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Basic Differences Between Digidesign’s Control|24 and ProControl.

Q: “What are the differences between Control|24 and ProControl?”

A: ProControl and Control|24 are both extremely powerful control surface options for Pro Tools, but there are distinct differences between them. This type of question is most effectively handled by your Sweetwater Sales Engineer, who can delve more specifically into the issues that may be of utmost concern to your unique circumstances. But since this question seems to come up a lot we thought we’d throw out a few of the basic differences to give readers some sense of distinction between the two products.

  • ProControl is a larger format, more professional control surface that can be operated by more than one user, if necessary. ProControl can be expanded up to 48 faders plus Edit Pack, so it can handle larger mixes more comfortably and with less bank switching. Control|24 is not expandable. It is a self-contained unit, fixed at a 24-fader configuration.
  • ProControl has a dedicated DSP Edit/Assign section and 8 character LED scribble strips that are able to display more information than the 4-character LCD scribble strips on Control|24. There is no dedicated DSP Edit/Assign section on Control|24, so its scribble strips have to toggle between two display functions: channel strip information and plug-in parameter information.
  • The Edit Pack option for ProControl features two touch-sensitive motorized joystick panners, providing full access to all the surround panning controls in Pro Tools 5.1 software. Control|24 does not provide surround panning capability.
  • Edit Pack includes 8 high-resolution output meters for viewing up to 7.1 surround mixes, while Control|24 is limited to 6 regular-resolution output meters. Control|24 also lacks the dedicated, comprehensive MachineControl section featured in Edit Pack.
  • The Edit Pack option for ProControl, with its QWERTY keyboard and trackball, completely replaces the standard keyboard and mouse for computer input (the standard ProControl does have a basic keyboard and trackpad). Control|24 users will still need a computer keyboard and mouse or trackball to access Pro Tools commands.
  • The components (faders, encoders and switches) used on ProControl are higher in quality than those used on Control|24. Operationally, they will perform in an almost identical manner, meaning the data passed on to Pro Tools is about the same. However, these components on ProControl are substantially more expensive, giving users a more professional look and feel. The difference may seem subtle to some, but profound to others. If you are used to mixing on high dollar desks you will only be happy with ProControl.
  • The Control|24 includes 16 Focusrite microphone preamps whereas the ProControl is a control surface only.

There are more differences than we can show here and you can always call your Sales Engineer to find out which is right for your situation.

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