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Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

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tomwrn
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Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Thu May 05, 2016 3:34 pm

Hey guys, I am wondering if i can use the translator to get midi controllers to light up their buttons by default? I have 2 midi controllers: a Novation LaunchControl and Akai APCMini and neither lights up its buttons when using a program other than the default audio program it was built for.

I am a photo editor who works in a dark room and would like the lights on all buttons/knobs. I was told it was possible to turn them on with Midi Translator. I believe it involves sending a NoteOn signal to all keys as well as a Velocity signal to specify color. I got the codes from the manufacturer. Just not sure how to implement them. I don't know anything about midi. Help!!!

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Fri May 06, 2016 6:02 pm

Can you post those codes here?
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Fri May 06, 2016 7:00 pm

there is a mapping document made by Akai for another of its devices.
I was told it should work for my ApcMini as well.
Here is a link to the pdf: http://6be54c364949b623a3c0-4409a68c214 ... _rev_1.pdf

and here is a relevant excerpt from page 7
either the Note-on or Controller change message should apply, i think.

The Note-On Message-
Format of Note-On message
Byte Number Value Description
1 0x9<Chan> MIDI Note on, where Chan is a value from 0 – F and
specifies the MIDI channel.
2 <Note Number> Note Number
3 <Velocity> Velocity of the key-press. For controls that are not
velocity sensitive, this value should be 0x7F

The Controller Change Message-
APC40 Mk2 sends MIDI Controller Change messages from its buttons and knobs. It can
also receive Controller Change messages to turn LEDs On/Off
Format of Controller Change message
Byte Number Value Description
1 0xB<Chan> MIDI Controller Change, where Chan is a value from
0 – F and specifies the MIDI channel.
2 <Controller> Note Number

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Fri May 06, 2016 7:46 pm

Cool, thanks for the information. MT Pro can do what you are looking for.

Could you connect your APCmini to MT Pro and open the log window. Open the midi port that is available for your APCmini and make a note of all the buttons. The should be a 3 hex message (i.e.- B0 2A 7F) that display in the MT Pro log window when a button is pushed. There should be some sort of pattern to the buttons, so do the top row of 8 first and document what message each button outputs to the log window. Hit the buttons as hard as possible so we get a consistent velocity from them. Hope this makes sense.
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Fri May 06, 2016 7:49 pm

it makes sense though i am new to this. i will try that and reply.
thank you for taking the time to reply.

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Fri May 06, 2016 7:58 pm

I pressed the first two rows of 8. screenshot attached.

log:
1: Opened MIDI IN: APC MINI
2: Opened MIDI IN: Bome MIDI Translator 1 Virtual In
3: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 38 7F
4: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 38 7F
5: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 39 7F
6: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 39 7F
7: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 3A 7F
8: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 3A 7F
9: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 3B 7F
10: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 3B 7F
11: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 3C 7F
12: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 3C 7F
13: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 3D 7F
14: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 3D 7F
15: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 3E 7F
16: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 3E 7F
17: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 3F 7F
18: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 3F 7F
19: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 30 7F
20: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 30 7F
21: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 31 7F
22: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 31 7F
23: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 32 7F
24: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 32 7F
25: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 33 7F
26: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 33 7F
27: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 34 7F
28: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 34 7F
29: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 35 7F
30: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 35 7F
31: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 36 7F
32: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 36 7F
33: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 90 37 7F
34: MIDI IN [APC MINI]: 80 37 7F

I don't see anything about velocity.
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Fri May 06, 2016 8:46 pm

Great thanks! In theory, based on what I am reading, you should simply be able to input a message from the APC and output that message right back to the button to illuminate the button. We can start with the first top left button you pressed. When you press the button you get:

90 38 7F - This is pressing the button full velocity. The last byte (7F) will be a variable and has 127 steps, 0-127. (or 00-7F raw hex byte code)
80 38 7F - This is releasing the button, I do believe.

So, make a translator in MT Pro. Your input message will be 90 38 pp. You will assign the input of this translator to your "APC Mini" midi port. We make that last byte a 'pp' because again, it will be a changing number based on how hard you press the button. Your output can be different depending on what you want the LED's in the buttons to do.

If you output the same message back to the APC, the LED inside should illuminate but will stay illuminated indefinitely. You would need to make an additional translator to take 80 38 pp and send it the same way. This will produce illumination of the button until you release the button. It is possible to automatically turn the LED off after a certain amount of time, also.

Give this a try, and let us know what you are looking for the button LED's to actually do when you press the buttons.
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Fri May 06, 2016 10:08 pm

thanks for the kind reply.
i will try what you said.

One note, I tried different pressures on the buttons and got the same input code each time. no change.

I will try to make a translator in MT Pro. Never used the program before but will experiment.

tom

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Fri May 06, 2016 10:14 pm

just a clarification. its my general understanding that midi translator responds to input commands. press a button, it does something.
since i simply want to send commands to the device without responding to keypresses, are there any simpler ways of sending a signal to the device? i was thinking there are simple midi programs to communicate with the device. i was looking at midi monitor and midi-ox...

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Fri May 06, 2016 10:50 pm

tomwrn wrote:just a clarification. its my general understanding that midi translator responds to input commands. press a button, it does something.
since i simply want to send commands to the device without responding to keypresses, are there any simpler ways of sending a signal to the device? i was thinking there are simple midi programs to communicate with the device. i was looking at midi monitor and midi-ox...
Midi Monitor and Midi-Ox are more complicated actually, in my opinion. Sorry for the confusion, I thought you were looking to have your buttons illuminate when pressing them.... so, what exactly are you looking to accomplish here? Feel free to get into details...
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Fri May 06, 2016 11:17 pm

I am a photo editor who works with thousands of images in a program called Lightroom.

I found a program that converts a midi controller keypress to a unique command in Lightroom. So instead of looking for adjustment sliders on screen, I can have physical sliders and buttons in front of me without looking away from the image. That all works great.
The only issue is that I generally work in the dark and its hard to find which of 64 buttons to press for a certain command.

So, since i know that the midi controller has the ability to light up its buttons, i thought, why not light them all up so i can see what i am doing? A bonus would be if I could select the color certain keys are so i can make zones that are easier to distinguish.

I attached a screenshot of the concept with some labels applied.
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Fri May 06, 2016 11:41 pm

Ok great! So looking at the manual for the APC Mini you have 3 color options, Amber, Green and Red. Since you said that they are simply momentary tactile buttons that do not have velocity changes, I am not sure what messages the APC wants to see to change to these specific colors. You may need to change 7F to some other byte to see if the color changes...

Using MT Pro, you can make outgoing translators that will simply output a midi message to whichever buttons you want to illuminate automatically. You can put that output on a timer so it will send the messages as soon as you start the MT Pro program. Then, I suppose you could just close MT Pro. The buttons should stay illuminated until you restart the APC.

Code: Select all

Preset 0: APC Mini LED Startup
[x] Translator 0.0: Row 1 Timer
[x] Translator 0.1: Row 1 LED On
Incoming: On timer "Timer 1"
Outgoing: MIDI 90 38 7F 90 39 7F 90 3A 7F 90 3B 7F 90 3C 7F 90 3D 7F 90 3E 7F 90 3F 7F
This timer starts automatically and sends all 8 messages (for the top row) in one second increments.
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Fri May 06, 2016 11:53 pm

wow! you are amazing!
i'm going to try to repeat what you did on my end. thank you!
i will update with results.

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Fri May 06, 2016 11:56 pm

Found this in an earlier topic....

You'll have to set up the MIDI Translator to send back the according note ON to the pressed button with the following velocity (in place of 7F):
- 01 = Green
- 02 = Green Blinking
- 03 = Red
- 04 = Red Blinking
- 05 = Orange
- 06 = Orange Blinking
- 07 & higher = Green
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 12:24 am

ok
i'll try it

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 12:47 am

ok this is weird.
i believe i replicated what you did. see attached screenshot.

but how do i run a project/translation? does it run automatically?
i fiddled around with input and output ports and opened the apc mini input port but nothing else.
i opened it for output as well.
i saw a bome virtual out port which i opened but wasn't sure if i need that.

then, under midi router, i connected the apc midi to itself. i think i did. the 2nd instance had its port closed so i opened it.
anyway, after that, clicking on any button on the apc mini makes that button light up!
one at a time but still great.

now i just need to know how to run the translator so it does it automatically. :)
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 12:49 am

ok this is weird.
i believe i replicated what you did. see attached screenshot.
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG (112.58 KiB) Viewed 7234 times
but how do i run a project/translation? does it run automatically?
i fiddled around with input and output ports and opened the apc mini input port but nothing else.
i opened it for output as well.
i saw a bome virtual out port which i opened but wasn't sure if i need that.

then, under midi router, i connected the apc midi to itself. i think i did. the 2nd instance had its port closed so i opened it.
Capture2.JPG
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anyway, after that, clicking on any button on the apc mini makes that button light up!
one at a time but still great.

now i just need to know how to run the translator so it does it automatically. :)

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Sat May 07, 2016 1:23 am

Ok so by attaching the APC to itself is what caused the buttons to illuminate one by one as you touch them. You are pushing a button and it is sending it's corresponding message (90 38 7F) to itself, causing it to light up. Please remove midi router APC to itself.

We aren't "inputting" from anything, so you want to just make sure your second Translator "row1 lites on" is outputting on "Specific Ports" - the APC Mini port.

The translation runs by itself, you should see in the log window the numbers changing every second on the left side of the log window
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 1:32 am

ok i removed the connection and specified output port to mini.
here's what i am looking at. nothing happening in log...
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Sat May 07, 2016 1:37 am

In translator "row 1 timer" make sure the output is selected "infinitely" and press start
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 1:55 am

pressing start did it.
top row and one random key lights up. i'll have to look into that.

but how can i make it run without going into midi translator and pressing start?
i tried my own idea...since the timer has no input, i gave it one, a specific key on the controller.
when i press that key, the timer starts. great! except now the lights aren't coming on. :(

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 2:03 am

i remade it the way you said and random lit key is off. all good except i am manually triggering timer.

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Sat May 07, 2016 2:13 am

tomwrn wrote:i remade it the way you said and random lit key is off. all good except i am manually triggering timer.
Using another button on the APC as the input of your first translator to trigger the timer should work just fine. Make sure you have the proper midi message of the button you are using, and make sure you use the specific port APC Mini for the input on that translator. When set up properly, it will act as the "start" button, no doubt about it.

Also make sure all your output ports are correct as we previously mentioned. You should have success.
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 2:17 am

i figured out how to change the colors based on the info you provided. :D
I am adding all of the keys to the midi message...
any reason to break it into parts? or just list all 80 keys there?

also, unless you say different, the timer doesn't seem to need to be infinite, or have the 1 second delay. currently it lights up all the lights listed in the midi message instantly, then repeats that command once every second. i changed it to run once.

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 2:21 am

i changed the timer trigger to Project Opened. seems to work. :roll:

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 2:23 am

based on that logic, i removed the timer altogether. input trigger for midi message is "project open". Seems to be working!

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Sat May 07, 2016 2:27 am

Hahaha.... Yeah. That'll do it! Great!
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 2:37 am

well, i think your work is done. i was losing hope it was possible to do what i wanted but you gave me hope.

I still have to finish this and try to figure out how to do the same on a Novation controller.
Hopefully its as easy as you made it seem.

Now that you've helped me, let me help you.
I'm good at improving photos. Whenever you have a need in the future, check out my site and email me for a free job, whatever you want. Here's the site: http://prophotoediting.com/
My email is designer74@gmail.com
Remind me of our project and I will happily do what you need.

Tom in New York

PS
where are you from?

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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by ibanman555 » Sat May 07, 2016 3:09 am

Thank you very much my friend. You're very kind, and I too am from NY... The upstate kind of NY.

Sorry for the back and forth, sometimes it's tough to get a project going without having the hardware in front of you. I enjoy helping others, MT Pro has been indispensable to me over the years and proudly endorse it. Plus, it helps me keep up to date with other equipment, and ways to use them with MT Pro. Always willing to help, so if you have any further questions feel free to message me.
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Re: Midi Newbie trying to light up a midi controller

Post by tomwrn » Sat May 07, 2016 3:16 am

based on your guidance, i got the other controller working too.
thanks and take me up on my offer if you can use it.

Tom
PS
i'm from the Long Island part of NY.

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