My new Studio (II)

Well, after some breaks and waiting periods I continued on improving my new studio setup:

the Mackie desk moved into the middle, the new monitor speakers (Yamaha HS80M) found their place, the rack is getting filled up more and more (the Ensoniq DP/4 Multieffect unit and a new ADAT Interface) and, the most important thing, the cable-chaos has almost been solved and sorted!

So now I am mainly waiting for the MB808 case, and for the Dual 1176 and the GSSL Stereo Compressors to be build soon…

My new studio (part I)

Some weeks ago I got myself a new toy, well, actually a quite old toy, but still great and something I always wanted to have: An analog mixing desk, and after some search and evaluation I decided to get a Mackie 8-Bus 24 Channel desk…
Ok, many people might now say “Uh, Mackie,…” but for me this desk is the perfect symbiosis between acceptable sound and affordable price; I also thought about an Allen & Heath GL2200, but what I really like on the Mackie are the 8 submaster busses, so I can group all stuff together and put 8 channels back into Ableton, where I will be using effects and stuff, because I still don´t have any serious outboard effects;
So starting with the new desk I decided to rearrange the whole studio, and put the mixer in the middle; My lovely girlfriend has built me a 14-unit 19″ rack to put my future gear into, and I further on decided to build a Dual 1176 and a GSSL summing compressor…
Also she has built a rack to put new monitor speakers on, as I am planning on buying the Yamaha HS80M, and eventually the Subwoofer as well…

So here is the desk:

Some more studiopics will follow soon, as I got the mixer back today from a small revision…

JL Cooper CS-32 Minidesk and Mackie Control: a small howto

Hier mein erstes echtes “howto”, das ich gestern im Ableton-Forum gepostet hatte… werde versuchen noch weitere howtos zum Thema Midi, Mackie Control und Ableton Live sowie einen Reparatur-Bericht meines neuen Korg Polysix zu verfassen, sollte ich mal etwas Zeit haben…

so here we go…

I fiddled around 3 nights with this combo, so i thought i should share the result with you:
about 1 year ago i bought this little JL-Cooper CS-32 Minidesk, it´s an 32-channel Midi-Desk wich fits in one palm (see here:

It´s discontinued by JL Cooper, and quite hard to find (but i know some guys here have one), and the drivers for Mac OS X are still PPC; but it works fine under OS X 10.5;
What always bugged me since i got it was the fact that i had to map all faders and buttons over and over again, and because i like to start with empty projects quite often i never really used my readymade template; Inspired by this guy here ( i decided to give the mackie control-protocol a try – and it works like a charm!

first thing you have to do is delete the Live template in the editor-sw which comes with the cs-32, if you imported it (it always switches back to this, so no chance to keep it).
Next you have to select 3 input ports in the Midi/sync section of live, and choose
1 Mackie Control >> CS-32 Midi Port1 (for channel 1-8 )
2 mackie Control XT >> CS-32 Midi Port 2 (channel 9-16)
3 Mackie Control XT >> CS-32 Midi Port 3 (channel 17-24)
(you can map all 32 channels with the last port, but i decided to leave the last 8 channels for 4 return tracks plus the master plus some spare faders wich i use with instant midi map)
Next you have to check “track input” below in the same Tab for all 3 Ports (Mackie Control works with Midi Notes, so switch of the CS-32 input on your Instrument Midi input), and select “automation” for port 4 so you can map the master and the return faders.)
Now in the cs-32 editor go to MIDI >> CS-32 Host Mode and >> Multi cable Mode

Mackie control communicates on Midi channel 1, which is show in the CS-32 menu as channel 00:

Next pick or move fader 1, and enter in the window
– custom midi
– command type: pitch bend
– Midi Ch. 0
– 1st data byte: 0
– 2nd. Data byte: check “Follow Controls value”
AND choose “Assign this message to the next 7 channels”
>>> hit “Apply”

switch to Live, and check if faders 1-8 are moving up and down. if not, check your midi setting in Live, and if you have, use Midi Monitor the see if the CS-32 sends out the right Notes. (Live´s Midi channel 1 is channel 00, channel 16 is channel 15 on the CS-32)

if all works fine, go to fader 9 and continue the above setting, but for the 1st data byte put in 1, for faders 17-24 put in 2 (and if you want to use all 32 put in 3 for faders 25-32)
Next select the Button “Mute/Arm” on channel 1 (Note: the red Switch-button on the top right of the Cs-32 has to be put “ON”, so the red led should light)

for buttons you put in Note On Messages, starting with
– Midi channel 0
– 1st data byte 0
– 2nd data byte check “follow controls value”
Assign to the next 7 channels
and HERE with incrementing 1st data byte
>>> hit “apply”
go to live and see it you can arm track 1-8… the red LEDs on the CS-32 should light now;
now you have to continue with the second row of buttons (solo) for the first 8 tracks, starting with 1st data byte 8, then row 3 (Pan/Select wich is actually mute in Live) with 1st data byte 16, always assign to 8 channels with incrementing 1st data byte.
if you want to you can switch the red button on the top right now, and double-use the mute-buttons for track select with 1st Data byte starting at 25-32)

Once your´re finished check in Live if all functions for the first 8 tracks work fine, and then continue with track 9 to 16: repeat the fader-assignment as above, just make shure the CS-32 is in Multi-Cable Mode, which means it uses all 4 midi channels – otherwise you can only control the first 8 tracks with your 32 faders Sad
Next assign the arm-buttons of track 9-16 as you did with the first 8 tracks, and so on for all other buttons, and after that for channels 17-24, and so on.

I found out its a good thing to backup the keyset by exporting it to a file as default keyset_bak, because the editor sw seems a little buggy, and it crashes sometimes… the good thing is there is no save-function, all settings are saved instantly and as long as the usb-driver of the cs-32 is active you can use your setting without the editor software…

if you don´t want to program all this yourself, just drop me a PM, and i will send you mine plus the midi-mapped Live-Template via mail…

hope this helps someone out there and you get some real fun out of this little mixer! i really love it now!!!

EDIT: Because of all the mails I received asking for the drivers and some instructions I decided to put them on my site for download. If anybody who owns the rights on these drivers feels any kind of copyright violation please drop me a line and I will remove these drivers from my page immediately. I just want to help people out…
So here are the drivers plus basic instructions (in fact just a screenshot)… feel free to comment if you’ve successfully installed the driver or not… download here