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Mark Nicholson

Multiple MIDI controllers

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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

I an an 'improving noob' just learning Cakewalk and DAWs in general. I have a Tascam Model 12 mixer, and a Native Instruments M32 keyboard, both of which can act as DAW controllers. The M32 and Tascam control different things, except that both have transport controls. Will they keep to their own lanes or will I have to contend with them fighting?

My question is, should I be aware of any interaction between the two controllers, any fighting for priority, or any other not-playing-nicely?

Thanks,

- Mark

 

Edited by Mark Nicholson

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If each is set up correctly, there shouldn't be conflicts between them. I have three different controllers with transport controls. I can use the transport controls on whichever one I choose at any given moment. I can even press play on one and stop on another and it all works. Part of the work the DAW and controller integration has  to do is coordinate the controllers. When play is pressed on one controller and sent to the DAW, the other controllers are informed (using whatever method is necessary for those controllers) that play has been engaged.

The one thing to monitor in CbB is that the controller In Ports and Out Ports sometimes get jumbled up, especially if not all the controllers are connected (and turned on if necessary) each time CbB is opened. If one or more controllers are not working as they should, the first thing to check is Preferences > Control Surfaces > In Port and Out Port.

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If you're using the Mackie Control / Mackie Control XT / Mackie Control C4 surfaces, they do interact with each other.

In other words, if you've set up 2 x Mackie Control, selecting track 3 on one surface will automatically select track 3 on the other.

If you need more than one Mackie compatible surface to act independently, download my version which will give you up to 3 extra independent "sets" of Mackie controllers:

https://msmcleod.co.uk/cakewalk/MMcLMackieControlSetup.zip

I use this so that one Mackie controller can control tracks, while the other controls buses.

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Also note in case you use the same plug-in for several devices (f.e. "ACT MIDI" for both), Preset names will be bugged (both will show the same preset name, while in fact they will load correct preset for each instance).

BTW @msmcleod are there any plans to fix that ? 😉

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Thanks again. I'm using the Tascam Model 12, which does use Mackie Control methods, and the m32 keyboard from Native Instruments which AFAIK doesn't. I guess I'll just need to play around with it and see 🤪

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Actually, you most likely will want to also set up the M32 using the Mackie MCU device.

I have one of those, and the transport controls are the part of it that will work in CbB if it is set up as an MCU. The "big knob" will also work for selecting the active track and scrolling the timeline.

But other than those things, it won't control the DAW itself, because NI hasn't collaborated with Cakewalk as they have with some other DAWs for deeper DAW integration. The M32 does a very nice job of controlling the Komplete Kontrol shell plug-in if you use it. That is perhaps the main control purpose of the NI keyboards, at least when used with CbB.

Make sure that neither the M32 firmware nor the version of the Komplete Kontrol software is too old. The ability to use the MCU protocol was added somewhat recently, mid 2019 if I recall correctly.

 

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