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Tony p

Arturia Keylab/Control Surfaces

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

Does anyone use an Arturia Controller with Cakewalk? I got the Keylab Essential 49 and would like to use the transport controls, and as many other physical buttons that I can. However it doesnt come pre-mapped for Cakewalk. I went to preferences and tried all 5 presets (Act Midi Controller, Cakewalk Generic and Mackie Control, XT and C4) and no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Tony p

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Just to be clear, are you saying ACT didn't work for you, or you were unable to figure it out? I haven't gotten around to it yet, but when my Novation SL MkIII gets here I'll be following this guy's instructions and I'm totally expecting it to work. 

 

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Also, don't expect *anything* to come with pre-mapping for Cakewalk, at least not right now and maybe not anytime soon. You would've been *lucky* to have something come w/ pre-mapping for Sonar back in the day and even that was barely. There just ain't no love. 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Chris Jones said:

Just to be clear, are you saying ACT didn't work for you, or you were unable to figure it out? I haven't gotten around to it yet, but when my Novation SL MkIII gets here I'll be following this guy's instructions and I'm totally expecting it to work. 

 

It didn't work but I'm a little out of my league here and suspecting I'm doing something wrong. 😂

Thanks for this video. I'll try this out and update if it works.

Edited by Tony p

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I have my Keylab 88 controlling the transport, not at the DAW the moment, will try to remember how I set mine up.

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23 minutes ago, Tony p said:

It didn't work but I'm a little out of my league here and suspecting I'm doing something wrong. 😂

Thanks for this video. I'll try this out and update if it works.

So long as you're seeing your device listed in your midi devices list (it's being recognized), that video should be a great help. Have you gotten that device working in Cakewalk on at least a basic level such as triggering a soft synth? 

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:44 PM, Chris Jones said:

So long as you're seeing your device listed in your midi devices list (it's being recognized), that video should be a great help. Have you gotten that device working in Cakewalk on at least a basic level such as triggering a soft synth? 

Yep, keys are working. 

I followed along and I made some progress. I got to the part about setting up utilities. (After going on the keyboard and selecting Map Select/DAW) I can see that Cakewalk is receiving information from the knobs and faders, as I was able to customize a few of them. 

However the transport controls are not taking. I admit I'm a bit confused as it seems that row of controls is in "Shift Learn" section. Is this to supplant keyboard shortcuts? In any case I tried to customize them like the faders with no progress. I tried it with and without pressing the shift learn button. Also tried ACT learn mode, where you press whatever parameter you want to control, and then press the physical button that you want to assign to it, no luck.

Also while it does recognize knob and fader movements, the controller is acting a little funny. Like knob 1 will just go from extreme left to +2 while panning. Probably because these are "infinite?" knobs where it doesnt have a stop. Faders are good. The light of the Rewind button stays lit.

Thanks a lot for the help.

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:22 PM, Wookiee said:

I have my Keylab 88 controlling the transport, not at the DAW the moment, will try to remember how I set mine up.

If you have a chance, please do!

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5 hours ago, Tony p said:

... while it does recognize knob and fader movements, the controller is acting a little funny. Like knob 1 will just go from extreme left to +2 while panning. Probably because these are "infinite?" knobs where it doesnt have a stop.. 

I can't comment on the assignment of the transport controls at this time, but re the KeyLab's endless encoders and values jumping around like that: The infinite nature of the knobs are not the cause of that. I had the Arturia KeyLab Mkii 61 for a minute a few weeks ago before returning it, which is a step up model from the Essentials line, and basically word is that the encoders are poor quality and inconsistent between the knobs. That's been reported on Arturia's own user forum as well as YouTube video, and I found that to be the case with my particular model as well and is part of why I returned it. Of the 8 encoders on the KeyLab MkII 61, they all had a different resistance feel, some were stiffer and some moved more freely. There are complaints on the Arturia forum about the encoders, when, say, moving them in one direction in a fluid motion the value will sporadically jump back even though it wasn't moved in that direction. I had that w/ a TC Electronic G Major, where you'd move the encoder one click to the right and sometimes the value being adjusted would jump back 2 or 3 values because the encoder on that thing was a cheap pos and it sounds like that's the case w/ these Arturia encoders. Luckily I never got to experience that particular headache because I never got to the point of even powering my Keylab on before returning it due to some other defect that made it unplayable. Just saying, what you're experiencing there w/ the knobs and values jumping around, I think the controller itself is likely the culprit and not a Cakewalk/mapping issue. 

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7 hours ago, Tony p said:

If you have a chance, please do!


1. Added a Act Control Surface in Preferences
2. Set the I/O to be my Keylab 88
3. With the Act Window open I picked the Axiom 49 preset as that gave me the transport controls in the 4th row of the Act Configuration Window.
4. Used MIDI learn by Clicking on each of the ACT slots in turn and pressing the appropriate control on my Keylab-88.
5. Saved that as a preset in ACT.  

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Hi. :)

I have the Arturia Minilab MkII and tried using it to control Cakewalk. I had tried to set it up using ACT last year or earlier this year, I think, but I really found it difficult to set up. Sometimes the knobs weren't detected so I'm not really sure what was the problem, or if I just don't know what I'm doing.  Maybe I can try again soon.

Glad this thread turned up so it can shed some light on this issue for everyone. 

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4 minutes ago, Wookiee said:


1. Added a Act Control Surface in Preferences
2. Set the I/O to be my Keylab 88
3. With the Act Window open I picked the Axiom 49 preset as that gave me the transport controls in the 4th row of the Act Configuration Window.
4. Used MIDI learn by Clicking on each of the ACT slots in turn and pressing the appropriate control on my Keylab-88.
5. Saved that as a preset in ACT.  

Hi sorry for asking but I would like to know and make sure what parameters in the daw will my controller be mapped to, for this configuration/preset?

Thanks in advance!

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3 hours ago, K.K. Yao said:

Hi sorry for asking but I would like to know and make sure what parameters in the daw will my controller be mapped to, for this configuration/preset?

Thanks in advance!

Hi K.K. at present I use it to control the transport in CbB, as it is pre-mapped to any of the Arturia synths I use I have not tried to map it to other functions.  I have not found a need to map the faders as I use envelopes more than anything for level and pan. 

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Here's one more super helpful link from Craig Anderton in a Sound on Sound article on how to set up your MIDI controller w/ ACT in Cakewalk. It's for Sonar but it will apply to CbB just fine. Craig is great at describing the intricate details of this kind of thing in an understandable way. Between this SOS link and that YouTube video (which I'll post again here to have them both in one place) and a little time spent you *will* have this working sooner or later, probably sooner. 

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/using-sonars-act-hardware-controllers

 

 

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a. When using ACT with encoders (so described "jump" behavior), you should say ACT they are encoders (not normal knobs). That can be done Ctrl+Clicking on controls (who reads manuals these days... right? 😉 )

b. ACT support extactly 8+1 buttons (where one is fixed as "shift"). So if you want 8 pads + transport you are out of luck. But just transport will work (in case it is sending "compatible" messages, so CC... original ACT has  a bug, Note generating buttons are "leaking" "Note off" into MIDI tracks).

c. You may find "Generic surface" work better for you (still you need read documentation to configure it)

d. Controlling plug-in with "ACT Learn" almost impossible to get right without the documentation... and after a while the mapping will be corrupted.

And so...

Use AZ Controller. You will need even more time to understand how to configure it, but it has no mentioned limitation. For Plug-in controlling use "ACT Fix" utility (even in case you use ACT plug-in, will save your time and nerves).

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18 hours ago, Chris Jones said:

I can't comment on the assignment of the transport controls at this time, but re the KeyLab's endless encoders and values jumping around like that: The infinite nature of the knobs are not the cause of that. I had the Arturia KeyLab Mkii 61 for a minute a few weeks ago before returning it, which is a step up model from the Essentials line, and basically word is that the encoders are poor quality and inconsistent between the knobs. That's been reported on Arturia's own user forum as well as YouTube video, and I found that to be the case with my particular model as well and is part of why I returned it. Of the 8 encoders on the KeyLab MkII 61, they all had a different resistance feel, some were stiffer and some moved more freely. There are complaints on the Arturia forum about the encoders, when, say, moving them in one direction in a fluid motion the value will sporadically jump back even though it wasn't moved in that direction. I had that w/ a TC Electronic G Major, where you'd move the encoder one click to the right and sometimes the value being adjusted would jump back 2 or 3 values because the encoder on that thing was a cheap pos and it sounds like that's the case w/ these Arturia encoders. Luckily I never got to experience that particular headache because I never got to the point of even powering my Keylab on before returning it due to some other defect that made it unplayable. Just saying, what you're experiencing there w/ the knobs and values jumping around, I think the controller itself is likely the culprit and not a Cakewalk/mapping issue. 

Great info to know. It seems like the knobs work perfectly with the included software, but I haven't played around with it enough to say that for a fact. Will keep this in mind as I play with it a bit more. I would hate to return it but there are limits. The sounds are pretty amazing and they keyboard is pretty decent imo.

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16 hours ago, Wookiee said:


1. Added a Act Control Surface in Preferences
2. Set the I/O to be my Keylab 88
3. With the Act Window open I picked the Axiom 49 preset as that gave me the transport controls in the 4th row of the Act Configuration Window.
4. Used MIDI learn by Clicking on each of the ACT slots in turn and pressing the appropriate control on my Keylab-88.
5. Saved that as a preset in ACT.  

Thank you Wookiee. Trying right now, fingers crossed.

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7 hours ago, azslow3 said:

a. When using ACT with encoders (so described "jump" behavior), you should say ACT they are encoders (not normal knobs). That can be done Ctrl+Clicking on controls (who reads manuals these days... right? 😉 )

b. ACT support extactly 8+1 buttons (where one is fixed as "shift"). So if you want 8 pads + transport you are out of luck. But just transport will work (in case it is sending "compatible" messages, so CC... original ACT has  a bug, Note generating buttons are "leaking" "Note off" into MIDI tracks).

c. You may find "Generic surface" work better for you (still you need read documentation to configure it)

d. Controlling plug-in with "ACT Learn" almost impossible to get right without the documentation... and after a while the mapping will be corrupted.

And so...

Use AZ Controller. You will need even more time to understand how to configure it, but it has no mentioned limitation. For Plug-in controlling use "ACT Fix" utility (even in case you use ACT plug-in, will save your time and nerves).

Thx for the info! Manuals... what are those!?!?

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Wookiee said:


1. Added a Act Control Surface in Preferences
2. Set the I/O to be my Keylab 88
3. With the Act Window open I picked the Axiom 49 preset as that gave me the transport controls in the 4th row of the Act Configuration Window.
4. Used MIDI learn by Clicking on each of the ACT slots in turn and pressing the appropriate control on my Keylab-88.
5. Saved that as a preset in ACT.  

Hey Wookiee, that Axiom49 preset is the best so far.  Thank you! Finally recognized play, stop and RTZ buttons. Any idea how to set up Record? Its in the Shift row and nothing happens when I click on the square. However when I click on the Play/Stop square that and the Record square switch to Midi Learn. Also, did the Jog Wheel work for you? 

Thank you

Edited by Tony p

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Just an update for anyone looking at this old thread:

I gave up on the Arturia Controller. With the limited way I was able to set it up it didn't feel like I was speeding up my workflow at all. Did not feel intuitive or like I was going to get the hang of it eventually. Also the controller doesn't have a on/off switch which is pretty disappointing, considering it has a bunch of lights going off when its idle. So the alternative is plugging and unplugging from the usb cable which is cumbersome and I'm sure not good over time.

However I must say, the Arturia sound catalog is amazing. I was able to re-sell the controller and keep the synths (Analog Lab 4). I purchased a Nektak Impact GX61 that seamlessly integrates with Cakewalk, and a NanoKontrol 2 for the physical faders and knobs. Nice little piece of equipment that works with Cakewalk as well.

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