DigiDesign / Focusrite Command 8 Motorised Control Surface for Avid Pro Tools

The Digidesign Command 8, as a piece of technology, is now pretty old, however, as was the case with a lot of things in those days, it was well built and many still function well even today – and, perhaps best of all, it still a lot going for it!

What many don’t realise is Command|8 still works fully in Pro Tools today – and now they are going got a song on the second hand market, in the UK you can grab them for a low as £250. What you get for you money is quite a lot.  The main features of Command|8 include:

  • Eight fader strips, each with a motorized, touch-sensitive fader, rotary encoder, LEDs, and Solo, Mute, and Channel Select switches 
  • Analog monitoring section with the following features:
    Output and level control for mains and headphones
    Two pairs of analog inputs, one for the main mix from Pro Tools, one for alternate sources 
  • One MIDI In port and two MIDI Out ports providing 16 channels of MIDI input and 32 channels of MIDI output 
  • USB port for direct USB MIDI communication with Pro Tools 
  • Large, bright LCD for data display 
  • 1/4-inch Punch In port for footswitch control of recording 
  • Transport controls and mode switches
  • Windows switches for Pro Tools display 
  • Navigation and Zoom controls 
  • Tactile control of track volume, pan, send level, send pan, and record status, as well as PRE™ (Digidesign mic preamplifier) gain 
  • Fast and convenient access to sends, inserts, plug-in pages, pan settings, and other track functions 
  • Five Function keys to access Utility, Fader Mute, and MIDI mapping functions  
  • Stand-Alone mode with save and recall of up to 8 snapshots 
  • Allows control of any device that supports MIDI Continuous Controller messages 
  • Allows use of custom MIDI mapping

So that’s a physical control surface with moving faders, a Pro Tools transport, a monitoring controller (with MONO button), full physical control of plug-ins and instruments, as well as a MIDI interface for around £250!

That’s a lot of bang for the buck and well worth considering if you want a physical control surface for Pro Tools!. It may not be the newest controller out there, but it still has a lot to offer many years after it was first launched.

So Pro tools users should be feeling pretty happy about this. But what of other DAW users?

Update: see my next post for basic FL Studio integration

(with thanks to pro tools expert)

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