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SSL UF8 Control Surface - Includes startup control with Studio One along with Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and Live. That makes for a viable Studio One option for particularly newcomers wanting a fresh look at a control surface.

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So the SSL UF8 Control Surface makes for a nice option to Studio One users. Is it a replacement for a Faderport 8? Likely not as it's even more $$$ than a Faderport 16, coming in at $1200. Besides, Just try and pry my FP8 from my hands. Still, it's a fantastic option, and competitive price for those currently shopping for a control surface. Not to mention it has SSL build quality, and design which goes a long way in how one wishes to work, and we all know the word "flow" now don't we. One look at those dreamy FFT LED's speaks volumes on clarity, and mode that the surface is being used in (see video).

So just sharing in the wealth of information. Share, share thats fair.

Post your thoughts, and weigh in on what you like, or don't like, or advise to one considering such a piece of hardware (or "kit" for you Brits, as it were). There's no denying a control surface brings tactile benefits, and having the likes of an SSL at your disposal is now more viable than ever if you're new to the control surface scene.

Some potential discussions, or thoughts:
Is the SSL UF8 impact wise, late to the control surface scene, given the current crop of surfaces out there now?

Are there justifiable price benefits, or even any benefits of the FP8 over the Faderport 8/16, X-Touch, Eucon, S1, or SSL Nautilus2?

Will the UF8's adherence to HUI or MCU be a limitation even though SSL include their own 360 software?

Still, there's no denying, the SSL UF8 is a sweet ride!

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S1-5.2, HP Omen 17" i7 10th Gen Laptop, 16 GB ram,512 GB TLC M.2 (SSD) and 1 TB SSD (both Internal). Audiobox 22 VSL, Audiophile 192 -Arturia Keylab 49 MkII, Novation SL25 MKII, Faderport 8, Roland JV-90, Roland GR-50, Roland Octapad, Akai MPD-18. MIDI Patchbay: MOTU 8x8, - Mackie HR824, Yamaha HS-7, Mixer: Yamaha Promix 01, Rane HC-6.

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by tshadgett on Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:59 pm
I've tried a few control surfaces in recent years and have always been very attracted to the idea since the first Mackie MCU unit came out back in the day.
I've used both versions of the Faderport single, a Faderport 16, Console 1 + Fader combo and now the UF8 which I've had for a couple of weeks now.

I have to confess of all of them, I am enjoying using the UF8 way more than ether the FP16 or the C1F. It feels a lot more "useful" I suppose and I find given the choice, I'd rather reach out and use a button to do the job rather than click it.

Big benefits for me:
1. Programmable soft keys with the names of the functions displayable and editable - so handy
2. 8 v-pots for pan and loads of other functions
3. Quickly switch between plugin control and mix control (seems more intuitive to me than FP16)
4. The channel scroll wheel is great and I don't feel like a need more faders when other tracks are so quickly accessible
5. Displays great and show plenty of information in general and let you keep track of exactly what you are doing (if the C1F had scribble strips, I may not have sold it, but all the extra functions of the UF8 are worth it anyway)

Cons
1. No dedicated transport control (whats that about??) - so I've kept my Faderport v2 for this job
2. Limited to 8 plugin parameter controls. This is no good for more in depth plugins, so I can only map what I consider to me the most relevent or common ones. Honestly, SSL have scope to improve on this as there are the 1-8 keys that are doing nothing and could be used to have 8 pages of parameters IMO
3. No control over what the plugin parameters names are. Long parameter names can get confusing. Like Compressor Ratio and Compressor Threshold both get abbreviated to cmprssr on the UF8, so you can't tell which is which...

Bugs
1. Only one bug that SSL support are working on and it's specific to Studio One. When switching to plugin control, the Channel Banking buttons stop working and these start switching between the plugins on the track (which the Page buttons are supposed to do) - upon exiting plugin mode the channel scroll and bank buttons no longer function until restarting Studio One. I think this is a firmware issue and I'm sure will be sorted out quickly.

Wishlist
1. TIght integration to their own SSL native plugins
2. Expansion faders that are not an entire second unit (no biggie though, using just 8 is fine)
3. Dedicated transport controls - they are available on soft keys, but seriously...
4. Dedicated master fader
5. Allow plugin control pages for more parameter controls

Hope that helps someone thinking of getting one - they are expensive, but also very nice. No regrets on my end!
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by Lokeyfly on Sun May 02, 2021 11:45 am
Thanks Tshadgett.

Good take on the UF8, and nice move getting one.
All points make sense and I'm sure there will be updates coming as with most SSL hardware. They're always improving their stuff.


#3 Controlling plugins on the FP8/16 is only a Shift +  button press away, but yeah, the lack of 8 channel knobs on the FP8 & FP16 design is a tad unfortunate. Having to use the faders for parameter values is ok, but not the best convention like rotary encoders. Also one bank limit for scenes when mapping plugs is not enough either. Fortunately any mapped effect a can be recalled to another channels settings when called upon. 8 rotary encoders + 1 bank button would have been a huge way to complete the multi channel Faderports.

The UF8 is a winner in its own right, and if I hadn't purchased an FP8, I'd definately entertain the SSL UF8. The FP's favor Studio One with high fader resolution, and plugin parameters (8 over 4) then when used in another DAW. The UF8 isn't biased towards one brand. Both FP and UF8 fader resolutions with Studio One anyway are over 1000 increments res, which is very nice, and appreciated over a limited 128 HUI for serious work.

The FP8/16 while having more info on its scribble strips, lack both the color, and clarity than the SSL. Obviously a price conscious decision on Presonus' part. Users either overcrcome the upward pointing LCD's with either a glass prism (I did), or tilt the whole unit forward. Unfortunate design flaw to have to prop a metering angle I tried the SSL Nucleus II  and all I can say is, wow, the scribble strips are at any angle amazing and undeniably clearer. One look at the Nucleus II price tag, and the term "wow" will come up again. Fortunately the UF8 is very good indeed on price, and has the exceptional view feedback. Now just overcome the character limit.

While both the FP, and UF8 can be stacked for more channels, it's unfortunate each don't make a channel only expander module. There's no need for redundant buttons over and over. Not only is it more expensive, its ugly. I suspect the UF8 will come up with an expander mudule as the design lends itself to that a tad better (it's more squared at the edges).

Still, on a whole, I think both devices and any 100mm motorized controller surfaces for that matter is a win:win. The FP's when used with S1 are exceptional, and user friendly. Yes, shame on both devices for not having a jog shuttle wheel. S1 doesn't allow for shuttle editing anyway, so even with surfaces equipped with one, is no help. Something so practical when editing, or accurate transport, is so far left in the weeds.

Good luck with your UF8, and thanks for sharing from an owners perspective.

S1-5.2, HP Omen 17" i7 10th Gen Laptop, 16 GB ram,512 GB TLC M.2 (SSD) and 1 TB SSD (both Internal). Audiobox 22 VSL, Audiophile 192 -Arturia Keylab 49 MkII, Novation SL25 MKII, Faderport 8, Roland JV-90, Roland GR-50, Roland Octapad, Akai MPD-18. MIDI Patchbay: MOTU 8x8, - Mackie HR824, Yamaha HS-7, Mixer: Yamaha Promix 01, Rane HC-6.

Latest song releases on Bandcamp -
 
Latest albums on iTunes

"Amber & Blue", and "Reasonable Approach" available on all major distribution music services.
Search "James Conrad Tucker music".
All songs copyright.
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by sayanghosh on Sun May 30, 2021 10:29 am
tshadgett wroteI've tried a few control surfaces in recent years and have always been very attracted to the idea since the first Mackie MCU unit came out back in the day.
I've used both versions of the Faderport single, a Faderport 16, Console 1 + Fader combo and now the UF8 which I've had for a couple of weeks now.

I have to confess of all of them, I am enjoying using the UF8 way more than ether the FP16 or the C1F. It feels a lot more "useful" I suppose and I find given the choice, I'd rather reach out and use a button to do the job rather than click it.

Big benefits for me:
1. Programmable soft keys with the names of the functions displayable and editable - so handy
2. 8 v-pots for pan and loads of other functions
3. Quickly switch between plugin control and mix control (seems more intuitive to me than FP16)
4. The channel scroll wheel is great and I don't feel like a need more faders when other tracks are so quickly accessible
5. Displays great and show plenty of information in general and let you keep track of exactly what you are doing (if the C1F had scribble strips, I may not have sold it, but all the extra functions of the UF8 are worth it anyway)

Cons
1. No dedicated transport control (whats that about??) - so I've kept my Faderport v2 for this job
2. Limited to 8 plugin parameter controls. This is no good for more in depth plugins, so I can only map what I consider to me the most relevent or common ones. Honestly, SSL have scope to improve on this as there are the 1-8 keys that are doing nothing and could be used to have 8 pages of parameters IMO
3. No control over what the plugin parameters names are. Long parameter names can get confusing. Like Compressor Ratio and Compressor Threshold both get abbreviated to cmprssr on the UF8, so you can't tell which is which...

Bugs
1. Only one bug that SSL support are working on and it's specific to Studio One. When switching to plugin control, the Channel Banking buttons stop working and these start switching between the plugins on the track (which the Page buttons are supposed to do) - upon exiting plugin mode the channel scroll and bank buttons no longer function until restarting Studio One. I think this is a firmware issue and I'm sure will be sorted out quickly.

Wishlist
1. TIght integration to their own SSL native plugins
2. Expansion faders that are not an entire second unit (no biggie though, using just 8 is fine)
3. Dedicated transport controls - they are available on soft keys, but seriously...
4. Dedicated master fader
5. Allow plugin control pages for more parameter controls

Hope that helps someone thinking of getting one - they are expensive, but also very nice. No regrets on my end!


Hey thanks for describing your experience with the UF8 in detail. I am considering buying one. Does the channel selection follow both ways between Studio One and UF8? As in, if a select a channel inside S1, does it automatically get selected in UF8 and the UF8 view jumps to the bank where the fader is? And also the other way round from UF8 channel selection to S1?
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by andresgalvan on Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:30 am
Lokeyfly wroteThanks Tshadgett.

Still, on a whole, I think both devices and any 100mm motorized controller surfaces for that matter is a win:win. The FP's when used with S1 are exceptional, and user friendly. Yes, shame on both devices for not having a jog shuttle wheel. S1 doesn't allow for shuttle editing anyway, so even with surfaces equipped with one, is no help. Something so practical when editing, or accurate transport, is so far left in the weeds.

Good luck with your UF8, and thanks for sharing from an owners perspective.


While the controllers don't support the function directly S1 definitely has Shuffle editing. it's called Ripple editing and you activate it right next to the snapping option at the top (toward the right side). works the same way generally speaking and i bet if you switch your shortcuts to protools it'll be the same ones you're expecting.
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by Lokeyfly on Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:02 pm
Thank you my friend. Actually I'm well aware of ripple edit. What I meant with lack of a shuttle wheel was in the early days of DAW editing, jog wheels could scrub or mimic tape going across the playback head for fine editing. Unfortunately Studio One does not utilize this. It's speaker icon tool only plays forward, which is nearly useless for scrub editing.
Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Scrubbing is super nice for effectively dragging the wave across a timeline for weeding out some waveform anomalies. Particularly in live recordings or where poor zero cross fades might occur. Fortunately, there are a few DSP methods that help as well. Though scrub would be nice, as it's tyoically situated on a jog wheel.
JCT

S1-5.2, HP Omen 17" i7 10th Gen Laptop, 16 GB ram,512 GB TLC M.2 (SSD) and 1 TB SSD (both Internal). Audiobox 22 VSL, Audiophile 192 -Arturia Keylab 49 MkII, Novation SL25 MKII, Faderport 8, Roland JV-90, Roland GR-50, Roland Octapad, Akai MPD-18. MIDI Patchbay: MOTU 8x8, - Mackie HR824, Yamaha HS-7, Mixer: Yamaha Promix 01, Rane HC-6.

Latest song releases on Bandcamp -
 
Latest albums on iTunes

"Amber & Blue", and "Reasonable Approach" available on all major distribution music services.
Search "James Conrad Tucker music".
All songs copyright.
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by franckmariani on Thu Aug 26, 2021 2:57 am
The plugin control mode bug in UF8 for studio one 5 is still not resolved.

I hope Studio One will allow a second page of MCU plugin control on one MCU unit that have 8 encoders making 16 parameters.

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