How do you use your Mackie Control?

So, I picked up a used MCU Pro last week. Running Cubase6.

I thought I’d start a thread talking about how YOU have your MCU integrated. There’s is SO little info I’ve found. I find little things like–the rotaries are push buttons, but do nothing? Not programmable? Am I missing a command to open a plug in GUI without creating a new instance?

I’ve seen reference to people creating “custom mixer views” and switching them to give better organization, which I NEED. I’m so used to my Akai’s banking logically–bank of 12 inputs…tracks1-12…tracks 13-24…group busses and Fx returns…this bank up/bank down while looking at a scribble strip is for the birds.

Anyway…there are threads all over with people having issues getting communication, etc–and people saying they love theirs, or hate it…but, very few regarding how they’ve set theirs up for use with Cubase’s implementation. Feel free to just post links if I’ve missed something.

So…tips? Tricks? Ways to integrate that are not just default settings?

Seriously? No one?

Ok…here’s a tip I’ve picked up–the whole bank of mixer views. Technically channel views. Is phenomenal…AFTER you’ve configured it for a song–ie, set up a view with just drums…just guitars…just FX and busses–stuff like that. Once that’s done, it’s pretty fab to switch between them, which of course the fader bank then reflects. Problem is, in order to do this in a template, you basically have to name tracks before thinking of recording them. Kinda bites. I guess grand scheme, taking 10 min at the beginning of a mix is a small price to pay–more concerned with using them for navigation as you record.

I’m so used to my Akai’s static banking…with direct access buttons like that–one press and I’m at the fx. One more and I’m mixing tracks 1-12, which are the drums/percussion…they navigate a fixed mixer…but, since Cubase’s mixer is dynamically created, makes it harder to make a controller that maps usefully. I’m frankly seeing the wisdom in the CC121 now. However–what a waste…all those knobs to control an EQ I wouldn’t use…

The manual is available from the Mackie website. It explains how to use all the different features.

Not really.

It absolutely DOES NOT explain how to use anything. It explains very little beyond connections/reset…it actually points you to the Cubase manual (to which there is a specific addendum) for specific mappings. Some of those are actually wrong in the C6 manual, which is obviously just a poorly edited version of the <4 manual.

Plus…the point is, there’s an entire control panel in cubase where you configure at least one row here to do any of thousands of features…so, what I was really looking for was a discussion of how users use it…not, “how does the jog wheel work” or anything.

So, how about this…if you USE a MCU and have not mapped ANYTHING custom…just say you use the default.

Personally…so far, not opening the plug GUI…not being able to change a channel’s monitor status…these are serious omissions for me. If anyone has FOUND those in the thousands of custom mappings, let me know.

I’ve mapped the F1-F8 buttons to open the first 8 plugins on each track. Works fine. I suspect you can map the monitor button as well, though I’ve not checked on that.


They open the plug GUI? I’ve scoured the menus…that would be a rockin use…totally what I’m looking for–next time you’re in font of it-open your device set up and tell me what the mapping is.

Bump for reply…dug through the config…still don’t see those as options.

Also, to make it timely…anyone have issues with 6.5 and MCU Pro?

Haven’t tried this personally, but I think you may need to use generic remote to map the function buttons for opening the GUIs of inserts. I particular, VST Mixer → Selected → Ins 1 → Edit.

Perhaps there is a way in the Mackie Control assignments, but I’m with you. I don’t see it.


I also never found much info on the web regarding the Mackie and Cubase…which is what made up my mind to spend the extra money and go the Avid Artist series route.

I love my Mackie and 2 extenders for the basic Mixing functions and automation. I haven’t done much with it beyond that. I have a Mackie C4 as well and it collects dust. I once started trying to interface it, but life got in the way.


The avid thing just emulates hui or mcu…it might feel better…and midi over Ethernet might respond quicker, but I wouldn’t think the functionality is different. No?

I’ll look when I’m down in the studio again. Can you set up a second “generic remote” and assign it the same midi IO as mcu? Just to define those? Odd that they let a generic remote have an option that the standard doesn’t. Maybe I missed it…but, I swear I’ve tried everything that looks like it might control that.

I really dig the switching through mixer views–even though Its dynamic per song. I set the first one to “all” so it’s easy to open back up…second “drums”…“band”…“lead instruments”…“fx and busses”…It takes a little diligence as I’m adding tracks and such to keep them assigned properly, but…if I can make the plug GUI open like mentioned above, I’ll be a happy camper–might even get an extender. With the mixer views, I hate having to go to the incremental bank for the drum kit which often makes up 10-14 tracks.

Side note…scared myself the other night…I temporarily have the MCU off to the side while I get it figured out and configured…anyway, I was moving a fader with the mouse–of course this moves the fader to my right…late night…I was like “what is that sound?” look back at the screen…move more with the mouse…luckily, I caught the movement out of the corner of my eye!

I can confirm…you CAN do this. You have to set up a second device that is a “generic remote control”. Assign it to the same MackieMCU midi port.

Delete all entries. Apply.

Now, you can add a function…use “learn” to have it pick up the note on message the mcu sends. Then at the bottom, where you define the function for the event, you set it up for vst mixer/selected/insert/edit…and choose toggle, otherwise, it’s only open while you hold it.

The setting is just not available in the MCU device set up…it is in the generic remote. Also, the channel listen is, too…but, that one is available in the mcu set up–I just didn’t get it to work. I know it’s possible, because I can via my Tranzport. Will work on that. This is cool. Opens up more possibilities to the unit. Makes me wonder if it would be more flexible to set it up 100% as a generic remote? There are some of the MCU default in changeable buttons I’ll never use…

As I said, I hadn’t tried it personally, but I thought it might work. Glad it worked out for you.

Generic Remote will not cover all your bases. In particular with feedback (automating the faders, knob LEDs and LCD strip). It’s also good for Left, Right, Previous, Add, Next (just above the transport). So you will need to keep the MCU driver as well.


Also…correction–it’s “mixer” not vst mixer.

Slight downside…it lets you open the GUI…but, you then still have to navigate to through the menus to adjust anything. Still easier/faster with a mouse and the griffin knob.

Hi !

Have a look at here, it should answer your questions ;o)

Scroll down the page to my first answer in the thread.

I used this with a BCF 2000 and then an iCON QCon Pro (and it also works perfectly with an MCU)

For this trick to work on the master, you’ll have to add a second GR peripheral and set it up so that when pressing “Master”, it selects the master in Cubase. Once you have finished recording and you are mixing, just reconfigure this second GR to select the Master Channel (that is because when you add track to your project, the GR shifts tracks).