Kenton Control Freak Studio Edition review

  • £250

The Kenton Control Freak gets a Studio makeover

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Our Verdict

An established, well-built product. However, there are now cheaper controllers with better functionality.

For

  • Ideal for complex mixes. Built to last. Favours a hands-on approach.

Against

  • MIDI connectivity only. Lack of standards emulation. Increasingly outdated.
Buying options

The Control Freak Studio Edition offers a complete set of 16 faders and buttons, making it ideal for tweaking complex mixes. Like the Kenton Spin Doctor, it only has MIDI connectivity, so you’ll need to budget for an additional MIDI interface if no ports are currently available in your setup. The Control Freak feels like it’s built to last -- all of the controls are substantial enough to survive the rigours of regular live use.

The faders on the Control Freak offer roughly one third less travel than those on the Behringer BCF2000, although this is unlikely to be a serious problem (unless you want to make ridiculously accurate adjustments).

More importantly, the Studio Edition isn’t capable of emulating any of the industry standard control surfaces, which will be an issue for some users. However, Reason 3 does offer native support for the device, so owners of this software should certainly consider taking a look at it.

The Control Freak Studio Edition is a solid performer that’s been available for quite some time. However, since it was introduced, the market has moved on. Likely to appeal most to those who want to get hands-on with the mixing of larger projects, the Control Freak Studio Edition is still a sound choice, but it no longer represents the best value for money option out there.

Tech Specs

Features16 faders and buttons. Midi connectivity only.