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Grebz

Folders & Keyboard compatibility

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Hello,

I'm glad that the nested folders feature is about to be added to Cakewalk. That's something I've been expecting for a long time, so that's good news.

Here are 2 unrelated suggestions:
1- Now, it would be great to be able to "Save folder as template" (including subfolders, now they exist!), just like we can "save as track template". I hope this is doable.
2- What's up with keyboard controller support? I'm currently looking for a keyboard controller to replace mine which is unfortunately broken. But I cannot find any single controller with built-in compatibility with Cakewalk. They're all announced as compatible with Cubase, Studio One, Ableton, Logic, ProTools, sometimes Reaper, etc. but none is directly compatible with Cakewalk.

I know... you can tweak it in the DAW. But it's a pain, some functions never work

How come is Cakewalk never in the list of compatible DAWs? What does it depend upon? Is it a problem from the way Cakewalk was originally programmed? Is this the manufacturer's fault? Is this a question of some licence that would require to be paid in order to implement compatibility? (like the mp3 licence back in the days)

The ACT in Cakewalk feature is... not user-friendly to put it nicely. I never could get my former controller (M-Audio Oxygen 88, full-weighted keyboard from an older M-Audio range, comparable to today's M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro) to work fine with Cakewalk, so... granted, I may not be the most efficient person to make this work, but it just shouldn't be hard for the user to do it.

Again, I know... easier said than done, from a programmer's point of view.

I contacted Arturia's support to ask them why their controllers (I was interested by the Arturia Keylab 88 MKII) wasn't compatible, and here is their full answer:

"Thank you for reaching out.

·         First, here's the DAW compatibility list:
- Ableton Live 9 & 10
- FL Studio 12 & 20
- Studio One 3 & 4
- Reaper 5
- Bitwig 2 & 3
- Logic Pro X
- ProTools 12
- Cubase 9 & 10

·         Most of the controller functions you're referring to are being either relying on :
- The MCU/HUI protocols will indeed be handled and supported in different ways through each DAWs (defined by both the Protocol and how the DAW is handling it).
- Dedicated script such as the one included within Ableton live which did develop it on their end.

I do agree that it may require some further improvements and we'll indeed try to see with them if things could be reworded in the next update but this may require some time.

I can also clearly confirm that the protocol is being properly supported by most of the DAWs but not by Cakewalk by Bandlab unfortunately which would clearly require a dedicated script to operate properly (We already did reference a feature request and in order to increase its priority I've just linked your ticket to it) or Cakewalk to update their MCU/HUI protocol support (Cannot confirm from my end if this will happen or not).

Here's already a very useful tool for Cakewalk/Sonar users for them to tweak any kind of control surface:
http://www.azslow.com/index.php

Using this plugin, you should be able to assign all the devices' rotary knobs, buttons and sliders and benefit from most of the functions as needed.

Also, some users seem to have been able to edit the Mackie control surface script as explained in this article:

So, from their perspective, it seems you have to make a dedicated script 🙂

I hope this can happen in the near future. I was a paying user of Sonar 5 through Platinum (I paid 8 versions in total), so I'm not just the eager free user of CbB-only. I do support you, and I thank the whole team for your continuous efforts to improve Cakewalk.
But I think this controller compatibility issue is a serious one, as it could discourage many people from using Cakewalk. It would greatly simplify the users' life to have real plug-and-play features for midi controllers. Much more important than my first request for "folders template", actually.

Thanks,
Xavier

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To save a track template with a folder hierarchy, you need to select the folder (which selects all of its sub-folders & tracks), then right click on one of the tracks and save as a template.   The complete folder hierarchy will be saved in the template.

As far as Cakewalk support for hardware that supports the Mackie protocol, this is totally down to the hardware vendors.   Cakewalk supports Mackie MCU by standard, with beta support for HUI.

When Mackie brought out the MCU protocol, they contacted all the major DAW manufacturers at the time (Cakewalk included) and asked them to provide a button layout.  Mackie then supplied overlays for all of the DAW's with their surfaces.  Cakewalk / SONAR was one of the first DAW's to support all of the Mackie MCU surfaces (i.e. MCU, XT & C4).   

When hardware vendors provide Mackie emulation, it's up to them which DAW's they support and provide a button layout for each DAW in MCU mode. Many of them do support Cakewalk/SONAR, e.g. Mackie ( MCU ) , Behringer ( BCF2000, XTouch) , Presonus ( FaderPort) , KORG (nanoKONTROL), Samson (Graphite 49) to name a few.

When using a device that does not specifically have support for Cakewalk/SONAR, you can usually get transport and faders working by checking the "Disable Handshake" option in Cakewalk's Mackie Control Surface panel.   Other buttons such as loop may not work as they will be mapped to different buttons depending on which DAW you selected on that device.


 

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Thanks for the answer (and on a Sunday, nice 🙂).
So, why does Arturia say it's up to you and not them? That's beyond me...
Well, I must try harder, I guess. I hope my next controller will work fine, I'm hesitating between the M-Audio 88 Hammer Pro and the Arturia Keylab 88.
If you have any idea which is going to be supported the best in Cakewalk, let me know.

Thanks again!

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2 hours ago, Grebz said:

Thanks for the answer (and on a Sunday, nice 🙂).
So, why does Arturia say it's up to you and not them? That's beyond me...
Well, I must try harder, I guess. I hope my next controller will work fine, I'm hesitating between the M-Audio 88 Hammer Pro and the Arturia Keylab 88.
If you have any idea which is going to be supported the best in Cakewalk, let me know.

Thanks again!

Why Arturia say it's up to Cakewalk is beyond me too.  They know that each DAW has a different button layout, and the button layouts for the various DAW's should have been provided to them from Mackie.

They've obviously gone to the trouble of supporting layouts for the other DAW's on the list, so not including Cakewalk/SONAR on that list must have been a conscious decision on their part.

I wish it was as easy as getting Cakewalk's Mackie Control to just pretend it was using the Cubase or Logic layout, but the issue here is that because these emulated devices don't have the full button compliment, they are actually sending more than one button press in a lot of cases, and assuming a particular state within the DAW. 

So the only solution really, is for them to support the Cakewalk/SONAR button layout.

Another option may be to use Azslow3's AZController and manually map each button as required.  This may work, but it does depend on whether the controller is then requiring the DAW to be in a particular state, in which case it could get complicated very quickly.  I had exactly this issue with the Presonus FaderPort when trying to get it to support the Synth Rack.  It kind of works, but internally, the FaderPort is making assumptions as to the state of Cakewalk, and you end up having to go through various modes to get it back to where the FaderPort's state & Cakewalk's state match.

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Thank you for your answers.
I happen to know someone working at Arturia (if he's still there, I'm not 100% certain), so I'll try to get the message to them, but I must admit that I don't know what level of influence this guy has on Arturia's decision process, and I haven't had any contact with him for about 4 years, so... I don't know either whether I can have any impact there. I'll try anyway, who knows what may result of this 🙂 

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I just sent a message to my acquaintance at Arturia (apparently, he's still working there), let's see if he answers me and can/will do something about this matter. I'll provide him with both the message from Arturia's support and your message above, and let him decide whether something can/will be done...

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