The Smart AV Tango controller got quite some attention when it was announced. Slightly surprising, the buzz has since diminished more than a little in my opinion. Now Smart AV has announced Pro Tools support, boasting it’s the best 3rd party controller for us ‘toolers.

I don’t know if that’s the case, and even if it is I would be more interested to see how it stacks up against the cheaper Digidesign controllers like the 003, Command 8, and the C|24. To me, the competition is just not there yet. The reason is obvious. I don’t know if Joe Narai, Smart AV CTO, thinks the Tango is a better choice than a ‘cheap’ Digidesign controller, but he most certainly recognizes the limitation 3rd part developers fight against.

From the Smart AV press release:

Like all 3rd party developers we have had to battle the limitations of the HUI/Protools interface, but in the circumstances we are very pleased with what we have achieved. Certainly initial customer feedback is very positive

Here’s a video of the Tango, keep in mind that this video isn’t showing Pro Tools integration.

I think these new breed of controllers have more or less killed the old ones (of which the names are already forgotten by people anyway), perhaps save the Mackie. If I were to pick up a controller I would first and foremost look at a Digidesign-made one if I were to work solely in Pro Tools. On the other hand, if I were to work in more environments I would also check out the Tango as well as the Euphonix MC Mix and MC Control. This is of course when we have this kind of budget in consideration. More high-end alternatives smoke them all.

Here’s a video of the Euphonix Artist Series (MC Mix and MC Control) controlling Pro Tools. More videos of these (but showing Logic) can be found in this post.

Personally I was very unimpressed by the Euphonix controllers when I saw them. For one they crashed several times. On the other hand this was before they were released, so hopefully they’ve worked out the bugs by now. Something I assume they haven’t worked out though is the build quality. It was not to my taste.

I haven’t played around with the Tango yet, but I’ll see if I can get my hands on one, and if I do, I’ll of course report back to you on Pro Tools integration and more. If you have a Tango and use Pro Tools, please tell us what you think!

More about the Tango here on Smart AV’s website.