Forums > MaxMSP

Can someone explain me Mackie Control/ HUI???

November 25, 2011 | 7:11 am

I am trying to use Mackie Control emulation via Max MSP tell some midi device, which track I am on. In the beginning I thought, this could be easy, as shifting through sequencer tracks just caused some note ons and note offs. I could relate these to the 8 channels of the mackie control. But beyond channel 8 there were no note on messages any more.
Now I figured out, that there is not much happy sharing of the specification by mackie …
I would really like to understand these things:

1) How does the mackie control get the "word" information, like track name, parameter? I guess it will be sysex, but I can’t figure out, how the alphabet is relating to the sysex hexadecimal code …
2) When you select a track outside the range of the 8 actual tracks on the MC, the unit banks to this track. At least, that is how the euphonix Mix does it (I don’t have a macki control). Doesn’t that mean, the mackie control keeps track of all tracks created in the session and always knows, which one is selected? How does the DAW communicate that to the MC?

Thanks for taking your time!

November 26, 2011 | 1:21 am

Hi FriFlo, I think this may not be the right forum for this question, though it is a common question on the web. If you google it you can find a couple of friendly people that have listed what commands the mackie sends. I’ve found this to be quite useful:

it will still take a little trial and error to get everything to work but it’s a good starting point.

November 26, 2011 | 2:09 pm

Thanks basvik,

I have found these and other interesting things, too. The thing is, there are only the most basic parameters described, which are easy to figure out. What is more difficult is to figure out how the rest is communicated, like the actual track banking and the naming of channels.
I am not even sure, if this might lead me, to where I want. My plan is to build a TouchOSC controller, that is communicating via MAX patch with the sequencer. I don’t need that to happen for normal Audio and instrument tracks, as this kind of thing is done very well with the mackie protocol or euphonix etc.
What I am after is to communicate with normal midi channels, not writing Midi CCs in the traditional way in the recorded tracks, but rather automate them the way it is done with parameters of audio or VST tracks. I have already found a way to automate CCs in Cubase, where you can record CCs in automation. What does not work is "write on touch only". I thought that might be possible via MCU or HUI …

November 26, 2011 | 11:57 pm

Hmm yes that’s a bit more complicated. You know there is a mackie hui emulation for ipad called ac-7 core which you can buy, played with it it works pretty well, judging from the limited playing-around I did. If you don’t want to use it, it would at least allow you to ‘spy’ on the communication it sends. I’m using live and find I’m better off communicating directly to live through m4l then through emulation…. But that is no use to you!

Best of luck!

November 28, 2011 | 3:11 pm

Yeah, it’s quite messy. What I wanted to do is treat midi controllers like automation in DAWs like cubase and logic. With apps like touch OSC available it would be such a great thing to have all midi CCs update on you device when you change the track and (via touch message) control them at any time. Unfortunately, the developers of all sequencer software solutions out there do not think that way … I have given up for now and try to find a way via conventional midi to get feedback.

January 19, 2012 | 6:14 pm

Hi FriFlo Did you progress in Hui emulation? I’m very interesting because i would like to use with Pro Tools. Because i tried with Motormix emulation and i didnt progress.

November 3, 2012 | 12:44 pm

When the firstLogic Control was released the manual contained a full midi implementation. Everything is in there from simple things like switches (simple communication thru midi note messages) to displays (sysex code to write anything on the LCD).

The following message writes "Hello" on top left of the LCD on a Logic Control master section: F0 00 00 66 10 12 00 48 65 6C 6C 6F F7

I guess the Mackie Control works the same way.

I have a Mackie Control and i build an addon controller with physical buttons and a touchscreen interface to expand it’s functionality.
I also have a Mackie C4. By reverse engineering the code it uses to communicate with Logic i also expanded the C4s functionality.
The unit is far more easy to operate now. There is no stepping thru lists on a tiny LCD anymore.

At the moment i use the Logic midi environment to send messages to the Mackie units and Logic.
I plan to port everything to Max because the Logic environment is to limited to do what i have in mind.
I think with Max i can expand the functionality much more.

The idea is to build a controller that gives easy access to ALL features of Logic without stepping thru pages or shift/control/alt push buttons on the Mackie units.

Sadly learning Max is very time consuming for me. If anybody is interested in this and looking for a collaboration drop me an email "block4 at"


December 10, 2015 | 7:12 am

As far as I know a Mackie control is 2 things at the same time:
1) Physical hardware like faders and knobs (but could be other types of controls as well)
2) A sub protocol inside the MIDI protocol. You will be able to talk to software wich supports Mackie protocol. As you can see you uses MIDI as a top protocol.

If you have a better understanding of Mackie please let me know. I am in a learning mode. I maybe wrong here, but this is what I have found.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

Forums > MaxMSP