Wow, that took a really long time. The promotional video (below) introduced the Raven MTi2 3.0 software for Pro Tools for “Mac and PC” and that was published a year ago. PC compatibility has been “coming soon” since the Raven first appeared in 2012. Well, now, with version 3.2 it’s finally here – woop woop!
Slate Raven MTi2
The Raven MTi2 is a large 27″ multi-touch screen controller for DAW software. Slate have built templates for use with Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, Studio One, Logic and Pro Tools. Until now that’s all been on the Mac. Slate’s first release for Windows is the Pro Tools version. Hopefully other DAW templates will make it to Windows at some point in the future.
The key feature of the MTi2 is that it gives you a fully touchable software console. The thing is that you can do this already in Windows. A couple of hundred pounds buys you a 27″ touch screen for Windows. On the cheapest Windows 10 tablet you can move faders on-screen with your fingers. So it’s not perhaps the most devastatingly awesome product for Windows users. On the Mac which doesn’t have native touch support it’s a lot more interesting. However, what the MTi2 does do is bring some elements of multi-touch to non-touch software. With a regular touch-screen or Microsoft Surface you can only move one fader at a time within Pro Tools or Cubase. The Raven gives you full multi-touch functionality on the faders. However on something like Studio One that does support multi-touch natively then the Raven is less revolutionary. The MTi2 multi-touch only really works on the faders and associated console buttons, not on plug-in GUIs. These support single touch control unless, like with Studio One, the DAW itself supports it.
The other key feature is the “TOOLBAR” which provides a load of customisable macro and batch commands. It can automate a wide range of tasks and is definitely a very cool thing. Studio One actually has its own macro button feature which can work in a similar way. It’s a great feature – every DAW should have it by default.
I’ve been using touch screens on Windows for many years and I’ve been boggled by the Apple community response to the Slate Raven. There must be something spectacularly brilliant about the screens they use – otherwise it’s always seemed like a massive rip-off. Providing multi-touch control over non-touch software is an awesome thing but there are many bits of MIDI controller touch software that can do that on Windows for an awful lot less. As a complete hardware/software solution Slate are certainly onto something and it’s the lack of messing about that I think people are prepared to pay for.
The Raven MTi2 is now available for $999 and can come with Pro Tools for Windows support. You get to choose support for one DAW included in the price. More information on their website.