MachineControl 2.0 with Pro Tools Systems for Mac OS X

Digidesign's MachineControl option version 2.0 is officially supported with Pro Tools TDM systems with Pro Tools 6 and higher on Mac OS X and Windows XP. For more information, see the following pages in the Products section of the website:


  • An iLok USB Hardware Key is required for MachineControl 2.0 authorization
  • New boxed purchases of MachineControl include an iLok License Card
  • iLok USB Hardware Key sold separately, available from your Authorized Digidesign Dealer or the DigiStore
  • An iLok USB Hardware Key is included with all Pro Tools|HD core systems
  • Digidesign iLok Information Page

Machine Communication Modes

MachineControl supports two machine communication modes, Remote Deck Emulation and Serial Control mode.

Remote Deck Emulation Mode

Remote Deck Emulation mode lets a 9-pin master machine control Pro Tools playback, cueing, and record-arming of tracks. Remote deck emulation mode is qualified for use with the following controllers:

  • Soundmaster ION/ATOM
  • Colin Broad SR4
  • Tamura IZM-806
  • JSK MS-2901

Not Tested:

  • Timeline Microlynx
  • Timeline KCU, Lynx, Lynx2

Controller Connection on Mac OS X

  • Remote Deck Emulation Mode is not supported by the SYNC I/O or the serial ports of the HD core, HD Accel, HD Process, MIX core, or MIX farm cards. In order to use the 9-pin remote deck emulation with Pro Tools, you must connect the remote controller to your Pro Tools system with the Keyspan USA-28x USB-to-Serial adapter with Keyspan USB Serial Adapter Software for Mac OS X Version 1.4 or higher, available here:

Serial Control Mode

Serial Control mode lets Pro Tools not only control an external machine, but also receive time code position using only the serial cable. It can also be used to arm tracks of external machines from within Pro Tools.

Known Issues with MachineControl 2.0 for Mac OS X

  • When using Serial Control mode, the SYNC I/O's 9-pin ports can be used, as well as the Keyspan USA-28x USB-to-Serial adapter. Note: Different ports have different response capabilities with MachineControl. In Digidesign's internal testing we have found the best response on the widest amount of decks when using the Keyspan USB adapter.
  • When using a Power Mac G4 "FW800", MachineControl requires a third party USB Card for use with Keyspan USB serial adaptors. With this configuration, the Keyboard/Mouse should also be connected to the third-party USB card. The following USB PCI cards are qualified for use with the Keyspan USB-to-serial adapter and MachineControl on Power Mac G4 "FW800" computers:
    • SIIG 2 port USB card
    • D-Link DU 520 (5 ports-4 external 1 internal)
    • Keyspan USB 1 card (UPCI-2)
  • The Keyspan USA-28x USB-to-Serial adapter is NOT supported for use with MIDI devices with Pro Tools
  • Modem-to-serial port adapters have not been tested with MachineControl and Pro Tools 6.0 and higher and are therefore not supported

Digidesign Compatibility Documents Index