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As more and more of us do mixing ‘inside-the-box’, DAW controllers can be the perfect accompaniment to our workflow. There’s nothing like having a few proper faders at hand, whether it be for a quick balance or to write automation with. As no audio actually passes through a DAW controller, we can afford to go cheap and functional. Are these latest products seen at NAMM 2016 the answer, or are they another promise that will remain unfulfilled?

Icon announced last year that they were releasing an update to their Qcon Pro, with a ‘Qcon Pro G2’. The current Qcon Pro is still loved by some but it’s certainly due an update. The scribble strip wasn’t very clear and the chassis had a rather large empty section for an optional sound card, which was a waste of space if you didn’t want it.

However, we never saw the G2 which is rumoured to be an issue with Icon’s production. A year on, re-named and on show at NAMM was a new Qcon Pro X. This looks like a great product, and if they manage to produce it at a competitive price with Behringer’x X-Touch, this is sure to sell in huge numbers.

Also at NAMM was another even more compact controller, the Platform M. This looks great, especially because of the optional scribble strip; this looks to be an update to their existing iControls Pro. Both the Qcon Pro X and Platform M appear to have full 100mm faders which is great news.

Details are very scarce and I can only draw on unreliable sources, but the indication so far is that both products will work with Cubase, Nuendo, Reason, Samplitude, Logic and Abelton Live. This somewhat leaves Pro Tools users like me out of the picture. However, I’ll keep an eye out for information as it comes to light, but last year’s struggle to launch the Qcon Pro G2 doesn’t leave me feeling confident.

Keep watch on Icon’s web site for more information to appear: