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Behringer BCF2000 by Feel

Behringer BCF2000 by Feel

Notes for the Blind User (Revision 5)

 

By Neil J. Graham, Chris Smart and Tim Burgess

With Additional Contributions From Around the Web.

 

(Note: I’m posting this knowing that it may be a bit out dated. However, there’s still many blind users using Sonar and the BCF2000, including my self, that will find this document helpful.)

 

 

0.1: Introduction

 

The following notes are intended for use by the blind or visually-impaired user, or by those who want to use the BCF2000 without relying on the visual display.  Display contents will be given throughout this document, though, just in case you have a handy sighted person around.  Alternatively, install the Mackie Display Reader (MDR), a handy program that feeds the contents of the display back to your screen reader.  Either way, you will want to verify things as you get up and running with your control surface.  Neither sighted help nor MDR is necessary, but MDR is recommended. For more information on MDR, go to:

http://www.raisedbar.net/MDR/mdr.htm

 

This guide is not a substitute for reading the official documentation, but is intended as a useful supplement to it. We hope these notes get you up and running quickly using your BCF2000 with Cakewalk Sonar.

 

0.2: Acknowledgements

 

Thank you to Neil Graham for his first set of notes, Tim Burgess for his suggestions and for creating and continuing to develop MDR. Thanks also go to several users of the Cakewalk Forums, (Blades, Jesse G, FastBikerBoy, and others) whose videos, guides and messages contained useful information that I have copied to this guide.

 

This document outlines most of what you need to know about using the BCF2000 with Cakewalk Sonar. Specifically, Sonar needs to see the BCF2000 as a different control surface, a Mackie Control.  Other emulation modes and using the unit with other DAW applications are not covered here.  Apparently, Cockos Reaper can support the BCF2000 directly, so perhaps someone else can investigate BCF functionality inside Reaper and get back to me.  Also, if you can accomplish things not mentioned in this document, please e-mail csmart8@cogeco.ca so I can include your processes in a future revision.  If you discover mistakes, please let me know ASAP.  I would like to finalize this document and move on to creating similar guides for other hardware.

 

IMPORTANT: As you work through this guide, it’s best to have a Sonar project open. This project should contain at least 16 or more tracks, several busses and some of the tracks and busses should have 2 or more sends, and 2 or more plug-ins inserted into the FX bins to fully explore the capabilities of the control surface.

 

0.3: Orientation and Making Connections

 

First, put the unit in its standard operating position with faders near the bottom and the back panel away from you. The power button is on the far right of the back panel. Immediately underneath the power button is the socket for the standard AEQ Mode power cord.

 

To the left of the power button and recessed is the USB jack that accepts one end of a USB cable. Further to the left are three MIDI jacks, out-B/thru, out-A, and in. Last are two ¼” footswitch jacks.  The first is configured for a continuous rocker type expression pedal and the second accepts a standard footswitch.  One possible use for a footswitch is starting and stopping recording or playback, so you can keep your hands on your instrument while recording or practicing.

 

0.4: Overall Layout

 

All of the control names in this document apply when using the BCF2000 in Mackie mode with Cakewalk’s Sonar package – they might well have different assignments and names when used with other packages and/or in other modes.

 

The control surface is organized into two sections, one which fills most of the unit’s surface area is arranged as eight vertical channel strips. These are similar to the channel strips on a traditional mixing console.  Starting furthest away from you, each strip contains four items

 

  • V- Pot.       This is a rotary control that can be turned, but it also acts as a switch when pushed/released.
  • Mute button. (the Mute buttons also work as buttons F1 through F8 with the Lower Shift button held down and as Solo 1 through 8 with the Upper Shift button held down)
  • Select button (The Select buttons also work as buttons F9 through F16 with the Lower Shift button held down, or as Arm 1 through 8 with the Upper Shift button held down)
  • 100mm motorized fader.

 

The other panel of buttons, visual display, and status LED’s occupy the right-hand side of the unit, and are also arranged vertically.

 

You can feel that the rear-most area, containing the strip buttons and v-pots, visual display, status lights and four buttons, is raised slightly from the rest of the surface. The second section on the right side of the unit contains the four-character visual display at the top, and fourteen buttons arranged in four groups.  All but two of these buttons have more than one function.  IN the following description, functions are listed as they apply specifically to Cakewalk Sonar and a plus sign (+) between two button names means you should press and hold the first button, then press the second button.

 

The top left button in the group closest to the visual display is the Upper Shift, with the Lower Shift button immediately below it. These buttons have already been mentioned in combination with the Mute and Select buttons.

 

The button to the right of the Upper Shift is Control Group Track (this Works as Control Group Auxiliary with Upper Shift or as Control Group Main with Lower Shift).

 

The button to the right of Lower Shift is M1, which stands for Modifier 1. This button toggles Edit mode with Upper Shift or cycles through Flip modes with Lower Shift.

 

Below this top group of four buttons, you will feel a horizontal row of six holes. These are status lights which show whether or not you are using the USB, MIDI, or footswitch connections.

 

Below the status lights are four buttons which switch among various Sonar modes:

 

EQ Mode and Track Mode

Pan Mode and Sends Mode

 

Below this group are two smooth buttons:

 

Bank Left and Bank Right

 

These focus the unit on groups of tracks, busses, or parameters.

Finally, and closest to you, are the last group of four buttons, usually used for controlling Sonar’s transport functions:

 

Rewind and Fast Forward

Stop and Play

 

Please take a moment now to find the two shift modifiers, Upper Shift and Lower Shift, and the three groups of buttons in general, then re-read the above if necessary.

 

1.0: Enabling Communication Between BCF2000 and Sonar

 

IMPORTANT! Always turn on the BCF2000 before starting Sonar. You should also turn the BCF2000 off after you exit Sonar or just leave it switched on all the time. Failing to follow this procedure will require you to perform some of the following steps again to re-enable communication.  To get Sonar and the BCF2000 communicating with each other:

 

1.1: Selecting Mackie/sonar Emulation Mode On The BCF2000

 

Put the BCF2000 into Mackie/Sonar emulation mode by holding down the fourth Mute button while you turn the unit on. Feel across the top of the unit, along the row of v-pots, until you get to the fourth v-pot from the left.  Press and hold down the flat rectangular button immediately below that v-pot, while turning on the BCF2000 with the power button.  If successful, the faders will move to the bottom of their travel.  If you have someone sighted around, they can confirm that the display shows the text “MCSo”, as in Mackie Control Sonar.  Turning the BCF2000 off and then on again will pop you right back into this emulation mode and the faders will move to the bottom if they are not already there.  You should only need to select this mode once.  If, for some reason, you need to change back to this emulation mode, or to select one of the other available emulation modes, simply hold down one of the following buttons as you turn the unit on:

 

Strip 1 Mute Button: Native B-Control

Strip 2 Mute Button: Mackie/CueBase

Strip 3 Mute button: Logic Control

Strip 4 Mute button: Mackie/Sonar (the topic of this guide)

Strip 5 Mute button: Baby HUI

 

1.2: Enabling MIDI Ports In Sonar

 

From within Sonar, enable the MIDI ports to which the BCF2000 is connected.  First, go to the Options Menu with ALT+o, and select MIDI Devices. It should be the first item in the menu.  In the lists of available MIDI input and output ports, make sure the ones marked BCF2000 are checked.

 

1.3: Selecting the Control Surface In Sonar

 

Now, tell Sonar you are using a Mackie Control by going to the Options Menu with ALT+o, then select Controllers/Surfaces. Mackie Control is probably not yet listed there, so TAB and then activate the Add Surfaces button to bring up a list of available surfaces, and pick Mackie Control from the list.  Press Tab and make sure the correct input and output ports are selected.

 

1.4: Configuring Mackie Control In Sonar

 

Go to the Tools Menu with ALT+L, and locate the item that says Mackie Control. Hitting Enter on this item will open the properties for your control surface. In this dialog, you can change many aspects of how Sonar and your control surface interact, including channel strip button assignments.  The F1 through F8 assignments in this window dictate what happens in Sonar when you press Upper Shift or Lower Shift simultaneously with the eight Mute buttons.  Also, A and B in this window assign any connected footswitches to functions, such as transport controls like Play and Record.  If you change anything, be sure to save your changes as a preset.  You should be in an empty preset list when the dialog opens, and tabbing should take you to Preset Save and Delete buttons, then on to other options that adjust control surface and Sonar behavior.  For full documentation on Sonar and Mackie Control, press F1 from this screen.  CakeTalking users, press F1 twice quickly.

 

IMPORTANT! Before you close this window with CTRL+F4, SHIFT+TAB until you encounter three checkboxes. Make sure that “Solo selects channel”, “Fader touch selects channel” and “Select Highlights Track” are all checked.  Exit the dialog and load a project into Sonar and you’ll notice that the faders on the control surface move to reflect the volume control positions for the tracks in the project.  At this point, when you first start Sonar, the following buttons should be lit:

 

Control Group Track,

Track Mode,

Stop.

 

These lights indicate that the strips (Control Group Tracks), are in Multi mode (Track Mode) and sonar’s transport is stopped (Stop). If the BCF2000 is in Mackie Control emulation mode and the BCF2000 and Sonar are communicating with each other, then everything is as it should be.

 

2.0: Using Your BCF2000 And Sonar, First Principles

 

Two overarching concepts govern your learning to control Sonar with the BCF2000. These concepts turn up again and again in the rest of this guide, so they will be explained here briefly, before we go any further.

 

First, the control surface can be in one of two overall modes: Multi-Channel mode, and single-Channel mode. In Multi mode, your channel strip controls adjust multiple tracks or busses – for example, tracks one through eight.  Contrast that with Single-channel mode, where many controls are assigned to a single item, such as a track, bus or effect.

 

IMPORTANT: In any single channel mode, simply press a Select button or touch the corresponding fader to focus on a specific track.

 

The second important concept to grasp is focusing the BCF2000 on banks of tracks, busses or parameters. Since the control surface has a limited number of physical controls, two buttons on the unit are used to move the unit’s focus to parameters that would otherwise be out of reach.  For example, the unit only has eight physical faders.  Using the Bank Left and Bank Right buttons, we can access items beyond eight tracks, busses or parameters.  Now, we move on to explore Multi mode, while in Sonar’s track pane.

 

2.1: Track Multi Mode

 

When you first open or create a project in Sonar and are in the track pane, Track Multi is the surface default setting when the BCF is powered up. The eight motorized faders adjust the volume of any of eight tracks at a time.  The v-pots adjust the panning of the same eight tracks, and pressing the Mute button below each of the v-pots mutes or unmutes the respective track.  Also, you can quickly center the panning of a particular track by pressing its corresponding v-pot.  Since we only have eight physical channel strips, how can we access additional tracks in our project?

 

IMPORTANT! Pressing Bank Left and Bank Right changes which tracks in your project are controlled by the eight channel strips. For example, if your project has ten tracks, but your eight strips currently control tracks one through eight, pressing Bank Right moves focus along so you can now adjust tracks nine and ten with your right-most two strips. If you were in a sixteen or thirty-two track project, pressing Bank Right multiple times would allow you to control tracks nine through sixteen, seventeen through twenty-four, and twenty-five through thirty-two.  Press Bank Left to cycle back through your tracks, eight at a time.  To move your channel strip focus one track at a time, add Upper Shift to Bank Left and Bank Right to access their Channel Left and Channel Right functions. So, Upper Shift+Bank Left moves the focus of the unit one track to the left, while Upper Shift+Bank Right moves focus one track to the right.  Please load a project and try this out now.

 

2.2: Strip Buttons

 

The two buttons in each channel strip are assigned as follows:

 

Top button: Mute track

Upper Shift+Mute: Solo track

Lower Shift+Mute 1-8: Mackie function buttons F1 through F8. In Sonar, go to Mackie Control on the Tools Menu to define these to your liking.

 

Bottom button: Select track

Upper Shift+Select: Arm or Disarm track for Recording

Lower Shift+Select 1-8: Mackie function buttons F9 through F16. These are configured as follows:

 

F9: Insert Audio Track

F10: Insert Midi Track

F11: Fit Track to Project

F12: Fit Project to Window

F13: OK button

F14: Cancel button

F15: Move to next open window

F16: Close current window

 

2.3: Controlling Tracks, Busses, and Main Outs

 

By default, when you go into Sonar, the lamp for the Control Group Track button should be lit, and your channel strips control track volumes, pans, mutes etc. The display may show “tr”.

 

Press Upper Shift+Control Group Tracks to engage the Control Group Auxiliary function, which switches your channel strips from controlling tracks to controlling busses. Now your channel strips control your bus volumes, pans, mutes etc. If someone sighted can check the LCD display, it should read “bu”. To return to controlling tracks, press the Control Group Tracks button on its own. The display should read “tr”.

 

Pressing Lower Shift +Control Group Tracks engages the Control Group Main function, which causes your channel strips to control main outputs, and the display should read oP. You may only have two main outs for a stereo setup, or more if you are using a surround sound setup. Again, pressing Control Group Track by itself puts you back to track control “tr” mode.

 

REMINDER: If you are controlling multiple busses after pressing Upper Shift+Control Group Tracks, and you want to access busses beyond the first eight in your project, use the Bank Left and Bank Right buttons just as you did when working with banks of tracks.  Switch focus a single bus at a time by pressing Upper Shift+Bank Left and Upper Shift+Bank Right, similar to how you did with tracks.

 

2.4 Reassigning V-Pots

 

In Multi mode, you can control the same parameter on multiple tracks or busses using the v-pots.  The v-pots are assigned to the pan parameter by default.  This assignment can be changed though, to almost any parameter. To reassign the v-pots to control another on multiple tracks or busses, go into Edit mode by pressing Upper Shift+M1.  Now, use Upper Shift+Bank Left and Upper Shift+Bank Right to cycle forward and backward through the available parameters, one at a time.  For example, pressing Upper Shift+Bank Right once will assign the v-pots to control the Output Selection parameter.  Predictably, pressing Upper Shift+Bank Left returns them to controlling pan, and another press of Upper Shift+Bank Left switches them to the volume parameter.  When you are done changing the v-pot assignment, leave Edit mode by pressing Upper Shift+M1 again.

 

The parameter order for audio tracks, going left to right, is: volume, pan, output, input, phase, mono/stereo, input monitor, send 1 on/off, send 1 level, send 1 pan, send 1 pre/post, send 2 on/off, etc.  Obviously, if you have no sends on your tracks or busses, the available parameters stop at input monitor.  The list of available parameters for MIDI tracks is different, but the procedure for assigning the v-pots to controlling them is the same.

 

2.6 Multi- Versus Single-Channel Mode

 

So far, we have used the BCF2000 to control multiple tracks, busses and main outs.  However, we can also put the BCF2000 into Single-Channel mode, which assigns the v-pots to control all parameters on a single track or bus.  Where Multi mode allows us to control a few parameters on many tracks or busses at a time, Single mode tightens the focus to a single track or bus.  The good thing here is that the order which parameters are assigned to the v-pots for a single track or bus, is exactly the same left to right order given in the previous section of this guide.  In Single mode, your left-most v-pot controls volume, the next v-pot to the right controls pan, the next controls output selection, etc.  To switch the BCF2000 between Multi and Single modes, press Track Mode.  In Single mode, the unit now controls multiple parameters of the currently selected track or bus in your project.

 

At this point, you may be wondering how, if we only have eight physical v-pots, we can access additional track or bus parameters.  Do you remember how the Bank Left and Bank Right buttons moved us through groups of tracks or busses when the unit was in Multi mode?  The same buttons let us select additional groups of parameters to assign to our v-pots in Single mode.  First, go into Edit Mode with Upper Shift+M1, then use Bank Right to access the next eight track or bus parameters.  Pressing Bank Left scrolls back to previous groups of parameters.  Continuing the similarity with Multi mode, adding Upper Shift to Bank Left and Bank Right allows you to move by one parameter at a time.  When done, press Upper Shift+M1 again to get out of Edit mode.  Hopefully you are starting to notice a pattern here.

 

2.7: Partial Summary

 

Let’s summarize what we have covered so far.  Use Control Group Tracks to control tracks, Upper Shift+Control Group Tracks to control busses and Lower Shift+Control Group Tracks to control main outs.  Upper Shift+M1 takes you in and out of Edit mode.  Use Bank Left and Bank Right to scroll through banks of tracks, busses and parameters.  Add Upper Shift to Bank Left and Bank Right to move one item at a time with any of these.  The Track Mode button switches between Multi and Single modes.

 

NOTE: BCF2000 display items contain a period “.” When the unit is in Single mode. For example, when you are controlling tracks in Multi mode, the display shows “TR”; but when you are in Single mode, there is also a period “TR.”

 

3.0: Controlling Equalizer Parameters, Introduction

 

Unfortunately, many BCF2000 users don’t explore beyond what we have covered so far.  This is unfortunate, since adjusting equalizer parameters with physical controls is far more intuitive than using keyboard hotkeys which adjust things in discrete steps.  Adjusting EQ with actual v-pots and faders is probably as useful to us as automating volume and pan moves.  The Multi and Single mode principle applies when adjusting EQ as well, and we will cover Multi mode first.

 

3.1: EQ Multi

 

Press the EQ Mode button once.  The display should read “E1”.  If it reads “E1.” With a period instead, press the Track Mode button to get back into Multi mode.  In E1 Multi, your v-pots now control a parameter each, one parameter for each of eight track’s or bus’ EQ.  By default, the parameter assigned to your v-pots is Band 1 frequency.

 

TIP: A little forethought and planning can make this mode more useful during a mixing session than it first appears. If you always use band 1 of the per track or bus EQ to control low frequencies, with a shelf or cut type filter, this mode is a handy way to adjust that particular aspect of your tracks and busses.

 

To change which parameter is assigned to the v-pots, go into Edit mode with Upper Shift+M1.  Use Bank Left and Bank Right to move by groups of eight parameters, and add Upper Shift to switch by one parameter at a time.  The parameter order is: bands 1-4 frequency, bands 1-4 Q, bands 1-4 gain, bands 1-4 on/off, bands 1-4 filter type, and, finally, EQ on/off.

 

3.2: EQ Single

 

EQ Single mode is more useful.  Press EQ Mode  again (your second press); the display reads “E1.”  Note the period.  The v-pots now control eight EQ parameters for the currently selected track or bus.  You can now control all four EQ band frequencies, q values, gains, enable/disable and filter type controls.  You cannot change the order of these parameters without editing the MackieControl.ini file (see below), but you can step through them in the usual way, with Upper Shift+Bank Left and Upper Shift+Bank Right whilst in Edit mode.  The parameter order is the same as in the previous section, for EQ Multi, given above.

 

3.3: EQ Fader Mode

 

EQ is the only situation where we have a third BCF2000 mode available to us.  Press EQ Mode a third time, and the display shows “F1”.  Your left-most four faders now control the gain control for EQ bands 1-4, while the corresponding v-pots control bands 1-4 frequency.  This is the most intuitive set-up for fine-tuning the per track or bus EQ.  Press the Track Mode button twice to return to track Multi.

 

4.0: Pan Mode

 

Press Pan Mode to put the BCF2000 in Pan Multi mode, and the display shows “PN”.  The eight v-pots control pan for groups of eight tracks or busses.  Go into Edit mode (Upper Shift+M1), then Upper Shift+Bank Right assigns the v-pots to control the pan parameter of your first track or bus send.  Press Upper Shift+Bank Right again to assign the v-pots to Send 2 pan.  Upper Shift+Bank Left reverses direction, until you are once again adjusting track and bus pans.

 

4.1: Pan Single

 

Pressing Pan Mode a second time puts the unit in pan single mode – and the v-pots now control all available pans for a single track or bus. The left-most v-pot controls main pan, the next v-pot controls send 1 pan, the next controls send 2 pan, etc.  Press Track Mode twice to return to track Multi.

 

5.0: Sends Multi Mode

 

Press Sends Mode once.  The display should read “SE”, and your v-pots now control Send 1 volume for eight tracks or busses.  To change this parameter assignment, go into Edit mode, and use the bank up/down buttons, with or without the Upper Shift, to assign the v-pots to a different Send parameter.  For instance, the previous parameter is Send 1 on/off.  The next parameter is Send 1 Pan.  If you have more than eight sends, you can jump to them using the bank up/down buttons without the added Upper Shift button.  Press Track Mode twice to return to track multi.

 

5.1: Sends Single Mode

 

6.0: Dynamics Mode

 

To control the Sonitus Compressor plug-in in the same manner as Sonar’s track EQ, you will need to edit a text file.  Navigate to your Cakewalk\Shared Surfaces folder, and locate the file MackieControl.ini.  Before going any further, back this up for piece of mind by renaming this file something like MackieControl-Backup.ini.  Open a text editor such as Notepad, and load the file, saving it as MackieControl.ini.  You now have a copy to modify and a backup copy in case you wish to reverse any changes.

 

At the top of the file where plug-ins are defined, find the line which reads

 

5=CompressorX (Sonar XL)

 

And change it to read

 

5=Compressor

 

Now scroll down until you reach the section where the compressor plug-in is defined.  It starts with this line.

 

[CompressorX (Sonar XL)]

 

Change this line and the lines which follow it to match the description, below. Copy and paste is recommended for safe operation.

 

[Compressor]

PluginType=2

NumVPots=10

VPot0=0,level,1.0   ; Threshold

VPot1=1,level,0   ; Ratio

VPot2=2,level,0   ; Knee

VPot3=3,level,0.5   ; Gain

VPot4=4,level,0.01   ; Attack

VPot5=5,level,0.05   ; Release

VPot6=6,switch   ; TCSelect aOn/Off

VPot7=8,switch   ; Limiter On/Off

VPot8=7,switch   ; Type Normal/vintage

VPot9=9,switch   ; Output Audio/Sidechain

 

Now, with the Sonitus Compressor inserted on one of your tracks, press Upper Shift+EQ Mode to enter Dynamics multi mode.  Press Upper Shift+EQ Mode a second time to enter dynamics single mode.  Press Track Mode twice to return to Track Multi.

 

NOTE: The comments in the file MackieControl.ini explain what each line is for, and you can now map your plug-ins to the BCF2000 to your heart’s content.

 

7.0: Plug-ins Mode

 

The instructions in this section will be more vague than in previous sections. How you interact with your plug-ins using the control surface depends on the particular plug-ins in use, and how you have them mapped to the control surface as outlined in the file MackieControl.ini.  Look at how you typically like to work, which Plug-ins you use, how much control they offer, and organize things exactly how you want using Sonar templates, and by defining things exactly how you want them in the .ini file.

 

7.1: Plug-ins Multi

 

Press Upper Shift+Track Mode once.  The display should read “P1”.  By default, you are now controlling the EQ.  This is similar to the EQ mode discussed earlier in this guide, but the EQ fader mode option is not available here.

 

To advance to your first plug-in, make sure you are in Edit mode first with Upper Shift+M1.  Now press and hold M1 and Upper Shift (it’s very important to press M1 first), and with these held down, tap the Bank Right button.  The display should now say “P2” as in plug-in 2.  Your v-pots now control the first parameter of your first plug-in inserted on the currently selected bank of eight tracks or busses.  If there is no plug-in inserted on some of those tracks or busses, the corresponding v-pots will be unassigned.  The actual parameter assignments will vary depending on which plug-ins you are using.

 

7.2: Plug-ins Single

 

Press Upper Shift+Track Mode a second time.  You are now in Plug-in single mode.  If you carried out the instructions in the previous section, the display should now read “P2.” And your v-pots are assigned to the first eight parameters of your first plug-in, inserted on the currently selected track or bus.  Of course, as in other modes, you can go into edit mode and step through parameters with the Bank Left/Right buttons, with or without Upper Shift.

 

To access subsequent plug-ins on the track or bus, press and hold M1 then add Upper Shift, then press Bank Right.  The display will change to “P3.” P4.” Etc. up to a maximum of nine plug-ins.  Press and hold M1 then add Upper Shift and press Bank Left to scroll back down the plug-ins.  Press Track Mode twice to return to Track Multi.

 

7.3: Suggested Plug-in Order

 

The following example is only one possible plug-in mapping for your MackieControl.ini file.  Paste as necessary, and of course modify whatever you need for your own way of working.

 

At the top of the file, insert this:

9=Compressor
10=Equalizer
11=Modulator
12=Delay
13=Lexicon Pantheon
14=Multiband

In the body, insert this:

[Compressor]
PluginType=2
NumVPots=10
VPot0=0,level,1.0 ; Threshold
VPot1=1,level,0 ; Ratio
VPot2=2,level,0 ; Knee
VPot3=3,level,0.5 ; Gain
VPot4=4,level,0.01 ; Attack
VPot5=5,level,0.05 ; Release
VPot6=8,switch ; Limiter On/Off
VPot7=6,switch ; TCSelect aOn/Off
VPot8=7,switch   ; Type Normal/vintage

VPot9=9,switch   ; Output Audio/Sidechain


[Equalizer]
PluginType=1
NumVPots=30
VPot0=24,boost/cut,0.5 ; Band 1 Gain
VPot1=25,boost/cut,0.5 ; Band 2 Gain
VPot2=26,boost/cut,0.5 ; Band 3 Gain
VPot3=27,boost/cut,0.5 ; Band 4 Gain
VPot4=28,boost/cut,0.5 ; Band 5 Gain
VPot5=29,boost/cut,0.5 ; Band 6 Gain
VPot7=30,boost/cut,0.5 ; Gain
VPot8=12,freq,0.11 ; Band 1 Freq
VPot9=13,freq,0.24 ; Band 2 Freq
VPot10=14,freq,0.45 ; Band 3 Freq
VPot11=15,freq,0.65 ; Band 4 Freq
VPot12=16,freq,0.84 ; Band 5 Freq
VPot13=17,freq,0.95 ; Band 6 Freq
VPot16=18,spread,0.2 ; Band 1 Q
VPot17=19,spread,0.2 ; Band 2 Q
VPot18=20,spread,0.2 ; Band 3 Q
VPot19=21,spread,0.2 ; Band 4 Q
VPot20=22,spread,0.2 ; Band 5 Q
VPot21=23,spread,0.2 ; Band 6 Q
VPot24=0,switch ; Band 1 On/Off
VPot25=1,switch ; Band 2 On/Off
VPot26=2,switch ; Band 3 On/Off
VPot27=3,switch ; Band 4 On/Off
VPot28=4,switch ; Band 5 On/Off
VPot29=5,switch ; Band 6 On/Off

[Modulator]
PluginType=0
NumVPots=10
VPot0=1,level,0.01 ; Rate
VPot1=6,level,0 ; Phase
VPot2=2,level,0.16 ; Depth
VPot3=3,level,0.13 ; Delay
VPot4=4,level,0.1 ; Feedback
VPot5=5,level,0.1 ; Crossmix
VPot6=7,level,0.2 ; Mix
VPot7=8,level,0.86 ; Output
VPot8=0,level,0.2 ; Mode
VPot9=9,level,0.2 ; LFO

[Delay]
PluginType=0
NumVPots=16
VPot0=0,level,0.11 ; Delay Left
VPot1=2,level,0.15 ; Feedback Left
VPot2=3,level,0.15 ; Cross Feed Left
VPot3=4,level,0.2 ; Mix Left
VPot4=5,level,0.11 ; Delay Left
VPot5=7,level,0.15 ; Feedback Left
VPot6=8,level,0.15 ; Cross Feed Left
VPot7=9,level,0.2 ; Mix Left
VPot8=1,level,0.06 ; Factor Left
VPot9=6,level,0.06 ; Factor Right
VPot10=10,level,0.4 ; Diffusion Time
VPot11=11,level,0 ; Diffusion Amount
VPot12=12,level,0 ; Low Freq
VPot13=13,level,0 ; Low Q
VPot14=14,level,1 ; High Freq
VPot15=15,level,0 ; High Q

[Lexicon Pantheon]
PluginType=0
NumVPots=10
VPot0=0,level,0.1 ; Dampening
VPot1=6,level,0.2 ; Mix
VPot2=7,level,1 ; Level
VPot3=4,level,0.5 ; Regeneration
VPot4=5,level,0.03 ; Delay
VPot5=3,level,0.6 ; Diffusion
VPot6=1,level,0.05 ; Bass Boost
VPot7=2,level,0.01 ; Bass Freq

[Reverb]
PluginType=0
NumVPots=16
VPot0=0,level,0.85 ; Input Level
VPot1=1,level,0.01 ; Low Cut
VPot2=2,level,0.16 ; High Cut
VPot3=3,level,0 ; Pre Delay
VPot4=4,level,0.5 ; Room Size
VPot5=5,level, 0.5 ; Diffusion
VPot6=6,level,0.28 ; Bass Multiplier
VPot7=7,level,0.24 ; Cross over
VPot8=8,level,0.07 ; Decay Time
VPot9=9,level,0.16 ; High Dampening
VPot10=10,level,0.85 ; Dry
VPot11=11,level,0.77 ; E.R.
VPot12=12,level,0.57 ; Reverb
VPot13=13,level,1 ; Stereo Spread
VPot14=15,switch ; Dry Mute
VPot15=17,switch ; Reverb Mute

[Multiband]
PluginType=0
NumVPots=56
VPot0=4,level,0.2 ; Freq 1
VPot1=18,level,1 ; Threshold 1
VPot2=23,level,0.5 ; Ratio 1
VPot3=28,level,0.3 ; Knee 1
VPot4=33,level,0.5 ; Gain 1
VPot5=38,level,0.4 ; Attack 1
VPot6=43,level,0.05 ; Release 1
VPot7=48,switch ; Type 1
VPot8=5,level,0.4 ; Freq 2
VPot9=19,level,1 ; Threshold 2
VPot10=24,level,0.5 ; Ratio 2
VPot11=29,level,0.3 ; Knee 2
VPot12=34,level,0.5 ; Gain 2
VPot13=39,level,0.4 ; Attack 2
VPot14=44,level,0.05 ; Release 2
VPot15=49,switch ; Type 2
VPot16=6,level,0.6 ; Freq 3
VPot17=20,level,1 ; Threshold 3
VPot18=25,level,0.5 ; Ratio 3
VPot19=30,level,0.3 ; Knee 3
VPot20=35,level,0.5 ; Gain 3
VPot21=40,level,0.4 ; Attack 3
VPot22=45,level,0.05 ; Release 3
VPot23=50,switch ; Type 3
VPot24=7,level,0.8 ; Freq 4
VPot25=21,level,1 ; Threshold 4
VPot26=26,level,0.5 ; Ratio 4
VPot27=31,level,0.3 ; Knee 4
VPot28=36,level,0.5 ; Gain 4
VPot29=41,level,0.4 ; Attack 4
VPot30=46,level,0.05 ; Release 4
VPot31=51,switch ; Type 4
VPot33=22,level,1 ; Threshold 5
VPot34=27,level,0.5 ; Ratio 5
VPot35=32,level,0.3 ; Knee 5
VPot36=37,level,0.5 ; Gain 5
VPot37=42,level,0.4 ; Attack 5
VPot38=47,level,0.05 ; Release 5
VPot39=52,switch ; Type 5
VPot43=8,switch ; Solo1
VPot44=9,switch ; Solo2
VPot45=10,switch ; Solo3
VPot46=11,switch ; Solo4
VPot47=12,switch ; Solo5
VPot51=13,switch ; Bypass1
VPot52=14,switch ; Bypass2
VPot53=15,switch ; Bypass3
VPot54=16,switch ; Bypass4
VPot55=17,switch ; Bypass5

 

We have now covered six Sonar modes: track/bus, EQ, Pan, Send, dynamics and Plug-in.  We have looked at these six modes in two ways, multi-channel and single-channel.  We have learned how, from within Edit mode, bank Left/Right buttons move through banks of tracks and parameters, or one item at a time if the Upper Shift button is added to Bank Left/Right.

 

7.4: Flip Mode

 

One more feature is worth exploring, before we finish our discussion of Sonar modes.  Flip mode flips the assignments between your faders and v-pots .  Press Lower Shift+M1 to activate Flip.  The first press duplicates the v-pot assignments on your faders.  The second press of Lower Shift+M1 swaps assignments, so your faders now control what the v-pots were assigned to, and your v-pots now control what the faders were assigned to.  The third press of Lower Shift+M1 returns to the default.

 

Here’s an example.  In track Multi, with the faders normally assigned to track volumes and v-pots assigned to track pans, pressing Lower Shift+M1 assigns both v-pots and faders to pans.  The second press of Lower Shift+M1 swaps the assignments, so v-pots now control volumes and faders control pans.  The third press of Lower Shift+M1 returns things to their default, with faders controlling volume and v-pots controlling pan.  You can activate these duplicate or swap functions with Lower Shift+M1 in any of the six Sonar modes, with the results depending on your v-pot assignments.

 

8.0: Transport Modes

 

Similar to how switching Sonar mode changes what is assigned to the v-pots , switching Transport modes changes how the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons respond.  The transport controls are the Rewind, Fast Forward, Stop and Play buttons, the bottom four on the right-hand panel of buttons.

 

There are five Transport modes available. Play is the default.  The remaining four are marker, select, loop and punch.  They are covered below.  You can jump directly from one transport mode to another – you don’t have to enter and exit each mode.

 

NOTE: For those who have sighted assistance available, you can see which transport mode is active by pressing and holding Lower Shift and observing which transport buttons are lit. For example, Fast Forward for Marker mode.

 

8.1: Play Mode

 

Play mode is on by default.  Press Play to start playback.  Press Play again to pause, so Play is a simple toggle.  Press Stop to stop and rewind to your last start position.  Press Rewind to move backwards by one measure and Fast Forward to move forward by the same amount.  The resolution for the rewind and fast forward functions is set in the Mackie Control dialog, and can be set to measures, beats or ticks (measures is the default).  Press Upper Shift+Rewind to go to the beginning of the project.  Press and hold M1+Upper Shift then Rewind to go to the end of the project.

 

Press Upper Shift+Play to start or stop recording.  You must first select and arm at least one track before recording.  Remember, you can do this by pressing Upper Shift along with the Select button on a strip for a particular track.  So, press Upper Shift+Select to arm a track or tracks, then Upper Shift+Play to start and stop recording.

 

8.2: Marker Mode

 

Marker mode is for inserting and navigating among markers in a project.  Pressing Lower Shift+Fast Forward takes you into Marker Mode.  The Rewind and Fast Forward buttons now move us between previous and next markers.  Upper Shift+Rewind still takes us to the project start and M1+Upper Shift, Rewind still takes us to its end.  M1+Lower Shift, Fast Forward inserts a marker at the current position, and works in any BCF2000 mode.

 

8.3: Select Mode

 

In select mode, we can use the transport controls to set from and through times, and select tracks.  To jump to Select mode, press Lower Shift+Rewind.  Rewind and Fast Forward now jump to the from and through times, if they are set.  Add M1 to Rewind and Fast Forward to set the from and through times, respectively.

 

Here is an example.  Let’s say we want to select from measure 10 to measure 30 in our project.  Assuming you are in Play mode, use Rewind and Fast Forward to get to measure 10.  Press Lower Shift+Rewind to enter Select mode.  Press M1+Rewind to set the from time.  Press Lower Shift+Rewind again to exit Select mode.  Press Fast Forward to get to measure 30.  Pressing Lower Shift+Rewind again re-enters Select mode, and then pressing M1+Fast Forward sets the Through time at measure 30.  Try this a few times and it will soon become as natural as JSonar or CakeTalking keystrokes.

 

Once the From and Through times are set, press Lower Shift+M1+Rewind to toggle between selecting and deselecting the area between them.  If you don’t have From and Through selected, Lower Shift+M1+Rewind selects the entire track.

 

TIP: Set up one of your function buttons (F1-F8 in the Mackie Control dialog) to “select none”, to cancel From and Through times.

 

8.4: Loop Mode

 

Press Lower Shift+Stop to enter and exit Loop mode.  Rewind and Fast Forward now jump to the start and end loop points, if they are defined.  Press M1+Rewind to set the loop start point, and M1+Fast Forward to set the loop end point.  Remember to go into Play mode before using Rewind  and Fast Forward to move from measure to measure, then back into Loop mode with Lower Shift+Stop before setting your loop’s start or end points.

 

From any mode, press Upper Shift+Stop to toggle the loop on and off.  Also from any mode, press M1+Upper Shift+Stop to open the Loop/Auto Shuffle dialog box.

 

8.5: Punch Mode

 

Press Lower Shift+Play to enter and exit Punch mode.  Rewind and Fast Forward buttons now jump to punch in and out points, if they are set.  Press M1+Rewind to set punch in, and M1+Fast Forward to set punch out.

 

IMPORTANT: Setting the your second punch point, be it punch in or punch out, will automatically ready the marked punch area for recording. As in other transport modes, you need to first exit Punch mode with Lower Shift+Play before using rewind and fast forward for their normal functions.  In any mode M1+Lower Shift+Play opens the Record Options dialog box.

 

TIP: Set one of your function buttons to toggle the punch region selection status.

 

9.0: Automation

 

Many of you know that you can enable the writing of automation data to a track by activating a button with keyboard commands, then move faders and v-pots on your control surface during playback to create that automation data.  But, we can do more than that with the BCF2000.  Here’s a list of button presses, followed by more explanation.

 

Take an automation snapshot by pressing Lower Shift+EQ Mode.  Toggle read automation on and off with Lower Shift+Pan Mode.  Upper Shift+M1+ Play toggles automation write on and off.  Lower Shift+Track Mode toggles between offset and envelope mode.  You can arm a volume control for automation by holding Upper Shift+M1 and pressing the appropriate v-pot.  Arm the current v-pot assignment with Upper Shift+M1 whilst turning the v-pot.

 

Lower Shift+Sends Mode disarms controls which were previously armed for automation.

 

9.1: Arming Multiple Controls For Automation in Multi Mode

 

Multiple controls can be quickly armed for automation.  Here’s an example which assumes you have the unit in track multi mode.

 

Go into Edit with Upper Shift+M1. Your v-pots are assigned to track pans by default.  Press and hold Upper Shift+M1, then press the Select button on each channel strip whose volume you want to automate.  Press Upper Shift then press the v-pot on each channel whose pan you want to automate.

 

If your tracks have sends, assign the v-pots to send levels by releasing M1, continuing to hold Upper Shift, and pressing Bank Right seven times. Now, arm the send level controls by pressing Upper Shift+M1 then press the v-pot for each track whose send level you wish to automate.

 

Note that all send levels will arm. If you wish to automate Send pan controls, assign the v-pots to Send pans by releasing M1, continue holding Upper Shift and press Bank Right once more.  Press Upper Shift+M1 then press the v-pot for each track whose Send pan you wish to automate.

 

Note that all Send pans will be armed.

 

9.2: Arming Multiple Controls In Single Mode

 

Now, let’s arm multiple controls on a single track.  Put the BCF2000 into Single-channel mode, then go into Edit mode.  Your v-pots are now assigned to the parameters of the current track.  The order of these parameters was given earlier in this guide, in the final paragraph of section 2.5.  Hold down Upper Shift+M1 and press the v-pots which you wish to automate.  Remember to use the Bank Left and Right buttons, with or without Upper Shift, to step through the available parameters.

 

10: Miscellaneous Functions

 

There are some more keyboard shortcuts which have BCF2000 equivalents.  I don’t think they are that useful as control surface functions, but they are listed here for the sake of completeness.  If you don’t want to move between the keyboard and control surface quite so often, this section is for you.

 

First, you can assign a number of different functions to Upper Shift+Mute 1-Mute 8 in the Mackie Control Dialog, found on the Tools Menu.

 

Holding down M1+Upper Shift then pressing Select 1 performs a Cut. M1+Upper Shift+Select 2 is copy and M1+Upper Shift+Select 3 is paste.  M1+Upper Shift+Select 4 is delete.  Select 5 is space.  Select 6 is ALT.  Select 7 is TAB, and Select 8 is back.

 

Lower Shift+Bank Left is Undo, the same as selecting Undo from the Edit menu. Likewise, Lower Shift+Bank Right is Redo.

 

Lower Shift+v-pot1 inserts a new audio track. Lower Shift+v-pot 2 inserts a new MIDI track.  Lower Shift+v-pot3 fits tracks to view.  Lower Shift+v-pot4 fits project to view.  Lower Shift+v-pot5 activates the OK button in dialogs, and Lower Shift+v-pot6 activates a dialog’s Cancel button.  Lower Shift+v-pot7 goes to the next window (like Control+Tab), and Lower Shift+v-pot8 closes the current window (like Control+F4).

 

11: Conclusion

 

Thank you for reading this guide.  I hope it has helped you explore beyond the basic functionality of your control surface.  If you find any mistakes in this guide, please contact me at csmart8@cogeco.ca immediately, so I can fix the error.  Feel free to redistribute this guide, although I ask that you don’t go changing the text.  If you have something to contribute or a proposed change, e-mail me.

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