Mixers Loudspeakers Studio Monitors Digital Recording Amplifiers & Processors Software Accessories
Control Surfaces  |  Software  |  Compact Mixers
Mackie Control Pro

TRANSLATE

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

Round out your MCU Pro with this Mackie product:


HR824mk2

HR824mk2 Powered Studio Monitors




MCU Pro FAQ
1. What is the difference between the new Mackie Control Universal Pro and the original?
2. What kind of faders are in the MCU Pro?
3. How do I know if my unit has the new ALPs faders?
4. How many MCU XT Pros can I add to the MCU Pro? Can I add more than three since there are only three pairs of MIDI I/O?
5. Does MCU Pro include the HUI Mode?
6. What is a "Lexan™ overlay" and why do I need one?
7. How do I connect the MCU Pro to my computer?
8. Why does the MCU Pro connect with USB but the MCU XT Pro connect with MIDI?
9. Can I use the MCU Pro as an audio mixer?
10. Are there any options available for use with the MCU Pro?
11. Why should I buy a MCU Pro over the competition?
12. What specific controls in my software will interface with the MCU Pro?
13. Can I use the MCU Pro with my laptop, or as a mobile studio?
14. What the heck is this proprietary communication protocol I keep hearing about?
15. How can I tell if my software supports MCU Pro and Extender Pro?
16. Does the MCU Pro come bundled with any software?

What is the difference between the new Mackie Control Universal Pro and the original?
In 2010, we moved the Mackie Control Universal Pro and Mackie Control Universal XT Pro to a new manufacturer.  During this process, we took the time to upgrade the faders.  Originally, the MCU series utilized a string driven mechanism to move the fader head.  The new faders, made by Alps, use a robust belt with teeth and gears.  This results in a smoother response and faster fader motion.  These faders are used in a variety of professional products from other manufacturers and have proven to provide years of reliability.

These faders do not need calibration at each power cycle but they do utilize a new fader alignment routine that can be initiated by the user if necessary.  See Appendix A in the User Manual for complete details on fader alignment.

Any unit manufactured in 2010 have these new faders.  No other changes were made to either MCU Pro or MCU XT Pro. 

What kind of faders are in the MCU Pro?
The MCU Pro is designed with ALPS touch-sensitive motorized faders with 100mm throw.  They use a robust belt with teeth and gears to move the fader head, instead of the thin string that can be found on lesser quality units.  This results in a smoother response and faster fader motion.  These faders are used in a variety of professional products from other manufacturers and have proven to provide years of reliability.

How do I know if my unit has the new ALPs faders?
The new ALPs faders are used in all MCU Pros and MCU XT Pros manufactured in 2010 or later.  You can determine when your unit was manufactured by looking at the firmware version number on start up.  Power off the unit then turn it back on and watch the screen.  If it lists the firmware version as 4.0.1 as shown below, then it is a new unit utilizing the ALPs faders, and there is no need to update your unit.



If it instead lists the firmware version as 3.0.0 as shown below, then it is an older unit that does not use the new ALPs faders.



How many MCU XT Pros can I add to the MCU Pro? Can I add more than three since there are only three pairs of MIDI I/O?
The maximum number of controllers (and types) really depends on the host DAW software. Three pairs of MIDI I/O are available for the first three expansion units. Beyond that, you can use a dedicated MIDI interface for additional units. Click to see a diagram of hookup options.

Users who have more free MIDI ports than USB ports can connect their MCU Pro via MIDI.

Does MCU Pro include the HUI Mode?
Yes! All MCU Pro units have HUI Mode for controlling Pro Tools.

What is a "Lexan™ overlay" and why do I need one?
A Lexan overlay is a thin sheet of polycarbonate that has DAW-specific nomenclature on the front and an adhesive on the back. It is designed to be placed over the master section of the MCU Pro to associate buttons and controls with specific software commands.

With an overlay, you can see which buttons, faders, and knobs control which parameters in your application. It’s as if the controller was made especially for your use…and it was. The adhesive is designed not to leave residue on the control surface, and can be removed and re-laid again and again. This allows you to interchange overlays freely without making a mess.
MCU Pro includes Lexan overlays for the following applications:

  • Avid Pro Tools
  • Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo
  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Mackie Tracktion
  • Cakewalk Sonar

Logic needs no overlay, as its functions are already silkscreened right on the MCU Pro.
US customers can order additional overlays by calling the Mackie Part’s Department at (800) 258-6883 x1623 during normal business hours.  International customers, please contact your Mackie distributor to order.  The following overlays are available for order:

  • Avid Pro Tools
  • Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo
  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Mackie Tracktion
  • Cakewalk Sonar
  • Propellerheads Reason
  • Ableton Live!
  • Adobe Audition
  • SSL Soundscape
  • RML Labs SAW Studio
  • Sony Vegas

How do I connect the MCU Pro to my computer?
MCU Pro has an onboard USB MIDI interface, so hooking it up is a cinch — just connect the included USB cable to the USB port on the back of your MCU Pro, and connect the other end directly to your Mac or PC. The MCU Pro shows up as a class compliant MIDI device, so no need to install any drivers.

Alternately, you can connect the MIDI input and output to an external MIDI interface.  We recommend using a dedicated MIDI interface for this hookup, instead of one that might be built in to your audio interface, as our support department has seen problems with some of the MIDI functionality in these all-in-one units.

The MCU Pro can be connected to an AC power source between 90 VAC and 264 VAC (50–60 Hz), so you can easily use it anywhere.

Why does the MCU Pro connect with USB but the MCU XT Pro connect with MIDI?
Most users purchase an MCU Pro first, and buy an MCU XT Pro as an “add on.” By keeping MIDI as the connection protocol for the MCU XT Pro, you can run very short MIDI cables to the built in MIDI I/O of the MCU Pro, which makes for a very tidy setup. If the add on units also connected through USB, you would have to run many USB cables to the computer, and likely need to purchase a USB hub as well.

Can I use the MCU Pro as an audio mixer?
The MCU Pro does not pass any audio so it cannot work as a “conventional” mixer. However, the MCU Pro will control the virtual mixer that lives within your preferred audio application. As you move the faders on the MCU Pro, you will see the adjustments being made on screen and you will hear the results through your audio interface. Hence the MCU Pro gives you the feeling that you are using an audio mixer even though no audio signals are actually passing through it.

Are there any options available for use with the MCU Pro?
Yes! You can add more faders to MCU Pro with the Mackie Control Extender Pro. The Extender Pro has all the same features as the regular channel strips on the MCU Pro, without the master section. The Extender Pro is designed to let you extend your control surface as desired, while utilizing just one MCU Pro as the master section for a true expandable control surface.

MCU Pro allows for unlimited expandability: you can connect up to three pieces of external MIDI gear to the unit itself, and add more via an external MIDI interface.

The maximum number and types of controllers you can add depends on your music production software. (Consult your DAW’s documentation for more info.)

Why should I buy a MCU Pro over the competition?
The MCU Pro offers:

  • Best feature set for the price
  • Proprietary communication protocol for the tightest software integration available (not just MIDI mapping, or poor emulations of Mackie’s pioneering technology, leaving their controllers vulnerable to flawed performance.
  • Only control surface to offer custom overlays that give you correct labeling for each DAW
  • Much greater amount of controls and buttons than other controllers in their class
  • Real time visual feedback, and full transport display
  • Superior two-way communication via LCD scribble strips saves you from constantly looking up at your monitor
  • Most extensive and integrated software support of any controller
  • Class leading touch sensitive 100m ALPs motorized faders
  • Traditional analog mixing console ergonomics for a comfortable look and feel
  • Technical support from real live Mackoids
  • Pro build quality—MCU Pro constructed out of metal and has sturdy metal parts versus plastic (like the competition uses)

What specific controls in my software will interface with the MCU Pro?
It all depends on the software you use with the MCU Pro, but the Lexan overlay contains all the function labels you need to control that specific software application. The default labels on the MCU Pro are for Logic. For all the supported functionality of the MCU Pro respective to your preferred music production software, please refer to the DAW manufacturers' documentation. You can usually find this information at the DAW manufacturers' web site.

Can I use the MCU Pro with my laptop, or as a mobile studio?
Absolutely! The onboard USB interface makes it easy for the MCU Pro to connect right to your laptop computer via USB. And because the MCU Pro ships with an external AC adaptor for its power supply*, it can be used in any country around the world.

* The AC power supply provided with your MCU Pro is a universal power supply, and it can be con­nected to an AC power source between 90 VAC and 264 VAC (50–60 Hz).

What the heck is this proprietary communication protocol I keep hearing about?
Basically, the communication protocol is a sophisticated way for your software to communicate with our control surfaces, and vice versa. The resolution means it’s better than ordinary MIDI. MIDI parameters can have values from 0 to 127; our communication protocol works with values from 0 to 1023, meaning you can make finer adjustments and get nearly 10 times the precision.

Developers of your software use the communication protocol to customize the way our Mackie Control Pro Series controllers work with your application. This means Mackie Control Pro Series controllers integrate with your software like no other control surfaces can.

How can I tell if my software supports MCU Pro and Extender Pro?
Click here for a chart documenting MCU Pro and MCU XT Pro compatibility with a variety of popular software packages.  Remember, it is up to the software manufacturer to add MCU Pro and MCU XT Pro support, so if you don’t see your favorite software listed, or have questions about operation with a specific piece of software, please contact the software manufacturer.

Does the MCU Pro come bundled with any software??
Yes, the MCU Pro comes bundled with Tracktion music production software, which has complete support for the MCU Pro


 

Press | Register a product | Dealer Locator | Forums | Jobs | Corporate Info | Legal  | Comment?

Alvarez | Ampeg | EAW | Mackie
Copyright © LOUD Technologies Inc. All Rights Reserved.