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Midi CC learn with control surface

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Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby kinglouis » Fri May 29, 2020 4:18 pm

Hi all

I have a new icon Platform M+ control surface which feels lovely and robust. It works very nicely except for the principle reason I bought it for which was to control VI parameters. For example to control vibrato on a Spitfire cello.

When I Ctrl-click on a parameter, 'Learn Midi CC# automation' comes up. If I Ctrl-click and move a fader on the Platform M+, whilst the movement is 'seen' by Logic, it doesn't pick it up as a CC controller.

If I move a fader on my Arturia little keyboard, Logic accepts that as the new CC controller for that parameter, so I don't *think* its a Logic issue.

Any help very warmly appreciated, its been a bit of bind.

Alex
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby desmond » Fri May 29, 2020 10:44 pm

I'm unclear as to what you are trying to do - as there are many ways to make knobs control stuff in Logic.

Are you saying that, in Kontakt (as you mention Spitfire libraries), you are trying to use Kontakt's MIDI learn system to learn incoming MIDI CC's to Kontakt parameters?

Or something else?
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 29, 2020 11:05 pm

Is logic recognising it as a fader bank (via Mackie HUI or something) rather than a generic midi controller?
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby desmond » Fri May 29, 2020 11:29 pm

Basically, Logic blocks MIDI coming in from control surface assigned MIDI ports to the sequencer, for obvious reasons, which is why you can’t in plugins map Incoming MIDI to parameters - it won’t arrive.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby kinglouis » Sat May 30, 2020 10:06 am

Thanks both

Are you saying that, in Kontakt (as you mention Spitfire libraries), you are trying to use Kontakt's MIDI learn system to learn incoming MIDI CC's to Kontakt parameters?

Exactly that. So if I want to control the Vibrato and Expression at the same time as playing, I can play the keyboard with one hand, and use the faders on the control surface to move the vibrato and expression controllers with the other hand. I know this is possible via Control-click as I can happily use the faders on my Arturia keyboard to do it - but they're too small to be much use for this application, hence buying the icon.

I have unplugged the Arturia to ensure that there isn't a conflict, but I don't think there was anyway.

blinddrew wrote:Is logic recognising it as a fader bank (via Mackie HUI or something) rather than a generic midi controller?
Yes, it recognises the icon as a Mackie control.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby desmond » Sat May 30, 2020 10:13 am

kinglouis wrote:Exactly that.

Ok, this is using individual plugins' own MIDI learn to control their own parameters.

You can't directly use your control surface for this specific use case, because you've told Logic "this is a control surface" and so it's MIDI in/out activity is reserved for control surface use, for for general MIDI purposes. Traffic on MIDI ports to/from control surfaces is segrated from normal MIDI as in general you don't want to record this data or have it interfere with regular MIDI data for sequencing.

So you put your plug into "listen for incoming MIDI" mode, and it will never see any MIDI data generated from your control surface, as it's reserved for the control protocol only.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby kinglouis » Sat May 30, 2020 3:29 pm

Thanks Desmond.

So am I right in thinking that you’re saying that I can either have the icon work as a mixing desk, controlling faders and pots, OR have it as a general midi controller, talking to VIs etc. But not both at the same time.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby The Elf » Sat May 30, 2020 4:16 pm

kinglouis wrote:Thanks Desmond.

So am I right in thinking that you’re saying that I can either have the icon work as a mixing desk, controlling faders and pots, OR have it as a general midi controller, talking to VIs etc. But not both at the same time.
It's a restriction of this kind of device - and one that is often overlooked.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby desmond » Sat May 30, 2020 5:00 pm

kinglouis wrote:So am I right in thinking that you’re saying that I can either have the icon work as a mixing desk, controlling faders and pots, OR have it as a general midi controller, talking to VIs etc. But not both at the same time.

I don't know this particular controller, but it looks like it offers a subset of MCU functionality - basically, fader banks, volume, pans, transport controls and so on, and doesn't feature any of the MCU's plugin editing features. Which means straightaway, if you want it to do more, you'll have to do some work to map in additional features on top of what it already can do - and that won't be simple.

The Elf wrote:It's a restriction of this kind of device - and one that is often overlooked.

Without diving in deep, I'm not sure what it can or can't support. In Logic, there are many ways of doing these things. What you will be fighting against is that it has a limited number of controls which are mostly essential. So you can't easily change those controls to do different things without assessing the implications on how it works in general. Plus, this kind of controller hacking is very deep stuff which isn't suitable for everyone.

Now, I have a little controller which has a great feature for my needs - in "Factory" mode, it operates as a MCU/HUI on a HUI virtual MIDI port. But then you hit "User", and it transmits on a completely different virtual MIDI port. This means I can easily and instantly flip between a standard HUI mode for the mixer, and my custom hacked MCU/C4 plugin controller mode as if they are two completely different devices. It's possible yours does something similar. If you really want to make the effort, then you can bend the controller to your will but it isn't simple to understand how the MCU/Logic is architected under the hood and rig up your own custom handling, especially with such limited controls.

My suggestion would be to use the controller for what it was designed for, rather than trying to do both, and use something else for general MIDI mapping if you really want to do that.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby Ryhad Laurentus » Sat May 30, 2020 9:26 pm

Shame about the stumbling block.
Looking forward, I might recommend a simple app for your phone/tablet like Lemur/TouchOSC.
For just a couple of CC control change messages, you won't find much difficulty setting up a patch. Might save you an unnecessary compromise.
PM if I can help.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby The Elf » Sat May 30, 2020 10:10 pm

I'll add MIDI designer to the iPad/iPhone options. I've made my own MIDI-based control Layouts with it, so I know it to be very capable.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby kinglouis » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:06 am

What a helpful chain; I think I understand now. in layman's terms, if you buy a control surface that is essentially preprogrammed for specific integration into a programme, such as controlling Logic tracks, you need to do some pretty funky under the hood work to make it work in that programme as a general midi controller. You need to break it out of the programming for which it was designed. Sounds like that is way out of my pay grade.

This is essentially what I'm after:

https://store.monogramcc.com

which, although originally designed for photo and video editing, has freely assignable faders and pots which can be used to control multiple VI parameters.

I thank you as always. I also now have a Platform M+ for sale, barely used : )
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:35 am

Something like an Akai LPD8 is perhaps more economical.

There are costlier models with faders. I've been eyeing the MDP232 as a stage controller.
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby desmond » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:42 am

kinglouis wrote:What a helpful chain; I think I understand now. in layman's terms, if you buy a control surface that is essentially preprogrammed for specific integration into a programme, such as controlling Logic tracks, you need to do some pretty funky under the hood work to make it work in that programme as a general midi controller.

Basically, yes - you're buying a controller that has specific semi-intelligent behaviour because that's *better* than a generic controller, with which control is basic, limited, and must be manually programmed.

kinglouis wrote:I also now have a Platform M+ for sale, barely used : )

There's probably nothing stopping you using it as a generic controller if that's what you want to do - remove it from the control surfaces setup window*, and it goes back to being a dumb device that sends MIDI. You may not be able to customise the MIDI data it sends (that depends on whether it has an editor or something which lets you do this), but you can still MIDI learn those things to whatever you want.

(If you do this, and it keeps getting re-installed when you launch Logic, I'll tell you what to do...)
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Re: Midi CC learn with control surface

Postby AndyN » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:13 pm

Hi Kinglouis,

I was looking at the Platform M+ a while back but didn't get one in the end. It does look good though. I found this video very informative. It is for Cubase but I'm sure the basic principles are the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POWngEoyJjI
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