Switching from Mackie Control to general Midi CC for motorised fader control surface

Hi

I'm working on a project so i can switch from Mackie Control to general Midi CC for the control surface I am using. The mackie protocol is good for track mixing but I also want to use the motorised faders for vst intrument knobs etc that rely on cc data. I have got everything working except the motorised faders receiving return data so they track the movement of the cc automation data from the cubase software I have mapped to. I can't quite get my mind around the return routing to the D400 hardware. Hope someone can help.

here's the detail

Asparion D400 – control surface transport and 8 motorised fader unit that uses Mackie control protocol

Windows 7, Cubase 7.5

Objective

  • Be able to switch the Asparion motorised faders to CC mode (from Mackie protocol). This involves:
    1. Converting the pitch bend data Mackie sends from its faders to cc 0-127. I have worked this out using 2 rules to convert the pitch bend data to a range of 1-127 for selected cc in outgoing section of translator
    2. Rerouting the cc data to a different port so I can “plug it into” a generic midi device to drive Quick control faders in Cubase. I have also worked this out using a specific port (BMT2) on the outgoing section of the translator

What I can get working in Bome

  • The preset that covers 1 &2 – can now switch the faders to CC mode and get CC information into the right track and Quick control and the Quick control in Cubase moves in sync with my track automation (which was recorded and received from my Asparion hardware fader)

 

Problem

  • The motorised fader is not moving with the software quick control.
  • I think its to do with my routings but I can’t think through how to ensure that the out from the Cubase generic remote which I have set to BMT will get back to the D400 unit and the motorised fader

Note

  • I can configure the Asparion unit to send CCs (rather than Mackie mode) from its faders
  • I can confirm when I link the Asparion to the generic control in Cubase it sends and receives fine and the motorised fader works tracks the movement of the quick control in cubase– so I know the unit and Cubase can do this. The problem is it’s a lot of messing around so I would like to use BOME to do the translations so I switch in real time

Attachments:
1507634852988_Bome-Midi-Tranlator-D400.docx

Hi, this is certainly possible. You will need to set up 2 inputs and two outputs in BMT Pro. You should have different presets using each pair. Example below

Preset A (name it D400 to Cubase)

Input D400 output BMT1 – In Cubase use BMT1 as input

Preset B (name it Cubase to D400)

Input BMT1 output D400

Then put all of your translators under the appropriate preset. The preset default output ports will override the project level project ports. At the project level you set BMT1 and D400 as both inputs and outputs.

I generally turn off all default routings and use translators to handle all of the conversion.

Let me know if you need further assistance.

Steve

bome@sniz.biz

Independent Bome Programming Specialist

Bome Q&A moderator

 

Hi Sean,

Did this help? Let me know if you need further assistance.

Steve

Hi Steve, thanks so much for following up to see how I’m going. I’ve posted where I’ve got to so I can attach some screen shots
regards sean

Hi Steve,

I decided to break the problem into pieces and start with the presets to do the conversion to midi cc first. I think I followed your instructions but again i find

  • I can get the cc into cubase but
  • I can’t get the cc out of cubase to drive the motorised faders.

I’ve copied screen shots of the send and return presets. Can you have a look and see if anything stands out as wrong?

In working through this I do have a couple of general questions:

  • On the return from cubase preset i don;t want to convert anything – I would just like to return the cc information back to hardware and fader. The only way i could get any output was to remap to a fader and swallow the CC and then redefine it as the same cc in the output section- interestingly the level was not between 0-127 (instead a numbers in 30,ooo’s. Is there a more straight forward way of passing the cc’s through the return preset?
  • Can I link the send and return presets so they come on and off together?

Thanks for your help and guidance!

Regards

Sean g


Attachments:
1507804230845_Bome-Midi-Tranlator-D400-v2.docx

Hard to read the screen shots. Maybe you can post (or email) me the project file so I can take a better look.
Mail is bome@sniz.biz.

Although it does look like although you are capturing “Any Value” of CC coming back from Cubase, you are not capturing it in a variable hence it is probably not sending the value back out to your D400.

In answer to your other question, yes, if you set up a default route from BMT1 to D400 at the project level, everything will pass through (unless swallowed by a translator elsewhere). Not sure how you could get midi values in the 30,000 since MIDI can only handle 0-127. Even if coming back as a 14 bit (pair of CCs) the max value would be 13383 (3FFF). The log file seems to show they are coming back values of 24-30. Do you know what the specific MIDI CC messages are supposed to be to move your faders?

For Mackie I believe fader 1 would be E0 ll pp (where ll = LSB and pp is MSB). If Mackie HUI this would be different. I believe this is pitch Bend on Channel 1 and that each fader uses its own channel. I must assume you put the D400 in a different mode so not sure how you have set up Cubase.

Note EX messages are not controller messages so if you want to pass back fader messages from Cubase, your choices are to either set up a default route with no translators or set up pitch bend translators for each fader.
I suspect that you will want to delay the messages back from Cubase so that you are not “fighting” with your faders so probably best to set them up for the latter and add a delay for each translator.

Hi Steve,

I think I worked it out (with you help!)

for the return preset
– incoming – captured the incoming fader to a variable
– set the midi message pitchbend with a rule to convert back from cc to pitchbend data range

and the fader works – can now write and read cc automation data!

Is there a way of linking the two presets to a computer key board key stroke (so I can toggle on and off), or a midi/note/cc value (I have an ipad based shortcut manager) ?

also Steve I’m working through the manual – trying work out how to project level variables so I can set the CC numbers in one spot. This would allow me to make the change to a controller number once – then have it flow through send / return presets.

Thanks again Steve. This will mean my set-up will be able to do something I’ve wanted for years – and lets face it – its just cool watching those fader flying!

Regards
Sean G

Hi Sean, glad to be of help!

 

Here is how I would set up the preset switcher.

1) Create a new preset call it “Preset Switcher”
2) Under that create 6 translators
-Incoming Keystroke A – Set one shot timer “Select A”
-Incoming Timer “Select A” – Outgoing action disable B
-Incoming Timer “Select A” – Outgoing action enable A
-Incoming Keystroke B – Set one sot timer “Select B”
-Incoming Timer “Select B” – Outgoing action disable A
-Incoming Timer “Select B” – Outgoing action enable B

Does this make sense to you?

Essentially, you can use timers to set off as many translators as you want.

Thanks Steve got a some time this weekend to try finish the project!

Hi Steve,

spent some “quality time” this weekend. Very good results.

Have even been able to link in the ipad app that I use to manage my Cubase Key commands to toggle the BMT Presets on and off. I’ve also worked a way to dynamically assign CCs to each fader using buttons on the ipad to select the fader and cc which then updates the BMT global variables that manage the cc assignment to the faders on the D400.

In the end I set the default routing to BMT 1 at project level – so when I have the preset off, all data flows through the generic device and mackie control device in cubase for normal operation.

I then used translator level port assignment to BMT2 which is linked to a second Generic device in cubase which allows me to automate the ccs for the selected track – with full return to the motorised fader. It effectively blocks out the 8 faders from the BMT1 generic midi and Mackie control devices in cubase and routes to that second generic device. It took about 32 translators in total! Very easy setup. Its rock solid, doesn’t feel like a hack at all.

The really cool thing is that because the BMT2 in port can be set to “all midi in” in cubase – i can have the cc information record into the cc lanes in the midi editor (as opposed to the automation lanes in the main project / mixer). This may not make a lot of sense if you’re not a Cubase or Logic user – but it makes a big difference to workflow etc If you review the forums you’ll see a lot of people have been pretty frustrated trying!

So thanks for your help. I think Bome Midi Translator is the best thing since sliced bread! It’s so easy to learn and demystifies midi programming which can be pretty esoteric. And the support is first class!

I’ll document everything next weekend, so I’ll be in position to post that and the BMT project file on the support site for others to use.

Thanks again
Regards
Sean G

Wow, Sean, sounds great. Yes MT Pro is a great tool and with a little ingenuity you can make it do quite a lot. Looking forward to seeing your project as I imagine other Cubase users are as well.

Steve
bome@sniz.biz
Independent Bome Programming Specialist
Bome Q&A moderator

Hi! I have been reading this post and decide to acquire a MCU +extender, with the aim of using the extender in this way to drive CCs. This post seems archived, is there any way to get the final project @gollogls posted?

Hi, Hopefully, he will come back on this forum. If not, you can certainly grab the project file from the last post here and then pick up the discussion with me on a new thread for your project.
You can also do a search on this board for ”Mackie” or ”MCU”. You will probably find other projects similar where we convert Mackie to CC.
Steve Caldwell
Bome Q and A Moderator and
Independent Bome Consultant/Specialist
bome@sniz.biz

Thanks Steve! Will do and post any improvements on it. I’m trying to set up a hybrid workstation where the MCU stays Mackie, while the Ext can switch to cc, with dynamic assignment from Lemur and (wishful thinking) scribble strip feedback via sysex. It’ll take ages but better late than never!

Thanks, Sean! Let me know if you get stuck.

@marcovalerio1,
Send me email and I will respond with latest updated project file. I assume since Sean sent via email rather than posting, he doesn’t want his project file in public domain.

Steve Caldwell
Bome Q and A Moderator and
Independent Bome Consultant/Specialist
bome@sniz.biz

Forwarded from Sean,

Hi Steve and Marco (steve you may need to onforward this email to Marco)

I have just got my music rig out of storage after a year as I have moved from Australia to Germany for work. Believe it or not I started looking again at my BOME cc fader project about 3 weeks ago. Had some problems getting it to work with cubase and my asparion mixer (mackie protocol fader banks). Anyway I have problem solved my way through and will document full signal flow from asparion -> bome -> bome conversion from pitchbend to cc -> cubase devices and ports -> back to BOM -> conversion back to PB from CC -> back to asparion.

In the mean time here is the last project I did which covers what you’re trying to achieve. I am spending time next weekend to redocument because I had some issues setting up again – worked out last weekend the way I was getting midi out of cubase and back to Bome and Asparion was the problem.

My dynamic allocation of cc’s uses note data from my ipad over the metagrid port – something that can be done using lemur I would think.

If Marco is using cubase let me know and i can send him the documentation on how I precisely solved the problem. Otherwise the general approach should work for what he’s trying to do if he’s clear on signal flows in and out of his DAW.

In my case i had a false positive. In my original setup I thought a
– cubase generic midi device i set up
– was sending midi cc into a selected cubase track and
– then out to Bome to
– reconvert to pitchbend info
– back to the asparion deck.

What i realised is that i had a midi send on the cubase track which was actually sending the data back to bome and the asparion
– and the cubase generic midi device wasn’t doing anything!

Let me know how you go.

Regards
sean

 


Attachments:
1549988237412_D400-CC-v11-16-F.bmtp

Hi Sean,
apologies for the disappearance, it’s been a busy year with no time to take care of this. In case you are still available to forward the project, I’d also appreciate Sean’s offer to send the documentation on how to solve the hiccup.
Thanks!

Hi Marco,

I’ve been doing extensive work with another user on getting generic controller to work in Mackie Mode with Cubase with good results. Open a new thread if there is a specific question you have (for free), or send me email if you want me to customize a complete solution for you (fee).

Steve Caldwell
Bome Q and A Moderator and
Independent Bome Consultant/Specialist
bome@sniz.biz