Have I been had? Mackie Control Universal


New Member
Hi, first post, and in massive need of advice!

So I've been having a few issues with my newly acquired Mackie Control Universal (received 2nd hand yesterday from eBay), so I've been trying to update it. Having no luck with the update procedure given with the firmware download from Mackie, but I'm beginning to suspect that I may not even have the 'Universal' model?

What doesn't help i s that I'm not all that sure what the difference is between the Mackie Control and Control Universal. Trying to look at images on google, it seems that there may be a few differences (on my model, it says 'Mackie Control' above the display, whereas the MC Universal appears to only say Mackie?). Similarly, when I boot up, the firmware is v.1.02 (and the only two bootable modes are Logic Control and Mackie Control, no HUI mode.)

Mackie site seems to suggest you can upgrade Mackie Control to the Universal with some pack (at $99), which is frustrating given the guy on eBay advertised this as a Universal.

Any advice? How can I really tell? Am I losing out on anything with regard to hardware between the two models (even after the 'upgrade' kit?)

Hi Steve, welcome to the LUG.

AFAIR, the MCU is universal with Firmware 1.2 (I'm not sitting in front of mine as I write this, will check later). Earlier versions were either able to work with several DAWs such as Cubase and Pro Tools, but not with logic. There was also the original Logic Control, which only worked with Logic, not with other DAWs. The background to this is that the Logic control was a joint project between Mackie, who provided the hardware, and emagic, where none less than Michael Haydn developed the software, mapping etc. which are still very useful even 8 years later with Logic 9. Around the time of the Apple takeover, Mackie announced the Mackie Control as a non-logic controlling unit for all the other DAWs. Not that this is going to help you, but it might be intertesting to know.

Some years after the initial release of the two "parallel" versions, a firmware upgrade was made available by Mackie allowing the original Logic Control and Mackie control to operate with Logic and other DAWs. This was the Mackie Control Universal. If you are showing Firmware 1.0.2, this URL should be interesting:


I recall at the time that there was an option to replace a chip with one containing the universal firmware. I honestly don't know whether you would have to do this, or whether you can update yours with the downloads available from Mackie.

HTH, kind regards

Hi Mark,

Thanks for this. Having just been on the phone with Mackie Tech support, I've concluded pretty much what you are saying...

According to them, the chip in the Mackie Control is what firmware 1.x works on. To make the desk 'Universal' requires the 2.x update. However, the chip on the Mackie Control does not support 2.x (hence the link you posted).

Whilst Mackie were offering a FREE upgrade back 7 years ago, that is no longer the case. As it was around $99 back then, I'm assuming it'll be around that now.

Whatever the case, the chap on eBay sold me a Mackie Control, NOT Universal. Even though it is possible to upgrade-in fact even this I'm unsure of as the only person that still sells the later chip is supposedly in Germany, and who knows if they have it!-the cost is not one I expected to incur having spent £290 for this one through eBay, having seen advertised that it was the Universal!

General advice now - what should I do? Can I call the guy I bought the desk and demand he pay for the chip upgrade? Can I demand some money back? Do I just have to take the blow and buy it myself?

Thanks for the help!
Just an update - having thought that the only difference between the MAckie Control and Universal was the chip, this is not in fact the case. The button layout for the Mackie Control is different (ie it needs a Logic lexan overlay to make sense!). Anyone know if such lexan overlays exist? If not, I've not only paid for a device that isn't what it is/doesn't work with ProTools, but the button layout for 'Logic' doesn't at all correspond to Logic!

Any advice? Thanks!
Mackie Control Upgrae kit

Hi Steve,im just wondering if you've already upgraded your MC?? Did you buy an Upgrade kit??..I am also a current owner of the MAckie Control the old version..also bought it second hand....& wanted to upgrade so i can use it HUI mode to control PRotools....i wanted to buy the upgrade kit but cant seem to get a hold of mackie tech support...do u have any idea if there is still a few of this things for sale??...