Avid have just updated their EOS (End Of Support) hardware product document published on Avid.com showing the new addition of the Avid Artist Transport and its final sale date of 01/01/2016 and its end of support date as year end 2020.
This means as of now the Artist Transport is no longer considered a current Avid Product and could well also mean no further development for its use will be included in EuControl software updates (This is yet to be confirmed but could mean they will continue to work as they have so far, but no new features will be developed.).
Presumably this is to pave the way for the new Avid iPad Dock (See Here For Details) but does this spell the end of the Artist series altogether?
We do know that the Artist Control was left out of integration with the Avid iPad Pro Tools Control App which only allowed support with the Artist Mix and Artist Transport, we had presumed this was for technical reasons but have not seen any confirmation either way as yet however this move goes some way to suggest the Artist Series' days are numbered.
Originally inherited from the Euphonix acquisition Avid made back in April 2010 (See Sound On Sound Article Here) the Artist Series looked like the ideal successor to the 003 and Command 8 Control surface units the additional features and scope the Eucon protocol brought along was way ahead of the HUI like devices that had come before and the System 5 large format surface was the crowning product but has more recently given way to the Avid S6.
The Artist Transport was released back in April 2009 (See Sound On Sound Article Here) as something of a expanded version of the transport and jog/shuttle functions built into the Artist Control but was also the ideal partner to the more recently released S3 surface that appeared to omit any jog/shuttle features entirely. With the recent announcement of the iPad dock it might appear Avid have decided to focus on a new range of products rather than develop these inherited units any further in favour of taking the EuCon protocol deeper with their newly developed products.
Avid S3 and iPad Dock
Some may argue that there is surely room in the market place for the Artist series to continue to exist along side the larger and more expensive S3 and new iPad Dock and at least would allow a more affordable and more modular entry level to the Avid controller range but maybe that's where the Pro Tools Control iPad App comes in as its totally free, although currently lacks some must have features like plugin control.
How do you feel about this?
Has the Artist Series lifespan run its course or is this all too soon ?
Let us know in the comments section below and strike up some discussion with fellow readers.
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