Cubase and a Novation SL MK2

Greetings readers.
I have an issue i hope someone will be able to help me with.

I recently downloaded the trial version of Cubase Elements 8 and i have a Novation 25SL MK2 controller. I intend on buying the full version of Cubase if i can get the two to play nice together. It was impossible with Reason s i am moving on.

The trouble, for now, is that under “device Settings”, adding a device, i do not see Novation as an option. Why is that?

The tutorial says it should be there but it isn’t.

First things first, i just want to see the two working together…then i can hone in a proper mapping unless there is one out there already.

Thanks much for your attention.

Hi and welcome,

Do you mean Devices > Device Setup > + button to Add a Device? Would you expect the Novation 25SL here? If yes, then you have to install an component, which should be provided by Novation (if there is any). You can also use Generic Remote Device, or if Novation is using Mackie protocol, you can use Mackie Control here.

What exactly do you want to Control from your Novation 25SL device in Cubase?

Thank you for responding.
To answer your questions, yes, devices, device set up, + button and i see no novation option.

I don’t know where to find the plug-in that 'should be provided by Novation", i hate to say.

I also don’t know if Novation is using Mackie protocol.

My hope is to be able to map Cubase’s functions to the controls on the Novation, of course, to produce some beats and music, something i’ve been hoping to get in to since i started DJing so many years ago, but now that i’ve taken the plunge, i am growing quite wary of having bought a Novation, as difficult as it is to figure out how to get it to effectively communicate with a DAW.

I keep thinking that i am missing some big point but i am an engineer by trade, and i like to think, not a complete moron.

Of course, from what i’ve read online, AFTER buying this controller, Novation and Automap are quite a bear to work with.

I am not trying to cry on your shoulder, but i’ll admit to a fair bit of frustration.

I hope to hear your thoughts, or anyone’s who’ve used Cubase and this controller.

Thanks again,


OK, I checked the manual. Novation SL mkii is nit using any dedicated device setup in Cubase. They are still using Novation’s Automap. Download it from this side, please. At the same web side bottom, you can find a video, how to use Novation SL 25 mkII with Cubase and Automap.

I’d also suggest once you install Automap, launch it. It should detect that you’ve got Cubase installed. Choose Cubase, choose your keyboard in the settings, then follow the instructions within Automap on how to set up everything within Cubase.

I feel your frustration with Novation - I have an Impulse 61. It’s a great keyboard in itself, but Automap is a major pain. Plus in my case Pro 8 under El Capitan won’t recognize it unless I unplug and replug the USB cable in. Add to that the fact Automap hasn’t had an update in a couple of years, and Novation’s closing down their user forums about a year ago so I can’t discuss things with other users, and the fact that their Launchkey products now have Mackie Control, and I’ve just about had enough.

Thank you, Martin, for your reply.
I’ve got Automap installed and and have watched every “easy to set up” video they offer, but the truth is, in real life, things are not working the way they claim they will.

Thank you as well.
So, you can actually use Automap successfully? I love the layout and the MK2 has every control type I could want. I think about design of standard products, car all have a similar switch for the lights or ignition, I would expect that kind of ease in set up between any daw and any controller…aren’t we all trying to do essentially the same thing with them?

I am ready to take the novation back, it just isn’t any fun spending time trying to learn and not having recorded so much as a beat in 2 months.

So are Mackie control devices supposed to be more universally easy to use?



The advantage of the Mackie Control protocol is, you don’t need to map it manually. Every single plug-in parameters are mapped to the Controls automatically.

The disadvantage is, these parameters are hard-coded. So you cannot select, which parameter is assigned to which controller, even the order. So it could happen, your favourite parameter is at page 3 or 5, and you have to go to this page. What is worse, if you want to automate parameter on page 1 and simultaneously another parameter on page 3. There is no way.

Well that actually depends on what you want to do with it. I’ve been using it successfully for many years but there are limitations and you have to deal with the Automap software - namely having your plugins wrapped for control in the DAW and the need to assign functions on the SLMK with QWERTY commands as I’ve never been able to get the LEARN function to work properly. That said, it’s fairly stable and is a decent feeling keyboard under the fingers but it is in no way a dedicated controller and I keep a trackpad mounted on the upper right side of the SL for getting around Cubase. Novation support is good - contact them and they’ll help you through setting up if you’re willing to deal with the limitations.

Martin and SuStudio,
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am starting to see light on the horizon.

I see now…so where many others give you an unchangeable preset, Novation, if working properly and set up, should give one much more flexibility. I like the sound of that.

You’re giving me some hope as you actually use these things together…if someone has done, so can I, right?

Ok, I will get in contact with Novation directly. Until now, I have used only user forums like this one and thought that was the only way to get help…I will look for the way to get in contact with Novation directly.

One thing that I haven’t been able to get around is that the plug-in (if I am using the correct terminology) shown in the upper left of my automap screen says “Pro Tools” and with Reason or now with Cubase, obviously that isn’t right.
Also, the “Learn” function has not behaved the way I am told it should. Move a control on the DAW, move the control on Novation I want to control that item…no learning happens…

One final thing, my drum pads all say “off” in the Automap screen…and I am at work right now or I would attach a screenshot of this.

My wife is going out tonight…Tonight I will play records with an empty house, and then spend some time hopefully getting somewhere with this issue.

Thank you again.