Mackie Control C4 Pro Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the differences between the C4 Pro and the older C4 controller?

A. The C4 Pro is a cosmetic re-design of the original C4, designed to visually complement the new Mackie Control Universal Pro control surface. Although the external casing is different, it still connects with MIDI like the original C4, and works with all of the same software titles.

C4 Pro comes bundled with C4 Commander Pro software, which allows you to control external MIDI hardware, right from the mixing sweet spot. Learn more about C4 Commander Pro.

Q. Why should I purchase a Mackie Control C4 Pro rather than one of the less expensive rotary controllers available from "competitors"?

A. No other rotary controller available today offers as much visual feedback as the Mackie Control C4 Pro. The Mackie Control C4 Pro is the only controller to offer electronic "scribble strips" that display the parameter that each and every V-Pot is controlling. When working with other rotary controllers, the user must constantly look back and forth between the computer monitor and the control surface to determine the function of each knob, and to see how adjustments on the knob are affecting the parameters on-screen. The C4 Pro lends to faster, focused and more precise plug-in/virtual instrument parameter control.

The C4 Pro's communication protocol also offers better resolution that ordinary MIDI. MIDI parameters can have values from 0 to 127; our communication protocol works with values from 0 to 1024, meaning you can make finer adjustments and get nearly 10 times the precision.

Q. Why is the C4 Pro's level of integration with your music production software better than that of other controllers?

A. Other controllers communicate with music production software via generic MIDI messages, leaving the user to map these functions to the software. This approach is very cumbersome ? not to mention time consuming ? and does not provide a good level of integration. The C4 Pro, like the other members of the Mackie Control Pro Series, is specifically coded into the DAW platform, by the DAW developers, to provide a tightly integrated experience, right out of the box.

Q. Do I need to have a Mackie Control Universal Pro to enjoy the benefits of the C4 Pro?

A. No. Although your production process would undoubtedly benefit greatly with the addition of a MCU Pro (and Extender Pro) to your system, it is not required to use the C4 Pro. The C4 Pro will work equally well with Logic, Reason, SONAR or Tracktion as a standalone controller, or as an addition to a MCU Pro / Extender Pro system.

Q. I own a MCU Pro, which already provides plug-in/virtual instrument control. Why do I need a C4 Pro?

A. The C4 Pro allows you to view and adjust 32 parameters simultaneously, whereas the MCU Pro allows for adjustment of only eight at a time. The C4 Pro improves your workflow and allows you to make parameter adjustments more quickly, without banking through multiple pages of parameters to find the one you want.

The MCU Pro and C4 Pro are designed to work in unison, which maximizes your power to tweak your mix and plug-in parameters with unparalleled precision and efficiency.

Q. Can I use the C4 Pro with my laptop computer or as part of a mobile studio?

A. Absolutely! There are a wide variety of USB and FireWire MIDI devices that interface the C4 Pro with your laptop computer. And because the C4 Pro ships with a universal external AC adapter for its power supply*, it can be used in any country around the world.

* The AC power supply provided with your MCU Pro is a universal power supply, and it can be con¬nected to an AC power source between 90 VAC and 264 VAC (50?60 Hz).

Q. What is a "Lexan™ overlay" and why do I need one?

A. A Lexan overlay is a thin sheet of polycarbonate that has DAW-specific nomenclature on the front and an adhesive on the back. It is designed to be placed over the master section of the C4 Pro to associate buttons and controls with specific software commands.

C4 Pro includes Lexan overlays for all supported music production software. The C4 Pro's default silkscreen labels are for Logic, and it ships with overlays for Tracktion and Reason. No overlay is shipped for Sonar, because although it is supported, the authors of the application chose not to produce labels for an overlay.

Q. Are C4 Pro and the original C4 supported by the same software?

A. Yes. Both C4 Pro and the original C4 are supported by Logic / Logic Express 7, Reason 3, SONAR (2) and Tracktion 2 (and up).

Q: I'm upset that C4 Pro does not support my software of choice. Why don't you guys hurry up and make that happen?

While we would like C4 Pro to be supported by as many applications as possible, the ability to add support for any given DAW is actually in the hands of the companies writing the software, and not Mackie. C4 Pro is supported by Logic, Reason and SONAR because the software coders at Apple, Propellerhead and Cakewalk took the time to stitch support into the code. If you’d like to see your favorite application add support for the C4 Pro, we urge you to write the publishers and ask them to get in touch with us. If enough of their customer base asks, they will feel it's important and C4 Pro will continue to experience ever-expanding support.