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Softube Console 1

Softube Console 1  ·  Source: https://www.softube.com

Rumour has reached gearnews HQ that a new hardware release of Softube’s popular Console 1 may be with us soon! This is great news for anyone in the market for a fresh take on their ITB-mixing workflow. But what are Softube waiting for?

Since its first release in early 2014, Console 1 has gained momentum and popularity. Best known for their plug-ins, it put Softube on the map with hands-on control of their channel strip emulations. If they do announce a new Console product during NAMM 2017, how different will it be from the current format?

According to Softube “one of our suppliers ran into issues”. It seems production faltered whilst demand continued. I wonder if they will grasp this opportunity to capture an even wider number of users. Softube indicated previously they would not phase out the current hardware format for some time. However, many users asked for flying faders. While that might be unlikely, there’s certainly huge scope for further development. I also believe there is great opportunity for a similar but more basic product at a lower price point.

Can tactile controllers like Console 1 really bring “analogue feel” to smaller studios?

Like many musicians who record in a DAW, I aspire to a palette of tools that works for me. Softube 1 is not a small investment for the home studio, but represents a significant upgrade in processing to most stock plug-ins. Currently it is unique in offering full hardware control of a specific plug-in package.

Interestingly, similar products have come and gone. Focusrite’s Liquid Mix range successfully combined DSP power with hardware control. SSL’s Duende offered stand-alone DSP power and plug-ins without the physical control. I’m sure we will see this area blossom further in the next couple of years, especially with technology like Waves LV1 being adopted to move plug-ins into the live arena too.

During NAMM, will we simply hear of fresh Console 1 stock with a change of manufacturing and perhaps firmware updates? I’ve been betting on something more exciting, so am eagerly await further news of what Softube could have up their sleeve!

 

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Chris Johnson

Here’s to hoping they come out with a new piece of hardware. A wider range of compatible 3rd party plugins would also be welcome. Faders would be useless for me since I use FL Studio. Integration with FL Studio would be a huge update! We never get any love.