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Dave Maffris

Control surfaces for Cakewalk

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Looking for a control surface, but I'd like it to be mobile rather than fixed and wired. Korg NanoKontrol Studio has bluetooth connection and looks small enough to walk around my studio and use. StudioLogic has an XL Mixface, but it mentioned a a bunch of compatible Daw's that are NOT Cakewalk.  Although I also own Studio One Pro, I'm not comfortable using it for stuff other than mastering right now, and still prefer Cakewalk to all other DAW's I've tried. I think there is a DAW app for the iPad I might be able to use, but the available apps seem to have shrunk in recent years. What are you folks using, and is it possible to configure a device that doesn't mention Cakewalk compatibility (I know Mackie mode is usually good, but not all control surfaces mention this capability). Thanks.

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I use the original Mackie Control Universal with a Mackie XT and 2 x Mackie C4. I also use the Korg nanoKontrol Studio, and the Korg nanoKontrol 2.

All of them are excellent.

As you say, the nanoKontrol Studio can run wireless using bluetooth MIDI. However AFAIK, this only works in UWP mode and not MME. Bear this in mind if you're not using Windows 10, or you have other older MIDI devices that don't support UWP properly.

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It depends from what you expect it is able to control and how. Mackie functionality in Cakewalk is documented, but devices usually do not have all Mackie controls. So only a part of functionality can be used. Cakewalk Mackie implementation has some quirks with "compatible" devices, but there are mods which solve that (take one from msmcleod 😉). In general, controlling plug-ins with Mackie is going to be rather disappointing  experience.  In addition to normal knobs on devices you mention (so there will no automatical catch for current values when you switch controlling target), Mackie plug-in requires manual file editing for mappings (no ACT Dynamic mapping support). For mostly buttons use case, like transport, solo, etc. and/or fixes set of strips (the project has up to 8 tracks) such devices can be fine.

As an App you can try TouchDAW and some Apple only staff. The same limitation for plug-ins, but everything is always synced. Also you can overwrite automations with "touch sensitive" faders. Or you can try TouchOSC with custom made preset. TouchOSC is not extremely stable for me, but in such case you can redefine functionality, control plug-ins with ACT Dynamic Map, etc. Prices for apps are around $5, so it can be worse to get TouchOSC just to check Mackie functionality in Cakewalk.

Wired alternative is  Behringer X-Touch Mini. It can control almost everything supported by Cakewalk, does not cost much, does not take much space and always "in sync" (encoders), you can tune what it does for you (which commands are activated) and how it does that (f.e. encoders resolution).

 

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Thanks for the feedback, I didn't see some of the ones mentioned in the app store, but I'll look again. I like the Behringer XTouch, but I want wireless control, if I'm sitting at my computer it's less of a need (helpful but not essential). I have a new machine w WIndows 10 so I'm guessiung the NanoKontrol Studio would be a nice compromise, even though it doesn't have touch sensitive, motorized faders, etc. 

 

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Spacedesk is an interesting idea, I once used Air Parrot in my former (non-music) career. It might do the trick, at least for remote operation in studio.

 

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I'm thinking of maybe sticking an old tablet in my vocal booth corner just above my nanoKONTROL 2... assuming it'll do desktop scaling. 

Does anyone know what the performance hit is when using this?

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