Cubase cc121 controller

Is it still worth buying the CC121 controller now in 2019 and will it stand up to Win 10 1903 update.
I want a decent controller but i am a little apprehensive about how old this product is.

Any suggestions whether to or not or go for another controller.
I do like the idea of the AI knob.

All the Best

I can’t speak to the CC121, but I have a Mackie MCU that works great. Also, I have a small herd of the CMC controllers and they work great as well. I run them on both Windows 7 and Windows 10.

I just got my CC121 last year when I switched to Cubase. I love it! The AI knob is great. The build quality is excellent, and I love the weight of it which keeps it in place nicely. That ‘staying in place’ factor is actual very helpful with the workflow - I can pretty much use the transport without looking now since the unit stays exactly in place and doesn’t move around at all.

I’m running on Win10 1903 with no issues. People are commenting a lot about the “driver” not being updated, but that’s not a straightforward issue. There are 2 components to the “driver” for the CC121: the Steinberg CC121 extension and the Yamaha USB MIDI driver. While it’s true the CC121 extension hasn’t been upgraded in a while, the Yamaha USB driver does get updated. That probably has something to do with why it runs without problems on Windows 10’s latest builds. One note: the Yamaha USB MIDI driver on the Steinberg site is still v. 3.1.3, which I think still works fine on Windows 10. I tried the latest version from Yamaha, v.3.1.4 and don’t have any problems. So if you do have any issues with the one from Steinberg, which is unlikely, then there is the newer driver from Yamaha to try.

Hope that helps.

Thankyou for your comments SF Green and Chris.
I think now i will go for the Cubase CC121 controller and get rid of my Phat boy unit.
The Phat Boy still works,but you have to assign every knob.
The idea of hovering over any thing and editing sounds good.
My only worry is that Windows updates makes the unit defunct if Steinburg does not update it at some stage and £300 to lose after a few months is something i do not want to happen.
Thanks for all your feedback

All the Best

I disable automatic updates on all of my Windows systems for this very reason (all software / hardware is vulnerable to this).

If it works, don’t fix it.

Using the CC121 here with the Windows 1903 update. No issues, still works.

Hi all

No problems here with cc121, everything is up to date

Best Regards, Dave

Thank you all for your help and i have taken all this aboard.
I do like the idea of Cubase CC121.
I have looked at the other controllers like Faderport V2 and Faderport 8.
Also looked at The Behringer line.
Other than the Cubase controller there seems to me a few things that these others cannot do.
Also looked at Soft tube Console 1 and although that looks very good, it only appears to use it’s own plugins.
These may be very good but you are tied down to their sales.
I want all of my Vst 3 plugins to be controlled and not be controlled by soft tube.
I have have had a Phatboy unit since year dot and having to asign it to everything is a little retro nowadays.
I also cannot see that the Cubase controller cannot go on forever as long as the drivers keep up to date.

There is no clear answer to another more up to date controller as yet . All i see on UTube are reports that certain parameters do not work like a simple pause button working on presonus and things that work seemlessly on other Daw’s do not in Cubase.
I will make my mind up sometime this week one way or another, but all i can look at and have confidence is the Cubase CC121 Controller.
It does make me think, as Steinburgs product page do not have these controllers in stock. This looks like that they ended the line.
Is there something else on the horizon??? “Every thing is coming in waves and i do not feel comfortably numb yet”!!. :confused:

I would love a definite answer to what works and what does not, but there seems a lot of arguments for and against other controllers.
My budget is around the £300 mark as mousing is not 100% bad.

All the Best

Have you considered getting a used one? Also, zZounds, Sweetwater, or other retailers probably still have new units in stock.

Hi SF_Green

Well, I have ordered a CC121 unit from Absolute Music here in the UK for £319.
I have studied the Cubase video and this unit is just what i envisaged.
A good workable well buit unit.
What would you recommend for the Fader touch sensitivity 1-8 .???
I have downloaded the manual for now and i will collect the CC121 next week as it has to come from Germany.
I also have e-mailed Steinburg and support. They told me that the longetivity is at least another four years and may be longer and they have nothing planned for new modules.
Just hope Steinburg does not do a Cakewalk in the future as Gibson gave up on it.

All the best

I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. I left the fader sensitivity at the default of 5.

Yes, I came to Cubase after using Sonar for many years after the Gibson debacle. However at this point, I’m glad I switched. There are a few features from Sonar that were handy, and it was easier to learn, but now that I’ve gotten up to speed on Cubase I’m really liking it.

Hi SFGreen
Yes, Cubase a little daunting from the Start after having Sonar Platinum but i would never go back.
Cubase is the best for me
My dad always said you cannot beat the Germans for quality.

Thank you very much for your help and advice and to everyone else that contributed to this thread.

All the best

JohnS, please post back after it arrives as I’ve been weighing up getting one too, so curious how smooth a new install goes for you on an older product.

Hi Jumpy ski toes!!
I will of course come back when the unit arrives and if you do go for one shop around and do a price match.
I got mine for £319, when other stores like Thomann are higher priced.
I have looked at Faderport and certain parameters do not work and the behringer line.
soft tube i do not like as it uses it’s own plugins.
It came down to the CC121 every time as it is dedicated to Cubase.
Controllers are not dificult to set up as it only needs a good working driver to match the likes of Win10 1903.
Steinburg even say no problems for four years at least and no prospect of and new controllers .
As long as Yamaha drivers are updated we are ok.
I like the idea of that you can use anything vst 3 to control by hovering over a parameter and those quick controls.
four buttons at top to assign anything and the footswitch to stop and start recording or loads of other things.
I am convinced it is the best solution to a faster workflow.
just assigning a button to change between mixer and track view saves mousing around to find the X.
Transport and Placing markers etc, Great. handy for automation.

All the best

I use an MCU and Ableton Push (Running in MCU mode / PXT General). And i also have a keyboard controller which uses MCU as it’s protocol to control plugins.

These all work great on their own… HOWEVER… if you have more than one MCU device the controls are spread across devices. So i will have page 1 parameters on my MCU, page 2 on my Push display, and then page 3 on my keyboard controller. It’s a real pain/unusable, so my main reason at looking at the CC121 is that it’s not going through the MCU protocol. So i can still use my keyboard or push controller with it.

Question for SF _Green

As i have the Genos Workstation it uses the Yamaha USB-MIDI Driver V3.1.4

Will the New CC121 Controller pick it up automatically or will i have to uninstall and Install.??

Being the unit is quite old , i hope that the one i get is updated for 2019
if not firmware has to go in as well.

Being that we now have Windows 10 1903, will it be straightforward on install.
I have noticed through previous threads that someone had troubles with a blue light and nothing happening.
Got sorted in the end i believe.

All the best

Hardware controllers are great, but don’t forget about Lemur! Amazing what you can do with it with a little tinkering.

Hi Greg
All in all i think that the CC121 is the way to go.
Had a hard look at it and it saves a lot of mousing around and is simple to use .
Simple is best!!
I have ordered one and hope i do not get the windows xp version!!! lol.
That means i will have to go back to the Pentium 4!!

I will have a look at Lemur .
Thanks for coming in on the subject.

All the best

Hi all

One thing I didn’t mention about the CC121 is it’s automatic integration into WaveLab, I only invested in WaveLab recently (soundforge finally bit the dust for me) and was very pleasantly surprised to find that the cc121 automatically controlled things like zoom, vertical and horizontal, and position.


There’s a big difference in using a hardware fader vs a touch screen though, i use my Mackie on the fly without having to look at it - so for me personally, it’s not always ‘what’ you can do, but ‘how’ it works for you. Really depends on what you’re used to i guess, but i use my hands with real hardware in a way that can’t be replicated on a touch screeen - tapping at the faders for precise movements, holding a finger over them to over-ride automation, quickly slapping your hand down across all faders at once, and vocal riding is super natural on hardware as you flick the fader with a certain velocity.

But yeah, it’s amazing what you can do with the touch screen apps - if only you could 3D print that final design and it sits on your desk as a hardware controller. :slight_smile: