This question came to me after being disappointed in a cheaper control surface (Akai MIDIMIX), which even if I get working fully with mixcraft 8, has very odd protocols for its LEDs, meaning that part will only ever work with certainty DAWs. Kinda minor, but then again if it doesn’t light up when a track is solo’ed or muted, and I’m constantly referring to the screen, it kinda defeats the purpose.
So I got looking at the control surfaces listed as presets in mixcraft, as it’s the DAW I’m most comfortable in for music creation.. I can use others for recording no problem, but find most just aren’t as intuitive to my workflow. I considered, too, why I would want a control surface and what I want from it. That seems important.
When it comes to why:
- I want tactile control of the DAW
- The less I’m staring at the screen, the more creative I feel
- Things like the MPC Touch help with this, although I don’t really use the MPC software
More than anything, I like the feel of an analog board, and of it being like a real studio. Some usefulness, some I just like. I do think I’ll benefit from the right surface though.
So then, I wondered what’s important in a surface. In no real order:
- Big, sturdy *motorized* faders that go to the right spot for any project I load
- Good control of VSTs and FX (Knobs, mainly)
- Maximum DAW compatibility, definitely mixcraft
- Good look / feel
The motorized part puts me at least in a few hundred. Behringer has one that I’m considering, but AFAIK there’s no mixcraft support, so at the least I’d have some work mapping everything and likely would lose some functionality.
Really, there aren’t many motorized control surfaces, let alone that have presets for MC8/7 or vice versa. One seems to be the Mackie MCU.
At $1100 it is not cheap, especially for something that really doesn’t fill any role that the keyboard and mouse doesn’t. But it looks solid, has motorized faders, and is included on the MC control surface list, leading me to believe it would work fully, including the fader’s position.
It also has a number of other features, like it seems to allow for a fairly unprecedented level of VST control, which if so is great because I use serum and the less I have to click through presets the more creative I can be.
It is odd, because I associate Mackie with entry-mid grade, cheap stuff, and this isn’t that
So, does anybody have the MCU, and can comment? I’d also love to hear from people with the behringer motor or I believe X-Touch, or anybody with any, preferably motorized surface, preferably that they use for mixcraft.