Mackie MCU Pro Observations

Hi all,

Just to report my findings with MCU Pro version 3.0.0 with Ardour 2.3 rev 3029 operating in logic control mode. midi via alsa/raw as per instructions in manual

Firstly… it works but I note the following if anyone finds a use for it.

Physical faders:

  • Control of ardour faders seems ok (minor issue with painted scale different to ardour scale)
  • Master fader working
  • bank and channel controls ok
  • Mute, Solo and rec ready working
  • Select appears to do nothing
  • VPot pan control working but appear not to do anything on stereo tracks
  • Channel names working
  • Signal LED: noop
  • Rude solo light: ok

Buttons: (Names as they appear on unit without any overlay.)

  • Marker: Move to location marker left (led flash)
  • Nudge: Move to location marker right (led flash)
  • Cycle: loop play (play is triggered) (led toggle)
  • Drop: Punch in (led toggle)
  • Replace: Punch out (led toggle)
  • Click: goto start
  • Solo: goto end
  • Shift, Option, Control, Alt: noop
  • Read/Off, Write, Trim, Touch, Latch, Group: noop (led flash)
  • Save: add location marker at current location (led flash)
  • Undo: noop (led flash)
  • Cancel, Enter: noop
  • Midi tracks, inputs, audio tracks, audio instrument, aux, busses, outputs, user: noop
  • f1,f2,f3,f4,f5,f6,f7,f8 : noop
  • Name/Value: noop
  • Smpte/Beats: Toggles SMPTE LED to BEATS LED no visual change in anything in ardour
  • VPot Assign: Track, Send, Pan/Surround, Plugin, EQ, Instrument: noop (led flash)
  • Fader banks: Bank, Channel as expected
  • Flip, Global View: noop (led flash)


  • rewind, ffwd stop, play record: all ok
  • scrup and jog wheel working as expected
  • Zoom, toggles jog wheel to zoom time axis,
  • Assignment 2 char display changes between SC, ZO, Sb, Sh (Scroll, Zoom, Scrub, Scrub hold?, mode displayed seems correct)
  • Scrub operation using mouse in ardour does not reflect back to Mackie transport
  • Cursors: Up down left right: noop
  • 7 Seg led time display is operative.

Channel 8: signal led flashes on some operations (cursors and others)

I have access to 2 MCU pros and 4 MCU extenders and am willing to do a bit of R and D if anyone is interested. If coding required, am known to dabble.

Ok, I will let you know how well the extenders work when I get one on the system. I have reversed the MCU Pro protocol (ie not the logic control one) if anyones interested in that.

IIRC, the Ardour Mackie driver was written by someone who only had a Behringer BCF2000 to test with. I remember something in the manual to the effect of “any buttons not on the BCF are not mapped”…

That would explain things like the select button, signal present light, etc. The BCF only has Mute, Solo, Rec-enable and pan per channel.

Also the stereo pan v-pot thing doesn’t work unless the track has linked stereo pan controls.

Thanks for the tests Drmoore. I was looking into getting the MCU pro with a few extenders for an eventual 48 track system and was wondering how well they performed with Ardour.

I would definately be interested in seeing how well Ardour works with the extra extenders you have.

I am using Ardour 2.4.1.

I have the old model of MCU (the one without the USB), and all things seem to work as you described, drmoore, except for the seven segment time display…

I am using a midi to USB interface (edirol), could that be the problem?

I have the actual Mackie protocol specification, if anyone is interested in that :slight_smile:

Heh we are keeping that in mind of Course Faberman;) Paul and I have discussed it, though we haven’t reached a final conclusion surrounding the other issues with it. In the meantime we do have the Logic spec as that is publicly availiable, if not exactly easy to find:)

By the way, while John only had the BCF when he wrote the protocol into Ardour, he had me testing it with a Mackie as he developed it. At this point there is still some work to be done, it is something I am looking at updating down the road in A3, but it won’t happen right away sorry folks.