I'm trying to get some meaningful workflow templates with control surfaces using midi my MIDI controller Vestax VCM 600.
What I understood so far:
- There seem to be at least 5 different ways to control the DAW using midi controllers:
1. creating ACT controller template
2. creating Cakewalk generic controller surface
3. Using Mackie protocol controllers (not my case)
4. Using "remote control" menu of certain channel strip parameters
5. using Keyboard Shortcuts
What I'm trying to achieve:
The 4 different methods I tried to use all had certain limitations, plus not everything seems to work as expected, or I missed soemthing
My goal is to create a flexible control surface, that would work for a templates/track templates as well as for generic projects.
the key features I'm looking to get:
- ability to control most used channel strip parameters,
- global parameters like transport, markers, enabling read/record automation etc.
Specific troubles I encountered that I could not solve (from most severe to less significant)
1. Using MIDI controller for Key bindings in "Keyboard shortcuts" menu
ok I'm lost here completely, I tried using both my Vestax mixer, and a simple midi keyboard, following documentation precisely. To exclude any internal conflict I used midi keyboard, without any control surface for it, just as an active midi keyboard in MIDI devices. I armed a midi track, recorded a short clip with a single note pressed and the piano roll editor told me it's C3. Then I went to keyboard shortcuts menu binded the Play/Pause parameter with C3, after choosing a MIDI option and checked a the "enable" box. No reaction. What am I missing?
The issue is there is no such thing as midi learn or Key" locate" for using midi bindings, so it's a bit of a blind guess. What puzzles me here is , there seem to be no consistency as to what midi note is being produced: a MIDI monitor at my mac computer says it's C1, and the piano roll of cakewalk says it's C3. Of course I tried both C1 and C3, and both of them together as well as all different C notes in all octaves. With Vestax buttons no luck either.
2. I still don't quite understand the ACT thing, there seem to be a very limited amount of channel strip parameters, that can be controlled with it. Ok maybe that's how it suppose to be, BUT! I tried assigning knobs to a channel strip EQ using "focus" mode, and to my surprise I could not find some of the essential parameters in the blue boxes. When I repeated the attempt after dumping the control surface , some of the parameters that were missing showed up, while the others dissapeared (LF gain, HF Freq.... etc)
- It seems that ACT can only control a limited amount of parameters at a time, even when there are plenty of physical knobs on the controller available. And if the effect/plugin has more parameters, then ACT voluntarily fits only as much as it can. Selecting sub-banks 2,3,4 didn't show all the needed information either. My question is, is there any way to get about this issue? Like is it possible to use more than one instance of ACT surface for the same controller in order to try to get all the needed parameters covered?
- For channel strip parameters, there is something confusing about the behaviour of these green boxes: In the 3rd lowest bank there are some parameters like "Play/Stop", "Record", "Automation Arm", that I'm interested in. If the parameter is on, it shows on in the green box. Same if it's off. However some of them would not turn to MIDI learn mode when you click on the box. Instead - clicking on the lowest green box of the 3rd bank turns "MIDI learn" for both - upper and lower box of that bank. It doesn't make sense to me, as I still cannot assign any controller button to the upper green box like that.
2a. One more thing that I couldn't understand using Cakewalk GenericSurface is when I assigned a knob to a "send" rotary in the channel strip it would only work for a certain types of sends. Specifically, when I assign that send to an aux channel, it would not react to a midi controller, whereas if I'd switch the same send in the same channel strip to a bus channel, it would work as expected. That looks like a bug to me, since you can move that send knob within the DAW, but not from the controller. Any thoughts on that one?
3. Led buttons of my controller won't react when a togglable parameter is on or off.
4. When I played with Cakewalk generic controller surface there were much more options for channel strips. However in the Global section I could find all the needed transport parameters , except for the "Pause". Therefore I tried to bind it to "menus and shortcuts", with no luck either.
1. Is there any way to configure the led buttons on the midi controller to react on the state of parameters like "solo" "mute" on/off and the like?
2. Is it ok to use Cakewalk generic control surface with the ACT controller and with menu shortcuts bindings all together with the same controller, or would there be conflicts?