Which Hardware Controller for Nuendo 6.5?

so, my Mackie MCU PRO has had stability issues since upgrading to Nuendo 6.5.

It will work for a little while, then Become unresponsive.

What are people using as a controller for under $5000?


Unfortunately the Avid artist series are the way to go.
I kind of wait for their drivers to turn into a subscription model, though.
I personally think that Yamaha should do a stripped down version of Nuage.


Thats what I was afraid of… I just wonder how long Steinberg will support Eucon now that Avid owns it and the Nuage has already gone with REDNET?



+1 as well.
I use the Eucon hardware, which is really fantastic because of how infinitely programmable it is, however it can be buggy and unstable, I personally have not had too many problems that way with it. I have worked with it now for years, and have had excellent results.
If Yamaha had a controller that was in the 5K range, it would be a no brainer for me.

On the one hand I feel like I barely need it. I like having the dedicated transport for when I have totalmix or Digicheck in the foreground, and soloing/muting. I don’t really use the faders but that could be because they track so poorly on the MCU. Maybe if they actually worked I would use them more.

I might just opt for one of the smaller cubase controllers. Or get an Artist since I do run PT as well.

Actually I already have most of that on my iPad. Might just stick with that.

I’m surprised you’re having all these issues with the MCU.

I use 24 channels of MCU Pro with Cubase 7.5.3 and it works wonderfully.
Faders track perfectly. Transport, Scrub, Scale. Input busses, output busses, on and on.
Control of EQ, Channel Strip, Plugins (with the remote editor also)s, Cue sends, etc etc etc.

Nuendo had the same functionality I’m sure.

Is it possible your hardware is failing?


Not likely. Tried swapping cables and ports.

You sound like a rep for Mackie :slight_smile:. At its best it was never that great. Input busses? How does an MCU have anything to do with an input buss?

“Faders track perfectly”. ? It’s MIDI. I’ve had this on Mac and PC - I’ve had different units. It never tracked perfectly, that’s why they made Eucon. It tracks ok when it’s working, but for years there’s been the fader jumping thing.

What’s happening now is extreme, it just freezes after 10 or 20 minutes. My recollection is that Steinberg released a statement that Nuendo 6 wasn’t going to work perfectly with it. It definitely isn’t.

Ha! I do, don’t I?
But, no. The MC Spec is just a spec. It’s how the DAW developers choose to implement it that makes the difference.
So I guess you could call me a Steinberg fan. At least CB 7.5.3, so far. 8 will come around.

When using the upper left Assignment Button you get the choice to assign Output Buss, Monitor Status (on/off), Input Buss, Input Gain, and Input Phase on a per channels basis.
Are you using your MCUs in “Cubase” (I guess “Nuendo”" for you) mode? “Compatibility” mode does not give you these functions (and many others).

I guess I’m not sure what exactly your issue is here. As to the accuracy between physical fader moves and what the level indicated on the screen is I’m getting very smooth tracking - the smallest physical move I can make on a fader is giving me something like < .1DB ( less than 1/10th DB) level change. Personally, I cannot hear less than 1/10th DB in level change (this obviously gets larger as attenuation increases) - so this works for my tin ears (I can always Shift/Mouse it if I get neurotic). :wink:
The Spec uses Dual Accuracy (2 controller steams per continuous) so you theoretically get 1K plus something values per fader.
Even with larger projects with lots of automation I’m getting these results. Since my setup is using 3 MIDI streams (MCU has it’s own 4 port USB interface) - 1 per 8 channels - you’ve got a bit more bandwidth.
Faders play back smooth and quiet - I’m sure that’s not your problem.

Wow. I thought maybe you had the older units - they reportedly had some problems with the string fader drives - but, no (as I see in your studio photo),
Your situation mystifies me. It’s definitely “Broken”. Not a limitation of the technology. MC Spec is used by the top Console Manf in the world for DAW control in their hardware.
My MCUs work smoothly and continuously - and have for 4 years or so.
I have a hard time believing that the integration of the MC Spec is any different in
N6.5 than CB 7.5. Shame if it is!
Nice Studio, by the way. Had a 4000 SqFt 24 track Tape/DAW based room myself for a number of years. Miss it. Don’t miss the financial struggles, though.

Good luck with your search!


PS I AM pushing the MC Spec here -I want EVERYBODY to use it SB continues support . . :unamused:

I’m a huge fan of the MCU, had them for 10 years without any problems. But only used transport/fader-sections, never controlled plugins via the Mackies, that always was too much page-skipping imo. For plugins I used a BCR2000, which really worked like a charme as a generic control.

But since I switched my main work to ProTools last year (due to the new mixer/mouseclicking-GUI in N6), and PT does not support generic remote, I was searching for a remote which also can control Plugins in PT. The Artists were no option since the faders are (compared to the MCU) crappy in my opinion.

Right now I am testing the new Avid S3. The concept of plugin-controlling really seems great on a first sight, although you cannot map the plugins in your own way atm. But I am sure, there will be a eucon-update in future, they just need to offer this. It does not matter if you control PT or Nuendo, the workflow on the console always is the same. You can control 2 plugins at the same time due to the two encoder-rows, the displays are great, you get all parameters right next to the encoders without having to look at the plugin-gui. Nevertheless, plugin-GUIs are automatically opening (and closing) when selecting them on surface. This all feels great.

As writing this, the S3 has huge problems with their faders. Although they really feel fine, on my console there are 3 faders not working correctly atm, I have to get a replacment-unit. And I am not the only one having these problems… The rotarys feel a bit to hard to move, also the solo/mute-switches really need some energy, but, I guess, that is personal. And - for my taste - the gab between the faders could be slightly smaller… In addition to that, I do not have a clue how to control automation-modes in Nuendo via the S3 right now, but I am sure, there must be a solution somewhere. When activating the EQ-control-mode, you only are able to control the 4-band-channel-EQ, which I would never use in a post-session. For getting to the Hi/Low-Cut (if you are fine with steinbergs pre-designed slope) you have to switch between EQ- and Input-Mode. That is far from comfortable when adjusting filters in a mix. In ProTools, the EQ-mode automatically controls the first EQ-Plugin on the inserts (since they do not have a “channel-EQ”), it would be great, if this also could be achieved in Nuendo (until they offer a better EQ).

Thats for $5000! Jeez. This is what I’m saying, i just don’t need it that badly.

The fastest Nuendo operator I ever saw was someone who had the keystrokes completely memorized. He barely needed the mouse at all.

Unless you have something like Nuage where both the hardware and the software were specifically made for each other, I just don’t see the usefulness. I stopped writing fader automation long before the faders got funky on the MCU. I can do it with breakpoints a million times faster and more accurately. For automating plugs or pans a rotary is useful, but $5k?

I wonder if the CC121 works? That might be all I need. Anyone using it?

I do not see any option to mix a post-session without faders, by clicking automation points. As for DX-mixing, I ride a dialog nearly in real-time with one or two passes, having fingers on mutiple tracks. After all there are thousands of automation-points, cannot imagine to drop them manually with mouse. And, to be honest, never saw anybody doing this.

Might be different in post. I’m talking about music production. But in general i can drop 5 points where a fader write thousands. It’s much faster and more accurate for me.

It sounds like Nuage really is the best solution for that kind of work.

That’s because it would be a pretty stupid waste of time. You really need faders for an audio post mix.
But I prefer to control plugins with a mouse, it’s just too fiddly to find the parameter you are looking for on a control surface with ever changing assignments.

That’s why I would LOVE a touch sensitive AI control knob. Does Nudge have that?

Hugh - Thanks regarding the studio.

I don’t think it’s my hardware. All the faders react the same. And I only added the extender recently (it was a gift) and it acts the same. Maybe there’s a pref in Nuendo that I have set wrong? But it’s never worked that well.

It will freeze after some time and I can wake it up again by vigorously moving a fader but…it’s just not that good. I’m not sure who you’re talking about regarding the best controller using MC. All eucons are eucon of course. Nuage doesn’t use it. There are some high end analog boards that use it but the “DAW control” was either an after thought or put in several years ago.

I’m curious how well Artist Control works with Nuendo/Cubase? The Mackie also doesn’t work at all on PT so, it would be nice to have one hardware that works on all of my software.

We work with Artist Control + Artist Transport, with N6.5 on a Mac Pro and are very happy with it.
It works very stable, sometimes the Eucon software freezes, but a restart of the Eucon software will do and 1 minute later you’re back.

For a €1500 hardware controller setup it works as it should (with Nuendo, PT etc.)

Best, Alan

With all due respect it IS your hardware - I assure you. I have NEVER seen an MCU behave like that. Can’t speak for other brands.
Since you say both units behave the same it must be something common to both - like maybe the MIDI interface in your master unit is bad . . or the USB port on your Computer. Who knows?
The boards I was talking about were like the Neve Genesys, SSL XL and Nucleus and the like.
The MCU will work with Pro Tools in HUI mode (on boot).

In any case you seem determined to move on.
I have heard great things about the Avid EUCON stuff. Lots of configurability. And it’s very sexy looking IMHO!
I have a couple clients who have the Artist stuff but the work I do with them is pretty much live mixing and not very deep - and its on Avid software - so I can’t say much myself.
I’m a little scared of Avid and EUCON because it’s a closed spec. That is - Avid will not allow any other company to build Hardware with the spec - and they can change it/Modify it as they see fit - forcing any DAW Co (Steinberg) to reconfigure.
And being that Avid/Pro Tools and Yamaha/Steinberg are hard competitors . . . NOT a happy family.
However . . it all seems to be good right now and I’m probably just paranoid. :open_mouth:

Good Luck!