You can toggle help mode on/off by pressing the rightmost button three rows down (factory label “UNDO”). When help mode is activated the help button LED will blink and all other buttons are disabled. Pressing any button will show a help text for that button in the MCU LCD display. If the button has multiple key combination functions this is shown with the combo key in brackets (for example [Shift]) followed by a description. The V-Pots and Jog wheel will scroll the text in the LCD display.
The factory button labels on the MCU have been reused as widely as possible in the Podium button layout. But for the buttons that are special to Podium, the help mode is useful as a quick reminder.
Some of the Mackie buttons will simulate key presses on a normal PC keyboard. As long as Podium is running, the buttons can be used to control any application that has the keyboard focus. The buttons that simulate key presses are (from bottom to top on the MCU):
Cursor keys Zoom (Tabulator) Shift, Control, Alt Option (Windows applications key) Cancel (Escape) Enter Global 7 (Undo/Ctrl+Z) Global 8 (Redo/Ctrl+Y) F1-F8
The Shift, Control and Alt keys can be combined with other keys. This means that a large range of the Windows key shortcuts and Podium zoom and edit shortcuts can be simulated on the MCU. Some examples: You can switch to other applications with Alt+Tab, shift between open windows with Ctrl+Tab, close a window with Alt+F4, open the properties dialog with Alt+Enter, navigate lists with the cursor keys, refresh file browsers with F5 etc. When Podium has key focus, you can jump between the different panels and editors with Tab and F1-F8, navigate the lists in the track inspector and assign objects to tracks, navigate events and open editor windows, move events with Ctrl+Cursor keys etc. If you are using a mouse next to the MCU, you can press combinations of the Shift, Control and Alt keys to activate the different mouse zoom tools.
When first starting Podium, the MCU will be in arrangement selection mode. In this mode you can use the V-Pots or Jog wheel to scroll in a list of all arrangements in the project. The LCD display will show the currently selected arrangement. The rightmost button just above the record button (factory label “SOLO”) is the monitor button. This button will blink when in arrangement selection mode, and light constantly when an arrangement is activated. Press the monitor button or press a V-Pot to activate monitoring for the currently selected arrangement. The Podium project windows will show the arrangement. Deactivating monitoring will return the MCU to arrangement selection mode.
When monitoring is activated the MCU will be in mixer mode. In this mode all faders and buttons will become active, and the LCD display will show track names and meters for each fader channel. The group of four fader bank navigation buttons can be used to shift the displayed channels by a full bank or by a single channel.
The group of six buttons above the transport buttons (factory label “AUTOMATION”) controls which tracks are assigned to the faders. The top three buttons selects between master, main and bus return sections. This follows the default layout of the docked master and bus return sections in the Podium mixer. Pressing and holding multiple buttons combines the sections. The display below shows an example of a main track section:
The tracks with names shown on the second line are parameter automation tracks. You can toggle the display of these with the Parameter Tracks button (factory label “LATCH”). The Touch button next to it is used for creating parameter automation tracks. Holding down this button while pressing either a channel select button or a V-Pot will create a new parameter track with the corresponding parameter assigned.
As an alternative to the flat track layout you can enable the group mode button (factory label “GROUP”). This mode will assign tracks to the faders according to the track hierarchy. In this mode the channel 1 fader is assigned the current group, and faders 2-8 are assigned child tracks of the group track. Pressing the fader bank navigation buttons will shift only faders 2-8, leaving the group track always on channel 1. The display below shows an example of group mode:
To quickly navigate between tracks in group mode you use the Group Select button (factory label “GLOBAL VIEW”). Press it to toggle group select mode on/off, after which you can use the select buttons to navigate the hierarchy. Pressing the select button for the Drums track in the previous example will assign the Drums track as the new group track. If you have multiple group layers you can continue downwards in the hierarchy this way. To step up to the parent group press the channel 1 select button.
Instead of toggling group select mode on/off, you can press and hold the group select button while pressing a channel select button. Pressing and holding the group select button while pressing the fader bank navigation buttons will shift the group track to the previous or next group within the parent group.