dsmcu – nds mix controller [preview!]

dsmcu is a nintendo-ds based emulator of the MCU control surface protocol. it talks to your audio workstation over wifi via dsmi.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD (beta software, please exercise care, no warranties expressed or implied, and you’ll need the readme file to get it working)


requirements: a homebrew-capable ds (which can connect to your computer over wifi), compatible audio workstation software (like ‘reaper‘) and dsmi correctly set up on your computer. more details in the download link.


tested on: reaper; (primary testing platform, works great), samplitude V8 SE (works but no VU display).

does not work with pro tools or logic yet, but support is planned

the following subset of the mcu protocol is supported:

  • fader send, receive
  • vu display
  • track select, mute, arm and solo (w/ feedback)
  • bank up/down
  • scrub
  • more coming soon…

possible applications include: a wireless rec/arm remote or end-user monitor mix interface for tracking, touch-sensitive automation recorder during mixdown, multi-user mixing, ‘left-hand’ level control while tweaking VSTs…

lots more planned, more info soon.

some user interface elements have been taken from Reaper – BIG THANKS to White Tie and the Reaper posse for granting permission for use of this and helping out with design/layout. cheers again to tobw for the dsmi library. also uses palib and devkitpro/libnds, yay.

32 thoughts on “dsmcu – nds mix controller [preview!]”

  1. Wow thanks! That is a stunning piece of software. I tried it out with Reaper after checking midi through midi-ox (which only displays the note on/off messages). For a beta version it is amazing. There is almost no lag and everything seems to work as it should.

  2. Yeah, definitely like to know when it is updated. I think you’ve got my email from the post.



  3. It`s also working flawlessly with Cubase 4 🙂 a different view with just the stop, play and record buttons would be cool – one you could touch with your hand instead of frickling with the stylus – it helps a lot when you`re recording yourself.

  4. awesome! i’ll add that to the list.

    i might have a chance to spend a couple of hours today working on it – going to try and make my “engine” skinnable. once i’ve done that i’ll start putting together three views – one with just faders + transport, one with faders/mute/solo/rec/select/transport, and one with just big transport. no idea when i’ll have it done though.

  5. Working fine in nuendo 3 too 🙂

    Possible bugs:

    -“Loop” or “cycle” change the status in nuendo but button in NDS don´t show status (always light off)
    – Scrub act funny

    Posible improvements, Apart for those you are working on, I sugest some:

    -Change between BPM/smpte code on display – abosuletely a must when working with audio recording. That would be easy is already implemented in the MCU protocol

    -track names: a must when using large projects and no access to the main pc screen (thats my own case, recording in the tracking roon and the pc in the other room… Could be vertical row on top of meters. Also meters are not very acurate (because the mcu protocol) so they could be shorter for allowing some space on top.
    -finer fader adjustment. I think that could be done in another screen, same as the actual screen but fader movement “zoomed” to -20 to +6dB or so (maybe selectable zoom???)

    -In your planned screens, please put a big counter too! (bmp/smpte selectable of course!)

    Thanks a lot for the most useful piece of software I`ve found!


  6. Just forgot a couple more:

    -Scrub/jog switch
    -rew and ff buttons (maybe in the big transpot screen?)

  7. – loop light bug – known
    – scrub act funny – what exactly does it do?
    – bpm/smpte code display is just whatever is sent by the DAW. in reaper, if you switch to bars/beats display, dsmcu switches to bars/beats display as well, i guess nuendo does the same thing? there might be a way to control this from the dsmcu though but i have to check the spec first
    – track names are planned but they require additions to the DSMI server. this is going to be delicate work, might be a way off yet (but it’s on my personal list of must-haves)

    i’m probably going to change the main view so that there are solo/rec/mute/sel buttons per track, with another view where there are just faders. development is continuing but still a bit of work to do yet before the next release though, sorry.


  8. -The scrub is “jumping” here, need to test again because I was using a project with video track, maybe is because the video…
    anyway, a scrub/jog button would be perfect, scrubbing a large project is slow.
    -bpm/smte: in nuendo you can have simultaneous codes on display or rules, I think thats why the real MCU (and the mackie dxb200, I got both) have that button. Must be documented.
    -If track names are difficult, what about numbering for the tracks?

    ps. I think you are aware, but check: http://shoshin.110mb.com/genmce/

    Best regards


  9. – scrub – i’ll take another look at it. i kinda need an actual ‘widget’ on the screen for it to feel correct. it’s on the list, anyway.
    – bpm switch etc – cool, i’ll dig up the param values, cheers
    – track number is easily doable and it’s on the list

    i’ve only seen genmce since starting the ds app, it’s very clever!

  10. hi guys, i’ve got this working perfectly with Ableton live, on a mac, with a minimum of glitches and without the use of midiyoke or its equivalent, i’ve posted a tutorial on my site, but it’s damn easy

  11. I`ve been using the dsmcu this afternoon for recording myself, so here are some more sugestions:

    -A visual scale for the faders
    -Fader numeric values (at the top of od each fader?)
    -some (4-8) programable buttons that send specified midi data, so each one can program based on the sequencer used for several functions.

    Thats all for today 🙂


  12. This is amazing. Can’t wait to try it out!

    Just wanted to show my support. awesome.

  13. work perfectly with macos 10.5.3 and
    ableton LIVE7
    and if you don t choose the mackie control the soft work
    as a 8 faders midi controller,
    and this second point is very very interested,It will bemagic to have
    a micro tactie self powered wireless controller

  14. thanks for the feedback!

    there’s a lot to be interested in for ableton live users coming up – the new version has a fully configurable interface, via an external (human readable/writable) config file. the primitives available so far are buttons (can send a midi command, and light up on midi message received), horizontal and vertical sliders (min/max range specifiable). all graphics are loaded at startup (pngs) and it’s all fully customizable.

    lots of bugs to get worked out still though, it looks like there’s a horrible memory leak somewhere and i’m worried it’s in the PNG decoder. plus i’m moving house at the moment.

    eventually the plan includes letting users design new user interfaces from inside the app itself, but that’s a long way off. and i want to build a slot-2 based midi adapter and add support for that to dsmi. and sysex support for dsmi so we can handle extended mcu messages. and multiple communication engines that might control the psg, for instance. and… [etc]


  16. Letting users design new user interfaces from inside the app itself is a stroke off genius!

    when can we try v0.2? cant wait

  17. Great idea. Maybe now I can stop carrying my RF QWERTY into the closet with me! Can’t wait to try it.

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