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-   -   Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=354097)

amuntner 05-01-2014 11:11 PM

Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
http://www.avid.com/US/products/Artist-Mix/features it says, "Supports EUCON, HUI and Mackie Control protocols"

While the faders/mutes all work with recording and motorized playback,

- 0 dB in the DAW places the fader between the 0 and 6 positions, not at 0.

- It's not possible to navigate the faders to control return channels or the Master channel.

- Only Channel 1 shows any VU-Meter. I believe the level shown reflects the Master meter: If I have audio on channel 2,3,4, etc, only, the Channel 1 vu-meter displays level, but no others.

- There doesn't appear to be any MIDI Learn mode

- Browsing configured plugins, using the knobs to control plugins, and controlling channel sends from Chan and Insert modes are not implemented.

- There is no way to Solo multiple channels at once, even using the computer keyboard. If I hit shift and use the mouse to set up Solo in my sequencer, I can solo more than one channel at once.

I'm trying to use it with Ableton Live 9.1.2. MackieControl is described as being supported on the website and Ableton Live support is described in the manual. Since Live's MackieControl implementation works well with other devices that emulate it, it's apparent that the limited functionality is a result of the Artist Mix only supporting a very limited subset of the MackieControl protocol.

Until I had already bought and started using the device, there was no way to tell from the documentation or marketing materials that Mackie Control support is essentially limited to faders, mutes, pan, and banking, which is frustrating. It's not what I expected from the company who says they deliver "the industry's most open, innovative and comprehensive media platform."

I originally posted about this in December and emailed Avid personnel but haven't ever heard back from anyone. I feel misled by the marketing literature which put EUCON and Mackie Control support into the same sentence and disappointed by Avid's support. I'd appreciate hearing from Avid, whether:
- Avid plans on more fully supporting Mackie Control
- If not, will Avid better document the limited Mackie Control support and do the honest thing by changing the marketing literature so other people aren't misled into buying an Artist Mix, like I was?

The hardware itself is very nice, I'd love to keep it and get the promised and expected functionality from it. I'd prefer to be a satisfied Avid customer compared to my current state of being a disappointed customer.

amuntner 05-05-2014 10:58 PM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
Avid, will you please respond?

Craig F 05-06-2014 02:55 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
This is a Users to User Support Forum not an Talk to Avid Support Forum
If you want to talk to Avid you need an ASC from the Avid Store

amuntner 05-06-2014 06:47 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
Craig, the issue isn't one that support can help with. What I'm discussing isn't a a bug, it's the actual functionality of the product, as designed and built, which is quite different from how it was marketed and sold. Specifically, the product was marketed as supporting Mackie Control Protocol, but this is not exactly true; only a limited subset of Mackie Control is supported, and that doesn't even work right. Other users have expressed the same frustration with regard to Mackie Control support on this forum. Also, this most recent post of mine documents additional malfunctioning features (fader 0 position) than I reported previously.

Avid doesn't document the (sparse) functionality available using Mackie Control Protocol. So far as I can tell, my own testing and posting are the *only* source of information available that completely document what functionality does and does not work. If anything, you should be thanking me for sharing this with other users.

The user support forum is exactly the right place to be posting about this. After all, Support will not be able to offer any support. I'd pay for a support call for them to tell me, "that's how it works," which doesn't fit into any reasonable definition of "support." There is no advice Support will be able to give me which would resolve the issues I reported. If I'm wrong on this point, it would be helpful if you could please explain why.

Craig, you said "This is a Users to User Support Forum not an Talk to Avid Support Forum
If you want to talk to Avid you need an ASC from the Avid Store "

That isn't precisely true.

"While Avid Tech Support maintains a presence here, with the hundreds of posts per day here on the DUC, we are unable to chime in on every one. We maintain limited hours of operation here, so many posts are bound to happen when we are not available." (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=300050)

Avid personnel frequently do respond on this forum. In response to a previous post of mine on this topic, other users responded that they'd also like for Avid to address this issue.

If the Avid User Forum isn't the right place for users to discuss functionality of an Avid product that differs from what Avid marketed and sold to us, where is the right place?

curvemusic 05-06-2014 07:27 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
Hi Adam,

Sounds to me as though your Artist Mix may actually be malfunctioning. The fact that the fader doesn't line up with your DAW is a pretty clear indication. I use mine with both Pro Tools and Logic, and both DAWs work well with it.

- All my meters show level, pan, Aux sends, not just channel 1.

- I can control plugins, aux sends etc. Took me a while to work out the exact buttons to press to get it working. Shift, flip channel, then the function you need.

- Soloing works fine for me. Some DAW's have an X-OR solo mode (Pro Tools for example).

However, I did have some pretty major issues (drop outs, slow response, freezing meters) before I put a separate switcher after my router. Now it all works exactly as expected.

I haven't tried to make it work in HUI or MackieControl mode, but to be honest I haven't had to. Aren't those essentially working in MIDI, with less resolution and a slower response?

All in all, it sounds like yours is broken! :eek:

Table Syrup Records 05-06-2014 07:35 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
Hey Adam, I'm here lol

I'll do some digging through the other thread as well.

Ben/Curve, you should do the same.

I was thinking the same thing. Fader level is a big Q that it could be an OS/Driver/Version issue, or something else like a malfunction or something

But, Adam did link the thread above, which includes others having issues as well - again, in Ableton Live .... I'll read through some to see if all the issues relate

Could be an Ableton issue as well.... Which version is everyone using, etc.....

Seems it works fine in other DAWs, so the real issue may end up being on Abletons end - might be a good idea to pursue their tech support , as they would have a pretty easy time getting support from Avid

Table Syrup Records 05-06-2014 07:41 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
Just a little something to make you think on a broader scale here, outside the box, just in case it goes somewhere helpful:

When PT8LE released, everyone had issues with the Tascam US2400 in LE on Windows... worked flawless before that, then, in 8LE, the 2400 got spastic and would drop and make PT unresponsive , etc

Took me about a month, but I chased it down to a surround related issue (do to the surround changes in 8LE)... before 8 they had used a different driver if I'm not mistaken... it was the JL Cooper or MCS driver or something (It's been a while)... which was no longer supported by 8, and no replacement driver was included in the 8LE installer (Only with HD and CPTK).....

The fix ended up being to put the SurroundPanner driver in the drivers folder.

Even without the CPTK installed, it appeared PT was attempting to communicate with the 2400's surround panner - EVEN IF IT WASN'T ENABLED under HUI

Installing the driver cured everything - even though it wasn't being used

Just a little something to make you think of what else could be happening

Table Syrup Records 05-06-2014 07:47 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
Are you using the Eucon/Euphonix Preferences App?

Windows or OS ?

Try killing the EUCON MIDI driver and reinstalling it. Same with the App

on OS, check out Audio/MIDI and check to see that it's there and all looks right - should be there right? (Or maybe not since it's a driver not hardware)
Windows side, not sure what you would do there - don't think there is the same type of access on the Windows side

Do Mackie Control or Mackie Control Classic behave any differently? Do any Euphonix MIDI ports behave differently?

Also, try a replacement cable, be sure you are not using any type of hub, try different port on your computer - and be sure you are not using a crossover cable rather than a standard one

The more I look into this, the more I think it's a driver/software issue, rather than the Artist Series unit itself ..... but could easily also be a bad cable or unit

Everything I've seen is telling me there is something amiss with your setup

I looked into it cause I have been thinking a bit about switching from my US2400 to 24 faders of Artist Series (Not that I use Live, but would want to know everything about the things before investing in em)

amuntner 05-06-2014 07:57 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
If you put your unit into Auto Test Mode

"Auto-Test mode: (MC Mix & MC Control only)

- press and hold the Left surface Shift button, Bank L, Bank R and Nudge R while you power on the unit.
- In this mode each fader should glide up and down one fader at a time. "

where does the fader move to? 0 or between 0 and 6?

Every other device I'm aware of that supports Mackie Control Protocol works with Live. I contacted Ableton and they confirmed this. Their support doesn't have any special access to Avid's support desk. It's only the Artist Mix which doesn't support the functions I discussed. I'm not surprised you can access plugins in Protools and Logic, both use native Eucon.

My Artist Mix is connected to my computer over Ethernet through a separate switch, just like yours.

The correct link to the previous thread is http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=348694

User Herbieoz in the other thread said, "Avid officially told me three years ago (approx) that Mackie / HUI etc is not supported and will not ever be, that the only thing they support is Eucon (except unfortunately they don't actually support that either for any one with real problems). Using a support ticket with Avid on anything to do with Eucon / Mackie etc just wastes your support ticket. You will have to search deeper into the darker parts of the web for assistance if a 3rd party here cannot help you. "

Yet, Avid's web page http://www.avid.com/US/products/Artist-Mix/features still says, "Supports EUCON, HUI and Mackie Control protocols"

The only documentation anywhere on the internet about which features are and aren't supported are in my post, therefore they were undocumented until I bought a unit based on Avid saying Mackie Control Protocol was supported.

Am I misunderstanding the word "support" when Mackie Control Protocol and EUCON are both used in the same sentence? Or did Avid overstate the features?

amuntner 05-17-2014 10:19 AM

Re: Request: Please Improve MackieControl Emulation
I emailed several DUC forum admins and posted on the Avid Facebook page more than once, still no response other than from similarly frustrated customers.

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