“It’s great to be back in the mixer business!” declares Focusrite’s Phil Dudderidge as the company co-announces a new deal that will see it produce and sell certain Audient designs, commencing with the Focusrite Control 2802 Dual Layer Mixing Console (pictured).
Designed by Audient and due to be made available from June, the new mixing console (£3,500 inc. VAT typical street price; €4,499 inc. Tax UVP MSRP) will complement Focusrite’s recently announced range of RedNet networked audio interfaces, while – by its own admission – Audient stands to benefit from Focusrite’s extensive global sales and distribution arrangements in countries/regions including the UK, Germany, USA, South America and Asia-Pacific.
Combining a small-format recording console and DAW control surface in one, the Focusrite Control 2802 provides a ‘digital control nerve centre’ and ‘analogue heart’ for a modern pro project studio. The specification includes summing of 28 inputs, comprehensive monitoring, stereo master bus compression and sophisticated control over ‘every major DAW’.
Eight transparent Class A microphone preamplifiers, ultra low-noise analogue circuitry with extreme high-frequency extension throughout, and Ethernet-based control round out the primary feature-set of the Focusrite Control 2802.
The agreement between Focusrite and Audient will also encompass work on new designs that, say the companies, will bring Dual Layer and other technologies to a ‘wider audience’ than could be accessed by Audient on its own. Audient will also seek to strengthen its position in the studio market and develop new products, like the ASP8024DLC, which employ this same technology.
“The 2802 is a superb analogue mixer and DAW controller in one tidy package, designed to a highly professional standard,” says Focusrite chairman and managing director, Phil Dudderidge. “[Audient technical director] Dave Dearden is a designer I have known and worked with since the 1970s and he is one of the few analogue mixer gurus still working, with a team around him young enough to embrace the challenges of DAW control.
“Audient’s design values reflect our own. We have been fortunate to build a head of steam over the past few years that enables us to address global demand levels. This agreement works well for both companies. We look forward to offering more products, co-developed by our respective engineering and product marketing teams.”
Those with longer memories will recall another collaborative venture involving Focusrite – on this occasion with Digidesign (now Avid) – that saw the two companies co-specify Digi’s Control 24 control surface. Dudderidge tells PSNE that the Control 24 sold approximately 7,000 units during its six-year product life, adding that Focusrite will be “delighted if Control 2802 is as successful as Digidesign’s Control 24. People using all kinds of DAW want mixers and control surfaces these days. Control 2802’s Dual Layer architecture provides both in a compact footprint that will sit comfortably in any studio environment.”
Providing an Audient perspective, Dave Dearden observed that Dual Layer is the outcome of “a lengthy development project aimed at redefining the analogue console and we’re very proud of the results. Establishing this new relationship with Focusrite means we can together deliver designs such as the 2802 to as many users as possible. Without question, Focusrite’s formidable strength in global sales and distribution will help ensure that we maximise the potential of this technology.”
Evidently relishing his return to the mixer world, Dudderidge says that the 2802 is only the first in a range of Control Series products, adding: “This is just the beginning!”