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Novation products with Automap, experience?


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#1 Cas

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 15:29

Hey party people
I've been looking at Novation Zero-SL MkII for a while now, seems pretty awesome. About this automap software, I'm not sure what to expect of it. First and foremost I would love if that 'speed dial' works in renoise as well. Before I'll buy it I'll try and check it out at a more or less local shop first, but probably won't be sure to have the chance there to test the automap stuff icw renoise.. What do you novation owners (with dials, not launchpad) do, turn off the automap?
thanks!

I think I would like to have a 'production' preset where e.g. the crossfader switches tracks from left to right, and a 'mix' preset with different behaviour.. is this possible inside, does it have banks like that, or do you need to upload/switch presets from the software?
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#2 danoise

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 20:00

I have a collection of Novation gear, and the Remote SL MKII (keyboard version) is my clear favorite.

Speed dial: yes, that feature is working fine (at least on windows, I can confirm this).

Automap mixer features does not work with Renoise, as special code would need to be compiled into Renoise for it to work,
and I don't think you're likely to see that happen. But the alternative is even better: Duplex is capable of driving a mixer, select tracks,
control effects, pretty much everything. Duplex knows more about Renoise than automap does :-)

It's funny though - for bi-directional communication to work, the automap software needs to be running. Duplex is then
piggy-backing on automap to achieve the instantaneous feedback.
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#3 Cas

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 23:49

Alright, thanks for your answer, that does clear up a whole bunch. Wouldn't have guessed on speed dial or any automap specific thing to work under linux anyway. So how does it work feedback-wise, I mean, if you have more than 8 tracks - how can you see which fader is controlling which tracks controls? If I understand correctly, with Duplex on Windows one might have track names displayed on the little lcd screen etc? Or device parameters even?
Just asking, thanks a lot for the info

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#4 danoise

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:03

Wouldn't have guessed on speed dial or any automap specific thing to work under linux anyway

Linux, no I don't think automap works there. Which is a shame really, as far as the Remote goes.
Other Novation gear, like the Launchpad, have drivers written for it, but the Remote would be working without the MIDI feedback AFAIK


If I understand correctly, with Duplex on Windows one might have track names displayed on the little lcd screen etc? Or device parameters even?

No, technically it is not possible to control the Remote's LCD screens, at least I have not found a way to do this.
The LCD panels just tell me the CC value of each knob, and act as a window into the Remote "OS"


if you have more than 8 tracks - how can you see which fader is controlling which tracks controls?

It's very simple - say you have 14 tracks and the hardware can display 8 tracks at a time? Then, you have a
"next/previous" page style navigation which allows you to scroll through tracks...If you get lost, well you are
probably using too many tracks for this kind of workflow. Good for mixing sessions though :-P

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#5 DoubleDeep

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:25

No, technically it is not possible to control the Remote's LCD screens, at least I have not found a way to do this.
The LCD panels just tell me the CC value of each knob, and act as a window into the Remote "OS"


If you don't use Duplex for the Remote, you can easily change the names for the buttons, knobs and faders in the Automap utility. Then you can also assign anything you like in Renoise to the Remote.

#6 danoise

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 15:58

you can easily change the names for the buttons, knobs and faders in the Automap utility.

But, since linux was mentioned Automap is not really an option, ruling out any kind of "intelligent control".

Then you can also assign anything you like in Renoise to the Remote


Yes, Novation states that the Remote is class-compliant, so no drivers are needed for standard MIDI mappings :-)

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#7 Cas

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 16:52

But, since linux was mentioned Automap is not really an option, ruling out any kind of "intelligent control".

That's what my question is, I don't have any idea what Automap does! Can you give a little description of the behaviour? (With or without Duplex)

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#8 vV

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 17:25

That's what my question is, I don't have any idea what Automap does!


That was Danoise his problem as well, Automap seems a proprietary closed software project. I'm pretty sure that there would have been a solution on Linux if the Automap message construction would have been known.
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#9 kazakore

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 19:51

That was Danoise his problem as well, Automap seems a proprietary closed software project. I'm pretty sure that there would have been a solution on Linux if the Automap message construction would have been known.


I think he's asking what it does, not how it does it...

#10 danoise

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 20:12

Sure, I'll try and explain what it does. Basically, Automap is a "server" type of software that you install on your PC or Mac. Keeping this analogy, the Novation hardware is connecting to this server can be considered clients, and you can connect multiple of these clients at the same time.

What's smart about this is that Automap can then tell your hardware something about the software side of things. For example, Automap for the Remote can provide you with "auto-mapped" mixer features for many common DAWs (Renoise not included), and also, it's able to wrap VST plugins in a shell so that Automap is able to tell the hardware which parameters are available (with the included editor, this is quite a powerful feature).

What's problematic about Automap is, as vV points out, it's a proprietary standard that only Novation's products can understand. Also, DAW support is kind of limited (but I found a way to achieve the same functionality and more in Renoise by piggybacking, as mentioned). And last but not least, the missing Linux support.

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#11 Bad Mind

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:58

if anyone is in the market to get a Novation Remote SL MKII 25 key, mine is currently up on ebay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/121029706754

i love this board but im not really making full use of it, and i'm a bit pressed on space right now (i'm korg nano'd out atm lol)

#12 Cas

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 00:43

if it would've been one octave more I'd think about it. :P sorry

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#13 Bad Mind

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 00:50

if it would've been one octave more I'd think about it. :P/> sorry


haha no doubt... i could really use the extra octave too!

#14 Guest_68000_*

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:06

from my experience - AVOID ANY AUTOMAP CONTROLLERS.

Believe me, you're gonna regret the purchase unless u use the most popular DAWs like Live, Logic or Cubase.
They have lots of nice lit buttons and knobs you cant really use if your software does not fully support Automap (and only few do).
My experience with Nocturn 25 keyboard and Renoise was that pads were totally useless here, knobs and buttons had fixed CC numbers so depending on the plugin they were more or (more often) less usable. Keys were good though (surprise surprise).
I'd rather get a AKAI controller or one of the M-Audio Axioms, or basically anything that has some kind of editor software where you can change and adjust what particular button or knob does, write it to the gear and just use as MIDI without any bridge software in between.

Last word - to make Automap actually auto map your plugins controls (as was mentioned above), you have to wrap them inside it and use the wrapped versions in your DAW. now imagine: after a year you decide to change your controller to something non-Novation, effectively resigning from Automap, so not installing it anymore and not wrapping your plugins anymore. what happens? you have a year's worth of projects with missing plugins as they would point to DLLs not existing on your system anymore. simple change of dll names might or might not work, as the communication between wrapper and DAW nad original plugin and DAW probably looks different, so good luck with that (not to mention that the wrapper often caused incomatibilities).

Edited by Tehnik, 02 December 2012 - 10:12.


#15 2 daze j

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:23

If you like what Tehnik said, and I happen to agree, and feel that the, "older skool," midi setup is better than automap, and the m-audio map solution.. You might find this brand/line of controllers quite interesting. http://www.rolandus....etails/1095/460

They also have the less expensive A300 Pro. ( it has less keys )

These Roland controllers allow pretty much the type of mapping Tehnik is talking about. The manual is available to read/download from Roland's website.

Nice stuff..

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#16 Name User

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 00:36

Got a Remote SL sitting here for years, been trying to sell it for a few months. Hate how it feels, hate how it works. Went out to take a look at better controllers, found out that the competition is EVEN WORSE.

I quit hardware, PC keyboard is good enough.

#17 2 daze j

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 00:39

Got a Remote SL sitting here for years, been trying to sell it for a few months. Hate how it feels, hate how it works. Went out to take a look at better controllers, found out that the competition is EVEN WORSE.



You compared the Roland A500 Pro, to your current controller, and found it was worse? Really? Why, what is up? It has had great reviews. I haven't checked it out yet, but what did you think of it?

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#18 Cas

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 13:29

Got a Remote SL sitting here for years, been trying to sell it for a few months. Hate how it feels, hate how it works. Went out to take a look at better controllers, found out that the competition is EVEN WORSE.

I quit hardware, PC keyboard is good enough.

LOL wtf. You're in the wrong thread I think :P

Anyways I still have no idea which one I want for a better control, see I now have the Akai MPK mini 25-key and I love it for the money. It's in my eyes still the best bang for buck a beginning composer/producer/beatmaker can ever wish for. But since I've been freestyle composing and sample-sequencing for about 2 years, I've also learned a little music theory (check this out if you need!) and I definitely set to get a controller of at least 4, maybe 5 octaves. I don't care that I don't know how to fit it on my desk yet. I think I'll just go to a shop with a lot of showroom space and figure they'll have a lot of these controllers to test.. Just trying to figure out if the novation stuff works with renoise.. Akai has about everything on the MPK configurable, turns out novation does not :(
Maybe I'll just get a synth/cheap workstation with midi out.

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#19 2 daze j

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 14:03

Maybe I'll just get a synth/cheap workstation with midi out.



What do you make of this? http://usa.yamaha.co...x49/?mode=model

http://www.sweetwate...re/detail/MX49/

It is a Rompler, with a built in Audio Interface, that is loaded with about a thousand sounds, "from the flagship Motif," ( organs, pianos, cellos, etc," )

A. It works as a VST plugin
B. Is 16 part multi-timbral
C. Has great arpeggio functionality
D. Make custom controller templates for your vst's.
E. and plenty of other features...

Yamaha is billing it as a Synth/Workstation, "their entry level Keyboard Product." I stood next to one in GuitarCenter today. It caught my eye. I glanced at the price, $599. Because it was next to all the other Motif's, and I had no idea what it was, I dismissed it. After I left the store, I really wondered what it was. So I researched it tonight.. Pretty cool. You really have to analyze it, and make your own desicion, as it might be "overpriced," in one eye, and "great deal," in the other.

I don't think it is, "overpriced," I am not exactly sure it is, "incredible value." It certainly is a less expensive synth/workstation, and you certainly do miss the big features of, "the $3,500 Motif," at this price point.

I looked at many Synths/Controllers in Guitarcenter today, as this is my mission for this month!! I thought about this thread because, "wow!! The Novation Impulse, and the mk II felt great to my hands." I thought they were awesome!! But I am not sure if I want to deal with Automap. I looked at the Casio XW G1, as I had been considering a hardware synth, that was in my budget, and I was a little, "less than impressed." I did not see a Roland A500 Pro in the shop, which blew my mind, as I had specifically went to the store to, "showroom," the Casio and that Roland. However, I realized that my thoughts about the other controllers on the market haven't changed much over the years; which is, "the controllers priced below $200 seem to fall apart easily. One is better off saving up for something that they only have to purchase once, rather than purchase several of these disposable products." I have been having this huge problem, "with audio cards falling apart, controllers falling apart, I am tired of it." All over again, I am ready for a new audio card + a controller.

"So the Automap," I agree its not great; although their controllers are well made, and feel awesome, compared to what else is out there.

Then there is this brand new, just released this month, or last Yamaha MX 49. Interesting!! Rompler, Controller, Audio Card, and???? Multi-timbrel VST.. Wow!! Btw, it also has a bigger brother, "Yamaha MOX," you can google.. its nice too.
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#20 danoise

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 15:00

Last word - to make Automap actually auto map your plugins controls (as was mentioned above), you have to wrap them inside it and use the wrapped versions in your DAW. now imagine: after a year you decide to change your controller to something non-Novation, effectively resigning from Automap, so not installing it anymore and not wrapping your plugins anymore. what happens? you have a year's worth of projects with missing plugins as they would point to DLLs not existing on your system anymore. simple change of dll names might or might not work, as the communication between wrapper and DAW nad original plugin and DAW probably looks different, so good luck with that (not to mention that the wrapper often caused incomatibilities).

It's possible to revert to un-automapped plugins with a bit of hacking. Not sure how this plays out across platforms, but I managed to edit the "parameter chunks" of one of my songs, and revert to the old plugin while keeping my envelopes intact.
Basically, I looked for the following text inside the ParameterChunk CDATA span (at the very end) and removed it:

Q29uc2VxdWVbP2rNfKXZxuheykWd6qDTGdFr7w=
If this process turns out to be reliable enough it could perhaps even be turned into a tool

Edit: I tried this approach, and Renoise will not let me change the preset data while the plugin is running. So, that leaves us with the option of editing the song manually.
But it turns out that, in most cases it is sufficient to simply remove the label "(Automap)" from the PluginIdentifier tag :-)
So, to revert to an un-automapped plugin (or go the other way, adding automap capabilities), just open the song using a compression utility like 7zip and then edit the Song.xml (search for "PluginIdentifier")

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#21 sem

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 07:29

Sure, I'll try and explain what it does. Basically, Automap is a "server" type of software that you install on your PC or Mac. Keeping this analogy, the Novation hardware is connecting to this server can be considered clients, and you can connect multiple of these clients at the same time.

What's smart about this is that Automap can then tell your hardware something about the software side of things. For example, Automap for the Remote can provide you with "auto-mapped" mixer features for many common DAWs (Renoise not included), and also, it's able to wrap VST plugins in a shell so that Automap is able to tell the hardware which parameters are available (with the included editor, this is quite a powerful feature).

What's problematic about Automap is, as vV points out, it's a proprietary standard that only Novation's products can understand. Also, DAW support is kind of limited (but I found a way to achieve the same functionality and more in Renoise by piggybacking, as mentioned). And last but not least, the missing Linux support.

 

Hate to necro-bump a thread here, but I'm looking into the Novation SL Zero. Does the VST wrapping in Automap work with Renoise?



#22 cupcake

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 14:57

Automap (the program) should work with Renoise. I've never tried because i hate it (Automap, not Renoise).
 
 
Reading through the old posts made me think. Novation made special 'automap' templates for the most popular programs, included in the device at the launch of the Remote. Logic, Ableton, Reason, etc. These templates communicate from the program (hard coded) to control surface via bi-directional sysex, and use MIDI CCs for setting parameters.

 

In the case of Reason it works via their proprietary 'Remote' system and is programmed in plain Lua with files that get installed outside of the program in a preferences folder, as part of Reason. Novation packed their code as a binary, I managed to unpack it, and now have the Lua source for the Remote SL remotemap, and have been hacking it on and off for a while. It's pretty complicated, but i can't see anything that couldn't be done using a Lua script to make an 'automap' template for Renoise as a tool.

 

The program listens for certain CC messages and passes these to Reason as control messages, and then it reads and writes sysex to the Remote SL to update the displays depending on activity inside the program, like instrument/track selection etc.
 
There is a developer doc for the Remote SL 2 which also has info about the first generation Remote too. And an SDK for Automap system: http://beta.novation...s/automap_sdk/ 
 
Can't find the link to the doc any more and have no idea how to attach it. The copy i have is called 'SLMKII MIDI Programmer's Reference', maybe a search will find it. If anyone is interested in this i can send all the stuff through. I gave up after a while as it took me so long figure out i lost interest.
 
 



#23 danoise

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 17:28

The only reason I have automap installed is because I own a SL-MKII, and it requires Automap in order to accept incoming MIDI.

And why do I need to accept incoming MIDI? Because Duplex :-) 

 

Re wrapping plugins: not even sure how well that still works with never plugins, but I'd be careful 

http://forum.renoise...ience/?p=285470


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#24 midi error

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 13:09

Most people i know refer to it as auto-crap!

 

I have the Novation Remote SL 2 as my main tabletop keyboard, never use automap

 

I've heard on the grapevine that Novation have something very exciting coming soon



#25 muckleby

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 11:22

I've heard on the grapevine that Novation have something very exciting coming soon


hmmm! question is, will it work with renoise?

a controller with visual readouts of paramters and values a la push or maschine is a bit of a dream for me