Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH

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Artist Testimonials

Take a closer look at some of the many musicians and producers who enjoy using the award-winning CMC controllers in their studios, and read what they have to say about Steinberg's innovative modular controller system for Cubase.

Brotherly (Robin Mullarkey)

Producer and bassist for Brotherly, United Kingdom
Artist website

 

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
The TP transport controller is definitely getting the most use, which surprised me because I'm pretty fast with my key commands, but having the slider mode set to "scroll" and having the ability to zoom by using 2 fingers is so much more practical. I have the function keys on that unit set up to markers 1-4 too, so it really is devoted to transport operations.

What do you consider as outstanding feature of these controllers?
That fact that all the units are customizable is a great way that make them work well for my style. I also love having the faders to hand and the option of them displaying real-time metering.

In which order would you set up your CMC controllers?
I have the AI to my left. Seems like it needs to work that way if you want the mouse in the other hand. Then i have the TP very close to the computer keyboard on the right, with the CH and QC connected to the right of that. I'm experimenting with having the FD and PD behind the computer keyboard and that's working quite well.

Unheilig (Henning Verlage)

Producer and keyboardist, Germany
Artist website

   

 

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
I find the AI controller is generally a great idea which works with all plug-in parameters also used with the mouse's scrollwheel.

How do you like the controllers' design?
I think the design's very good. The size and the angle are also favorable, and it feels very significant if not upper class.

In which order would you set up your CMC controllers?
CMC-AI, CMC-CH, CMC-TP and CMC-QC

TesseracT (Acle Kahney)

Guitarist, United Kingdom
Artist website

 

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
My favorite would have to be the transport controller. I find it useful to have when tracking guitar or vocal parts myself to have that at hand. Nice and easy control without having to fluff around with the keyboard.

Describe the CMCs in three words.
Pretty cool lights!

How does this set of controllers facilitate your workflow in Cubase?

Honestly I find the other controllers actually restrict my workflow a little. Especially with large track counts. I think this is simply because I've gotten used to using a mouse and keyboard for 8+ years in Cubase. They could be beneficial to new users recording in Cubase who aren't used to the mouse/keyboard workflow already. I find the EQ tweaking quite useful as you can be more precise and literally hands on with it.

Der Tante Renate

Producer, Germany
Artist website

 

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
Actually I've got two favourite controllers: the PD controller for programming beats and the TP which I think is very useful for recordings and has several operations I often use. I like the PD because it works perfectly with Groove Agent ONE. It's small, but nice to handle and fits very well on my small desk. It responds appropriately and is a simple, yet effective, interface which makes it perfect for programming beats. I like using the TP, too, because it makes recording, marking, copying tracks etc. very easy and fast. While recording I can create markers, copy tracks in no time when we have ideas for backing tracks, jump to starting points... it's simply a very useful tool.

Describe the CMCs in three words.

I like them.

How do you like the CMCs' modular system approach?
I think that's the best about it. You just have the controller(s) that suits best for your everyday operations on your desk and don't waste space for controllers you never use. Especially when you're producing at home or at small studios it keeps the setup simple.

Donkeyboy (Cato Sundberg)

Singer and guitarist, Norway
Artist website

 

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
I love the transport controller. It makes recording very easy and fast.

What do you consider as outstanding feature of these controllers?
They are very easy to use and they have all the features you need to control Cubase! If you don't need all of the controllers you can just choose the ones that suit you.

In which order would you set up your CMC controllers?
I always have the CMC TP transport controller first and then the CMC CH channel controller. Next is the CMC FD fader controller, CMC QC controller and last the CMC AI controller!

PhreQuincy

Producer for Samy Deluxe, Sido, Eko Fresh et al., Germany
Artist website

 

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
I like the QC controller best because it gives me the most creative options. I can use it to control the Quick Controls that already provide immense freedom. I can also easily switch to the EQs and control them with the same rotaries. This is really nice. I was also pleasantly surprised by the precision of the controls when comparing them with other controllers.

How do you like the feel of the pads?
I'm also very excited about the pads. They respond really well. And although the controller's compact and slim, it's perfect for finger drumming. That's a job well done.

How about the design and overall quality?

The design and quality leave no wishes unfulfilled! I must admit I hadn't expected this at first. Clearly Steinberg and Yamaha have come up with something groundbreaking, finding a way to molding design, flexibility and use into six beautiful controllers.

Marcus Cliffe

Bass player for The Manfreds et al., United Kingdom

 

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
I think I like the CMC-CH the best as it’s just got all the most used controls on there, I also have used it live with Cubase AI to control a laptop keyboard setup when I did some gigs with Lucinda Drayton recently.

How well do these controllers fit into your Cubase setup?
Very nicely, you can see from the photos I have Euphonix controllers too but the great thing about the CMCs is they work well along side them. They have a small footprint so fit easily on my shelf.

In which order would you set up your CMC controllers?
I have mine set from left to right: PD, AI, QC, TP and CH.

Gordon Durity

Studio Audio Director for Electronic Artsʼ Vancouver campus, Canada

   

What do you like best about the CMCs?
The CMC units installed and were running in under 12 minutes! At that point, they ran every time with no problems from start-up. My partner and myself run Cubase, and I run Nuendo as well, so these lilʼ darlinʼs fit like a glove into my workflow. The size and feel of the units are perfect for my current writing space. I recently downsized my home writing and sound design space and have been looking for a control surface with a small footprint, but that wasnʼt a toy.

Why do you set up your CMCs like this?
I split the the CMC units to the left and right side of my Mac keyboard, and pushed up against my MIDI controller. The FD unit is on the right-hand side, next to the mouse. This feels good for me, being right handed, as I can easily manipulate the faders with more accuracy.
The CH, TP, QC, and AI units are on the left-hand side of the Mac keyboard, in that order. I played around for a while with this order, and found that this worked best: from most frequently used to least. Iʼve only used the PD unit occasionally, so I bring it out or play when I need it.
The units feel like an extension of the keyboard, and Iʼm getting to the point where using them is getting automatic.

What kind of functions do you assign to the function buttons?
For the CH unit, I added commands for opening/closing the pool, adding an audio track, removing a track, looping a selection, and cycling. Itʼs really easy to create a custom set of commands. The problem is turning out to be deciding which commands to assign to which units!

Dominik Eulberg

Producer and DJ, Germany
Artist website

 

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
My favorite controller is the PD. It's wonderfully easy to use and innovative. The pads are great to the touch and the spacing's perfect to create fresh beats with one's fingertips.

How do you like the feel of the pads?
The pads have a nice feel to them. They have a good grip and are extremely sensitive.

What are your thoughts on the controllers' build quality and dimensions?
I think it's great to be able to position each controller individually. For example, I've placed the CH on my synthesizer. If I now think up a new melody I can immediately record the idea at the flick of a switch. I sometimes use the PD to tape beats while I'm relaxing on the couch, somewhat like when playing video games. The lights and design are also pretty neat and up to the minute.

Kraak & Smaak (Oscar de Jong)

Producer and DJ, Netherlands
Artist website

   

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
My favorite ones would be the AI controller and the TP transport controller.
The reason I like the TP is very simple: I do much of the recording myself. Keyboards, guitar, bass guitar amongst others, and you really don't want to have to think a lot you when in a recording vibe. With the AI knob I often switch between parts of a track and the jog works very nice for this purpose. Also for browsing purposes it really does the thing.

How do you like the feel?
I had to get accustomed to the feel of the buttons but now that I have, I quite like them.
They never stick and feel very comfortable to the touch. I haven't used the PD yet because I haven't been working with samplers and drum computers, but I've heard people talking very, very enthusiastic about it.

How well do these controllers fit into your Cubase setup?
One of the things I really like is that the response is better than that of a computer keyboard. For example, you want to solo something while you're in a plug-in window, pressing the S on the ASCII keyboard doesn't work before you're back in the arrangement window. It does work when pressing the S on the CH controller. The same applies to several buttons on the transport bar. Maybe that's what all controllers do but I prefer the Steinberg ones.

Nick Blagona

Chief Engineer, Jukasa Studios, Canada

   

Youʼve been working with a CC121 for several years. What caught your attention about the CMC controllers?
I love the CC121 because it feels like a small console, and the CMCs are even more extreme. Everything is at your fingertips, and I like things that let you move quickly. Youʼre limited by what you can do with a mouse, but the CMC controls let you move quickly. I like ease, and I like to work really fast. And I like the lights!

Are there custom commands that youʼve bound to the function keys?
Mostly just zoom in and zoom out, thatʼs all. I think they already do everything else that youʼd expect. I just want it very simple.

Is there anything on your wish list for the CMC system?
No, most of the things that Iʼve wished Steinberg could do have already been done!

Brent Bodrug

Producer/Engineer/Songwriter, Sly-Fi Chapel Studio, Canada

   

How do the CMC controllers meet the needs of your workflow?
Theyʼre fantastic. On a very basic level, having the transport takes me back to the days of tape machines, and I love that, particularly when tracking. It just makes the session feel more organic and somehow faster.
I love having the 4-fader pack. Iʼm back to closing my eyes and moving faders to find a level rather than staring at a screen and getting caught up in the number that Iʼm looking at.
I love being able to arm tracks with the CMC-CH. Being able to quickly bypass plug-ins on a channel without having to reach for a mouse - itʼs great. Iʼm kind of sloppy on a computer keyboard, so the CMC have let me work a little more precisely, because the buttons are big, and I can get where Iʼm going better.

What do you think of the compact size?
I like the fact that they donʼt have a huge footprint. I like lean and mean at this point. Iʼd rather have my instruments and my outboard gear take up lots of room. When it comes to the digital stuff, I like it to have a small footprint. I like the fact that the CMCs just fit nicely on my desk.

What custom commands do you have assigned?
Iʼve set them up so that I can quickly change tools when Iʼm editing. I have some MIDI functions that I use a lot when Iʼm programming. I tend to level out velocities and do fixed lengths, and all that kind of stuff. Iʼve set up some quick keys for quantizing on the AI panel. I can write automation quickly with the Quick Control knobs, and Iʼve also set that one up with some other things, like quick ways to add tracks or markers on the fly.
Letʼs face it, when youʼre working, and youʼre mixing, and you have deadlines, sometimes the ergonomic things are the most important things. The CMCs just speed up my workflow. In tracking sessions now, I just donʼt have to touch the keyboard very much, which is really nice for me. It feels like Iʼve gone back to the days of the console.

M-Phazes

Hip-hop producer and artist, Australia
Artist website

   

Which CMC controller is your favourite and why?
The CMC-TP,  these are the controls I most commonly use so I find this controller gets used the most.  Play/Stop and record is a pain using the mouse and keyboard, this makes my job much easier.

In which order would you set up your CMC controllers?
CMC-TP in the middle, I like the drum pads to the very left, then the faders, the channel controller to the left of the transport controller, then on the right goes the CMC-QC effects controller.  I will probably change this order around at some point, but that’s the beauty of these things, you aren't limited to a certain layout.

How well do these controllers fit into your Cubase setup?
They fit very well into my setup, anything that takes having to use a mouse out of the equation (to some degree at least) is a plus, and something that is specifically for my preferred DAW is a huge bonus.

How about the design and overall quality?
On first look, the quality seems a little lackluster as they are very light and small.  But once they were up and running and receiving a bit of use in the studio, I realized the quality is outstanding. The pads can take a beating, and there aren't any faders to break off which happens a lot — especially on the road.

 

Lotek

Hip-hop producer and artist, Australia
Artist website

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
The QC is my favorite, I can do EQ tweaks more accurately as well as controlling my synths and effects.

In which order would you set up your CMC controllers?

From left to right, AI, FD, CH, QC and then TP. I have the PD separate.

How well do these controllers fit into your Cubase setup?

They fit into my set up and workflow seamlessly, I can get really hands on with my projects. Mixing feels more like using a real mixer rather than a computer.

What do you consider as outstanding feature of these controllers?

Being able to create my own control surface by combining the different controllers is great. I can access the Cubase functions in the way that best suits me.

 

Powerwolf (David Vogt)

Guitarist, Germany/Romania
Artist website

Which CMC controller is your favorite and why?
My favorite controller is the QC controller because of the good and quick adjustment of the EQ parameters and the really cool programming for the Quick Controls. It makes it much easier to adjust VST 3 plug-ins.
Also the TP is a really good tool that I don't want to miss. Copy a track by just pressing one key, setting locators, navigating through the arrangement and more is just amazing and simple to use.

What do you consider as outstanding feature of these controllers?
They are easy and quick to use, the keys are good to handle. When you've been working with them a little longer, they save time because the workflow gets tighter and faster.

How about the design and overall quality?
The design looks good and makes them easy to handle. Everything is at the right place. The quality is outstanding and really solid.