Recommendations for Control Surface

Hey, new user doing a rebuild of my studio after being closed for a bit.
Replacing my current DAW with Cubase 10 Pro and looking for a control surface that works with my current workflow.
I do audio for video (music, voice over, snd fx) and looking for specific features:

  1. Shuttle/Jog wheel that allows scrub to frame, full integration with Cubase 10
  2. 8-16 motorized faders for active mixing
  3. Short cut buttons for channel features, editing,markers and fx - so I don’t have to keep going back to keyboard/mouse
  4. Transport controls

Its cool if its a combo of control surfaces, but I really hope to cover the above.
I’m using a Win 10 Pro 64 system and Motu interfaces.

Please base this on current experience and currently available products with support- I need to rebuild my client base and need everything to be reliable and tested as I move forward.

This is a serious request.

The serious reply would probably be Yamaha Nuage. I have never used one, but I’m pretty sure that is as close to Cubase as you can get based on other users experiences.

If that is out of your price range, I would suggest you do a search in forums such as Gearslutz and read about all the different controllers plus all the general complaints. A few of them include any DAW controllers that use Mackie Protocol and how that hinders workflow. Generally, everyone wants something different in a DAW controller. And they always want it for less money than what is available and can’t believe a company hasn’t built one that suits their needs.

As for your requirements, there are many that would do the job, but I strongly suggest you do your research. What do you mean by “editing, markers and fx?” IMO, there are few users who are completely happy with any DAW controller other than the Nuage for the reasons above. A DAW controller with any DAW is like pushing a square peg through a round hole. Any DAW controller can do the simple mix console functions of pan, solo, mute, etc. But DAWs go many depths further, and unless you have the money for Nuage, I question whether or not you would be fully satisfied.

Some things are just better with a mouse unless you have a physical disability.

Mackie based hardware solution for jug wheel/transport/fader:

Behringer x touch, presonus faderport, icon, mackie.
This will give you hardware based transport controll with shuttle functions, 1 to 35 channel(s) fader control with or without scribble strip(s) depending on the version(s) you buy.

Combine this with a (multiple?) Wireless tablet solution (cubase icpro, metagrid, lemur or touchosc) for controlling shortcuts, buttons and faders.

The Mackie Control Pro is still a good one.
Actually i changed it to the CC121 from Steinberg.
Because i did not need the full 8 faders anymore.
You can buy mine if you want to.

Yeah MCU controller is the best for the price i think, i love using mine with Cubase for the points you highlight. The X Touch is a good budget option using the same protocol.

Plus, you’re not tied to Steinberg with the hardware - it’s fully universal.

Yamaha Nuage is a league of its own and in my world, the only serious hardware controler on the market. Considering what you get, then it’s not expensive. It’s a pro tool that gives you full control over Cubase/Nuendo/Pro Tools.
The system is easy to use, extremly versatile and build your system as you wish. Nuage give full control over the entire workflow.

Liine Lemur and a large touch screen. Samsung makes one for about $500.

Endless customization and works great with Cubase.

DTouch for Cubase… multi mixer ans All the macro/shortcuts

The answer depends on what your budget is. I’ve never tried a Nuage, but I assume it works well with Cubase.

Otherwise, the Avid Artist product line is probably the best bet for control surfaces with Cubase at the moment under $2K. For me, Eucon works better than Mackie protocol. For example, the fader banking follows the track selections in Cubase in Eucon, but not in Mackie. A combination of an Artist Mix and an Artist Control will do what you want.

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You should take a serious look at the Slate Raven. I’d been using MCU + 2 expanders for years, but got tired of constantly dealing with jittery/bad/noisy faders. The Raven is far superior (but not perfect!) and Slate’s included Batch Commander software makes it a game changer.

I would agree with this but I think the latest incarnation of this would be an Avid S1 (Just about to become available) combined with an Avid Dock. Do your research if a Jog/Shutttle is important to you though. In my experience, this feature does work with Eucon controllers but not as well as one would like. :slight_smile:

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The world of Eucon always looks confusing to me, aren’t they locked via some authentication software? It seems a platform which is far more open to failure (reading all the unhappy reports here) and you’re never sure which devices work well with Cubase, some have large screen displays for example and different buttons/faders.

Mackie/MCU is far more universal as a controller and auto fader banking, as much as I’d like it, has never truly caused me a problem. But, I use the Mackie as the primary controller, rather than a slave to my mouse/onscreen navigation.

I’ve used Eucon with Cubase for I guess around 6 years and it’s been more or less bullet proof for me. I don’t know about ‘locked’ -you just need to install the Eucon software in much the same way you would need to install software for an audio interface. I guess you might say the protocol is locked in that nobody other than Avid is licensed to manufacture Eucon compatible hardware.

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No authentication is required. The gripes around here about Eucon are not about reliability. They are about how Cubase doesn’t take full advantage of it. It’s a very powerful protocol, and gets active support and regular updates from Avid. Cubase is behind on using all the features of the protocol.

One other factor, and this probably marks me as a shallow person :slight_smile:, but the design of the artist series controllers is damn sleek. It just looks good on your desk.

I have a Mackie MCU. It’s reliable and built like a tank.

I owned a Behringer X-Touch but sold it. It works fine and supports the MCU protocol, but the angle of the LCD made it hard to read, even after propping it up to about a 15 degree angle. Additionally, while it certainly costs less than the Mackie, it also feels cheaper in terms of construction. That doesn’t really affect functionality, just my subjective perception. The only other thing is that there is absolutely zero support for it from Behringer. There’s a user forum that’s just north of a ghost town and I had some initial configuration issues that were difficult to resolve because of the lack of support.

The NuAge looks very sexy and certainly appears to be an excellent choice. However, you’re talking a serious five figure investment to go this path. The 16 channel fader module is $13,000 and the master section is $11,500. I’m not sure how much better a spend of $25,000 is for a 16 channel control surface versus something like a Mackie MCU ($1,300) and an 8 fader expansion ($900). The Mackie solution is roughly 10% the price of the equivalent NuAge. While I’m sure the latter has a few more bells and whistles, I’m not sure how that justifies the other 90% of the price.

That said, if someone would like to give me a NuAge for free I’d certainly play with it. :slight_smile:

First off, thanks to everyone for taking time to respond.
I will probably be asking specific questions.

To clarify a few things, as I said in the original post, I would prefer personal experiences with gear and not recommendations off of articles and reviews.
I can google reviews just fine - what I am not getting is solid info on Shuttle/Jog wheel integration with Cubase 10 Pro - which is very important to me.
I of seen in a few places that gear that worked fine with Cubase 9 has had issues with Shuttle control for Cubase 10, so I am trying to get confirmation on what works specific to Cubase 10 for shuttle controls - and how well they work.
Price range? I’m flexible, but I am pretty sure a Nuage Fader bank and Master control set up will run about $20,000 and that gets too steep for me at the moment. Once I have my client base back, I can consider dropping more $$$ - but ideally for now, with how much it has been getting a new PC, new software, and upgrading gear - $1000-$3000 range preferred, up to $5k if it really covers all the bases.

Thanks again.

How well does the MCU Jog wheel and scrub controls work with Cubase Pro 10?
Can you get pretty good precision if trying to scrub to a video frame for example?
Are you using the MCU with the fader extender? How are they together when changing fader banks?


How does the Jog/Shuttle controls compare between the CC121 and the MCU?

While I am interested in the CC121, I really want banks of faders - I often mix a handful at a time and can’t stand using mouse or touch screens for mixing.


My setup only has the MCU, not the extender. Also, I make minimal use of the jog wheel, so I can’t really speak to either. As for how well it works with Cubase, I find it rock solid. Hope this helps.