Assigning Mackie MCU function buttons

I have the top row of 8 functions buttons (and the function-button + shift) assigned nicely, but it doesn’t seem that Cubase allows me to assign commands to the bottom 8 buttons of the function set.

Is this correct? If not, how-to?


See Page 10 section “Applying Channel Visibility Presets and Channel Types” here:-

Basically that second row is the channel visibility mode, you can setup your own (1-8) configurations/views in the mixer and these buttons recall those views on the fly.
Holding Shift and one of those buttons will give you the option to show by type only which are defaults built in to Cubase.

It’s very handy feature as you can create channel presets that only show drum mixer lanes, guitars, bass, FX Chans/Groups etc. So yeah, bit of a bummer that you can’t map yourself, but it’s well worth learning those functions as it makes using an MCU so much better and less cluttered being able to focus on groups of channels at a time.

For example, how i’m setup is that in my projects drums only show as a single track which is the drum group, if i press my button 2 the mixer will show the separate drum channels if i want to mix in detail each element, 3 takes me to guitars, 4 to vocals, and 5 is all my main groups (Of which i try to keep to 8 max to fit on one MCU unit) And then presets 6-8 will depend on the song. I have that all in a template for all new projects so is standard for me, and 1 is my default view.

I use a QconPro under Mackie MCU in Cubase, and have all 16 function buttons (8 plus sft+8) and they are freely assignable to any key command, LE command. PLE command, or any combination of those making up a macro.

This would include assigned configuration views for the mix console, assuming you have set them up, however like workspaces, I think you may be limited to 8 or 9 KC presets.

Doesnt Mackie protocol call for a total of 16 assignable function buttons? When you select Mackie MCU, it should show for example both F1 and sft.+F1. When you say Cubase doesnt seem to allow sft. commands, what is happening? You should click in those columns and get a drop-down of selectable commands.

Thanks guys. This really helps.

greggybud: true that it allows for 8 x function / 8 x function+shift, but it’s the same 8 buttons. The MCU has two physical rows of 8 buttons, and the lower 8 are not addressable via the cubase setup dialogue. I think skijumptoes has it right about using them as access to mixer views.

Edit: I have a tape label under the top 8 buttons…obscuring the words “fader banks” that refer to the lower 8…so, my bad? Still, great info from you cats…thanks


Thanks, skijumptoes. I haven’t bothered with those 8 buttons but you’re right, that would be super useful. Going to start making better use of that feature.

It’s well worth getting them in your workflow, i love being able to quickly get to my group channels so i can raise/lower/mute/solo all drums, all guitars etc. Plus hiding the individual drum tracks is a blessing if you’re using multi-mic kits or VSTi’s.

It does take a bit of setting up as you need to route all your tracks into parent/group channels, but now it’s in my template i’m good.
Here’s a quick guide on how to set up those configuration presets:-

Something doesn’t make sense to me, so please be patient. There are a few hardwired differences between QconPro and MCUpro, but not that many.

Part of MCU protocol is 8 function buttons with shift for a total of 16. That is MCU protocl and that doesn’t change. The Cubase overlay has altered that to 8 and the next 8 assigned to fader banks. I’ll assume that is an alteration that Cubase has made in conjunction to the MCU protocol?

Attached is MCUpro with no overlay for reference.

Did you check this in both Cubase and Compatibility mode? I think you will discover some differences, but it’s going to be dependent on your DAW controller for the differences.

So you are saying that if you assign for example (see attachment) F1>category>Workspaces then Command>Workspace 4 then when you press F1 Workspace 4 will show up. But if you then assign Sft+F1>category>Workspaces>Command> Workspace 1…then Workspace 1 over-rides workspace 4 that you just entered? So pressing F1 now brings up Workspace 1?

What happens, under the Cubase overlay, press and hold sft and press F1? Does that not bring up the proper command?

In the manual it says “The right FADER BANKS section contains the buttons 1 to 8” But I’m not sure what that means. By default does that achieve the same as the left bank shift button (except for example if you press the right fader bank button 3 it automatically shifts to tracks 25-32 instead of pressing the shift bank button 3 times?

Or as I think Skipjones said they are hard-wired to the fist 8 mix console configuration slots found in the Cubase key commands?

It seems odd to me that Steinberg would alter this and sacrifice 8 freely assignable function buttons for 8 hard-wired mix configuration presets when even the mix console configuration settings can be assigned to function buttons just like anything else in key commands. While my current set up is for 8 workspaces, I could simply change that to 8 mix console configuations.

What am I missing here?

On your attached screenshot the F1-F8 (Function Select) buttons are the ones you can freely map in the Remote Device setup, and the shift+ mappings also.

The ‘Global View’ section however is devoted to Mixer visibility presets if you have any setup in your project, or if you press those with the shift held they will swap between the built in visibility settings. (All/Audio/Groups/FX/Inst/MIDI/IO/All).

Note: this is the actual overlay for cubase/mcu, but the actual function in Cubase has changed since it’s inception (Thats why i have tape on mine):-

To eliminate nomenclature issues, when you say “mixer visibility presets” you mean mix console configurations? Also wondering what “global view section” is because I can’t find any Cubase reference to that.

So the function buttons F1-F8 plus sftF1-F8 are working as intended? This is where I misunderstood the OP as I thought he was saying he could not get the sftF1-sftF8 to work. His intention was for sftF1-sftF8 to show up in the lower 8 buttons that have nothing to do with the function buttons, but have been modified by Steinberg to be used as 8 presets for mix configuration?

Yeah F1-F8 and Shift+F1-F8 all work fine, the OP was asking if the lower physical buttons (Fader banks section on the original Mackie steinberg overlay) could be custom mapped - but they can’t.

And by ‘mixer visibility presets’ i mean channel visibility presets like in the video i linked earlier - i think me using the word mixer confused things :slight_smile: :-

You define the tracks you would like to be visible and then save as a preset, from the MCU buttons you can quickly toggle between - very handy. Mixer configurations are recalling mixer presets,of course - so sorry to mislead on that, that’s not what those buttons perform.

Global View section is the original MCU wording (i.e. without overlay), Steinberg refer to that section as Fader Banks on their overlay, but are in fact visibility functions in the newer MCU implementation/mode.

Hi Ski, I am having difficulties with a new purchase of the Behringer X Touch, looks great feels ok but out of the box implementaion for Cubase is very Basic. I posted a few questions elsewhere related to the X Touch but seems I may have more luck posting questions about Mackie MCU? I did a quick google and ended up here, as soon as I seen your name I was immediatly filled with hope as you have always been very helpful and knowlegable in the past. The button assignments against Cubase functions seem to be all over the place. I have managed to get F1 to F8 working ok but cant seem to get the shift function to work with them. Also in the Cubase window there is an option of A and B do you have any idea what this is for? Also do you know if it is possible to remap the buttons which dont action the correct commands within Cubase. For example the shift button seems to be undo. Finally I tried to use the excellent generic remote editor which has worked flawlessly on other units but I cant get a single function to work. I can go to generic, use learn adn it does pick up a button press, however no matter what i assign to it it does not work. Do you know if this should work, ive seen youtube showing this workiing with different controllers using the Mackie protocol. thanks

Haha, Cubase implementation is a bit different! :slight_smile:

See page 7 of this doc for how Cubase defines each key:

I’ve also done a sheet that shows the standard MCU items vs Cubase, if the x-touch has the same naming convention as an MCU then you should be able to crossreference the orange text with the black:-

What i’d advise is to label the x-touch with a piece of paper or card or something, just to get familiar with it. And then read through that manual step by step to learn the controls. Behringer should really have made a Cubase template that you can pop on, don’t know why they didn’t.

Additionally, If you want to use it as generic remote you’ll probably have to disable the MCU mode that you’re currently running - but I think there’s too many advantages to MCU to go that route - depends what your needs are, of course.

This is what i had to do:-

Edit: Just found a site selling overlays, but just the image may be helpful for you to find your feet?

Print it out and cut holes in it and see how you get on lol.

Hi, many thanks I will have a good look when i get home. I have seen the templates but I was hopnig to change the functions of the buttons altoghter rather than putting a standard template over. Looking at your labels I can see that they all represet the same functions that the X touch does with cubase so I am guessing I wont be able to change them. I will have another look later. There is a video on Youtube where a guy uses PureData to convert the data from the Mackie to data that suits his needs better and makes a lot more sense. He even supplies the files, you just need to set it up which looks a pain. If i cant get close to what i want then i will have to consider giving it a go. As always many thanks.

Yeah I’ve seen that video. Seems like a lot of work to me lol.
Depends what you want out of the controller, you can map via the send/receive functions in Generic editor for fader/pan/mutes etc - but with MCU, i really like the parameter feedback for plugin, instrument, and send controls. That’s far more advanced.

My MCU sits to the side of a 88 Keyboard and i can edit synth parameters via the faders (Flip mode) while playing, F7/F8 i use for preset up/down - i love it. Once you have arranged parameters into pages of 8, it’s quite intuitive and allows you to walk away from the computer screen.

Also, it’s brilliant for gain staging if you set faders at 0, swap to routing mode you can adjust input gain for each track via the pots. (Thanks Dom Sigalas for that tip!)

But then, i know other people who use the faders purely for orchestral controls fixed to Kontakt instruments. So, again, depends on what your needs are.

How have you found the unit so far? Does it seem robust? My MCU is one of the old ones that only connects via MIDI and the 5th fader is starting to stick, so have considered getting an x-touch. Although, my audio interface blew up on me last week so running from a Behringer UMC1820 at the moment, also got a Deepmind 12 synth secondhand last month… So, I’m feeling a little Behringer’d out at the moment, and worried about reliability haha.

Hmm you say once you have arranged parameters, did you do that from within Cubase? Actually no need to asnwer as I need to look at the links and other stuff you already refered to but cant as I am supposed to be working :slight_smile: The aders are quite light, i feel that if i sneezed near them they may move. The jog wheel feels terrible, very flimsy. I would definaetly try before you buy. You can pick them up for £315 at the minute which is pretty good as its about the third of a Mackie. I see Dom recommends the softube console 1 and faders. They look like they are out of the ark to me but I guess they must perform well. The Icon Qcon ProX looks to be nice and I really like the look of the SSL UF8. However I went for the X Touch as there was one up for sale locally at £225 used. If I am unsure about hardware I tend to try buy used then you can quickly re-sell at around the same price so youve not lost much.

£225 is a cracking price. Well done! I live in Norfolk so everything local here is quite highly priced as there’s not a great deal of competition from other sellers.

I had a qcon and hated it, so not a big fan of them. But i believe their newer stuff is a lot better - was quite a while back that i owned one.

And yes, to map parameters you can use the remote editor (Not generic remote), I did see if the mappings were possible to share with other so you can try this retrologue one to give you an idea on how i map things for myself:-

By remote editor is that the one where you build your own panels etc through device manager?
I went in there, creted a new device and tried to import your file but nothing happened. There were no errors, it just didnt do anything. Idid look for the path you mentioned but couldnt find it, i am pretty sure this is the same though. I double checked in the manual and after opening your file it should be added to installed devices.

No, the remote editor is this one:-

It’s actually called ‘Remote Control Editor’ sorry. The naming convention are so similar and confusing if you get them wrong! :slight_smile:

You should just be able to copy into the folder and it updates the remote mapping for retrologue parameters (Accessible via the instrument mode on MCU).

I struggled with ths as the folder path you mentioned does not appear until after you go into an instrument and open the remote editor. So now the folder is visible but putting you file in there does not show up. Its starnge that when you open the files in XML editor they dont actully seem to contain the file name? Mind I am doing all this remotely through DEX so screen is a little small and fidly but dont seem to be picking it up. I will create my own just to make sur eit is saving in the same place.

Ah OK, it’s working as it opens as default. I was expecting to see it in the list when you use add.