Behringer X-Touch Review/ Problems

So I picked up the x-touch as an early Christmas present around 2 weeks ago. Even though there are a few topics out there on it, I thought I should write an in depth review, and highlight some problems with it (non of which seem like they would too hard to fix). So here we go.

Using with USB, controller set to MC Control mode, reading Mackie Control, MC Control set to Cubase.

Overall: 4.5/5
Build Quality: 4.5/5
Features: 5/5*
Usability: 4/5*

This is a fine piece of equipment, especially for the low price of $599. Overall my few gripes are mainly over buttons not doing what they are assigned to do.

As for the bump on quality, the faders and jog wheel both have a bit of a light cheapish feel, it’s not bad, but you can tell they had to pick something to skimp on. Fader movement is quite nice, very smooth. During read though they can sometimes be a bit jumpy and jerkish. The biggest issue, which isn’t that hard to get used to is while in touch mode, after you untouched a fader it takes a little less than half a second to sense and return to reading.

The led meters are incredibly slow, not to say their useless but without any numbering it’s and a low resolution of leds, reading it is pretty much a guessing game. So far I believe 1 1/2 orange leds is around -20.

The jog wheel is not free spinning, however i does glide back and forth without too much trouble, well, it’s more of a mooshy click but it definitely gets the job done. I do like it though.

The buttons are quite tactile despite being rubber, they have a definite click to them while yet being soft. The transport buttons are more plasticy feeling but feel solid, and are also very tactile in the same way. Here’s a list of things that don’t work:

Channel Bank buttons, this is perhaps the most annoying issue (instead they control the page for pan, which should change when the pan/surround encoder button is hit multiple times) the fader bank buttons act as they normally should.
Transport Buttons
Modify Buttons (Shift and Option have decided that they are undo and redo buttons)
Automation Buttons
Utility Buttons (save and undo work though)
Buttons on the Global View strip are a little iffy, some of them work

(function buttons do seem to work although i haven’t tried them out yet)

Oh, and the color of the scribble stips as of now don’t change because Mackie HUI doesn’t support it.

Overall using this controller is quite nice. It feels quite comfortable to use and the size just right, although it was bigger then I was expecting. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a budget controller.

Cubase have TWO MCU implementation modes! Please refer to the Remote Control Manual!

Mode “Compatibility” is the “old” implementation,

Mode “Cubase” is a new, refined implementation of the MCU protocoll. With this mode, the Channel Bank Buttons for example do NOT Control the Fader Channels, but the VPOT Control Page, pagewise.

again, it’s all pretty deep documented! The Buttons behave different than what they are labeled on the unit, and allow for a much deeper Integration and a much better workflow with a MCU!

It’s just the labeling on the Unit which does not fit the documented functions (BTW it’s the same issue with the original MCU, which is why Mackie offers overlays for each DAW. But there still is NO Overlay avaliable for Cubases “new” implementation. Create your own, according the the functions documented in Remote Control Document!)

Should have mentioned something about that, when in compatibility mode various things still don’t work properly, while the channel selector does start working properly, all paging related to panning and surround panning is inaccessible. Automation buttons don’t work in either mode although read and write do work. Global View buttons don’t work in either mode.

If you’re saying there is a way to individually assign each button, please enlighten me. I have yet to find anyway to do that. The only assignable buttons I have found are the user defined function buttons.

I just want everything to work as it should, so far it doesn’t.

You seemed to indicate you are using the X-Touch in HUI mode.

You should be using MCU or Mackie Control or whatever Behringer calls it.
And the device you create in Cubase/Nuendo should be a Mackie Control.
No HUI here.

Cubase (and Nuendo I would assume is the same) has excellent functionality in Mackie Mode.
I believe Cubase defaults to “Cubase” mode (as TabSel mentioned). Don’t know if it’s called “Nuendo” mode in Nuendo.
But . . to check just open the “Mackie Control” thingy under the “Devices” Menu and Select Cubase/Nuendo? from the drop down menu to be certain.

HUI is a different protocol and you would need to use it with Pro Tools - if you use PT.


Since you’re reviewing the X-Touch I might as well mention the X-Touch Compact here.

The Compact is really a totally different beast.
Though it does have MC mode (never used it - I have plenty already), it’s real forte is as a general remote device.

9 motorized touch sensitive faders
16 rotary pots with push switch and LED Ring
39 lighted buttons

2 independent “Layers”.

All of the above are instantly programmable to send any MIDI message you desire in any way.

This is achieved with a little utility program (doesn’t need to be “installed”, just run it) available on Behringer’s web site. If you’re curious you can download and run it. It will rum in “dummy” mode if it can’t find hardware.
I 'm using PC - I would assume it’s available for MAC but I’m not sure.

The utility brings up a tabbed layout of all the above mentioned controls with drop down selections for all individual parameters (try it - better than me explaining).
From the utility you can get the current setup from the hardware - either layer - , Send the current setup to either layer, or save/load the current setup on your hard drive.

Build seems solid, faders are not silent but quiet.

And I love that there are - almost - no labels. So it’s ready for your own little printouts if you desire.

I use it for multiple MIDII CC’s and CC switches to VST instruments and a B*ttload of other generic remote features including Control Room Volume, Click and Volume, bunch of Edit stuff, Add/Remove/Select Layers. Record Mode, etc.
Still have quite a few buttons and knobs left so I’m still assigning.
It’s very cool.

NOTE: If you use this unit (or any hardware) as a Generic Remote AND an additional controller for VST Instruments (as I do) then you have the issue of Generic Remote commands triggering your VST Instruments in record or whatever.
This is because you have to use “All MIDI Inputs” on your VSTis to receive the Keyboard AND the separate hardware together.
I get around this by dedicating MIDI channel 16 for this Generic Remote. Every Note on/off, CC, whatever, that is a Generic Controller (Not for the VSTi) is on channel 16. Everything meant for an Instrument is on Chan1. You can assign independent MIDI Chans (and everything else) on EVERYTHING on the Compact.
Then I go into Preferences and filter input on chan 16. This allows it to the Generic Remote but not to anything else.

As I said, the Compact is a Totally different Beast than the X-Touch. The X-Touch DOES NOT have this programmability.
If your looking for a Mackie Control Get the X-Touch (provided Chriscc123 can get it working).

But . . if you’re looking for a Generic Swiss Army Knife and A LOT MORE hands on control for all kinds of stuff in Cubendo - and don’t want to break the Bank ($399US) - this guy is amazing.

Damn. I sound like an Ad. No, I do not even KNOW anybody with Behringer. And a lot of stuff I’ve used by them in the past sucks. OK. Fair and Balanced.


My mistake, that was a typo, I’ve been switching back and forth between PT and Nuendo all day.

I mostly use it in Cuebase mode, not compatibility because I like to have control over my pan pages, but it is very annoying still to hit the channel button and not have it move over channel. I suppose at this point it’s more of a complaint about Cubase and compatibility mode not exactly lining up.

On my MCUs (Actual Mackie Units) with Cubase Shift/Bank turns the Bank buttons into “Channel” buttons.
Another Shift/Bank turns them back into “Bank” buttons.

This is in “Cubase” mode.
Perhaps it will work that way on the X-Touch?

Having 24 channels of MCU I use them infrequently, however.


I’ve tried again, but my shift button has decided it’s an undo button. :neutral_face:

It feels quite comfortable to use and the size just right, although it was bigger then I was expecting. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a budget controller.

A question for anyone using the X-Touch (or in my case a Motor-49 keyboard) in generic remote mode. I want to use the touch sensitive faders for automating synths, sends, fx etc and I’m not sure how well the “touch” works when not in mackie control mode. Anyone using it like this?


sorry this is an old thread, but i bought an xtouch and its a good controller, but its triggering my omnisphere as well. i dont want it triggering sounds in my soft synths, just to use for mixing. can someone tell me how i turn this off ? cubase 9 - USB mode - MCU. thanks so much

In Devices / Midi Devices, untick the box in the “All Midi” Column for X-Touch

In “Device setup/ Midi Port Setup” make sure that “In All Midi” is deselected for the x-Touch (and any other controller you’re using).

Cool, thanks man! that worked!

I’m currently eyeing the X-Touch. It seems like a great ‘bang for buck’ device. But I was wondering if they have been able to get the colour coded scribble strips working by now?

I believe I read somewhere that this is an MCU limitation and only works in HUI mode with Pro Tools. Is that indeed the case?
Surely there should be a way of getting this to work (perhaps via some Generic Remote “hack”), or are we at the mercy of Behringer/Steinberg implementing native X-touch support? (probable never gonna happen)

I know this is an old post but I wanted to give an update after almost 2 1/2 years of use. So far nothing has broken. I’ve been using it in compatibility mode in nuendo 7 for all that time. I’ve got to say that I still don’t know what some of the buttons do but everything seems to function correctly. It has definitely been worth it.

Hi @Chriscc123,

Since you brought this thread back to life, has there been any progress in firmware or otherwise to be able to switch the X-Touch from both MCU to Generic Midi control? Like others, I would both like to use it for mixing and VST control via MCU, and also as a continuous controller during recording (either in real time while playing the keyboard or afterwards when layering in the CC automation data).


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Thought I might chime in here:

It will be interesting to hear Chris’s response, but I’m not sure there is any way to switch the functionality from MCU mode to definable MIDI commands on the X-Touch. There wasn’t last time I set one up.
If there is, then perhaps you could disable/enable the MIDI IO within Cubase to use it as a Generic Controller or an MCU unit . . . . one at a time.

However, much better suited for Generic Remote use (CCs, Editing Commands, etc) is the X-Touch Compact.
It has a little utility that comes with it that allows you to very precisely define what is output via MIDI for each and every fader, Push/Turn knob, and button on the entire unit - both layers, also, which are completely independent - as well as display feedback from Cubase (Knob LED behavior, Momentary or on/off button lights, etc).

I use 24 channels of MCU (actual Mackie) as well as a separate X-Touch Compact.
Really great hands on control of tons of stuff. And I haven’t even assigned every button/Knob/fader yet.

More money (the Compact is 299US) and space, but well worth it, IMHO.


Edit: Just realized I wrote a long review earlier in this post on the Compact as I use it.
Oh, well.
Guess this is another plug. Read the “Review” for details.

Hi Hugh, thanks for the extra plug :slight_smile:. I thought I’d share for the benefit of others the feedback from some emails I exchanged with Behringer Support. I’ll start by saying that they were incredibly responsive – answers back within 24 hours, including a follow-up from the same technician. Of course, please draw your own conclusions from what I learned. I asked if I could set the X-Touch into a mode (or in MCU or HUI) where I could send continuous controller messages that would be used to record automation in Cubase 9.0 Pro… for more than just volume… also for Expression, Modulation, etc.

Here’s what they said: The X-Touch can be set as HUI or MC. So, the functionality actually depends on the HUI/MC implementation protocol of your chosen DAW. Generally, these parameters are not part of HUI or MC protocol. (emphasis added)

They also referred me to this thread:

It sounds like the X-Touch Compact can do what I desire, but I don’t think it can also control Cubase Pro’s mixing and related items (mute, solo, etc.) In addition, I liked the idea of having the jog wheel that is on the main X-Touch.

I’m a fan of Junkie XL’s Youtube channel and he uses a J.L. Cooper FaderMaster Pro. It is much pricer than both X-Touch models… any ideas on relative strengths and weaknesses?

The X-Touch compact can control a lot of Cubase parameters via the Generic Remote. If you want to use it for mixing, it’s best used in “selected channel” mode however because as soon as you add more tracks (without "selected channel) it gets all out of wack.