While nowadays it’s possible to carry an entire studio in your pocket thanks to smartphone apps like FL Studio Mobile and Cubasis, not long ago the idea of computerizing analog studios was still a relatively new and expensive proposition.
King among such solutions was Digidesign’s Pro Tools — a hardware/software hybrid that cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, yet quickly established itself as the industry standard. As Digidesign opened their software platform to other hardware vendors, the Human User Interface (HUI) was developed in order to facilitate communication with 3rd-party control surfaces. Rather than scoring an old Procontrol off of eBay, PJRC forum member rotabox took the ambitious path of creating their own HUI-compatible automated MIDI controller, powered by dual Teensy 3.6s.
The custom control surface features eight motorized faders and OLED displays, a total of 31 buttons, and a custom PCB and enclosure to tie them all together. The video below demonstrates the controller being used with Pro Tools — somehow it’s still just as cool watching those faders fly today!