After this weekend all I can say is I wish I had ordered an X Touch sooner. Connecting and using it with Cubasis 3 is easy, provided one sets up both in and out Mackie protocol connections. It’s not too loud either. The LCD screens are convenient, though not the easiest to read at the angle I’m using it with, but very workable (and a must). Indeed the metering/VU led’s of the channels are not working (yet, I hope - looking at Steinberg), which is the largest ‘issue’ atm for me I think. The connection is very stable, I use it through USB (iPad > USB hub > X Touch / SL Mk3 / RK006 / XR18 / etc.)
Automation of volume works well, the only issue I sometimes have is with looping a part, the reverb tail of some tracks cuts in right before a fade in (after the first loop, which is always okay). But this has nothing to do with the X Touch.
It would be sweet if the LCD’s could pick up the Cubasis track color. It also would be great if the ‘pan’ knobs could be used for more functions (using the “Encoder Assign” buttons) like gain, however that would be channel strip terrain. So maybe Steinberg could implement its channel strip to work with Mackie MC compatible devices? Same for EQ? I mean, it’s probably too far fetched to make it third party FX AU’s compatible. But maybe create a simple ‘Mackie MC compatible’ channel strip with EQ? That would be superb to have. Touching the faders selects the channel, which is great.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to connect the XR18 (which is a Behringer rack mounted digital mixer and USB audio interface) simultaneously and make the X Touch switchable between Cubasis and ‘dawless’ on the fly (without rebooting it) with the press of a single button. I also use hardware synthesizers, so this is very convenient for me. The easiest way to get that done is connecting both DIN MIDI in and out of the X Touch with the DIN MIDI out and in of the XR18. Then switch off all highlighted MIDI setup stuff in XR18 Edit app, and setup X Touch (first) using MC over USB and secondly Xctl/MC over MIDI. And presto, you can control the XR18 and instantly switch to Cubasis control by pressing the SMPT/Beats button. An easy enough procedure, but not easy to figure out. One could have used the LAN-connection for this as well, but that means the XR18 can’t easily be reached over WiFi, unless you use a dedicated router setup, which is far less convenient than just using two DIN MIDI cables imho.
I have the USB 1/2 out of Cubasis (and iPad main audio out) run into audio output channels 1/2 on the XR18 mixing side. That way I can use iPad (and Cubasis) output the same way as if it was just another hardware synthesizer when running the X Touch/XR18 as a 'regular ’ mixer. You have to set channels 1/2 up as USB input with X Air Edit for that.
Also I had to upgrade the X Touch firmware, as it wouldn’t work with Cubasis without that at all. The X Touch came with 1.14 installed and I run 1.21 now. The firmware update over USB didn’t work for me so I had to do it over DIN MIDI, which worked.
Too bad Cubasis doesn’t use the same Solo and Mute button/led colors as the X Touch (or vice versa). But maybe Steinberg could make the colors for those buttons in the interface user switchable? I believe the Presonus Faderport 8 has the same ‘issue’. Mute is red, Solo is yellow, Select is green… seems Cubasis doesn’t follow that ‘standard’.
To finish this post, I have only a couple of remarks about the Behringer X Touch itself. I wish it was more compact, it’s quite large indeed. The Presonus Faderport 8 has a better footprint, but doesn’t have the master fader (you can use the jog wheel for that I believe, which is not as convenient), is more expensive, has an external power supply, has less track/channel buttons and knobs. The X Touch has an internal mains transformer, so that’s partly the reason why it is larger. If you have an XR18, the X Touch is a must anyway. I wish the wind/rewind, stop, play and record buttons were (sparingly) lit, as in the dark they are not that easy to see, unless activated. I wish the master fader had a VU meter as well. For it’s price (I paid €361, incl VAT and shipping) it’s a very good deal imho. Even if you do not have an XR18 to pair it with.
So in short, imho the X Touch is very recommended and I hope Steinberg will expand functionality a bit.