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Add support for navigation knob and buttons on Komplete keyboards  

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Lowell
(@lowell)
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September 21, 2020 12:38 am  

I noticed John has a Komplete S61 MK2 keyboard controller... I wonder if eventually Unify could support receiving signals like the PRESET (Up/Down) buttons, and the "4-directional push encoder" knob to be assigned to whatever we want in Unify. I'm guessing that the PRESET buttons don't give any output signal when the keyboard is in MIDI mode, but the push encoder's LEDs are lit when the keyboard is in basic MIDI controller mode.

Testing with the MIDI Monitor, it confirms that the buttons that aren't lit up in MIDI mode don't send anything. But the push encoder knob definitely does send when tilting or rotating. Also, the Loop, Play, Rec, and Stop buttons send MIDI signals. It would be cool to be able to assign all of those functions in Unify.


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getdunne
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September 21, 2020 1:34 am  

@lowell

I have a Komplete Kontrol M32 and am working on this.

Would you be able to post some details of the MIDI messages you recorded? My M32 has become stuck in MIDI mode (a known issue with these keyboards) so I'm unable to capture the messages myself at the moment.


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Lowell
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September 22, 2020 2:42 am  

@getdunne I will do that.


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Lowell
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September 24, 2020 2:41 am  

Using the MIDI Monitor in Unify:

LOOP button:

     5728.92 ms: Ch01  Note on D5 nn 86 vel 127

     5882.50 ms: Ch01  Note off D5

PLAY button:

   1589.15 ms: Ch01  Note on A#5 nn 94 vel 127

   1701.02 ms: Ch01  Note off A#5

REC button:

      861.50 ms: Ch01  Note on B5 nn 95 vel 127

      964.69 ms: Ch01  Note off B5

STOP button:

      995.83 ms: Ch01  Note on A5 nn 93 vel 127

     1110.85 ms: Ch01  Note off A5

 

"Encoder" controller (round jog-wheel type controller):

Push up:

    15894.38 ms: Ch01  Note on C6 nn 96 vel 127

    16003.94 ms: Ch01  Note off C6

 

Push down:

     2105.19 ms: Ch01  Note on C#6 nn 97 vel 127

     2270.50 ms: Ch01  Note off C#6

 

Push left:

     6399.83 ms: Ch01  Note on D6 nn 98 vel 127

     6613.50 ms: Ch01  Note off D6

 

Push right:

    10083.75 ms: Ch01  Note on D#6 nn 99 vel 127

    10224.35 ms: Ch01  Note off D#6

 

Push down into keyboard (depress):

 

(nothing)

 

Rotate right:

     1123.79 ms: Ch01  CC60 ([60]): 1

 

Rotate left:

     5028.38 ms: Ch01  CC60 ([60]): 65


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Lowell
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October 4, 2020 9:19 pm  

Noticed that the forum post cut off more data (had trouble posting this one). I edited it and added the rest.


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getdunne
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October 4, 2020 11:41 pm  

Thanks @lowell. Do you have any idea how I can get my M32 keyboard to switch out of MIDI Mode?


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Lowell
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October 10, 2020 8:22 pm  

@getdunne Hm. I have an A25 so it has the same buttons for MIDI mode as the S61 MK2. Looks like the M32 doubles up the Plug-in and MIDI functions into the same button. So Shift-Plug-in looks like it should go into MIDI mode. I'm sure you already know that and have tried that.

I find the S61 will move into full "NI" mode when I open Komplete Kontrol. So maybe try that, then close Kontrol and open Unify or DAW and see if it switches back into MIDI mode.

Also, and you probably already have tried this, check if there's a firmware update. Even if there isn't, if you can re-apply the latest firmware update maybe that will reset anything that's stuck.


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SSquared
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October 11, 2020 5:39 am  

Aha!  I was trying to find this thread the other day to reply to @getdunne.  Maybe @lowell already gave you the answer.

To use the NI keyboards in KK mode, you MUST be using Komplete Kontrol.  You can run the KK standalone application, which I recommend as a starter just so there is no other application to get in the way.  Actually, it's required anytime you add new VSTs if you want KK to find them.  You can open Unify and add the Komplete Kontrol VST.  Once that's loaded, you should be able to use the keyboard in KK mode.  I just verified this on the S61 and it worked.

Keep in mind, you can only control a single KK instance at a time.

Believe it or not, the very initial release of the A series did not work in KK mode and a later update of the KK software fixed this.  Be sure you are on something like version 2.1 or higher.  Be wary of updates, though.  Once you have your system working, I recommend being very careful about updating if you don't have to.  Breaking issues often popup and NI is known for being rather slow in fixes.  The only weird issue I have is I have to swap the On/Off values between 0 and 127 EVERY time I startup with my Korg sustain pedal (other pedals are working fine).  Other than that, my S61 has met my needs quite well.

EDIT:  Changed a sentence for a bit more clarity.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Lowell
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October 11, 2020 7:29 am  

My MIDI captures however are from using the controller in MIDI mode. So the goal would be to be able to use some of the buttons and encoder wheel while in MIDI mode, for Unify commands.


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getdunne
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October 11, 2020 7:22 pm  

@lowell

This seems to be a known issue with the KK keyboards, especially the M32. Google "Komplete Kontrol M32 stuck in MIDI mode" and you'll find lots of people talking about this, but no actual answers from NI or anywhere else. (The most useful page I found so far is https://www.native-instruments.com/forum/threads/ive-just-bought-a-m32-but-it-doesnt-seem-to-work-properly.379145/, but still no answer.) I've tried running the Komplete Kontrol app, and as others have reported, it doesn't seem to even see the keyboard.


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Lowell
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October 11, 2020 9:05 pm  

@getdunne Yeah, and their support isn't great. So that's annoying. The data I provided though is when you're in MIDI mode; the controller will be in MIDI mode when running a DAW, Unify, etc. I missed that earlier and for some reason thought you meant it was stuck in non-MIDI controller mode.

So while that's a problem (never goes out of MIDI mode) if you want to use NI-specific functions like Plug-In mode and Komplete Kontrol, with the Preset buttons working as you go to different patches, all of the MIDI signals I mention above come from the controller when it is in MIDI mode.


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getdunne
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October 11, 2020 9:15 pm  

@lowell I just checked and of course you're right: those messages are received when the keyboard is in MIDI mode. I was pretty sure I'd checked before and got nothing, but I may not have been set up correctly. Thank you again.


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Lowell
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October 11, 2020 9:25 pm  

@getdunne Oh good!

As to your issue of it not being recognized by NI software properly... Assuming you're using Windows, in Device Manager do you have:

  1. Software Devices - 2-4 devices for the M32?
  2. NI USB Devices - 1-3 devices for the M32?
  3. Sound, video and game controllers - BomeMIDI Komplete Kontrol DAW, as well as another Komplete Kontrol MIDI device

I don't know which of these are the most critical for the KK software to see the device as present and switch to it for the advanced functions. I have 4 devices in #1 above, 3 devices in #2 above and both devices in #3 above.


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getdunne
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October 11, 2020 9:57 pm  

@lowell

I am using Windows 10. In Device Manager I see the 4 entries in Software Devices, no "NI USB Devices" category at all, and "Komplete Kontrol M32 DFU" under "Universal Serial Bus devices". That last one seems suspicious. In my past life as a consultant, I saw "DFU" devices show up when a specific USB device was in some firmware update mode (DFU = device firmware update).


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SSquared
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October 12, 2020 12:58 am  

@getdunne

Something else to look at (which was buried as a single, tiny mention in the NI forum thread you referenced) is the NIHostIntegrationAgent service.  This needs to be running (or the keyboard will remain in MIDI mode) and will sometimes fail to start, or stop working after some point.

  • Go to the Windows 10 (I believe you are on Windows) search bar at the bottom and type "services".
  • Once in the services app look for NIHostIntegrationAgent.
  • Be sure the NI-named services are currently running.

Mine used to stop quite often after closing Ableton Live and I have read others have issues running this service.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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getdunne
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October 12, 2020 1:58 am  

@ssquared

Thanks for these suggestions. I tried the Win10 Services control panel, where I see NIHardwareService and NIHostIntegrationAgent both running. I attempted to restart NIHostIntegrationAgent, and this proved difficult. It timed out while stopping, but stopped eventually anyway. When I tried to restart it, it got stuck saying "starting" and never reached the "running" state.

I'm not going to spend any more time trying to debug this. it's clear that, as nice as the NI keyboards may be, they are not suitable for experimental use. I wouldn't want to get stuck trying to do tech support for NI's products, especially given that NI themselves seem to be doing a poor job of that.


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Lowell
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October 12, 2020 2:59 am  

@getdunne Yeah at this point it looks like key software either never installed correctly (especially if you were never able to use the full NI mode) or got borked. Just in case anyone else reads this down the road and wonders what to do next... This would be pretty standard fare for anything in this situation not just NI gear:

I'd unplug the NI keyboard, right-click on each of the NI-related devices in Device Manager and uninstall each of them. Choose to keep the driver at this point when asked. I'd probably also uninstall the main software (Komplete Kontrol in this case).

Then reboot the computer, install the main software (Komplete Kontrol), plug in the keyboard, let all drivers install as normal. Check the keyboard with the software.

Something else that I found with MIDI devices and Windows 10... Turn off the "Fast Startup" option. When you shut down W10 with Fast Startup on, which is default, it basically closes apps and hibernates the PC, making it much quicker to start up. A full restart however isn't affected by this feature. I found that some MIDI devices don't like this and not all of them recover from a hibernation, and either don't show up in Device Manager, or partially show up, and mostly don't work... most of the time.

So on my music PC I've turned off the Fast Startup: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-disable-windows-10-fast-startup


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Lowell
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October 12, 2020 3:07 am  

@getdunne Also, do any of the devices list as "Komplete Kontrol M32 DAW" (not just MIDI)? If so, in Komplete Kontrol software go to Edit/Preferences/MIDI and make sure both the DAW and MIDI devices are selected on both Input and Output tabs. That way anything that can use extended functionality like Cubase (which uses things like the Record, Stop, Quantize, etc. buttons) or Komplete Kontrol which uses the Preset buttons, display, etc. will be able to communicate with it. I find those buttons really helpful in DAW workflow; less mouse-clicking and looking up to the DAW.


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