DAW Controller For Cubase 11 Upscale

OK i have looked for a updated thread for this subject but none since 2018, I have had a Mackie Controller Pro 24 Faders for close to 10 years upgraded a few years ago added a custom led display which totally avoide the burnout.

So I was looking at the Nuage but @ 40K is in my opinion not worth it. and im nore a mixing engineer than a tracking one .

can anyone recommend a upscale full featured DAW Controller for cubase in the 10k price range that’s a more professional option .and functional

thanks in advance.

Depends what factors are important for you.

So many devices ultimately piggy backs from MCU protocol so if you wanted better/extended character displays (i.e. more than 7 chars for track names and such like) you’ll predominately be limited to Nuage or Avid/Eucon protocols I believe?

Along with the inability to auto-bank, that for me that’s the major limiting factor of MCU - particuarly on large projects.

Also, the Mackie ‘Pro 24 Faders’ controller you have currently - What actually is it? Do you mean an MCU Pro with 2 extenders to get to the 24 fader count?

Or are you referring to the Mackie 24 channel analogue (VLZ) mixers? If so, I can’t recall any coming with DAW controls.

i.e. it is just a DAW controller you require, or are you wanting it to also route analog signals and act as an audio interface too?

Hi sorry I was less factual, I have a MCU pro with 2 fader banks = 24 faders, I have quite a bit of analog gear so need the analog inputs for tape machines and outboad gear.

My friend has a Nuage and i was with it again yesterday its nice gear but to get what i would need were talking over 40K at retail a bit more than i wan to go… the S4 kinda prices itself in that hood.

The S3 as i see is not expandable , so there are not many options I was looking at A&H QU32 but ive hears some combability issues with Cubase so…that either leaves me where i am , or at the high hi end 0- as I dont see much in the middle of the road.


So to be clear, you want the device to route audio ? Or purely wanting a DAW controller? They’re quite different requirements.

Example, the QU32 is predominately an analog mixer, and it’s DAW control is secondary. It basically piggy backs on MCU functionality. But when you have a device that’s acting as mixer, audio interface and MCU… I’m not sure whether that over-complicate things or not(?).

Whereas the S3 utilises Eucon who’s software runs more like a server so you can expand and spread controls across multiple devices and applications (I’ve never owned more than one Eucon device to try it myself, but that’s the impression I got anyway).

When you see what Presonus deliver with their faderport range and the integration with Studio One, it really shows a massive gap in that mid-range, and even low-range with Steinberg/Yamaha and Cubase.

So I totally understand why you’re confused. Personally, i find Eucon to be pretty good, it has a few bugs and quirks but it’s a step above MCU. If you have a tablet laying around you can download their free app and try out the system to see what it delivers, and then apply that set of controls to something like the S3 and it gives a great indication of capabilities.

Trouble is, if you’ve had a play with the Nuage… The bar you have set is pretty high now, and the ‘inbetween’ options are quite limited. :slight_smile:

Personally, i feel it may be worth holding on for a while longer, as things in the controller world should progress in the coming years - Cubase will have a new MIDI control API, and Midi v2.0 should see better two way communication with devices and deeper integration.

Really depends if you’re feeling a bit of gear lust after playing with the Nuage, or a genuine need to upgrade. If it’s just fader control you need, then not much is going to radically change - but control of plugin parameters and channel strip and such like is where differences will advance i guess.

Don’t know what Nuage configuration you’ve been looking at, but I just bought a fader+master unit+small extender for equivalent of $23k+VAT (or slightly under 20k€). Like you, I’ve been using Mackie MCU until now (with two extenders) and the Nuage is miles above it in so many ways. It’s a lot of money and I had to think hard about it, but I don’t regret the purchase for one second. If you want a good Cubase controller, nothing comes close.

Perhaps you still want more than 16 faders? In that case, one option could be to get two fader units for starters and add a master unit at a different stage. Or get a fader+master first and plan for adding one more fader later.

I also work primarily with mixing these days. I wouldn’t say Nuage leans more heavily towards tracking or mixing or anything. The key thing is that it’s highly configurable (especially with the master unit) so you can make it into the exact tool that you want it to be. And you’ll have hands-on access to everything.

There is nothing between MCU and Nuage AFAIK.

If Steinberg gave us something better than the damn limited Generic Remote functionality, then maybe folks could figure out their own.

E.g. I have a Faderfox EC4, that I want to try and use with Cubase to control my favourite Delay / Verb plugins. But because generic remote and plugin automation is so tied to the specific track / insert instance, generic remote is only really useful when using selected track. Additionally as Generic Remote is cross-project / global if you don’t religiously stick to the same template, then it’s a crapshoot - want a different insert chain on a different song (not unreasonably)? Then your generic remote is gonna be shit out of lock as the plugin automation is tied to the specific insert slot.

Cubase needs a way where users can reliably control any instance of a plugin (e.g. Valhalla Delay) regardless of what track or insert it is on without having to jup through a crazy amount of hoops. All the building blocks are there, the execution is just dated and unintuitive, with some fairly large limitations.

I’ve recently got the SSL UC1, and this is a really well executed Channel Strip controller that SHOULD be possible to emulate with some generic remote enhancements / replacement. I know there was a theard a while back that maybe Generic Remote was getting looked at, but it’s been tumbleweed for a while on that front.

Which is incoming, of course:-

C11.5 round the corner, I really hope they have this nailed.

After the leak of MIDI Remote API back in late 2020, we’ve not heard a peep.

If it comes in 11.5 that would be fantastic, but I’m not going to bet on it being there.

It should be, they’ve already over-ran by a year. Will be annoyed if obvious pitfalls exist with it that should’ve been remedied via beta testing - something like this would benefit far more with a more public testing phase but appreciate the closed loop they need to maintain.