Novation SL MkIII (MK3) MIDI Remote Script

Hello my friend, I think I quite understand the situation, so here are my thoughts on it.

Let’s start from the native mode that the SL MK3 uses for handling (mostly hardware) devices, and this mode has nothing to do with the integration for Cubase I’ve made publicly available via this wiki thread.

In this mode, you can assign MIDI Messages to the 8 knobs of the keyboard, name them properly based on the corresponding hardware controls, and thus assign them to your hardware synths using the MIDI OUT. There are actually 2 banks for the 8 knobs as you correctly wrote.

At the same time you can assign additional parameters to the faders, buttons, pads, pitchbend, modulation and pedals.

All these assignments are what we call a Template.

Here’s a photo of assignments for the OB-6, while in the row of buttons we can see other templates as you already know.

So, to answer your first question, yes, it’s all there, and you can control hardware synths using the native Novation’s mode.

BUT, I see that you’re talking about plugins. I will not comment on Ableton Live, since I’ve never actually used it, so let’s talk about my integration for Cubase.

First of all, you can create templates for plugins, and midi learn SL’s knobs to the plugin’s controls, when of course the plugin supports midi learn (not all do).

However, Cubase can go a bit more generic, and let us control plugins in a more abstract way.
Instead of creating templates on our keyboard, we can actually create “templates” internally, at the DAW level, and then all the parameters involved, will be handled by the very same set of controls on our keyboard.

Let me explain this, with an example:

Suppose we have a plugin from Arturia, the Jun6.

Let’s open it in Cubase. We see this:

Now, we wish to create a “template” from inside Cubase, to control this plugin using our keyboard.

There is a window we can setup what we want to control, using the logic of a matrix of (in our case of the SL MK3’s) eight knobs. We can also use our faders, but for now let’s stay with the knobs.

So, we can open the “Remote Control Editor” which is the window for managing the plugin’s parameters we want to control, and design our matrix accordingly.

Here’s how the default matrix for the Jun6 is:

We can see “pages” of parameters, and each page actually can (and will) be assigned to our keyboard’s 8 knobs.
We can click on each of these parameters, and change it to another, whichever we find that suits best our workflow with this plugin.
When we’re finished, we save this “template” and we’re done with it.
Now, on our keyboard (in our case the SL MK3), I have a “section” where we can control this plugin using our 8 knobs.
BUT, contrary to Novation’s standard implementation, we can now have more than 2 pages for our knobs. In fact, we can have as many as Cubase supports, and we can navigate through these pages using the up/down arrows too.

So, here’s for example what you’ll see in this page, on our keyboard’s displays for the Jun6:

And here’s the second page:

And there is more. We can actually assign our faders too, so we can have 16 controls per “page”, and we can have feedback for these 16 parameters on our display as well. Here’s a photo:

In the first two rows we see the assignments (and their values) to our knobs, while in the third and fourth row, we see the assignments to our faders. Real time.

And then again, there is even more. We can use the very same method for our insert FX. Here’s an example for Arturia’s Delay Eternity plugin in our first slot:

As you can see, all this can go pretty deep. We have control over our instrument plugins, our fx plugins, and also our channel strip plugins which come pre-mapped by the way.

You’ve mentioned the Arturia Keylab MK2. I’ll start by saying that I’m a happy owner of this keyboard too :slight_smile: I love it. And a plus is the integration with its own VSTs, either by using Analog Lab, or any instrument of the V-collection, or even Pigments. Where it shines, is the browsing experience with these plugins.

When it comes to my implementation, it’s pretty similar to the one of the SL MK3, but it’s obvious that we can’t have the same level of display feedback, since we have just one tiny 16*2 led display. It’s enough to show the currently selected parameter, but it’s just that. However, if you ask me personally, I now know the basic parameters of my VSTs so I’m not really looking at the displays to check what controls what. By time, we all increase our muscle memory. BUT if you need the display feedback, well, the SL MK3 is a clear winner here.

I fear that I cannot possibly present everything that I should, I actually want to create some videos on these implementations, but, so far I didn’t really have the time I think they deserve, I hope I can do this in the near future.

My advice: Visit a shop and try out both these keyboards (and other as well). Try their keybed. You like a synth-action? A more piano-like one? It’s a truly important aspect. Then, let the guys there install my scripts and inspect their functionality. See for yourself whether they’re really worth your time, or you can live without them, by simply using the mouse/QWERTY. At the end of the day, we’re mostly in for the music and this is what really matters, isn’t it? :slight_smile: