CC121 Controller and Nuendo 7

As the CC121 controller was originally designed for Nuendo 4, i’m curious how it operates with Nuendo 7?

Does anybody have experience with CC121+N7 ?

Is it worth buying?

Is there a better/more modern alternative?

Thank you in advance for answering these questions :slight_smile:


It still works well.
The one thing that really annoys me most is that only the fader is touch sensitive. The wheel is a joke.
Apart from that it’s a nice and solid piece of equipment.

While this controller topic is up, I’d like to ask your opinion;
I don’t necessarily "need " a controller, I work old school with a mouse and have my basic volume and transport working juts fine on my analog board.

However, I have some friends, who occasionally do sessions at my place ( mainly because of my analog gear, monitoring and plug in collection ) and I’ve been asked to finally get a controller. :astonished:

I’ve been looking…options like : protocols, quality, compatibility, etc…has discouraged me to go for it.
There seems to be only one one older unit, that frequently come up …and I would like your opinion on it.

That is the Mackie MCU pro.
Would that be worthwhile to look into seriously ?
And no I do not consider the S3 ( $$ ) and Avid’s Artist offering .

What do you say :question:

I recently bought a used unit of CC121. I like the build quality and it works well with Nuendo, drivers are currently kept up to date. That said, the controller is specified ONLY for Cubase and Nuendo. Although it apparently outputs MIDI messages, the logic behind the backlit buttons (mute, solo…) has to have some driver support within the DAW. This means that I can use this controller in, say, Reaper, but nothing I did made the lights below the knobs light up correctly.

Also, the controller driver does some magic to the EQ knobs. In Nuendo, you can move the center frequency of your EQ band nicely in a linear way, although the scale of course is exponential. In reaper, you can only map it in a linear way, so you’re scrolling through the high frequencies for ages. I haven’t found a way to map that correctly. So it outputs MIDI messages, but the underlying driver for Nuendo interprets these values in a funky way that works, and that doesn’t work in other DAWs. So much for protocols.

Other than that, for me, it worked nicely. Programmable knobs, I programmed macros on them for quick access, standard channel strip buttons, of course the EQ only works correctly with Nuendo’s channel strip EQ. The smart knob / scroll / scrubber / jog wheel is not so good. You cannot really put your finger on it and move the playhead. It’s more to tweak values than to jog through your project, as the knob can be mapped to any plugin parameter for quick access.

So all in all good feel, nice build quality, but tied to Nuendo. And given that they discontinued their other controllers I wonder for how long they Steinberg is going to keep the drivers up to date. Without drivers, and no standard protocol this thing supports, this thing is useless. And as I’m going back and forth between Reaper and Nuendo, I’m thinking of selling mine again.

It would probably be also good to know what your friends expect from you “adding a controller”. Do they want some basic control over the DAW without the mouse, faders, … CC121 has basic channel strip controls, jog wheel, EQ section. If you want more control over the DAW, maybe a Faderport 8 from PreSonus or some ICON Controllers would do the trick, which have full Mackie support and could add some more control over windows, undo, etc.

What do I say?
I prefer the AVID Artists and S3 over the Mackie. I’d be interested to hear why you would specifically want the MCU. The EuCon protocol is the newer protocol and works quite well with Nuendo here. I have mixed countless hours worth of TV shows, some very complex stuff with foleys and M+E mixes on these devices and they have pretty much always done what they are supposed to do.

Thanks for your answers.

A thing i have trouble figuring out also is this: I work mostly via Vienna Ensemble Pro 6 which hosts the orchestra i’m using on a slave PC.
So VEP6 is being fed the notes coming from MIDI channels in Nuendo and sending audio back on 200 audio returns via LAN.
When you click/active a MIDI channel, Nuendo doesn’t jump to the correct (it doesn’t react at all) audio return in the mixer automatically. So that probably means the CC121 isn’t selecting the right audio return either.
Is there a way to make this work? it works fine with audio and instrument tracks btw.

EuCon seems to be stable and has nice and deep integration. But you need an extra helper app that runs all the time (yet another thing that potentially makes your system less reliable) and their EuCon config tool to customize buttons and functions is a huuuuge ugly mess. If you use EuCon out of the box as is, fine, but the moment you want to move stuff around, god help you.

Thanx…I’ve read between the lines and understand advantages ( and the configuration complications ) in EUCON.

I’m totally new to the control surface idea, some of my friends asking for it. that is why I was asking.
I am used to and always relied on console fader level automation ( SSL, tape based MCI, Optifile on D&R and the AMEK recall thing )
But My DAW experience with them is zero. I’m comfortable with the mouse and shortcuts.And my current board does have 24 moving fader volume automation that works fine with Nuendo and Pro Tools.

But just say…if I opt for Avid Artist controller , would that be a nightmare to configure in Nuendo ?
Any of you using it ?
Is the access to plugins restricted to the ones in the mixer only…or can I get control on the ones in the regular insert slots ?
How reliable is Steinberg’s eucon implementation ?

I was ready to go for the Mackie MCU pro…thanx for commenting about it !


The one thing I’d look into though is if there is a delay inherent in the MCU protocol when releasing a fader. I know that on PT with an MCU controller attached when you release a fader in touch mode it takes like 3/4 second for it to return. It actually irritates me somewhat because I sometimes release the fader and then grab it again in touch/trim, and on PT I can’t do that since I may end up writing a value different from what I intended (because the fader isn’t where I expected it to be when I grabbed it again). I admit that it’s a pretty specific use-case scenario, but it might annoy you.

We all have our specific workflows and that goes for controllers as well.
Personally, I use the Artist Series for Volume automation only. THAT works REALLY well in Nuendo.
You can even setup different recallable fader banks where you can see all groups, all foley channels, all music etc. These setups save with the Nuendo session, so if you include them in your templates they will be in every session.

A mini control surface like the Mackies or Artist Series are imho not for plugin automation.
I find it a nightmare to fiddle with plugin settings on those mini consoles. I will usually have edited the plugin before I have even come close to finding the parameter on the surface. It just slows down my workflow.

I have EuCons working in 3 client’s studios and my 2 rooms. If you don’t expect too much they aren’t bad at all. One of the rooms mentioned also has a WK Audio ID controller and I never touch it apart from the jog wheel to mix a session.

It just 121
There’s so much more to come
You just connect to the stars and the moon and the sun!
It’s like 121