Pro Sound News reviewer and noted TV music composer Rich Tozzoli recently held his annual private St. John Recording Retreat with friends and colleagues, and used the opportunity to review gear in paradise—like this:

PreSonus’ FaderPort 8 was an undeniably useful tool to have for our island recording sessions. It connected to our laptop via USB 2.0 (not in a hub); once powered up, we had to set it to “see” Pro Tools in HUI mode, since it natively connects to Studio One.

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Actually, FaderPort 8 works with a lot of different DAWs, and once you’ve done that, you’re good to go with Pro Tools, or generally whichever DAW you choose. It offers eight motorized 100 mm faders, plus a handful of useful session controls such as dedicated transport controls, track scrolling and banking, panning, track arming/soloing and scribble strips. I did raise the unit up on the back with some drink coasters in order to see the scribble strips better and access all the parameters better from my seat.

There’s no comparison in using something like the FaderPort 8 versus a mouse and/or trackpad. It allows the session to flow much smoother, especially when recording yourself, which I did a lot. I was able to stand up with my guitar on and access the transport controls to punch in and out, raise and lower levels, and turn on and off the click (thanks to the dedicated Click button). Honestly, even if you use it for just that, it’s worth having in the setup.

But it does much more, and I look forward to digging deeper into the unit once I’m back at home. There’s no doubt that the FaderPort 8 has just become part of my mobile rig. Stay tuned for more sessions notes as I put it to use.