Using control surfaces from different manufacturers at the same time

I was wondering if anyone has had success using control surfaces from different manufacturers at the same time with Cubase Pro.

I am presently considering buying several hardware control surfaces so that i can get the level of control I desire over each element of Cubase.

In particular, I am thinking of buying a Softube Console 1 to give me control over Channel Strip style plug ins (i.e. EQ / Comp / Gate etc).

I was thinking of combining that with several Behringer X touch / expander units
so as to give me basic control over levels / pan, transport control etc.

I was also thinking of completing the combination with a CC121 as well,
so as to allow me to have control over 4 aux sends, without forcing me to mess around with the other control surfaces in order to change the use of the fader banks.

I figure that as Softube use their own software to allow control,
X touch uses the MCU protocol
and CC121 uses its own Steinberg driver which is separate to HUI / MCU / EUCON / Softube’s own software.

Then it is possible that this combination may very well work
even if it won’t be as pretty as some of the other solutions
*but will cost significantly less than any thing else that gives the same level of control over Cubase on the present market).

Anyone have any feedback with regards to using this combination ideally from experience.


I have an experience with using CC121 in combination with Mackie Control Protocol based device. It works as expected.

Hi Martin
Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated.
As that was my primary worry., that the CC121 would glitch when using the last 4 rotary encoders to control 4 sends while using the controllers that use the MCU protocol for basic volume / mute / solo / pan functionality.

One of the uses that i would like to use the hard ware controllers for
is for “live performance mixing” for old school style reggae dub.
but mixing with control surfaces and digital hardware instead of using analogue hardware.

I think that the combination of the two (1 x MCU style controller and 1 x CC121) would allow me to do this.

Adding a softube Channel 1 is more for fine tuning mix engineering than live performance use.

Thanks for letting me know
may have saved me money, due to buying glitchy equipment.

Mind you, if any control surface is going to work well with Cubase, its going be a Steinberg!

And in my experience of Mackie as a company, they also are really good at making quality products.

No offence to the other manufacturers, however Softube etc. being a small and innovative company, will not have the same amount of financial resources to spend of development or continual development.

Thanks again
we shall see how it turns out.
Kind regards

This is easily achieved with any MCU controller without hassle. Select to control sends and you have all 8 sends on the rotaries (and can flip them to faders, which is what I’d normally do for automation). It’s literally one button push away. Or did I miss something in your description?

Hi Necromorbus,
thanks for your reply. much appreciated.

I understand that it is possible to turn the rotary encoders / faders into controllers that control the sends, which they do horizontally i.e 1 - 8 rotary encoder / faders.

Which sure is useful, however, if you are used to using analogue mixing desks.
You will be use to having rotary encoders for several aux sends with each channel and arranged vertically, usually above the EQ section.

Having access to several Aux sends on each channel
allows you potentially to control several eq / aux / channel settings very quickly
if not at the same time.

Of course, this way of using the mixer is different to how most people use mixers.
Perhaps I will be able to adapt to the way the MCU style controllers work, using the rotaries / faders horizontally for one channel, and switching channels quickly to achieve desired result, or perhaps consider using a CC121 for the Aux sends (as the CC121 can be put into aux send mode, setting the bottom row of rotary encoders to control sends 1 - 4).

All a bit of a fath. would probably be more intuitive and would more instant control than using the MCU in one of its aux send modes.

Hope that makes sense.

Alt I could go back to using analogue mixing desks
but this would mean that i don’t get to use the cool plug ins I own, that emulate some of the great mixing desks and outboard from the past 70 years.

Analogue desks also are just so big and take up so much space.
I prefer to have a small footprint for the mixing control surface as possible.
As smaller the control surface / mixing board, lesser is the discolouration in the acoustic field.

Also, sick of working with big mixing desks, as doing so hurts your back due to spending hours hunched over the big object.

I would much prefer to be sat in a comfortable chair, with all the control buttons in arms reach. No bending over necessary!

Much more ergonomic.

MCU protocol has two ways of handling aux sends: you either get all 8 sends for the selected channel across the encoders (i.e. control Aux 1-8 of one channel; this is the default) or you control one aux corresponding with the channel strip (shift+sends button, pressing again steps through the auxes). So the CC121 would be redundant for this particular application. It’s still a nice unit though, you can use it for other stuff.

So you know where I’m coming from: I started recording fully analog and worked on big desks exclusively until around 2003 or so when I started going hybrid to eventually end up fully ITB. I ditched my last desk in 2007. One of the main reasons was actually that I didn’t want to go on with all the upkeep. Or the occasional halt of a session when the desk decided to mess up the mute automation and not let me unmute any channels.

I also started doing more and more FOH work though and for years I insisted on working only on analog desks, since I wanted direct access to everything at any time. Eventually I started getting more comfortable with digital desks though and at some point I swapped over and nowadays I wouldn’t dream of having an analog desk on my rider. For other reasons though: it’s too common that you have problems with some channels, or the venue only has 6 of their 10 speced gates that are functional, or the desk is just in poor condition, and so on.

When I switched to ITB in the studio, at first I just used keyboard+mouse. Eventually I got an MCU and an extender, then another extender. I had an editing setup where I used an X-touch. This year I went all in and got a Nuage setup. Way more hands-on, finally, but you pay an arm and a leg for the convenience.

cool. I like the look of the Yamaha Nuage system.
I have used some of the yamaha digital mixers in the past, and I really liked them.
So I am sure I would like the Nuage system
however, for now, I guess I will have to make do with the cheaper control surfaces.
Thanks for your advice on the subject. You have been very helpful.