[ardour-users] Observations on Mackie Control Protocol using a MCU Pro

Thomas Vecchione seablaede at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 19:01:15 PDT 2007

Ok answering after quotes....

On 7/3/07, John Anderson <ardour at semiosix.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-06-11 at 21:36 -0400, Thomas Vecchione wrote:
> The best way right now to handle the mcu port is to define is as an
> alsa/raw port pointing directly to the /dev/snd/midiXXXX entry. Last
> time I checked, it's necessary to change it in etc/ardour2/ardour.rc and
> ardour_system.rc as well.

Unfortunately for some reason after having tried this, double checking to
make sure it is in both mentioned files as well as ~/.ardour/ardour.rc, for
some reason my ardour.rc still seems to overwrite itself back to the
alsa-seq port.  Not real sure why it is a good idea for it to overwrite
itself anyways as a side note, but it doesn't seem to be taking the edits I
put in very well.  Back to patching via the Alsa-midi tab in QJackCtl.
Speaking of which how long will it take for these ports to support Jack Midi
instead of the Alsa Midi?  At least then I might be able to get it to
autopatch and remove that worry period.

> On the Mackie, buttons are labeled by default a bit different than the
> > BCF I believe.  The transport controls work fine, and Mute/Solo/Rec
> > work, although you need to press and hold SELECT while pressing those
> > buttons for them to latch.  Pan also seems to work fine.  Past that
> > however and things get a bit confusing.
> By default the code assumes BCF2000 mode - there are more of them
> around. This remaps the various controls to make the BCF usable. To
> enable mackie mode, make sure the following line is in your ardour.rc
> <Option name="mackie-emulation" value="mcu"/>

Well after adding the above option, I can no longer latch SOLO, MUTE, or REC
on the tracks it seems.

I also noted, through experimentation that CLICK and SOLO above the
transport controls seems to be mapped to move playback cursor to start of
session, and end of session respectively.  As a result I think I am going to
hold off on trying to figure out the rest of it till I take a look at the

It's probably in there anyway, with a value of "bcf". If not just add
> it. Hopefully that will sort out some of the weird mapping things ;-)
> > Also, and PLEASE correct me if I am wrong on this, but there doesn't
> > seem to be any way to map BUS faders to the Mackie that I can see.
> Hmm. They should behave just like tracks, ie they're automatically
> recognised and mapped. Something's wrong if that doesn't happen.

Hmm so I set it up in a different session with the MCU option in my
ardour.rc and now it seems to be catching them, I need to try it in my
original session, might be something screwy with the session.  Unfortunatly
due to hardware issues I don't have access to it right now, but I will be
doing so shortly(Need to pick up some new cables and mounting screws, as it
is my HDs are currently etaped in to place as I realised when I got out to
my new contract I forgot all my computer screws etc at home.)

> I would be MORE than willing to compile a list of what button goes with
> > what midi control signal to implement much more of this console and take
> > full advantage of it if it could get implemented, and would truly
> > appreciate it in fact, as with the way it stands at the moment, its
> > functionality is kinda limited to me unfortunately.  I am starting to
> > look at the code, but find it hard to find a good starting place that
> > deals with just the Mackie control protocol in it so a good starting
> > location to work from for this I won't complain about, even if I am not
> > sure how much time I am going to have soon for programming.
> The midi values aren't the issue. The issue is this: what should the
> (unapped) buttons actually do in ardour? Good ideas welcome.
> If you'd like to look at code, these are good places to start:
> - for background: libs/surfaces/mackie/scripts contains
> mackie-controls.csv. I've used ruby to do code generation from these to
> the c++ files. It's not particularly easy right now though. Some scons
> rules would be nice. Anyway, hopefully this contains all the possible
> buttons so it won't need to be modified.
> - more importantly: mackie_control_protocol.cc from line 1047 has the
> implementations of the buttons. mackie_button_handler.* defines all
> possible buttons, and mackie_surface.* contains the mcu-specific setup
> code.
> bye
> John
Going to be working on this in a bit I think.  Thanks for the help.

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