Mackie Control Unit & Extender

I am using latest C6 x32 on Win7 x64. I have a Mackie Control Unit (lastest firmware) and 4 Mackie Extenders (latest firmware). 3 of the extenders are attached to the MIDI ports of the Mackie Control Unit, while the remaining Extender is attached to an ESI M4U XL 4-port MIDI USB interface. All Mackie units have been set up properly in C6.

When I start C6, the display of one of the Extenders (it is always the same unit) shows “…U…N…S…”. I have to shut down C6 and restart; after this, said Extender will work correctly, but another Extender (always the one linked to the ESI), which worked correctly upon the first startup, will still display “Connection terminated // Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH 2011”, so it will not come up with the proper display (like channel names and “Left / Right” for pan).

I have to shut down C6 for another 4-5 times and restart, and after the 4th or 5th time the unit which was not initialized properly during the first startup of C6 will now work correctly and show the right display content. It does not matter for this procedure if I switch this Extender off and on between C6 restarts.

I was told that this did not happen with C5, but I have never checked by myself. I tried to swap the Extenders, but this did not help.

Everybody will understand that starting C6 for a total of 5-6 times until it is ready to go is quite annoying. If I shut down C6 after working, and restart, the Mackie units will work correctly right from the start. If I shut down the computer (but not the Mackies), and then start up again, I will have to go through the same Mackie initialization process again.

Anybody who has the same experiences?

Yeah! I had the same problem. In fact it got on my nerves sooooo much I stopped using the MCU USB interface completely and no my MCU Pros are all going through an external MIDI interface (MIDIsport 8x8) which i bought specially on eBay and the problem went away. Now it boots up every time just fine and they work first time, every time. I seem to remember the XTs go through the MIDIsport and the MCU Pro main unit is connected through my fireface800 MIDI I/O. I’m away from the studio at the moment so I can’t check.

Hope you can get it fixed. Mackie said it was Steinie’s problem and Steinie blamed Mackie so I just had to work it out for myself. The problem COULD be the MCU USB MIDI interface, it’s probably worth a try if you have a few other MIDI interfaces.

Good luck!


Thanks, James, good hint. This seems to have solved it; I have used my MIDI interfaces to work around the built-in Mackie USB/MIDI interface. Funny enough it has always worked quite well with Reaper, so I guess it is the combination of C6 and the Mackie USB/MIDI interface which has caused the problem.

Oh great!

It’s a cubase bug for sure, but you try and get Steinberg to even test for it!!

I also use StudioOne and it works fine with that using the Mackie USB interface. It usedto work in cubase 4 but has been dodgy since C5. I’ve never tried Reaper but I BET it does work with that. It also worked fine on another system running Sonar PE8.5.

If Steinberg would just admit that there’s a problem with the way Cubase uses the Mackie devices in native USB midi mode it would be good, but in the mean time this workaround works for C6 and all the other apps just carry on working regardless :wink:

Very glad it worked for you.