I have just released a panel for Ctrlr for the KORG DW-6000. This panel can be used as a mapper between standard MIDI CCs and the DWs SysEx messages, allowing all parameters to be controlled by a hardware MIDI controller. This also applies to those parameters that are combined in a single SysEx message, like OSC 1+2 waveforms.
A corresponding preset for the BCR2000 MIDI Controller is also in the works…
You can find the Ctrlr panel here.
A couple of weeks ago I was once again searching for a universal synth editor. My last search revealed MidiQuest as the only universal editor for Windows. It seemed to cover most of my devices, but I wasn´t sure if it would match my requirements. And even though it´s price may be justified I wasn´t willing to pay it just to find out.
So I kept searching and eventually found a post on a forum that linked to Ctrlr. And was I surprised! Latest build from not 2 weeks ago, an alive forum and promising features.
Since then I spent quite some time with it, and even though it´s work in progress it provides all the features i needed for my synths that are a little peculiar SysEx wise.
What the engine doesn´t offer one can add using the lua scriptengine. Well, sometimes you just have to, but for me that´s more a plus than a minus..
The zip files provided here each contain the following:
- Overlays for SkinMan and ready to print.
- Preset SysEx files for BC Manager or direct transfer to the BCR.
- As it is not possible to tell the BCR how and where to include the MIDI channel number within the SysEx message, the byte containing the channel number must be hardcoded within the SysEx file. Refer to the ReplaceMIDIChannel_README textfile in the package for a search-replace string to change the MIDI channel to your needs.
- BC Manager SysEx Definition File (if applicable)
You may use the content of the packages for your own purposes. For distribution, please link to this site.
Proper overlays greatly increase usability of the device. You can visualize the controls much better as opposed to just text-labelling and thus bring you much closer to the device you are controlling with the BCR.
The BCR2000 Templates document that you can find on the official downloads page contains simple overlays for control labelling. But I was looking for a way to create enhanced overlays that visualize the device being controlled rather than just labelling the controls.
Custom overlays with SkinMan
SkinMan is a freeware program for creating skins for audio plugins. I created templates for the upper and the lower sections of the BCR. SkinMan can be found here.
Download the SkinMan templates here.
The templates contain grouped elements of four basic types:
- Background: The overall background of the overlay.
- Cutouts: These should be left as they are, blank sections to be cut out of the printed layout. They represent the actual buttons and encoders on the device.
- Labels: Editable primitives for the label background.
- Label text: The text fields for each label.
To create your overlay, do the following:
- Download and install SkinMan
- Download the SkinMan Templates and open them in SkinMan.
- Design, hide, add or remove elements to your liking.
- When you´re finished, export the image via the File menu and print it out. I recommend to use good quality photo paper.
Use DIN A4 (210 x 297 mm) as print size.
Make sure to use borderless print setting, or the control cutouts will not fit!
- Cut out the cutouts (hence the name, right…) with a sharp cutter.
- For long term protection, laminate the overlay.
- Cut out the lamination foil again and you are done.
You may want to download one of the BCR sets below and use the contained overlay as an example.
The BCR2000 SysEx capabilities are hardly covered by the official documentations and tools. I guess nowadays such controllers are mostly intended for use with software, to control DAWs and plugins. But they are equally ideal to control those 80’s to 90’s digital synths, which lack hardware controls but provide parameter setting via SysEx messages.
The BCR2000 is perfectly capable of that, but you have to know how to set it up. You can always use the learn function to assign a SysEx message to a control. If the SysEx message is simple, the BCR will perfectly recognize it. For proper setup however there is a perfect tool out there called BC Manager. It needs a while to get used to the interface, but you can edit and control every aspect of the device with it, send and receive data and manage multiple devices. A must-have for every BCR owner!
If you want more information on the SysEx capabilities of the BCR, check out the resources and links on the Mountain Utilities BCR/BCF page, too.