The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

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supamonsta
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The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by supamonsta » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:20 pm

Hi,

having just received my brand new C4 pro, having browsed the general and M4L sections, I see that some of us are struggling too use the C4 with Live, and hardware sysex synths...

I made this thread with the aim of sharing our ideas and workflows with the C4 and live.

My first contribution, as I still have not installed and tested the beast, will be this link to a man that sells (lots of work involved) C4 instrument definition files and layouts for different hardware and software synths:

http://mapage.noos.fr/michael.rosner/C4 ... esign.html

this won't be of any help to use the C4 with Live, but at least an interesting first step for us vintage hardware synths owners

(I have the juno 2 alpha, mfb synth II and DSI evolver, the juno 2 and evolver beeing sysex-dependant)

So C4 owners, please share your ideas and tips!!!!

cheers

maxforlive
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by maxforlive » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:22 pm

Hey,


Here are some patches to control Max with the C4. Next step is using M4L to control Live.

http://www.notam02.no/index.php?/eng/Te ... collection

nuxnamon
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by nuxnamon » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:43 pm

congrats.. i thought they were out of stock at that place you initially found it? was it still at that insanely low price?

BTW, I often wondered if that's a Pokemon on your avatar..

supamonsta
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by supamonsta » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:58 pm

:lol:

naah, it's THE monstre jumo ;)

it's an original design by Oktus The Woodboy (Delkographik), a french illustrator.

I got the C4 finally at Thomann's, at a relatively insane price (375), but not as insane as the deal I had found at DV247 (230). :cry: (dv247 had no stock, then had a few units more, then, not.) (same for thomann, but I think they still have some units left)

anyway, I used my afternoon removing everything in my "home studio" to get room for this huge and heavy controller. Now it's time to try it ;)

feedback soon!

jlp
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by jlp » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:26 pm

Good idea for a thread, monstrejumo. I just got a C4 myself. Unfortunately, that means I have more questions than answers, but here is my understanding of the situation:

- The C4 is not supported as a control surface in Live.

- You can create a UserConfiguration.txt for the C4, and register the result as a control surface, but it amounts to a small subset of what the C4 can do, and, AFAIK, you get no visual feedback on the LCDs.

- The C4's V-Pots can be assigned using MIDI learn, but you get no feedback to the LCDs.

- Mackie has its own language and GUI for controlling hardware synths (C4 Commander), but at first glance there doesn't seem to be a way to adapt it to Ableton. Would love to be wrong about this.

- Apparently you can control the C4 with Max/MSP, as notam02 has done (haven't tried it, as I don't have Max).

It would be great to have the C4 do in Ableton what it does in Logic: automatic control of all plugins, with LCD feedback telling you what you're controlling. Even a programmatic interface that would let you map the C4 to some other piece of gear would be better than nothing. Maybe that is possible using Max/M4L or some other intermediary software, without requiring Max.

Cheers,
John

P.S.
A footnote about the MCU Pro: it behaves reasonably well in Live, as long as you use 'Mackie Control' mode. I mostly use Logic, where the MCU pro and the C4 both work like a dream - but it caused some head-scratching at first with Live, because I didn't know that I needed to switch from Logic to Mackie Control mode when using Live. For those who don't know how to switch modes, as I didn't: turn off the MCU pro, then, while holding down the "SELECT" buttons on the first two tracks, power on the MCU pro - it then lets you choose the mode you want.

supamonsta
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by supamonsta » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:06 pm

thanks for your input :D

it's a shame that Ableton didn't plan anything to make the C4 available as a control surface!

and now that the C4 is discontinued, there is no hope anymore...

I use the C4 to program my Juno 2, having modded the supplied instrument definition file, and I contacted Michael Rosner to ask him to build an instrument definition file for the evolver. It involves lots of work, but he said he could do it, after having looked at the evolver midi / sysex implementation.

It works fine with the juno, but I still have not tried anything to link the C4 to Live.

Problem is that Commander is like an un-finished software, and I don't see how one can assign CCs to the V-pots, but there may be some trick to do to get the C4 send both :

-sysex to the hardware synth
-midi CCs to ableton live => ability to record automations

BUT:

C4 pro / commander is not bi-directionnal, so commander doesn't RECEIVE anything, so it would not be possible to PLAY CCs automations from live that would then be translated in commander is sysex messages sent to the harware... :(

anyway, it's a great deal for people owning hardware synths that don't have many knobs, and for other DAWs such as Logic or Traktion...


- M4L doesn't support sysex... so M4L won't be of any help for us

If only Mackie had upgraded the Commander software in something more open-minded...
And the porcess of designing your own custom instrument definition files is totally reserved for XML programmers that perfectly kow everything about MIDI and SYSEX!!!!

cheers

flowdesigner
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by flowdesigner » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:44 pm

Is it possible to fill the lcd displays with paramater names from the max midiout object from M4L?
This is from the max/msp C4 sysex manual:

About the sysex format in the Mackie control C4.
The Mackie control C4 can receive midi sysex data to write information in the LCD displays. Here ?s an example of how to write the word ”start” in the lowest left corner of the LCD display.
This is how it looks in the max-patch:

-picture-


lets have a closer look at the data: 240 0 0 102 23 51 56 115 116 97 114 116 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 247
Divided into parts: 240 0 0 102 23 51 56 115 116 97 114 116 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 247
This is what it means:
240 0 0 102 23 51 56
sysex status byte mackie control C4 LCD display row 1-4 (48, 49, 50, 51) LCD display offset, upper or lower part of display. (0 or 56)
115 116 97 114 116 ascii code for the word ”s t a r t”
Fill the rest of the display with ascii code for ”empty”: 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32
247 end message
With this simple demonstration, you should be able to make your own sysex messages for the Mackie control C4.

timeline85
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by timeline85 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:05 pm

I thought Live didn't support sysex?

flowdesigner
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by flowdesigner » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:54 am

timeline85 wrote:I thought Live didn't support sysex?
Well, its just a bunch of numbers that i need to send to the C4 once, it then it interprets it as lcd display names, so I was just curious why that would cause problems. I dont need it to continuosly uppdate values from a playing arrangement using live.observer. Just a loadmess when I open the live project, and then use the C4 mainly to control Live channel volume fades with live.remote~

flowdesigner
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by flowdesigner » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:15 pm

Ehhm, I cant find the power supply... What kind of power can I plug into it?

sissySpacecraft
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Re: The MACKIE C4 PRO ABLETON USERS THREAD

Post by sissySpacecraft » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:25 pm

I realize this is an old thread so I'm late to the party. Is anyone still around and using a C4 with Live? I am. I'm not using it to control Live's Instruments or Effects, but I am using it to control VST plugins and Live is the VST host at the center of the studio.

Without going into a ton of details (for the TL;DR crowd), I've figured out how to program the C4 to control, for example, Massive, Absynth, and Reaktor in real time. My particular setup is likely fairly unique, but I would definitely be interested in swapping stories with anyone else who has a working (or not) C4 in their Live9 setup.

The key to understanding the system for me was when I figured out the fact that the hardware MIDI DIN ports on the C4 are "dedicated" to communication with the C4Control software, and it is the software that in turn sends out your "programmed" CC or SYSEX messages on different ports that are connected to the targeted MIDI sound module(s). So you turn a knob on the C4 and it sends a set of CC messages down the pipe to the C4Control software which then decides based on the current "control layout" which MIDI message to send to which MIDI device on whatever port to which that device is connected. The other key to my understanding how it was going to work was when I figured out which of my MIDI drivers were fully "multi-client" and which were (like the ubiquitous MS "class compliant" USB-MIDI driver) "single client". The big limitation of "single client" MIDI drivers is that two pieces of software can't connect to the same "single client" driver at the same time. So you can't, for example, send control-info from the C4Control software and send note-info from Live to the same device via a "single client" driver at the same time (unless you dedicate a MIDI track in Live to that task, but that's a different story and kind of a hack). Only one of those two pieces of software can connect to the "single client" driver at any given time. I figured out you can work-around the "single client" limitation by incorporating "multi-client" MIDI-loopback drivers like MIDI-YOKE, and MIDI-patchbay software like MIDI-OX into your studio setup.

I've already written more than I was planning. Is there anybody else out there interested in reviving this thread?

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