With Logic Pro X becoming more complicated than any other Digital Audio Workspace (DAW) on the market.
It’s clear that the program’s unique way of letting users record and produce audio has become a golden standard for enthusiasts.
However, with so many features available within the program, simply using a keyboard has quickly become insufficient.
To maintain a consistent and quick workflow, using a control surface has become more and more necessary.
That being said, the market of control surfaces currently available is constantly growing, bringing up the question: where do you even start?
Despite finding an effective control surface seeming like a daunting task, it is possible to find the best Control Surface for Logic Pro X.
This is why we’re here to help — in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the many things you should be looking out for when shopping for a control surface.
To do this, we’ll be providing a Buyer’s Guide of Frequently Asked Questions alongside reviews of 3 of the market’s most notable models.
Before we begin the reviews, here is a comparison table so you can get an idea of what each product is like.
- Complete Recording Transport Control
- Dual-Servo Drive Belt Motor Design
- 1024 Steps of Resolution
We’ve tested 3 controls surface for Logic Pro X and the winner is above!
Controls Surface for Logic Pro X Comparison Chart
Icon Pro Audio ICOC_PLATFORMMM+
5.25”(L) x 7”(W) x 1.75”(H)
15.55”(L) x 7.7”(W) x 1.6”(H)
18.62”(L) x 16.38”(W) x 7.4”(H)
Platform D2 optional LCD display available separately
Dual 2×56 large backlit LCDs
Footswitch jack for hands-free punch in/out
3 x mini Din jack
3 x mini Din jack
9 VDC, 1.2 A external power supply
12V 2.5A DC
12V 2.5A DC
3 Best Controls Surface for Logic Pro X (as of March, 2023):
1. PreSonus FADERPORT Control Surface for Logic Pro X — Review
As the cheapest item on this list, the PreSonus FADERPORT gives you a good idea of what a budget control surface can get you.
You’ll notice that there are significantly fewer options compared to the more expensive models on this list, but what you get is pretty effective.
For example, the 100mm longthrow motorized fader is good and intuitive, letting you easily adjust the levels on your tracks without having to grab and click it on the DAW with your mouse.
When you use a repeater, initial setup may seem fussy. Try to download the Klinke version of Mackie Control and set the fadeport for Logic.
Something that we appreciated about this fader, though, is that it feels especially comfortable to use regardless of how many fingers you have on it, something we believe is a testament to the specific grip.
There is also a sense of nuance that can be achieved with this fader that isn’t like the other budget products on the market, having a sense of weight that allows you to have true precision in the tracks that you are making.
The motorized portion on the fader is fantastic! Thanks to the transport buttons with what you can record at the touch of a button.
Something that we think could be negative for some users about this product, though, is that the overall size of the unit is pretty small.
For dimly lit studios this control’s surface works well because of the back-lit buttons. They are a really nice touch fro this type of rooms.
Based on how it looks in photos, you’d expect it to be at least 2 inches bigger all around, but the dimensions end up being 5.2 x 1.8 x 7 inches overall.
Despite this, we didn’t find any specific issues with the product being too small during our usage of it, but thought it was worth mentioning because of how people with larger fingers or hands might feel when using it.
Control and Precision
The jog wheel also allows you to have a good sense of control while using the product.
There are no buttons that we really had issues with in terms of comfort and being able to handle a good deal of weight, but it’s worth mentioning that Logic Pro X did not bring up the product immediately when we plugged it in.
In order to get it to work, we had to hard reset Logic and then select the MCU mode, but after that everything worked very well.
To make it compatible with the 64-bit Logic Pro X, you should download the instructions from PreSonus website.
The product itself is quite sleek, allowing you to get a lot of functionality and convenience out of the jump options.
Sometimes there are some problems with the scribble strips being hard to read. It happens because they aren’t angled up and you may feel ok with it. Unless it’s ok, you may prop it up on a rubber-coated dumbbell.
Because of how many times we’ve tried control surfaces only to find out that they won’t stick to the table, this was a great feature that we appreciated.
Overall, this is undoubtedly the best control surface for Logic Pro X you’ll find on a budget.
At just around $100, it’s a fraction of the price of the other models on this list and certainly a steal if you’re somebody looking to try out a control surface but not wanting to invest a great deal of money to do so.
And, unless you have to control music that is built up of extensive amounts of layers and tracks, you shouldn’t have to.
It is sleek and works great as it is advertised. This is the thing that makes mixing much easier!
- Complete recording transport control
- High-quality Alps fader
- Touch sensitive, 100mm long throw motorized fader
- Dual-servo drive belt motor design for fast and smooth operation
- Write single channel or group channel volume automation
- Write pan and mute automation
- 1024 steps of resolution
- Pan control, mute, solo, record enable
- Quick window selection (edit, mix, transport)
- Rugged metal top plate & Rugged military-grade push buttons
- Footswitch jack for hands free punch in/out
- Compatible with all major recording software including Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, and more
- Mac and Windows compatible
- Comes with Velcro to secure on surfaces
- Affordable price
- Only one fader
- A bit smaller than expected
2. Icon Pro Audio ICOC-PLATFORMMM+ Control Surface for Logic Pro X — Review
If you’re somebody who is interested in a model that has a larger variety of features than the PreSonus FADERPORT, look no further than the Icon Pro Audio ICOC_PLATFORMMM+ model.
This control surface boasts an incredible amount of features, whether it be the 9 different faders or the 8 dual-function encoder knobs.
No matter how you look at it, this is a very flexible product, allowing you to have some of the nuance done so efficiently in high-end models without having to dig too deep into your wallet to do so.
It also works with Mackie Control Universal.
This is a wonderfully-sized device, allowing you to use both hands and equally space things out so there is no cramming on either side. The buttons are also pretty well-spaced apart from each other, making button pressing on the fly even easier.
Thanks to its size you can easily reach the v-pot.
Faders are hard and solid and quite at all on playback.
Out of all of the control surfaces available on the market right now, this is the one that you’ll want to bring with you to a DJing gig.
The weight is not that heavy (only 3.63 lb) and it has just enough nuance to let you adjust various aspects of the music on the fly, making it a perfect portable option for anyone looking to control their DAW while it’s in motion.
This is possibly what distinguishes this device so much from the rest of the competition, as it is geared just as much towards playing live music as it is working within a studio setting.
If you’re working in the dark, the backlit buttons will also help, giving you intense clarity in a variety of situations.
Something that should be noted, though, is the lack of customer support that is currently available for this device.
For us, this didn’t really happen, but it’s worth noting simply due to how many we’ve heard of having these types of experiences with the company.
That being said, the product is incredibly durable and we have not even had to contact the company regarding any issues.
In fact, when taking it around and using it in a variety of situations, we were surprised to see how well the control surface retained the same elegant shine that it came with straight out of the box.
For those who want to get into more detailed editing, there are many different buttons allowing you to control banking and encoding across all 8 tracks at the same time, perfect for those producers that are recording bands live in the studio and trying to balance many aspects of the music all at once.
It’s also a great way to DJ, as you can control different tracks containing different songs at the same time, allowing you to prepare far in advance.
- 8+1 touch-sensitive motorized faders with 10-bit resolution
- 8 dual-function encoder knobs (rotate and enter)
- Mackie HUI Protocol built-in for Pro tools
- Mackie control built-in for Cubase, Nuendo, Amplitude, Logic Pro, Able ton Live, Reaper, Reason, Studio One and Bit wig
- Platform D2 optional LCD display available separately
- Easy setup
- Detailed editing with 9 faders
- Customer support isn’t high quality
3. Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX Control Surface for Logic Pro X — Review
If you’re looking at a control surface this high-end, it’s likely that you specifically need a surface to use in a professional recording studio.
For that purpose, the Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX works very well, giving you a level of control and precision that will bring any work you do to a significantly more professional level.
The controller works with logic, Cubase, reaper, live, pro-tools, bitwig, reasons and samplitude with firmware version 1.15.
Unfortunately, now this controller cannot be used in FL Studio. Icon is working on an idea of implementing FL Studio support. Nowadays we don’t have an opportunity of using an update.
The product comes with the power supply.
As for Windows integration — it is so flawless! Moreover, you get smooth and quiet operation while you are working on projects.
This controller is aesthetically pleasing with a professional feel!
You get another opportunity with this controller: you can control over your VSTs for the tuning without using a mouse.
It is really useful when dialing in that compressor or cutting frequencies out you don’t want from your material.
To conclude, this mix controller does everything what it advertises for the DAW platforms it supports.
The only thing you can have is when you change DAWs: some features may not work from the previous DAW.
The only way to make it working to put it in scrub mode. Keep in mind that functionality is totally DAW dependent.
A Design to Remember
The first thing to be admired of this console after taking it out of the box is the design.
Unlike all of the other control surfaces we’ve taken a look at so far in this article, the Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX has a wonderful tilt at the top of the surface that lets you see the levels for each track you’re adjusting.
This is a subtle touch that can also be seen on Logic itself, but for those who don’t want to have their eyes switching between the surface and their computer screen while recording an artist, it allows you to keep track of everything in one place.
No matter how dim the lights in your studio are, the well backlit lights behind the Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX will keep your entire setup clear, while the metal fader sliders feel incredibly comfortable to use.
The space between the faders also makes it easy to slide multiple faders at once, allowing you to have a very seamless workflow without extending your fingers too much.
If you are someone who wants a control surface that you can also bring with you to live DJing gigs, this is not it.
That is because this control surface is far too large to be considered portable and would certainly be susceptible to being injured if not handled very delicately.
That being said, the design never took on much damage while we were using it, something that we believe is a testament to the Icon Pro’s general durability in design.
Overall, this is a great product, but the price is likely prohibitive for many. If you really enjoyed the other Icon Pro product in this review but want more nuance, then this is perfect.
- 8 touch-sensitive motorized channel faders
- 12-segment LED channels level metering on metering bridge
- 1 touch-sensitive motorized fader for master channel
- Stereo LED master channel level metering on metering bridge
- Mackie control build-in for Cubase, Nuendo, Samplitude, Logic Pro, Abelton Live, Reaper, Reasons, Studio One and Bit wig
- Incredibly effective design
- Touch-sensitive master fader
- Not very portable
- Price might be prohibitive
MCU4Bitwig – Using the icon QCONProX:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there any setup required for these devices?
Typically not, all it requires is plugging into Logic and switching your program to MCU mode, after which it will recognize the device each time.
Do these products come with their associated power supplies?
Yes — if they require a power supply to function, it will be included.
What about cross-DAW support?
All of the products listed here are able to work on Logic alongside other DAWs, making them compatible with any program you might have in mind.
How portable are these control surfaces?
Whether or not the product is portable depends on the size, but all of the reviewed control surfaces above are portable except for the Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX.
You can still get carrying cases for the latter, but it is not easily portable enough for us to list it as such.
Will this take precedent over my keyboard in Logic?
No. Control surfaces are meant to augment your Logic Pro X experience, not detract from it. They will work as another way to control the interface, but not replace anything.
Do I need an adapter to connect any of these control surfaces?
No, all of these devices connect via USB.
Can you use these devices right out of the box?
Sometimes. For the first two items on this list, you can take them directly out and begin playing, but the Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX requires firmware updates to ensure that there are no bugs.
At the end of the day, the control surface that impressed us the most was the Icon Pro Audio ICOC-PLATFORMMM+.
This is because it is the most versatile surface you can currently find on the market, allowing you to use it in a variety of situations.
Whether it be while recording a band live, working in your home studio on electronic tracks, or controlling Logic Pro X while at a DJing gig, the Icon Pro Audio control surface is really powerful and flexible.
This product is also very durable, not taking on any damage when being brought around to various gigs over the course of our month using it.
Because you shouldn’t need to purchase a more expensive control surface unless you require the added layer of complexity, we recommend this surface as the Best Control Surface for Logic Pro X.
What did you think of this Buyer’s Guide to Control Surfaces for Logic Pro X? See any of your favorites? Any products you can’t wait to try out? Let us know what you think!
- 1 Controls Surface for Logic Pro X Comparison Chart
- 2 3 Best Controls Surface for Logic Pro X (as of March, 2023):
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 3.1 Is there any setup required for these devices?
- 3.2 Do these products come with their associated power supplies?
- 3.3 What about cross-DAW support?
- 3.4 How portable are these control surfaces?
- 3.5 Will this take precedent over my keyboard in Logic?
- 3.6 Do I need an adapter to connect any of these control surfaces?
- 3.7 Can you use these devices right out of the box?
- 4 In Conclusion
Obviously skewed review to favor icon. No setup required? Really? Sorry to differ. Qcon products behavior are so… hectic that it require some lots’ of system checks. And there software are dry slow to be adapted to latest OSs.
Finally, just look around for reviews and you’ll be appalled at the number of after sales issues, with a special mention to their customer service, tagged as overwhelmed, non existing, slow or poor.
My experience is that their product is really nice, but poorly built. Absence of QA and QC makes it a lucky draw. Yours might be well built, in a batch of lemons.
My brand new Presonus DAW Controller is up and running. And honestly speaking, this controller can enhance your music productivity. It works as advertised. The 100mm fader works great. The backlit buttons are great particularly for studios with soft lighting. You can operate the unit using a mouse or qwerty keyboard. So it is quite flexible.
The only problem I have encountered with the controller is with the buttons. They are hard to click, but function well.
I like the Icon Pro Audio’s new firmware. It works well and the connection to my DAW is stable. It is worth noting that the unit creates MIDI data, therefore, be a little bit more specific when selecting MIDI input channels for your MIDI tracks.
Excellent control surface
The firmware update feature does not work
Generic driver disconnects all the time
I read plenty of reviews for the Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX. Many of the negative reviews had to with its flexibility and functionality with other DAWs. So let me detail its pros and cons.
Integrates with windows 10 flawlessly
It is quiet
It provides you with better control speeding and improving your mixing workflow
Facilitates writing automation
Beautiful design and well-constructed
Works extremely well
Not every DAW supports the master Fader channel
The VU meters are slightly slower than the VU meters of the DAW
After installing the Presonus Faderport, my workflow improved immensely. The tactile control it provides allows me to focus on my music. And with its extremely reasonable price point, makes it a winner.
I have the Icon Pro Audio QCONPROX paired with the Icon Qcon Pro XS extender providing me over 10 channel strips. I have had this unit for a week, but I had plenty of time to set it up.
So the unit looks good. It features lighted buttons, two LCD displays, contrast dimmers, jog wheel, meter bridge, and more. The buttons are made of plastic although they look like they are made of rubber. And sometimes they don’t function properly. The rotary knobs are great and the sliders are quiet. The jog wheel is sturdy and the meter bridge is handsome and handy.
I use Cockos Reaper DAW, so the set up was not a breeze. But all in all, this unit may not be perfect, but it works great. Plus it’s budget-friendly.
The Presonus Faderport is one of those devices that can help improve your workflow. Installing it is not hard or complicated. But once you install it, you need to update the firmware before using it. Once that’s done, it should be relatively easy to figure things out from there.
The unit comes with easy to use buttons and a touch-sensitive fader. The fader is very nice. It moves smoothly and it’s great for automation passes, and it speeds up your workflow. Compared to the C24 Fader, the Faderport is rugged, reliable, and well-built.
The only two problems I have seen with the unit include one, the Pan Port unlike the Fader is not touch-sensitive. So it’s pretty useless when it comes to automation passes. And two, you need external power for the Faderport to be motorized.
Other than that, if you are tired of using a mouse to do automation passes, then the Faderport might be the most inexpensive, fastest, and reliable way to do it.
Has anyone used Icon Platform M+ with Bitwig? If you have, could you share your experience? I am curious as to how it controls the Bitwig mixer, devices, and plugins or VSTs.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
I have the Qcon Pro X and using it with the Bitwig mixer is great. It also controls the Bitwig devices well. So generally speaking, it’s great at controlling devices.
I need a control surface, but I am not sure which one is the best to buy. I’m using Cubase and I want motorized faders. The control surface should have rotary know to control plugins. And I would not mind a display, but it’s not a must. I’m considering the Behringer X-Touch or the Qcon Pro. Does anyone have experience with both or either of these two control surfaces? If so please share your experience.
I have not used the Qcon Pro but the Behringer devices I have used did not compare in quality to the Icon I have used. They felt cheap.
The Icon Pro Audio Qcon Pro is solid, but it’s not compatible with MAC. And the faders are noisy, even when it’s not in use. I talked to an Icon representative who told me how to fine-tune them but nothing changed. The unit is simply not ideal for recording sessions.
PreSonus Faderport is a great product. But it does not work well. Installing it in Logic Pro X is torture. The firmware on the company’s main website is out of date. You have to look for the updated version on their support site. I have set it up now, but many of the buttons don’t work or don’t do what they are supposed to do.
You can get a bundle from the support site as well. But I have a friend who installed it and now the fader no longer controls the volume only the Pan. Many Logic users use this product, but the company needs to fix certain problems, and once they do, they are going to have an amazing product.