Should I buy the CC121??

Hey gang, N5 user here…LONG time Nuendo abuser!

Years ago relied on the Mackie Control and loved it. Got rid of it due to size issues and no longer needed that many faders to do my work. Curretnly have the Alphatrack and i simply use the fader only. Its OK as far as SOME of the nuendo integration but i wish it had more. THe thought of having the E button to up up the editor is yummy, the ability to have the automation R/W buttons is very tempting. Several things concern me. Steiny has been odd about hardware. Seemingly have a love it one minuite and leave it another. I dont want a controller thats gonna be obsolete the day it rolls off the factory floor (so to speak). I know Steiny is in awe of its new CMC plastic toys that simply dont appeal to a serious professional…at least not to me. This 121 looks like a good mid level CS for my Nuendo rig.

Has it already been forgotten by Steiny? (aka Houston)
Does it require USB power and a Wall wart?
How does the fader feel?
Any major bugs i should know about?

or should this thing be avoided at all costs?

Again, my Alphatrack is used for its fader only and rarely, if ever, use its transport and other buttons. I know i’d use the 121 as its designed for Nuendo/Cubase.

What say ye?

Dennis in Memphis

I have one.

Maybe I underuse it because of my insufficient Cubase knowledge and lack of good workflow.
Bought it, because my MIDI master keyboard is the worst controller nightmare there is (read: The only thing that works are the keys, the pitch bend, the modulation wheel, and sometimes one knob or two).
So far, I haven’t used it much/hasn’t been worth the money - but that may very well be me.

I intended to buy the AKAI MPK-88, and think then the CC-121 would be superfluous for me.
Maybe if I buy a Fatar Numa Nero instead, the CC121 will have its justification.


Hey Denicio!!..

long time adopter of the CC121…and honestly couldnt even dream of using the program now without it…its easily integrated…just the right size for handling on the desktop, without being too obtrusive…the fader is TOP quality…(Alps as a reference) feels really smooth & robust…Ive had mine for 2 odd years…never a glitch, after a few flunky oversights at launch, now all the gripes I had with it are gone…I love the fact that you can now control the Quick Controls on each track…(great timesaver for automation,and hand ons control of parameters…never had it flinch on me once…(I use it daily for about 12 hrs a day…never faultered) so build wise i put it in “about the best there is” level…its VERY easily integrated into your workflow…I simply have one hand (left) welded to it during work…it just feels a cool solid piece of kit…Im currently thinking of buying teh CC121 rack for teh CMC modules, and integrate a CMC PD / CMC QC then you have a shedload of hands on control alongside the cc121.

gripes, are that the lighting on the unit could be better utilised, but for me its no biggie…cant say its been forgotten about in real terms as they updated its firmware,and useability over teh last 2 yrs, to get it fully operational as such…no problems here, or hiccups…only thing I could push for is using the lighting to its fullest effect…(but personally I dont find that an issue)…but overall…even if they never released any more updates,as such, it just does want you need it to do, and thats control/select tracks,levels solo,mute…punch in,play, VSTi open/close…sends blah etc etc as it SHOULD…so all in all I wouldnt hesitate to buy another.or should I say I would probably buy a big brother with more faders if it came along.

Its powered by a wall wart…but its got a decent length of cable, in fact in 2 odd years all I do is just switch the power button on…i dont think of anything else about it, as to me…“its just a part of cubase”…

I can vouch and say, buildwise, you wont be disappointed, along with reliability, I wouldnt think of using anything else, because its just “right on the money” regarding features I need during Cubase sessions…the control of the EQ section ,has been a bit jittery, regarding resolution, but its no big deal as I use the Studio EQ, & external eq’s and quick controls…not the channel EQ …

I certainly would buy another 2morrow, if mine gave up the ghost…but I cant see that happening…not for a long time, it feels solid…and if I really think they would push the CC121 to the side, in favour of Steinberg pushing the CMC series and fogetting about the CC121.Well I would def just buy a second unit as a backup! just in case!> :laughing:

IT WILL DO ALL YOU NEED IT TO DO WITHOUT WORRY!..THATS A GUARANTEE! I personally couldnt recommend it highly enough m8!..great integration, and speeds up my workflow & mousing by a heavy margin!. :wink:

I just noticed your using the UAD cards denocio…well you will LOVE the Quick Controls feature…after assigning the parameters of your UAD Plugs…when you select a channel…you have Immediate hands on control of your UAD plugs knobs,etc…killer! :laughing:

I think personally that it is an unbelivable tool. It does a whole lot of things that are of benefit (for me), using my left hand. Since I almost always play the main keyboard while creating, I can just as easily as moving my right hand to the mouse, move my left hand to the CC121 and adjust various items. Volume, EQualizer, or my absolute favorite, the Quick Controls (QC). This is awesome for tweaking my sounds (or built-in presets) while playing. The AI knob is cool too, though I mostly used it while creating sounds. One thing here, that would be even of further excellence,

Has it been forgotten? Depends on how you look at it. (They have updated it for additional functionality in the past.) It does what they set out for it to do, I would say. Are they going to send out an update every other month, no. Does it work? Yes, absolutely! Are they going to add everything people ask for? Probably not.
It can be run on USB power or with a wall wart. On USB power, no motorized fader is available.
The fader feels like a fader… :slight_smile: It’s alright, there is nothing wrong with it.
I do not have any problems with it. I love it!!!
I do not belive it should be avoided at all cost. That, IMHO, would be missing out on great technology.

Wow, those are some glowing reviews! Thanks for the input. I miss my mackie control, no doubt. The Alpha track is lacking badly and the 121 looks like the smart money for me.

Price seems a tad high on retail. Have to see what GC can do for me.

Thanks guys!


Any time, mate.

I wasn’t trying to make a review OR glowing, but merely relay my perception and satisfaction.

One additional question. Anyone know if it works at all with Sony’s Vegas software too?

My mackie control could operate in different DAW universes, Frontier seems to not want to play well wiht Sony.

I use Vegas 11 about 20% of the time on editing stuff and it would be HUGE to have a CS again.

I doubt it works with anything other than Cubase/Nuendo

And it also works in Wavelab 7, which is a big plus for those of us who also use that program in addition to Cubase.

It works quiet well with REAPER too. Someone started a CC121 plugin for Sonar but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a final version in the wild.

Oh yes, you are right, I remember they put in some nifty features there as well.

Got one today and I love it.
I just discovered quick controls today when I was messing around with it and wow, been using cubase for 2 years and thought quick controls were useless…silly me.

only thing that annoys me is they could have put another 4 function Burtons on and made the value knob switch between banks on them…

They could have done quite a few things to the unit, which in my view smacks of being a pared-down version of what might have been a much more comprehensive initial design.

Sensible use of button illumination would have been a start

Well at some stage they have to say stop.
Would have been nice to have 4 faders instead of 1, each with separate pan control.
Lighting on the EQ knobs when they are active
An AI knob that you can press down to select.
etc etc.
I think what they have is fine but is 5% short due to the small limitations of mapping.

I have a CC121 and it has been great. I’ve had it for about a year now. I went through recording engineer school back in the late 80s, yes, I’m that old, and just got back into recording in a digital environment. The CC121 is a great bridge between the old and the new and I would be hard pressed to go back to using just a mouse to control my Cubase 6 system. Yes, the lighting on the buttons could be configurable, but that is serious nit picking, and by no means a show stopper. And Im always reminded that Internet forums are great for serious nit picking.