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Some Euphonix and Mackie Control notes

Discussion in 'Euphonix' started by Markdvc, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    The comments below about the Mackie Control and Euphonix Artist series came about from a question Andy Hardwake asked a while back on the mailing list. I hope that this might be of some interest to visitors to the Euphonix Sub Forum. The views expressed are my own, based on personal experiences with the Artist Series and Mackie Hardware:

    They get along well enough, and yes, I do use them simultaneously with Logic, also with Metric Halo's MIO Software Version 5, where they map automatically across the mixer channels.

    I'll start off by describing my controller system:

    Mackie: 1 MCU, 1 XT, 1 C4 (not the latest Pro models, mine are Midi connected through a Unitor 8 Mk II and AMT 8)

    Euphonix Artist: 2 MC Mix, 1 MC control, connected through a Gigabit switch.

    Working with Logic, I tend to set the MC Mix channels to the first 16 Logic channel strips - this can be done in the EuControl Software. The 4 MC Control channels are then set to output and Aux channel strips. The XT and MCU channels are dealt with as usual in Logic, they move according to what I have selected in the arrange. The C4 is just fantastic as a Plugin controller, I would hate to be without it!

    In MIO console, things are a little different - all those faders are assigned to different mixer channels. I have two MH units, giving me 16 line/mic channels. These are always assigned to the 2 MC mixes, after that, various busses and outputs are assigned to the MCU, XT and MC control.

    I would dearly love to be able to do this in Logic, and have of course sent Apple feedback about it.

    EuCon is controlling the Euphonix Units, whereas the Mackies are controlled by Logic as usual. So, the two sets of controllers aren't perfectly intgrated with each other and logic. Long term, I could see myself getting rid of the XT, albeit, it is very comfortable to have 32 channel faders, augmented by the 4 MC control ones. The MC Control and MCU are really different beasts, and I use them for different things - I don't wish to part company with all those MCU commands that I have memorized, I am more familiar with the MCU transport controls.

    At the same time, the flexibility that the MC control offers in customizing
    sets of commands is way in advance of the MCU.


    The capabilities of the MC control are pretty awesome IMO - the ability to program hundreds of keycommands to be triggered from the touch screen, and to set up ones' own sets of KCs is to all intents and purposes unlimited, and fits well with the "customizing" mentality many logic users have :)

    The integration with Logic is, as one might expect bearing the amount of co-operation which seems to be going on between the two companies, really excellent - perhaps not surprising considering the experience and know how Emagic gained developing the Logic Control, but it deserves a very positive mention. What is also great is seeing other companies such as Metric Halo doing a first class job of integrating the euphonix units with their software. The Artist series also integrates very nicely into Nuendo as well - there are several hundred Nuendo Commands available for the MC control, as I am not terribly fit with Nuendo, I find these a little overwhelming!

    I find that the response of the touch screen is quite slow, and
    it doesn't seem to me to always be so practical to have to memorize which page a specific command is to be found on, even though the default settings are arranged very logically by page. I still find it is often faster to make use of Key Commands on the computer keyboard.

    I much prefer the buttons and faders on the euphonix units to the Mackies - the faders are faster, the buttons feel softer, have a smoother ation and are not as "clicky" as those on the MCU, overall they have a better feel. As to whether the faders will last longer than Mackie ones, it is too early to tell, and although there have been quite a few reports of people having trouble with Mackie faders, thankfully mine are still working fine. The rotating pots aren't rastered like those on the Mackies - to me neither better nor worse, jsut different. I don't really like the scroll wheel on the MC control, it feels a little cheap -albeit, I didn't make much use of the MCU scroll wheel either.

    As the MC Mix is more compact than the XT, I find that it offers more flexibility in setting up a workspace with Keyboard and mouse in front, then controllers, then screen at the back. It is a good bit shorter, allowing easier positioning of keyboard in front of and screen behind the controllers, albeit it is somewhat wider. The Mackie Units are however, more solidly built. The stands the Euphonix units come with are somewhat flimsy, as are the black plastic pieces used to connect units together, though it is nice to be able to link them into one longer unit. Another criticism is that when MC Mix and MC control are linked together the faders are offset, and the MC control doesn't have the really useful OLED channel displays - which I find a little nicer than those on the Mackies.

    Some of the earlier EuControl versions were rather unstable. It has improved, it still not as stable as I would like it to be. It is now at version 1.2.5, and it is encouraging to see that there have been several software updates, I do think that they are making progress.

    Another problem is that when switching screensets, or Alt-Tabbing between programs, the Logic arrange page tends to get scrolled suddenly, it "jumps" from what it was displaying - that is pretty annoying.

    What might very well appeal to some is that the MC control is not limited to audio and Video apps - lots of safari commands are accessible from the touch screen as well. Very entertaining!

    Finally, while it probably won't be relevant for many here on the LUG, the Mackie Units are cross platform, Euphonix is Mac only.

    Any more questions, feel free to ask :)

    kind regards

    Mark Cahill
  3. Marsdy

    Marsdy New Member

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for the review.

    I replaced a Logic Control and three XTs with a Euphonix MC Control and two MC Mixes.

    I sent the MC Control straight back. As you mentioned the screen is slow to update, I found it VERY annoying. Worse, the LCD was only really viewable from directly above. At a normal viewing angle with the Mac keyboard in front I could barely read it in normal daylight. I got instantly fed up of having to lean over to read it. Maybe they've improved this in later shipments. My dealer said that's what they're all like that. The scroll wheel on the MC Control is a flimsy and not at all user friendly compared to the MCU.

    The MC Mixes I've kept but I'm starting to regret it.

    The positives:
    OLED displays are nicer than on the MCU as are the faders. It is far quicker to route a channel/send to an output/bus or instantiate a plug-in than on the MCU. Smaller size.

    The Negatives:
    Not as stable as MCU. I get quite frequent crashes caused by a EuCon DLL file. General bugginess. Pro Tools support is hopeless. If you have more than one MC Mix you can still only bank 8 faders at a time. Duh!!!! What's the point of having more than one I ask myself? I've asked them about this because I thought it was a set up issue. Apparently this is just how it is. I really don't like those rubbery buttons. They feel cheap and are not very responsive.
  4. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    That is not the case with Logic, Nuendo and the Metric Halo MIO console. All of them work just fine with 2 MC mixes.

    Was that Digidesign or Euphonix? It is sheer speculation on my part, but I cannot imagine Euphonix not wanting to support PT. Digi, however, make their own controllers, so perhaps view Euphonix as competition?

    YMMV - I much prefer them to the hard clicky buttons on the Mackie Units.

    kind regards

  5. Marsdy

    Marsdy New Member

    I admit the button thing is subjective. I've never liked rubbery buttons.

    I was ambiguous in my post. As I mentioned, I have two MC Mixes. When I said you can only bank 8 channels at a time I was referring to using them with Logic!!!

    I asked Euphonix and they confirmed you can only bank 8 channels at a time in Logic, regardless of how many MC Mixes you have. In other words, say you have two MC Mixes and you're looking at channels 1 to 16. Hit bank right and you're looking at channels 9 to 24 not channels 17 to 32. Stupid!!!! :angryfire:

    PT support is VERY flaky. I found it unusable apart from very basic fader/pan control. Obviously they can work on this but as it stands it's half baked, shoddy and not fit for purpose.
  6. Alan Branch

    Alan Branch Logic Samurai

    I like the rubber buttons, it's the cheap chrome knobs that are nasty as is the scrub wheel.
    No way I can't believe it only does 8 tracks..I have the Mix and the Control, I never use the touch screen but the faders are quite nice.
  7. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    As the original Post was written using EuCon 1.2.5 with the then corresponding MC Control and MC Mix firmware, and there have been several revisions since then, I though it appropriate to add some new comments to some of the points raised. this is with the (as of writing) current EuCon Version 2.0.1, firmware 1.3.7 for the MC Mix and 1.1.9 for the MC Control:

    While I would still like touch response to be snappier, a recent firmware update has noticeably improved this.

    This behaviour has also thankfully been much improved.

    kind regards


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