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Review: Euphonix MC Control (Bonus Material)

September 24, 2008
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USING THE MC CONTROL WITH LOGIC PRO 8.0.2

Using Logic Pro with the MC Control is a pretty seamless process. Apple added EuCon protocol support to Logic Pro 8.0, and Euphonix has taken the ball and run with it. The Logic soft-key set is well thought out and easy to use, and it''s a terrific time-saver once you learn it. Virtually every important Logic function is represented.

Working in Tracks view is my favorite time-saver. Being able to select any of 32 tracks instantly for soloing, muting, or level control speeds the work flow quite a bit, particularly as Logic''s primary functions are still available on the surface soft-key banks below the Tracks view. According to Euphonix, Steinberg has supported EuCon within Nuendo and Cubase for the last five years, and the resulting integration within the MC Control is excellent. Though I was unable to test the Steinberg apps for this review, I thought it worth noting.

USING THE MC CONTROL WITH PRO TOOLS HD 7.4

Digidesign does not open up its peripherals system to outside companies, which must instead rely on the legacy Mackie HUI-emulation mode. The MC Control uses this mode to interface with Pro Tools. The primary functions all work correctly; you can mute, solo, fade, control levels, and operate the transport functions flawlessly. Some areas are less polished than the EuCon implementations, however. For example, in Tracks view, only the first 8 icons display track information, instead of the 32 you can see in Logic Pro; the other 24 icons remain blank.

According to Euphonix, HUI-emulation mode normally makes only four plug-in parameters simultaneously available for editing. Through some fancy continuous scanning, though, the MC Control doubles that number, allowing you to use all eight data knobs.

Although I think the soft-key control system is wonderful, many of the soft keys within the Pro Tools set do nothing when pressed. For instance, the hardware setup, disk allocation, playback engine, peripherals setup, and I/O setup soft keys do not call up their respective dialog boxes. When I looked at these soft keys within the soft-key editor, I found that they had no keystrokes assigned at all, which makes sense when you consider that Pro Tools has no keystroke equivalents for those particular menu functions.

Of course, you could create custom keystrokes in a third-party application (such as Startly Technologies QuicKeys) and assign them to soft keys within the MC Control. But that approach could still be confusing; perhaps Euphonix should simply have left the unassigned menu items out of the Pro Tools soft-key set (Euphonix says a future revision should correct the problem).

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