Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin [to use the QCON]

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sdupayage
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2014/09/21 12:00:03 (permalink)

Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin [to use the QCON]

Hi,
 
Long time I wanted to have some advanced features in the original Mackie Control plugin from Cake and thanks to the migration to open sourcing of the code I was able to create something of my own...
 
I would like to say that it has been a long time since I last coded in C++ and that I have never really coded for Windows anyway so I may have ended up with something not 100% optimized but it looks like it is working.
 
I am leaving the link to the project here (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12176265/MackieControl.zip) so that if anybody is brave enough to test it he/she is more than welcome...
 
Now a quick description of why and what I have done this:
Some time ago I got a QCon Pro and a QCon Ex which are good products but definitely not made for Sonar and I was a bit frustrated that I could not map the way I wanted all the different commands and that in the end th MCU protocol was tweaked to work only for some DAWs...
 
First thing I thought was missing in the MCU implementation for Sonar was the ability to tweak the function keys when other modifiers were pressed (by default it does something but completely static in the code). So I added the ability to change the functions when shift, option, control or alt are pressed.
 
Then my QCon Pro with Logic Pro mode was behaving strangely with the centered PAN and the maximum value of the fader. I have then added the ability to change a bit how the PAN leds are displayed and a way to calibrate the maximum value of the fader so that you can't exceed it.
 
Finally I wanted to be able to map the defined functions of the MCU implementation from Cake to my own controls no my QCon Pro so I created some advanced options to be able to map the midi message to the proper action in Sonar. I did not do a proper system here and you have to manually enter the decimal (not hex) values of your buttons (that you can find using programs like MIDO-OX or MidiTerm).
 
If you read that far you have noticed that I own a QCon Pro and thus I haven't tested this on any different hardware. I hope this should be straight forward but I definitely can't guarantee this.
 
Also if you already have instanciated the MCU plugin I would suggest that you remove your configuration and remove your instanciation first before adding this custom version. Even if I tried to properly create a new version for the parameters to be saved it may create some conflicts.
 
And voilà, use this at your own risks and I hope it may help some of you.
 
Anyway the source is in the archive as well as the 32 and 64 bit versions. I'm too lazy to try to work with SVN so it comes as is.
 
Have fun,
Stéphane
post edited by John - 2014/11/17 15:24:48
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20 Replies Related Threads

    RogerH
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/16 15:56:17 (permalink)
    Very interesting. I've been looking at the qcon pro so, this is good news.
    Any updates, or is everything working fine for you? 

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    SuperG
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/16 16:50:30 (permalink)
    Can't get to it now, but I've downloaded it - I'm interested in the source as well, and if it ever gets released, I'm looking to get an X-Touch. Thank you.

    laudem Deo
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    200bpm
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/16 17:09:42 (permalink)
    Fantastic!  I recently bought a QCON Pro that I was planning to return because it does not work well with SONAR.  I'll see if I can get this working.
     

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    RogerH
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/16 17:53:30 (permalink)
    200bpm
    Fantastic!  I recently bought a QCON Pro that I was planning to return because it does not work well with SONAR.  I'll see if I can get this working.
     


    Can you describe the problems ?

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    200bpm
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/16 18:36:05 (permalink)
    RogerH
    200bpm
    Fantastic!  I recently bought a QCON Pro that I was planning to return because it does not work well with SONAR.  I'll see if I can get this working.
     


    Can you describe the problems ?




    The Qcon is not exactly a Mackie Control.  It has a few less buttons and a different arrangement.  That said, each of the profiles which you pick from at startup, makes available a subset of MCU commands that are both useful and implemented/tested in the DAW you choose.   (For instance, Reaper is one of the profiles, but you will notice many of the buttons are unused, probably because Reaper does not implement the full MCU protocol.)
     
    That said, there IS no Sonar profile, so at startup the best you can do is pick one of the OTHER profiles.  The first problem is that the QCON does not respond to the Cakewalk plugin, so it does not startup.  You have to have sonar send a sysex message which you route back to the MCU plugin, just to get started working.
     
    The second problem is that the QCON is sending a subset of MCU commands that are useful for ANOTHER daw; there is no guarantee that the commands it sends are particularly useful or even implemented in SONAR.
     
    In my brief testing, I loaded the Cubase profile and sent the sysex to trick the MCU plugin.  The faderbanks work, the track options, arm/mute/solo/rec/pan work, the navigation and jog wheel work, but the majority of other buttons were not useful or did not work well in sonar.  
     
    In order for the QCON to work well with the host sequencer, there needs to be an ability to remap commands sent from the QCON to the desired action in the sequencer.  
     
    In my other DAW (Samplitude), there is a Samplitude profile and Samplitude works well with the QCON, although many of the buttons were mapped to operations that I don't use frequently.  NO worries because Samplitude's Mackie Control "plugin" gives you the ability to remap MCU commands into whatever you want in Samplitude.  With a few small tweaks in Samplitude, I had to QCON working very well.
     
    In sonar, the MCU plug-in offers only very limited ability to remap commands.  So even once you've tricked the MCU plugin with the sysex, there is no abillty to remap commands in sonar, so the majority of the surface is useless.
     
    I think the bigger problem with MCU in general is that its ability to modify plugins is hit or miss -- so compatibility with plugins, the ability to tweak parameters using the encoders, is limited.  I think the reality is that Mackie Control is nearing the end of its useful life as touch screens and other more powerful, better integrated protocols (eucon) present themselves.
     
    This plugin from Stephane potentially solves those problems.  While it won't allow someone to remap the MCU commands from within SONAR, he modified the source to do this. (And presumably anyone can tweak the source to make it work how they want.)  
     
    Using the QCON in sonar will never be as flexible as (say) using the QCON with Samplitude, because SONAR does not give the ability to remap most of the commands.  This is a limitation of SONAR and will be a problem using a "real" MCU, so this is not the QCONs fault.  That said, AZ* has developed a plugin off the Cakewalk MCU source, but his is more ambitious as it allows you to remap MCU commands, much like the Samplitude plugin, however it does not address any quirks specific to the QCON.
     
    I really like the QCON design and if I only worked in Samplitude I would keep it for sure.  To get QCON Pro working well with Samplitude will require Stephane's modified plugin, but you will be at the mercy of the command mapping that he has implemented (or not implemented) and if you want it to behave differently, you will need to modify the source yourself.
     
    The QCON currently has nine profiles and also has a "Midi Learn" mode which is "dumb" and would allow you to use it as a simple midi controller with something like ACT.  I don't think the motorized faders would work in this mode.
     
    I spoke to QCON tech support last week and I do not believe they are going to make an official SONAR profile.  It is mostly for the European and Asian markets.

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    200bpm
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/16 22:37:41 (permalink)
    Testing this out now.   Most of the major features work, but I don't know what/if the buttons on the right are supposed to do.  There are some bugs with the pan pot leds lighting wrongly.
     
    OP probably won't see this, but I wonder what the buttons on the right are supposed to be mapped to, and if this assumes the Logic Pro profile was loaded?
     
    Edit: This doesn't really work.  Much work still to be done.
    post edited by 200bpm - 2014/11/16 22:53:46

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    John
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/17 02:10:15 (permalink)
    May I ask that the title be changed to better identify this as not actually related to the Mackie Control but rather the Qcon. 

    Best
    John
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    RogerH
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/17 06:10:46 (permalink)
    200bpm
    RogerH
    200bpm
    Fantastic!  I recently bought a QCON Pro that I was planning to return because it does not work well with SONAR.  I'll see if I can get this working.
     


    Can you describe the problems ?




    The Qcon is not exactly a Mackie Control.  It has a few less buttons and a different arrangement.  That said, each of the profiles which you pick from at startup, makes available a subset of MCU commands that are both useful and implemented/tested in the DAW you choose.   (For instance, Reaper is one of the profiles, but you will notice many of the buttons are unused, probably because Reaper does not implement the full MCU protocol.)
     
    That said, there IS no Sonar profile, so at startup the best you can do is pick one of the OTHER profiles.  The first problem is that the QCON does not respond to the Cakewalk plugin, so it does not startup.  You have to have sonar send a sysex message which you route back to the MCU plugin, just to get started working.
     
    The second problem is that the QCON is sending a subset of MCU commands that are useful for ANOTHER daw; there is no guarantee that the commands it sends are particularly useful or even implemented in SONAR.
     
    In my brief testing, I loaded the Cubase profile and sent the sysex to trick the MCU plugin.  The faderbanks work, the track options, arm/mute/solo/rec/pan work, the navigation and jog wheel work, but the majority of other buttons were not useful or did not work well in sonar.  
     
    In order for the QCON to work well with the host sequencer, there needs to be an ability to remap commands sent from the QCON to the desired action in the sequencer.  
     
    In my other DAW (Samplitude), there is a Samplitude profile and Samplitude works well with the QCON, although many of the buttons were mapped to operations that I don't use frequently.  NO worries because Samplitude's Mackie Control "plugin" gives you the ability to remap MCU commands into whatever you want in Samplitude.  With a few small tweaks in Samplitude, I had to QCON working very well.
     
    In sonar, the MCU plug-in offers only very limited ability to remap commands.  So even once you've tricked the MCU plugin with the sysex, there is no abillty to remap commands in sonar, so the majority of the surface is useless.
     
    I think the bigger problem with MCU in general is that its ability to modify plugins is hit or miss -- so compatibility with plugins, the ability to tweak parameters using the encoders, is limited.  I think the reality is that Mackie Control is nearing the end of its useful life as touch screens and other more powerful, better integrated protocols (eucon) present themselves.
     
    This plugin from Stephane potentially solves those problems.  While it won't allow someone to remap the MCU commands from within SONAR, he modified the source to do this. (And presumably anyone can tweak the source to make it work how they want.)  
     
    Using the QCON in sonar will never be as flexible as (say) using the QCON with Samplitude, because SONAR does not give the ability to remap most of the commands.  This is a limitation of SONAR and will be a problem using a "real" MCU, so this is not the QCONs fault.  That said, AZ* has developed a plugin off the Cakewalk MCU source, but his is more ambitious as it allows you to remap MCU commands, much like the Samplitude plugin, however it does not address any quirks specific to the QCON.
     
    I really like the QCON design and if I only worked in Samplitude I would keep it for sure.  To get QCON Pro working well with Samplitude will require Stephane's modified plugin, but you will be at the mercy of the command mapping that he has implemented (or not implemented) and if you want it to behave differently, you will need to modify the source yourself.
     
    The QCON currently has nine profiles and also has a "Midi Learn" mode which is "dumb" and would allow you to use it as a simple midi controller with something like ACT.  I don't think the motorized faders would work in this mode.
     
    I spoke to QCON tech support last week and I do not believe they are going to make an official SONAR profile.  It is mostly for the European and Asian markets.



    Thanks for a long and good reply.
    I really hope these issues could be solved in one way or another.
    I'm also using Reaper, and I think the Qcon has a profile for it. But I'm not sure how good it works with Reaper.
    But Sonar is my main DAW so I'm not sure if it is worth "jumping ship" just for the sake of Qcon pro.....

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    fireberd
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/17 06:43:22 (permalink)
    I had looked at the Qcon but since it didn't mention Sonar, I decided not to buy it.  I need a new control surface to replace my flakey BCF2000.  I'm going to hold off for a Behringer X-Touch which is due sometime this winter.

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    200bpm
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/17 08:19:10 (permalink)
    fireberd
    I had looked at the Qcon but since it didn't mention Sonar, I decided not to buy it.  I need a new control surface to replace my flakey BCF2000.  I'm going to hold off for a Behringer X-Touch which is due sometime this winter.


    The X-touch looks good but because SONAR does not allow remapping of behavior, you will be stuck with whatever functionality Behringer decides to give.  Like the QCON, its not exactly a MCU, so their button implementation may not work well in Sonar.  I also really like the xtouch, but have to wait and see how well it works. 

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    fireberd
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/17 10:15:34 (permalink)
    This is what I find on the XTouch
     
    Supports HUI and Mackie Control protocols  for seamless integration with every compatible music production software
     
     

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    sdupayage
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2014/11/22 11:02:02 (permalink)
    All,
     
    Sorry I wasn't really around for a while.
     
    Actually I was coding it over my QCon but can really work on other MCU Emulation as you can easily remap the butons. I know that this is not super user friendly but it takook time to get there already and unfrotunately I still prefer making music than coding in the end :)
     
    In regards to the PAN led issue I have to admit that I haven't been able to really understand why it was not working as I haven't really changed any of the core functionality of the original Cakewalk source. What I have found though is that using PAN Display as boost with Use PAN Center checked was giving me a pretty good sense of the PAN for the QCon (can't really test how it behaves on other units).
     
    See the below attached screens that reflect my current settings:
     
    Standard panel:

     
    Advanced panel: (All 222 means that they are not mapped; I picked a random high unused midi note value)

     
     
    @RogerH, I have been using it so far with quite a success over some songs. I haven't bee able to complain...
     
    If you have found any specifc bug I'll try to fix at no guaranteed pace ;)
     
    Thanks all,
    Stéphane
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    MadbeatEstudio
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2016/10/06 08:41:02 (permalink)
    Hello, sorry about my bad english but I'm from La Argentina and my language is spanish.
    I pre-order a Qcon Pro X in order to try to use it with Cakewalk Sonar... it will come in November...
     
    Sdupayage: Thanks a lot for the plug in. I will tryit and I'll let you all know what happened.
     
    I have this question for you or any who knows the answer:
    I don't understand how the files in the zip must be installed in Sonar... 
    I see a lot of files, but I don't know where in Sonar must be copied.
    Can any one helpme?
     
    Thank you in advance, regards.
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    azslow3
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2016/10/06 12:46:14 (permalink)
    You should install only ONE (!) file from these archive. The file is different for 32 or 64 bit Sonar. For 32bit, take "Release/MackieControl.dll". For 64bit, take "x64/Release/MackieControl.dll".
     
    Now where to copy... The simplest way is to search for MackieControl.dll on your computer.
    * if you find it at one place only, make a backup copy of it and replace it with moded file (from the archive)
    * if you find it at several places, you probably have 32 AND 64 versions of Sonar. Which location to choose is possible to see in the path to the file. If you see "x86" in some part, that is 32bit version
    * if you do not found that file, search for "ACTController.dll" and place MackieControl.dll into that folder.

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    MadbeatEstudio
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2016/10/06 13:25:16 (permalink)
    Great, thank you.
     
    I thought that the other files (KeyBinding.cpp, keyBinding.h, MackieControl.aps, MackieControl.clw, and so on) should be installed somewhere...
    but I only must copy and replace the X64/MackieControl.dll, isn't? (I have 64 bit)
     
    Thansk a lot, I will publish the test in a month when de Qcon Pro X arrives... 
    Cheers
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    chuckebaby
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2016/10/06 14:58:37 (permalink)
    isn't the Mackie Control already shipped with Sonar ?
    I use MCU (a Mackie control surface) and I didn't need to install anything if I remember correctly.

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    azslow3
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2016/10/07 11:24:24 (permalink)
    MadbeatEstudio
    Great, thank you.
     
    I thought that the other files (KeyBinding.cpp, keyBinding.h, MackieControl.aps, MackieControl.clw, and so on) should be installed somewhere...
    but I only must copy and replace the X64/MackieControl.dll, isn't? (I have 64 bit)

    Exactly!
     
    chuckebaby
    isn't the Mackie Control already shipped with Sonar ?
    I use MCU (a Mackie control surface) and I didn't need to install anything if I remember correctly.

    QCon Pro does not emulate Mackie correctly (they could not find the documentation...). sdupayage has modified MackieControl plug-in to make it work with that device.

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    chuckebaby
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2016/10/07 15:16:07 (permalink)
    azslow3
    MadbeatEstudio
    Great, thank you.
     
    I thought that the other files (KeyBinding.cpp, keyBinding.h, MackieControl.aps, MackieControl.clw, and so on) should be installed somewhere...
    but I only must copy and replace the X64/MackieControl.dll, isn't? (I have 64 bit)

    Exactly!
     
    chuckebaby
    isn't the Mackie Control already shipped with Sonar ?
    I use MCU (a Mackie control surface) and I didn't need to install anything if I remember correctly.

    QCon Pro does not emulate Mackie correctly (they could not find the documentation...). sdupayage has modified MackieControl plug-in to make it work with that device.


    oh I got ya. thanks for the explanation

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    MadbeatEstudio
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2016/11/16 12:35:39 (permalink)
    Hi folks!
    Yesterday the Qcon Pro X arrives.
    Well, I'm going to share my experience with all of you.
     
    First, nothing happens. The mackie option in Cakewalk SONAR didn't work out of the box as expected.
     
    Then, I tried several things like replacing the MackieControl made by Sdupayage or trying to understand how to make it work with AZslow3 Control... but nothing happens (may be I was doing something wrong... is very possible...)
     
    My last attempt was to upgrade the firmware of the Qcon Pro X.
    It came with the version 1.06 and I upgrade it to 1.07 (I don't like to do these upgrades beacuse the hardware can be ruined if you do it wrong or something happen...)
    But... THEN IT WORKS GREAT!!

    Sonar could make it work with the standard Mackie protocol!!!
    Every seems to work well, except the Meter bridge and SMPTE Lcd display... :(
    The rest works great like the label names in the display, moving faders, Jog shuttle wheel, Star, stop, solo, mute and so on...
    The strange thing was: triyng in Adobe Premiere, everything works including the metter bridge!! (but not the SMPTE display).
     
    Conclusion: If you have this devie, you shold do the upgrade... it worth it... Version 1.06 doesn't work with Mackie Control, but 1.07 does.
    If anyone can help me making work the metter bridge and SMPTE LCD display, please do it!!
    Thank you to everyone, regards from La Argentina.
    #20
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    Re: Custom Version of Mackie Control Surface Plugin 2017/11/09 13:13:27 (permalink)
    Please can somebody send me modified mackiecontrol.dll ??
    I have qcon pro and sonar platinum, but not work together :(
    Thank you!!!
    #21
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