I like to plug things in and have them work out of the box. There are some user created MIDI maps floating around^1, but they don’t come packaged with Ardour 7.5 and therefore requires too much effort for me.
The no-frills solution I’ve found is (with both the Mini and 61):
- Plug the controller into your favourite USB port.
- Set the DAW preset on the controller to
FL ST.You can also make your own preset and set all of the controls to Mackie.
- Launch Ardour.
- Configure the
Mackiesurface, set the device to
Mackie Control, then set the sends port to MIDI port 3 (on Windows). Do not set the receives port when using the Mini.
Most of the functions just work. What doesn’t work are:
- (61-Key) When in DAW mode, the track buttons are always lit regardless of the track state. Makes it difficult to know what track this button corresponds to.
- (Both) Device and Sends knobs do not work, but pan does (the default).
- You can use another DAW preset like Bitwig, but the knob sensitivity was a lot higher.
- (61-Key) The pad backlight react when you arm a track, but I think this is some internal logic in the controller trying to be smart.
- (Mini) The pad backlights do not react.
- (61-Key) The DAW shortcuts don’t work.
- (Both) The back button doesn’t undo.
- (Both) Configured the surface receives port does nothing.
Haven’t tested if the pads work with clips.
The Mini is a bit special, and potentially bugged. If you set the receives port, the first track on each bank with automatically arm the track, and if you press the record button it will send two MIDI messages to disarm the arm, meaning you can’t disarm the track. This is trick for all of the banks, so you can’t control tracks 1,9, 17, or 25.
Additionally, the Mini looks like a 4 track controller, but it’s actually an 8 track without a master fader. The bank buttons shift the tracks Bank 1 5-8, then Bank 2 1-4 etc.
I’ve had a look into creating config files in the mcp directory but none of the settings seem to be relevant or have an effect.
I’ve tried look into how Bitwig implements their support for these controllers^2, but I don’t have a good understanding of MIDI/Mackie and they don’t have the source of their API available to contribute anything yet.