Musikmesse 2013: Softube Console 1 offers software/hardware mixing solution

MUSIKMESSE 2013: Acclaimed plugin developer Softube has taken the wraps off Console 1, an intriguing new combination of a software-modelled analogue-style console and hardware controller.

The theory is that you can "mix a song from beginning to end and not even look at the computer screen". The software can be inserted on any or all of the mixer channels in your DAW and gives you a channel strip for each of them.

The hardware, meanwhile, promises intuitive control, with most knobs and buttons mirroring a single function of the software.

Console 1 will be available in the summer. Find out more below or on the Q&A page of the Softube website.

Softube Console 1 official information

Sound. Workflow. Control. Softube Console1 is an integrated hardware/software music mixing solution which includes a rugged hardware controller and a modelled analog console channel with some unique additions. Use the system with any major DAW and enjoy the biggest advantages from digital and analog mixing environments - plus a few new ones.

A world-class model of an analog mixer channel paired with a hardware controller. Console1 is that, and more.

The software

Inserting the software on any or all mixer channels of your DAW gives you a full-featured channel strip per channel. Included in the purchase is UK4k, a new model by Softube of an analog console. UK4k perfectly mimics the sound of a well-known British large format console, used on countless records from its introduction in the late 1970's and onwards.

The channel strip is divided into sections, and not only does it include the world famous four-band equalizer and compressor from the modelled console, but there's also the Drive section which models analog console saturation. And then there's Dynamic Shape, a unique processor that combines expander/gate and transient shaper functions. Plus a few more useful functions to help you make great mixes.

For further sonic variation, you can customize each channel separately by adding in any Softube equalizer or compressor. This works, because one unique aspect of the Console1 software is that it's a plug-in that can contain plug-ins!

The on-screen display gives you perfect and detailed visual feedback and metering of all effects settings and channel levels. But if you prefer an analog-like workflow, the hardware gives you all the visual feedback you need.

The hardware

With Console1, it's entirely possible to mix a song from beginning to end and not even look at the computer screen. Intuitively laid out, the sturdy Console1 hardware puts you in direct control of every aspect of the Console1 software. True to the analog workflow, most knobs and buttons are dedicated to a single function and very few functions require combining several controls. The LED meters give you immediate visual feedback of your gain structure and the processing performed by the dynamic effects. And the LED circles around each knob let you see that knob's current position. Still, if you prefer the more detailed feedback the on-screen display gives you, you can toggle it on and off with a dedicated button on the hardware. Or use the Auto mode, and have it pop up every time you change a setting on the hardware and then fade away after a few seconds.

The hardware offers some useful extra functions, such as the ability of grouping any or all channels to tweak the settings simultaneously across the group, and changing the order of the effect sections. The hardware is USB powered, so no extra power supply is necessary.

In Short

  • Integrated hardware/software music mixing solution
  • World-class analog channel simulation
  • Softube's new modelled analog mixer is included, UK4k for Console 1
  • Hands-on control and intuitive workflow
  • Use with any DAW
  • Four-band equalizer, compressor, emulated analog console saturation and unique Dynamic Shaper
  • Built-in sidechain and parallel compression with all Softube compressors
  • Customize the channel by adding any Softube plug-in