There are all num­ber of con­trol sur­faces avail­able for inter­fac­ing with your DAW, but very lit­tle offer the level of con­trol and flex­i­bil­ity that is given to Cubase users that the range of CMC con­trollers from Stein­berg do. This new approach to DAW con­trol allows you to inte­grate one or more con­trollers into you setup to best suit your needs. And Stein­berg has just about every­thing cov­ered with the CMC range. Let’s take a look.

Stein­berg has devel­oped the CMC range of con­trollers to work with you as you inter­face with Cubase. This means that you no longer have to make a generic con­troller fit into you sys­tem, but rather you can have a ded­i­cated con­trol sur­face that fea­tures the same func­tions and colour cod­ing as your soft­ware, greatly improv­ing your work­flow. There are six dif­fer­ent units avail­able, each can be run as a stand­alone device, or you can join them up with the included clasps to form a truly mod­u­lar sys­tem that best suits your needs.

The units within the CMC range are some of the most com­pact on the mar­ket. You could fit one of these into your pocket and take it with you for use in a live sit­u­a­tion, or chain up sev­eral to cre­ate a com­pact work­sta­tion in the home stu­dio. They weigh just about noth­ing, so you can eas­ily have them mounted on a con­troller key­board or even on a mix­ing desk within the stu­dio to give you even more con­trol. But, best of all, once the units are installed, they auto­mat­i­cally assign them­selves to com­mand the appro­pri­ate func­tions within Cubase with­out any setup fuss. This means you can get right into mak­ing music more effec­tively and not worry about hav­ing to map out the controls.

The six units give you a wide vari­ety of options. The Quick Con­troller is a great choice if you just want to run one unit and speed up your work­flow with eight knobs and a num­ber of func­tion but­tons. The Pad Con­troller gives you a com­pact 4 x 4 drum pad inter­face for tap­ping out beats. The Trans­port Con­troller speeds up you work­flow and reduces the need to learn key­board short­cuts for typ­i­cal trans­port func­tions that are used over and over in any project. The Chan­nel Con­troller is really handy, giv­ing you quick access to most fea­tures on the selected chan­nel, includ­ing a newly devel­oped touch fader for vol­ume con­trol. If even more faders are needed for larger mix ses­sions, the Fader Con­troller offers you four of these touch faders with a shift func­tion and chan­nel and bank scrolling but­tons to max­imise its use. But prob­a­bly the most handy of all these is the AI Con­troller that gives you use of Steinberg’s AI con­trol knob. This really makes your work­flow with a mouse a lot faster and eas­ier. You sim­ply place the mouse cur­sor over any func­tion in the soft­ware and the AI knob instantly locks to that so you can make quick adjust­ments. This is some­thing that many users may know from some of Steinberg’s inter­faces and any­one who has used this fea­ture before will know just how good it can be.

Being small and easy to inte­grate, the CMC con­trollers give you a new level of con­trol in a sim­ple inter­face. The only thing you need to worry about is decid­ing which ones will suit your setup and work­flow best. I reckon one of these would be great, but hav­ing the option of up to nine units all together, it is easy to see how users are going to take advan­tage of the mod­u­lar nature of these con­trol surfaces.

By Rob Gee

Price: RRP $199.99 (CMC-QC, CMC-AI, CMC-TP, CMC-PD, CMC-CH), $249.99 (CMC-FD)
Dis­trib­u­tor: Yamaha Aus­tralia
Phone: (03) 9693 5111

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