Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Find topics on computers, studios and music-related hardware.
skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

u-man wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 4:09 pm
This reminds me also on that thing, that if you turn on a real MCU and press the select buttons 1+2, that there also modes (on the device) that are selectable. Do i need that too? Because if i need that, how would i make that possible, once i return the MCU to my friend again :?
Oh you can just remap a button on your C4 by using MTP, (One that you don't need) and then you get those buttons on your C4 - once you're in each mode the V Pots control everything after that point.
I really do not know, why the hell i am not seeing any other sysex messages from the protocol :?
The only big difference i see is, you have a unit that is supposed to work with the MCU protocol ;) and i try to fool that protocol.
Good point, perhaps the SysEx never gets sent as Cubase never receives the message it's expecting at the start, whereas my MCU 'is' sending that acknowledgement back.

I've not studied the Cubase to MCU communication in any depth. As I've only been using Cubase since last year, previous to that i was a Mac/Logic user. But if the Steinberg extension was created with the approval/help of Mackie then you can guarantee that a SysEx reply is part of the protocol as per Mackie standards to protect their IP. So i'm 90% sure you're on the right path here.
So what looks easy here:

F0 00 00 66 10 12 xx xx xx xx xx xx F7
To
F0 00 00 66 17 30 xx xx xx xx xx xx F7

Will be by far not easy with MTP or I (and Bome support) are thinking fundamentely wrong here.
There is no option for "Change only the bold numbers."
I've not looked or used MTP recently, but i imagine it would be a find and replace style filter whereby you would run a replace on a "F0 00 00 66 10 12" match and replace with "F0 00 00 66 17 30" (for example). But i was under the impression that MTP had far greater control than that, and you could replace based on position in the string using substitute style variables.

It's very hard for me to give you exact answers here as i neither have MTP or a C4, and time is at a premium too i'm afraid. But i will try and look myself to see what i can find out further.

The first hurdle is of course to get Cubase to send out MCU SysEx without an MCU connected. I wouldn't concentrate on too much beyond that at this stage.

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

Just had a quick check and Cubase definetly spits out SysEx when you first select the device, even without an MCU connected. I got the following:-

F0 00 00 66 14 1A 00 F7
F0 00 00 66 15 1A 00 F7
F0 00 00 66 14 12 00 50 61 6E 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 4C 65 66 74 2D 52 69 67 68 74 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 50 61 67 65 3A 30 31 2F 30 32 20 F7
F0 00 00 66 14 12 38 4A 55 4E 4F 30 31 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 F7

Be sure to monitor at the point of selecting the output device for the Mackie in Cubase studio setup, as it only sends it at that point. It's waiting for an acknowledgement of serial number, by googling looks like correct response to a 14 request (Serial number) is:-

F0 00 00 66 14 1B [7 byte serial number] F7
(i.e. F0 00 00 66 14 1B 58 59 5A 00 00 00 00 F7)

Not sure what the '15' request is (F0 00 00 66 15 1A 00 F7), maybe it's checking if it's an extender or not. But it would be interesting to send an array of 'F0 00 00 66 xx 1A 00 F7' SysEx strings to your C4 to see at what point (i.e. which device id) you get a 'F0 00 00 66 xx 1B 'reponse back.

I'm presuming would be the start of cracking the initial communications here, again, damn i wish i had a C4 so i could test these theories. :(

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

skijumptoes wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:03 pm
Oh you can just remap a button on your C4 by using MTP, (One that you don't need) and then you get those buttons on your C4 - once you're in each mode the V Pots control everything after that point.
The premise i see here is, that a C4 does not have such mode at all. It is not the problem to emulate those buttons. The modes we are talking about here, are out of Cubase or any software. This is a hardware thing and i hope, that Cubase is not expecting it from a fooling C4. A C4 does not have any hidden modes like this on a real MCU unit. Or no that i am aware of. You can only turn it on, that is all :lol:
Good point, perhaps the SysEx never gets sent as Cubase never receives the message it's expecting at the start, whereas my MCU 'is' sending that acknowledgement back.

I've not studied the Cubase to MCU communication in any depth. As I've only been using Cubase since last year, previous to that i was a Mac/Logic user. But if the Steinberg extension was created with the approval/help of Mackie then you can guarantee that a SysEx reply is part of the protocol as per Mackie standards to protect their IP. So i'm 90% sure you're on the right path here.
Yes, that is what i was afraid to hear. This could be neckbreaking to the project, if this is true and the evidence for a way earlier post i made, that the hardware itself is kind of a dongle-protection.
I've not looked or used MTP recently, but i imagine it would be a find and replace style filter whereby you would run a replace on a "F0 00 00 66 10 12" match and replace with "F0 00 00 66 17 30" (for example). But i was under the impression that MTP had far greater control than that, and you could replace based on position in the string using substitute style variables.

It's very hard for me to give you exact answers here as i neither have MTP or a C4, and time is at a premium too i'm afraid. But i will try and look myself to see what i can find out further.
Yes, that is true, but that will only work if the sysex-messages have always the same "length". Since, i do not see any sysex, i can not even really know such simple things like these. My guess is, the sysex messages will have not always the same length and if that is true, it will be pain in the a s s, writing rules for that. Maybe i have luck and the length will always be the same, that would be some relief :D .
Thank you again, for all that time you even spend so far. At least someone who really understand the problems. MTP is free, it has only time-limitation (20 minutes i think) if you do not buy it.
The first hurdle is of course to get Cubase to send out MCU SysEx without an MCU connected. I wouldn't concentrate on too much beyond that at this stage.
That is exactly my thoughts regarding this problem. I am on it.
Just had a quick check and Cubase definetly spits out SysEx when you first select the device, even without an MCU connected. I got the following:-
Yeah, that was something i forgot to tell you previously: Yes, i get a sysex after choosing "MCU" in the Studio Setup preferences in Cubase, but thats it. After that there is no other sysex coming out from Cubase/MCU protocol.
I will test all that thoroughly again and will post my result here, once i sit in front of my gear.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

willsjohn
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by willsjohn »

Hi,
In addition to the powerful plug-ins within Pro Tools | First, you get the exclusive Mackie Musician Collection featuring 23 fantastic plug-ins.

304E EQ / 304C Compressor bundle
BBD Delay, Black Op Distortion, Black Shiny Wah, Black Spring Reverb, C1 Chorus, DC Distortion, Eleven Lite, Flanger, Graphic EQ, Gray Compressor, Green JRC Overdrive, In-Tune, Orange Phaser, Roto Speaker, Sci-Fi, Studio Reverb, Tape Echo, Tri Knob Fuzz, Vari-Fi, Vibe, Phaser, and White Boost

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

@skijumptoes : I have made some progress so far. I managed with help from Bome MTP support to have the Assignment Buttons of a MCU working on a C4 on one display (but i can expand on all four). I run into problems with the level metering, i can activate it and see all the outgoing midi from Cubase, but nothing happens on the C4. I would like to know, how this process works on a real MCU with Cubase.
Has the protocol horizontal level metering or only vertical? How can you turn off the level metering? Is it like a toggle switch?
All i see from Cubase is vertical level metering and the data for it, but it seems that the adressing on a C4 is different. I had the same problems with the displays, but it seems that the metering needs a translation too.

Another question would be, how a real MCU handles huge VST Instruments with more then 64 parameters? Particular if you start recording them with automation. In theory you have only ca. 60 CC that you can use for recording, because you need another 60 CC for the feedback and you have 127 CC per midi-channel. So what happens, if you exceed that? It is important for me now to know, how i will handle the parameter-pages from VST Instruments and FX for my project. It does not make sense to me, to scroll through all the pages (and many VST have more than 100 parameters), if you only can use half or third of them efficiently.

Otherwise i am pretty satisfied with current results. I have Quick Controls working and i can even use the Remote Control Editor from Cubase efficiently. So you have kind of Commander Software inside Cubase already and that is very, very nice :D
If you start the Channelstrip via Assignment button, you can spread it on two displays and show the whole EQ with bands on the other two displays. Having the Channel Strip+EQ from Cubase at once on all four displays so to say.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

Martin.Jirsak
Forum Elder
Posts: 23073
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by Martin.Jirsak »

Hi,

You get the metering values (data) to MCU. There is no information about horizontal/vertical metering at all.

On MCU you can handle multiple plug-in parameters by switching Banks (8 parameters in every single Bank).
Martin Jirsak
How to show notes of the chord/scale only
Cubase Training

Cubase Pro (last officially supported version all the time)
macOS (last update)

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

Hi Martin, maybe you misunderstood me. I get these sysex from Cubase: F0 00 00 66 14 21 01 F7
This indicates to start vertical level metering. And i got a lot of these:

D0 00
D0 10
D0 20
D0 30
D0 40
D0 50
D0 60
D0 70

These are the peak-levels. Reading what you wrote, i assume there is only vertical metering on a real MCU. How do you turn it off?
I know that the MCU has "pages" to scroll through multiple plug-in parameters, but i asked what happens if you start to record automation for more than 60 parameters on a single VST Instrument.

For example: take Retrologue and start to record automation for every parameter that you have. Since Retrologue has a lot parameters, i want to know where the limit is or what happens when you record more than 70 parameters.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

There is no 60 parameter limit, as the software is mapping internally to the MCU's x8 Vpots (or 4x8 on a C4), Midi CC isn't involved whatsoever in this once the DAW has received the data, the DAW knows which controls are on each vpot, and then links this direct to the automation values within software.

I have plugins that are 20+ pages which is over 150 parameters. Not sure what the limit is on VST automation though.

Great thing about Cubase is that you can manually order these parameters and give them better 'short names' which appear on the displays - most mappings i have setup i can manage within 2-3 pages. Using a C4 that'd be even better! :)

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

That is really quite interesting. I did not know that the parameter handling works that way. Somehow i am happy to hear this, on the other side i have more work to do for the project. On one side it makes sense what you say, on the other side i start questioning how your method reflects recorded parameter feedback, since you would have same CC for some parameters. I always thought that the CC should be unique to get everything working like you describe. Or is automation data not reflected on the V-pots/LED rings?

I assume now (thx to you) that if i use all four displays and 32 v-pots, that i still need to use unique CC for the V-pots, until i switch (per banking/paging) to the next set of 32 V-pots, which then could use the same CC like for the first 32 V-pots. Is this correct?

Since the C4 can control hardware-synths and FX (via the Commander Software), i wonder if this what you say, applies to that too?!?

And yes, you are right that there are plugins and VST´s that easily exceed 100 parameters. I have lots of them.
And yes, i can give them way better "short names". It is somehow a shame, that Steinberg did not do that already with the stuff that is already included in Cubase. Instead it looks very random what Steinberg did here. I can safely say, that the UI for parameters looks mostly like $hit and this is described in a nice way. Most of the time, i have pages where you are not able to distuingish between what is what. It looks like a clustered mess mostly.
You can change that by giving them better names and at least a seperator or a space BETWEEN the parameters, but it involves a lot of work.

On a C4, i would have a huge advantage for the other remaining three displays, because i do not need to repeat one line of the first display. In theory i could use longer names or use the line for a better description of parameters on each of the other three displays. Sadly i can only work with what Cubase supports and the MCU protocol or the Remote Control Editor assumes that we are working with a MCU that has only one display. So i can not use longer names or whole line descriptions with Cubase alone.

If i find a way how to interrogate what plugin or VST is currently used, i may include that.

It is nice that you handle most of your stuff with 2-3 pages, but in my world a good VST synth needs at least 5-8 pages for basic operating. It would be a shame for the C4, not using his huge potential regarding this. At least for me, this is the part, that makes the most fun with the C4: True, bi-directional hardware remote controlling on software synths, in a way that was not possible before.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

u-man wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:33 pm
I always thought that the CC should be unique to get everything working like you describe. Or is automation data not reflected on the V-pots/LED rings?
Yup all the parameters feed back to the V Pots/LED rings - of course you need to be on that page to see it, but as soon as you bank/page across all the V Pots/LED Rings update to the current values and follow any automation if it exists.

Likewise, if you change a plugin preset it will update instantly all the parameters for the page you are looking at. As i say, it's all automation driven, so very instant.
I assume now (thx to you) that if i use all four displays and 32 v-pots, that i still need to use unique CC for the V-pots, until i switch (per banking/paging) to the next set of 32 V-pots, which then could use the same CC like for the first 32 V-pots. Is this correct?
Yup the V Pots are fixed in regards to the hardware/MIDI communication. The page/bank up and down buttons send a message to the Cubase remote protocol and it refreshes 'in software' what those v pots are focused on. Those page buttons don't actually change what each hardware control sends (i.e. like an octave up/down button on a keyboard would affect which octave your keys play for example).

You have to consider the page controls to be purely a message to the DAW to request the next set of parameters from the automation list to send to your V Pots.
Since the C4 can control hardware-synths and FX (via the Commander Software), i wonder if this what you say, applies to that too?!?
No, that's different as it's running via the commander software and you are creating fixed MIDI Note/CC assignments so the page buttons will cause your controls to send out different MIDI cc's based on the mappings created.
You can change that by giving them better names and at least a seperator or a space BETWEEN the parameters, but it involves a lot of work.
Haha yeah, the other sadness is for Behringer X Touch owners who have coloured scribble strips - imagine if the Mackie protocol could send a colour code, that would be great on a scribble strip - but they have hardware that's capable of colour with no way of accessing it via MCU.

I've often thought that surely someone could just create a layer that takes the first character (0 to F or something) and that assigns a colour for the scribble strips, but the display drops that character and displays chars 2-9 (8) on the screen. You'd also need to add that extra character prefix to your track names to, but would be a nice experiment.
It is nice that you handle most of your stuff with 2-3 pages, but in my world a good VST synth needs at least 5-8 pages for basic operating. It would be a shame for the C4, not using his huge potential regarding this. At least for me, this is the part, that makes the most fun with the C4: True, bi-directional hardware remote controlling on software synths, in a way that was not possible before.
Oh don't get me wrong, i have synths mapped via MCU that have the basic 'quick' functions as the first 8 controls, And those same controls i repeat in other sections so it's not unusual to have 7-8 pages - i just don't use it as much, so it would be something like:-

Page 1
Cutoff / Resonance / AmpAtt / AmpRel / Osc1Pitch / Osc2Pitch / LFOSpeed / LFODepth
Page 2 (Envelopes)
Amp Att / Amp Decay / Amp Sustain / Amp Release / Filt Att / Filt Decay / Filt Sustain / Filt Release
Page 3 (Filters)
Cutoff / Resonance / Filter Type / Filter > LFO
etc.

This is what i mean that my main mappings are in the first 1-3 pages.

Beyond those main pages, i then start doing stuff in more detail like:-
Page 5 (Osc 1)
Osc1 On / Osc1 Type / Osc1 SubType / Osc1 Pitch / Osc1 Fine / Osc1 Level / Osc 1 Phase
Page 6 (Osc 2)
Osc2 On / Osc2 Type / Osc2 SubType / Osc2 Pitch / Osc2 Fine / Osc2 Level / Osc 2 Phase
etc.

It's really important to establish a naming convention too as you're limited to 8 characters you can get smart with it, for example i put what the page relates to on the first vpot display, and i know the rest are part of that mapping group.

Taking Osc1 as an example, my display would be something like this:-

Osc1 On / Type / Type2 / Pitch / Fine / Level / Phase

Then when i page through the parameters i just watch that first display to see what group i'm in, stops the clutter and $hit as you call it. What i love best about MCU is how quick it all is, even with 10 pages i can still scroll through super quick where other controllers lag and screen takes ages to update. :)

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

skijumptoes wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:57 pm
u-man wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:33 pm
I always thought that the CC should be unique to get everything working like you describe. Or is automation data not reflected on the V-pots/LED rings?
Yup all the parameters feed back to the V Pots/LED rings - of course you need to be on that page to see it, but as soon as you bank/page across all the V Pots/LED Rings update to the current values and follow any automation if it exists.

Likewise, if you change a plugin preset it will update instantly all the parameters for the page you are looking at. As i say, it's all automation driven, so very instant.
Ah, OK that makes sense to me. That is something that impress me and is clever dealt with.
I assume now (thx to you) that if i use all four displays and 32 v-pots, that i still need to use unique CC for the V-pots, until i switch (per banking/paging) to the next set of 32 V-pots, which then could use the same CC like for the first 32 V-pots. Is this correct?
Yup the V Pots are fixed in regards to the hardware/MIDI communication. The page/bank up and down buttons send a message to the Cubase remote protocol and it refreshes 'in software' what those v pots are focused on. Those page buttons don't actually change what each hardware control sends (i.e. like an octave up/down button on a keyboard would affect which octave your keys play for example).

You have to consider the page controls to be purely a message to the DAW to request the next set of parameters from the automation list to send to your V Pots.
Thank you for this. This helps me a lot and i do not need to test what is happening after using 60 parameters with automation for myself. I really need to think about this more and what this really means to my project. I am little clueless how i can use all displays, because according what you wrote, Cubase needs to know, at which page you are. It is no problem, if i leave it to a single display, but if i want to use all four it will be a different story. Because paging on a C4 with four displays would only happen between page 4 and 5 or 8 and 9 and so on.
And Cubase needs to be aware of that :?
Since the C4 can control hardware-synths and FX (via the Commander Software), i wonder if this what you say, applies to that too?!?
No, that's different as it's running via the commander software and you are creating fixed MIDI Note/CC assignments so the page buttons will cause your controls to send out different MIDI cc's based on the mappings created.
Ok, that is a relief to me. So i was not completely dumb, while thinking about this.
You can change that by giving them better names and at least a seperator or a space BETWEEN the parameters, but it involves a lot of work.
Haha yeah, the other sadness is for Behringer X Touch owners who have coloured scribble strips - imagine if the Mackie protocol could send a colour code, that would be great on a scribble strip - but they have hardware that's capable of colour with no way of accessing it via MCU.

I've often thought that surely someone could just create a layer that takes the first character (0 to F or something) and that assigns a colour for the scribble strips, but the display drops that character and displays chars 2-9 (8) on the screen. You'd also need to add that extra character prefix to your track names to, but would be a nice experiment.
Something what i think is easy to do is, having different colors, according to what assignment button is pressed. Like having one color for EQ, one for PAN, one for VST Instruments and so on. I do not own a Behringer X Touch, but if someone can tell me what is to do for coloring, i might think about that and include it in my project.
It is nice that you handle most of your stuff with 2-3 pages, but in my world a good VST synth needs at least 5-8 pages for basic operating. It would be a shame for the C4, not using his huge potential regarding this. At least for me, this is the part, that makes the most fun with the C4: True, bi-directional hardware remote controlling on software synths, in a way that was not possible before.
Oh don't get me wrong, i have synths mapped via MCU that have the basic 'quick' functions as the first 8 controls, And those same controls i repeat in other sections so it's not unusual to have 7-8 pages - i just don't use it as much, so it would be something like:-

Page 1
Cutoff / Resonance / AmpAtt / AmpRel / Osc1Pitch / Osc2Pitch / LFOSpeed / LFODepth
Page 2 (Envelopes)
Amp Att / Amp Decay / Amp Sustain / Amp Release / Filt Att / Filt Decay / Filt Sustain / Filt Release
Page 3 (Filters)
Cutoff / Resonance / Filter Type / Filter > LFO
etc.

This is what i mean that my main mappings are in the first 1-3 pages.

Beyond those main pages, i then start doing stuff in more detail like:-
Page 5 (Osc 1)
Osc1 On / Osc1 Type / Osc1 SubType / Osc1 Pitch / Osc1 Fine / Osc1 Level / Osc 1 Phase
Page 6 (Osc 2)
Osc2 On / Osc2 Type / Osc2 SubType / Osc2 Pitch / Osc2 Fine / Osc2 Level / Osc 2 Phase
etc.

It's really important to establish a naming convention too as you're limited to 8 characters you can get smart with it, for example i put what the page relates to on the first vpot display, and i know the rest are part of that mapping group.

Taking Osc1 as an example, my display would be something like this:-

Osc1 On / Type / Type2 / Pitch / Fine / Level / Phase

Then when i page through the parameters i just watch that first display to see what group i'm in, stops the clutter and $hit as you call it. What i love best about MCU is how quick it all is, even with 10 pages i can still scroll through super quick where other controllers lag and screen takes ages to update. :)
You are limited by 7 characters and by this, you will have no space or seperators again and everything will look cluttered again. So basically it is 6 characters, if you want to be safe and want a appealing look. On a X-Touch this might make sense, since you do not need space or seperators as you do not have one display for 8 channels, instead you have 8 small displays for each channel and you have a real world seperation or space between the displays.
55/56 Characters per line = 8 V-pots with 6 Characters = 48 + 7 Chars as space or seperator = one full line
And you are right, the MCU is really fast. Basically instant updates. It is much slower however, using your first suggested approach to use 4x MCU in the studio setup of Cubase to address the four displays of a C4.
I like the Quick Controls too, they always try to match the same parameters on another VST Instrument. I think i will do Steinbergs job here and have meaningful labeling for all the VST´s and FX that Cubase already provides. Any third party stuff, is up to the user to change that to his like. Because this is what every user of Cubase would have in common.... the stuff that Cubase provides.

So only level metering makes me scratching my head now ;) It seems that the C4 is expecting something different here.
Does the level metering work like the mixer in Cubase? Or does it work only on certain types of tracks, like only for audio tracks?
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

u-man wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:09 pm
I am little clueless how i can use all displays, because according what you wrote, Cubase needs to know, at which page you are. It is no problem, if i leave it to a single display, but if i want to use all four it will be a different story. Because paging on a C4 with four displays would only happen between page 4 and 5 or 8 and 9 and so on.
And Cubase needs to be aware of that :?
Well, if you used 1x MCU and were viewing parameters 1-8, then paged up, you would see 9-16 on the panel

If you used 2x MCU's and you were viewing parameters 1-8 on MCU1, then 9-16 get sent to MCU2 by default - as that's how the MCU implementation is on Cubase, so when you page up in that instance you will see parameters 17-24 on MCU1 and 25-32 on MCU2.

Cubase spreads across those v pots for each device you add, this is why i original said that if you could somehow create 4x MCU instances in Cubase, and use software to spread assign those 4 instances to each row on your C4, there's a very good chance (in theory) that it would work and preserve the banking/page system.
And you are right, the MCU is really fast. Basically instant updates. It is much slower however, using your first suggested approach to use 4x MCU in the studio setup of Cubase to address the four displays of a C4.
Oh really? So that slows down the 'snapiness' of the Mackie protocol then? I guess it's a lot of data being sent. Shame! :(
So only level metering makes me scratching my head now ;) It seems that the C4 is expecting something different here.
Does the level metering work like the mixer in Cubase? Or does it work only on certain types of tracks, like only for audio tracks?
To be honest, i turn level metering off, so i don't know - it gets in the way for me and is of no interest as it's such a small meter it serves no useful purpose. - plus on the MCU there's a specific 'signal' light for each channel that shows you if a track has activity or not. This is of more use for me.

I can't remember if it responds to MIDI channels or not though, i've used the MCU more with Logic Pro than i have Cubase so i really can't remember which DAW does with MCU as there are quite different implementations. I found Cubase's really weird to start with, but now, i quite like the concept they went with.

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

skijumptoes wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:07 pm
u-man wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:09 pm
I am little clueless how i can use all displays, because according what you wrote, Cubase needs to know, at which page you are. It is no problem, if i leave it to a single display, but if i want to use all four it will be a different story. Because paging on a C4 with four displays would only happen between page 4 and 5 or 8 and 9 and so on.
And Cubase needs to be aware of that :?
Well, if you used 1x MCU and were viewing parameters 1-8, then paged up, you would see 9-16 on the panel

If you used 2x MCU's and you were viewing parameters 1-8 on MCU1, then 9-16 get sent to MCU2 by default - as that's how the MCU implementation is on Cubase, so when you page up in that instance you will see parameters 17-24 on MCU1 and 25-32 on MCU2.

Cubase spreads across those v pots for each device you add, this is why i original said that if you could somehow create 4x MCU instances in Cubase, and use software to spread assign those 4 instances to each row on your C4, there's a very good chance (in theory) that it would work and preserve the banking/page system.
I do understand your principle here, but it is unlikely happen that i will go that route. I will try to do it with just one MCU and try to create rules that keep track of the paging. Do not want to be a douche here, but did you ever try this method?
There is one thing that is not included in your theory: If you add those MCU´s, then first you would need to use different midi channels/ports for each MCU. This would be a problem for a C4, as you can not mix different midi-channels for the V-pots. AFAIK all 32 V-pots on a C4 use the same midi-channel. I could translate that with Bome MTP, but at the end the whole process will involve the same amount of work, as just trying to do the same with a single MCU. I might be wrong here...so.
And then you have multiple MCU´s that all use the same 1-8 V-pots with the same CC´s for V-pots and LED rings.
In the worst case, it could happen that if you use the fourth V-pot of the first row, you will also use the fourth V-pot of all other rows.
And you are right, the MCU is really fast. Basically instant updates. It is much slower however, using your first suggested approach to use 4x MCU in the studio setup of Cubase to address the four displays of a C4.
Oh really? So that slows down the 'snapiness' of the Mackie protocol then? I guess it's a lot of data being sent. Shame! :(
It is still snappy, but it was slow enough, to see how the pages build up. So it was not terribly slow, but a lot slower.
So only level metering makes me scratching my head now ;) It seems that the C4 is expecting something different here.
Does the level metering work like the mixer in Cubase? Or does it work only on certain types of tracks, like only for audio tracks?
To be honest, i turn level metering off, so i don't know - it gets in the way for me and is of no interest as it's such a small meter it serves no useful purpose. - plus on the MCU there's a specific 'signal' light for each channel that shows you if a track has activity or not. This is of more use for me.

I can't remember if it responds to MIDI channels or not though, i've used the MCU more with Logic Pro than i have Cubase so i really can't remember which DAW does with MCU as there are quite different implementations. I found Cubase's really weird to start with, but now, i quite like the concept they went with.
I agree with you but people will complain, if i leave out such a "feature". Especially on a C4 where you have enough displays, to just spend one for such things. I also do not have a specific "signal" light on a C4.
I hope somebody else here, can tell us how the level-metering works and looks on a real MCU with Cubase. It is really something, i need to know.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

u-man wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:24 pm
I do understand your principle here, but it is unlikely happen that i will go that route. I will try to do it with just one MCU and try to create rules that keep track of the paging. Do not want to be a douche here, but did you ever try this method?
I done some Mackie emulation software on the mac with Logic and C4 for a hardware controller i was developing with a friend - but Logic had C4 support built in, so never tried 4x MCU's, so nope - it's complete theory on my part.
There is one thing that is not included in your theory: If you add those MCU´s, then first you would need to use different midi channels/ports for each MCU. This would be a problem for a C4, as you can not mix different midi-channels for the V-pots. AFAIK all 32 V-pots on a C4 use the same midi-channel. I could translate that with Bome MTP
Yes, that was my thinking that MTP could be set up to take those 4 devices and convert them to the correct V pots for each row on the C4 hardware (And back again).

I can't see how else you could use all 4 rows of the C4, as Cubase will never send out more than 8 parameters at a time UNLESS multiple devices are configured. In which case it would send out the 4x8 parameters which is what you want. For me, that's gotta be the starting point... But you say it gets laggy, so this takes us back to the only solution being someone writing an extension for Cubase.

No-one seems to know how to even get on the path of writing an extension, damn i wish Steingberg allowed the community to help in this regard. :(
I agree with you but people will complain, if i leave out such a "feature". Especially on a C4 where you have enough displays, to just spend one for such things.
How are you going to get this off the ground though? Without going the 4x MCU device setup in Cubase i fail to see how it's possible, so perhaps refresh me on your plan as it stands?
I hope somebody else here, can tell us how the level-metering works and looks on a real MCU with Cubase. It is really something, i need to know.
I will plug mine in later and let you know.

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

The way of how i will do it, is really hard to explain without getting to confused, but i will try my best:
Since you told me, that Cubase remembers at which page which V-pot is used, i thought about a page-system.
Like you said, each next (or back) "page" button press, requests new parameters from Cubase.
So as i have the first display already working, i would just need to simulate (not in reality) a "page" button press, to get the "new" parameters from Cubase.
With the new parameters, i can build the second display. Repeat that two times more and i have all 4 pages on four displays.
At that moment Cubase thinks we are on page four. If we now use a V-pot from row two, it is clear that we are on page two and to make Cubase aware of that, we would again simulate two "page" button presses (this time back). I need to make rules that take care of this kind of paging, so that Cubase is always in sync with us regarding the page. So before anything is sending out to Cubase, we first need to jump to the right page and then starting to send out data.

This approach has one downside: it is the feedback. Since you said, i will only have feedback for the page where i am at currently.
So i will first try to assign unique CC´s for V-pots and LED rings and try them. Maybe i have the great luck and Cubase will eat this and remember them as well. In theory every row (of a C4) should send with the same CC´s like the first row of V-pots. The first row of V-pots is exactly configured like the real MCU V-pots equivalent. We will see, what happens if that is not the case for the remaining rows of V-pots. If it works, i would have feedback on all four rows. If not, well, then i would need to translate more and have more work to do and will only have feedback for the page where i am at currently.

When i finish my project, i will try to provide kind of a plugin, that runs in background. You will not need Bome MTP to run it. It is a Bome MTP player that uses my project and will look like a app of its own.

Really thank you, for trying out your MCU ... thank you, thank you.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

Ah ok, i see your plan. It's definetly sounds do-able, but you're gonna lose hours debugging it to keep them in sync. Brave! :)

I think one thing to remember is that you can shift+channel up/down to move in increments of 10 pages. You could send 4-5 of these messages (Shift+Channel down) in the event that you're not sure that you're on the first page as a failsafe check.

What is interesting is that with Cubase when you select inserts the first page isn't actually the first set of parameters, it's the insert slot selection/assignment. I'm not aware if you know this or not.

So, Example of 'insert/plugin' mode as it appears on the MCU is:-

Page 1
[IFX SLOT SELECT] [IFX SLOT ON] [PLUGIN NAME] [none] [none] [none] [none]

Page 2
[Param1] [Param2] [Param3] [Param4] etc..
Page 3
[Param9] [Param10] [Param11] etc..

So via page 1, you use the first V-pot to scroll through insert slots in order, [IFX1-IFX16]
2nd V-Pot to set its state on/off, [ON/OFF]
and 3rd allows you to scroll through the plugins to assign a new plugin to the slot selected. [Plugin List]

This would be great on the C4 if you got it working as you could scroll through the insert slots via the top row. Then the next 3 rows would be the parameters (Pages 2-4), all in one view. Saves the extra channel/page up press that you have to do on the MCU normally.

When you're deeper into the project i'd be more than happy to video call with my MCU if you want to see how anything runs, if you get stuck.

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

It is not that hard to keep in sync with the pages. Really, if you use four rows/displays, you just need to keep up sync inside those four pages, until you really press the "page" button, to get the next four screens. Not having feedback for all four displays, is my bigger concern here.

Yes, i am aware that most of the time, the first page is like some entry menue. The Channelstrip is already in a decent shape, but i will remember your words, once i do the IFX. The Channelstrip for example, never uses more than two pages. Currently i want to have Channelstrip and EQ at once, by using two displays for Channel Strip and two for EQ. That way you have the whole Channel Strip at once. On a MCU, you do not really have EQ in the Channelstrip. It is there, but you cannot do anything and you need to press the EQ assignment button and leaving the Channel Strip and vice versa.

One other cool thing is: on a MCU the bottom line of the display is filled with track-name and section description. On a C4 i need to do that only for the top row/first display. In all remaining rows/displays i could use that bottom line for better descriptions or for anything else that could be useful.
I am so deep in that project, that some text-sysex does not appear as sysex with HEX to me. It is like in the Matrix movie, that all those numbers, start to appear as text to me... terrific :)
I am at a point, where i could start to think about some own menues, i.e. Transport control menue, F-Functions menue etc.
But first i want to have the MCU protocol complete.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

Haha cool. Get done what you can while you're in the matrix state, cause if you have to come back in 12 months it'll be foreign again! It always happens to me.

By the way, Have you tried sending the name/value button, this changes how parameters are displayed. (Note E3 Chan 1).

One other hurdle you need to consider is moving two controls at the same time from separate rows. You may need to develop some kind of queue system/buffer to manage this so that they control the correct page on a cycle. You can then establish the timing for that cycle to find the sweet spot between reliability and quickness.

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

Yes, tried the name/value button. That is also working. This is why it is so strange to me, that the level-metering does not work.
I hope i am finish with this at Christmas time :) .

Moving two controls at the same time from seperate rows, could be indeed be a big problem. I still hope that unique CC´s for all 32 V-pots will work, then this problem is gone too :)
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

skijumptoes
Member
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by skijumptoes »

u-man wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:24 pm
I hope somebody else here, can tell us how the level-metering works and looks on a real MCU with Cubase. It is really something, i need to know.
Just had a quick check of this.

VSTi Tracks - Shows post fader Audio levels
MIDI Tracks - Shows MIDI activity as a pulse on the level meters
AUDIO Tracks - Shows post fader Audio level
GROUP tracks - Shows post fader Audio level

As per image
https://imgur.com/a/IMCRjrO

You can see how the meters effect the display, which is why i normally have them turned off.

Also, one thing to note is that the reason it's maybe not working for you is that the shift+SMPTE/BEATS combo isn't using the standard shift button on the MCU, Cubase define the Shift button on their mappings as the hardware 'Enter' button on an MCU.

So using standard MCU controls you need to send Enter+SMPTE - hope that helps.

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

Hi skijumptoes :),

yes, i use the right "shift" ;) do not worry. I can activate Level Metering, but can not turn it off anymore. I see tons of incoming messages from Cubase, but sadly nothing on my displays. I talked to the Cakewalk devs and maybe we will get something working.

On a real MCU it is this sysex for channel 1 level metering:
F0 00 00 66 10 20 00 01 F7

On a C4 it should be:
F0 00 00 66 17 20 00 06 F7

but that still does not work.
I have a lots of these, where i do not know, what they means:
BF 40 33
BF 41 20
BF 42 20
BF 43 71
BF 44 20
BF 45 74

What i would like to now from you is, do you can start level metering anywhere? or do you need to be in some section (like pan in your picture)?
And could you count how many characters fill in one line of the display (55 or 56?).
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

@Martin.Jirsak:
@skijumptoes:

I really need your help regarding a multiple MCU setup: How are the displays handled in a extended setup like MCU+XT.

1.) Are the pages extended on each display in such a setup?
2.) Or do the displays shows the same content?
3.) Can you use the V-pots on each unit simultaniously?
4.) Could you count how many characters fill in one line of the display (55 or 56?)
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

Martin.Jirsak
Forum Elder
Posts: 23073
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by Martin.Jirsak »

Hi,

1) You can see 2 pages at once.

2) No, the displays are separated for every single device.

3) Yes, you can, the V-Pots are independent.

4) 7 characters for 8 channels. 7x8=56.
Martin Jirsak
How to show notes of the chord/scale only
Cubase Training

Cubase Pro (last officially supported version all the time)
macOS (last update)

User avatar
u-man
Junior Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by u-man »

First of all, thanks for looking into that.
Martin.Jirsak wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:46 pm
Hi,

1) You can see 2 pages at once.

2) No, the displays are separated for every single device.

3) Yes, you can, the V-Pots are independent.

4) 7 characters for 8 channels. 7x8=56.
1.) Would i see more if i would use three units? Does this happen for every assignment (like IFX, VST Instruments etc.)

2.) What does that mean exactly? Can you describe it better, especially the parts where paging is happening?

3.) that is good news.

4.) Yes that makes sense, but i am sure that the last character on each line is not visible on the display.
Counting them would really help. Best is EQ, since it is full.
Windows 10 64Bit / Cubase Pro 10.06 / Intel i7 6950X / 64GB Ram / Yamaha 01v96i / Mackie C4 /

Martin.Jirsak
Forum Elder
Posts: 23073
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Mackie C4 Pro and Cubase

Post by Martin.Jirsak »

Hi,

On the attached screenshots, you can see SW emulation of 2 MCU displays.

As you can see, if there are 2 pages (EQ), Mackie shows Page 1 at device 1 and Page 2 at device 2. If there are more pages, on device 1, you would see pages 0/2/4..., on device 2, you would see pages 1/3/5... The very same behaviour is with a 3rd device. The display "line" is extended by the other device.

Does it answer your questions?
Attachments
MCU_EQ.png
(34.71 KiB) Not downloaded yet
MCU_plug-ins.png
(27.8 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Martin Jirsak
How to show notes of the chord/scale only
Cubase Training

Cubase Pro (last officially supported version all the time)
macOS (last update)

Post Reply

Return to “Computer/Studio Hardware & Setup”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests