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Yes and No.

Yes because sure that’d be nice to have i guess…

But no because, as you said, in order to have local audio inputs you’d need to run Cat5. You’re basically asking for something between a PL-Anet controller and a real surface. I don’t want A&H to waste hardware R&D on that.

I think the R72 is actually fairly well priced for what it is.

Decent laptop $1200
Fader bank would be at least two $1200 (Avid Artist Mix, $1400 with touch screen built in) and you
Touchscreen/tablet $200
100 foot CAT5 $100

So you’re at about $4k of gear before you add local i/o. I think $3k for perfect integration is worth the cost of an r72.

But really, the correct route to go here would be to add EUCON and full MIDI support to Editor, then you could plug an external control surface into it. Still no local audio, but that’d be 90% of what you are looking for, and would save A&H the huge R&D cost of creating their own hardware. Maybe even charge $100 to enable external hardware control, so those who need it can use it that way?

iDR-48, T-112, Mixpad