SSL UC1 + UF1 or X-Touch One

Hi,

With the UC1, track follow works perfectly in both directions. I now want to buy a single fader with a jog wheel. Track follow should also work with the UF1, what about the X-Touch One in this regard? Does anyone have experience?

I had one for testing (twice, actually - one time with the updated firmware). The hardware doesn’t follow random channel selections done by mouse on the screen, if this is what you mean. It’s even mentioned in SSL’s ReadMe somewhere, IIRC.

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I have the UF1 here with the latest update v1.6.12.56177.
For me, Track Follow only works within a bank, e.g. Tracks 1 - 8. As soon as I go from Track 8 to 9 on the screen, the UF1 (and the UF8) gets stuck. When leaving the bank you have to manually change the bank at UF1.

The same with the Behringer X-Touch-One. Track Follow only works from tracks 1-8. The only one that can consistently track follow is the small Presonus Classic with 1 fader. Version 1. No idea why Presonus can do that and everyone else can’t.

If this is just due to my settings, I would be grateful for a tip on how to work across banks with the UF1 and UF8.

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If I remember the info of my local SSL product specialist correctly there is a decisive parameter missing in Steinberg’s implementation of the protocol. That’s a pity for the 3rd-party hardware manufacturers as it renders their controllers considerably less useful.

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That can’t be Steinberg’s fault. The Presonus Faderport Classic 1 can easily follow all tracks. And the Auro Nektarine Beat Composer also follows the track selection. With both you can go from track 3 to track 43 and the devices follow. The Aura Nectarine can also display 23 characters of track names. While SSL claims the shortened name is due to Steinberg. That’s nonsense.
And even the ancient Roland V700 (8 fader) was able to follow the tracks with Cubase and could change the banks. SSL should hire a programmer.

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I own the UF8/UF1/UC1 combo. The new 1.6 update allows for track follow and banking with the mouse or the UF1/UC1 - IF - you put the UF8 or UF1 in ‘Plug-in Mixer’ mode and instantiate one of their channel strips on every channel.

That may or may not suit your workflow.

It appears that SSL is addressing the MCU limitation within their Plug-in Mixer implementation that sits on top of MCU. The end result is you have to do some switching between MCU and the Plug-in Mixer on layers to get the functionality that many of us want.

It’s a bit cumbersome, but all in all, it works and is not a bad system.

tg

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I bought an X-Touch One in order to have a fader to which to assign midi controllers (including CC 11 and others). Never been able to. I asked berhinger technical support. Never got an answer. It’s for sale on Reverb. Negotiable!

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At this point, after doing many months of researching, crying, and soul searching, I’ve realized that the best controller out there by far is the Avid S1. Yes, it has some quirks with Nuendo, but nothing else beats it.

Softtube came close but I don’t like the idea of taking up space by having a plugin on every track to talk to it. SSL’s is beautiful and since I run live events on the L550 it feels very comfortable but still has banking limitations.

I’d recommend the pay once cry once approach and just save for a small Master Dock+Fader S1 Eucon setup with Avid. Maybe get a presonus single fader or X Touch until then if you need something immediate.

A better choice would be Steinberg making budget friendly controllers. I’m hoping they ride Yamaha’s release of the DM3 and make a more studio centered one. Tiny baby Nuage. Please. :pleading_face:

The hybrid uses are nice but unless you’re doing tracking/streaming/live it’s practically useless in a post studio.

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I also don’t find it particularly practical to add a plugin to every channel and put an SSL mixer on my Nuendo mixer. Nevertheless, the UC1 is currently the best channel strip solution for me. I also think it would be very nice if Steinberg offered its own controllers for their EQ and channel strip. In the next step, Steinberg could open the channel strip for 3rd party plugins.

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Great idea! :smiley: … Don’t be too optimistic, though: This has been suggested since Nuendo v1, back in the year 2000.

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UF1 Definitely does not follow track beyond 8 channels. I sent my UF1 back and made sure it was in immaculate condition to do so. Total failure of design I don’t care who you blame.

The UF1 scroll wheel (I don’t mean the jog wheel) had me momentarily tempted to keep the IF1, as it allows very fast track selection. But by the time you have engaged your brain to reach your hand our for that, and taken your eye away from the business in sceen, you might as well pick up the mouse and just do it on the mixer window.

Add an SSL plug on every channel? A joke right. Especially as I had to dump the SSL meter plug (which was pretty on the UF1 for about an hour) as it tanks the CPU of a 24 core Mac Pro. SSL plugins are hungry.

I have now added an Avid Dock to my three S1s. Two of the S1s control my main DAW and the other my secondary DAW (also nuendo) which I use as a metaproject container and video output station. I compose music cues on the main DAW. Together with some monogram controllers and also a XKeys air midi keyboard my workspace is getting pretty crammed with kit. I look like some crazy bad guy in a James Bond movie.
Anyways The Avid dock is great (so far) and follows track because it’s eucon. Duh. But it’s so huge and also vertically very tall blocking my view of my monitors.
So nothing really adds up here. I may have to let the dock go too because it’s too big. Unless I switch from my current 3 screen array and get the Apple 6k screen, and change tack to a one window at a time workflow. Which would allow the dock to have some space.
I have a CC121 and you know what? It just works. I may ditch the Avid Dock and stick with that.

Come on Steinberg. This is 2023!! What is going on? Please update MCU and while you’re at it create a modern version of Cc121. No it doesn’t need to be an audio interface!

Or - Avid could license out eucon so others can make fictioning controllers. I mean Steinberg did originally design the protocol with euphonix. Until Avid bought it and locked it away.

The dock is so tempting and has the only pro weighted jog wheel out there (although some of the buttons are a bit flakey if I’m honest).

Please Steinberg. Get involved in this. Thx.

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I’ve had a lot of controllers, but I’m back to mouse and keyboard (with a lot of work on shortcuts and macros, and a wired keyboard, still faster than wireless - I have friends in mixing who also keep the wired mouse, which is faster, as is the case for video games). Nothing better. I prefer to add screens (I have 3 or 4, depending on the “music” or “mixing” setup). If my hands are already on my mouse and keyboard, I don’t see why I have to give them up to press a button, sometimes a bit far away. And since my eyes are also already on my main screen or the sides, I wonder why my gaze would leave them to follow my hand to the button. That said, it’s a personal reflection based on my own experience. It’s also very economical and bug-free!

Update: I have to pull myself together a bit, because I still have an old Avid Transport (I could do without it), Softube’s Console 1 (because of the superb plugins), but I took it out of its box and put it in my cupboard, and then, for automation, this superb and irreplaceable simple device that works like a charm:

USB &Din MIDI Controller 8 Faders programmable CC#/Channel/Range DAW/

USB &Din MIDI Controller 8 Faders programmable CC#/Channel/Range DAW/ | eBay

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A lot of this keeps getting covered, and I’ve had my share of opinions on this.

There is space for a controller in most workflows, but it’s not what you might think at the beginning. The reality is that (at least in post, but probably in music too), todays tools are so complex that it’s difficult to impossible to do everything from a controller. You need to go back to the keyboard and mouse, and once you do that, why not do most of it there? That’s particularly true for the small to medium sized controllers, maybe not entirely if you have a bigger board. So a lot of hopes get dashed once you get into it, but I don’t think they were realistic looking back at them.

That being said, there is a place for a controller once you find it. It depends a bit on having a very consistent workflow/setup so you can create muscle memory, and finding that middle ground where you become more efficient, not less splitting your attention between the two.

I do find that once I set it up right, and have specific button and specific track configurations where I’m not staring at 200 tracks, but maybe one or two pages for the task at hand, I do become faster and more focused. And it’s nice to have buttons that stay in one place and are a single button press, not a three finger contortion, a good fader move, or a good knob turn. They become more even than what I can do with the mouse.

As to the UC1 - yes, having to utilize SSL channel strips can be a bit confining when you so much to chose from. And doing your EQ in the channel strip rather than a versatile FabFilter Q3, etc. But there too, I’ve found that with all the gobs of plugins we have, it sometimes gets you side-tracked. There is value in having just a 4 band EQ without RTA display, it makes you listen to what you’re doing and focuses you on the important stuff. My bigger gripe with the SSL plugins, and a discussion I’ve had with them in detail, is that they all stop at stereo channel layouts. So they’re not as usable in large mixes.

As to the UF1 - getting past the limitations of various protocols would definitely make it better. I actually care less about the fader but more the other parts. I use it for zoom and navigation, transport, the wheel, and also the knob on any other plugin parameter if I want to turn a knob while listening (you can close your eyes and focus).

The SSL360 plugin mixer is evolving and finally mostly usable in post now that it has sends and controls the actual faders. One way of thinking is to setup your mix with keyboard and mouse, and then when you have it setup, bring it up in SSL360 with all the faders across the screen and then do your refinement there, instead of the temptations of your plugin dropdown, etc.

That’s where I landed with my rationalization. Could you do a lot of that with the Nuendo mix window and even the Nuendo channel strip as well? Of course. It’s just a matter of choice and also how much you enjoy it. At the end of the day, it’s not just what you do, but how much you like doing it. If you find joy in keeping it absolutely minimal in one window, fantastic. If you can find your sweet spot with whatever controller suits you and a combination of plugins, perfectly fine. It’s a personal preference and style. No right or wrong answer.

And there is an interesting experience to offset all of this debate: Try working on a live console and experience the limitations of that workflow. I have an Allen & Heath console for some location work I do, and experimented with setting up some mixes on it just to tinker with workflow. It demonstrates just how complex DAW workflows have become in contrast. Even though even live consoles now often have external processors with bigger plugin chains. And there isn’t necessarily mouse and keyboard. And you truly appreciate the art of designing button layouts and working real-time. It’s a very different workflow, worth having as a matter of contrast.

Yes, I’m slightly biased towards SSL, some for rational reasons, so for less rational ones. I’m also in their beta program and have gotten to know some of the folks, which definitely reinforces my bias. But I also have to enjoy working with the tools, or it’s not worth it. So far it still is, despite a few bumps. They’ve been listening to feedback quite keenly I have to say.

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There’s a lot that’s right and good in your comment. Of course, I was only giving a testimonial. I’ve never been satisfied with a control surface before. I just wanted to say that. I also think it’s a bit like reinventing the wheel, especially for people like me who didn’t learn the trade on a physical console, but directly in a DAW.

That said, one of my main points is that too many different plugins is a dangerous game. This is one of the qualities of the Softube Console. For my part, most of the time, I insert the same strip everywhere (Gate-EQ-Comp-Drive). This brings a great unity of sound to the mix, a bit like what analog consoles used to give. Variations in adjustments, but unity of sound. As for Softube, inserting one instance per track isn’t such a greedy process, I think, although I do insert them on group tracks, which are fewer in number by definition. I’m curious to try it on 50 direct tracks. I’d be confident.

In conclusion, it’s clear that all avenues have their strengths and weaknesses, and that everyone must analyze the path according to their own tastes and requirements. For my part, my choice is made, even if I still have a nasty curiosity about consoles and control surfaces… But the money I save by doing without them is invested elsewhere (as in my 7.1.4 monitoring, and soon 9.1.6).

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I think there is a lot to that. We get bombarded with all the plugin sales pitches and discussions on the forum, all of which make it sound like click bait headlines ‘successful mixers used this plugin’ or ‘your sound will be great if you use that plugin’. It’s easy to get carried away and create a muddy soup.

Which is what I do like about setting up a consistent workflow with a few basic plugins, and then only add to that to fix specific and important issues.

btw - the same is true for control surfaces. Lots of marketing, if you only had this control surface :-). In the end, whichever plugin and control surfaces makes you happy and makes it sound good to you and the client, is the only thing that matters.

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Is this also the case when using a UC-1 and UF-1 together? So assuming there’s an SSL channel strip plugin on each channel?

I’ll answer my own question. I now understand that when using the SSL Plugin Mixer, track follow works fully. It’s when using MCU that track follow is limited within the selected bank of 8 tracks.

It’s good to hear that you figured out the answer yourself. I wouldn’t have been able to provide an adequate solution anyway, as I returned the device after finding out about this limitation.