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SSL UF8 Controller Assignments


microkid

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I'm using a SSL UF8 control surface along with Logic. Whilst I am very happy with this I feel things could be better, or at least suit my way of working better. I appreciate the the SSL UF8 is limited to working with the Mackie control interface and as such may have certain restrictions imposed as a result of that.

 

I am using controller assignments in Logic to set things up as I would like and have made quite a few changes that really work for me (essentially I'm trying to get as close to a real mixing console as I can). Whilst playing about with the EQ it got me thinking that what would be quite nice would be to assign EQ frequency to each of the VPots and the gain to the fader. However whilst it's relatively straightforward to map the VPots to EQ frequency. It seems impossible to map the faders to the gain settings whilst in Channel View EQ Mode and then return them back to faders when exiting EQ Mode.

 

Has anybody else played around with this type of thing with either the SSL or the Mackie and had any success?

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So, what you are wanting to do is essentially change/rewire the MCU functionality - in essence, re-design it to support the things you want to do.

 

While this is in many cases possible (within certain constraints of how Logic is architected), it is quite a lot of effort to understand the control scheme of the MCU, and functionally change it, without breaking existing functionality.

 

By design, there is only one way to get Vpot parameters onto the faders and that is the "flip" the parameters there - that's all the system supports. If you want to use the faders for your own custom purposes, you need to build new modes and mode changing handling and add in your own functionalty, and will need to jump through some hoops to stop this breaking other parts of the system, as the faders were not designed in the MCU control scheme with this in mind, for the most part. Plus you'll need to deal with the fact that the faders are absolute controls whereas the vpots sent relative messages.

 

So, just like opening up your TV set and rewiring components to change it's behaviour is possible, what you want to do is also possible - however, it's not trivial, and no one is going to be able to give you simple step by step instructions to hack and develop your own custom control scheme. If you want to do this, you'll have to get your fingers dirty and get in and do the work to understand how the MCU works, and design extensions into this to behave how you want. it's not the kind of thing where you can spend an evening learning a few messages and then you have a bunch of new custom behaviours well integrated into the system. It will probably take you a while (if you're not already familiiar with it) to understand general concepts of the controller assignments (zones, modes, mode switching etc), specific assignments and control surface parameters, some quirrks of the system, and the whole controller assignments setup of the MCU and how it works, which is fairly extensive - the MCU has a *lot* of functionality built in (just examine the installed assignments once you have an MCU control surface installed.)

 

With the UF8, you may well also have another layer of complexity, as the the controller talks to Logic I believe through the SSL application, and I have no idea of how that works - you might find some behaviours and handling are hard coded in which might restrict what you want to do.

 

Note - I've hacked the MCU quite extensively over the years (plenty of forum posts here that go into some of that) so I'm probably a bit more aware of what's possible, what's easy, what's hard, and what just won't work than most here. I welcome people who want to get into the weeds on this stuff, and I'm happy to discuss along the way (there's not that many others here who go this deep into the MCU controller assignments!), but I've got enough work developing my own MCU-based control systems and can't really help design yours. You'll need to be the patient, methodic, programmer, attention-to-detail and troubleshooting type to really do this.

 

That will either be offputting, or inspiring I guess, and may shape how you proceed from here! ;)

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Hey - thanks for you detailed response. I have already discovered that none of the controller assignment stuff is trivial and that even making a small change can break a load of other stuff. But I do like a challenge - the other hat I wear is that of software developer so none of what you said puts me off, although it would be good to know what is possible and what is not possible before spending hours attempting it! Is there any documentation that covers this in a detailed fashion?
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Ok great, it seems you are the right kind of person to get stuck in! There is no documentation for how the MCU is architected in terms of controller assignments, you'll just need to figure it out from the controller assignments window. Luckily, almost all of it is easy enough to inspect (apart from some "black box" stuff that's hidden inside the MCU control surface module code itself and is unchangeable), and as you have MCU-type hardware, you should already be fairly clear with how that works with Logic - the UF8 can access pretty much all of the MCU functionality, I believe.)

 

The only documentation for the MCU in general is the Control Surfaces manual (and an earlier, emagic version of this that does into some specifics as to the MIDI messages which is quite useful in some cases), and the controller assignments sections in the Logic manual for general principles.

 

However, if you don't know your Zones from your Modes, reading through this thread here, and playing with the simple examples, might be a good start:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=153525

 

You'll really need to understand the fundamental concepts of the controller assignments, before you start tackling a monster implementation like the MCU, imo.

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Thanks - I think I have got my head around zones and modes. One question though - if I create a new mode or zone using the '+' button it seems to (sometimes but not always) mess up the indexing? For example if I had Mode Change to something like EQOn and it was working fine if I then inserted a new mode above EQOn for example 'Sends', any mode change that was previously pointing to EQOn is now pointing to Sends? This would appear to indicate that these are refined using their location index and not explicating typed names? Is that correct?

 

Also is there any better way of saving copies of my assignments rather than keep copying the preferences file?

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Thanks - I think I have got my head around zones and modes. One question though - if I create a new mode or zone using the '+' button it seems to (sometimes but not always) mess up the indexing?

 

Did you notice the bit I wrote above about "quirks"? You'll find plenty along the way. Consider them all a part of the fun! ;)

 

For example if I had Mode Change to something like EQOn and it was working fine if I then inserted a new mode above EQOn for example 'Sends', any mode change that was previously pointing to EQOn is now pointing to Sends? This would appear to indicate that these are refined using their location index and not explicating typed names? Is that correct?

 

Pretty much yes, although it can get worse, as if you delete a mode, now other assignments can reference the wrong mode - or worse, things stop working completely and other funkiness unless you re-establish the deleted mode. But basically, by index yes.

 

Also is there any better way of saving copies of my assignments rather than keep copying the preferences file?

 

No, you'll need to regularly backup known good copies of your com.apple.logic.pro.cs file, and there's no way of importing assignments from one file into Logic (alas), it's all or nothing. And it's a binary file so not easy to do something clever with it either (though I'd quite like to document the format one day).

 

See how fun this all is..? :D

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It really is great fun! :D I'm messing about trying to get faders to do something different without flipping them - control EQ Band Gain (whilst putting the frequency on to the VPot). I can get the fader to adjust the gain and it even changes the value as desired after setting mode and multiply values accordingly. But as soon as I take my finger off it jumps back to bottom of its travel. If I move the EQ Gain on screen the fader stays stationary but the display above it moves accordingly. Any suggestions how to get data to move the fader?
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Like I say, I can’t design your implementation for you, or really get into the weeds problem solving for you. You’ll always be dealing with what incoming message you are using, what assignment it’s triggering, and how to map the values from the source message into the values you need - it’s a learning process that you’ll just have to get through - as a developer, you’ll be amply suited to this.

 

I’m not trying to fob you off, but literally to look into your specific issue with this case, I’d need to get in there and do it myself to see exactly what’s going on, and tell you how to fix it, and I have my own problems to solve ;)

 

If you really get stuck on something contained and specific, I’ll try to help, but as I said up top, the process of understanding, designing and testing your own new behaviours is non trivial and it’s something that only you can do under your own steam.

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