Questions & Answers

More Robust Control Surface Integration Request

+57 votes
asked Feb 28, 2016 in Studio One Feature Requests by justincrosby (1,010 points)

Presonus have dropped the ball in terms of robust 3rd party control surface support. Studio One needs deeper integration for control surfaces other than just their own AI consoles. (Even then integration appears to be less than stellar...)

S One needs surface integration that allows you to open and edit plugins. Considering many of us have spent a small fortune on 3rd party plugins, for those of us using a surface, integration that supports this has been overlooked. The whole point of investing in a higher end surface is seemless integration with your DAW to eliminate as much mouse work as possible... 

Logic as an example has lots of little easter eggs that allow you to access and address these issues if needed.

It would be fantastic if Presonus could integrate control surface support that allows us as fluid and mouse free experience of Studio One... Or at least give us tools that allow us to go as deep as we need, for example, control of my 3rd party plugins is a feature I would consider essential when mixing...

Please vote this up if you feel S One needs robust 3rd party control surface integration. 

I’ve opened a thread here if you want to contribute to the discussion…

9 Answers

0 votes
answered Feb 28, 2016 by niles (52,390 points)
You do know through the Control Link system you can fairly easy control any VST parameter (that can be accessed by Studio One) + 95% of the program's global mapping commands with a controller that talks and understands MIDI?
+1 vote
answered Feb 28, 2016 by justincrosby (1,010 points)
I do, but HUI implementation could be better handled from my understanding. (Hopefully I'm wrong about this...)

Basically I'm finally looking to move into a dedicated mixing surface with motorized faders. Most DAWs seem to handle HUI and Eucon pretty well... Everything I've read so far, including the forums here, seem to indicate that Studio One misses the mark on a lot of the deeper features, and I don't want to play the trial and error game I see a lot of folks on youtube going through where they buy a controller only to find out a lot of its features don't work in S One...

Perhaps it handles it better than how I currently understand... if so I'd love to hear your input...
+1 vote
answered Feb 28, 2016 by niles (52,390 points)

justincrosby answered Studio One doesn't support the EUCON protocol indeed. Personally I never had any big issues with the MCU/HUI protocol, but I'm sure I didn't pushed it to its limits.

Regarding mouse free experience. I use custom device files for my External Devices that give me hands on control (bidirectional) over any parameter I want to control with a knob, button, key, or pad, in any layout for any plugin. This bindings are stored in surfacedata files that are comparable with the Logic Control Surface Parameter Lists from your link.

To be clear I don't say there's no room for improvement and additional protocols. I just say, there's a lot already possible (like a mouse free experience for plugins) which unfortunately isn't documented by PreSonus, but worth mentioning at least wink


+1 vote
answered Mar 2, 2016 by mecaudio (890 points)

@niles Can you please tell us what kind of control surface you are using? I am currently using the Avid Artist Series in Mackie Control emulation. Which is poor at best. HUI mode does not work at all. I have requested Eucon support long before Presonus came out with their their CS18ai surface. But I don't see that happening. I have recently learned how to program my Artist Series controllers in control link. Only problem is I cant get past more than 8 vknobs to map to parameters on one controller. So if I have a pluggin with a million knobs there is no way to map all of those parameters to say another layer of 8 knobs on the same surface. Or at least I have not been able to figure it out myself. With that said I am not sure if this is an Avid Artist Series issue or a Studio One issue. I would say it is a combination of both. Regardless Presonus needs to revisit this. Also give us the ability to automap all the parameters of a plugin. It is already built into the HUI and Mackie spec. So why not give it to us.


Other Issues with it:

  • Also my Audio meters on each channel don't show up on the control surface. Only the first channel of each surface has a meter.
  • If you have a second surface the 3rd VPot does not work in S1. 
  • Depending on what version of S1 you update to the surface will sometimes not work in the last mode. Meaning that I have to reconfigure it to use HUI vs Mackie or vice versa.
0 votes
answered Mar 2, 2016 by niles (52,390 points)

@ mecaudio answer: For controlling VST parameters I use a simple cheap BCR2000 (the price is a no-brainer for the fun it can give you with Studio One).
It has 24 encoders + 24 buttons and an additional 8 push encoders x 4 pages. So a total of 56 encoders and 56 buttons.
I use traditional 7-bit MIDI CC data which is low resolution. But enough for (roughly) setting up and controlling a VST. For the real meticulous fine tuning numerical input or mouse is still best. I wouldn't recommend it for the faders either.
I'm not familiar with the Avid Artist, it's a different league than what I use, but as long as you can program Midi Channel and CC (or Note, poly pressure etc.) to a knob, button or whatever, you should be able to create thousands (or how many hardware knobs you have) unique parameters to control VST's or Studio One itself.

Like I said, I don't say there's no room for improvement, automap VST parameters is a great one for instance ;)

+4 votes
answered Apr 8, 2016 by Revengineer (400 points)
I don't want to bash Presonus, but I agree. Lack of a fully comprehensive, scalable control surface is extremely limiting. The forums are full of people asking for it. While the CS18ai appears to be a slight nod in the right direction, Presonus's own documentation is pretty light. I feel slightly burned in buying the SL16.4.2 AI due to making assumptions about what it could and couldn't do. No way I'm gonna give another 2K based on vague promises. I wonder if maybe the focus is too skewed towards sound reinforcement and not production to develop these ideas fully.

When I switched to S1 and the Presonus family, I did it because I got sick and tired of Avid's lousy attitude and authoritarian hardware/compatibility issues. I understand market dynamics and it may be that the group of users who want to interact with their DAW using a Hardware UI that: 1) mimics analogue boards, 2) offers access to full software functionality, 3) allows users to overwrite and reprogram parameters to address specific installation configurations, simply isn't big enough to warrant investment.

But seriously, once you can get the code written and develop a flexible form factor you should be able to find a price point that mid range folks can afford. I simply can't do 6k for an SSL Nucleus, but I'd be happy to drop 2k on something I knew would meet the three points listed.

There is no reason why Presonus can't develop a protocol, license it, and provide SDKs to support third party adoption. Hell they might even come out with loyal customers and additional revenue streams.
0 votes
answered Apr 8, 2016 by justincrosby (1,010 points)
Yeah the AI seems like a missed opportunity. I'd imagine many other DAW users have looked into and were turned off when learning it's not intended to integrate with them. I honestly don't understand the logic behind that decision, and as others have pointed out it seems have been an afterthought which is kind of sad...

Anyway, I've been keeping my eye on this thing... Looks like a really promising solution with support for just about every DAW. And the motooized fader and meter bridge combo has got me very interested... can't wait to check it out once it finally hits the streets:

–1 vote
answered Apr 8, 2016 by justincrosby (1,010 points)

Apparently youtube links don't work here angry

+1 vote
answered Nov 29, 2017 by wonder6oy (2,230 points)
********* X-Touch user here.  It uses the MCU protocol with S1 and works very well - EXCEPT in the case of selecting plugins on inserts, and that's a big miss!  In Logic, pressing the PLUG-IN command on the cs brings up the first 8 insert slots on the display, any one of which can then be selected to edit.  But on S1, instead of a list, only the first insert is automatically chosen and opened for editing - with no option available for selecting any other insert slots.  I contacted ********* support and they verified the behavior, but informed me this was a result of the way Presonus is currently implementing MCU support in S1 and that the matter is entirely in their hands.  I managed to put together a clumsy workaround by mapping the Page/Skip keys to some of the function buttons on the controller, but it's nowhere near as fluid as it could be.

I really hope they address this.  The Faderport 8 just didn't do it for me.  :-/