New Music Gear Monday: Rock Solid Audio Control Strip 2 SSL Plugin Controller

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When you grow up using a certain brand of console you become so comfortable with the sound and the feel that it’s never quite the same on anything else. If you’re one of several generations of engineers who grew up using an SSL and just miss that workflow, then you might be interested in the Control Strip 2 from Rock Solid Audio, an SSL channel strip controller that will give you that real console tactile feel.

Control Strip 2 tries to give you the same SSL-style workflow by using 22 rotary encoders, 14 push encoders and 6 momentary push buttons all squeezed onto a small USB powered box. The unit has two modes – standard Midi Mode where the controller sends out midi CC messages that you can map to your plugins, and a brand new Mouse Mode where the controller can take over your mouse to control your favorite SSL plugins. Mouse Mode is probably the one you’ll want to use most, and all you have to do is run Rock Solid’s Mouse Mode software in the background then quickly pre-map your favorite plugin.

It’s also backwards compatible with all your old sessions, and in Mouse Mode it’s compatible with almost any DAW. It will control the most popular SSL channel strip plugins from Waves, UAD, Brainworx and SSL itself. Interestingly, it doesn’t exactly represent the layout of all plugins, but that shouldn’t matter since once you get used to where everything is you probably won’t even have to divert your eyes away from the screen to see which control you’re touching.

The price for Control Strip 2 is $340, but demand is currently so high that pre-ordering won’t begin until May 17th and build time may be up to 6 weeks. You can find out more or preorder here, or watch the video below for more info.

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