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Using CS18AI with RM16AI (works for RM32AI as well), Universal Control, and Logic Pro X

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asked Mar 12 in Legacy Interfaces by donntarris1 (460 points)

This is a suggestion for how to make use of your CS18AI controller while waiting for the much anticipated, but so far missing, ability to directly control third party DAWs using it.

As a favour for this tip, if you own a CS18AI, please go to, which is a feature request asking that Presonus deliver on its promise to add compatibility for multiple DAWs to the CS18AI.

I may be crazy, but I am just about to pick up a CS18AI to use with my RM16AI along with my Mac running Mojave OS and Logic Pro X. I figured out the routing lying in bed last night.

I am not so concerned with the ability to use the faders for programming automation in a recording environment. This setup has been created so that I can use the RM16AI in a live situation with the CS18AI controlling source inputs and effects that originate with the RM16AI or Logic Pro X on my Mac.

Here's the setup.

Part 1, controlling and adjusting input channels.

I plug all of my mic and other inputs into the RM16AI, which is connected to my Mac using the firewire cable. As stated in the manual for the mixer, the firewire sends and returns on every channel are always active, so channels 1 through 16 (in my case) are already available for channels 1 through 16 on a Logic Pro X project that I create. I leave this firewire connection set to be taken immediately following the preamps on the RM16AI.

I can now use plugins on the Logic Pro X channels as I would normally to affect the signals. NOTE that I do not set up any sends on these strips. This allows me to use my WAVES and other plugins (preamps, eqs, compressors, etc) to adjust my sounds. The output of each channel is then set to send its signal back to its corresponding firewire channel on the RM16AI, which presents the signal just following where we took if from. The fader on the Logic Pro X channel is set to unity gain, or 0.0. You can think of each of the channels strips in Logic acting as an effects loop on the RM16AI channels. Set channel inputs 1 through 16 on the RM16AI to take their signal from firewire (this does not cut off the mic inputs going to Logic).

You can now mix the channels 1 through 16 to the main output on the RM16AI. You can also send any of the channels to the four effects units built into the RM16AI, or to stage monitors, as you normally would with a direct input signal.

Because you are now adjusting the faders on the RM16AI channels for your output levels, you can use the CS18AI to control them. Not only that, but you still have the fat channel on each RM16AI channel that you can use.

Part 2, adding effects sends using plugins within Logic Pro X

The aim of this is again to allow the sending of signals and adjustment of return levels to be done on the CS18AI.

The four built in effects units have their own send auxes that can already be adjusted using the CS18AI.

If using this setup in a live situation, you will probably want to use the first 4 or 6 Aux sends to feed stage monitors or in ear monitors.

For my test setup I started with Aux 7 as the first one to set up as a Logic Effects send. Name it, this will help keep it straight. Set up Aux 7 to be taken Post fader. It's main output level is set to unity gain, or 0.0. You can now send a signal from any or all of channels 1 through 16 on the RM16AI to the Aux 7 buss.

In Logic Pro, set up a new Auxiliary channel and make its input mono. This will allow you to select the Aux 7 buss coming from the RM16AI as its input signal. You can then set up the Logic Pro X Aux channel as you normally would for adding an effect (reverb, delay, etc). Choosing an effect that allows mono > stereo conversion adds width to things like reverbs and stereo delays, without using up 2 auxiliary sends from the RM16AI.

For the output of the effect buss you've created, select an unused channel or pair of channels (stereo linked) on the RM16AI. For my test I used channels 25 and 26 linked, because my multi-effect was stereo. If you're setting up more than one Aux effect in Logic Pro X, you can choose whether or not to bring each one back on its own channel(s), or bring all of them back to the same linked pair. Any effect channel in Logic Pro X again should have its output fader set to unity or 0.0.

In my test, I set the input of the return channels to take their input from firewire.

You're done!

Now, you can not only use the CS18AI to control input strip levels to the main output, but you can also use it to send signals to the built in effects units as well as effects channels set up in Logic Pro X. All final mixing is now done using the CS18AI.

Modifying settings on the Logic Pro X effects and other plugins is done adjusting them on the Mac.You can keep Logic Pro X's mixing window open to make this easier to do on the fly. All RM16AI settings including fat channels are done using the CS18AI.

Remember to save the settings on the RM16AI/CS18AI combo, as well as saving the Project in Logic Pro X (save also as a template for new projects).

Bonus is, you can tie this all together using Presonus' Capture 2 software, recording the individual tracks and your master mix to your Mac. Once you have that, you can load the audio tracks into their corresponding channels on the Logic Pro X project and tweak a mix for a live recording, without having to change any of the routing, saving your ultimate mix by capturing the stereo output using Capture 2 and then take the resulting stereo file into your favourite mastering application to finish. Best of both worlds!

Please remember to go to the linked feature request above, let Presonus know that we CS18AI and RM16AI/RM32AI owners would still like them to deliver what they promised for features, including control for third party DAWs!

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