Alan over at Consordini Musical Instruments gives the lowdown on one of the most interesting DAW hardware controllers available, the Icon Pro Audio QCon Pro X. It works with multiple DAWs is expandable and, as you'll see in this video review, has the functionality to match its looks.
Here's what Alan has written about the Icon Qcon Pro X to accompany his video review:
"This Icon Qcon Pro X review investigates this DAW console and lets you make decisions about whether it can live up to the hype that has preceded it. Today music production whether in the home studio or in a more professional setting depends heavily on having the right music technology.
This review looks at the Icon Qcon Pro X to help you decide if it is the right technology for your studio. This digital audio workstation may be the solution that you have been searching for to expand your creativity and start mixing on a whole new level.
The Icon Qcon Pro X is ready to play right out of the box. This plug and play is one of the best control surfaces for Reaper. It is simple to get started with this DAW mixer. So far it was a pretty impressive machine before we ever put our hands on it. There are no software downloads to wait for. You just plug in the USB and you are ready to go. We like simplicity when it comes to music technology because it allows you to put your focus where it really matters on making music! Logic Pro will detect the Icon Qcon Pro X automatically. The features engage immediately. The timecode fired right up, the faders were ready to go, and the jog wheel moved right through the sequence. There was no noticeable delays and no effort really to get started.
One of the first things that you will notice about the Pro X is the build. It is a very rugged build. It is solid metal except for the small amount of trim. The encoders are rotary that can also be pushed as well. the buttons are very solid. They are not rubberized which we would have liked but they are a very sturdy plastic. The buttons also make a clicking sound when you push them which is a benefit, that sound lets you know you have engaged the button.
For producers that are tracking, overdubbing, mixing and tweaking in the same space you may have to learn how to push those buttons softly to keep the clicking at a minimum. The Qcon is outfitted with a DAW select button which allows the Qcon to be ready before you turn on the DAW. It is a nice feature that has you up and running in Mackie or HUI instantly.
The Qcon really helps with workflow. Between the LCD screen that displays the channel names to the fader bank that allows quick movement in between eight channels, panning fast or making equalizer adjustments the Qcon really impressed.
The only issue that you may come across with the controls in the Jog Wheel and its difficulty in Pro Tools right out the box. If you come across this issue there is a firmware update that can fix the problem. There were also some small issues in Mackie that we could not seem to find a solution for, maybe you can.
There are far more pros to report with the Qcon than there is cons. The price point is great, the build is sturdy, it delivers both easy compatibility and easy playability. The controls are highly responsive and there is room for expansion to add more faders. Some things we would like to see tweaked a bit include and expansion of the character capabilities on the LCD display. We felt that the limited characters on the display could require that you gave it more attention than necessary.
There are also some limitations in Mackie we think need to be resolved but all and all this is a great option for anyone that wants a reliable control surface that is easy to afford and easy to use this is the machine. The reliable function is a great selling point and of course the rugged build is also a key consideration. Frankly the way this machine is built, it will last you a lifetime of constant use. It would be a great small investment for any studio and it delivers.
Street Price: $1,099 USD / £645 GBP