Cubase 9.0.20 & Multiple Mackie Control Devices: FAIL!

My project studio includes the following hardware devices:

  • -Behringer X-Touch control surface
    -Behringer Motor61 keyboard controller
    -Roland A500Pro keyboard controller
    -Icon Global Q-Con Pro control surface

I need to be able to set up all four devices as Mackie Control devices in order to use the FULL functionality of each. However, when I do this, the devices don’t function properly. Here are the issues:

  • -Many of the buttons that work fine when a given device is the ONLY Mackie Control device, don’t work when all four are Mackie Control devices (or even if more than ONE is)
    -Switching between banks of faders is either impossible or very quirky
    -Transport controls don’t work.

I can use any of the devices with full functionality as long as that device is the ONLY one set up as a Mackie Control device; the others have to be set up as Mackie HUI or something else, in which case I don’t have all the functions available for those devices. I have tried this in a different DAW and have no problem with all four being set up as Mackie Control devices and they work perfectly.

I should mention that Cubase ALLOWS multiple Mackie Control devices to be set up, and gives no warning or other information about any possible issues when setting up a new Mackie Control device if there is already one set up. For that reason, this seems more like a bug or an oversight, rather than expected behavior.

At this point I’m willing to accept that I’m doing or not doing something that’s causing this situation, rather than assuming that Cubase could have such a glaring limitation and Steinberg not address it! I spoke to someone at Steinberg who said this is expected behavior (that Cubase cannot ‘handle’ more than one Mackie Control device at a time) and the there are no plans to address it, but I find that hard to believe; I’d rather assume that I was told that by someone who didn’t really know what they were talking about.

I’d welcome any thoughts at all anyone might have on this situation!

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NEVERMIND!!! :slight_smile:

I have figured the issue out. For the benefit of those who might also face this, here’s the deal:

When you have more than one remote device set up as a Mackie Control device, Cubase ‘auto-assigns’ banks of eight mixer channels to each device, and only a particular device can access the eight channels it has been assigned. This makes no sense, but that’s what it does. Also, and this makes no sense either, the first eight channels get assigned to the last device you add; the second eight are assigned to the next to last device, and so on. Once I figured that out, it was a matter of deciding which of the four devices I want to to use to control which group of eight channels.

To clarify, I set up the Roland A500Pro first; it will control channels 25-32 (if there are that many in the project). Next, I set up the Behringer Motor61; it controls channels 17-24. Next, the Behringer X-Touch, which controls channels 9-16 and finally I set up the Icon Global Q-Con Pro; it controls channels 1-8. If there are more than 32 channels, then ANY of the devices can access and control channels 33 and up. Devices that present more than one port to Cubase require the correct port to be selected in order for transport and other function buttons to work correctly. Be aware that, when set up this way, it is not possible for one device to access the channels that have been assigned to another device (e.g. the Q-Con will NOT be able to access and control channels 9-32, since they are assigned to other devices). If there’s a way around that, which I doubt, I haven’t found it yet.

While I’m glad I finally figured this out, I still say Steinberg needs to rework this so that any of the devices, even when all are set up as Mackie Control devices, can access any and all channels independently. As mentioned, at least one other DAW does this (I won’t mention a competing product here, out of respect to Cubase, unless someone asks).

Also, I am quite peeved at Steinberg, :angry: not because of the way this all works, but because I’ve spent about two weeks troubleshooting this and have spoken to TWO different Steinberg support persons and neither of them (obviously) knew this! :open_mouth: One of them actually told me Cubase isn’t really compatible with multiple Mackie Control devices. Imagine that. Their support is responsive, but responsive ignorance doesn’t add up to resolution!

yes that sounds nuts
you would have thought with how common control surfaces are in today’s day and age
and in fact, i am surprised that decent control surfaces aren’t more common
with so much good software, the advent of digital audio, quality emulation plug ins
as well as good DSP devices

i am surprised that more manufacturers haven’t created more control surfaces coupled with
emulation software and quality AD/DA converters
so as to replace the high end hybrid hardware

but there ya go
appears that people either like all the high end gear
or simply make do with some emulation a lesser mixing desk
and one or two not that great generic or limited feature control surfaces

appears to be a bit daft personally
but never mind

I realise this is an old thread, but commenting anyway. I tried the solution Toulinwoek mentioned of adding devices in ‘backward’ order but it didn’t seem to work for me.

I find working with Mackie protocol devices very frustrating in Cubase. Control surfaces are becoming ever more available and popular and it is well time the whole remote devices section in Cubase (which now looks visually very tired anyway) was given a proper up to date overhaul.

Hello, very late to this post, but any of you have resolved the problem…?

Currently I am using Maschine mk1 as MCU Cubase controller,
But also am thinking of getting motorized fader controller such as Icon Platform X+ or M+ *as additional fader automation controller…

But… after reading all above, this setup WILL not work on Cubase Pro 11 right…?
Since multiple MCU units cannot be connected flawlessly…?

(So, maschine mk1 MCU template can control channels (volumes/pan/sends etc), but I would prefer to automate values with Icon Motorized faders instead <---- THIS does not work right…?!

Also because, Icon M+ controller unit DOES not have additional function keys such as,
plugins, sends, eq, etc <— these function keys I wanna achieve on Maschine instead.

hmm… Does this all mean, that I just need ONE all-in-one solid MCU unit…?!

Thanks and sorry for the very late reply.

JohnShin;
It’ll work, it’s just quirky. Basically, when you have multiple MCU devices, Cubase’s treats them as one master device with extenders. What I wanted to do was have each controller be able to access all tracks equally. Cubase seems to ‘lock’ each controller to a particular bank of channels, and no other controllers can access that controller’s channels. Each controller can only control the channels Cubase locks it to.
I think an all-in-one controller would be best, but Steinberg really needs to just fix the behavior. It’s possible they might have in version 11 (I haven’t tried it yet), but I doubt it.

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Thanks for your answer. I really wish Steinberg put easy update on this. Because, then, I would not have to get a proper all-in-one Daw controller, instead, I can just simply connect Motor-fader unit (e.g. BCF 2000, Icon fader controller etc), and my maschine as MCU function key brain unit…

I can say the problem is not fixed in Cubase 11 (at least not in Elements, though I sincerely doubt that sort of functionality differs between Elements/Artist/Pro).

This is completely ridiculous. I dont even think my FA-08 even has the capability of selecting a channel and changing its settings. Basically its just there for transport functions so I can hit record while standing at the FA-08 instead of having to hit play on the keyboard or my Faderport (the other MC device).

How has this not been fixed?? SO MANY different devices use Mackie Control. Thank god my midi controller uses HUI and not MC or I would be completely screwed.

There is a (sort of) workaround. This is completely stupid, but it is what it is. In order to be able to use all my tracks with my Faderport, I created 8 empty channels of audio at the end of my project (be sure to name them all “F*** YOU CUBASE”). As my FA-08 is the second Mackie Control device, it controls only the last 8 channels, all of which are superfluous and do absolutely nothing and contain no data. They are only there because Cubase is stupid. Now, I dont need my FA-08 to control channels, I only need the transport controls, if you have two devices which need to control channels well…either have different devices control different banks of 8 tracks or sit on your thumb.

Fix this…this is some high school coding bullshit right here…

**I suggest editing the tags on the initial post to include Cubase 11, as the problem still exists there.