Mackie Control conflict with Arturia Keylab 61 mkII and Behringer X-Touch

Hi all,

I’m new to this forum and started composing again on a brand new home studio with cubase pro after 25 years of non activity. (I used to use cubase on atari 1040st). Overwhelming to see what is possible with cubase today.

Everything works fine except a “mackie control” related hardware issue.
It’s about the combination of the arturia Keylab 61 mkII and the behringer X-touch.

Both controllers have to be added as Mackie Control units in Cubase Pro.
As long as I add only 1 “mackie control” in my studio setup
and relate it to the arturia Keylab 61 mkII only
or the behringer X-touch only,
both units work as expected and very reliable.

However, if a add a second mackie control in my studio setup,
and combine both controllers,
they don’t work as expected anymore.

here’s what i did:
I added the arturia Keylab 61 mkII as a “mackie control” and the behringer X-touch as “mackie control 2”.
The keylab daw mode is selected as Cubase.

In combination with each other the behringer X-touch the fader bank buttons do not respond anymore. (i can’t switch the banks anymore)
For the arturia keylab, the buttons “solo”, “record” and “mute” don’t respond anymore.
This is quite annoying.

Is there a solution to configure both controllers in order to work properly together?

Thanks in advance,

Hi KmxOrbit,

one option is, to set up the X-Touch as a Generic Remote. It allows to assign each button, fader or knob its own function in Cubase/Nuendo. Even selectable banks can be set up.

However, it requires (quite) some time, until things are assembled. A special role plays unexpected behavior of the Cubase software, which kicks in here and there. E.g. it does keep faders assigned, if changing projects.

I went through this intense exercise over the last couple of weeks while connecting a (hardware modified) Yamaha 01x as a Mackie Control. As a side effect, I learned Midi inside-out. Not sure, how close I am already to be an expert. :wink:

Another option could be to resolve the problem of conflicting Midi messages. You could use some software to translate Midi messages, or even selectively re-route Midi channels, merge or split incoming midi. For this I am using Midi-Ox in combination with e.g. LoopBe or Springbeats (Virtual Midi ports). OK, this is for a Windows PC. I don’t know, how to do this in MacOs.

Perhaps, this gives you some ideas.

Hello TSJus,

Thank you for your insight. It sure helps.
You confirm the solution I also had in my mind. (which is to create a generic controller setup for one of the 2 controllers.)
Unfortunately, I lack the time to do this now.
Nevertheless, thanks for your feedback.

I wonder why I can’t find anything on the internet for this problem with a simple straightforward solution.
I guess, I’m not the only one having these types of conflicts?

Somebody else having a quick solution?

It would make more sense to set up the Keylab as a Generic Remote, as the displays on the X-Touch will not work if it is set up as a Generic Remote.

This is the sort of situation where I would be tempted to write something that goes in between Cubase and the hardware using MIDI loopback ports and something like Max, Pure Data or Bome MIDI Translator Pro. I think Plogue Bidule could also be used, but I have no experience with it. This article discusses the approach and gives an example.

Unfortunately, Pure Data is rather rough around the edges, especially when it comes to documentation and tutorials. It is open source and free of charge.

Max is a much more polished environment, but a licence is expensive even with the current 25% off sale. I have a full perpetual licence for Max 8, so it is my ‘go to’ tool for this sort of task. I think you merely lose the ability to save patches if you do not have a current licence, so I think it is possible to use the trial period and/or a monthly subscription to get things sorted, then stop paying if you have no further use for Max other than running the patch(es) you have created.

Bome MIDI Translator Pro is good as far as it goes, but it is limited in the sophistication of what you can do. If it does all you need, it is a great solution.

Hi David W,

Thank you for input.
I previously had seen the MAX program work in a youtube clip with cubase and the X-Touch.
It seems that the price and the learning curve are rather steep.
I didn’t know about the other 2. Especially the Bome program seems to be a viable option.
Thank you for your time to post this. Very much appreciated.

Not sure I’m going that way though. If I need to (re)program stuff, It might be a tighter option to create a generic remote like TSJus suggested, isn’t it?
Are there any (free or paid) tutorials to configure generic controls in Cubase 10?

I think you will need a Generic Remote in Cubase for one device (likely the Keylab) no matter what - from memory, Cubase will always try to treat two Mackie Controls as making one combined control surface with 16 channels plus a master. Generic Remote is how you define user configurable controls. Tha advantage of putting Max or similar between the device and Cubase is that you can implement things that you cannot implement directly in Cubase, such as banks of controls. It also gives you the opportunity to manipulate return data from Cubase into what the controller expects.

You are right to say the learning curve for Max can be rather steep. It helped that I’m a former software engineer who is used to manipulating data. I used to work for a networking company.

I would always start an endeavour like this by implementing what you can with Generic Remote - the time to reach for other tools is if Generic Remote alone and the Quick Controls together cannot do what you want.

The documentation on Generic Remote is pretty good - the most important things are to make sure the flags are correct, also any controller inputs have the ‘In "All MIDI Inputs’ column unchecked in the MIDI Port Setup page of Studio Setup.

To be honest, the remote control part of Cubase could do with a complete overhaul. An open, extensible interface would bring Cubase into line with some of their competitors, such as Bitwig. Some of the controllers Cubase supports are long obsolete types. Mackie Control has its limitations (especially the limited size of the displays) and Cubase does not support some of the extensions, such as the second display on the Icon QCon Pro X. Eucon is now limited to Avid hardware by licensing (Avid bought Euphonix, who developed the protocol) and those who have Avid hardware are complaining that Cubase’s Eucon support could do with some attention. There is no support for OSC. If you have particular goals in mind, there is often no alternative to using a tool like Max to sit between Cubase and the hardware.

I hope MIDI 2.0 will bring more standardisation to controllers and control surfaces but MIDI 2.0 standardisation, let alone software and hardware supporting MIDI 2.0, are still some way off. When MIDI 2.0 is here, there will still be a requirement to support legacy MIDI controllers.

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Makes absolutely sense.

From having re-read the posts here, I think there is a key problem of the two controllers to co-exist as Macki Controllers. Especially the two sets of faders may bite each other as they are sending absolute data.

Background is, tthat the Xtouch with its motor faders would respond (theoretically) to when the Arturia faders are moved. But the Arturia, which has no motor faders, does not follow the changes of its sister fader in the XTouch. So the problem occurs as soon as two corresponding faders (try to) send different values. However, this view may be incorrect given what Davidw stated. Read on.

In that light, the following is interesting:

THis sounds like Cubase is “smart merging” the two sets of faders. Interesting.

Besides that: Using Mackie Control in my case allows me to use the Bank Select buttons to witch between four banks as assigned in Cubase.

it’s been a while…

How did you resolve the conflicts between the two devices (X-touch and Keylab)?

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I would quite like to know how this transpired too.

A bit like driving a new car, when you see another of the same colour it’s always good knowing someone else out there has the same things as you and I have the exact same two pieces of hardware and the very same problem with Cubase (11 Pro if that makes a difference).

When I spotted what was happening (hanging notes, playing notes when pressing transport buttons and other deleted scenes from Poltergeist) my first thoughts were that both KeyLab and X-Touch were getting the same instructions and the solution was probably to separate them MIDIwise… MIDIly… Mid-MIDI message-ly so to speak :smiley: .

Easier said than done for me due to a neurological condition that has made learning tragically hard for at least 10 years now. In the past I have known how to solve issues like this. Back in the 90sI had been really whizzy on all of this stuff (Cubase, MIDI, problem solving) . Back then I honestly knew it inside out for work. Alas the years and the Neuro stuff mean that it all seems like it has faded away.

I’m persevering with it all though in my quest to keep my head active, remain entertained and to feel I’m accomplishing something with my time rather than just taking the tablets and drinking coffee. Having said that both coffee and tablets do prevent a far worse fate. That of watching daytime TV. It would be all too easy to discover an embarrassing sex issues that plainly can only resolved by cooking, buying antiques and selling houses that may, or may not be some place in the sun or possibly in the country. Give me MIDI issues lord that I may be saved!

Apart from Danix the other posts are fairly old so I wonder if a great solution has been found. You would have thought Arturia and Behringer are big enough and popular enough to see a need for some templates, updates or at least better guides for DAW users. It’s not like cubase is unheard of or unpopular. I think what shocked me most when searching for an answer to this was finding Arturia have produced videos for Ableton, Logic and others but Cubase seems to be mentioned almost in passing! :frowning:

So Any clever people out there who could take pity on a miserable sinner like me in solving this issue would be appreciated greatly :slight_smile:

Thanks you