I’d like to get an Arturia Minilab MkII midi controller for a VCV Rack-based performance synth - all those knobs look ideal. I have an Akai MPK Mini which works great, but not enough knobs for my liking Seriously, I want three just to control the delay.
But I read here some problems with the Arturia crashing rack, is that a general problem or is it OK?
Great thanks. I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work. But this is computers and nothing works until it’s proven. The Arturia spec/vids I saw are heavy on the link with the free software that comes with it and a bit light on the more generic midi.
You might have to change some settings in Arturia’s MIDI Control Center application to ensure the knob range is working OK for you with Rack.
For example the attached screen shot shows a change I made to Knob 1 on my MiniLab MKII. Note that the Option setting is set to “Absolute” and Minimum and Maximum are set to, er, the minimum (0) and maximum (127) values.
I’ve found that if I don’t change those settings in the MIDI Control Center application (and then upload the changes to the MKII) then I can only “wiggle” the Rack knobs very slightly if I use the default settings on the MKII.
It might work differently for you, but letting you know just in case.
Update: Also, the keyboard works fine, and the pitch bend and modulation “sliders” work fine (don’t forget that you have to use a module like MIDI CV / MIDI CC to use them as modulation sources).
To use the pads I’ve found that setting their mode to Switched Control in the MIDI Control Center application, Option to “Gate” and then using a “spare” / undefined MIDI CC number (e.g. 20 to 27 for pads 1 to 8), and then using the VCV MIDI MAP module to map the pads to a module’s button (or gate input / trigger input if they have an associated button on the module) works great. (See the second screen shot).
Alan thanks, that’s helpful, both things. I had mixed success with the pads on the Akai MPK mini, but found some use for them in the end. I wanted to toggle different voices on/off in the mixer but it didn’t work out. If the Arturia pads are better, then that would be a bonus. The faders are what I’m really after though.
…oh just one other thing. My Akai Midi Mix (more faders and knobs than you can shake a stick at) has a handy ‘Send All’ button that sends all the fader CC values over in one hit, so you don’t have to wiggle them all to get them in sync. Does the Arturia have that? Just a nice to have.
Alternatively if they are the ‘endless’ ones maybe that’s the way anyway and I can use Ben’s module (thanks for the tip). I couldn’t find out if they are.
Sorry, I don’t know. The MKII manual might be of use, but I couldn’t find anything that mentions something like a “send all”. Also, I’m not sure if / how that would work in Rack, given the mapping set up that you would have to do?
Just to follow up @chrtlnghmstr that was a useful tip, thanks. Everything worked from the defaults apart from as you say knobs 1 and 9 which I set to ‘absolute’. I’ve left the pads as midi notes and using either MIDI-GATE or MIDI-MAP to consume them in Rack.
I’m very pleased with the Mini Lab. It’s a different style of operating from the Akai MPK mini which doesn’t have endless knobs. Swings and roundabouts - with the Akai you can see the absolute knob position from the keyboard itself (which is good) but you have to set them right for each patch to get a default sound you want when you load the patch (not so good). With the Arturia you can’t see the knob setting but when you load a patch it comes in ‘right’ and the knobs then move the setting from those defaults (good).
But then the mini lab has the pitch and mod strips and 16 knobs, so that swings it for me.