How to Assign MIDI Controllers to Software Parameters?

20 minutes read

To assign MIDI controllers to software parameters, first open the software interface that you want to assign the controllers to. Typically, this can be done in a preferences or settings menu within the software.


Next, access the MIDI mapping or MIDI learn feature within the software. This feature allows you to assign specific MIDI controllers, such as knobs, faders, buttons, or pads, to control different parameters within the software.


Once you have accessed the MIDI mapping feature, select the parameter you want to control and then move or press the corresponding MIDI controller that you want to assign to it. The software should recognize the MIDI controller and assign it to the selected parameter.


You can continue this process for as many parameters as you want to control with MIDI controllers. Make sure to save your MIDI mapping settings in the software to ensure they are applied every time you open the software.


After assigning the MIDI controllers to software parameters, you can now use the physical MIDI controllers to control and adjust various settings and parameters within the software in real-time.

Best MIDI Controllers of May 2024

1
Akai Professional MPK Mini Plus - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 37 Mini Keys, 8 MPC Pads, Sequencer, MIDI/CV/Gate I/O, Music Production Software

Rating is 5 out of 5

Akai Professional MPK Mini Plus - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 37 Mini Keys, 8 MPC Pads, Sequencer, MIDI/CV/Gate I/O, Music Production Software

  • Full Creative Control - A dynamic 37-Key MPK Mini keybed for 3 full octaves of melodic and harmonic performance. Easily connect to your DAW or studio equipment with the USB-powered MIDI Controller
  • Advanced Connectivity - Connect to different sound sources with CV/Gate and MIDI I/O. Control modular gear, sound modules, synthesizers, and more to bring new sound sources into your music production
  • Record and Compose Without a Computer - Connect to your production station and use the built-in 64-step sequencer featuring one track for drums and one for melodies or chords, with up to 8 notes each
  • Control Your DAW - Transport section for intuitive hardware control of your DAW. Arm and start recordings, stop playback, rewind or fast-forward for easy navigation of large sessions and projects
2
AKAI Professional MIDImix - USB MIDI Controller Mixer with Assignable Faders & Master Fader, 24 Knobs and 16 Buttons, 1 to 1 Mapping With Ableton Live

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

AKAI Professional MIDImix - USB MIDI Controller Mixer with Assignable Faders & Master Fader, 24 Knobs and 16 Buttons, 1 to 1 Mapping With Ableton Live

  • Mixdown Essentials - 8 individual line faders and 1 master fader for controlling track volume, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings and more
  • Assignable Control - 24 knobs, arranged 3 per channel for controlling EQ, bus sends, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings and more
  • Get Hands-On - 16 buttons arranged in 2 banks provide mute, solo and record arm functionality per channel
3
M-Audio Keystation 88 MK3 – 88 Key Semi Weighted MIDI Keyboard Controller for Complete Command of Virtual Synthesizers and DAW parameters

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

M-Audio Keystation 88 MK3 – 88 Key Semi Weighted MIDI Keyboard Controller for Complete Command of Virtual Synthesizers and DAW parameters

  • Music Production Essential – MIDI keyboard controller with 88 full-size velocity-sensitive semi weighted keys for MIDI control of virtual instruments, software samplers and plug-in synthesisers
  • MIDI Keyboard Must-Haves - Volume fader, transport & directional buttons; pitch & modulation wheels, octave up & down buttons and sustain pedal input for expressive performances
  • Your Music Studio Equipment Centrepiece – Slimline design fits any desk, studio or stage setup perfectly and advanced functionality customizes your controls for your recording software
4
Arturia MiniLab 3 - Universal MIDI Controller for Music Production, with All-in-One Software Package - 25 Keys, 8 Multi-Color Pads - White

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Arturia MiniLab 3 - Universal MIDI Controller for Music Production, with All-in-One Software Package - 25 Keys, 8 Multi-Color Pads - White

  • GO WITH YOUR FLOW: MiniLab 3 is an easy keyboard controller that adapts to your needs, your style and your workflow, so you can make music just the way you like it. It lets you control instruments, mute tracks, punch in your 8 pad drums, and adjust your 4 faders with a flow so fluid you’ll forget you had a mouse. Hook it up, discover fresh sounds, enjoy premium velocity-sensitive keys, and get hands-on with your music like never before!
  • ALL THE ESSENTIAL CONTROLS IN A COMPACT CONTROLLER: MiniLab 3 is USB powered with 25 note velocity-sensitive slim keyboard, 2 banks of 8 high quality pads with RGB backlighting, 8 rotary encoders, 4 sliders, Mini display & clickable browsing knob, Built-in Arpeggiator, Hold and Chord modes, 2 touch sensors for pitch bend and modulation wheel, USB-C Port, MIDI Out. Great for beginners, it also fits for pros, and allows you to tweak every aspect of your mix in an instant.
5
Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production

  • Get creative easily with arpeggiator - Easy to use but deeply controllable, Launchkey Mini’s creative arpeggiator allows you to change rhythm, beat, pattern, octave, gate and more to add a whole range of diversity to your ideas and melodies.
  • Play chords with one finger - Lay down chords for your track quick with fixed chord mode. Play a chord with one finger by assigning a fixed shape to the keys and it’ll transpose as you move up and down the keyboard.
  • Finest-tech at your fingertips - The Launchkey Mini might be small in size but it’s packed with features. The 25-key device has 16 velocity-sensitive RGB, eight rotary controls, pitch and mod touch strips, and sustain input. Our finest mini keymech to date is also included.
  • DAW Integration - In addition to Apple Logic and Ableton Live, Launchkey Mini also has excellent integrations with Reason, as well as any HUI compatible DAW, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and more.
6
AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 - USB MIDI Pad Controller for Clip Launching with Ableton Live Lite, 64 RGB Pads, Drum and Note Mode and MIDI Mixer

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 - USB MIDI Pad Controller for Clip Launching with Ableton Live Lite, 64 RGB Pads, Drum and Note Mode and MIDI Mixer

  • Complete Control – Ableton Live Clip Launching MIDI Controller, perfect for creative looping, mixing, home studio and live performing. Connect to Ableton Live and control all your studio equipment
  • Bright 8x8 RGB Pad Matrix - 64 RGB pads for launching clips in Ableton Live providing visual color feedback. Trigger everything from Loops, Vocals, and melodic samples for instant creativity
  • 9 Assignable Faders - With 8 assignable faders + 1 master fader instantly map to Ableton Live's mixer for hands-on mix control of volume, pan, or devices. Use Device mode to control Ableton macros
  • Drum and Note Modes -The Drum sample mode features seamless integration with Ableton Drum Rack. With the inbuilt "Smart Scale View", Note mode enables you to visually play melodies effortlessly
7
AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included, Grey

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included, Grey

  • Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production
  • Total Control of your Production - Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
  • Complete Command of your Virtual Instruments and FX - 8 360-degree knobs assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more
8
AKAI Professional MPD218 - USB MIDI Controller with 16 MPC Drum Pads, 6 Assignable Knobs, Note Repeat & Full Level Buttons and Production Software

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

AKAI Professional MPD218 - USB MIDI Controller with 16 MPC Drum Pads, 6 Assignable Knobs, Note Repeat & Full Level Buttons and Production Software

  • Beat Production, Anywhere - Ultra-portable, feature-packed and USB powered pad controller with 16 thick fat MPC pads for triggering drums, melodic samples, effects and more
  • Expandable Banks - Easily accessible dedicated controls for three pad banks provides a total of 48 assignable pads
  • Feature Packed - MPC note repeat and full level controls for immersive expressive performances
  • Comprehensive Software Suite Included - Ableton Live Lite, Drum Synth 500 by AIR Music Tech
9
Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 — 61 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Analog Lab V Software Included

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 — 61 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Analog Lab V Software Included

  • New creative features: Scale Mode, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator, making composition, songwriting, and beat-making more intuitive than ever.
  • Custom DAW integration: KeyLab Essential 3 features custom scripts for deeper control over DAWs, including Ableton Live Logic Pro X, FL Studio, and more.
  • Easier controls & interface: RGB-backlit pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity, contextual button, and a bright new 2.5” LCD screen for real-time feedback.
10
Alesis V49 MKII – USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 49 Velocity Sensitive Keys, 8 Full Level Pads, Arpeggiator, Pitch/Mod Wheel, Note Repeat and Software Suite

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

Alesis V49 MKII – USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 49 Velocity Sensitive Keys, 8 Full Level Pads, Arpeggiator, Pitch/Mod Wheel, Note Repeat and Software Suite

  • Plug in the USB Powered V49 MKII MIDI keyboard, and turn your PC, Mac, or iOS device into a feature packed production studio - Ideal for home studio producers, piano beginners, and desktop djs
  • 49 Full-Size, Velocity Sensitive, Synth Action Keys alongside 8 velocity sensitive backlit beat pads with full level and note repeat controls, all in a design that fits easily into your workspace
  • Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels for added expression, and an Arpeggiator with 6 modes for creating unique melodies and inspiring creativity


How to calibrate MIDI controllers in software?

Calibrating MIDI controllers in software typically involves setting the minimum and maximum MIDI values that the controller can send, as well as adjusting any sensitivity settings. Here's how you can calibrate MIDI controllers in some popular software programs:

  1. Ableton Live:
  • Open Ableton Live and go to the Preferences menu.
  • Click on the MIDI tab.
  • In the list of MIDI devices, select the MIDI controller you want to calibrate.
  • Click on the input and output drop-down menus to configure the MIDI settings.
  • You may need to adjust the MIDI mapping of your controller to match the software's controls.
  1. FL Studio:
  • Open FL Studio and go to the Options menu.
  • Click on MIDI settings.
  • In the Input section, select your MIDI controller from the drop-down menu.
  • Adjust the Controller type, MIDI channel, and options as needed to calibrate your controller.
  1. Pro Tools:
  • Open Pro Tools and go to the Setup menu.
  • Click on the MIDI tab.
  • In the Controllers section, select your MIDI controller from the drop-down menu.
  • Adjust the MIDI settings as needed to calibrate the controller.
  1. Logic Pro:
  • Open Logic Pro and go to the Preferences menu.
  • Click on the MIDI tab.
  • In the MIDI Devices section, select your MIDI controller.
  • Adjust the MIDI settings, such as MIDI Input Channel and controls, to calibrate the controller.


Remember that the exact steps may vary depending on the software you are using, so be sure to consult the software's documentation for specific instructions on how to calibrate MIDI controllers.


How to assign MIDI controllers to transport controls in software?

To assign MIDI controllers to transport controls in software, follow these steps:

  1. Open the software you are using for music production or recording.
  2. Go to the software's settings, preferences, or options menu.
  3. Look for a section related to MIDI control, MIDI mapping, or controller assignments.
  4. In this section, you should see a list of transport controls such as play, stop, record, fast forward, rewind, etc.
  5. Click on the control you want to assign a MIDI controller to, and then move or press the desired MIDI controller (such as a knob, fader, or button) on your MIDI controller hardware.
  6. The software should recognize the MIDI input and assign it to the selected transport control.
  7. Repeat this process for any other transport controls you want to assign to MIDI controllers.
  8. Test the MIDI controls to make sure they are working correctly with the transport controls in the software.
  9. Save your MIDI controller assignments if the software allows you to do so.
  10. You should now be able to control the transport functions in the software using your MIDI controllers.


How to assign MIDI controllers to software parameters in Logic Pro?

To assign MIDI controllers to software parameters in Logic Pro, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Logic Pro project and go to the Preferences menu by clicking on "Logic Pro" in the top menu bar and selecting "Preferences."
  2. In the Preferences window, click on the "Control Surfaces" tab and then select "MIDI Controllers."
  3. Click on the "Learn" button next to the parameter you want to control with a MIDI controller.
  4. Move the physical control on your MIDI controller that you want to assign to that parameter. Logic Pro will then learn and assign that control to the parameter.
  5. Repeat this process for other parameters you wish to control with MIDI controllers.
  6. You can also manually assign MIDI controllers to software parameters by clicking on the "Assign" button next to the parameter and then selecting the MIDI controller you want to assign from the drop-down menu.
  7. Once you have assigned all the MIDI controllers you want, click on "Apply Changes" and then close the Preferences window.


Your MIDI controllers should now be successfully assigned to the software parameters in Logic Pro, allowing you to control them in real-time while working on your project.


How to assign MIDI controllers to time signature parameters in software?

To assign MIDI controllers to time signature parameters in software, you will first need to check if the software you are using allows for MIDI mapping and control. Many DAWs and music production software have this feature.


Here is a general step-by-step guide on how to assign MIDI controllers to time signature parameters in software:

  1. Open the software and create a new project or session.
  2. Go to the MIDI mapping or control settings within the software. This is usually found in the preferences or settings menu.
  3. Look for the option to map MIDI controllers to parameters. Select which parameter you want to assign a MIDI controller to, in this case, the time signature parameter.
  4. Press or move the MIDI controller you want to assign to the parameter. The software should recognize the MIDI input and assign it to the parameter.
  5. Test the MIDI controller by adjusting it and seeing if it affects the time signature parameter in the software. Make any necessary adjustments to the mapping if needed.
  6. Save your settings and configurations, so they are applied each time you open the software.
  7. You can now use the assigned MIDI controller to adjust the time signature parameters in the software.


Remember that the specific steps may vary depending on the software you are using, so make sure to consult the software's documentation or help resources for more detailed instructions.


What is the significance of MIDI controller assignments in software?

MIDI controller assignments in software allow users to control various parameters of the software instruments and effects using external MIDI controllers. This provides a more intuitive and hands-on way of interacting with the software, allowing for more dynamic and expressive performances.


By assigning MIDI controllers to specific parameters within the software, users can easily control things like volume, pitch, modulation, and effects parameters in real-time. This can greatly enhance the creative possibilities and musicality of the performance, as it allows for more fluid and responsive control over the sound.


Overall, MIDI controller assignments in software can help to bridge the gap between traditional hardware instruments and digital software, providing a more interactive and engaging musical experience for users.

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