Sonic LAB: Behringer Control 1 USB Monitor Station

Mixer, switcher and USB audio interface in one      20/08/13

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6:28 mins    

The Xenyx Control1 USB from Behringer is a desktop monitor switcher and input selector. It's also USB audio interface and rudimentary mixer with input source select and more.

With a metal case and large volume knob at it's centre, the purpose is clear - to be the main monitoring section for your setup.


Inputs

Two stereo inputs (1+2) switchable between -10dB and +4dB with variable gain,

One USB audio return plus additional stereo return

One RCA input switchable between Phono preamp and line level.

One Stereo return (DAW) for summing to monitor Mix


Inputs 1, 2 and 4 can be summed to feed the USB recording inputs - the USB audio interface is a class compliant 2x2 with 44.1 and 48kHz sample rates. Input 3 is the USB return and can be sent to the monitors only to prevent feedback.


Outputs:

Three stereo pairs for monitors (A/B/C) bal/unbal with trim control on each pair of outs for volume matching. These would typcally be sent to your active monitors or amplifier inputs. These again can be summed, allowing you to listen to all three sets at once if you desire.


Additionally, there are studio, phones, record and DAW outputs - plenty to route. You also get two headphone outs with discrete level control for each.


At the centre of the unit lies the large volume control, which is surrounded by orange volume scale. It would have been lovely to have the lights follow the volume, but I guess at this price point, thats asking a lot. One thing about the knob though, the mark showing where you are in terms of volume is on the outer edge, which does mean that you cant actually see it when sat at your desk.

You also get buttons for MONO, MUTE and DIM - all useful functions at the push of a button.

One thing I also noticed at the extreme start of the volume was that my unit pulled the volume balance to the left at the first couple of notches, after that it balanced up fine.

In use, the Control-1 just worked, the class compliant USB was happy in my Macbook, and even worked when hooked up to the iPad - though it's not bus powered, the unit has an internal power supply.

I integrated it into my active monitors with ease, the ability to trim all input and outputs meant it was easy to get setup how I preferred. I also recorded a few old synths on inputs 1+2 in mono, inserting a left only source into these inputs put the signal right down the middle, perhaps a dual mono input would have been cool too, but it's not real biggie. At this price, it's hard to criticise the Control 1, though perhaps a USB hub would've been a nice addition.


Overall, as a budget audio interface come monitor switcher, I'd say yes and would be happy to find a use for it with my studio for a simple setup.

Available now at £149/175/$199


 

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7 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
haha    Said...

hope the cheque cleared!

20-Aug-13 07:06 AM


Nick B    Said...

Thats harsh - its actually a pretty useful piece of gear that is hard to criticise for the price.

20-Aug-13 07:53 AM


upfor1praps    Said...

It's kida hard to know weather or not to buy berhinger gear or not.Loads of features for a small price as usual but is it ok ? Well Nick seems to think it's useful,there's one testament but are you using it Nick ? I'll look further into this product. It's interesting but i'm uncertain. That volume knob looks as if it's a bit free running/loose. Don't know i just imagine that or if it's right. Anyway. Well done Nick for the review.It's good to see these different products highlighted.

20-Aug-13 04:46 PM


Nick B    Said...

Yes the Volume knob is not up to the TC Volume Pilot, but thats £80 for just a knob, this does do quite a lot, and yes I have been using it. Worked on a mix where I needed to record parts into the DAW. It depends on your budget - we use a number of behringer products in our setup here, and I would love to add an X32 to that.

I think they have had qaulity issues in the past, and probably still do on certain lines, but this does a job

20-Aug-13 05:02 PM


dan    Said...

Nick, whats the latency like? i might recommend it to a friend if it's good with softsynths/electronic production.

21-Aug-13 11:45 AM


asiohead    Said...

Good review Nick ! It would be great - if possible - to do a review of the new Behringer Firepower FCA1616 cause it looks like a great audio interface. And I love a good in depth review of it; how the quality of the converters and the preamps is, how stable the drivers are and what control software it has en how flexible it is in way of routing etc.

This is a bit of a selfish request if I'm honest ;) because I'm currently looking for a new multi I/O interface. And before I throw a few hundred euro's at it I'd love to know how it measures up against established brands.

21-Aug-13 12:31 PM


Ron    Said...

Regarding the volume knob not having the white marker strip on the outward surface and gradated lights, I don't think many people are actually going to be looking at that knob when they turn it. Under actual workflow most people, myself included, rely on their ears. That's why the volume knob on monitor controllers is so huge. You can grab them without even looking.

I also think you're being rather unrealistic and particular when you suggest that it would be better if it had dual mono and USB jacks. We're talking about a fairly bargain priced piece of kit that's already well stocked with features.

21-Aug-13 11:07 PM


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