Novation Remote and MCU for controlling VST parameters?

Hi there!

DAW is Cubase 11 Pro.
Controller is Novaton Remote SL mkii 49 in Automap mode.
I’m not using Novation’s old dreaded Automap server software so I’m writing my own custom “surface” for Novation Automap using BMTP and old Novation’s Programmers Guide. I have some success at getting full LED feedback with transport controls and Cubase’s Generic Remote (transmit option enabled), LCD display messages reacting and full feedback with Track Quick Controls as well.

The thing is that I want to control VST parameters in a better way using endless encoders and seeing parameter names on LCD. Unfortunately, Cubase’s Track Quick Controls are not allowing me to send names of VST’s parameters to LCD display, Cubase is just sending actual values of controllable parameters. So I’ve found that MCU could be the solution for my needs since Cubase supports MCU usage. I’ve found some docs (MCU MIDI map, Logic Control guide, some others), but it’s just like diving into the ocean - nothing seems to be understandable at first sight.

So, several questions about MCU:

  1. So I’ve added Mackie Control to Cubase. While I’m adding any plugin in project with Mackie Control being active Cubase sends a LOT of info to controller. I guess that info could contain plugin’s name (is it ASCII though?) which could be used for sending it to display.
  2. Looks like real MCU needs some kind of message to be sent to DAW for activating VST parameter controlling (AFAIK it’s called “Assignment”, probably). Seems to be the midi note, but I’m definitely doing it wrong - nothing happens.
  3. Is it possible to control more than 8 knobs/encoders/on-off buttons with MCU?
  4. How do I “decrypt” display messages that are sent from DAW to real MCU? Is it still ASCII?

Starting something new is never an easy thing thus you must start with something little. What angle should I start searching from?

Sorry for my English. Thank you :slight_smile:

Hi, and welcome to the forum!

To view what MCU sends to your controller, I would recommend you search the web and find the mountain utilities MIDI Tools, program. With that you can direct the MIDI stream using MT Pro to another Virtual MIDI port that would get connected to the Mackie Monitor of MIDI Tools. The Logic Pro manual shows the format of the data for a Mackie MCU monitor. Basically it identifies cursor position and then sends ASCII text after designating the position. If I remember there are 2 lines by 40 characters, but check the Logic MCU manual to make sure.

Yes, you can get more than eight tracks. If your controller only has 8, however it doesn’t make sense but you could still use the Bank up and Bank down buttons of your emulated MCU controller to address other tracks. If your controller has more than 8 faders and VPOTS, then you just set it up in Cubase as multiple Mackie MCU’s the first will address the first 8 tracks, the second the second 8 tracks etc. I think the limit for Cubase is 24 tracks but I’m not sure, you would have to ask them.

You should probably download the Cubase manual on how they implement Mackie MCU so that you can figure out how to select VST’s. Different DAWS seem to always have slight variations to how they implement Mackie MCU.

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care

Also available for paid consulting services:

Thank you so much for replying! :slight_smile:

The idea was to use not just 8 endless encoders, but 8 on/off buttons on my controller as well. Don’t know if that’s really comfortable in real situation, but who knows. I will try it by myself though.

You should be able to program the on/off buttons for any Mackie MCU function that you want.

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care

Also available for paid consulting services: