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Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

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Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby Molton Mouse » Tue May 04, 2021 9:55 pm

I want to get an SSL UF8 to use with Logic and I wondered if it could also be configured to control a Behringer XR18. I don't require much control, just faders, mute, solo. I havent been able to find any references to anything other than DAW control everywhere I have looked.
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby desmond » Tue May 04, 2021 10:23 pm

No, it is not a generic MIDI controller, it is a control surface that operates with your DAW via the MCU/HUI protocols.
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby Molton Mouse » Tue May 04, 2021 11:21 pm

Thanks for your response. It was the MCU protocol support that made me wonder in the first place.

SSL state that, while they don't officially support DAWs which aren't on their approved list for the UF8 any DAW that supports MCU or HUI should have some basic functionality. Using OsiMIDI I know that a Mackie HCU can control an XR18 so I wondered if an UF8 could also? or maybe I missing something basic.
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby desmond » Wed May 05, 2021 12:13 am

If the XR18 is designed to act as a DAW and be controlled by an MCU, sending the appropriate feedback and mode handling etc, then it will work, but that seems unlikely to me.

If the XR18 can be configured to customise the MIDI messages it receives, then it's possible you could very basically learn the MIDI commands a UF8 sends when you control it, but I still think that's unlikely as the UF8 (or other MCU device) would need to be initialised by the Behringer before it even gets into a mode it can send MIDI.

While I don't know the UF8 directly, I know the MCU protocol it implements very well. I know the UF8 has some custom software where you can set things up, so it might be possible it has a basic MIDI mode where it just sends customisable MIDI from it's controls like a generic MIDI controller, but honestly I think that's unlikely too.

There's a good UF8 thread over on GS with many UF8 users, and Jim from SSL answers questions there, so if you want to dig into this, it might be a good idea to go and ask there, you'll be able to get some more definite answers than I can give. And I don't know the capabilities of the Behringer either... so in retrospect, I probably wasn't that helpful..!

The thread is here:
https://gearspace.com/board/product-ale ... er-29.html
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby Stratman57 » Wed May 05, 2021 1:17 am

I might be recalling this wrong, but to control the XR18 as a mixer rather than as an audio interface, it doesn't use midi, but OSC. I have an XR18, which I control using an X-touch which is connected to the XR18 via CAT5 cable. This controls the mixer using their X-air edit app on my laptop.

Depending on your DAW, you can switch between controlling the mixer and controlling your DAW using the Mackie protocol. Reaper needed a third party app to get this to work, but it works straight out of the box with Ableton Live.

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby Music Wolf » Wed May 05, 2021 7:18 am

The XR-18 can respond to basic MIDI commands (p31 of the manual)

Snapshots - PC on ch 1
Faders - CC on Ch 1
Mute - CC ch 2
Pan - CC on ch 3

I trigger snapshots and mutes from my Line 6 Helix.
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby The Elf » Wed May 05, 2021 7:58 am

As above - I use 'normal' MIDI commands to control my XR18.
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby Stratman57 » Wed May 05, 2021 10:58 am

I never got around to reading that far in the XR18 manual. :) I just used the X-air Edit app, then I realised it would help having some physical faders and controls when playing live, hence the X-touch.

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby Music Wolf » Wed May 05, 2021 12:09 pm

I got an X-Touch to use with Cubase and, so I thought, to use with my XR-18. The Elf warned me that I probably wouldn't use the X-Touch with the XR-18, and he was right. It's far easier to use a laptop (I use a hardwired connection rather than WiFi) as it is easier to access a lot of the features of the XR-18 that way.

I still love my X-Touch with Cubase and, 6 months after buying it, add an X-Touch Extender.

Being able to pull up scenes and to mute channels on the XR-18 using MIDI commands from the Helix makes life a lot easier in the practice room and hopefully, from July, on stage :bouncy:
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Re: Can the SSL UF8 control a Behringer XR18?

Postby Molton Mouse » Mon May 24, 2021 1:21 am

Just in case anyone else wants to do this I can report that I did get it to work using OsiMIDI Stage to communicate with the XAIR app.

Through the SSL app I have layer one set to Logic Pro so that I can use the UF8 with Logic, I set layer two to Logic as well. Then in OsiMIDI selected SSL V-MIDI Port 5 as the controller. Set the configuration of OsiMIDI to see the UF8 as a generic Mackie Controller and then in SSL360 and OsiMIDI I mapped the UF8 controls to operate the required XAIR controls. If I have Logic running I can press the Layer one button on the UF8 and I am controlling Logic. Press layer two and I am controlling the XR18.

A few caveats. If you move a slider at all quickly, it does a little bounce after you let go. It doesn't affect the level, it is some sort of issue with the fader position feedback. A similar thing happens when you have two faders linked, one can jump out of position at the end of a move. This only happens occasionally and isn't an issue for me but might be for some. The channel select buttons work fine but the buttons often don't light up correctly.
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