Using Control Surfaces with SAC
There are provissions for using control surfaces with SAC. With the release of Version 2.6 the new 3M Multi-Touch panels are supported as well. Control surfaces give the system hardware knobs for those that do not wish to mix with the mouse and keyboard.
Many users are sure that they will need a control surface when they put together their SAC rigs. There are a few situations where a control surface is a necessity and other situations where a surface is nice to have available.
Some users that were sure they would need a control surface have found that they are more comfortable just using the mouse and keyboard and mixing in the box. Some of these people have even sold off the control surface that they were sure they would need before experiencing SAC. Others have added a surface and feel that it is a benefit to them.
After I had learned of SAC but before I set up my SAC rig I paid attention to the way that I work. I worked a multiday multi-band event and decided that there were few times that I actually needed more than the mouse and keyboard could provide. I have used SAC for nearly a year and a half and have only seen a couple of situations where I felt that a control surface would have been a benefit.
3M Multi-Touch Panels
Support for the new 3M Multi-Touch Panels has just been introduced with the latest version of the SAC software. This is an exciting technology that has just been introduced into the market. This gives ten finger control on a touch screen. There is even a virtual keyboard so the need for a physical keyboard and mouse is elimanated.
There is a YouTube video on this technology. I have it on the SAC in Action page but I am also presenting it here:
Hardware Control Surfaces
Control surfaces can be set to track the hot channel or to represent fixed channels. When tracking the hot channel, channel one of the control surface is the selected hot channel and the remaining faders are the next 7 channels above the hot channel.
There are several control surfaces that are supported by templates that are a part of the SAC software package. One of the nicer units is the MotorMix. In addition to the eight motorized faders there is an LCD scribble strip that displays information about the hot channel. Beside controlling the faders the user has mutes, solos, and pans available on the surface.