What Are Control Surfaces?

Control surfaces are hardware devices that feature a variety of controls, which can include faders, rotary knobs, buttons, and displays. Control surfaces typically allow you to select parameters for editing, or to select particular tracks/channel strips or banks (of channel strips). Many also offer a Jog Wheel, which allows you to move the playhead precisely, transport buttons, such as Play, Rewind, and so on, and other controls.

Some simple control surfaces only provide (non-motorized) faders and knobs. More sophisticated units include motorized faders, rotary encoders, LED rings, and programmable displays. The additional feedback these control surfaces provide makes them easier to use—without having to refer to your computer screen to know what mode the device is in, or what current parameter values are.

Note: When you use a supported control surface with Logic Express, some controls are premapped to common functions. You can map unassigned controls to other Logic Express commands and functions (see Assigning Controllers to Logic Express Parameters).