Steinberg CC121 Gulfport MS
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment
Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Hands-On Control for Cubase
Click above for larger image. The CC 121 provides a hefty assortment of dedicated controls (left and center areas) and a few assignable ones (on the right). It measures about 11-1/4" wide by 7" deep.
Motorized fader. Dedicated Cubase EQ knobs. Jog wheel can also control most recent moused-over parameter.
No way to lock channel select buttons primarily to mixer window instead of track window.
$549 list/approx. $430 street,
NEED TO KNOW
What is it? A single-fader motorized control surface for Cubase.
Does it mean you’ll never have to touch the mouse? No — it doesn’t control send levels, for example. But it speeds up the process of crafting a multitrack audio mix.
Is it USB-powered? Everything works, but the fader won’t be motorized. For that, you need to plug in the included wall-wart AC adapter.
Cubase users who can’t afford (or don’t have room for) an eight-fader motorized control surface may find the new CC121 an ideal compromise: plenty of control, but a small footprint, both on the desktop and on the credit card. Need an even smaller footprint? Steinberg recently announced the release of iC, a free iPhone/iPod Touch app that wirelessly controls Cubase. Still, the CC121 does a heck of a lot more.
The CC121 is tailored specifically to work with Cubase 4.5 or 5 ( click here for our full review from the August 2009 issue). On its left side are a fader with a 100mm throw, a pan pot, eight command buttons, and left/right arrow buttons for selecting channels. The command buttons do the most useful things: mute, solo, input monitor, arm record, automation read and write on/off, channel strip edit box open/close, and virtual instrument panel open/close.
In the middle are eight transport buttons, matching the onscreen transport. Above these are dedicated EQ buttons and knobs. Each of the four EQ sections in a Cubase mixer channel can be switched on or off from the CC121, and each of the four sections gets its own gain, frequency, and Q (bandwidth) knobs. When the EQ Type button is lit, the gain knob selects the type of EQ.
My only real issue is that I was hoping the channel select buttons would duplicate the left/right arrow keys on my QWERTY keyboard, which step through channels in the mixer window. At this time, they duplicate the up/down keys, which step through tracks in the track window. If you don’t have any automation lanes open, that amounts to the same thing. If any are open, the channel select buttons step through these before reaching the next audio, MIDI, or instrument track. If you’re on an automation track, the dedicated EQ knobs remain active for the most recently selected mixer channel — even when that channel is not selected in the mixer window. That can be confusing at a glance, though it does let you adjust a track’s EQ and work on its automation at the same time. To make the channel select buttons track the mixer, you’d set up a key co...