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MIDI: Transport control not working from master keyboard AND external controller

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Hi altogether,

as a relatively newbie to audio recoring I started with Cakewalk (I like the interface very much compared to any other DAW so far).

Last week I bought an M-Audio Keystation 88 and connected it with USB to Win10 (1909). It is recognized by Cakewalk (newest version) as a MIDI device and I can play with VST-Instruments. Pitch is also working as expected.

BUT: Neither volume control nor transport controls are working. The MIDI-device "Keystation 88" and "MIDIIN2 (Keystation 88)" are both activated. When I press the PLAY button on the Keystation, red light on the MIDI activity symbol in taskbar is blinking and Cakewalk seems to recognize sth. because the hourglass comes up and Cakewalk freezes. After around 10sec it reacts again, but nothing else happened. After that presses on the transport button do not repeat the hourglass nor any other reaction (only red lights on taskbar icon).

After long trials I loaded MIDI-OX. I can see MIDI triggers from both MIDI-Ins that come with M-Audio USB. Controls are coming through IN2.

Why can Cakewalk react properly to the normal keys and have then a problem with the control keys?

Another try was the connection of a Nektar Panorama P1 Controller. All the same: With MIDI-OX I can see all the activity, also in the taskbar, but in Cakewalk the same inital freeze and no reaction to anything I start on the P1.

I have already renamed TTSEQ.INI.

Attached are 2 screenshots. Sorry, I use the German version. 🙂 But should look the same in English. Have I done anything wrong? Or is there another option to activate the transport controls?

I tested both ACT and Cakewalk Generic Surface. All the same.

I wanted to test some other Controllers (have KORG, Presonus and Behringer here) this weekend, but if that simple thing is not working I stop before I unpack all the other controllers.

Perhaps interesting detail on the outskirts: I tried SoundBridge DAW and there was no reaction either.

Some environmental info: i7 8700, Asus-Board, 16GB, 3 SSDs, AMD RadeOn RX 580, Presonus Studio 24c interface,

Any help is very much appreciated.

2020-02-08 23_51_39-Cakewalk - [Test1.cwp_ - Spur].png

2020-02-09 00_01_01-Cakewalk - [Test1.cwp - Spur].png

Edited by Widescreen

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There is no well defined "Play" nor "Volume" commands any DAW should recognize. The keyboard just sends normal key messages when you press play, you need explain the DAW how that should work.

For Keystation:

* put transport buttons into Mackie mode (if it is in HUI), see the documentation how

* remove ACT MIDI and put Mackie Control, set its input as on your screenshot (no output). Open its configuration (Cakewalk Utilities menu) and set "Disable handshake".

The fader works as "MIDI Volume". Some synth recognize it, some not. To control something in the DAW, you can add ACT MIDI, with input set to the first input of Keystation, so the same as keys. And configure the first "Fader" there (see ACT MIDI documentation how).

With Nektar you are out of luck, Nektar has not written plug-in for Cakewalk and the device does not use any common protocol (like Mackie). Can be configured, but that is not simple...

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Hi azslow3,

thank you for giving me help for that first step! Wow, I got the Keystation's transport controls working! The handshake was the problem! :-))

Now I can go for the bigger part:

Sad for the Nektar, as I like it from optics and haptics. But if I had a better idea what exactly to do I would be willing to put a little effort in programming every key and control on that device. If I can be sure that it will be really usable after that effort.

If using an alternative would be quicker to dispose and better to use afterwards, can you advice me which one is best for Cakewalk (which one to try first)? As I have alternatives here, as said before. You seem to know almost every of them... 😉

1. Behringer X Touch One

2. Behringer X Touch (with the 9 motorfaders)

3. Presonus Faderport V2

4. KORG Nanocontrol Studio

Or is there another one which works better out of the box and is in that price range? Original Mackie Control ist even used too expensive for my level. 🙂


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If you need "the first" controller, get Behringer X-Touch Mini. If will work out of the box with AZ Controller plug-in.

From your list X Touch (big one, with displays) is exact copy of Mackie in functionality (not in controls quality), it will work as desired.

Faderport V1 (old one) has special plug-in, but not V2.

X Touch One will work more or less ok. They try to mimic Mackie, but since the DAW does not know it has just one fader, it is not working exactly as Mackie.

Nanocontrol will also work. But it is "nano"... If you primary need buttons or your projects are no more then 8 tracks, it can be almost as good as Mackie. But at the time you load new project, shift to different tracks in the same project or try to control FX, you will need to bring knobs/faders "in position".
Nektar P1, when ingegrated, has guides for faders and endless knobs. So it is way less work to shift tracks and no work for knobs. With nanocontrol it is different.

Back to X-Touch Mini. It has encoders (as its big brothers) and a set of buttons. The functionality is listed there: http://www.azslow.com/index.php/topic,377.0.html


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Thanks again for that evaluation list. With that in mind I tried Behringer X Touch (the big one) and I was totally amazed that it works nearly perfectly, the motor faders are great! I had luck in snatching a perfect looking b-stock for the price of nearly the Nektar. I'll set it on a swivel arm for notebooks to save space. 🙂

So the smaller controllers all go back. Nice.

The next thing I consider is the use of an extra controller for drums. This time I wait before ordering as your information is very helpful and would have saved lots of effort, transport etc.

The ones I already focus are:

- KORG nanopad

- Midiplus X Pad

- Akai MPD 218 or 226

- Arturia Beatstep (small version)

Could you recommend any of these or another similar one?

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Aaargh, something very important happened! 🤯

As for now I have 2 Mackie Controls connected: 1st is the Keystation, 2nd is the X Touch. But Cakewalk cannot save independent settings?? When I edit Mackie Control 1, all parameters are also set on Mackie Control 2 and vice versa. WTF?? 😰

I just realized it when I tried to use the transport function on the Keystation after setting up the X Touch. Never could I imagine that a software would react like that... 🙄

How can I get different settings for each device? Especially as I am thinking about adding a potential 3rd one?

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I think the simplest way is to use:

(its 'multiple independent groups of devices' feature)


With drum controllers I can not advise anything (I use e-drums as "drums MIDI controller).



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