Control surface for Cubase (buying question)

Then a second hand CC121 could be your best option. It’s very old but tailor-made for Cubase, reliable and built like a tank. I bought mine a year ago and it has really paid off. In the past I also had a Nektar P4 controller, and my experience was very much similar to that reviewer you quote: a complete nightmare, with lots of crashes and error messages for whatever reason until I got rid of it.

No I’m not aware. Sure you can rename parameters in the remote control editor. Thats what the 2nd attachment represents. However the 1st screenshot above is the built-in Cubase eq. That’s not a plug-in. I don’t think there is a way to edit that. If there is, please let me know.

Yeah i was only talking plugin parameters - It did excite me when i found it though lol.

Also, on Logic with an MCU you have several EQ modes, one of them is to have frequency/q on the pan knobs (You click to swap) and EQ band gain on the faders - that’s something i wish Cubase done, as i love that mode of operation for EQ, it’s proper useful.

Also the discontinued Alphatrack (it still works great).
My favorite now is the Avid Artist Mix. I picked an older Euphonix (silver) version for reasonable price and it is the best hardware controller for Cubase at the moment (IMO). It can also scroll to selected track.

I have both the Korg Nanokontrol2 and the X-Touch One. I just got them. I admit that I am not the most adept user, but there are precious few instructions on the internet for setting these things up with Cubase. The user manuals for both are completely unhelpful. I managed to hook them both up through Mackie control, but mostly I’ve just managed to wreak havoc on Cubase. Somehow it randomly transposes one of my samples in VE Pro, and I have to reload it. It also has disabled my locator keys on the number pad. So I guess what I would say is that this is not for the faint of heart. If anyone knows of any online guides for setting these types of things up with Cubase, I would appreciate some direction.

If you’re using them as Mackie controllers, then ensure they’re disabled as ‘all’ MIDI inputs in Cubase settings as that will cause problems as you’ve explained.

If left enabled they will record MIDI data into each record enabled track.

Although Steinberg haven’t updated their Eucon protocol for ages, my Artist Mix is still by far the most intuitive and powerful controller I’ve found for Cubase (i.e. easy access to quick controls). The encoders are touch sensitive which is great for automation (although flip is cool too).
I have a Tranzport too! I use it all the time and it just works.I actually have 2 Alphatracks (one is a spare) but I don’t use them since I got the Artist Mix.

You might also take a look into TouchOSC if you own an ipad.

Yes, I’ve been using Lemur for years and love it but I’m finding my touch isn’t as predictable as it was…

I have an MCU Pro with 3 extra faderbanks for a total of 32 motorized faders that I run in Mackie Control mode with Cubase 9.5 It ROCKS and it feels like a I have an analog console in my home studio. It’s very sensitive and stable, never comes disconnected. Takes a second to figure out how to set them up when you have multiple units in the menus; Even though it’s not explained anywhere, they load up backwards, so the 1st unit i on the bottom and as you at more Mackie Controls to the studio setup section, the subsequent units go on top in the menu. Anyway, it does more than I even use it for, I really just use it for volume track faders, panning, transport control, and the occasional aux send leveling. It rules. Makes the mixing process a lot more fun, and also I can usually see my whole mix in front of me which means you don’t have to menu dive to bank scroll unless you’ve got more than 32 tracks. I find that I’m able to dial in levels a lot better by floating them in with the faders than I ever was able to do with just the mouse and keyboard, especially since you can operate more than one fader at a time just like a real board.


For some it works…others not. However I get much more speed and efficiency out of my iPad than I do my DAW controller and that is sort of what I was trying to convey to the OP. If you are just going to mix plus the associated functions as a mix engineer, by all means the ticket is a DAW controller. But what naturally happens is most everyone with a DAW wants more than what MCU protocol provides.

With a controller, if I have to search for any button more than 1 second, IMO that is counter-intuitive. Buttons should be configured and organized the way you think and use the DAW.

On my controller I have it configured down to 6 pages. Each page has a customized number of buttons, usually somewhere between 64 and 72 buttons per page. It could be a lot more, but with a smaller iPad, I feel 72 is about the max for myself. I know where every button is located except page 6 that has over a hundred less common PLE and LE commands.

Page 1 is for common functions that pertain with the Cubase Project Page…sort of like the home page.
Page 2 is most all functions pertaining to the drum/key edit windows.
Page 3 is for automation panel & Workspaces window. (I think 9 workspaces can be assigned a KC so that takes up 9 buttons right there.)
Page 4 is for commonly used functions in the 3 mix consoles. Creating channels, activating/deactivating tools etc.
Page 5 is for import export, DOP, and all audio processing.
Page 6 is for deeper midi functions that is connected to page 2 but contains a lot more PLE and Logical editor commands.

With each button, you program it whether or not it should stay on that page, or go to another page once executed. For example, pressing the drum edit button on page 1 the project page, opens the Cubase drum edit window, and takes me to Page 2 where I see all the controller buttons pertaining to functions for the drum edit page.

Or if I’m done working in the Automation & Workspaces page, I press the button Close Workspaces, my workspace configuration closes, and it takes me back to page 1on my controller. Everything is configurable to how you want to work and process stuff. And it’s a evolving improving type of thing where I’m always trying to maximize workflow. Basically you configure it to how your brain thinks about Cubase workflow.

When you create any button, in addition to the basic Cubase key command, you need to make several decisions. Some of these decisions include with a button press, whether or not it should stay on that page, or go do another page. Also you can program it to put in a timed delay if necessary, whether or not it should repeat its function when continually holding down the button (good for zoom in/out). And naturally the decision to turn a button into multiple key commands that make up a macro. Some macros need a pause between key commands. Maybe the macro button that just automatically turned on cycle and started playing on page 1 should then always take you back to page 2 for key editing.

So what is still missing here? The ignored windows focus issues…knowing what window is in focus therefore either using the mouse, or ctr+tab and hoping you can cycle through all the Cubase windows until the right one comes in focus.

I still use the QWERTY, but not nearly as much. That Ctr+Alt+% that I memorized years ago is long forgotten and replaced with a nice clear color coded descriptive button.

Greggybud - that post is related to MetaGrid, right? As good as it may be for key commands etc. As i understand It fails to offer fader support - In my mind that’s more of a shortcut tool rather than a real control surface in the traditional sense.

Many just need a control surface in it’s purist form with a format ready to go that you’re not customising for months and months. Fixed hardware controls, for me, is most important as i use my Mackie without even looking at it a lot of the time, it’s just muscle memory. Plus using the jog wheel to spin between sections for listening and muting/soloing on the fly is it’s real advantage. Particularly when anyone can sit by it and show you a part of the song easily and their ideas.

Yes, Metagrid as I was replying to Rhino. I think he was referring to something like Metagrid, but maybe just a controller. And I too would consider it more of a shortcut tool as it certainly does not replace a DAW controller. However a separate but similar app is soon being released with faders with the regular DAW control stuff from the developer.

I used to have an MCU and 2 extenders. I had constant fader issues - jittering, buzzing, totally failing. (I swapped out and/or repaired several but then just gave up.) And it never really felt right to me anyway. Too limited and the resolution wasn’t always sufficient.

About 2.5 years ago, I dove into the Slate Raven. It is NOT 100% optimal for Cubase, because it isn’t set up to control inputs channel and the control room as part of the standard mixer overlay (it can control them in different windows!) but the Batch Commander software that it runs is amazing. Saves me a ton of time by allowing me to build up extremely complex multi-track presets with all the necessary routing (far more than you can do with track presets) and then run with the touch of a button. You can design different templates for different production elements (I have one for tracking audio instruments, another for tracking midi, and several different ones for mixing. It’s great being able to edit automation by drawing with your fingertip instead of a mouse.

The learning curve is a bit steep (took me way longer than I thought it would to get comfortable with it) but once you have the "AH HA! moment, its really hard to imagine working without one.

I love the look of the Slate Raven screens/consoles - but what are they like for setting precise faders? The issue i always have with touch screens is when you release your finger it jumps the control slightly - do they suffer from that?

CC121 is the way to go.
I e-mailed Steinburg and they told me that the CC121 will be supported for at least four more years if not more.
As long as the drivers are updated when necessary, i cannot see anything going wrong.
I am getting a new one this week hopefully.
He said also there is nothing else in the pipeline.
Make of it what you will as that came from the horses mouth.
Second hand CC121’s are going for about £250
A new one in UK can be purchased for £319.
So ask for a price match.For the extra £50 it is worth getting a new one with a guarantee.
YOu always get what you pay for. Remember that!! :open_mouth:

With the CC121 you can hover a mouse over any synth virtual control knob and it then is controlled by your CC121.
Loads of other stuff as well. This unit looks like a fast workflow assistant to me.
Keep it simple and let the music flow.

all the best