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David Myers

Best Midi Controller and is Cakewalk Mackie MCU proprietary??

Question

i'm looking for the best 49 key midi controller for Cbl around 250 bucks.

i've kind of narrowed it down to the Arturia keylab essentials 49,  M-audio Oxygen Pro 49,  or the Nektar Panorama T4.

It looks like all of them will need serious setup as none of them support Cakewalk natively. they all have their plus and minuses but i'm really leaning towards the Nektar panorama t4.

The main great features of the NektarT4 keyboard is it's the only one in that price range the supports aftertouch, has an assignable footswitch and expression pedal. a half decent LCD screen and It's also supposed to have one of the best keybeds of the bunch.

I wrote Nektar customer service to see  why they don't support cakewalk integration and received the following in reply:

"The control assignments can be changes in Internal Mode and you can configure mapping using Cakewalk's ACT system. However, the experience will not be the same as using our DAW integration with applications which we officially support. 
The T-series does have an MCU emulation mode but I was under the impression that Cakewalk would only work with MCU controllers made by Mackie. I do know that the T-series MCU mode will not work with Cakewalk, where it does work with other DAWs. "
 

So does cakewalk only have some proprietary MCU integration or will the Nektar work with Cakewalks MCU?? I'm so confused... 

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I just bought an Arturia KeyLab 61 MK2 and after a long time trying to get it to work with MMC...switched to HUI and it works. I still haven't tried all the functions but looks good.

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Cakewalk should work with any controller that offers Mackie MCU emulation, however unless it specifically offers a SONAR or Cakewalk mode, some of the buttons may not do the same thing as what is labelled on the unit. There's usually overlays you can get that will show the correct button mapping for Cakewalk.

In saying that, Faders, Pan and Transport control & Jog Wheel should all work fine regardless.

Also, if you're using a unit that doesn't specifically support SONAR/Cakewalk, you'll  probably need to check the "Disable Handshake" option within the Mackie Control properties dialog within Cakewalk.
 

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thanks all for the replies.

I wish the Nektar supported Cakewalk directly as it has all the features I want,  I like the aftertouch and expression pedal port. They support cakewalk in their cheaper LX line,  and the more expensive Panorama P4's so I don't know why they haven't done so in the Panorama "T" line, it should be a piece of cake for them to add integration to Cakewalk. Their customer service dept. seem to be making excuses and are saying cakewalk won't work with their MCU.

If the MCU works  I should be able to control the rest via midi cc. 

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