The Focusrite Control 2802 is a dual-layer, small-format console that is both an analog mixer and a DAW controller in one unit. The device lets you easily switch back and forth between the two layers, giving you flexibility to control your DAW and mix analog sources.
The mixer portion of the Control 2802 contains 8 channels, all equipped with transparent Class-A Focusrite mic preamps. Each of the 8 channel strips is equipped with numerous controls, including switchable 48V phantom power, polarity reverse, mic gain (+6 to 60 dB), a 75 Hz high-pass filter, knobs for the cue pan and level, 2 aux sends, a pan control, a channel mix bus assign button, and more. Each channel has a 100mm motorized fader that can be automated in either the analog or digital layer of the mixer (the Master Fader is manual). At the top of every channel strip is a 10-segment LED bar graph meter, which shows level and peak detection, and has a separate LED to indicate overloads.
The analog I/O is comprehensive. In addition to the mic inputs, there are 8 balanced line inputs, 8 balanced DAW inputs, and 8 assignable direct outputs, both on a DB25 connector. You also get inserts, aux sends, compressor in/out, and more. The Control 2802 also functions as a summing mixer, allowing you to run your digital DAW tracks through analog circuitry. There's even a 3.5 mm iJack input with its own gain control, for listening to audio from your portable music device.
The mixer has fully realized master section that includes a stereo mix-bus compressor with parallel compression. The punchy-sounding compressor can also be patched across other channels on the Control 2802. The monitoring section is stocked with controls, including a source control (choose between five different sources), headphone output control, on/off and level for the built-in talkback mic, and a lot more.
The Ethernet-based control layer is equipped with a jog/shuttle wheel, transport controls, a large number of function buttons, and 4 high-resolution OLED displays. It supports the HUI protocol, and also carries MIDI control data through the Ethernet cable. You can work independently within either the analog or digital layer, or switch back and forth. The control surface gives you tactile control of many of the functions of your DAW, and even lets you control plug-in parameters. The controller functions are fully supported in Apple Logic, Avid Pro Tools, and Steinberg Cubase and Nuendo.
Along with the mixer, Focusrite includes its Midnight Plug-In Suite, which features compressor and EQ plug-ins modeled from Focusrite's classic ISA 110 and 130 units.