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Old 09-15-2019, 01:52 AM   #1
Colox
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Default How get motorized MIDI controller to adjust to different plugin states?

I'm doing research hoping to start building my own hardware MIDI controller in an not too far off future. I'm so sick and tired of having to wait decades for some manufacturer starting to sell something that's actually useful - to me.

One thing I will need is a synth parameter controller, and I'm using Omnisphere alot, plus a few others. I will need the MIDI controller’s faders and rotaries to all be motorized, so they can change to reflect the current position of different focuses, different synth instances.

But one thing I am not sure of, is the particulars of the information transfer from a software plugin to an external sender/receiver.

For example, say I got Omnisphere loaded on two tracks in Reaper, with different programs in each Omnisphere instance. That means the envelope faders and other parameters will be different between the two instances of Omnisphere. Now, if switch track selection from one Omnisphere track to the other Omnisphere track in Reaper, I will need my MIDI controller to use its motorization to change its controller positions to correspond with the parameters of the NOW selected Omnisphere instance. This is also actual if I change the focus from part 1 to part 2 within Omnisphere.

Question is how to enable this to happen. This is the point of my question, to get an idea of however it is actually possible(?)

I know the controllers in for example Omnisphere has got 2 different values sets. One set is Omnisphere internal, and the other is MIDI. But If I simply switch selected track in Reaper, from one track to the other, I don't think Omnisphere will sense this user action and respond with for example sending out its current state, so I can catch that transmission and have my MIDI controller set automatically. Instead, I'm thinking I may have to get the MIDI controller to query the new instance of Omnisphere? And then I'll need the MIDI controller to sense a selected track focus change, for this to happen truly automatically. *sigh*

Does anyone have any inside info on this, and can help me understand it better or understand where to find better information on this?

thanks
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Last edited by Colox; 09-15-2019 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:11 AM   #2
Gerrit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colox View Post
I'm doing research hoping to start building my own hardware MIDI controller in an not too far off future. I'm so sick and tired of having to wait decades for some manufacturer starting to sell something that's actually useful - to me.

One thing I will need is a synth parameter controller, and I'm using Omnisphere alot, plus a few others. I will need the MIDI controller’s faders and rotaries to all be motorized, so they can change to reflect the current position of different focuses, different synth instances.
Forget about motorised rotaries, yes there are motorised potentiometers for amplifiers but they are far to slow to be of any use in a controller. As for motorised faders, these are expensive and you will not be able to beat the price of commercial units. So don't start a major project like this to save money compared to a commercial unit because you won't.

Quote:
But one thing I am not sure of, is the particulars of the information transfer from a software plugin to an external sender/receiver.

For example, say I got Omnisphere loaded on two tracks in Reaper, with different programs in each Omnisphere instance. That means the envelope faders and other parameters will be different between the two instances of Omnisphere. Now, if switch track selection from one Omnisphere track to the other Omnisphere track in Reaper, I will need my MIDI controller to use its motorization to change its controller positions to correspond with the parameters of the NOW selected Omnisphere instance. This is also actual if I change the focus from part 1 to part 2 within Omnisphere.

Question is how to enable this to happen. This is the point of my question, to get an idea of however it is actually possible(?)

I know the controllers in for example Omnisphere has got 2 different values sets. One set is Omnisphere internal, and the other is MIDI. But If I simply switch selected track in Reaper, from one track to the other, I don't think Omnisphere will sense this user action and respond with for example sending out its current state, so I can catch that transmission and have my MIDI controller set automatically. Instead, I'm thinking I may have to get the MIDI controller to query the new instance of Omnisphere? And then I'll need the MIDI controller to sense a selected track focus change, for this to happen truly automatically. *sigh*

Does anyone have any inside info on this, and can help me understand it better or understand where to find better information on this?
Look into the CSI project if you want to use MIDI, if I'm not mistaken this will take care of the context switching for you.
Another way would be to use OSC to control Reaper, in this case Reaper will take care of the context switching.

There're all kinds of caveats to implementing controllers for plugins which you'll only run into once you get into the details of the implementation. That's the main problem with developing controllers, only when it's finished will it be clear if the controller can actually do all the things you wanted it to do in the way you imagined.
My OSC controller for effect plugins has 16 rotary encoders and two 7" screens for display of parameter names and values, this is fine for effect plugins but not really enough for synths because synth plugins have a lot more parameters so you end up switching pages a lot. I thought about creating a controller for synths or synth plugins but haven't yet figured out a design that would work (for me).

With respect to hardware for creating a controller, look no further than the Teensy (Arduino compatible) microcontroller. It has excellent MIDI capabilities and also do OSC very well.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:08 AM   #3
Colox
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Great tips!

Thx
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:07 AM   #4
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This helped me tremendously, with my X-Touch Compact. It works perfectly, as long as you set it up exactly as stated.

I don't know muc habout the CSI project, and haven't had a lot of luck getting started with it (the windows are too small and won't let me "ok" or "cancel")... but this worked (and still works) flawlessly.
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