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Microphone Month 4

Mackie MCU Pro Reviews

4.5 stars based on 30 customer reviews
Questions about the Mackie MCU Pro?

Questions about the Mackie MCU Pro?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Carson McClain

    The Mackie Control is the perfect extension for Logic Pro Users or any other DAW users ready to take that step in to tactile surface control. It looks cool, too.

  • Mike Conyers

    No digital studio should be without a great control surface and the Mackie Control series delivers! The motorized faders feel great, the LED strip is bright and easily readable, and all the functions map themselves quickly and intuitively to your DAW of choice.

  • from Colorado August 3, 2015Music Background:
    Home Recording Artist

    What I had been missing - great with Sonar Platinum windows 8.1

    This DAW controller is what I have been missing in my studio - mouse usage reduced to a few specific things. Build quality is great, box says proudly "built like a tank". Layout is terrific and makes music production so much quicker. Press button and bam - new audio track created. Press another and bam - new midi track! Buttons also confirmed to work - UNDO, SAVE, FIT PROJECT, FIT TRACKS, and many more. Using in Sonar Platinum 64bit was plug and play... Just setup once the MCU on startup to MCU then in Sonar select MCU USB as midi device and your in.

    Loving it - only wish it was cheaper.

  • from Oklahoma City, OK April 20, 2015Music Background:
    lots o' stuff

    Best Control Surface

    I actually got to use the original 1998 Mackie HUI control surface which is a little bit different than this. It has meter bridges so you can watch the meters rise and fall, it has monitoring capabilities, talk back, it has preamps, its really a mini-console. I've used the Universal Pro, Artist Series, and some others and nothing compares to good old fashion HUI. Forget about EUCON. Its unstable. IMHO. HUI at least has been around for 18 or so years. So although I did not purchase this EXACT Mackie model, I can attest that you would be wise by going along with a Mackie control surface. And yes they all work with PRO TOOLS HD 12.

  • from AZ February 27, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer and producer

    Awesome control

    I've been using the Mackie Control Universal Pro for a week and I'm completely blown away. I'm in the mix down phase of a project and the Mackie Control Universal Pro has made mixing faster and more intuitive. I've been using the mouse less and enjoying (for me), the easy learning curve. I also have the extender and I can't believe I waited this long before I made this purchase.

  • from Orlando, FL July 8, 2013Music Background:
    Sax/clarinet/flute/EWI/keys/MIDI instructor


    Newest purchase to home studio using Logic Pro. Finally, I can all but abandon my 'mouse'. Considering that this unit employs "80's low res technology" (not my words, but true), it is extremely high quality, and it's functionality is on par with most good quality consoles. The faders are extremely responsive (maybe a bit too much on mix down), and it's designed to make recording/mixing/mastering via software easy via tactile surface.

    Will be looking to purchase the extenders soon.

  • from santo Domingo, DR. June 19, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, mixer, composer.

    I have all the control universal pro series

    Simple, heavy-duty , original, best original protocol made by mackie.
    I can put as many extender units as i want making it a big console.
    plug and play, and this new alps faders are excellent. The look, the sizes and the feel of the units are just perfect

    I have used the euphonix/avid artist mix series, they are made of plastic and the protocol is very unstable, and don't really look like a console.

  • from Portland, OR USA January 31, 2012Music Background:
    Music Producer

    Rocks My Socks

    After having used the Behringer BCF2000 and dealing with the terrible issue of getting it set up with FL Studio I decided to bite the bullet and go for the model it was emulating.

    This controller has got it down in all the right places. The build quality is top notch, the fader action is smooth, quiet, responsive and accurate. The display and LED VPots are awesome, and all of the transport controls and function buttons make it a breeze to navigate with.

    FL Studio users, if you've been looking for a control surface for mixing and general use look no further. This is a beast.

    Now, to get some expansion modules...

  • from Eastlake, Ohio December 18, 2011Music Background:
    Guitarist/Recording Eng/Musician

    Great DAW Controller!

    MCU Pro, very nice controller! I'm using Sonar X1 Producer and the instillation was simple and easy. The moment that you connect the MCU Pro, the drivers are found and in a matter of a couple of minutes your controlling your projects! The operation of the board is smooth, and intuitive, the jog wheel is weighted and has a great feel as you work your way around the song to multiple locations. I've used a few other DAW controllers, Tascam, Alesis, Avid and the MCU is a wonderful tool, I have a friend that uses an SSL mid-priced board and he was blown away of the operation of the MCU! Also the people at Sweetwater are great!! Very helpful professionals Overall very impressive DAW Controller..

  • from Houston, Tx USA November 21, 2011Music Background:
    Musician and Producer

    Paradigm shift

    As I started my studies of music production at our local community college, my fellow students and I were taught signal flow, tracking and mixdown on a 24 track board. When I commenced building my home studio, funds were tight and I reasoned I could mix "in the box" for a while and see how things progressed. I produced about 80 tracks then was able to get the MCU Pro. What a paradigm shift! The "hands on" feel of working with a board plus the wonderful DAW control has boosted my production tremendously. This definitely was the missing link in my studio that ties it all together for me and facilitates a professional workflow. Most heartily recommended.

  • from Western MA June 28, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Professional Studio Owner

    It's everything I hoped it would be!

    This thing is just awesome! I began recording on Roland VS recorders back in the early 2000's and got used to having hands-on access to faders, transport buttons etc. When I opened my studio, I switched to a PC and Cubase 5. I went a full year using nothing but a mouse and keyboard to control my DAW, but finally I couldn't take it any longer and bought the MCU Pro. I was suprised by how heavy this unit is, and it seems very solid and well-built. The buttons and faders are very sensitive and accurate. There's no lag whatsoever. Another plus is that there are no drivers to install. This unit is "plug and play". All I had to do was connect the MCU to my computer using the included USB cable, then in Cubase: select the preconfigured Mackie MCU MIDI controller option under MIDI devices, and voila!! I LOVE how the track names, parameters, plug-in settings and more can all be clearly displayed on the LCD "scribble strip" and tweaked using the rotary knobs. It makes life alot easier when mixing large projects. The included button overlays for all major brands of DAW software is a very cool addition. All I can say is that the MCU Pro IS all it's cracked up to be.

  • from May 3, 2011

    The perfect bridge between old school engineers and new school technology

    After about 10 years out of the game I decided to get back in to recording, albit on a smaller scale. I realized that a lot has changed over the years, but this thing makes me feel right back at home. The layout of this unit is perfect to how I would set up my stuff and it integrates flawlessly with Logic 9. I haven't used it with PT yet as I'm not a big fan since Avid took over, but I'm sure it works just as great with that. This really is the perfect bridge between user and computer, especially for an old school guy like me.

  • from April 21, 2011

    Awesome Control Surface

    I just replaced an M-Audio Project Mix with this and a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. As a control surface this puts the M-Audio to shame. It setup seemlessly, has way better control over Pro Tools (odd since M-Audio and Pro Tools are both Avid Products, but whatever), much clearer LCD and much more of a quality feel, over all. It's pretty much pre-configured, I haven't had to adjust anything yet, it just knows how to work in Pro Tools 9, right out of the box. I'll be recommending this to anyone looking for a Control Surface.

  • from California August 28, 2010Music Background:

    The Best!

    I've been working with the Mackie Universal Pro for the past 3 years with 2 Extender Pro's to give me 24 faders. Since I'm already used to working with mixers and faders, I just can't work without faders for setting up my tracks and final mixdown. I also have to say that I can't imagine working with anything else. I've only used it with Logic Pro 8, but I know that it does work well with Cubase. It's very reliable and very well built. It not only "looks" serious, but IS a serious tool for Daw recording. The motorized faders, jog wheel, and transport buttons work flawlessly. If your budget will not permit you to purchase any Extender's, don't worry, this will still make working with your DAW a WHOLE lot easier.

  • from Atlanta, GA December 20, 2009Music Background:
    Home Recording Engineer

    Amazing features and DAW options.

    This thing blows the competition out of the water. Supports many programs unlike the Digi products. Superb control features that are extremely intuitive with your favorite DAW software. Doesn't get much better than this! The faders feel great and are very sensitive to your touch great for writing automation on your DAW software. Mix like a PRO!

  • from Oklahoma March 30, 2015

    MCU Pro a great upgrade!

    Having used the mouse since 2002, when I first started recording on DAW's, the MCU Pro was a huge work-flow shift. It took a little time to get used to doing things differently, but the changes are most definitely a huge positive advance in both work-flow- efficiency, as well as just making mixing large projects so much more enjoyable. I would recommend spending the extra $750 and getting an 8 fader Extender, because the 8 faders are somewhat limiting if you are working with large projects. The only reason I'm giving this 4.5 instead of 5 is because I had a little trouble getting this to work right away with Logic X...but the problem may have been more with Logic than the MCU Pro. Once I figured it out, I absolutely love this device and would highly recommend it to anyone considering the purchase!

  • from Reston, VA USA March 16, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer, Producer, Musician

    Awesome tool

    I use this with Cubase, Ableton Live and Final Cut Pro. It mostly replaces the Avid controller I loved to hate. Faders work well, smooth and quiet. The buttons are large enough and easy to hit with positive action. Jog feels great, and once used to where all the controls are you can really fly with this thing. Built solidly for real use.

  • from Hawaii December 28, 2013Music Background:

    Works Like a Champ!

    Should have spent the $$ on this first. I use it with Pro Tools & so far it does everything I had wanted & more. Only con so far is that it does not support the PT Master Fader. For the price, it is really a solid piece of equipment. Highly recommend.

  • from Seattle July 18, 2013Music Background:

    Great Control Surface for Sonar

    Great control surface and the new version with the improve faders works like a charm. I had been looking for a while to improve my current control surface for Sonar X2 (2 x BCF2000). I thought that the MCU looked great but was a bit expensive. Now that I'm using it with 2 MCU XT I should have done it earlier. The VS-700 has some tricks (x-fader, surround panner) that the MCU doesn't have but I'd rather have 24 faders. If you own Sonar X1 or X2 that's the way to go. Grab them while they're still available.

  • from July 3, 2013Music Background:
    owner of a studio recrording

    Is Good

    Every thing is ok bot i whish a beter manual so i can operate the contro the control manual for mi is a litle confuced

  • from Oklahoma City, OK January 19, 2013Music Background:
    Who cares


    I've tried Command 8, the old Mackie HUI and that's about it. My school has a collection of the Artist Mix control surfaces however I've read the reviews (not good), furthermore EUCON as far as I know is really not proven to be as efficient as advertised - this may be premature but where is the data concerning EUCON as far as its quality? HUI protocol is the standard and it has been around for a long time for a reason - it works. Previously I was going to settle for a Command 8 however I just didn't care for it and the reasons are not worth mentioning. Suffice to say I took the plunge into the newest of Mackie's control surfaces the Universal Pro.
    First off, it took me about 4 hours to figure out how to actually get it working (i did not know that pressing the select keys on channels 1 and 2 when turning it on will allow it to switch from HUI, Logic or Mackie mode - who would have thought? - forums are very helpful :)). Well after a bunch of let downs and an almost fatalistic approach thinking that I will ditch this entirely....I just managed (i'm not smart enough to do it purposely) to get my peripherials menu on PT set up right and FINALLY when I created a track the fader jumped up and the record enable was on. Now if you have any trouble with the HUI settings, just remember forget the MIDI I/O use USB to connect to the computer. Hold down the before mentioned buttons when turning the control surface on switch to HUI. Make sure the peripherials menu is set up right and you should be good to go.

    I may not be the person to judge control surfaces having used only a few (the original mackie hui, command 8 and I think that's it) nevertheless, I know good gear when I see it and this is a keeper.

  • from Memphis, Tn January 15, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer, beatmaker, producer, artist


    This is what I've been needing to complete my home studio. The only thing I've encountered is the backlight went out for about five days, but its back on now. Other than that this is a great control surface.

  • from November 28, 2011

    Mackie Control Universal Pro

    This unit is great! I had a problem at first for while getting it to sync with logic... after hours of trying to figure it out, I realized that I can't have the Maschine (Native Instruments) component file in the components file and run the maschine plug in in logic.... Now it works perfect.... It's the best bang for your buck.... Really well constructed... great feeling faders. All the shortcuts right at your finger tips....

  • from Dallas, TX August 15, 2008Music Background:
    Recording/Mix/Mastering Engineer

    Mackie Control Universal Pro is GREAT!!!!

    This unit is awesome!! I was blown away by how good this thing looks. The online pics don't do it justice. Getting it setup was a little confusing because the quick start guide isn't written for any particular software because it works with so many. The key is to go to the website of your software manufacturer and download their info. I'm running Cubase and they had a complete pdf showing you how to get Cubase to recognize the Mackie Control.

    This is where the fun started. This surface is the ultimate controller. Quick and responsive to all the software parameters. You are truly working as a pro with this board. Even my Waves plugins were mapped so the Mackie controls the settings. Forget about a mouse and keyboard, the custom overlay shows you what buttons control which functions.

    The Mackie control does not disapoint. My sweetwater rep was great!! He followed up with me to make sure the unit had arrived and was working properly. I've ordered 2 extenders to add to the main unit.

    The only con (and this is minor) is that the levels don't show signal strength, it's all one color.

    I recommend this board for anyone running a major software program.

  • from Chicago, IL June 26, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician, Multimedia Editor

    Mackie Gets it Right!

    I've been a "user" since the HUI days, and having this much control over Logic, PT, FCP and all my other apps on the same unit, in an all-metal chassis -AND with the now-weighted jog wheel- is certainly an above average experience at the price. Direct USB connection and built-in MIDI hub... using the jog wheel for color correction in FCP...

    No other company works with as many apps, as far as I'm aware, and that's exactly what I needed in my home studio.

    Just wanted to give kudos where kudos were due!

  • from Marysville Wa January 21, 2016Music Background:
    Audio Engineer - drums and Keyboards

    Mackie Control Universal Pro with CuBase

    This is a very solid piece of gear and I'm getting more comfortable each day. Old habits die hard but I'm really enjoying what it does. The lack of comprehensive tutorials makes learning somewhat of an adventure. I'm working with Cubase and probably using less than half of what the unit is capable of as a controller. If there are more resources out there please let us know. In the interim, I'm learning to go for the button instead of the mouse whenever possible.

  • from East Orange, NJ October 19, 2013Music Background:
    Producer/Recording Engineer

    Pretty Nice

    I've had my MCU unit for a year now and it works pretty nice.
    I had an issue where the screen blew out (which I hear is common) and got it fixed under warranty, other than that the unit is everything it says it is.
    I use it for both Pro Tools and Logic, this thing works seamless with Logic, I mean EVERYTHING can be controlled in this unit. Not so much so with Pro Tools, couldn't get the jog wheel to work and can't change the counter display options, but definitely not a deal breaker.
    I would recommend this unit over any other units in it's price range for sure!!

  • from Miami February 1, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Level Musician

    A Significant Improvement Over Mouse Usage in Software DAWS

    The MCUP is a welcome addition to my manipulation and work with DP solely because it obviates the repetitive cursor movements that I had to perform with trackpad or mouse controllers. It works very well and is highly responsive, but is not perfect. There are at least three significant issues for me.
    1. Some of the buttons should be programmable in order to be more specific to click/selection moves that specific individuals may often perform/prefer.
    2. It was difficult to get anyone, Mackie or MOTU, to own up to what took place in the evolution of this product wherein a toggle feature in earlier versions, such that the rewind and fast-forward buttons could either trigger slow or fast (full) rewind to a marker or song beginning, was eliminated, leaving FAST rewind not available for DP - at least that's what both companies implied, though neither seemed to recall or understand my point. Instead one has to use the tiny button forward of the rewind button to accomplish a fast rewind. That's a major flaw in my view, and there should be a patch initiated to remedy it.
    3. The well-meant 'intelligence' in the track name transfer to the MCUP track display window is a loser. If one has only four or some minimum of characters in the title they are faithfully transferred. After that there is a vowel-usage/elimination logic that is counter-intuitive. I'd say it's ok for some, but others, like me, should have the option of toggling the 'intelligence' off, forcing each character, including spaces, to be accepted until the field is full rather than attempting to compress the titles used. Lastly, in this regard of space utilization, there appears to be another 'line' available to allow twice as many characters to be displayed per fader, however, that area is not availed. Assuming that line is available, the code is not that tricky to write - give it to us and make this product a 5.0.

  • from March 14, 2015Music Background:

    I love my Mackie

    Does what i
    s supposed to. Incredible amount of control over paramaters. I'm simply mazed at how much these units can perform. I use MCU with an extender and the C4. Best choice for the price.Sometimes can be a headache when Logic updates but things eventually work themsevlceout.

  • from Sterling Heights, MI October 10, 2014Music Background:
    Amateur/semi-pro musician, guitar/drums hobbyist engineer

    Good Buy

    I've been looking for control surfaces for awhile and finally found something worth getting. It's not the dream system, but it does take quite a load of of using the annoying mouse for 75% of your usage.

    I use Digital Performer with the MOTU 896mk3, it does work with the cue mix software for the 896mk3, which is nice, but does have a little bit of issue switching between that and DP.

    I think the highlights of the pros are the construction and the 9 faders, with 1 a master.

    The few cons for me are the jog wheel isn't the greatest. Could be DP, but it doesn't always scroll smoothly. The scribble strip is a little small and doesn't provide much information since it is so condensed.

    Even with the things it leaves lacking, for the money, it's a good buy for me because it frees many tasks that i had to do with the mouse and when sitting there with a guitar, it is WAY easier with all the buttons to access. Mixing is also much more enjoyable having real faders and knobs to touch. Might be a personal preference, but buttons on a board are much more better of an experience than a mouse.

  • from San Francisco, CA January 26, 2012Music Background:
    DJ, Hobbyist

    Not bad at all

    It didn't work as advertised. The "USB only" thing just didn't work for me so I had to connect the midi cables as well and then it worked + out of the box, I had to do some major work to get it to work with Logic. With Ableton, it worked like a charm. All good now.

  • from Ohio October 25, 2014Music Background:

    Not bad but just ok as a Control Surface.

    I've had my MCU Pro for a couple of years and I feel there is one "Big" disappointment and it would be the "Backlight" display. I've changed mine three times now and there is No problem with the electronics & electrical area, it's the "Filament", I've asked Mackie if there is an Alternative, they say no? and they have told me to expect about 1 1/2 to 2yrs of life, and its hard to find replacement Filament?? and if you send it to Mackie or authorize repair they may or may not have it in stock. Other than that its decent, not as good as I would expect, but after having it for a short time, all I could honestly give is "Two Stars"
    Sweetwater is where I bought mine from, and they are the greatest!!!!

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