After all these years the feature that has been present on all non-Eucon Avid controllers is still missing. Insert mode should follow plugins opened/targeted on screen. On Command|8, Control24, C|24, Icon, Pro Control, HUI controllers insert mode is always focused on currently targeted plugin (with little red target button in plugin window corner).
Why is this so important?
Let's assume we have a very large session. Hundreds of plugins, dozens of channels. Imagine this scenario:
1. Using your mouse you open up a plugin, let's say Sansamp PSA-1, on track 59, insert slot number 10. The track is not selected.
2a. On Command8: you press F5 key - and there you have it - track 59, slot 10 plugin is on your control surface. Just 1 step!
2b. On Artist Mix, Artist Control, S3 you have to do the following (3 slow steps instead of one):
- Select track 59
- Press "Insert"
- Select plugin from slot 10
3. Now you look at the Pro Tools mixer and you see there is a Reverb plugin on track 58, slot 7. Let's say this track has slot 10 occupied with an EQ. We want to see that reverb on the screen and on the control surface.
4a. Command8: just 1 step - you click on the plugin using your mouse. The plugin appears on the screen and on Command8 control surface, since the surface is still in Insert mode and it follows targeted plugins.
4b. Artist Control/Mix or S3:
- Select track 58. Confusingly, Pro Tools automatically opens up a plugin on slot 10 (EQ plugin).
- Go back to insert list on the surface.
- Select the Reverb on slot 7.
I don't how other users approach that, but I have stopped using control surface for adjusting plugins since I moved from Control 24 and Command8 to Artist Series. It just takes too much time to find the plugin on the surface. On old controllers I didn't have to do that. It was just a matter of clicking with your mouse to open up a plugin both on screen and the control surface. It is just much faster to find a plugin on screen than on a control surface and whoever designed legacy Digidesign controllers, they knew that.