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azslow3

Selected Control Surface preset is not saved as current

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One of AZ Controller users (Bassman) has noticed no preset is loaded on CbB startup in ~2020.05

After some "magic dance" (re-installing, re-selecting, etc.) he has manged make it working.

But with 26.8.0.100 (the latest update) no magic helps. I have updated 2 computers myself. On one I could get "ACT MIDI" remember selected preset (not the first time, but after several restarts and removing ctrlsurface.dat...). On the second computer I can not make any plug-in memorize selected preset ("ACT MIDI", "Generic", "AZ Controller"), even after file removal.

In my own code I see there is no usual "Save" call during CbB close (it was called at least in X2...Platinum). I have also noticed 2x "Save" calls before "Load" on preset change, that is from what I remember also unusual.

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Hmm, I don't see that on my computers, Presets for AZ Controller and ACT MIDI Controller are remembered.

Since 2020.08 the connected Controllers need not only a MIDI In Port, but also a MIDI Out Port set up in Preferences.

Otherwise a Control Surface will not show up after restarting Cakewalk.

Before this version only a MIDI In Port was necessary.
 

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@azslow3 - the saving logic has now changed.  The logic is now as follows:

On startup, all of the control surfaces are loaded and a backup of the control surface persistence saved.

For each control surface, If any of the MIDI ports are unavailable, this control surface is marked as disabled.

On close, all of the persistence is saved to ctrlsurface.dat... however:
- If the control surface is disabled, the backup of the persistence is used
- If the control surface hasn't been altered, the backup of the persistence is used

Maybe the last step is the issue... perhaps it should always call the real code if its not disabled.

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1 minute ago, Klaus said:

Before this version only a MIDI In Port was necessary.
 

Interesting.... we did have an issue with it treating surfaces with a missing MIDI Out as disabled.... maybe that's the key.

@azslow3 - can you confirm if the presets are saved if the controller has a MIDI out port set?

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55 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

@azslow3 - the saving logic has now changed.  The logic is now as follows:

On startup, all of the control surfaces are loaded and a backup of the control surface persistence saved.

For each control surface, If any of the MIDI ports are unavailable, this control surface is marked as disabled.

On close, all of the persistence is saved to ctrlsurface.dat... however:
- If the control surface is disabled, the backup of the persistence is used
- If the control surface hasn't been altered, the backup of the persistence is used

Maybe the last step is the issue... perhaps it should always call the real code if its not disabled.

I have 2 comments for intended logic:

  • "some" surface plug-ins do not need MIDI ports (gamepads, OSC, just logic without surface at all)
  • most Cakewalk surface plug-ins do not (can not) use MIDI output
  • how CbB knows surface is not altered?  I do not see IsDirty in logs (but I am returning TRUE in any case)
54 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

Interesting.... we did have an issue with it treating surfaces with a missing MIDI Out as disabled.... maybe that's the key.

@azslow3 - can you confirm if the presets are saved if the controller has a MIDI out port set?

With MIDI was set, "ACT MIDI" has saved selected preset to default (once, in the same session I have enabled MIDI out). Just removing "ACT MIDI" and inserting it again (with In and Out) shows previous preset name but does not load it. After re-selecting it and restarting CbB, nothing (I guess empty) is loaded again.

PS It seems like the "optimization" for persistence has tried to fix not broken part of CbB... sure, as usual in such cases, it is broken now🤨 

 

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I have done "clean" test:

  1. removed ctrlsurface.dat
  2. started CbB
  3. inserted Mackie (standard Cakewalk one, shows (C) 2019), with In and Out (not to Mackie device, but who cares... ports exist)
  4. changed F8 and disabled handshake
  5. restarted CbB

Mackie is loaded with default preset 🤒

I mean how you test to AVOID that behavior?

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It looks like a bug in the handling ACT Control  surface from within Cakewalk itself. 

I don't think this is due to the recent changes - it's an older issue, but it has a knock on effect on other control surfaces saving when the ACT Control surface is in your Control Surface list.

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I’m having a similar issue with my Frontier Design Tranzport NOT remembering to scroll by Beats instead of Measures.   I don’t remember having to select it manually every single time. 🤔

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ACT has been "broken" for years. It is probably (for me)  the most frustrating part of using Cakewalk By Band Lab. Using a "FaderFox PC12" & "Behringer x-touch mini" and ACT  is great.... when it works and  then those presets i create completely vanish by the next restart or project. The amount of time it takes to get it all set up, just right and then it all vanishes.. painful. 

FaderFox-PC12 w CakewalkByBandlab.jpg

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@Devils you are not using AZ Controler with Mini 😉 I do not know how you could get feedback on encoders without it...

In fact ACT and surfaces in general are working fine, as long as you have MCU or use AZ Controller (with everything else). ACT mapping you can easily preserve, once you use AZ ACT Fix...

For current problem (with the latest CbB only, not loading presets at startup) there is a workaround:

after selecting required preset in Surface dialog, visit Control Surfaces in Preferences. Change In or Out port to something else, apply, change it back, apply. Current preset will be loaded after CbB restart (tested with ACT MIDI and AZ Controller). In case the preset is changed (selecting some other preset or by direct modification) repeat port switch.

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whoaaa.... that worked !    Thank you!     So.... if ACT had been around this long....WHY IS IT Doing this? Tactile control, be it a mouse and keyboard or a control surface are absolutely the meat and potatoes for an engineer! This shouldn't be malfunctioning like this after 20 years!

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HI:)

@azslow3

That works, thank you:) But....

For my new preset is not finished yet, it is faster to just activate it by loading. The Problem is, when I forget to load it and I write new things in it and save it, the new things are messed up with an older version:( (Had to write a few things twice)

 

Insum, this has to be repaired please! I'm pretty sure this is not the last preset I'm writing😉

 

Thanks for reporting this Alexey! :)

 

Bassman.

 

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I'm noticing ACT still seems very buggy and has been for years but I would have hoped it was more stable now. It's not my controller because ACT behaves the same way with my M-Audio Axiom 61 keyboard and my Behringer BCF2000 motorized controller.

  1. First of all, it doesn't save the settings properly and then never reloads them when I restart Cakewalk. Very frustrating but I see there is some type of work-around mentioned earlier. I haven't tried that yet.
  2. Even after I set all the controllers for console view, and leave Cakewalk open but walk away or make any other changes, like even just change the focus of the controllers (like click on a VST synth) the controls stop working when I go back to the console (sliders and rotary knows) unless I spin or slide them again to have Cakewalk recognize them. This makes the Act controller useless for me. I don't know what other people have experienced.
  3. Although I've seen several YouTube videos (older ones) that should how ACT is supposed to work when setting controllers (for example, after you set a control and turn off the Learn Mode, a dialog box is supposed to pop up letting you know how many controls were changed. I never get this pop up dialog box.

Does anyone actually have Cakewalk by Bandlab working perfectly with their controller using ACT? I would like to know if it's just me or something wrong with my settings but I can't imagine what.

Thanks.

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6 hours ago, Steve Veach said:

I'm noticing ACT still seems very buggy and has been for years but I would have hoped it was more stable now. It's not my controller because ACT behaves the same way with my M-Audio Axiom 61 keyboard and my Behringer BCF2000 motorized controller.

  1. First of all, it doesn't save the settings properly and then never reloads them when I restart Cakewalk. Very frustrating but I see there is some type of work-around mentioned earlier. I haven't tried that yet.
  2. Even after I set all the controllers for console view, and leave Cakewalk open but walk away or make any other changes, like even just change the focus of the controllers (like click on a VST synth) the controls stop working when I go back to the console (sliders and rotary knows) unless I spin or slide them again to have Cakewalk recognize them. This makes the Act controller useless for me. I don't know what other people have experienced.
  3. Although I've seen several YouTube videos (older ones) that should how ACT is supposed to work when setting controllers (for example, after you set a control and turn off the Learn Mode, a dialog box is supposed to pop up letting you know how many controls were changed. I never get this pop up dialog box.

Does anyone actually have Cakewalk by Bandlab working perfectly with their controller using ACT? I would like to know if it's just me or something wrong with my settings but I can't imagine what.

Thanks.

Computers still seems very buggy, but I would have hoped they are more stable now 😃

Now serious... "ACT" means different things: (a) it is general API to be used for writing controller plug-ins for Cakewalk, (b) sometimes people reference "Cakewalk ACT MIDI" plug-in as "ACT" and (c) (since related buttons was labeled as such) as a part of API related to VST plug-ins steering.

Note there are other MIDI (and sometimes controlling) related features in Cakewalk, which are NOT ACT: "Remote control" for Cakewalk related parameters, MIDI "shortcuts" and (direct) MIDI control for plug-ins. All these features can fight for the controller and the result can be rather confusing when you mix them, at least when you mix them without careful planing. 

All incarnations of "ACT" are in fact working well (for years). Correct initial setup is a must and there can be some bugs (as in all programs).

The issue number (1) exists in one single release of Cakewalk. Settings saving was properly (in case of one controller) working before and we all hope will proper work in all following versions. For this single version use mentioned workaround, for most users (which do not change controlling plug-in presets all the time) that is one time several clicks operation.

From (2) and (3) I guess you incorrectly interpret general ACT approach: you first explain controlling plug-in how to work with your device and then assign what controlling plug-in should do with changes sent by your controller. Sometimes both are pre-defined (Mackie), sometimes are defined in parallel (Generic Control Surface) and sometimes truly independent (ACT MIDI and AZ Controller).

Sorry, but proper setup and understanding what is going on is required for your controllers: Behringer and M-Audio have not prepared "plug&play" solutions for Cakewalk. I recommend to start with one device and one surface plug-in of your choice, read corresponding documentation (ACT MIDI and Generic Surface have detailed documentation in PDF reference guide, my site explain AZ Controller) and not mix ACT with other approaches, at least not for the same physical control (f.e. do not use the same knob for "Remote control"/MIDI Learn and ACT plug-ins).

F.e. for (3), you will need to "learn"  some physical controls (in surface plug-in), then enable "ACT" (as VST Dynamic Mapping) for these controls and then "ACT Learn" corresponding logical controls in particular VST. When done properly, you will get "ACT Learning" confirmation dialog (except with some VSTs/parameters, for these you will need to use other assigning approaches, f.e. AZ ACT Fix utility).

 

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Thank you Heinz and azslow3. AZ Controller looks interesting, however It's probably more reading and configuring than I have time for to learn and implement it. I'm fairly certain I'm configuring Cakewalk correctly based on the documentation and YouTube videos I've found but I suppose I will go back and try it again but more carefully to make sure I'm doing things right.

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20 hours ago, azslow3 said:

... The issue number (1) exists in one single release of Cakewalk. Settings saving was properly (in case of one controller) working before and we all hope will proper work in all following versions. For this single version use mentioned workaround, for most users (which do not change controlling plug-in presets all the time) that is one time several clicks operation. ...

This is fixed in the 2020.08 HotFix - you can get the preview release here:

 

 

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I tried the Hotfix. Unfortunately, it's still very buggy. Maybe even more buggy than it was. Although presets "sort of" seem to save, when I open them back up things like the labels are completely blank. Also switching between presets doesn't always change anything in the buttons, sliders, and rotary knobs displays. It's too buggy to use unfortunately. I think I'll only use a very simple custom preset that only sets the playback, stop, and record buttons on my keyboard. Those at least seem to consistently work.

I'm not sure about this, however I think I noticed other bugs that weren't there before this release as well. Can you tell me how to uninstall this Hotfix and revert back to the latest release?

Thanks.

Edited by Steve Veach

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