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Presonus Faderport 8 in use in Cakewalk by Bandlab

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23 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

The biggest problem I've had with MCU and Sonar is after switching to control buses, it's difficult to get back to controlling tracks. This happened with the SSL Nucleus and other MCU-compatible devices, including the FP8. I could just be doing something wrong...

In my studio, the FP8 replaced two Avid Artist Series controllers. Although the FP8 doesn't do 16 channels, I love the compact size - the small footprint is a big deal for me. It sits to the right of my keyboard/mouse, and Maschine Mk3 sits to the left. 

If you have a Sonar overlay on it there is a section called Control Group. The buttons are from left to right Track, Aux, and Main.  This is where you move from tracks to buses and back.  Without an overlay it is the top three buttons under Functions. Labeled Undo, Cancel, and Enter. Undo =Tracks. Enter = Bus.

This was the only weakness with the Mackie Control. Each DAW developer was suppose to give Mackie a layout to create an overlay.  

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Speaking about small controllers, there's the relatively new icon platform m+. Do we have anybody, trying to connect that one with Cakewalk, on the forum?

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5 hours ago, John said:

If you have a Sonar overlay on it there is a section called Control Group. The buttons are from left to right Track, Aux, and Main.  This is where you move from tracks to buses and back.  Without an overlay it is the top three buttons under Functions. Labeled Undo, Cancel, and Enter. Undo =Tracks. Enter = Bus.

This was the only weakness with the Mackie Control. Each DAW developer was suppose to give Mackie a layout to create an overlay.  

 The Mackie protocol was developed in collaboration with E-Magic using Logic, hence Logic is the only DAW that doesn't require an overlay. It was written to be a simple open source standard MIDI language very much like GM (general MIDI) is used for a standard for controlling all MIDI synths developed in collaboration between Microsoft, Roland, and Cakewalk.

 But then Apple bought out E-Magic, dropped support for Windows during a bitter rivalry, and orphaned Mackie from any further opensource collaboration nonsense with Logic. And they decided to push hard for HUI protocol which was originally developed for Pro Tools.

Apple wasn't down with sharing any technology, especially where Microsoft and Windows was concerned, and didn't until it became painfully obvious that they didn't have a choice.. Both HUI and Pro Tools are very late starters for Windows, and neither have ever fully got of the ground with Windows users, and most likely never will. Even die hard Windows users and supporters like myself use Pro Tools on a Mac, and ONLY when I get paid to do it, LoL, I really LOVES me some Cakewalk..

The Control Group written for Mackie protocol for Cakewalk is actually Track, "BUSS", Main. And when CbB hangs in the Buss section the Buss light stays lit and the track and Main buttons do nothing when the problem occurs.

 Auxilary channels are completely different channels that run in parallel to the channels they are fed from. They can be set for pre or post fader signal paths and can but don't necessarily have to be sent to the buss.

 But I figured out a good work around, you don't need to use the Control Group section, you can assign track and buss focus selection to any of the "F" (function) less important keys assignments you can live without in Mackie Control Panel window. Getting stuck in Buss control is certainly something that can be hard to live with..

 Click on the function buttons you want to configure and the commands will be found about 3/4 the way down in the dropdown menu.

 Being MCU uses standard programable "Function" key command protocol  I see no reason it shouldn't work FP 8, as it does work well with the X Touch.

1036830999_Mackiecontrol.jpg.2b6705e8fd787fae3a0d6077ebf671c9.jpg

 

BUT that is an assumption, and I'm not really fond of trusting in assumptions, we all know how Mackie's assumption for creating an opensource one size fit's all collaboration with Logic turned out.

 It turned out they had to have a gaggle of templates made up for every other DAW and include them for free with every purchase of the Mackie Universal DAW Controller.. Which is in fact is very universal, just it's patented labeling isn't, and by the time truckloads of units and printed manuals were manufactured shipped, it seemed it was too late and too expensive to recall.

More assumptions on my part, and that doesn't explain why Behringer, after so meticulously cloning the original Mackie continued on labeling the buttons like the original, and never bothering to include templates for all the other DAWs. 

 Anyway it would be interesting to see if my work around does in fact work out for Presonus FP 8 like I'm assuming it should.

 Here's to hoping it will!🥤

Edited by Steev

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So...

I tried again this evening.  Here's what seems to be happening/working: (and I also found a different version of the manual on my PC from what I was looking at from the office Internet.

If you press the Bus button, it shows busses.  Before pressing that, you would see the lit Track button at the top and no other buttons lit on that column.  

In Studio One, you would press the All button at the bottom of that column of buttons, but in Cakewalk, that button lights but performs not function (as the manual indicates).  If you press the Audio button in Cakewalk, you get ALL of the tracks.  The MIDI tracks show in this mode as well.  So, even though there were no buttons lit on the bottom section when Cakewalk was started and it was showing ALL tracks, once Bus is pressed, hitting Audio seems to put it back to the same mode.  

Also, the manual says that if you press the VI/Midi button, you would get MIDI tracks.  You don't.  It seems to take you to the Hardware Outputs - like Shift-Bus should do.

There are definitely some things in here that don't act like you would expect, but it DOES seem to do more than the surface items.  You can't (apparently) count on the manual to tell you what those things are, however. :)

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Resurrecting an old thread.  Long time SONAR/Cakewalk user here (+20 years). Recently got my hands on a Faderport 8 (Presonus) and quite happy with it. Read the manual. Obviously understand I cannot map everything, but to a reasonable amount at least. The main issue (which seemingly is what other Presonus users also have noticed overall) is the fader calibration. Moving a fader on the Faderport it moves on respective channel in CW, but upon releasing the physical fader it twitches and changes it's position up or down to match the resolution on the virtual fader. So technically they are both correct, but the problem is obviously that the resolutions don't match on the FP vs CW.   The itch is merely the small adjustment the fader has to do when letting go of it, hopping up to the correct corresponding number on the FP scale to be aligned with what CW:s fader is reporting.

Now question:

You can change the audio meter resolution under console view for example. But I don't see an option for changing the actual dB resolution next to the faders. In my case I would like it to be from infinity > +10 dB. Right now we are at standard infinity > +6 dB. Supposedly there never were such an option?

Anyone else experiencing/experienced this fader twitching? To be expected when using FP8 with CW and regular MCU protocol?

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Rick Lang said:

Resurrecting an old thread.  Long time SONAR/Cakewalk user here (+20 years). Recently got my hands on a Faderport 8 (Presonus) and quite happy with it. Read the manual. Obviously understand I cannot map everything, but to a reasonable amount at least. The main issue (which seemingly is what other Presonus users also have noticed overall) is the fader calibration. Moving a fader on the Faderport it moves on respective channel in CW, but upon releasing the physical fader it twitches and changes it's position up or down to match the resolution on the virtual fader. So technically they are both correct, but the problem is obviously that the resolutions don't match on the FP vs CW.   The itch is merely the small adjustment the fader has to do when letting go of it, hopping up to the correct corresponding number on the FP scale to be aligned with what CW:s fader is reporting.

Now question:

You can change the audio meter resolution under console view for example. But I don't see an option for changing the actual dB resolution next to the faders. In my case I would like it to be from infinity > +10 dB. Right now we are at standard infinity > +6 dB. Supposedly there never were such an option?

Anyone else experiencing/experienced this fader twitching? To be expected when using FP8 with CW and regular MCU protocol?


This used to happen on the original MCU when the PWM IC's were on their way out.  I replaced mine and it fixed the issue for me.

I've got a FaderPort 16 here as well though, and I've never seen that issue with the FP.



 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for swift input. You replaced your FP? So it was an issue before? Surely should not be with the new FP v2 and latest firmware of 3.44?

Asked the same question over at Presonus. Waiting for feedback.

Edited by Rick Lang

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1 minute ago, Rick Lang said:

Thanks for swift input. You replaced your FP? So it was an issue before? Surely should not be with the new FP v2 and latest firmware of 3.44?

Asked the same question over at Presonus. Waiting for feedback.

No, I replaced the PMW IC's in my Mackie MCU.

My Presonus hasn't had this issue... but it could be a similar cause. It could equally be a firmware issue tho.  It's boxed up at the moment, I'll need to check which version I'm running.

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Just now, msmcleod said:

No, I replaced the PMW IC's in my Mackie MCU.

My Presonus hasn't had this issue... but it could be a similar cause. It could equally be a firmware issue tho.  It's boxed up at the moment, I'll need to check which version I'm running.

I see. It might as well be that this unit behaves this way, so would not like to think it's defective in any way. 

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I believe I have solved it. I did a new factory reset to firmware 3.21 from June 2019 and tried. Seemingly no twitching. I then uninstalled everything. Including Universal Control software (which really wasn't necessary). Went through the process anew and updated to firmware 3.44. Calibrated, rebooted etc. and so on. Tried in Cakewalk/SONAR and Reaper. The twitching was back. Did a new factory reset to 3.21. Recalibrated. Rebooted. Twitching gone. So the solution is to NOT update to firmware v. 3.44, and if you have: do a factory reset.

So to elaborate: this firmware most likely addresses the "need" to have virtual faders match the fader resolution on the Faderport. The thing is that Cakewalk/SONAR does not have the same fader resolution (nor can you change it). That one is from infinity to +6dB, while FP is from infinity to +10 dB. So if you are somewhere in the middle with the faders running the newest firmware, you might be ok. But way down below -25 or so on the FP the virtual fader hasn't reached that far due to resolution – which is why it jumps back up. Same thing if you go above 0 dB.

So basically you will use 3.44 and see that FP faders match the virtual faders, but accept twitching. Or revert back to old firmware, get rid of twitching, but then realize that the difference in fader resolution means that -20 in your DAW might be -24 on your FP fader. And so on.

Thanks all for input!

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Rick - Thanks for this.  I haven't installed Cakewalk back on to my system since I replaced and rebuilt.  I'll definitely be seeing if this does the same thing/problem for me, as I am on the version 3.44 firmware on the FaderPort 8.  Definitely something I'd report to Presonus as a problem.  I'm not sure if they would do anything to fix it since you are outside of Presonus land, but this controller IS meant to work as a Mackie MCU. 

I'll report back with my findings.

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Yep - pretty annoying, @Rick Lang  I didn't back-level my firmware because I use Studio One more than Cakewalk at this point, but it definitely seems like a problem.  As you pointed out, there is no apparent configuration or Calibration that resolves this.

Two observations:

1. Looking at Mackie Control Universal hardware online, I see that it matches up with the +10db that the FaderPorts show.  This indicates to me that this is more of a Cakewalk issue than a Presonus one.

2. Considering that there are multiple options for MCU support in the FaderPort 8 (Sonar, Cubase, Logic), it would seem that the emulation would take the fader resolution into perspective.  This makes it feel like a Presonus problem and not a Cakewalk problem.

The above considered, I'd lean towards this being a Cakewalk problem since they are the ones not following "the standard".  This was a problem for me with my old Behringer BCF2000 - Cakewalk didn't exactly follow the Mackie protocol then either (as Sonar), which made the BCF harder to use/understand than it seemed like it should be.

In fact, if you search for Cakewalk (or Sonar) and +10db or +6db, you will find no shortage of threads on the topic of Cakewalk/Sonar not following the +10db standard of the Mackie Control standard.

Also worth noting, if it worked on an older firmware, I wonder why Presonus changed it...my guess is because it was wrong before as far as the Mackie Control spec is concerned since their hardware has the +10db fader upper limit.

Hey @Noel Borthwick: what say you on this topic?  Any chance you could add a +10db fader mode option somewhere?

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9 hours ago, Blades said:

Yep - pretty annoying, @Rick Lang  I didn't back-level my firmware because I use Studio One more than Cakewalk at this point, but it definitely seems like a problem.  As you pointed out, there is no apparent configuration or Calibration that resolves this.

Two observations:

1. Looking at Mackie Control Universal hardware online, I see that it matches up with the +10db that the FaderPorts show.  This indicates to me that this is more of a Cakewalk issue than a Presonus one.

2. Considering that there are multiple options for MCU support in the FaderPort 8 (Sonar, Cubase, Logic), it would seem that the emulation would take the fader resolution into perspective.  This makes it feel like a Presonus problem and not a Cakewalk problem.

The above considered, I'd lean towards this being a Cakewalk problem since they are the ones not following "the standard".  This was a problem for me with my old Behringer BCF2000 - Cakewalk didn't exactly follow the Mackie protocol then either (as Sonar), which made the BCF harder to use/understand than it seemed like it should be.

In fact, if you search for Cakewalk (or Sonar) and +10db or +6db, you will find no shortage of threads on the topic of Cakewalk/Sonar not following the +10db standard of the Mackie Control standard.

Also worth noting, if it worked on an older firmware, I wonder why Presonus changed it...my guess is because it was wrong before as far as the Mackie Control spec is concerned since their hardware has the +10db fader upper limit.

Hey @Noel Borthwick: what say you on this topic?  Any chance you could add a +10db fader mode option somewhere?

Hi Blades, 

 

Thanks for input. Basically I agree with everything you say. I created a ticket earlier over at Presonus, linking to my posts on their own forum and in the Presonus Faderport group on FB. Merely to make them aware of it (if they weren't already), and to take it into consideration. But as you say, this is more of a SONAR/CW problem, since they don't have the same fader resolution as the FP,  or standard. If CWbBL would address this in a future update the problem would probably go away. Worth noting is that this wasn't that much of an issue in Reaper – probably due to the fact that they move all the way up to +12dB.

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I don’t believe that the surface API allows for specifying the fader throw. We’ll look into it and see if there is something that can be done.

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There is no "standard" that the range should be 0 to +10 dB. Cakewalk has always had 0  to +6dB from day one.
Its not easy to change the max range to +10 dB because the faders have art that is calibrated on the 0 to 6dB scale. It would be better for surfaces to allow calibrating their fader strips more flexibly rather than forcing the DAW to change based on one particular surface.

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Posted (edited)

not to mention that standard electrical levels are -10db consumer and +4db professional 🙂 

Edited by Glenn Stanton

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It would be better for surfaces to allow calibrating their fader strips more flexibly rather than forcing the DAW to change based on one particular surface.

The end result is that several vendors can debate who should conform to whom, but for the end-users, the result is the same.  It doesn't work right.

If the Mackie Control on which the non-"Standard" was created has hardware that goes to +10db, it seems that the software would favor this particular hardware alignment.  

I don't have a Mackie Control.  Can someone tell us if this works right with their hardware?  Is it just "relative" rather than "literal" as it appears to be in the Presonus hardware?

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FYI - The FP (and any Mackie controller) sends a fader position between 0 and 1023, where 0 is fader full down and 1023 is fader full up.

There is no +10 db, or 0 db, or whatever... it's simply a fader position.  The fact that +10db is printed on the surface itself means nothing ( think Spinal Tap and Nigel Tufnel's amp going up to 11.... we all know it's the same as 10 on any other amp ).

All that is happening in Cakewalk, is that value is mapped directly to the fader position on the channel strip. There is no db conversion going on whatsoever.

It's a pity Mackie (and Presonus) didn't release overlays for the faders as they did for the buttons... in effect, this is all that is needed.

And yes, the Mackie MCU has exactly the same "issue" 

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