DAW controller that works with Cubase

Hi, can someone direct me to a functioning controller/mixer that works seamlessly with cubase. Has Bi-directional capabilities, motorized faders, modern display (maybe instrument inputs), etc?

Something like the Presonus Studiolive AI that only works for StudioOne? I really find it hard to believe that Steinberg hasn’t released something dedicated for cubase (aside the ultra expensive Nuage)

The closest I can find that works extremely well is the decades old Mackie MCU. I’m looking for something a little more modern.


Maybe one of these?

Thanks Jari,

I really like it and it seems very much like the Mackie as far as functionality (same protocol), but I’ve heard that the faders are very noisy and some have a clicking sound that can’t be resolved. Also, the Master LED doesn’t work… but maybe those issues have been resolved? Do you have one?

I just keep reading how the unit it hit or miss as far as quality and the company has poor support (same can be said for Mackie I think).

This really is a case of “you get what you pay for”. You want motorized faders and fairly complete transport and DAW control in the $1,000 price range, you deal with the questionable quality of Mackie and Icon (side note, I have a factory refurb MCU Pro and it has worked pretty well for me for almost 10 years). If you want something higher-end, you pay $5,000 for an Avid S3. If you want professional-grade that is rock solid, you drop $16,000 for a Nuage demo unit… lol

I use Presonus Faderport 16 and it works great!

I understand that idea Omni, but for $900 you should get more than what seems like a piece of junk. I’m not saying it is, because I haven’t used it, but the reviews at Guitar Center are not looking great. Four 1 star reviews and one 3 star review. https://www.guitarcenter.com/Icon/QCon-Pro-X.gc#reviews

I’m hoping those reviews are no longer relevant because they are a year old now. Hopefully firmware updates have fixed some of the issues.

I use the X-Touch from Behringer - it’s awesome.

They are budget version of MCU’s.

Unfortunately there is none. Avid EUCON or Mackie MCU is the one that sort of works, but they do not have support for any functions newer than Cubase SX1 or something like that. Steinberg does not have much support for vendors either, the one that uses propertay SDK is not any better. (Like the Nektar) If you like to work with hardware Cubase is not the right software. It is mouse centric.

That’s not true…Eucon is an amazing protocol (and far superior to MCU) that supports almost all of the functions in Cubase/Nuendo right up to version 10/8.5
Unfortunately that comes at a price, but the Artist surfaces are pretty decent, though I’d be inclined to go for the Mix rather than the Control version, as the screens don’t last that long.

As an alternative, you can get the ipad eucon app for free called PT|Control (which is the screen section of an Artist Control surface) to try out all the functionality.
It sounds like it’s for Protools only, but as actually multi client and multi platform, and works with any daw that supports Eucon.
It consists of a mixer page with multiple faders and access to all the channel features, to the shortcuts screen where you can have shortcuts to all the commands in Cubendo.
I use it in conjunction with SB’s CC121 which works well, but only gives you one physical fader (you can however have another 8 onscreen faders on the ipad with this app).

^^^Total bull… Steinberg’s EuCon adapter, and the AVID Artist Series controllers are tightly integrated with almost every function in Cubase 9.5.__, and will offer you a very useful tactile experience… if you are willing take the time to do the research, and set them up properly!

I’m no saying it’s a walk in the park, but as “Omniphonix” said…“You get what you pay for!”


I’ve been running 9.5 and am about to install 10.

While on 9.5 I bought a Behringer X-Touch first. Once you figure out which button does what (there is zero support from Behringer and compared to Cubase only modest support in their forums), it worked perfectly. The Pros: less expensive ($479 at Sweetwater). The Cons: plastic construction and the angle of the LED panels. The latter was the show stopper for me, as I had to prop up the entire unit at a 30 degree angle to make the LEDs readable.

At that point I decided to buy an actual Mackie MCU. Even with the Cubase Lexan template there were still a few things to figure out, but with help from the Cubase forum (looking at you, Hugh :slight_smile: ) I got that sorted. The Pros: Built like a freakin’ tank. And no question of protocol. MCU is the Mackie Control Protocol, after all. Cons: more expensive ($1099 at Sweetwater).

Bottom line: Both the X-Touch and the MCU work great with Cubase. If you don’t mind the angle of the LEDs and the cheaper construction doesn’t put you off (or make you nervous for long term durability), the X-Touch is a great bang for the buck. If you want something built better with an LED display angled for easy viewing and don’t mind spending the extra money, the MCU is an extremely solid piece of gear.

I did look at the Icon stuff at the time (this was a year or so ago) and they had a new version coming out that was nowhere near ready for prime time. Videos I saw of them trying to demo it at a major trade show didn’t work, and comments on the previous version that people had already bought told a frequent tale of unreliability. When you can’t even hack together a demo for salespeople who know “don’t touch this button,” well, I decided to give them a miss. They may have their act together now and do good stuff, but at the time I was less than impressed.

I don’t have any experience with the Digi / Avid stuff but from what I’ve seen it doesn’t appear to be worth the premium compared to what the X-Touch or MCU do. And Nuendo? Very sexy. Ridiculously priced. And I already got burned on Nuendo back in the 2.x days when 2.1 was $800 and 2.1.1 (a very minor bug fix release) was suddenly $2400 because they wanted to be taken seriously in post (people foolishly believe that more expensive == pro quality).

The computers on Apollo 11 were embarrasingly primitive compared to the phone you have in your pocket, but we walked on the moon just the same.

All DAWs do roughly the same thing, and it’s a reasonably limited and well defined set of features that hasn’t really changed for a couple of decades. That’s why no one has come up with any major new type of gizmo beyond the controllers built on the MCU or similar protocols. In general, the different offerings tend to just be variations on the same theme.

Out of curiosity, what more modern features do you feel that the current lineup of controllers lack? You may find that their customization features will provide you with what you need.

I have tried the software version (ipad 2018). Cubase becomes unstable and crashes with a warning from the EUCON.
Ok, lets talk about integration. How do you select which mixer view it should follow? How about joining VCA group?

Ipad app…I don’t use the Ipad app! I use EuControl, which is the AVID software that integrates with the Steinberg EuCon adapter imbedded within Cubase, and Nuendo!

This would be familiar to you, if you actually owned the controllers!

If you actually owned the controllers, as I do… you would also know that there are several ways to accomplish those tasks… least of which, just programming a soft key on the Artist Control!

But, don’t take my word for it… YouTube is your friend!! :nerd:


I’m not sure with using Eucon with hardware, but with the Ipad app and Cubase (with lots of tracks), Eucon keeps crashing.
This is a known problem that many have experienced (with or without Eucon hardware) and I think it’s related to network issues.
I must say, I’ve tried a LOT of controllers and the mouse is still by far the best alternative, except for fader and automation (FX sends, pans etc.) moves which I use a custom Lemur template on my Ipad for.

You can not test the hardware with the ipad, but you can test the functionality and quality of avid software. It is using the same protocol and software on the pc/mac. Test this your self and do not trust the commercials on youtube.

Dude… I own the hardware, and the software that goes with it does not crash Cubase!

Now, maybe the IPad app does crash, or even causes Cubase to crash… as I said before, I don’t use the IPad app, so I don’t know!

But, I do take issue with your false equivalency that you can equate the functionality, and quality of all AVID software, based your experience with just the IPad app.

Just to prove what I’m saying… by your analogy: Windows Millennium “sucked”, so everything released by Microsoft “sucks!” You may believe that to be true with all the passion you can muster, but in my opinion you’d be WRONG!

The OP asked a very simple question, with a few guidelines:

I do not wish to further derail this thread, so I’ll say this… The AVID Artist Series Controllers have been around for many years, and are close to the end of their lifecycle (according to AVID). What that means is that there is a wealth of info… good, and bad available on the internet, and yes… also YouTube!

There are not only commercials, but also very informative tutorials on how to setup and use these devices… even in Cubase!

As I said earlier… It will not be a walk in the park! These very flexible devices are designed to be used on many different DAW platforms, as well as MAC, or PC.

The actual functionality in a specific DAW is actually implemented by each DAW designers software called “EuCon Adapters”. These adapters interface with AVID’s EuCon software called “EuControl” which empowers the hardware surfaces.

All of this communication happens through an Ethernet connection, which can be the source of many headaches, if you don’t setup your network properly!

@ “Cubace” The suggestion to try YouTube was for your benefit, not mine!

I already know how powerful these devices can be through experience, but you have a nice day just the same! :slight_smile:


It might not crash on your setup. Do you pay the bill if it does not work on my?

It it not the app, it it the eucon that crashes cubase.

Yes, it uses TCP/IP. So does the ipad app. And they use the same protocol. I have setup the eucon. And it does not work for anything more than small tests. (Cubase pro 9.5, I have not test cubase 10. ) If the system is that bad that it crashes cubase due to some glitches in the network they have a pretty bad design. It need to be designed with “the show must go on” attitude not crash.
And the ipad is part of their docking station so no excuses for it not to work. Im not really interested to use the ipad for cubase. It’s just a evaluation on what eucon could do and how well it might work. Total failure that is!

Buy the way. AVID does not support cubase 10. On the 7 december 2018 cubase 8 what the supported version.
https://avid.secure.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/Compatibility/Pro-Tools-Control-Support It might work, if it does not then you are on your own. Im not to happy to spend 5000 dollars for something that does not have any commitment for the future.