Using 2 or more Mackie Control devices in Cubase 9, 10, 10.5, or 11 results in not being able to control all channels with any single device

I am creating this thread to make it perfectly clear what the problem is so it can be addressed, as that has not been done yet.

The Issue:
If you have more than one Mackie Control device, Cubase will assign 8 channels to each device, rather than allowing all devices to control all channels. While Mackie Control is an 8 channel protocol, it is possible to allow all devices to control all channels (it has been done on other DAWs).

I will give you an example of a simple way to reproduce the problem, though there are a nearly infinite number of ways you COULD show the same problem, others have mentioned various methods in this thread.

Here is an example method:
(REMEMBER: It does not have to be these two devices, it can be ANY two Mackie Control devices!)

  1. Create a song with 16+ tracks
  2. Connect a Presonus Faderport 1 and add it to device manager as a Mackie Control (as it must be used, it will not function in any other way)
  3. Connect a Roland FA-08 Keyboard and add the DAW CONTROL Midi channel to device manager as a Mackie Control (as it must be used, it will not function any other way)
  4. Attempt to scroll through all of the channels with the Faderport 1

The result will be that the Faderport 1 will not be able to access the last 8 channels, because the last 8 channels have been “assigned” to the FA-08 (even though the FA-08 is incapable of controlling those channels like the faderport is, the FA-08 uses Mackie Control primarily for Transport functions and a few others).

If you have a project with 30 tracks, the Faderport in this example will only be able to control channels 1-22 as the last 8 will be assigned to the FA-08.

There are a near infinity of ways to recreate the problem. If you have more than one Mackie Control device (of which there are hundreds), and one or more than one of those devices need to be able to control all channels, then you will encounter this problem. There are many situations where this could occur, essentially, any time someone tries to use a control surface as well as a Midi controller, piano or other device which also uses Mackie Control.

There is no way around this problem, 8 channels will always be assigned to each device, and there is no way for one device to control channels which “belong” to another device. Considering how many different devices use Mackie Control, its really unacceptable for Cubase to be so limited in this way. I understand the Mackie Control is an imperfect protocol, but it is an industry standard and others have made it work. There is no reason Steinberg cannot.

Please Upvote so Steinberg will know to fix this issue.
Thank you

For the sake of completeness, I will add my system hardware, though I have confirmed this problem exists on other systems, so this should be irrelevant.
Cubase 11 Elements
Windows 10 64 bit
Ryzen 1700X 4c/8t at 4.00 GHz
Using only m.2 NVME SSD drives

Focusrite Clarett 4Pre USB
Roland FA-08 Keyboard
Roland TD-12 Digital Drums
Arturia Keylab Essential 61
Presonus Faderport 1
Nektar Panorama P1

Actually, this has been made clear, directly to Steinberg. When I first discovered the issue, I opened a ticket with their support. I was told there are no plans (at least at that time) to make any changes to the way Cubase handled MC devices.

There can only be one. I think the only way to have sort of two independent controllers is to use a steinberg integrated like MCU and a external like Avid. Remote’s are cubase weak spot. It was supposed to be addressed with Cubase 11, but it did not make it.

Just an idea, can either of your hardware devices use HUI mode? I get around this because I use a Frontier Alphatrack which has it’s own driver.

I wish. I did try, but no, they dont function as HUI controllers.

There can be more than one, they just get in each other’s way with this fuckery.

This doesnt surprise me, it has been a known issue at least since v9 (but likely long before), so clearly they havent had any real impetus to change things. Thats why Im hoping this thread will go toward showing Cubase that we want the sort of implementation of MC devices that other competing DAWs have.

Thanks for the responses. I appreciate anyone trying to help. If you, like me, think this is an issue worth investing resources in, give the thread a vote. This problem is only going to get worse as more and more gear keeps coming out which will compete with one another, until either Cubase stops ignoring the problem, or someone else comes up with a magical new standard that, magically, everyone will agree on and magically, they will all implement it quickly.

There is only one selected channel line, so it can only be one.(That have something sort of working) It can not even have different colours.

Im not sure what youre referring to?