New Toys: Solid State Logic UF8 Advanced Studio DAW Controller

SSL’s UF8 controller is their latest 8-channel DAW controller that is expandable for up to 32-channels using 4 units inter-connected with USB cables. It works with all major DAW platforms with customized workflows by way of five banks of 8 assignable user keys per UF8 and three, programmable quick keys.

All eight of the UF8’s channels are each equipped with an endless rotary encoder and there is a large notched Channel encoder that has several functions. Channel mode banks DAW tracks one at a time, while Nudge mode moves audio in the selected Nudge value, and the Focus Mode turns the control into a mouse wheel for adjusting parameters in plugins.

On first glance, the “stars” of this show are the eight, touch-sensitive 100-mm motorized faders and the eight hi-res color displays all arranged ergonomically perfectly on the brushed anodized surface. But the UF8’s supporting “cast” of features makes it irresistible because of its powerful software.

The UF8 uses SSL’s 360° Control software that easily manages control of up to three different DAWs simultaneously—you can switch between numerous sessions “on the fly” using the Layer keys.

Many music makers might prefer Apple’s Logic Pro for programming, Ableton Live for loop creation, and Pro Tools for the final mix. The UF8 will use HUI for Pro Tools with SSL’s Channel and Plugin Modes added and then MCP/MCU for Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, PreSonus Studio One and Ableton Live.

Just from my 10,000-foot overview, this is the best controller I’ve seen so far at this price level and I plan to have one in the near future. Anyone who writes, records, and mixes music using all the popular DAWs would be crazy NOT to have one of these. The UF8 sells for $1,299 at dealers and includes SSL’s Native Vocalstrip 2 & Drumstrip plug-ins.