We explore ways to get the most out of the Avid S1 controller.
In his April 2020 review of the Avid S1, Sam Inglis highlighted its simplicity of use and deep integration with Pro Tools thanks to EuCon, the proprietary connection technology which allows control of Pro Tools and other EuCon‑enabled applications, which can’t be rivalled by generic DAW control protocols like HUI.
In a past life I used to train new users on the old Diginet control surfaces like the D‑Control and D‑Command, and after I’d shown people how to use the control surface I was occasionally frustrated to find people still using the trackball. What it took me longer than it should have to appreciate was that it’s not enough for a control surface to be as good as controlling software using a mouse and keyboard: it has to be better.
It’s never a fair competition between the mouse and keyboard and any alternative means of control, as the one thing which is virtually guaranteed is that pretty much any user of any DAW already knows more about how to use it with keyboard and mouse than they do about controlling it using a control surface. What is needed here are ‘killer applications’; things you can do with an S1 which are so helpful that they are reason enough to engage with the surface on their own. So what are these killer applications?
Most of us are familiar with the advantages of a physical fader over an on‑screen alternative. Being able to control multiple faders at the same time is a huge advantage, as is being able to feel the faders under your fingers. Many people working today started out with software faders before moving...