Softube’s hardware/software combo ‘Console 1’ has been around for a few years now and has earned its fair share of devotees. The hands on approach to mixing/processing paired with Softube’s characteristically high quality hardware emulation make for a truly powerful production workflow.
The existing Console 1 MKII hardware provides comprehensive control over a single channel with dedicated knobs and buttons for EQ and dynamics. A row of buttons across the top of the unit lets you quickly jump between tracks however you are still only ever looking at a single channel strip. As fabulous as this is for carefully shaping individual tracks, it’s far from ideal for basic track levelling i.e. mixing.
This concern has been thoroughly addressed with the announcement of Console 1 Fader, which can be used either independently of, or together with the Console 1 MK2 hardware. It maintains the same build-quality and form factor, however the bulk of the front panel is now occupied by 10 touch sensitive 100mm motorized faders. Bank up/down buttons can be used to access more tracks, or multiple hardware units can be cascaded.
Obviously the focus here is squarely on mixing rather than processing, however the controls to the right of the faders can modify the ‘Fader Mode’ to control volume, send level, drive, low cut etc. A single potentiometer controls pan or width of the selected track.
Just as with the Console 1 MK2, the idea is to place Softube’s Console 1 plugin on every track which seizes processing/level control from your DAW creating a mixing experience sonically and physically akin to that of a classic hardware console. Two console models are included with Console 1 Fader: Tube and Discrete, and more are available for purchase from their online store. Console models can also be applied per channel for a more customized mix environment.
Console 1 MK2 offers the same kind of flexibility in that each channel strip can be made of a variety of individual plugins/processors from Softube’s library. This became significantly more powerful (and appealing) when this range was opened up to select UAD plugins, many of which are developed by Softube. The DSP powered nature of UAD plugins further adds to the hardware like experience of the Console 1 platform. There is no specific mention of UAD plugin compatibility with Console 1 Fader yet, so we can only hope that this functionality is in the development pipeline.
Check out the product page on Softube’s website for more info: