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Monday, April 20, 2015

New Music Gear Monday: Slate Raven Z Controller

Slate Digital Z3 image
The Slate Pro Audio Raven has made quite a name for itself in a short time thanks to its revolutionary touchscreen technology control of Pro Tools. The latest version, the Z3, takes the concept to the next level.

The Raven Z3 differs from previous versions in that it has 3 multi-touch screens instead of 1. The main control surface is the standard 46" multi-touch panel (the same as found on the Raven MTX), with two additional 27" screens (as found on the MTI) on the wings mounted in a custom console.

Thanks to the new Raven 2.5 software, Raven can now control most popular DAW packages, including Pro Tools, Logic, and soon Cubase, Ableton, Digital Performer, Studio One, and all PC formats.

What this means is that the 3 screen Raven Z3 can look at up to 3 different workstations at once, but have them all digitally connected. This could allow several operations to happen at the same time, a real time-saver for a high-end project where time is of the essence.

For instance, the left screen could be dedicated to Ableton for composition, then digitally connected to the Pro Tools mix window on the main screen and edit window on the right. Another possibility is for 3 man post mixing where each screen runs a separate DAW, yet keeping them all synched.

What's more, each screen can be switch to control any of the machines via a KVM switcher.

The Slate Raven Z3 is priced at just under $28,000, which seems pretty reasonable, except that you have to remember that the actual computers and workstations are not included in that price, as the Raven is only a DAW controller.

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