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Old 04-26-2015, 12:04 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 554
Default MIDI Feedback from Reaper to Novation SL MK II

I've been using Novation SL Remote 25 for four years and never been able to achieve a fully customizable experience out of it.
Recently I've bought myself Novation 61 SL MK II and now I'm trying to beat this two controllers, so they would do the things that I want.
Automap's HUI support for Reaper is awful. You can only get some predefined transports controls (no FFwd or Rwd) and a several pages of mixer control with faders (vol), encoders (pan) and buttons for arm, solo and mute. All other controls are unavaliable to map via Automap interface.
I'm aware about Padre's CSurf plugin existence and he did a great work, but still, I didn't like any of the templates that come with it. The options to customize them are also very low. So, I want my own templates and I want to get rid of the Automap.
Of cause, you can fully customize your SL controller in so called "Advanced mode", but you won't get LEDs and LCD feedback from DAW by using any advanced mode factory templates or templates that are made by user with MK II Template Editor.
There's one exception from this rule. You can control LEDs by MIDI while SL is in Ableton template. You'll get "Ableton is offline" message on LCD, but if you'll send CC40 message with 1 or 0, you can light the LED of the particular button, which is sitting under the first fader, for example.
I've been able to light up any LED on my MK II, even LED rings around the encoders. There are two ways how those rings will react:
1. CC message value from 0 to 10 lights the ring from left to right
2. CC message value 5 to 1 lights ring to the left from the center and 5 to 9 lights led to the right from the center.
It's also possible to light row select buttons (located to the left) via separate messages or by sending CC96 with values from 1 to 31.

For now, this is where I stuck and need your help.

First of all, I want to describe the idea:
1. SL MK II sends MIDI data to OSCII-Bot.
2. OSCII-Bot converts MIDI data to OSC commands and sends them to Reaper's Control Surface plugin (Open Sound Control).
3. Reaper reacts and sends OSC feedback to OSCII-Bot via CSurf plugin.
4. OSCII-Bot converts OSC feedback from Reaper to MIDI CC commands that would light up the corresponding LEDs on MK II.

So user can only write a script for OSCII-Bot, in which he'll describe, how should Reaper react on MIDI data from MK II.
That's the idea for now. If it'll work, then the next thing'll be adding LCD feedback support. This method can also be extended to other Novation's controllers, such as Impulse or Nocturn.

Now, I have some issues.

First is that I need to modify a custom .syx template, made with Template Editor, using some data header from Ableton's .syx template, so that the custom template's LEDs could be controlled by host, like in Ableton template and the LCD won't show error message.
I have no idea how to do this. I'm not a programmer myself, so the only thing I've noticed is the the header from Ableton's .syx template is different from every other .syx templates (FL Studio, Access Virus and so on).
I think that someone could write and alternative editor for .syx templates of just find, which SYSEX messages are used to enable LED feedback to the controller. Then we can use it to make custom templates for our controllers.

Since .syx template is a plain SYSEX commands, this task shouldn't be hard for an experienced programmer, which I'm not.

After that, user can upload modified .syx template to the controller via MIDI cable or via USB (using Template Editor) and be able to make bi-directional Controller<MIDI>OSCII-Bot<OSC>Reaper chain.

With a proper OSCII-Bot script, user can make himself a multi-paged layouts to control Reaper's transport, mixer, VST's and any other actions avaliable in Reaper. The script can also have a SHIFT buttons to expand avaliable controls and have many other features.

So, here's the idea. What do you think about it? Is it possible to achieve what I want, using SL MK II, Reaper and OSCII-Bot? Any comments will be appreciated.

P.S. English isn't my native language, so I apologize for any stylistic or spelling mistakes.

UPD. Here we have an initial version of Moss's Transformator. A powerful tool for all Novation Remote controllers to use them as a control surface for Reaper.

Last edited by fundorin; 05-09-2015 at 08:44 AM. Reason: added link to the first version of Moss's Transformator
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