Best Control Surface (with faders!) for Cubase 12 in 2023/24?

There’s several threads on this forum on preferred controllers for Cubase, but most are older. Some units that integrated nicely with older v’s of CB don’t necessarily with 12 and vice versa.

I’m also talking about full controllers with 8 or 9 quality faders, not single channel like the old CC121. IMHO the ability to operate multiple faders while mixing or automating is the best advantage of a control surface by far. I’ve used CB since probably v 2 or so, so I’ve created lots of keyboard shortcuts that speed workflow & are hard to duplicate with a handful of controller buttons. But I digress.

Biggest issue I’ve found to date is, with most heavily customized to a particular DAW other than Cubase, some functions just don’t map properly regardless of supposed out-of-the box compatibility via Mackie Control. So unless you want to spend hours researching (some have crap manuals) and custom mapping, a number of buttons end up being useless.

I’ve messed with Presonus Faderport 8 & 16. Nice units. Some really bizarre behaviour with channel selection & elsewhere. Currently trying an iCon QCon Pro G2 (about CA$1K right now). Impressive unit; solid; nice faders; kind of 75% complete integration. But detailed info & support are about non-existent & most instructions, overlays, etc. haven’t been updated since about CB5.

Now considering a Mackie MCU Pro or similar (not looking at stepping down to a Berringer) for more universal compatibility. I don’t do film. Looking to stay under $2K.


I would consider Avid controllers. There are great deals on used Artist Mix, Transport and Controls right now as they have been replaced with the Avid S1 and Dock. The great thing about eucon enabled controllers is the depth of control and seamlessness of integration.


At present I am happy with a single fader (I use Presonus Faderport and on this forum people have done a real nice job making a MIDI remote script that does just about everything)
But if I were to need more faders I’d consider buying this SSL Solid State Logic UF8 (maybe even 2 or more).
Cheers and a peaceful 2024!

The new Icon control looks very decent , so much so i might press the button myself


iCON V1-M USB MIDI DAW Controller | Bax Music (

I am very happy with my Avid s1. Rock Solid, but using only basic functions….Fader/Pan/Mute

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I use a Nektar Panorama P1. I selected it mainly because of the “throw” distance of the faders - much longer than those mini faders on many devices. It comes with a small software package that (for me - Win10, Cubase Pro 12) works flawlessly with Cubase. It’s customizable and Nektar’s support has been excellent as well.

I think the best you can get under $2k is going to be an Avid s1 with a good tablet. All MCU controllers will run on that protocol with its limitations and you’ll get far more out of the s1+tablet combo.

I’ve worked on the MCU, the iCon, Presonus, s1, Euphonix and Avid Artist Mix, Digidesign Focusrite control, and larger. In your price range I really think the s1+tablet is a no-brainer.

Softube Console 1 mk3

Sorry for the delayed response. I haven’t been getting notifications for some reason. But thanks a lot everyone for the suggestions.

Starting to investigate the noted options for my particular setup & use. I’ll post again once I come to some kind of conclusion (I hope!) in case that’s useful to others.

Cheers & Happy New Year!!

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I agree Mattias that the S1 is impressive & the tablet combo looks great. But in Canada, it’s $2,000. I don’t have a full size tablet. So combined, that’s getting into another snack bracket. It’s hard to tell from Avid’s promos how it works with regular monitors, especially since a lot of the smooth workflow features take advantage of the touch-screen tablet.

I do think I’ll investigate other Avid options though. Thanks!

I do like the Qcon Pro G2 I’ve been testing, so hardware-wise, I expect the newer V1 to be very good. So far, I’ve found that the G2’s integration is pretty good with Cubase 10.5, but latest firmware hasn’t kept pace, so some key functions - e.g. shifting track banks - either work poorly or not at all in CB 12 Pro. And so far, iCon’s support has been non-existant, so shelf life is a concern.

Well, I don’t ever use the s1 with the tablet set to metering, so for me not having a tablet for that purpose is ok.

You do have two other options that may be worth checking out; the app also runs on smartphones, so a reasonably sized phone could maybe provide the functionality you might need to make it worth while, and in addition to that there’s apparently a desktop app version that I’ve never tried.

So if what you want is for example being able to switch layouts and execute macros from the apps ‘soft keys’ then a large enough smartphone screen might be enough. It probably won’t be convenient for things like panning or plugin parameter control, but for pressing buttons it might be fine.

Again - since the app is free I really recommend just downloading it and start playing around with it, even if it’s without a controller. Because… it’s free.

PS: The “Avid Control Desktop” app only works with hardware, the iOS/Android versions work without.

Definitely interesting. I’ve seen comments that the Mix is no longer officially supported. With what I’m running into with the Qcon G2, do you think that would be a concern for CB 12 & 13?

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Hi… My artist series gear (Mix, Artist, Transport) works properly in both 12/13) and as long as steinberg continues to support the eucon protocol, things will continue to work. Additionally, there is a built-in upgrade path to the avid S1 and Dock. Of course, who knows what the future holds?

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Looking foward to the new fader mk3. The mk2 one seems discontinued.

I’ve been using a QCon ProX for the last couple of years with an expansion unit, making it a 16 Channel mixer.

I love it - looks fabulous, built like a tank, very reliable, but TBH I really only use it for the motorised faders, solo and mute and a few of the transport controls.

My biggest gripe, and I’d appreciate any other suggestions on this, is that it can only control the Stereo Balance Panner, and only works with one half of the Stereo Combined Panner . This is panner I use by default, so the panners are unused on my console. I contacted Qcon some time ago and they confirmed that it doesn’t support the use of the Stereo Combined Panner.

However, I’m pretty sure those forumistas on this board with more expertise than me on using MIDI Device Manager could make something work (Hint, Hint) :wink:

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You should have a look at the video Dom did on it. Very useful

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True … great intro from Dom and there is an excellent series of videos about the Qcon on YT from Moonhare Studio.

But throughout, no mention of using the Stereo Combined Panner. I’d have thought it could work by clicking the pan knob to choose the Left or Right sides of the panner, or perhaps assigning a function button to choose L/R or move the stereo combination left and right, but I don’t have the knowledge to set that up :blush:

The neverending story :slight_smile: Steinberg need to puch for us to yamaha so they make the perfect controller for cubase wiht a good price. i can pay 8-15 k if it have it all and build lika a tank like 121 and that i modular so we can byt the middle stuff, and buy modules on the sides and up än down :slight_smile:

ye thay make good stuff for cubase. but want steinberg orginal.