Well we weren´t expecting this: Steinberg has previewed the CC121 Advanced Integration Controller, an all-new USB controller for its Cubase 4 DAW. This is the first time the company has released a hardware control surface for its software since the ill-fated Houston was launched back in 2000.
Unlike Houston, the CC121 doesn´t emulate the look and feel of a real mixing desk. In fact, the focus is on just one controller knob that automatically controls whatever your mouse is pointing at (like the Speed Dial on Novation´s Nocturn, it would seem).
There´s also a single 100mm touch-sensitive fader, plus a selection of buttons that give you control of Cubase´s channel settings. Interestingly, the software´s full EQ section is also built into the hardware (there are 12 rotary encoders for this), while a user-assignable section offers presets for your Control Room sends and monitoring setup.
As you´d expect, the CC121 integrates seamlessly with Cubase 4 - no setup is required - and it´s compatible with both Mac and PC. There´s no news on a price at this stage - we expect this to be confirmed closer to the release date, which is currently listed as the third quarter of 2008.
Find out more at the Steinberg website.
Video: We hooked up with Steinberg at Frankfurt and got a guided tour through some of the CC121's best features.