Mackie MCU Pro Is Inferior To Behringer X-Touch

I’ve held off sharing my impressions of the Mackie MCU Pro line of mixers because I didn’t wanna’ alienate anyone. Also because I wanted to be sure I had a solid understanding of the differences between the Mackie MCU Pro line and the Behringer X-Touch line (the X-Touch and X-Touch Extender exclusively). But after designing the remote maps needed to use both brands with Reason, I feel I would be letting people down by not discussing in detail why the Mackie MCU Pro line is inferior to the Behringer X-Touch line.

Getting the obvious outta’ the way

There’s some benefits of the Behringer X-Touch line over the Mackie MCU Pro line that aren’t really the focus of this article. So let’s briefly go over those benefits.

The X-Touch line (X-Touch and X-Touch Extender) has Continue reading Mackie MCU Pro Is Inferior To Behringer X-Touch

Reason: Custom Behringer X-Touch Extender Remote Map

(Version 1.0) I’ve created a custom Propellerhead Reason remote map for Mackie Universal Control + Extender (Combo, Extender Left) mixers, like the one used by my Behringer X-Touch + Extender mixers or the MCU Pro + XT Pro. This remote map, called the MJ Enhanced Combo Extender, is modeled like the custom remote map I created when using a solo mixer (called the MJ Enhanced Universal Control).

This MJ Enhanced Combo Extender map fixes a fatal flaw that would cause the mixer to stop working in Reason (something unique to just the “Combo” remote maps). It also fixes problems like buttons being mapped in the wrong areas, virtually eliminates clip LEDs getting triggered, functions missing entirely (like the EQ Q knobs) while adding enhancements and new features, like comp and gate LED meters, redesigned encoder LED display modes, time displayed by default, global solo and mute off functions, FX send and return encoder LED meters, completely new “alternative text” mode for displaying additional information and added encoder ring master VU out meters. This remote map enables you to control the entire virtual SSL mixer and channel strip settings between two mixers as one fader-bank controllable 16 channel mixer.

This article also serves as a guide / general commentary and I’m sharing it free…


Creating the MJ Enhanced Combo Extender took a Continue reading Reason: Custom Behringer X-Touch Extender Remote Map

Roland A-49 Keyboard And Propellerhead Reason

I’ve only owned two keyboards my entire time working with music; a Midiman Keystation 49 (8 years use) and an M-Audio Oxygen49 (6 years use). I end up using keyboards for years, so when I’m about to buy a new one, I research for one that’ll also last just as many years. After researching what felt like 100 keyboards, I decided on the Roland A-49.

Every current and discontinued keyboard was considered

I looked at what felt like almost 100 models of keyboards for consideration. I looked at every model from Akai, Alesis, Korg, M-Audio, Nektar, Novation and Samson to name a few. Every single keyboard controller from Sweetwater was Continue reading Roland A-49 Keyboard And Propellerhead Reason

Securing The Music Studio Rack Furniture

I’ve been installing more music studio hardware into the rack lately. Because I’ve been pulling the rack in and out more, I ended up pulling the two “L” brackets holding the rack halves loose. So, while having the rack out when modifying and securing the X-Touch Mini into the rack, I took time to strengthen the rack and install additional rack rails.

What the rack itself is made of

The rack is made from two red, wooden “Lack” tables from IKEA. They perfectly match the internal width, more or less, of 19”. Most rack hardware devices do not take Continue reading Securing The Music Studio Rack Furniture

Modifying An X-Touch Mini For Rack Mounting

I use an X-Touch Mini in my music studio rack. I decided to do this by using metal rack spacers cut with the X-Touch Mini sitting in the center. By using screws screwed into the sides of the X-Touch Mini’s plastic housing (in front of the rack spacers), it will make it so that pressing the buttons or moving the fader will prevent the device from falling backwards.

Here’s how I modified the X-Touch Mini to mount into the rack.


I started by taking two “1U” rack spacers and used a dremmel to Continue reading Modifying An X-Touch Mini For Rack Mounting

Buying A Used Audio Interface? Buyer Beware

There’s a lot of audio interfaces out there on the used market. It can be really tempting to consider buying an interface that used to cost a lot of money ($500, $1,500, etc) for a cheap price ($150). Most of them work perfectly fine and are in great condition.

The problem? They either don’t have modern connection types (such as using obsolete FireWire) and / or there’s no drivers for them for current operating systems (macOS or Windows) and / or they’re not compatible with your current DAW.

The seller is selling for a reason

Ever wonder why some people with music studio hardware use old versions of operating systems and DAW’s? It’s likely because Continue reading Buying A Used Audio Interface? Buyer Beware

Installing A Relay Switch For Music Studio Hardware

I had a need to install a relay switch in the studio. I’ll discuss what is a relay is, why I’m installing it and how you can install one too.

What’s a relay?

A relay is a cool little box that has an electromagnetic switch in it. Relays have four to five wires. Ignore the fifth, red wire for now. Two wires you connect to a power (or ground) source you want to turn on / off. The other two wires you connect to a different powered source. When the other power Continue reading Installing A Relay Switch For Music Studio Hardware

Reason: Using Ableton Push As A Universal Controller

This is gonna’ be the most detailed review / talking piece about using the Ableton Push with Reason you’ll ever find. So let’s start this by asking; what is a universal controller? A universal controller is a physical hardware device (“USB controller”) that allows you to control every aspect of a device. A universal controller typically won’t have as many buttons as the virtual device they’re controlling, they’ll have different “banks” of parameters and, if that isn’t enough, different “pages” of banks.

This is what the Ableton Push has. It can control eight things at a time per bank and has access to eight banks at a time, with additional (practically unlimited) pages of banks. So, using this method, a universal controller like the Push can control as many different buttons, knobs, sliders and whatever a device has.

In short, the purpose of Continue reading Reason: Using Ableton Push As A Universal Controller