Cubase and Novation SL MkII

Greetings. I have Cubase Pro 11 and use a Novation SL MkII keyboard controller. I’ve tried to get it to work with Cubase with some limited success. I can use Novation’s Automap (v4), switch to the ‘Mixer’ setting and essentially use it out-of-the-box to control various aspects of the Cubase mixer. However, I have very hesitant to jump back into Automap for VST instruments/FX, as past experience has produced mixed results, probably due to the software wrapper that Automap layers over VSTs. I do not want to take that route again. Besides Novation discontinued Automap support and development about six years ago.

There may be a work around using Novation’s ‘Advanced’ mode instead of ‘Automap’ mode, which allows one to set up MIDI controller assignments and save them as a template.

  1. Has anyone successfully created a Cubase Pro 11 advanced mode template, and does it include MIDI cc mappings for Track & VST Quick Controls, paged layouts for mixer faders, mute/solo, rack activation & assignments, transport controls, inspector pane panel access, Track & VST Quick Control mappings, native Cubase plugin activate & parameter assignments, etc.? Do you have any workflow pointers on developing a template like this?

  2. I have my eye on upgrading to Cubase Pro 12 for OS X, but I want to wait a while longer for bugs to be ironed out. It seems there is no Novation SL MkII script available for CP Pro 12’s MIDI Remote setup. Is this true? Secondly, similar to the first question, how straightforward is it to create a Novation SL MkII MIDI Remote template? I’ve see the videos, and it looks fairly intuitive. However, I assume this means I need to deactivate all things ‘Automap’ in Cubase Studio Setup window. Also, if I do not activate Automap on my Novation SL MkII, will I be able to just as easily assign its several faders/buttons/pads/knobs in the MIDI remote setup window as I’ve seen done with other controllers? Also, will I be able to integrate pages of assignments and access those pages either with the Novation SL MkII’s “P1” or “P2” pairs of buttons?

I appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

Hi,

Not yet, as far as I know. But there are other Novation (very nice, btw) scripts, which you could use as a starting point.

Yes.

Yes, you will be able to do so. Every controller is sending unique MIDI Controller, which you can assign freely in Cubase.

Yes, there is paging system in the MIDI Remote. There is also (so called) subPaging system. The pages are meant to be used for the whole device (like different use case). So very ofter, there are pages like “Mixing” or “Selected Track”. Moreover, in every single Page, you could have SubPages. Like if you want to control the Panoramas via the 8 encoders and then you want to switch to control the Send Levels via the 8 encoders, etc. The rest of the controls is controlling the same, you switch just the encoders.

This SubPaging system is reachable via scripting only, you cannot do this in the MIDI Remote Mapping Assistant.

Thank you for the reply, Martin. Any recommendations for mapping my Novation SL MkII keyboard controller to Cubase Pro 11?

I have a Novation Remote 61 SL MKI and it works great with C12. In fact, for me, most of the controls were worthless up to this point. Now, 15 years later, it’s more functional for me than it has ever been. I re-mapped a template in the NRSL61 and used the new midi remote mapping feature in C12 and I have just about all the functionality I could want. Granted, I am not a keyboard player so I am using the controls for basic stuff; fader volume, panners, Qcontrols, AI knob, some macros and keycommands, mute, solo, etc… It took a while for me to map it all out but it was worth it.
The Automap feature always sucked for me. Being able to map things in a way that made the most sense to me was awesome.

Cheers,
Dean

Thank you for the reply, guitargod414. I’m still working with Cubase Pro 11 on a Mac. However, my eyes are opened as I start to explore the Generic Remote device. My guess is that Cubase Pro 12 takes this one step further my placing a front-facing UI over its already existing MIDI device map capability. Clearly, Cubase Pro 12 makes the hardware/software MIDI controller mapping a more pleasing drag & drop experience, but it is the underlying mapping engine that shines here. Heck, from what I am seeing, there is not much of Cubase that you cannot map. I’ve been exploring the Generic Remote documentation. and I will need to familiarize myself with the several Cubase device/channel-category/value-action/flags options. I delved into the MIDI specification fairly deeply a long, long time ago, so some of the more esoteric MIDI spec features (e.g., registered & non-registered parameter numbers) require a refresh, although NPRN are device/company specific. Those values potentially change.

In any event, it is time to revisit the Generic Remote documentation and experiment heavily with my Novation SL MkII keyboard controller. Of particular interest is how best to set up a paging system, so that I can easily run through, let’s say, 64 Cubase mixer channels and their respective mute/solo buttons using my controller’s eight faders and two push buttons / fader configuration. I don’t think it is possible, but it would be great if I can use either two of the buttons at the far right or left sides of the controllers or, maybe, the P1/P2 buttons. Normally, these buttons are dedicated to select sets of controllers and updating the backlit display with values for those selected sets of controllers. Since there are two pairs of P1/P2 buttons, I’m hoping I can dedicate one pair to ‘paging’ through the Generic Remote pages and keep the other P1/P2 pair for paging through the SL MkII’s backlit panel display.

Suddenly, I feel that my SL MkII has been rejuvenated. Novation Automap was a great feature, doing much the same as what the Cubase remote device capability does. However, I never was able to get it to work fully. Trust me, I really tried. Apparently, there were enough issues concerning Automap that Novation decided to stop updating and supporting it about six years ago. So, yes, I am thrilled to bring life back to my faithful SL MkII.

Now, I see the potential for Lemur on my iPad, also, as a software-based remote device. All I need to do is set up an ad-hoc WiFi network with Lemur to communicate with my MacBook Pro and then create more Generic Remotes for use with my Lemur templates, unless I am missing something.

Just one more reason why Cubase is a fully functional music production system…

Hey aspsa,
Ya, I dived into the Generic Remote a bit as well and got some things set up fairly well but it was A LOT more of a pain than the new Midi Remote. It sounds like you have gone even further and have a much better understanding of midi and the Generic Remote than I ever did.
With the new MR, I had to go through my NRSL61 and change some of the settings of each button, knob, and fader so while I was at it I just set it all up in a way that made sense to me and and would talk to C12. There were a few small quirks like the display on the NRSL61 would not show ‘on’ or ‘off’ with how it corresponded in C12 but that wasn’t a big deal to me. I did spend some time trying to make that happen but in order for the NRSL61 to talk correctly with C12, I don’t think it was possible for my use.
With that said, I just got a Midi Fighter Twister (MFT) to replace my NRSL61, at least for C12 control. Since I am not a keyboard player, I don’t use the keys too often so I like having the keyboard on a stand next to my desk rather an on it. Plus with the NRSL61 I had to reach from my computer keyboard over the piano keys to get to the C12 controls. Not a big deal but I am big on ergonomics. With that said, it will still be nice to have those controls mapped so when I do slide over to the keyboard, I will have a lot of control.
The MFT is really cool. Its small so it sits next to my computer keyboard and has a lot of functionality. There is one fairly big function it has that so far I can not seem to get to work with C12 but I think this may be a C12 issue. I have someone from the MFT company contacting me in the morning to see if we can figure it out. If you are looking for controls without the keyboard, the MFT may be worth a look.

Cheers,
Dean

guitargod414, cheers on your C12 MIDI Remote success. At some point, I will upgrade to Cubase Pro 12 and use its MIDI Remote capability, but I want to wait a while and wait for any significant Cubase Pro 12 bugs to be ironed out first.

Probably not the worst idea. This version has been the biggest for me in sometime but I kind of expected it since I am on a Mac M1 and I would imagine the change in coding to Apple Silicon is substantial. For someone not super midi inclined, the MR has been very nice. The old Generic Remote worked but, in my opinion, was confusing with all the tags and whatnot, cumbersome, and just not that intuitive. The MR is MUCH easier and intuitive. There is room for some improvement but I have not found anything significantly wrong with it. Mapping my MFT was a little tricky as the MFT has a specific function that took me a bit to figure out with the MR but I think that was more of an issue with the MFT because of the unique funtionality… It was a simple solution once I figured it out.
Good luck with the NSLMkII!

Cheers,
Dean