The Digidesign ICON desk at Westwind Media.Daly City, CA (May 22, 2008)--Since its introduction at last year's Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention, Digidesign's ICON D-Control ES has been popping up in a range of production facilities.
Veteran engineer Bruce Irvine's GYB Entertainment Group has just taken delivery of a D-Control ES for the company's new production facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I tend to do most of my mixing inside the box," Irvine says, "and the ICON [D-Control] ES is laid out so intuitively, it just made sense immediately."
Irvine, whose credits include Jimmy Buffett, Keith Sweat, and Anthony Hamilton, adds that, "I've been working with digital since the old DASH machines, but I've always been an old-school, hands-on mixer. When I ride a vocal, I'm still a human compressor; the console is a part of me. The ICON is so much a part of the process; it's not like a control surface controlling the DAW [digital audio workstation]-- it is the DAW. I sat down with it for the first time, without knowing anything about it, and I was up and running in no time. In less than a week, I was in love with it, and mixing with the monitor turned off."
PostWorks/Orbit Digital recently installed an ICON D-Control ES console into its New York facility. As the company behind the post-production work on such notable films as The Bourne Ultimatum and Michael Moore's Sicko, as well as the audio finishing on the indie hit Waitress and PBS Television's premiere tentpole documentary series Carrier, PostWorks is one of the industry's busiest post-production houses for film and TV. "The ICON's tight integration with Pro Tools has significantly streamlined the mixing process," explains Bill Ivie, vice president of PostWorks Sound Group, "and the updated aesthetics on the new D-Control ES have made it even easier to navigate the work surface. In the world of post production, time is money. The ICON D-Control ES is allowing us to deliver finished sessions to our clients faster than ever before."
Timothy B. Schmit, bassist for the Eagles, recently installed an ICON-ES in his personal project room. "After a few hours of working on the ICON-ES, I had the feeling I'd moved out of the screen and onto the console," says Schmidt's engineer Hank Linderman. "It's every bit as intuitive as mixing on an analog console, but with all the modern convenience of digital mixing."
John Bidasio, president of Burbank, California-based Westwind Media, agrees. "Six of our mixers went for a demo session on the ICON [D-Control] ES, and they all came back saying this is it--this is the next step in mixing technology." The company behind such television shows as Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice recently installed a two-station ICON D-Control ES system to meet the demand for more inputs and tighter integration with its Pro Tools|HD system. "The decision was unanimous," Bidasio says. "There's really nothing that's as powerful or offers as many features, and the graphic layout of the console really makes an impact on our workflow."
The Chop Shop in the Hollywood Hills, where recent projects include releases by Rob Zombie, Tommy Lee, Fuel and John 5, took delivery of an ICON-ES system earlier this year. "I've always worked on large-format analog consoles, simply because it's more intuitive to mix that way," says Chief Engineer Chris Baseford. "The ICON really bridges the gap between console and control surface. When I reach for an EQ or an effect, I don't need to pull myself out of the mixdown state of mind to think about where the knobs are, or what parameters are used on a given plug-in. The ICON-ES's graphical layout allows me to work as intuitively as I do on an analog console."
For music producer Jordan Tarlow, ICON D-Control ES was part of a broader move to Pro Tools software. "I used another program for many years, and frankly I just got tired of staring at my screen--that's not why I got into music," Tarlow explains. A 15-year veteran of national radio and TV spots, Tarlow's newly built Malibu, California, facility also produces the immensely popular Martha Quinn Presents Gods of the Big '80s show on Sirius satellite radio.
"After three months with the ICON, I actually shut off my screen half the time," Tarlow says. "The visibility of the worksurface is huge. And it feels like working on a big console. I love having dedicated knobs for all my functions. ICON has me jazzed about working again."