March 1, 2021

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Around the House Products, Product Reviews & Coupon Bargains

iCon Pro Audio Platform M+, X+ & D2 DAW Controllers – Should I Buy Them?



This is my mobile Pro Tools rig, which is currently crammed on to my wife’s John Lewis desk, in a corner of our dining room. This amount of workspace area is actually quite luxurious when you’re on the move, so the compact nature of these surfaces and the modular nature really helps to not compromise on ergonomics, simply because you’re “on tour”.

All Good, But…

There’s always a “but”. In my case, I’ve had significant teething troubles. These have centred around iCon’s iMap software and the firmware for the surfaces. I am now on firmware version 2.01 (the surfaces arrived with v1.07 installed) but had to roll back iMap to v1.04 to install the latest firmware. Issues on Windows included the surfaces just randomly locking out while playing back or even “dropping offline” in such a way that the Windows Device Manager could see them, but the iMap software or Pro Tools couldn’t.

These troubles weren’t confined to Windows either – when I attempted to install and use iMap 1.07 on my Mac and use it with the same surfaces, it sent the Platform X+ surface into total apoplexy with all its faders slamming open and shut. I shut it off as soon as I could, but it seems that it might have caused some damage to the motorised faders on the X+, as they now emit a high-pitched noise when moving.

All the way through this process though, the UK distributors who supplied the units – Synthax Audio, were absolutely superb and very supportive – constantly feeding my experience back to iCon, plus “dialing in” using Teamviewer to take a look at my host system, and getting me the latest firmware and software with lots of helpful technical information. We’ve now found a solution that seems to work long-term, so hopefully, iCon will be updating their public website and available firmware accordingly.

What Do We Think Of The iCon Platform M+ & X+ With D2 Display?

There’s a lot to like about these surfaces and that’s not just the price, which is extremely competitive. They are both very solidly built, with a good weight and liberal use of metal rather than plastic. All the buttons feel very solid and durable, though the text for the buttons is on the top, so I can see a potential for wear long term, on your most used buttons. The power button on the rear and the power socket all feel very solid and thankfully iCon uses the largest USB-A style connector rather than those flimsy Micro-USB ports becoming more popular these days.





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