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Adam Casey

Icon Platform-M, Sonar Platinum

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Hey everybody,

I'm trying to use Icon Platform-M with Sonar Platinum and having no luck. I just bought it and am thinking I've made a mistake doing this.  I've tried using the ACT midi controller, but, when I try to learn specific functions, it's extremely buggy.  I was hoping I could import an existing ACT data file and it would plug and play. Is this not possible?

regards,

Adam

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You're better setting up Platform-M as a Mackie Control rather than using ACT, unless you're using it for something other than transport/fader etc control?

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Thanks for the quick reply Ms McLeod. :)

I've tried using Mackie Control and it forever says, 'connecting'.  :/ 

And yes, I just want to use it for transport control, fader control, pan control, etc.

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Posted (edited)

There was a post on the old forum related to the QCON, which I suspect has a similar handshaking protocol:

http://forum.cakewalk.com/Custom-Version-of-Mackie-Control-Surface-Plugin-to-use-the-QCON-m3092979.aspx#3092979

It mentions needing to send a SYSEX message to the control surface to kick off the handshake. Unfortunately, the download link on the post no longer works, else I'd have incorporated the fix into my version of the MackieControl.

You may want to try out my version anyhow, which has a "disable handshake" option on it: http://msmcleod.co.uk/cakewalk/MMcLMackieControlSetup.zip 

Please let me know if enabling the "disable handshake" works or not - if it doesn't, I'll try to do a bit more digging to get the relevant SYSEX messages added to my version.

[Edit] - After a bit more research, it looks like the sysex is not being returned from the Icon to cakewalk during the handshake. Apparently, the Mackie Control protocol was updated at some point to remove this from the handshake, and Cakewalk's DLL was never updated. So using the disable handshake option should actually work.

Edited by msmcleod

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Thanks for that, Mark.  

The disable handshake worked, but, when I program in a parameter, the movement is super jerky.  I may be doing it all wrong: I'm very much a beginner when it comes to MIDI protocol: I was really hoping for a plug and play solution.  ICON actually have a pdf giving directions on how to get the platform-m working with Sonar (which is why I purchased the platform-m, presuming it would work), but, it says I need to connect to the VS-700 which is not available on Platinum or Cakewalk by Bandlab.  Is there some way for me to get the VS-700 version?  I'm hoping it would work if I could get my hands on it.

Sonar.pdf

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You can download it from Cakewalk's github site:

https://github.com/Cakewalk/Cakewalk-Control-Surface-SDK/blob/master/Bin/x64/VS700.dll

You'll need to:

1. Copy it to C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Shared Surfaces\

2. If running Windows 10, it may block it since you downloaded it from the internet. Right click->properties on the DLL and select "Unblock" at the bottom

3. Open up a command prompt, and type:

regsvr32 "C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Shared Surfaces\VS700.dll"

 

 

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Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Mark.  I followed all your instructions, but, Cakewalk still can't see the VS700 (it's not coming up in the list).  Any other suggestions?

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6 hours ago, Adam Casey said:

Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Mark.  I followed all your instructions, but, Cakewalk still can't see the VS700 (it's not coming up in the list).  Any other suggestions?

When you ran the command prompt section, did you get a dialog box confirming that the DLL had been registered?

image.png.9065c8bda21b8f3687d3a4245a702c45.png

You might have to run it as administrator if you're not getting the confirmation box.

Also, double check that the DLL is unblocked:

image.png.7fa43a474aae41557b8f4991debab384.png

 

Also, are you running Sonar 64 bit? If you're running 32 bit, you'll need the 32 bit version instead:  https://github.com/Cakewalk/Cakewalk-Control-Surface-SDK/blob/master/Bin/x86/VS700.dll

If you're on a 32 bit Windows machine, then the instructions are the same, just using the 32 bit DLL instead.

If you're running 32 bit SONAR on a 64 bit Windows, then the directory is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Cakewalk\Shared Surfaces\"

 

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Hi Mark,

Yes: when running the command prompt, I got the message that the DLL was successfully registered.

I also successfully unblocked the DLL.

I'm running 64 bit editions of Sonar and Cakewalk by Bandlab on a Windows 64 bit machine.

The control surface installer was a great find: was really excited, but, alas, it does not contain a VS700!  Aaaaahhhhhh!!! :(

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Oh dear, I think I've really screwed things up now. I tried installing the surface controller for the VS-700 from here - https://www.cakewalk.com/Support/Download/HwDrivers/V-Studio 700 - which successfully got the VS-700 into the surface controller list, but, when I click on the properties of the controller, I get this error message - Warning: Unable to open MIDI ports to the VS-700R. Make sure that the VS-700R is connected and its MIDI ports are not in use by any other application - and then the program crashes with a fatal error!  I've uninstalled the drivers and removed the DLL, yet, the VS-700 still shows up in the list - I can't get rid of it.  This is extremely frustrating!  :(

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Ok: I've had some success.  I managed to update the firmware (it wasn't a simple process: I'd given up on that earlier) and it has a 'Sonar' preset! Suddenly, Sonar is talking to the platform-m! I'm getting fader movements and transport control etc. There are some weird buzzing noises happening, and, I'm getting some strange erratic scrolling happening, and I'm still getting that error message re: VS-700 if I try to open up its properties in Sonar. But, I have hope that the control surface can work at least, so that's a relief. 

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38 minutes ago, Adam Casey said:

Ok: I've had some success.  I managed to update the firmware (it wasn't a simple process: I'd given up on that earlier) and it has a 'Sonar' preset! Suddenly, Sonar is talking to the platform-m! I'm getting fader movements and transport control etc. There are some weird buzzing noises happening, and, I'm getting some strange erratic scrolling happening, and I'm still getting that error message re: VS-700 if I try to open up its properties in Sonar. But, I have hope that the control surface can work at least, so that's a relief. 

Perhaps its worth trying the MackieControl surface again?

I had a similar problem with jerky / slow / unresponsive faders with my Mackie MCU until I upgraded the firmware.

The other thing to look at is your MIDI buffer settings:

image.png.b0c0932e0120dc93e13804ea405fc1e1.png

Control surfaces are VERY chatty over MIDI, so there's a possibility that it could be losing MIDI messages if this is set to too small a value. I've got mine set at 750, which works well for me.

Also avoid having your surface connected to a USB hub - have it connected to a dedicated USB port if possible.

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Thanks for all your help, Mark.  I dialled back the sensitivity of the faders a little and the shaking/vibrating issue was rectified.  It's functioning really well now.  I would like to try the Mackie MCU. The only thing I'm a bit bummed about is the zoom functions don't work via the jog wheel (something I was looking forward to introducing to my workflow); perhaps the Mackie MCU will incorporate this function? And, as mentioned, the VS=700 MCU won't respond when I try to open its properties (and crashes Cakewalk), so, definitely worth experimenting.  Thanks so much for all your help: you've been super helpful.

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9 minutes ago, Adam Casey said:

Thanks for all your help, Mark.  I dialled back the sensitivity of the faders a little and the shaking/vibrating issue was rectified.  It's functioning really well now.  I would like to try the Mackie MCU. The only thing I'm a bit bummed about is the zoom functions don't work via the jog wheel (something I was looking forward to introducing to my workflow); perhaps the Mackie MCU will incorporate this function? And, as mentioned, the VS=700 MCU won't respond when I try to open its properties (and crashes Cakewalk), so, definitely worth experimenting.  Thanks so much for all your help: you've been super helpful.

Yeah, the Jog wheel does work as zoom when the Zoom button is engaged on the MCU. 

I don't really use it much myself to be honest, as ALT + Scroll Wheel (or Scroll Ring as it is on my trackball) does the horizonal zooming.

For horizontal zooming, I set things up like this :

That way, the selected track is always zoomed out vertically, with the others automatically resizing. I still use the Track Select buttons on the MCU to select the active track.

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Posted (edited)

I just wanted to say in advance a thank you for any updates on this topic. I'm keeping my eye on the Platform M quite some time already, really would like to see it working with Cakewalk. Was wondering if the azslow software would be any helpful for connecting this controller...?

Edited by chris.r
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Posted (edited)

I just had a play with your Mackie protocol, Mark, and, lo and behold, the zoom function works! However, the bank select function only works in reverse (you have to click back to go forward, and forward to go back), and, the LCD display only displays some of the channels and appears to be static (unchanging even when shifting channel banks). I need to be able to see the LCD display, of course, so the VS-700 protocol wins so far. 

Edited by Adam Casey

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Posted (edited)

@chris.r: I can not get the m-platform to work on the AZslow control surface protocol.  It works very well on the VS-700 protocol (excluding the zoom functions). It works reasonably well on Mark's Mackie protocol, but, without the LCD function, I won't use it.  

Edited by Adam Casey
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Adam Casey said:

I just had a play with your Mackie protocol, Mark, and, lo and behold, the zoom function works! However, the bank select function only works in reverse (you have to click back to go forward, and forward to go back, and, the LCD display only displays some of the channels and appears to be static (unchanging even when shifting channel banks). Probably a tad less functional than the VS=700.

This is very strange.  It's almost as if for Sonar mode, they've actually not implemented an MCU at all, but instead the VS-700.

From what I can see, the VS-700 display works differently from the Mackie one, which is perhaps why you're seeing this behaviour in Sonar mode. From comments in the VS-700 code, it looks like the fader implementation on the VS700 is based on the Mackie one, so they kind of speak the same language with regard to faders.

There's no Zoom function on the VS-700, so nothing is implemented in the VS-700 control surface DLL to handle zoom.

On the original MCU there's a bunch of buttons that send out certain messages. To get around the differences between DAW's, they provided overlays that corresponded with the different functions each DAW had implemented for those buttons.

For other control surfaces  (which usually have much less buttons), they had different "modes" which essentially changes the button you're pressing so it matches what the corresponding DAW is expecting for that function.

Given that the Platform-M is very light on buttons, you might get away with picking another MCP based DAW preset (i.e. that actually uses the MCP protocol for the screen, rather than pretending to be a VS700). 

Can you try setting it to another preset (Reason looks the closest) and see if it works any better? 

[Edit] - The reason why I ask, is that if the display is working ok, I should be able to get the other buttons working with a few modifications. I'll then add a "Platform-M mode" checkbox to the MackieControl panel.

Edited by msmcleod

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Adam Casey said:

@chris.r: I can not get the m-platform to work on the AZslow control surface protocol.  It works very well on the VS-700 protocol (excluding the zoom functions). It works reasonably well on Mark's Mackie protocol, but, without the LCD function, I won't use it.  

I'm not trying to be someones advocate but from other forum topics I could see that Alexey was open to colaborate on connecting new hardwares to Cakewalk as long as the owner is ready for some work. Not sure he's doing that stuff anymore but I thought for myself once I'll buy the icon I'll keep the opportunity to work with him as the last resort if anything else fails. One thing I particularly like about his software is that it's highly configurable and if I've read it right (and I've read it quickly) you can use some combinations of buttons to ignite custom functions of the DAW from it. With this option I would love to make the icon control the pro channel and plugins.

Edited by chris.r

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