Icon D Command: Feeding The GOAT 🐐

Used Icon D Command

Digidesign’s Icon D Command is ubiquitous.  Many thousands were sold, because it’s great to use, delightfully simple to install and connect, and was priced squarely in the return-on-investment sweet spot for the busy commercial studio. Coming from an era when control surfaces were built to withstand daily punishment – it’s still going strong, it’s everywhere.

Icon D Commands are still earning their keep around the world, and still changing hands regularly here on Resurface. Black or blue, 8 Fader or 24 – we’ve even seen 40 Fader and dual-op desks getting snapped up regularly.

Pound-for-pound, Icon D Command is arguably the best control surface ever created:  In sporting terms, it’s the GOAT.

Launched in 2005 (two years before the first iPhone existed), many of those early Icon D Commands are still on active duty, all day every day, at 16 years old and counting.  If well maintained, there’s nothing much that can go wrong beyond the usual wear-and-tear you’d expect of a machine with moving parts, faithfully racking up those billable studio hours.

Aesthetically – and apologies for getting icky – it’s pretty much wipe-clean.  The downside of being button-per-function and highly tactile is, well, all that touching. Thankfully, we’re all equipped with a dazzling array of sanitizing and cleaning products these days. 

Icon D-Command

In particular, the grimy fader caps and knob tops which get touched, pushed, ridden and twisted all day long, often by more than one person (and who knows where they’ve been) can simply be pulled off, washed in warm soapy water and placed back on.

Fader Replacement

Being motorised, lubricated, precision moving parts; faders wear out over time. Much like light bulbs they are ultimately consumable items and can be easily swapped out for brand new ones.

How many Pro Tools users does it take to change a fader? Just one, with a little care and dexterity – and a 5/64th inch allen key.

Brand new faders for Icon D Command, with pre-made cables and connectors, can be ordered from Resurface and mailed worldwide. They’re plug-and-play – just get in touch. We’ve also created a handy 3 minute ‘how to’ YouTube video.

Power Supplies

The only other components which will eventually die over time are the power supplies.  So, if you have spares on hand in the event of PSU and fader failures, then you’ve got your studio downtime bases covered in the majority of scenarios.

With that in mind, here is what you need to know about Icon D Command Power Supplies.

There are three types of PSU in any Icon D Command. All three can be found in the 8 Fader Main unit, but only two appear in a 16 channel fader pack: One each for the faders and lights, plus one main ‘logic’ PSU in the Main Unit.

All three are 3rd party items, made by Skynet, and so are widely available from an electrical wholesaler near you or online. Model numbers are in the graphic below.

Icon D-Command

If you have a D Command power problem, first step is to establish which PSU is the culprit.  Power of deduction tells us that if an Icon D Command Main Unit is switched on and nothing happens at all, nada. zip;  then it’s likely to be (at least) the Logic PSU.  Once that’s replaced, all will either be well, or you may then reveal a secondary PSU problem, previously hidden by a lack of Logic PSU power.

Deduction again tells us that if, when switched on, the faders spring to attention with their familiar jump up-and-down routine, but there are no lights (or the common flickering-on-and-off symptom), then it’s the LED PSU, and vice-versa with the Fader PSU.

Taking apart the D Command to replace PSU’s isn’t difficult, but – like the faders – it will involve some care, dexterity and a small screwdriver.

The Used Icon D Command Market

Used Icon D Command consoles are changing hands regularly between professional studio buyers and sellers here on Resurface.

As with any used, niche item; availability is fluid and subject to constant change, but there is almost always something, somewhere listed on the site.

… and if not, there soon will be! Feel free to get in touch and let us know what you are looking for.

Their popularity as a control surface to get-the-job-done is easy to understand; Particularly at the current price point for used examples, when compared to something like Avid’s S4.

A significant factor in Icon D Command’s ongoing appeal is that it’s straightforward to ship. Even a fully-expanded 40 Fader console can easily be boxed or wrapped on a standard pallet (pictured above), which DHL can collect and deliver .

Once delivered, the ease of installation is another major plus factor. When powered up and connected by ethernet, Pro Tools will be able to communicate with the console directly (no EuCon required). Incorporate XMon if needed and there’s nothing more to do.

With studio businesses being temporarily rehoused during the pandemic, the ability to handle big mixes in a makeshift home studio environment came to the fore.

For many, the biggest question was how to provide that level of functionality, transported in a car, without specialist wiring infrastructure being available at the destination.

Eliminate the need for a complex stand/frame installation or on-site technical backup, and spend very little for what may only be a short term fix, and it came as no surprise to Resurface that the answer – 15 years after being launched – was very often Icon D Command, the greatest of all time.