All You Need To Know About The Sound Devices CL-16

Sound Devices CL-16 Linear Fader Control Surface

Sound Devices CL-16

Pricing now out at £4695.00 ex VAT – Pre Order here

The CL-16 Linear Fader Control Surface for 8-Series combines the simplicity of traditional analog consoles with the power and flexibility of digital consoles. This bespoke control surface enhances the experience of cart-based mixing with its intuitive operation, 16 silky-smooth faders, 16 dedicated trims, and a glorious panoramic LCD.

All of this is elegantly engineered into a 16.3”-wide compact unit which fits in a cart and operates from 12 V DC.

What you need to know:

  • Compatible with the 888 and Scorpio at launch
  • 16 dedicated rotary trim controls
  • 16 dedicated faders
  • Intuitive design philosophy where channels 1-16 have dedicated, non-banking controls like a traditional analog console, and other important features may be quickly accessed
  • Large, sunlight-readable LCD screen folds down for easy and safe storage and transport
  • 32 multi-function rotary controls for EQ, pan, channels 17-32 gains, bus gains, output gains, and more
  • New high-reliability, silent, soft-touch buttons for key functions like record, stop, metadata, coms, returns, and more
  • Five user-assignable buttons
  • Built-in 5-port USB hub with (two USB-C and three USB-A) for keyboards, SD-Remote tablet, and other USB peripherals
  • 1/4” and 1/8” headphone jacks
  • Remote 10-Pin connector for custom wiring of LEDs and switches, along with 1/4” foot pedal input
  • Connects to 888 and Scorpio via USB-B
  • 12 V DC-powered via 4-pin XLR
  • 16 ultra-smooth gliding Penny & Giles 100 mm linear faders – best feeling faders on the market
  • Quick bottom panel access for field servicing and cleaning of faders

How does the CL-16 connect to the Scorpio or 888?

The CL-16 connects via a standard USB-B to USB-A cable to the Scorpio or 888. Headphone audio connects via any of the 888 or Scorpio headphone jacks to the CL-16’s ¼” headphone jack. Connectivity of the Scorpio/888 is expanded via the CL-16’s built in 5-port USB hub: 5 USB ports on the back of the CL-16.

How is the CL-16 powered?

The CL-16 is powered with 12 V DC via a 4-pin XLR connector on the rear panel. USB bus powering the CL-16 is not possible.

Are the 16 faders motorized?

They are not. The overwhelming feedback from many customers was that they wanted very good feel, and also wanted an intuitive mixing experience. At Sound Devices, we tried virtually every fader we could get our hands on. Even the very best motorized faders feel “OK”, but not great: the motor and belt adds too much drag and cogging. Additionally, one of the most common failure mechanisms of motorized faders is “ghost dancing” of the motor (and fader) when the fader gets worn – this simply isn’t an issue with these faders. Additionally, there is no point to motorizing the faders, as bank switching is not needed — all of the Scorpio/888 functions are easily accessible with other controls.

Are the 16 faders sealed?

The Penny & Giles faders are designed such that it is very difficult for dust and dirt to settle into the fader, as is the case with cheaper faders, but they are not entirely sealed. Just like motorized faders, there are no sealed faders which feel very good, and we did not want to compromise on the feel of the faders. However, since we all know that faders are a ‘wear item’ and may need occasional servicing, we’ve designed the CL-16 so that each fader can be removed from the bottom of the unit one at a time in a matter of seconds. Each fader has their own plug for very easy removal.

Additionally, the 8-series supports many other lower-cost 3rd party controllers. We recommend when operating in extremely harsh and dusty environments to consider using one of these more cost-effective control surfaces.

I thought Penny & Giles faders were obsolete?

No, we have no reason to suspect that these faders will be obsolete anytime soon. Penny & Giles was founded in 1956 and acquired by Curtiss-Wright in 2002. The highly acclaimed faders have remained steadily available for many years, and we continue to actively buy these.

The buttons look similar to those used on the CL-12. Are they the same?

The buttons used on the CL-16 look very similar to the CL-12’s buttons and feature the same look, feel, and silent operation. However, we’ve redesigned the buttons’ internals and sealed them, which dramatically improve the long-term reliability of the new buttons on the CL-16.

Can the LEDs and LCD be dimmed?

Yes, the overall brightness of the LEDs and LCD can be dimmed to your liking.

What are the dimensions?

The footprint of the unit is 16.3 x 13.0 inches (413 x 330 mm), which fits into a standard 1RU rack sliding shelf. The LCD is 17.1” (435 mm) wide, which clears a standard rack opening. When the LCD is folded down for storage the entire unit only consumes 2RU vertically.

When will the CL-16 ship?

Quarter 2 of 2020

How much does the CL-16 cost?

Sign up to our ‘first in the know’ list and you’ll be first to hear!

What is the warranty period for the CL-16?

Like all of our products, the CL-16 is guaranteed under our warranty for 2 years when you register at sounddevices.com

Will the CL-16 work as a standalone control surface for a DAW?

The CL-16 is only for use with the Scorpio and 888. The CL-16 cannot be used as a control surface for your DAW or any other device.

Will the CL-16 work with the 833?

In response to popular demand, a future firmware update will allow the CL-16 to be used with the 833. At launch, the CL-16 will support the 888 and Scorpio. Meanwhile, the 833 does support other smaller third-party control surfaces. Find a list of supported control surfaces on the 8-Series FAQ.

Will the CL-16 work with the 6-Series or MixPre II?

The CL-16 is designed to work with the 8-Series only.

Email us at sales@raycom.co.uk or just give us a call on 01789 777040

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