I hit my breaking point with M-Audio this past week. They put out drivers for every Firewire product except for their “flagship” control surface, the ProjectMix I/O. How do I know? Because I own a ProjectMix. Or, should I say, I owned a ProjectMix. As of last night, I finally went down to my music dealer with my ProjectMix in hand and traded it in for a Mackie Control Unit. It was the best move I ever made.
In the beginning, I lulled by the ProjectMix having both a control surface and audio interface on it and I was thinking that I could expand my inputs from 24 to 34 along with plugging my guitar or bass into it and then mix down. At first it seemed like a good idea. Why? I don’t know because I already have 24 great inputs that I can already use. Not to mention that the thing already worked with Logic and I was stoked.
However, the honeymoon didn’t last as M-Audio’s drivers began to suck worse and worse and the thing became less and less responsive with Logic. I had to do these weird button combinations in order to get it to do some regular workflow stuff in Logic. Not only that, I had to change various control surface commands in Logic just so that it would get along with the ProjectMix. This became a huge problem when Logic would crash… it would reset my control surface commands back to the defaults which became problematic between the ProjectMix. The screen started throwing up garbage and some of the faders never responded until I move banks around. Then it got totally bad once Leopard came out. It has been well over six months and M-Audio still hasn’t got a working driver out for the ProjectMix. Their beta was nothing but a bone… and a very bad one indeed. It wasn’t even beta… it was alpha! Total crap! They have a ton of bull… and no meat!
Then, I really didn’t get to notice just how bad their audio interface is until I plugged in my ART TubeFire 8 into my MOTU 24I/O and plugged my guitar into that. Talk about presence vs. existence. Everything was alive. That basically sealed my decision that I really need is a good working control surface… and the ProjectMix isn’t it.
Plugging in my new Mackie board was total night and day. It responded and Logic automatically knew it was there. No contorted moves to get it to do things. Just a simple button press and its there. Logic’s default commands work fantastic with the Mackie. Everything is in its logical place and is totally responsive. I rarely ever have to take my eyes off the screen. I even love the jog wheel. And… I get more functionality right out of the box and it’s expandable. I don’t know why I didn’t get this in the first place. I would have never found myself in this situation. This is my board! I can’t wait to really mix with it.