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Davydh

Best control surfaces for Cakewalk???

Question

I'd like to know the best top three most supported control surfaces for Cakewalk.

Thanks to all who reply!

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VS-700. Original surface module. Device itself is discontinued and does not support Windows 10 (driver can be installed with tricky workarounds only).

MCU Pro and complete clones (like Behringer X-Touch, big one). Cakewalk surface module (Mackie). Does not support Synth steering, Plug-in mapping in a dedicated text file (no ACT Learn). With feedback/faders touch/display support.

Faderport Classic/Alphatrack/Roland MIDI keyboards/Nektar MIDI keyboard (except Panorama). All have original surface modules, but they was not updated for years and can be problematic.

Behringer BCR2000 and X-Touch Mini. AZ Controller surface module. Almost on the limit what can be done theoretically with control surface in CbB using encoders and buttons (feedback, double-precision encoders, ACT Learn, jogging, etc.).

Any simple controller with 8 faders, 8 knobs and 8+1 buttons. Cakewalk surface module (ACT MIDI). Easy and flexible in configuration.

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That was more then three, but the list is almost complete ;)

Edited by azslow3
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@azslow3,

Thanks for that very detailed and helpful reply!!

Having ACT is important, so Mackie doesn't support it? That's sad.

So you'd recommend:

Behringer BCR2000 and X-Touch Mini. AZ Controller surface module?

As the best option?

Maybe one day BandLab will make one! :)

 

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Custom mapping is an alternative to ACT learn. The result is the same, just "learning" is different. msmcleod has Mackie devices and continues development, f.e. see

 

If you want write volume automations and/or want display on controller, devices with touch sensitive fader(s) is the way to go. So Mackie (compatible) or single strip (with one fader).  You can try the functionality for cheap, f.e. with TouchDAW on Android/iPad tablet (if your computer is not completely offline).

Otherwise you can be good served with Mini or BCR-2000  (depending from the number of parameters you want control directly without switching layouts and available space on the desk).

BTW I forgot to mention Softube Console 1. It has native Cakewalk integration (but target Softube/UA plug-ins only).

 

 

 

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@azslow3,

Console 1 looks awesome.

I wish I could target other plugins though.

What I want is a minimum of 8 faders and the ability to switch between plugins.

Thanks for all the great info!

Someone gave me a Trigger finger pro which supports Mackie drivers. I'll try it out using your Mackie setup link 

Edited by Davydh

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These two devices serve completely different purpose. One is primary for steering specific channel strip, other is primary for controlling 16 levels.

FederPort16 when comparing to MCU + XT:

pro: is cheaper, is smaller

cons: has less controls (less buttons and just one encoder). So some foreseen for MCU functions are emulated with button combinations (note that MCU already has 4 modifier buttons). Do not expect absolute integration as with Studio One, it is more like "fallback to MCU for compatibility with other DAWs" then MCU clone.

 

Spend $5 for TouchDAW and try it with a tablet. Real Mackie (like) device will be "real" and more stable, but functionality will be the same. So you can kind of test before buy.

You can not be wrong with Softube, Mackie, Presonus or X-Touch Mini. But it can happened they do not do what you want or you do not like the size/controls feeling/etc. In case you can, visit some place where you can physically touch particular device (or use delivery service with free return policy), even disconnected.

F.e. I could not predict I hate Novation knobs, X-Touch knobs are a bit "hard", NI knobs have no raster, etc. before I have really touched all of them. Even in case something does what you want, if you hate touching it you probably will hate using it.

 

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2 hours ago, Davydh said:

Would you go for softube or this?

It has Mackie support.

Why not do what I did and get both?🤣

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