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Logic 9 Control Surfaces for Logic...

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by mk3, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. mk3

    mk3 Senior member

    Hello, all...
    Any recommendations on control surfaces for Logic? I would like to have full control of mix, transport, and also ideally be able to control plugins (effects and virtual instruments).

    Also, some general questions on control surfaces:
    - Do they all involve a software driver or layer between themselves and Logic?
    - Is the automation which they write in Logic standard MIDI CC automation, so a project would still play the same even if moved to a studio without the control surface driver?

    I'm curious about the more affordable options in particular, such as:

    Novation ZeRO SL MkII:

    PreSonus Faderport:

    Behringer B-Controller:

    Any others which you might care to recommend...

    Hopefully this is considered on-topic, as the question is really about which ones integrate well with Logic.

  3. mattrixx

    mattrixx Senior member

    Having used both Automap and the Behringer product, I will say that you cannot beat the full integration of the Logic/Mackie controllers. The BCF2000 can emulate this to a degree, but it involves some extra shift button holding etc.
    Can't comment on the Faderport however sorry.
    The Novation product (using Automap) is still a major PITA compared to using the 'purpose designed' Mackie or Logic Control surface. I'd get one of those if you can find one second hand or something. (Don't be fooled by any of the Mackie emulation devices such as iPad apps etc - I've got them too.... don't use them).
    As it is a lot more expensive, I can understand that the Mackie may not be an option, but having half capable controllers is counter productive and my shed is full of stuff like such, that just didn't make the job easier than using a mouse for example.

    All those extra bits of junk in the shed add up to the cost of the MCU that I should have bought first and been done with it (had it for years now and was once recently, tempted by the Eucon devices.... but they didn't deliver fully either)..

    Anyway, I probably sound like I am rambling now, but the moral of the story is that if it doesn't make life better, then don't bother.

  4. Howie Roxx

    Howie Roxx Member

    I too found the Novation Remote SL (using Automap) a major PITA. I finally sold the Novation Remote SL and Automap on eBay.. I was just too much trouble to program and be 'trouble-free' with Logic.

    My Two Cents,

  5. mk3

    mk3 Senior member

    Dear mattrixx and Howie -
    Thank you for the suggestions....It seems that one gets what one pays for! I'll have to try out some of these toys directly to get a sense of the strengths and limitations before spending that sort of money, certainly...

    A question about the bi-directional communication between Logic and Control Surfaces:
    Do any of these control surfaces fully integrate with Logic's dynamic mixer?
    That is, as Logic's mixer layout changes, does the control surface automatically reflect the change, controlling whichever channel strips are visible on the screen? Or does one rather have to manually reassign the controller to the channel strips each time?

    Thank you again for all the help...

  6. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    In the case of the Mackie and Euphonix units, yes. It is possible to step through the mixer singly or in banks. In my case, I have one each MCU and XT, as well as a C4. I have the MCU and XT assigned as one mixer layer. Using the bank buttons correspondingly moves through 16 mixer channels at a time. Pressing single moves up or down by one channel.

    In the case of Euphonix, it is possible to leave the units in default in which case they will follow the mixer as I described for the Mackie units, or, individual controller channels can be assigned in EuCon to particular Logic Mixer Channel Strips. I often work with my Euphonix system (2 MC Mixes, 1 MC Control) with the 2 MC mixes assigned to the first 16 channel strips in a project. The 4 MC control channels could be assigned to Auxes or outputs. The 16 Mackie channels remain "floating".

    kind regards

  7. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Senior member

    I tried a Novation SL25 and found the 'automap' software a major turn off.

    I had one of these for a little while. Excellent unit. Very well built but limited by it's single fader.

    Never used it, sorry.

    My current control surface, the Yamaha 01x:

    This is also an 8-input audio interface and 2-in-2-out MIDI interface.

    I got mine on eBay for £300. Can't recomment it highly enough in the value-for-money stakes.

    It plays beautifully with logic; hardly have to use the mouse at all.
  8. gblack

    gblack Member

    I agree with all the above as concerns Novation. I have an SL MKII, and it is truly a PITA. The automap software does NOT yet work with 64-bit Logic and most 3rd party 32-bit (bridged) plugins, and I've yet to discover how to integrate the transport controls. Add a mushy Fatar keyboard with very casual velocity response to the controls, and you have a $400 waste. My buds with Mackie don't have any such problems.
  9. hammertom

    hammertom New Member

    Have not been able to get the Faderport to work when Logic is in 64 bit mode. I sent it back and they said it works fine. But it doesn't work on my system or a friend's system.
  10. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    I have an MCU and it works flawlessly. As Mark already said it can be set to follow the Arrange Window channel strip layout and will update dynamically as the Arrange Window does. I'll to that though the ability of the MCU to operate in the equivalent of Logic's Track Mixer Arrange, All, and Single modes. Plus, you can easily filter the channel strips being displayed, by type - just as you can in Logic's Track Mixer with the filter buttons. So you could, for example, put it in "All" mode and only view aux tracks if you want to work on sub mixing some stems or sub groups.
  11. willnubu

    willnubu Senior member

    i like axiom pro 25. Simple, not alot of tweeting, and get straight to making music.:thmbup:
  12. daveyboy

    daveyboy Senior member

    The Alphatrack by Frontier Desgins works fine in 32 bit mode but not in 64. I'd love to get the Euphonix Mc Mix at some point as that does work in 64 bit.
  13. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member


    I'm having a very good experience now with Novation and Logic- since the last few updates...
  14. gblack

    gblack Member

    Eddie - (or anyone):

    A clue how to use the the SL MKII transport buttons with Logic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  15. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

    They just simply work for me - you'll need to provide more information about your system maybe... did you go through the DAW setup guide in AutoMap?
  16. gblack

    gblack Member

    Yes, I did - added the monitor object, and did the midi cabling for Logic as show. I'm using Logic 9.1.1, Snow Leopard 10.6.4, the current version of Automap Pro with an SL MK II, thru a dual duo Xeon and an RME FF800.

    My transport functions don't work right off the bat. Do yours work on any track, or just, say, software inst tracks? I could go through the tedium of assigning the spacebar to the play toggle, etc, but it would foul the default key commands that I have, and not all of the transport buttons have corresponding functions that are key-assignable.

    Hmmm, strange . . .
  17. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

    What transport functions are you talking about specifically? Your reply makes no sense to me, it does not seem that what your are calling 'transport' is the same thing that I think it is...
  18. gblack

    gblack Member

    I'm referring to the transport buttons on the face of the SL MKII. There is Fast Reverse, Fast Forward, Stop, Play, etc, all represented by buttons with icons, on the face of the SL keyboard.

    And they do not have any affect on Logic at all, for me, regardless of the track type. I must assign each via the Learn function in Automap Pro.

    I can work the transport bar in Logic fine, but not from the SL MKII, only from within Logic with the mouse. I cannot make the MK II's corresponding buttons affect Logic's transport or the functions that it various buttons control.
  19. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

    And what version of Logic are you using? It shouldn't be that hard- I really did not have to do much to get this working- I'd go through the DAW setup guide again...
  20. garethJones

    garethJones Member

    MAckie Control still the best. Amazing in fact. Michael Haydn is a genius.
  21. gblack

    gblack Member

    I can live with the Novation KB-Controller. It just takse much time, but I have that.

    Everything Mackie I've seen or owned has been simply superior. Wonder what the control surface so often used in Logic costs . . . (don't know which model) ?

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