Is it possible for the A49 Komplete Kontrol to "default" to "MIDI mode" when opening DAW?

strigi
strigi Member Posts: 12 Member

Pretty much what my question in the subject says ^ Is it possible for the A49 Komplete Kontrol keyboard to "default" to "MIDI mode" when opening DAW? When I open the DAW (in this case, Ableton), it defaults into DAW control (or whatever it's called), which means that the knobs are controlling the mixer. I wanna be able to just hop in and get to work without having to hard press "SHIFT+PLUGIN-MIDI". I've already tried going into Ableton's MIDI preferences and removing the keyboard from the dropdown, but it just ignores this everytime I open the DAW.🙄

Is this possible? Thank you! :)

Best Answer

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,437 Expert
    Answer ✓

    Yes, but only if you remove it from a control surface slot (no way to set the "default" behaviour) and remove the script from the scripts folder to stop it auto selecting on next launch. This is a DAW thing, Live will launch and set your connected control surfaces as... control surfaces since usually this is what one wants to use. I'd personally just live with the mild inconvenience of pressing a button tbh.

Answers

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,437 Expert
    Answer ✓

    Yes, but only if you remove it from a control surface slot (no way to set the "default" behaviour) and remove the script from the scripts folder to stop it auto selecting on next launch. This is a DAW thing, Live will launch and set your connected control surfaces as... control surfaces since usually this is what one wants to use. I'd personally just live with the mild inconvenience of pressing a button tbh.

  • strigi
    strigi Member Posts: 12 Member

    Thanks! That’s definitely helpful. I’m wondering if there’s something I can do on the hardware level to sort of force the keyboard into a MIDI mode so that even if the DAW is loading the script, the keyboard itself just stays in one mode. I noticed that the legacy version of Controller Editor is available and I’m curious if that can help me at least build a MIDI template that’s blank.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,437 Expert

    Control Editor does not work with A series.

    Nothing you can do on the hardware since as mentioned, this is a DAW thing. The keyboard is just a MIDI device, the script is what does all the work and that is loaded and initiates the control surface when Live is launched. Same thing with ANY controller that has multiple modes of operation. My MCU for instance, even if I wanted it to load on a different screen/mode I cant because the integration script determines how it starts up.

    Now, if you know how to code, understand python and can read and edit the control script possibly you may be able to do something but no idea on that front.

  • strigi
    strigi Member Posts: 12 Member

    Ah, I see. It's making more sense now. Yeah, I've gone in and edited the script to allow for some MIDI functionality already, but I may be able to remove how it loads up the MIDI CC values and see if I can get it to default into whatever "script" it's running when we key press SHIFT+PLUGIN-MIDI. Anyway, thanks for the insight friend! :)

  • etudes
    etudes Member Posts: 25 Member

    @strigi were you ever able to figure this out?

    It seems kind of crazy to me that the default functionality of a music-production MIDI controller is to set knobs to track volumes instead of MIDI controls. And that it takes two hands to constantly switch to MIDI mode.

  • strigi
    strigi Member Posts: 12 Member

    Yeah I totally agree. This is something that's VERY frustrating, especially for us seasoned producers who are trying to come up on easy-to-use hardware that works right out the box from trusted companies lol (that was a mouthful).

    I did NOT figure this out. No matter what I did, it just kept defaulting into that weird DAW controller mode. I simply don't have the coding prowess to dig that deep into the script. I'm sure I could learn it but I aint got no time for that lol.

    Additionally, there's another issue with this controller I've found while working with sample libraries that need a lot of smooth interpolation with modulation curves (piano roll automation). The mod-wheel creates a weird "steppy-ness" to it where the automation curves are snapping and not smooth. This is weird because when I used my MK-I S49, it was smooth as butter (even though I don't like the touch modulation thing), but this A49 is very steppy and wonky and I find myself having to fix curves A LOT. I plan on just selling this and my MK-I and getting an MK-II maybe.

  • etudes
    etudes Member Posts: 25 Member

    Ahh, thank you so much for the insight. Ok I'm returning this A49. The only thing that I like about it is like, the look of it, and maybe the keyboard action. I also liked the feel of the mod wheel, but it doesn't matter if it sends steppy MIDI CC data. This is basically the most unintuitive controller I've used. Such a shame :(

  • strigi
    strigi Member Posts: 12 Member

    Yeah I'd say you're better off just returning it and getting their S-series. The newer ones, to my knowledge, are much better and are a continuation of their MK models. Lemme know how it works out for you! I'm going to be doing the same soon!

  • etudes
    etudes Member Posts: 25 Member

    Ah, I was briefly considering the S49 a bit ago, but would it be any different, or would it also keep constantly defaulting to track volume control? My gut tells me it'll be the same thing.

    It's also just a super steep price for a 49-key keyboard, which I mostly just want to be a basic MIDI keyboard. That's why I got the A49! The KK software / browsing workflow is a cool option to have for occasional exploration, but I find it to mostly be a pretty klunky, long-winded, cumbersome wrapper around the tools / plug-ins I already know. Not to mention, it slightly shrinks whatever plug-in UI you host in it, like the already microscopic UI of Kontakt.

    For the most part, I just want to open up a plug-in and use it, not open up a wrapper with my mouse and then press a Browse button on my controller and then use a knob to go through a gigantic alphabetical list of all instruments.

  • strigi
    strigi Member Posts: 12 Member

    I totally know what you mean, 100%. I'm very very similar in my approach. I've had KK for like, ever, (including Ultimate), and while it's incredible the amount of stuff you get, I still find myself using it modularly like that a lot. It's just easier, simple to integrate into projects, etc (which is also why I love Reaktor so much). The KK software is nice too, but like you mentioned, it's nice for exploration. It is indeed very very clunky. 99% of the time, I'm not gonna fire up KK software in my DAW to scroll through thousands of presets and expansions; that's just ridiculous. I told them in a review that if they had it setup to where it was more like quickly-browsable sample-based libraries, we probably would be more prone to use it. For now, preset-cycling is still okay on satandalone VST's.

    I will say though, my S49 MK-I is STILL better than this A49. It has NEVER defaulted into KK-mode or whatever it is. S49 always opens up in its dummy-MIDI state, which is so nice. In fact, I got used to just mapping things on the fly to the CC knobs (I think by default, the S49 MK-I is MIDI CC-14 and up). It's so nice. And it responds to very subtle touches too. And there's also a pressure sensitivity on the keys, which allows you to get even more surgical if you wanted (legit, it's like an additional MIDI-CC control from how hard you press, if you reeeeally wanted to go deep into expression [thinking it could be good for stuff like vibrato]).||

    I think something that's a bit of a disagreement on the producer-front seems to be that these developers kind of "piegon-hole" you into a "way" of producing, but the strange thing about that is that it's kinda ironic. I think that's because when we hop into the DAW, while we DO want to explore, we want to have the freedom to let our exploration iterate itself, not be tied down to specific paths that pull us away from our creative expression. I think this is the beauty of Kontakt. I think there's some more innovation that needs to be integrated into their KK software imho. Idk, maybe I'm asking too much haha.

  • etudes
    etudes Member Posts: 25 Member
    edited February 2023

    So appreciate all your thoughts & insights on this. Sincerely glad to hear I'm not the only person out here who thinks that, behind all the pretty pictures and Youtube hype that seem to be at the forefront of the public perception, that the actual usability of this KK system is ridiculous when you're just trying to use tools you already know. I think you described it all super well.

    It's cool to hear that about the S49 though. I still think it's a crazy price for something I want to mostly just be a basic MIDI keyboard, but the more I look at my other options, I'm realizing that there are very few that have Fatar keybeds or just keyboard action that are as highly touted as that of the S series keyboards. And that's actually the most important thing for me, just above quality basic MIDI knobs.

    So if the S49 Mk2 really does default to basic MIDI mode (and doesn't keep switching every time I select another track, like the A49), then I might go for it just because of the Fatar keybed...

  • strigi
    strigi Member Posts: 12 Member

    Thank you! And ahhh yes, the fatar keybed. Yeah that's a big selling point! I know what you mean. I think you'll be okay to try the S-49 (assuming they have a return policy still). You can always return it! If not, you can sell what gear you do have hopefully.

    And yeah, look/appeal is only a factor in the usability of it all (at least after its ease of UI functionality), but there are plugins that don't look all flashy that work amazing and have easily scalable UI's, deep-integrated usability, with great browsing functionality and indexing capabilities (ADSR's Sample Manager comes to mind; I know it's not entirely comparable because it's a sample manager, but still... something to learn from them I think).

    Also, I purchased my MK-I refurbished btw. It was used and I've never had any issues with it even though it's older hardware. I'm not sure if the new models are made with the same robustness, but I love it.

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