ICON PRO AUDIO COMPACT CONTROL SURFACE WITH MOTORISED FADER
iCON Pro Audio announces availability of Platform Nano — an aptly-named addition to its critically-acclaimed Platform series of modular MIDI/audio control surfaces, this time aimed at engineers, home studio enthusiasts, and producers who want hands-on control of their ‘in the box’ digital music production with a small footprint.
Weighing in at an easily transportable 1.3kg, the compact — 19.5 cm x 21.5 cm x 5.5 cm — Platform Nano neatly lives up to its name to bring tactile control to the most popular DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) with a single, full-size, touch-sensitive motorised fader (with 10-bit resolution) alongside an accessible selection of hands-on controls logically laid out across a top panel that’s as easy on the eye as it is to use, including four rotary dual-function (rotate-and-enter) encoder knobs (generally used for controlling the track pan position, aux send levels, and EQ of the DAW being controlled), while an 11-segment LED (Light Emitting Diode) surrounds the main knob control to indicate its rotating position; a Jog shuttle wheel, for fast search, scrub, and control; eight colour-coded function buttons coordinating with five different colour layers, for switching a variety of function controls; illuminated buttons for channel control, including Mute, Solo, and record; six illuminated transport buttons, including play, stop, record, rewind, fast-forward, and loop; illuminated Zoom buttons with two directional (left/right and up/down) keys, for use in combination with the Jog wheel; two illuminated track buttons, for easy selection of individual channels; and two illuminated bank buttons, for shifting groups of eight channels at a time.
Platform Nano has a durable desktop design with high-speed connectivity via a USB 3 Type B connector — which functions as a MIDI port to the connected computer and compatible software, while also providing power to the Platform Nano itself — without compromising its inherently security-conscious, superior build quality, courtesy of a robust metal casing with inbuilt Kensington lock.
Aided by a backlit LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), for showing the parameter values as adjusted, and also providing feedback about channel selections, operating modes, and more, Platform Nano naturally supports MCU (Mackie Control Universal) and HUI (Human User Interface) protocols for seamless integration with all compatible music production software. Indeed, it comes complete with overlays for the most popular DAWs, including Ableton Live, Audition, Bitwig, Cubase/Nuendo, Digital Performer, FL Studio, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Reaper, Reason, Samplitude, Sonar, and Studio One, as well as a self-explanatory User Define one.
Obviously not content with ‘universal’ DAW compatibility, iCON Pro Audio also includes its proprietary iMapTM self-MIDI-mapping software for the user-defined (MIDI Learn) mode, making mapping MIDI functions to Platform Nano’s helpful hands-on controls a breeze. As such, adventurous users could conceivably assign that motorised fader or those encoder knobs to control specific virtual instrument or effect plug-in functions for lending a less automated aesthetic to their productions.
Platform Nano stylistically sits well when positioned alongside other Platform family members, such as the Platform U22 (ProDrive III), a 24-bit, 96/192kHz 2-in/2-out USB 3.0 audio interface designed to match other Platform series devices. Future firmware upgrades are available via USB, including wireless USB over BlueTooth connectivity courtesy of the coming-soon (optional) PN-1 module that will also provide (rechargeable battery) power when connected to the Platform Nano’s rear-sited Power/Recha. (recharge) Mini-USB connector.
Remaining rearward, User A and User B 1/4-inch inputs allow for DAW function selection via connected foot switches, while it is recommended that Platform Nano is used with the (optional) Platform D2 modular display unit connected to the D/D2 port for optimal track and parameter monitoring via its large LCD.
Larger and smaller optional additions apart, any engineer, home studio enthusiast, or producer who wants hands-on control of their ‘in the box’ digital music production with a small footprint should surely seriously consider iCON Pro Audio’s aptly-named Platform Nano. Needless to say, its diminutive dimensions bely its impressive MIDI/audio control capabilities!
iCON Pro Audio: iconproaudio.com
Australian Distributor: www.innovativemusic.com.au