Kontrol F1 firmware/ windows driver problem: unable to receive more than 11 MIDI-in messages at once
After spending the weekend investigating this, I am convinced of the following:
The Kontrol F1 controller (in MIDI mode) is unable to process more than 11 incoming MIDI messages at the same time, when those incoming messages are controlling pad LED colors from a Windows 11 host machine.
I'm using my F1 with Madmapper (projection mapping + VJing), and am using the encoder knob to switch between different virtual pages -- mapped to a ton of different cue banks within Madmapper. This lets me get *way* more pads (2032!) than the F1's built-in shift mode allows. And I'm using the numeric LCD display to tell me which virtual bank is actually active.
But here is where the problems arose: I tried to also change the color of all 16 pads to match the virtual bank (using arbitrary color schemes that different from bank to bank), to give me more of a visual cue that the pads are doing something different. I configured the pads to respond to MIDI-in messages in "indexed" mode.
When sending 16 MIDI-out messages simultaneously, to CC numbers 10-25 (on channel 13), only 11 of the pads actually respond to the color values. I can trim some pads from the MIDI-out logic in Madmapper but I always get a max of 11 pads that can actually update at once. It doesn't matter which pad, it's just how many pads I'm trying to change at once. I confirmed this using different MIDI-capable software (Chataigne) and noticed the same limitation on my F1.
I observe this from two different Intel-based Windows 11 machines (1 desktop, 1 gaming laptop), both using the latest F1 drivers and with no other MIDI-aware software running. I reinstalled the drivers and triple-checked that I'm running the latest firmware.
AND: I see no issue at all with the F1 when the messages are coming from an *Intel Mac*.
My workaround: send the color-related MIDI messages twice, spaced apart by a fraction of a second. The 2nd wave always seems to update the pads that refused to update during the 1st wave.
I'm using this same "colored virtual bank" approach with other controllers that have pads - such as the Novation Launchpad X - and I observe no such issue with those -- from those same two Windows 11 machines.
After digging into various forums about MIDI controller firmware and drivers, it seems that the F1 may have a firmware or driver issue in terms of inbound MIDI messages/feedback, at least when using it on windows.
Has anyone else run into this? Could it just be that my particular F1 unit is defective?
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