HUI control surface. E.g. QCon pro

I was using a QCon pro on a session with logic today. I was really impressed with the workflow. The device integrated beautifully with logic and made mixing a breeze.

I had my laptop with me and quickly tried to use the QCon with ardour 4.4 on Debian Jessie.

The short version is, it didn’t work, and I don’t really know how it should be set up. The long version is…

I set the QCon to pro tools mode (the most generic hui mode). Jack was set to use Alsa midi (seq rather than raw) the device was found and allocated midi i/o system labeled as system 1.

In ardour I tried setting up a control surface with mackie protocol selecting QCon as the controller type. And connecting the midi in and out using the controller set up dialogue.

Not a lot happened, except it became impossible to control the master fader on ardour as it was seemingly jumping up and down by itself. I tried to troubleshoot a little, but didn’t have much time or any internet access to download midi monitors and the like. I did notice ardour complaining about unrecognised sysex data being received from the controller, so something was happening…

Any suggestions? Is anyone using one of these? I would very much like to get some sort of control surface and this one seemed well built and made the logic mix session much more intuitive than mouse and keyboard mixing.

I could probably borrow it and do some trouble shooting or give any help needed to get it working with ardour. I don’t fancy buying one until I’m sure it’s going to work for me.

Thanks anyone who tread this far!

We don’t support HUI devices at this time, and have no immediate plans to do so. We have good and rapidly evolving support for Mackie Control devices. If you plan to test your QCon, you are strongly recommended to use a nightly build or wait for 4.5.

Thanks Paul, I think I’m still living in the past. I just assumed HUI and MCU were the same thing. I think I just interchanged the words. I believe on the ICon Pro, in pro tools DAW mode it behaves as close to a “standard” Mackie Control device as possible. I just saw QCon in the “Device type” drop down list and got excited thinking it would work.

I will certainly try and get hold of the QCon again when 4.5 comes out, or try a nightly build if he lends it to me before then.

How complete is Ardour’s support of the QCon expected to be in 4.5?
I’m definitely interested in getting hold of a control surface, is there one that has/will have better support that I should be looking into instead?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Most of our MC support is developed on the SSL Nucleus and Mackie Universal Control Pro devices. The code is the same for all MC devices, but that means that we’re not testing or designing for the layout and specifics of the QCon. This may mean that if there are buttons on the QCon that do not exist on either of those two devices, they may do nothing, or they may do the wrong thing.

Mackie Control was clearly inspired by HUI, but is not the same protocol. It has some frustrating limitations (maximum of 8+1 faders per MIDI connection for example) but otherwise is quite a nice design.

Excellent, thanks for the info. I’ll definitely borrow before I buy then!

Looking at the user manual, it should just work. The only oddity I can see is an extra button for each track called monitor… possibly this is the same a v-sel as I see no mention of the pots being “pushable” (does the pot feel like a switch if you push it?). Possibly the monitor button only works with the optional sound card installed. We would be interested in any out going MIDI for a monitor button press.

DO NOT USE the Pro Tools daw mode! That is likely the only wrong one :slight_smile: Pro Tools has been stuck on HUI long after everyone else has move on to MCP… They are the only reason HUI support exists at all any more. Cubase seems like a reasonable choice with the LC or MC overlay :slight_smile: (I am not sure about the overlay except that the global button editor uses MC/LC button naming.)

Thanks for the info lonovens, I’ll be going to do another mix session on Thursday. I’ll read up before hand and take my laptop again in case I get a chance to mess with his controller. I definitely want to get into using the control surface with Ardour. It totally changed the way I mixed having real faders again.

I’ll definitely see about borrowing it for a few days if possible.

Just a bit of feedback, testing with the released version of 4.6 and it works!

Using the QCon in logic mode. I haven’t tested too deeply yet, but all the info seemed to come up on the controller and buttons and faders work. The only issue I’ve had so far is that the lights on the solo and mute buttons don’t update their state until I move the tracks left or right. What I mean is: I press solo, and the Ardour track solos, but the button on the controller does not light. Then I press channel right or left, and the button on the controller now shows the correct status. Record arm and Select seem to update as expected.

I’ll have a proper look into it though.

@lenovens There is no “monitor” button on this version of the QCon, each channel has: 1 Pushable Rotary encoder, Rec, Solo, Mute, Sel and a fader. “Sel” selects a track on Ardour. It appears that this section works as expected.

I will have the unit until next Thursday, so if there is any info that I can provide, or a test procedure you’d like me to carry out, fire away and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks for all the work, Ardour keeps on impressing :slight_smile:

The led on/off thing was just fixed in git yesterday. If you test with a nightly version, you should find it working as expected.