Is the Avid Dock worth the money?
I spent a few weeks using the free Avid Control iOS app to navigate around some large projects and it was obvious that using a touch screen interface to navigate tracks speeds up the mixing process. At the time I was using a Faderport fader in HUI mode and not having the fader follow the track selection was a major workflow killer.
Enter the Avid Dock.
The Avid Dock is a single fader controller that adds hands-on control to your DAW mixing rig. There are plenty of reviews around the web that discuss every technical detail of the Dock, in this review we’ll cover how the controller functions and feels while making music.
The Avid Dock is a solid piece of kit and feels great while not taking up a ton of desk space. The integration with the Avid Control application is top-notch and the fader response is snappy. I’ve always been skeptical of single fader controllers because it was always a pain to bring them to attention in a large session. The control app makes jumping from track to track or VCA master faders a snap and brings the physical fader to attention immediately. You can filter the views of the tracks on the tablet to show all tracks or VCA masters only which narrows the scope of tracks displayed to help speed up selections. The track selection using the touch screen or banking is equally snappy but I found myself using the touch screen to navigate. The color-coded track squares with metering on each are very useful and similar to the functionality you get with Avid’s larger S series controllers.
Customizable function buttons on the Avid Dock are plentiful. You can map shortcuts to most buttons in addition to the horizontal and vertical function strips using the Eucon application settings. To be honest, I haven’t gotten too deep into assigning shortcuts but have assigned markers, colors, and audio import to the vertical strip for easy access. Assigning these buttons to functions or windows without keyboard shortcuts is a real time saver. I really need to spend some time setting up additional shortcuts and templates one of these days. The Eucon settings application is deep and it’s worth spending the time to get familiar with the available options and settings.
The Avid Dock has been around for a few years but is still the only solid choice you have if you want a Eucon enabled master controller at a mid-tier price point. Sure, there are plenty of other cheaper single fader controllers on the market but most are limited to HUI mode unless you are buying a controller manufactured specifically your DAW of choice. For example, the FaderPort series for PreSonus Studio One users and the Steinberg CC-121 for Cubase & Nuendo. All are fine controllers but don’t match up to the Avid Dock when it comes to customization and deep integration in Eucon supported applications.