Jump to content
Nobletonmusic

Native Instruments KK A-61 Controller & Control Surface Set Up

Recommended Posts

Well, I did get a Komplete Kontrol A-61 controller. In my previous post, lots of help. Integration with CbB is proving to be a "challenge".  A few people said they were able to set up a Cakewalk and be able to run some functions from their Komplete Kontrol MIDI controller. Maybe it's only the S-Series though ?

I saw a post from msmcloed back in June, assisting Anders Madsen, getting a KK A-49 to assume some of the DAW duties, transport, moving through tracks, etc.

So I followed the steps as best I could. In CbB Midi Devices, checked both  Komplete Kontrol A-61 MIDI & Komplete Kontrol A DAW. On the Control Surfaces page, I inserted the MMcl Mackie Control #1. There was something about disabling the handshake in the set up dialogue. ( see below). I have no idea, where that is found

image.png.bce835954baa2721628606396b23f1fb.png

What MIDI setting should be set on the KK A-61 ? Right now I can't select any of the KK options as Input and only the KK A DAW option as Output, which seems very odd. At the NI site they say - "In order to enable transport control, you have to configure your KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series as an MCU control surface in your host. Please consult the manual of your host software for more information. This option is only available for the S-series keyboards." It makes it sound like it can't be done in a A- Series, but it sounds like someone at CbB , msmcloed & AZslow3 may figured something out.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note: theoretical  only (I do not have any of these keyboards).

The confusion comes from different implementations in different series and different Komplete Kontrol software. In general, DAW integration (of all kind) for all NI keyboards is done in the software. The hardware (the keyboard) communicates with NI driver/software special/proprietary way.

* S-xx MK1 was supporting Mackie transport from the beginning (but "Disable handshake" was already needed)

* S-xx MK2 WAS NOT supporting Mackie or any other MIDI based DAW integration (they was using OSC)

* A-xx WAS NOT supporting Mackie at the beginning

Starting from KK 2.1.3, NI has returned MIDI based DAW control (at least for) S-xx MK2 and A-xx. Primary "protocol" is NOT Mackie. And so other DAWs deep integration modules are not Mackie. But NI has also implemented some part of Mackie, at least many users had success with transport.

----

You should have "Komplete Kontrol A DAW" as INPUT and OUTPUT. And it should be enabled in the Cakewalk MIDI devices and then assigned to Control Surface Module (f.e. Mackie Control, with "Disable handshake").

These MIDI IO are provided by software (more precisely by NIHostIntegrationAgent service). If you do not have them (both), you need to solve that first (reinstall Komplete Kontrol, cleanup Windows MIDI devices, cleanup Cakewalk MIDI INI file, etc.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AZslow3,

Thanks again. OMG, That sounds like such a hassle. I have CbB set up now as you outlined, KK A DAW checked in both CbB Midi devices and as the Port In & Out on Control Surface page. Have the MMcl Mackie Control # 1 and found it listed in the Utilities Menu. Then disabled the handshake.. So from the CbB end I think I have everything correct.

Now I have the KK A61 MIDI I/O to figure out-  reinstall it, clean up Win 10 MIDI devices ( whatever that means) cleanup CbB MIDI INI , etc.

Could wait & see what the NI support people suggest, or just take it back & start over in my search for a MIDI controller that will work with CbB

The KK A61 integrates with Studio One.. I downloaded the free version to try. But hell, I don't want to have to buy & learn a new DAW. Even with the Artist version of Studio One, it's an extra $ 80 to be able to load in the plug-ins I want - like Melodyne, Session Guitarist, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have MIDI I/O and configured it, pointed Mackie Control and disabled handshake, with some luck it should work. Is it not working yet?

I mean you do not have to reinstall/clean/delete if it works 😉

I do not have the device, may be you should do something on the device or in KK to enable Mackie mode.

Making "normal" integration using native MIDI mode of KK is not difficult. But I do not have the device and no one with device has done that yet (for Cakewalk).

BTW you have payed for keyboard ~$200. If you have Melodyne Studio, you have payed even more. And any half way good acoustic  instrument is much more. So I do not understand your comment about $80, I think unlike many other good reasons, such money are absolutely irrelevant when choosing the DAW...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bizarre. I didn't change any of the settings. Turned off computer, came back in a few hours and transport was working.

Now it's a velocity issue and unfortunately neither the S- Series or A- Series has a velocity curve option. I'm waiting to hear back from NI support, but from what I've read in the NI forum, it's an issue for a number of people. I could easily, lift all the velocities in the Piano Roll view, but it's the articulations I'm concerned about. Without the proper velocities, the sound of the instrument is not the same. The hammer-ons & pull-offs in Session Guitarist - Acoustic Picked aren't working at the lower velocities.  I'll see what NI support says.

I have Melodyne Assistant. I like CbB, and don't really want to learn another new DAW.  Of course I'm not starting from scratch & already playing around in the free Studio One, it's easy to figure things out. So you are right, if I decided to leave CbB and used Studio One, I'm sure the Studio One 4 Artists would be all I need for $ 100 and then the extra $ 80 to load in the plug-ins I have. $ 180 is peanuts for a good DAW.

Now that the KK A61 is running the transport in CbB, I won't have to purchase & learn a new DAW. It's the KK A61 controller now that's the issue. Is it going to do what I want. The velocity issue is key.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks... I

l'll look it over, I assume it will allow the velocities to be increased as I play and not after the notes are entered.  

"Input velocities (live of from the track) are displayed for orientation."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Azslow3.. I finally went in downloaded your velocity MFX. Inserted in a track and played around with the curve. Of course it altered the dynamics but the velocities that I played in were the same, what I thought were low. Maybe some of these virtual instruments, like the NI The Gentleman piano only put out certain velocities? Hitting the key as hard as I can , will produce about 100 velocity.

As I said in another post - The nuances of the instrument are not there when I getting 30 - 90 as the velocity range. Especially on the SG - Acoustic Guitar, where slides into notes, hammer-ons and pull-offs are based on differences in velocity. Not getting those functions in Acoustic Picked. I'm going to play in a track on the SG - Picked and see if using your velocity MFX will create the hammer-on effect, the slide into a note, etc.

So is there a way for me to increase the velocities as I play them in. I would like to hit the keyboard firm and get a 115 and hit softly and get a 40.

Thanks again, I sure appreciate your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I draw the curve such a way that I can control resulting velocity. I mean if your finger can (predictable) produce 30/70/100/127, it can "adopt" to concrete synth.

F.e. on my tiny AKAI I had to rise lower velocities, so 1-50 is translated to ~30-60. Then 50-110 is translated to 60-120, 110-127 to 120-127. I have hard time to control lower part, so I "compress" it. Middle I can control fine. For full velocity I have to hit too hard, so I compress it again.

Try to hit a key the way you think it should produce pp,p,mf,f,ff. Then put the points which have corresponding MIDI velocity, instead of what the keyboard sends in that case. Then "connect" these points smoothly.

BTW NI M32 I could test recently had worse mini keys in respect to velocity for me. Arturia and Akai mini keys was connected in parallel, so that was synth and my momentary feeling unrelated. I have M-Audio 88 Pro, nothing can be done with velocity to make it "good" (not with build-in curves, not with MFX), but MFX can make it less horrible. So do not expect perfect result, sometimes software can not "fix" hardware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I think I understand what you are saying. I assume you are talking about using your MFX on the Akai, or does the Akai have a feature to make the adjustment you describe?

I hit a key softly and see where the yellow lines on your MFX are, then use the virtual pen to pull those up to say 50. Hit the key with a medium pressure and do the same, creating a 60 - 110 for that pressure. Hit the key harder and make the adjustment, etc Then connect all the dots with a smooth ascending line. 

Not to belabor the point, but it's all about how these lower velocities are affecting the articulations of the virtual instrument. I tried your velocity MFX,  followed the instructions to create a hammer-on in SG - Acoustic Picked, it didn't happen. I played  two notes beside each other without the MFX, then went back and manually adjusted the velocities in the piano roll view, nothing.   I'm starting to think it's a glitch in the VST. I wish the support people at NI would get back to me, maybe all I need to do is redownload the entire VST. It is over 7 GB and takes a while.

I agree, I don't expect a perfect result, all I care about is that I can create the slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs in the Acoustic Picked VST. When I play in my XLN Addictive keys, the velocities may be low & I don't get that crisp edge, but when I lift the velocities afterward, it sounds great. So I can live with that on all my other VSTs.

Thanks again, I sure appreciate your patience and your expertise. I see you help a lot of people in other posts,  that's wonderful.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can check if VST doing what it should (you expect it should). Record/create from scratch a MIDI clip and start manually adjust velocity of particular notes. That way you can be sure what is really sent to VST, effectively  excluding the keyboard from the chain.

I see your lonely post on NI, which is not answered for more then a week. That can be frustrating...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I should build a midi clip without using the keyboard. Manually enter on the piano roll. Then adjust the velocities and see if the VST responds the way I expect it to. Thanks again,  great idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just out of the blue, the transport stopped working on my Komplete kontrol A61 today.
Thats my story of MIDI. Working fine one day, The next day, no joy. (No sound, no sync, must assign different channel etc..) 
And today; no working transport controls. I just don't get it.
It is very frustrating. I tried un ticking "disable handshake" re-ticking it without any change.
I know I did not touch it. What is going on?

Edit: Updating MMcl now with the October 19, 2019 edition. Thanks msmcleod. I hope it works..
Edit#2 It did.

confusedmacgyvermeme-5ab8392eae9ab8003778609b.png

Edited by Anders Madsen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, as one of the posters said, once you start connecting all kinds of hardware, software & VSTs from various companies, digital music production can be a "challenge" 

Azslow3, I did what you suggested, placed notes on the piano roll, then played around with the velocities. No luck. maybe I just reload the whole 7 + GB Acoustic Picked & hope it works. Was on sale for $ 75 and there are still a lot of things I can do with it.

After 8 days I heard back from NI. They didn't answer any of my questions about velocity level sensitivity from instrument to instrument, did they find anything in the support tool I created which captured a whole pile of information from my computer, look at the screen shots of the MIDI-OX data I sent, where there setting s I may have wrong that I could correct... All they said was to send it back, & they'd repair it. If it was the keyboard & couldn't be fixed, they'd sent me another one.

At this point I'm so pissed off. I might just take it back to Sam Ash & start from scratch, look at another option. Might even buy a refurbished Mac,  switch to Studio One. Hate to leave CbB after all these years.

Edited by Nobletonmusic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I just wrote my next Cakewalk column for Sound on Sound, and it's about integrating Cakewalk with NI KK.  No, you don't get to do everything...and the column is based on the S-series MK 2, so I don't know how the A series responds.

I'm on Part 2 of my Friday Tip for Studio One about integrating NI/KK. Even for something that is well-supported, there are nuances. My big surprise was discovering that for Windows (not Mac Catalina) I could use the KK keyboards to control any plug-in or effect, NKS or not, and have parameter names that  I entered  show up on the keyboard's display. This even works for Cakewalk DX plug-ins wrapped in Studio One. But it took me a loooooong time to a) figure it out, and b) comes up with the steps to make it repeatable enough to write about.

MIDI 2.0 with MIDI CI (Compatibility Inquiry) can't come soon enough for me!! The MIDI 2.0 spec was ratified last  Sunday at NAMM, so MIDI 2.0 gear should start rolling out over the next year. (FYI - your MIDI 1.0 gear will still work with it.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...