The Mackie Control Universal Pro from Mackie is a 9-fader (8-channels + master) USB/MIDI controller that provides mixing, editing, automation and navigational control for any supported digital audio workstation. Utilizing a proprietary communication protocol allows the controller to "talk" to various software applications without additional set-up.
The unit communicates with the computer via USB and provides connectors for up to three pieces of external MIDI gear. For some users this functionality could allow them to remove any external MIDI interfaces from their systems.
Each of the 8 channel strips includes a 100 mm, Alps touch-sensitive motorized fader in addition to mute, solo, and record arming buttons. Also included is a Signal LED, a Channel Select button, and a V-Pot that can be used to control panning, send levels, EQ, dynamics, and other DSP plug-in modules. The control surface also contains a full automation assignment section, edit buttons, Undo, Redo, and Save buttons, and a Shift Modifier that offers dual functionality for specific commands.
Navigational control is provided in a tape-style transport with Jog/Shuttle wheel, Loop In/Out points, and timeline quick jump buttons. The unit works seamlessly with all the major music software programs, and DAW-specific Lexan overlays that fit right over the master section can be used to "personalize" the control surface.