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Mackie MCU control surface, Command8, and Nagra VI


Eric Lamontagne
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Today I'm experimenting with a couple of control surfaces in use with my NagraVI and the latest software version 3.2. I'm using a custom Midi cable from each control surface to the EXT connector on the NagraVI.

First test was with a Command8, I had one laying around and I figured I'd experiment. The Command8 is set to "Stand Alone" mode. After setting each knob and fader function within the NagraVI, I'm seeing positive results with input gain and mix gain. Obviously the scribble strips are blank and also there's no way to control pan. Transport functions also do not seem to be sending the NagraVI correct midi info as they won't identify within the NagraVI even though the VI shows midi information is being received.

Next control surface is the Mackie MCU Pro. After setting it to HUI mode (holding select on ch 1+2 at initial power up and pressing input 4 V-Pot) and performing the same identification within the NagraVI as I outlined above the control surface is working to control the NagraVI as expected. There is one problem that is unresolved right now for this setup, I am wanting to turn off the midi handshake(return confirmation) for the MCU Pro as the NagraVI does not have the ability to return fader move midi control information. This means that every time I make a fader move on the MCU Pro, the recorder receives the midi control information, and the MCU returns it's fader to Infinity (off) as the recorder does not return a confirmation.

I've sent of an email to Mackie and I will post their response if it's helpful.

Any Thoughts?
Eric

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After some experimentation, the solution for the MCU Pro panel in HUI mode with the Nagra VI is to use a midi thru box inline to split the midi signal. The secondary output of the midi thru box returns back to the MCU Pro and provides confirmation.

I'm still on the fence as to the usability of the MIDI Pro to externally control the Nagra VI as it does not have rotary encoders for pan functions and it appears that transport control messages all appear as a single midi function wether I'm mapping start/stop/ff/rw.

 

Eric

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This reply from Mackie:

Unfortunately there is no way of turning off the return MIDI information on the MCU Pro. The MCU Pro has never been tested or supported with a standalone recording device. The MCU Pro is only designed to be connected to a Mac or PC computer and used with a standard DAW that supports the HUI, Mackie Control, or Logic Control MIDI protocols.

-

 

I figured I'd keep the thread updated for future users.

Also, I've  found a problem where the MCU Pro panel is sending the same midi message for all transport functions, ie stop, play, record, ff, rw. I'm wondering if it's possible to reconfigure the midi map in the MCU Pro in HUI mode? I've also asked Mackie directly.

 

Eric

Edited by Eric Lamontagne
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Christian,

Thanks man. I'm thinking it will be useful for many folks.

 

This back from Mackie today:

"HUI is a proprietary protocol shared between Mackie and Avid so we are unable to disclose any MIDI mapping specs. Since HUI has been around for nearly 20 years, you may have some luck searching online for some information regarding the protocol."

Looks like what's in the box is an industry secret, and likely a bit of a proprietary racket, meeting the HUI spec just enough to claim that it supports the protocol.

I'll look to useability of the Command8 and the Behringer X-touch Compact.

Eric

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  • 7 months later...

with ref to the other thread where i detail my success in using a Korg fader controller, bear in mind that as best as i can tell from my experiments with DAW/NLE setups and controlling them from iPad midi controller apps,  HUI uses a kind of 'hierarchy' of levels within the Midi control data to give many controls different functions depending on the 'context' of what state/window the controlled application is in at any given time. Or put another way it virtually 'routes' the midi commands to different functions based on what is rendered controllable in various modes.

By contrast the Nagra Midi implementation is a quite basic 'CC' value one, so any fader unit you're thinking of trying with the Nagra has to be capable of being reset ( often by some key-combination on power-up ) to basic/classic Midi controller mode before the Nagra will recognise any commands from it, and even then you may have to manually edit some faders/pots/buttons to send different CC values before you can 'learn' all the required commands on the Nagra.

  If anyone wants i'll search out the CC table i used to edit the values in my NanoKontrol units so that all controls on them were recognised by the Nagra, and post it in this thread.

 

 

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