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jesse g

Mackie Control Surface Calibration test?

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How many of you have or have had a Mackie Control Universal in their studio?

would you happen to recall how to run a calibration test, or whatever it was to get all of the faders, pan pots and flashing lights to move in sequence? 

I am trying to test my MCU  because my master fader is sitting higher than the rest of the faders on my unit and it doesn't keep the same movement as my master fader in CbB.  I am trying figure out what is wrong with it. 

I know the QCon Pro G2 is calling my name, but not this early.  LOL

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Hi.

I found this video showing that you have to push 2 buttons while turning it on.

 

Hope it helps.

All the best

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1 hour ago, Zargg said:

Hi.

I found this video showing that you have to push 2 buttons while turning it on.

 

Hope it helps.

All the best

Thanks Zargg,

That example is for the Mackie HUI and I have the Mackie Conrol Universal.  Plus, I can't see the button names he pressed.

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jesse, I intermittently get a failed calibration when I fire up the MCU.  Like you say, the fader (always #7) will hang and the message screen identifies a failure.  I have read that the ribbon connector inside can get hung up and moving the fader manually up and down can free it.  I've also read that you shouldn't do that...  😄

I've read that a failed capacitor can be the cause but, in my case since the problem comes and goes, I don't think it's a capacitor.

For a weird reason which makes no sense, sometimes it just works fine after the whole system (not just the MCU) gets rebooted.  

These MCU are getting on in years so I can't complain about a little finicky-ness. To be expected.  All in all, they are an awesome product. 

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14 minutes ago, John Nelson said:

jesse, I intermittently get a failed calibration when I fire up the MCU.  Like you say, the fader (always #7) will hang and the message screen identifies a failure.  I have read that the ribbon connector inside can get hung up and moving the fader manually up and down can free it.  I've also read that you shouldn't do that...  😄

I've read that a failed capacitor can be the cause but, in my case since the problem comes and goes, I don't think it's a capacitor.

For a weird reason which makes no sense, sometimes it just works fine after the whole system (not just the MCU) gets rebooted.  

These MCU are getting on in years so I can't complain about a little finicky-ness. To be expected.  All in all, they are an awesome product. 

John,

Yes, my failed message doesn't show always, but the fader 8 movement in CbB is always off a few db off on the screen.   I had the problem with my fader 5 and 6 two years ago,  I believe  someone from the forum told me to get DeoxIT Fader F5 Fader Lubricant from Sweetwater and after taking apart the MCU and spraying the faders inside, it stopped the sticky fader movement.

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There are two versions of the Mackie Control Universal: the original MCU, and the MCU Pro.   The original MCU and versions 3.x of the MCU Pro  use P&G faders and the MCU Pro v4.x use Alps Faders.

The P&G faders are optical faders based on a string/pully system - actually pretty similar to how a fishing rod works.  These units automatically calibrate faders when you switch the MCU on.

There are two reasons why calibration can fail:
1. Damaged or dirty fader
2. Worn out PWM controller IC's.

If the fader is stiff, or doesn't move properly at all when manually moved then its likely damaged.  If it occasionally fails, it could indicate a worn out PWM chip, but could also be just the fader wearing out or needing a clean.

I've personally experienced both issues.  Trying to repair these faders yourself is a waste of time IMO - they're easy enough to replace if you can get your hands on them. You can have a go at cleaning them, but if you do this be very careful, as the fader mechanism is very delicate, and the tags that seal the unit could snap when opening them up.  Using any sort of spray is unlikely to work (unless any grime is actually outside of the fader), as the units are pretty much sealed - there are no fader tracks or anything, just string and an optical sensor/LED.  Grime could build up on the string I guess, so giving it a VERY gentle wipe might help.

 eBay seems to be the best place to get replacements, and seem to go for around £25 / $30 USD.  You can't buy them new anymore.

I upgraded my firmware / PWM chips on my original MCU & XT to the latest versions here:   https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324107898548?hash=item4b76560eb4:g:EZoAAOSwUR9cdvTJ . I've still got one fader that occasionally fails, but haven't got around to replace it yet. I do have a collection of spare faders now, but I'm just gonna wait until it goes completely.  Power cycling the MCU tends to fix it in any case.

If you've got v4.x of the firmware, then you've got Alps faders which are a completely different beast, and are totally incompatible with v3.x and lower ( and vice versa ).  v3.x and lower firmware only works with the P&G faders.  Also, the two PWM controller chips must match the main MCU firmware.



 

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So I was informed that I was looking to place the MCU in Demo Mode.  This is initiated by holding a set of buttons while powering up the MCU.  This makes all of the fader moves, the pan posts turn left and right and the rest of the device provides a light show. This then goes through every button, every combination of button presses, fader movements and pot movement and then provides an on screen report of what failed.    I saw a YouTube video of this years ago and never saved the location, now I can't find the video or remember the combination of button to press.  I tried it once an it worked, but for the life of me I can't remember how it's done.

I called Mackie and the guy on the phone had no idea of what I was talking about because the instructions are not in the manual, but for the Mackie HUI, the instructions are in the manual. I am going to send an email to Mackie to request the the instructions for placing the MCU in Demo Mode  to see if I get someone with knowledge.

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This is just me, but I'd try 2 and 2 buttons while turning it on until I found the correct pair. I suspect they will be next to each other.

I can't see that it should/could damage the Mackie, just trying it out.

All the best.

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On 6/3/2022 at 11:31 PM, jesse g said:

I believe  someone from the forum told me to get DeoxIT Fader F5 Fader Lubricant from Sweetwater and after taking apart the MCU and spraying the faders inside, it stopped the sticky fader movement.

NEVER EVER DO THIS. The MCU faders are optical and have a thin thread inside that links the motor to the fader. If you spray it with anything other than air you will likely ruin it (also don't use high pressure canned air as this can damage the thread.. been there, done that 😅).

Fader Lube is for analog faders which have an actual resistance and electrical connection

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While I was on a Mac I had full set of newer Mackie MCUs. Each update to either OS X or Logic ProX meant they started playing up. I sold them. I bought a  Behringer X-Touch and got that working 100% all the time no matter what!. I loved them when they worked but they just were too fickle for me. Old stuff now as was said. 

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