Use a MIDI controller as input device in Capture One

Hi!

I guess there are more among us who are interested in how to get a faster workflow or how to be enabled to edit photos quickly and in a more intuitive way.

Some time ago came across Loupedeck, a controller for Lightroom that gives you access to certain parameters very swiftly.
Unfortunately at this moment it’s “Lightroom only” and 
I read about Tangent too, the C1 alternative for Loupedeck.
Tangent got me interested and found a dealer with a webshop and saw the pricing. That’s when I realized “Okay, this is out of my league”.
I must say it looks like it’s on a whole other level than Loupedeck, don’t get me wrong, but I simply can’t afford it.

‘How-to’

This page is based on how I got Capture to work with the Beatstep MIDI controller.
Other methods might also work (and of course other software of hardware too) so there’s no reason not to be ‘creative’.

And… this is a how-to, I’m sorry but writing a complete manual would simply be too much work.
I expect you’ve got some level of technical insight, so don’t give up when you see all these parameters! (start with one or two)

ps: download the archive below to get you started 😉

Have fun!

So… I’ve posted a few times on Phase One’s forums and finally I came across a post (or two) that set me in the right direction: MIDI Controllers.

(I figured this was a way before but had no knowledge of which tools /translator to use, or at least… I hadn’t put enough effort into it, yet)

I had a USB MIDI controller lying around and started experimenting. At this moment I’ve got it quite worked out I would like to share my it with you.
I hope it will help you the way it did for me, good luck and I hope you’ll have fun on this exploration! *

This page is being revised regularly until I think it’s ‘done’.

Credits

Alain Decamps, Avery Ting Wong, thank you guys!
It took me less than a few hours to get to a working setup, thanks to your pointers 🙂

Hardware:

  • Arturia Beatstep: € 90,- (incl. VAT)
    This MIDI controller is capable of sending ‘relative values’, this is required.
    This is because you want to have the controller to change values from what they are when you open a photo.
    If the controller is keeping it’s value when switching photos this will mess the values up with each switch.     

    • Of course you can pick another MIDI controller you might prefer, for example:
      • Midi Fighter Twister
      • Behringer BCR2000

Software:

  • Capture One (DUH!)
    You need to assign keyboard shortcuts to the parameters you want to change.         

    • CAPTURE ONE PRO 10 € 279,- (ex VAT)
    • CAPTURE ONE PRO 10 For Sony € 186,- (ex VAT)
  • Bome MIDI Translator Pro € 59,- (incl. VAT)
    This is the software that will translate midi to keystrokes (the ‘trick’).
    The ‘Classic’ version will probably work too.

Total of the additional investment: € 149,- (incl. VAT)
I guess you already own a Capture One licence so this is not included.
Maybe you’re able to purchase a second hand controller, this might save you some money?

Overlay

I ‘designed’ an overlay in so I have a more clear interface on the controller.

1 – Set up the parameters / shortcuts in Capture One

You’re free to create your own shortcuts, alphanumeric combined with [ctrl] [alt] [shift].

Hint: it’s possible to combine the keyboard’s key, for instance [ctrl] [alt] [shift], with the MIDI controller’s sent values. This means you have twice the rotary controls when configured right. (seems like a lot of work though)

2 – Set up the parameters in you MIDI controller’s control panel

  • Most controllers come with this so you should be able to set it up in some way.
  • The most important thing for rotary controls is that they’re infinite, or ‘relative’.
    • Relative values give you the opportunity to add or subtract values from any value you’re on
      (You don’t want the values of your file changing to the same as the one you’re coming from)
    • This controller sends ’63’ for counterclockwise and ’65’ for clockwise, or: subtract / add
  • The pads can also send 128 values, just set them to ‘on’ or ‘off’, this is enough for triggering

3 – Set up Bome MIDI Translator

  1. Set a logical name and (de-)activate controller
  2. Select the MIDI channel as in the controller’s settings
  3. Select the CC# as set in the controller’s settings
  4. Select the value as set in the controller’s settings
  5. Don’t let the MIDI data pass through (optional)
  6. Set the keystroke (keyboard shortcut) as configured in Capture One

Finally… you’re in control!

Download

  • Use this ZIPFILE to get started, it contains:
    • Capture One Keyboard Shortcuts
      Windows, place in: “C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\CaptureOne\CustomCommands” 
    • Beatstep Template
      Import using Arturia MIDI Control Center
    • Bome MIDI Translator Pro Template
      Import in BOME

Remarks, addons, tips

Feel free to let me know what you missed or are having trouble with.
Just post a remark below and I’ll try to reply as soon as possible.

4 replies
  1. Terry Wedd says:

    Hi and thanks for al this.

    After a few hours I have all the rotaries programmed and working as I want them but can’t find a way to get the pads working.

    I thought the answer was to send to channel 2, but no go. Also tried a value of 0 and 1 (on/off).

    Just having the slider controls on dial is a great help and I’m no slouch with bashing a keyboard for moving these round. If I can get tools, panels and view options on pads it would be the icing on the cake.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    Terry

    Reply
    • PHODOGRAF says:

      Hi Terry,
      You’re welcome, I’m glad it got you started at least.
      If you know a keyboard shortcut for the command you should be able to assign a pad to it.
      Have a nice day!

      Reply
  2. Willem says:

    Hi,
    This seems like a great project.
    Is there any way we can import the keyboard shortcuts xml to capture one? Option seems not available

    Thx!

    Reply
    • PHODOGRAF says:

      Hi Willem,
      You’re welcome 🙂
      If you’re using Windows you should be able to see the keyboard shortcuts after placing them in: C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\CaptureOne\CustomCommands
      Good luck!

      Reply

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