Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
hps909

Cubase Generic Controller tutorial

6 posts in this topic

ok finally got around to doing a tutorial and i have a little help in the app called snapz pro x which is very cool for this type of thing .....

todays tutorial is setting up the generic controller in cubase.

    I'm using cubase 4.1 on a mac but I think the GC is common to most versions of SX on both platforms. I'm using my Korg micro kontrol which has 16 buttons, 8 knobs and 8 faders. lets see what we can do with them .....

      The MK comes with a template for Cubase's generic controller, but it's handy to know how to do it from scratch just incase your controller doesn't have a template.

      First things first, the GC isn't active by default, so we need to activate it and i give step by step instructions on how to do this in the video (HERE). Select from the devices menu / device set up, click on remote devices in the left pane. Press the + button top left and select generic controller from the drop down menu. I've deleted all default entries to make things less confusing. This now becomes somewhat frustrating, as you have to physically have some channels in the software in which to assign destinations for. So i open up 8 audio tracks to start with ( they can be removed or substituted with other types later this is just to set up the controller).

The GC dialog window:

It looks a bit confusing at first. Think of the top pane as setting up the hardware and the bottom pane as setting up the software. Basically the top pane is telling Cubase what CC's and channels your hardware is set to use, and then telling cubase what those knobs and sliders will control in the software.

The top pane:

      First we must select the main midi input at the top. I've configured my MK (which has basically 3 independent midi ports 2 software and 1 hardware) to send the CC's of the knobs, sliders and buttons to a different port than the keyboard. That way my keyboard is on a different midi port than the controllers and won't interfere elsewhere.

      In the top pane I'm going to set up a fader by clicking the add button on the top right naming it fader 1, then changing the status field to 'controller' and setting it on midi channel 1. The address is assigned to the default CC for volume, # 7. Then we have to set  a flag for receive so cubase knows to receive this string. For motorized faders you will need to put a transmit flag as-well.

      Next I will then assign a knob as a panner. Click add, rename as pan 1, set status to controller, set  to midi channel 1 then address will be GM standard CC #10 to act as a panner for audio channel 1. I will create further fader ad pan groups as described above for the each fader and knob on the controller but each group will be assigned a different midi channel,this is to keep midi data spread out over many channels rather than have a whole heap of data transmitting on 1 channel .

      You might also notice there is a learn button on the right you can also use this if your feeling lazy. It will set the channel and CC # automatically, if you don't know what assignments your controller has, or can't manually assign them like on some hardware synths.

The bottom pane:

  Now the bottom pane tells cubase where to send these CC messages it's receiving. You will see the same names as in the top pane, so a CC you want controlling a virtual fader will be sent to the vst mixer, and it will be sent to audio 1's fader as a volume control. The panners will be sent to the, errr, pan knobs in the VST mixer. as shown in the video (HERE)

  Pretty easy stuff but thats just scratching the surface, as we can remote control a shit load of things. Just like key commands but with midi.

advanced commands:

      I mentioned midi commands being like key commands. We can control a whole heap of other stuff that can't be done with key commands. For this tutorial i will remote control switching between different mixer views ...  like having inserts, eq's or auxiliaries showing in the extended VST mixer.

      I find myself forever switching between the 3 different views. After messing around during the mixing stage for a while you'll find that clicking each channel to view different things becomes laborious. Having a switch that just changes all channels  makes working with these things less tiresome and speedier.

      The MK has 16 buttons i can assign to CC#'s to.  So i make 3 new entries in the top GC pane entitled 'mixer view insert' , 'mixer view eq' and 'mixer view aux'. I assign them to corresponding channels and CC"s 33 34 and 35 ( they can be anything you choose BTW).

      In the bottom pane things change. The device now becomes 'command', because I'm emulating a key command. We now have a very large list to choose from in the channel / category column. This is where some great flexibility comes into play if you have the buttons spare you can remote a great deal of stuff. This is where Cubase's legendary customisation  comes into play. The command we want lies in the mixer, so we select mixer as the channel/category view. That gives us another long list of all things in the value/action view, that can be remote controlled in the mixer alone. But for this tutorial i'm selecting views: inserts. We do the same for eq's and sends.

    The only thing left to do now is apply the changes then export your control template as an xml file. That is how we configure a generic controller in cubase (FINISHED)

      You can also apply different profiles in the bottom pane. This lets you controll hundreds of different components from a limited set of real word controls.  Click add and give a new profile a name, set up a bunch of other commands using the same CC#'s with different destinations. New profiles are easy selected from the device menu / generic controller. the control box appears and has a drop down list of your different profiles.

      The GC is very time consuming and painful to set up, but it is a very powerful tool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! That's brilliant, Gav! :clap:

And love the Snapz vidz. Was hoping to hear your voiceover over the top. ;)

If you're cool, I'd like to tweak your formatting -  leaving the content the way it is - just to polish the presentation.

All up, nice work. Really handy to have. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah for sure Phil formatting and that stuff aint my strong point ;) the next one i do will have voice over i did that about 12.30 last night and every one was asleep so i couldn't make noise ;)

having imbedded video like the MP3 option would be cool might ask cheyne if it's possible youtube resolution is shit house in the player .. next one will be extracting a groove quantize template from an audio file

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, totally with you on the embedded video player thing. The current audio one is mint, so a similar video one would be er, better than mint.

Looking forward to "groove quantize template from an audio file" tutorial. Sounds similar to the Beat Detective function in Pro Tools (which I've yet to explore, though RB whipped up a tutorial on it a while ago). Sounds nifty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i wish this video was here here when i was trying to set up 32 chanels of flying fader control!

nice work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0