Summer NAMM 2014 – Slate Makes Mixing Fun with the Raven Touchscreen

Recording and mixing music has changed drastically over the last 50 or so years, with leaps in technology changing every single aspect of the process, from syncing two tape machines to access more tracks, to 80 channel mixing boards, to digital effects and recording, even as far as digitally modeling the entire recording chain. Few companies are pushing the envelope like Slate, who we told you about this month in regards to modeling microphones and preamps, which still seems like lunacy to me.

This is hardly their only recent innovation, however. On the more practical side, even if you insist on using vintage mics and analog pres like your grandpa the dinosaur did back when Jesus walked the planet and high top sneakers were still in fashion, you probably still record into Pro Tools or some such DAW, and I bet you’re still clicking around with a mouse like your grandma the pterodactyl. Slate has a hands-on solution for that as well, and it looks like a giant smartphone.

The Raven series from Slate are touchscreen monitors for your DAW that allow you to not only interact with your chosen digital recorder to use the features that are already included, but it adds a host of functions that were impossible without it. The screen offers 6 points of touch, meaning that you can be sliding 6 faders or turning 6 knobs independently at the same time. It also allows for programming batch commands and assigning them to a single onscreen button, saving you probably millennia of work and personalizing the experience to your style of workflow.

I personally think the ability to swipe and tap around your edit window alone is worth the price of admission, if for no other reason than to get away from the damn mouse and keyboard. Nothing makes a long session more unbearable than the onset of tendonitis and carpal tunnel pain.

Get the lowdown in video form right here, and see how much fun your mixing could be.

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As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.