Old 11-21-2009, 08:14 AM   #81
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Maybe the best approach is to make an application that receives all the bells and whistles from c24 and then map it to midi in a user configurable way. In that way the compatibility won't be an issue. In cubase it is possible to map almost any event to midi (even tracknames and window openings) via the generic remote functionality and if the c24 converter uses a virtual midiport it should be doable. In that case all you have to do is to do the mapping for each host one time and then release the mapping-file public domain.

If the mapper also supports sysex the number of buttons and lights and functions is irrelevant as the message size is almost only limited by f0-f7. (Some buffer overflows can be seen if you take it to extreme ;-))
Yes. To me, that approach is the most versatile, most open, and most shareable.

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The question is how much functionality the converter needs to have: blinking lights, converting faderposition to db value for its display and so on... maybe that should be configurable to...
Configurable makes it more versatile with the trade-off of more work up front. To the end user, it probably would make it initially seem more complex, but again, not if the configs are made import/exportable. And I think this is where there's definitely a tie-in with the work that Geoff is doing.

But it seems some of the chatter could be contained within the converter. I'm not yet learned enough in the Midi way of interfacing with controllers, so pardon my ignorance at this point (studying up though :-)). In the Midi controllers, are the lights for switches handled separately in the protocol, or is it assumed that the device handles the switch lights based on the state of the switch?

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Yes, I have read the Logic control manual and implemented its HUI spec in a track display application. I think they was publishing most of hui specification in that manual not knowing that the protocol was kind of a secret :-)

/Indys
Just wanted to make sure it was known. :-) And I agree, I don't think that was supposed to be published as it was. I was shocked to see the level of detail, right down to the authentication sequence and formula.

I was in a hurry to get to work, so I only glanced at it. And I thought I saw more direct matchup to the PT protocol, thinking maybe that was what they used. It may have been their starting point for development though.

I'm going to try to squeeze in more testing of our theories tomorrow afternoon on my Control 24. More data is always good :-)

NN
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:06 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by netnoggin
But it seems some of the chatter could be contained within the converter. I'm not yet learned enough in the Midi way of interfacing with controllers, so pardon my ignorance at this point (studying up though :-)). In the Midi controllers, are the lights for switches handled separately in the protocol, or is it assumed that the device handles the switch lights based on the state of the switch?
In my experience it's always better to handle the light's protocol entirely separately from the button's protocol.

For instance if you clicked the Play button on the computer screen with the mouse you would expect the Play light to come on on the control surface even though the Play button on the control surface hadn't been pressed.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #83
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...
For instance if you clicked the Play button on the computer screen with the mouse you would expect the Play light to come on on the control surface even though the Play button on the control surface hadn't been pressed.
Absolutely agree. I think I was thinking of hardware push-on, push-off switches as opposed to what we are working with here.

The only other concern I have at this point is related to midi. For instance, is it a problem to update possibly 32 LED meters (24 individual, 8 output) and do the other required things as well, like update automated faders, etc in realtime? Not that it would actually be going over a hardware midi port. Just wondering aloud.

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Old 11-21-2009, 05:29 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by netnoggin
The only other concern I have at this point is related to midi. For instance, is it a problem to update possibly 32 LED meters (24 individual, 8 output) and do the other required things as well, like update automated faders, etc in realtime? Not that it would actually be going over a hardware midi port. Just wondering aloud
I think you've answered your own concern when you note that it would not be transmitted via a hardware MIDI port (with its 31 Kbaud restriction).

There's a ton of bandwith via ethernet to get the job done -- no worries.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:02 PM   #85
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Yeah, I understand that ethernet is capable, or it wouldn't work as manufactured. :-) I just know there are some (badly designed) protocols out there that have timing specifics integrated as part of the protocol. If virtual midi doesn't have to obey the 31K speed limit, no worries.

NN
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:45 AM   #86
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just know there are some (badly designed) protocols out there that have timing specifics integrated as part of the protocol. If virtual midi doesn't have to obey the 31K speed limit, no worries
Ahhh, now I see your point, not sure of the internal workings of virtual MIDI ports, WinMM.DLL itself should be OK I think.

However I believe virtual MIDI isn't a consideration with Reaper, though it may come into play with other apps.

My feeling is that the ethernet stream and any conversion to MIDI protocol should be handled directly in a Reaper control surface DLL.

That way it's all under full control and any issues can be managed and/or eliminated.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:08 AM   #87
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Absolutely agree. I think I was thinking of hardware push-on, push-off switches as opposed to what we are working with here.

The only other concern I have at this point is related to midi. For instance, is it a problem to update possibly 32 LED meters (24 individual, 8 output) and do the other required things as well, like update automated faders, etc in realtime? Not that it would actually be going over a hardware midi port. Just wondering aloud.

NN
Typically what is happening in control surface code is the following:

* you listen for incoming messages, and convert them to reaper stuff i.e change volume/pan/whatever
* automatically the code then also jumps to a function where you can put what you need to send back to the surface.

This allows you to keep state within reaper and do some context sensitive stuff (e.g. is fader used as a send, or a a track fader, or as a plugin parameter, what additional lights do you need to turn on based on context, code blinking lights etc).

As to the midi port. I think someone would need to program a 'virtual' midi port driver that looks like a midi port to reaper, but is actually an ethernet driver. I would be surprised if this doesnt even exist.

Yves
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:29 AM   #88
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Default Got the unit... now I need some help!

Now I got an control 24 (older style) and the testing has begun. I have sucessfully made a handshake with the unit so the timedisplay does not read 'offline' and I can receive all interaction made on the unit :-)
The control is picky about sending acknowldege messages in time. If no acknowledge then it gets offline. I have written a network device class that can browse for existing control 24s and choose to connect to one. Support for several c24s is possible in other words. Got four units side-by-side anyone ;-)

What I'm struggling with now is that the unit won't receive data that I send to it (except for the acknowledge and handshake messages). It could be a number of things why it don't response and I'm not worried about getting it working. I haven't tried to push the 01-open-no-project.pcap file to the device yet (will try tonight) but it would surprise me if it doesn't work.
The only reason for not trying that yet is that I really want to understand most of the packets and messages instead of working blindly. It could be as simple as a small message that tells the unit to be ready.

Anyway, I have also created C24Packet class and Message classes specifying the different messages signatures as constants so the code is easier to read. The code however is in 'happy-hacking mode' so the speed and readability is not that good, but it works.
When I touch a fader on the unit the corresponding fader gets a selectionborder in the simulator and when I move it the corresponding fader moves. That is progress!! :-)


And now to the help-part...
I don't have Protools myself which makes it hard for me to create special capturefiles.
Is there a way to get a functional protools version that supports c24 and starts without protools soundcard installed? Mess me if you know.

If not, can I 'order' capturepacket from someone here? (netnoggin?)
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:00 AM   #89
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That's great progress!

I don't know of a way to make PT fly without the audio interface. But if you need me to try something, I'll be glad to give it a whirl. I left you a private message.

NN
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:00 AM   #90
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Default Progress II

Eureka!

Yesterday I got my packetsender to send and emulate the Protools sessions from the captures. That means all things that is captured I can see on my controller in realtime or by stepping one packet at a time. :-) Now its a breeze to do the analyse.

I did also solve the problem with sending data to the controller. I wrote a personal greetings message on the channelscribbles on startup. :-)

Now, all there is to do is to analyse all commands for the knobs and indicators.


I confirm that the C24 can be opened to other hosts. This was not just a crazy thought, it is really doable :-)

/Indys

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Old 11-26-2009, 01:11 AM   #91
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That's a real step forward, it's bloody marvelous actually.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:41 AM   #92
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I confirm that the C24 can be opened to other hosts
This is fabulous news, great work man !
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:51 AM   #93
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Amazing, great work!
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:38 AM   #94
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Now, all there is to do is to analyse all commands for the knobs and indicators.
Can't be more than an afternoon's work there... surely?
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:34 AM   #95
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I confirm that the C24 can be opened to other hosts. This was not just a crazy thought, it is really doable :-)

/Indys
Amazing news to hear and a big congrats!!

Shane
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Old 11-26-2009, 02:13 PM   #96
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As I've indicated before, You Da Man :-)

I sent your requested capture files this morning, BTW. Let me know if you need anything else.

NN
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Old 11-26-2009, 02:18 PM   #97
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The four bytes after the protocol bytes (x885f) is a checksum for the packet.
Really! I would have been a looong time figuring that one out, if ever. My brain always thinks of checksums on the tail end of things, not the beginning. So I don't know that it would have ever occurred to me.

Again, great job, man.

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Old 11-27-2009, 02:31 AM   #98
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Default A little proof of concept....

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Really! I would have been a looong time figuring that one out, if ever. My brain always thinks of checksums on the tail end of things, not the beginning. So I don't know that it would have ever occurred to me.
NN
Yeah, it was surprising to find it in the middle of the packet. I thought I could share a picture that kind of speaks for itself :-)



Now I'm going to play on a gig in Írnsk÷ldsvik (hometown of Peter 'Foppa' Forsberg for all you hockey fans out there) and just relax and take the weekend off. :-)

Have a great weekend
/Jocke
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:41 AM   #99
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Very cool pic. That must feel good...
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:13 AM   #100
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*grin* He's just showing off now
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:23 AM   #101
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Yeah, it was surprising to find it in the middle of the packet. I thought I could share a picture that kind of speaks for itself :-)

I have a few things that I'd like to say to Avidesign displayed in those C/24 displays. Do you happen to take requests by chance?

Shane
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:31 AM   #102
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LOL, yes! We must have a customizable opening comment. I also have several in mind that won't be printed here...

NN
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:18 AM   #103
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Default The return of Control24

Busy week, but now I'm finished with analyzing the controller traffic. All buttons, knobs, transport, scrub, indicators, displays and meters are done. The only thing left is to decrypt how the timedisplay works. Each segment in the display corresponds to a bit and I need some code that translates characters to this bits. Anyone familiar with digital segment-displays? This should be pretty standard.

I'm working on the protocol manual and when I'm finished I will publish it here.

As I'm concerned I primarily want to have Control24 work with cubase. This I'm going to do by making an application simulating 3 HUI-controllers ,8 * 3 channels, that will be configured in cubase. The application reads the midi commands from the HUI interface driver and translate them into Control24 and vice versa. Why HUI? The hui driver was the only driver to send channel names as four characters and could be duplicated in the list of controllers in cunase.
The application might be configurable in some way with learning functions if I feel that I have the time.

Now to the part of reaper <-> c24.
But of course I want to see that the c24 rocks with reaper to! :-)
The easiest thing to do would be a Control24 to midi application. The Control24 protocol follows the midistandard in a way that the traffic is in 3 bytes chunks except for faders but that can be dealt with. Anytime the message is more than 3 bytes it is sysex compatible in the way that it is wrapped in F0......F7 sequence. Some special cases needs to be converted (like display messages that must have 4 characters and so on) but that I have to code anyway.


Is there some interest in having a such application or can someone here implement the Control24 protocol into some surface controller to reaper with the information in the protocol manual?

/Indys

P.S. And Yes, that application *will* have customized welcome message :-) D.S.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:53 AM   #104
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You have been *storming* along...
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:00 AM   #105
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I'd be VERY interested in the Cubase integration as it's my main DAW,having it work with Reaper too as my second DAW would also be very cool :-)

If I can be of any help let me know.


MC
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:36 AM   #106
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Hello. Would this be able to run a Digi Command 8? Thanks, ed
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:35 AM   #107
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Hello. Would this be able to run a Digi Command 8? Thanks, ed
Have you tried the standalone mode of the Command 8? Chapter 5 in the manual covers it. From the manual:

"In Stand-alone mode, Command|8 can be used with other (non-Pro Tools) software and hardware MIDI devices."

"Command|8 supports any device that supports MIDI continuous controller (CC) and note data. SysEx dumping and loading is also supported in stand-alone mode."
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:06 AM   #108
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Busy week, but now I'm finished with analyzing the controller traffic. All buttons, knobs, transport, scrub, indicators, displays and meters are done.
Well done, as always!

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The only thing left is to decrypt how the timedisplay works. Each segment in the display corresponds to a bit and I need some code that translates characters to this bits. Anyone familiar with digital segment-displays? This should be pretty standard.
Have you looked at one of my original captures titled "15-2tr-play-toggle.pcap"? There should be some time data in that one; not a lot though.

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As I'm concerned I primarily want to have Control24 work with cubase. This I'm going to do by making an application simulating 3 HUI-controllers ,8 * 3 channels, that will be configured in cubase.
At this point, you own the bus and have paid for the gas. So I don't think you'll get any argument about the destination. But it seems like a logical approach.

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Is there some interest in having a such application or can someone here implement the Control24 protocol into some surface controller to reaper with the information in the protocol manual?
There is definitely interest, I can assure you. But my approach would be to do what you are planning with HUI first (for the immediate gratification factor). So much of that work will be useful in the Reaper implementation anyway that it certainly won't be backing up, so to speak. Just my two cents.

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P.S. And Yes, that application *will* have customized welcome message :-) D.S.
Woo-hoo!
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:28 AM   #109
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I'm not as smart as you guys! I would be more then happy to pay for it. Thanks, Ed
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:58 AM   #110
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Default Weekly anouncement :-)

I have Control 24 working with cubase 24 channels already. Really nice to see them working together.

Faders, scribbles, mutes, solos, channel selects and rec arm is implemented as well as bank left/right and channel left/right. The Timecode display was solved with a mapping table. It now reads 'ONLINE' when my app is connected to it :-). Scribbles is a bit slow right now but I think I know a way to speed it up. Its kind of a mess to keep track of 3 hui-mackie control interface and the control 24 code but it works! The code is still ugly though...

Still on the todo list:
Automation
Meters (the code for drawing meters from hui is finished but not hooked up to control 24)
Timecode display
Transport (should be easy)
Other buttons like punch in/out, edit, windows...
Oh, and the welcome message of course :-)

/Indys
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:53 PM   #111
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Google dropped me off here after ages of searching for similar reverse-anti-Digi-Engineering. Indys, you've done a great and thorough job.

I'm interested in the protocol for the opposite reason... I'm building my own control surface, and I would like to teach it DigiTalk, so that PT could speak with it at 100Mb/s.

As NN and Indys were, I was surprised at how candid the Logic document was, and was going to tackle that before trying to find a c24, etc...

I will keep watching the thread... let me know if I can do anything to help.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:24 AM   #112
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Default Control 24 emulation update

Now I got the meters working as well and I have fixed the problem with sluggish display. It turns out that the Mackie control driver sometimes duplicates displayinformation. When comparing the new displaymessages with the one stored in a buffer it is easy to reject the duplicates.

Currently I'm working with EQ and v-pot implementation. Sorry to say that this might not be doable as it seems the mackie control driver sometimes fails to send correct displayinformation when 3 of them is hooked up at the same time. It could be the driver, but also the fact that I'm using MidiYoke virtual midiinterface and the driver does not like it, or the simple fact that I do not send any confirmation back to cubase that I have received it. I have no idea if the HUI-mackie control protocol uses some kind of acknowledgement. It seems to work without it anyway (except for the EQ-display message ;-)).

The code is more stable now and I've implemented an automatic reconnect to C24 if something happens. The C24 is picky about receiving acknowledgement when it sends messages and if the application is busy fishing or whatever C24 will go offline. To prevent this I check the status of C24 and reconnects if it is offline.

The application also have a setup dialog where you select the network card for the C24, and where you can add and remove HUI-interfaces. The c24 requires 3 (24 channels) but you can setup only 1 if you just want to control 8 channels or 6 if you have two C24. Check out the attachment.
The app does not support multiple C24 as of now but it is designed to handle it in the future. (Someone with a spare c24 can drop it off at my place anytime ;-)).
The application also have a debug view where the events sent and received is shown. It reflects the performance though and can easily hang if severe automation, meter and bank-swithing is perfomed.

Question:
Is there someone out there knowing if Mackie control sends some kind of startup/reset message to its host when started? The messages sent to the Mackie Control presumes that the mackie control stores the display messages in a buffer and sends only the exact text with a position offset. If the Mackie control is hooked up after Cubase the display won't read correctly, so it seems logical that the Mackie Control should send some kind of init message but I don't know how or what.

over and out
/Indys
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:35 AM   #113
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Default Mackie modifier keys!

Hi All!

Now that Christmas and a new year is behind us I have more time to continue my development. It looks really good now. All the basic controller stuff is working like faders, meters, rec arm, mutes, solos, timecode display with modeshift (beats/smpte), all the transports, scrubwheel (with shuttle), undo, save, eq (parameters is populated on the channelscribbles), inserts, pan, some markers, cut and paste and so on. As soon as I have implemented the modifier keys (shift, alt, option...) I'm going to make a videoclip demonstrating the application :-) but.........

I'm totally stuck with the Mackie controls modifier keys. I have absolutety no idea what the MCU is sending so....

Is there anybody out there with an mackie control unit who can put it in Mackie mode and press the modifier keys whilst recording the midi events and send the result to me? Or maybe you know someone who could...

I have scanned the net and found some midi spec implementations for the mackie control but they all seem to be wrong (at least cubase won't react to it).

Any help is greatly apreciated.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:53 PM   #114
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Here's a C# file with the MCU mappings.

Give a shout if you need any help

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Old 01-21-2010, 11:53 PM   #115
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Thank you, thank you, thank you! Looking good! (It feels like cheating in a game though ;-), the most buttons I got from reverse engineering the mackie interface on cubase...) Now I will fix the modifier keys and put out a video.

Have a good weekend/
Indys
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:57 AM   #116
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Default oh man

this is awesome. from the first time i used a control 24 six/seven years ago, i dreamt of snooping the ethernet connection and making some kind of translator for it. alas, my programming skills are nonexistant.

even though i don't own the thing that i admire the amount of work you've put into this project. the fact that this is possible now makes a used C24 somewhere down the line not so out of the question... ruling.

-a
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:32 PM   #117
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any update? I've been wanting to use one of these for yeaaars.... just not a fan of protools... so this is awesome!
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:45 AM   #118
stonedef
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
Default Where did it all end up?

Hi NetNoggin and Indys,
Ive come into this late as i have just had enough of being 'left behind' by Digi, and am looking at Reaper and Logic in my studio.
I have been running an HD3 PT8 system but want to change as im no longer prepared to shell out the huge bucks digi want just to get new HD cards (no increased functionality), and i have no confidence in where Avid is taking the whole thing anyway.
I have owned and been happy with my Control 24 for years, and would be both amazed and grateful to be able to use my C24 to control other programs.
im no techie, im just a humble audio engineer, so while i followed your thread with interest i wont pretend to be anywhere near you guys level of technical expertise, but from a user perspective this is the biggest thing since cassettes died!
Can you tell me where this ended and if it is working and how i can get across it with you? Happy to pay for respecting peoples time and skills.
Please let me know if you are still involved in this.
Cheers from Australia
Trev
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:01 AM   #119
DieselD317
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Default Indys you da man!

Read this whole thread. I got to say Indys you are a genious. I dabbled in C+ programming in high school in my web design classes BOY was that stuff over my head. I had trouble with HTML sometimes!!! Lol.

Anyways, I have a friend who own a C24 (new style) and he has built a studio around it BUT I have switched hom over to Reaper (its like coverting someone to Christianity aint it? Lol) I'm hoping to stop all his bickering about not being able to use his C24 w/ Reaper (let alone ne thing else) I may even go out and buy a used Control 24 to use w/ Reaper. Man, showing him this would knock his socks off!!!

I hope Indys didn't get picked off by a Digidesign assasin! Where ya at Indys???

PS as other said I would definitely be willing to fork over a lil cash

Thanks,
-Diesel
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:07 PM   #120
netnoggin
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Location: Mobile, AL
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Default

I have lost contact with him myself. :-( I have been hoping he has been diligently at work, locked in his laboratory, LOL

But no word. Indys, We need ya!
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