Tag Archives: X-Touch

Customizing The Music Studio Furniture & Hardware

A lot of updates have been happening to my music studio setup. Hardware’s been rearranged and devices have changed. One of the things I haven’t covered yet here is how I built my studio desk. So in this article, I’ll be talking about how I set the desk up, installed or removed music studio hardware and keep everything working together.

New audio interface, the FCA1616

I wrote before about replacing my M-Audio Oxygen49 with a Roland A-49. The original audio interface, the Tascam US-322, that used to sit to the right side of the keyboard.

Continue reading Customizing The Music Studio Furniture & Hardware

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 VU meters, is cheaper by nearly half ($449 vs. $1,099) and has better looks (once you take off the tacky, plastic sides). While those points help, the part that makes the Mackie MCU Pro line inferior is down to…

Continue reading Mackie MCU Pro Is Inferior To Behringer X-Touch

Reason: Custom Behringer X-Touch Extender Remote Map

[05/09/2022 Version 2.5] 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…

Foreword

Creating the MJ Enhanced Combo Extender took a very long time for me to do. A lot of the initial work was done with the MJ Enhanced Universal Control, so check that link out for some info on what led to this Extender version. The problem is that, in order to use an Extender with Reason, you can’t just add an Extender on via the Extender remote map (at least for the X-Touch’s). A separate remote map (“Combo, Extender Left”) has to be used. That means instead of coding for an additional 8 channels, I needed to start with a new remote map for a total of 16 channels. Here’s an image (from my 29” ultra wide “rack” monitor) of just code for channel 1 (of 16)… the code for channel 1 keeps going past the screen.

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 considered. I also looked at models discontinued. Some of the top list of keyboards was the Akai Max49, with its sexy red color and even more impressive LED touch faders, the Nektar Panorama P4 for its dedication to being a universal controller for Reason and the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 for its unique white on wood trim.

Continue reading Roland A-49 Keyboard And Propellerhead Reason

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 a universal controller is to physically control every aspect of a device.

Continue reading Reason: Using Ableton Push As A Universal Controller

Reason: Custom Behringer X-Touch Remote Map Layout

[05/09/2020 Version 5.0] I’ve created a custom Propellerhead Reason remote map for Mackie Control (Mackie Universal Control) mixers, such as ones used by my Behringer X-Touch or the Mackie MCU Pro. The remote map, called MJ Enhanced Universal Control, 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, enhances the channel VU meters, introduces new rotary encoder LED display modes, FX return encoder LED meters, completely new “alternative text” mode for displaying additional information and added encoder ring master VU out meters. This enables you to control the entire virtual SSL mixer and channel strip settings including channel selection. This article serves also as a guide / general commentary and I’m sharing it free…

Foreword

The MJ Enhanced Mackie Universal Control setup took a very long time for me to do. This mapping file and article are written based on my experience with Behringer’s X-Touch mixer. The X-Touch is designed to work in Mackie mode for programs like Reason, Ableton, Logic, etc. Unlike Behringer’s odd Propellerhead partnership with the BCF2000 and BCR2000 line of controllers, the X-Touch was designed to work exactly the same as other mixers under the Mackie Universal Control setup (same as Mackie MCU Pro models). Comparing the way Reason and other programs interact with the X-Touch, with the exception of the clip LED (that my layout tries to reduce), all screw ups appear to be on Propellerhead (this isn’t the first time).

Continue reading Reason: Custom Behringer X-Touch Remote Map Layout

Studio Hardware Walkthrough

In this post, I detail the physical hardware I use for my desktop studio setup. Rack, mixer, music devices, audio interfaces, audio analyzers, monitors, speakers, power supplies and desktop configuration.

Rack

The rack is custom-built from two red IKEA tables. I stacked them and keep them in place with two “L” brackets. I then installed rack rails, cutting the metal rack rails with a dremel tool.

Continue reading Studio Hardware Walkthrough

Reason: Using Multiple BCF2000’s Can’t Be Done (Update)

Update: check out the new post Reason: How To Use Multiple BCF2000’s.

If anyone’s curious on setting up multiple Behringer BCF2000’s together in Propellerhead Reason (to go from 8 channel banks to 16 channel banks, etc)… from what I can tell it can’t be done and no one has provided real evidence of this. Because…

BCF2000’s are controlled by Reason uniquely

I couldn’t get Reason working with two Behringer BF2000’s, setting everything up as it’s intended (both via direct USB and MIDI cascading). When you look at the BCF2000 remote file, you see references for 8 faders groups at a time and no more. Reason loads in a temporary, on-the-fly preset for BCF2000 and BCR2000’s that other DAW’s don’t. This is where the issue happens. Who wants two or more BCF2000 mixers that are controlling the same exact channel banks? It’s stupid, and if you wanted a control surface, go with a BCR2000 instead of a BCF2000.

Continue reading Reason: Using Multiple BCF2000’s Can’t Be Done (Update)