Class A will be included with the Console 1 Hardware until 4/30/2019.
- Screen resolution 1280x800 or larger
- 1GB RAM or more, and at least 900 MB hard disk space
- Any VST, VST3, AU, or AAX (Pro Tools 10.3.7, 11.2.1 or higher) compatible host application
- 1 powered USB 2.0 compatible port
- Softube/Gobbler account
- Gobbler application to manage license activation and plug-in downloads
- Broadband internet access for downloading software
Mac OS X specific
- Mac OS X 10.9 or newer
- 64-bit Windows 8 or newer (not qualified our plug-ins for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition)
- Intel Core Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or newer
- Console 1 plug-in supports the following sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz. Console 1 is not available for AAX DSP