Page 1 of 3

Korg MicroKontrol ... warning to prospective purchasers.

Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:36 pm
by steved
Any microkontrol users out there ? ( or any prospective purchasers )

I bought the microkontol because certain design features seemed very clever - build quality is very good.

I particularly liked the idea that there are eight little lcd displays which indicate the parameters assigned to the 8 rotary encoders and the 8 sliders - and the values of these parameters are indicated by the lcd's while you adjust them.

So far so good ( note - you cannot create your own names for these parameters - only chose them from a given list )

You can create 12 scenes ( complete set up of pads. sliders, ecoders etc ) and switch between them using the velocity sensitive pads.

So ... I set up a scene to control the live mixer and another to control Simpler. I thought I would be able to adjust the mixer - then choose the Simpler scene - make adjustments there with the rotary encoders - and then return to the mixer scene to carry on mixing - WITH THE ORIGINAL SETTINGS IN THE MIXER UNCHANGED. WELL - NO YOU CAN'T IT APPEARS.

The problem is .... when you return to the mixer scene there seems ( and despite checking thoroughly I hope I'm wrong ) no way to recall the last settings from the mixer before switching to the Simpler sene.

You can choose one of four options when deciding how scene changes will work - the rotary encoders and sliders will all either be set to 0, 64, 127 or the last value. However the example above LAST value is not the original settings of the mixer before switching to Simpler - it's actually the settings you created while adjusting Simpler. That's just rubbsh !! What were they thinking of ?

This seems to defeat the whole object of rotary encoders and has stopped me in my tracks. If I could take the unit back I would.

So - I hope that I am wrong and that some kind soul can enlighten me or I hope that Korg at least comes up with a flash upgrade for the unit which solves the problem.

Just one more thing - I read somewhere that the sliders use "soft takeover" ... this doesn't seem to be the case either. Am I going mad ?

I have a Doepfer Pocket Dial and I can instantly switch between 64 scenes - each with 16 rotary encoders. I guess I'll have to use that and just use a fixed scene with the microkorg. Bummer!


Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:59 pm
by leisuremuffin
Uhhm, i don't own a microkontrol (though i think i'm gonna get one) but i was under the impression that live lets you assign things to "Relative" controllers. In other words, you should be able to have the knobs send a command to increase or decrease, not send an absolute message like 64, or 128.

I could be mistaken because i don't use any controllers that have endless knobs, the only thing i currently use is the peavy 1600x which is 16 faders and sixteen buttons.


don't behave like rotary encoders

Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:07 am
by steved
I read on the os x audio forum that even though the microkontrol has rotary encoders - they behave like conventional pots. I find it hard to see what advantage is gained by this ....

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:03 pm
by Rx
they are not like regular pots, but you do have to select them correctly within Live. Live's manual has the info you need.

absolute / relative ?

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 11:01 pm
by steved
Thanks for the reply Rx. I see you have a microkontol so I guess it must work for you. I don't have a problem making the controls work in Live ... ( but I do have to choose Absolute in the options box - for both the sliders and the rotary encoders.) I just have a problem switching between scenes because the unit does not remember rotary encoder / slider values when you return to a scene - so the controls jump.

I am pretty sure it was a posting by John Pitcairn ( the guy who developed the Logic Control emulation software - LC Xmu ) who was saying that even though the encoders are obviously relative they behave like absolute controllers - I guess because they are linked to the LCD readout - which gives an absolute value ( but then other rotary encoders like those on BCR 2000 use a ring of lights as indicators - and they still manage to behave like Rotary encoders ) So I believe it is a firmware issue - it's just a limitation of the unit .

If anyone is using a BCR 2000 or similar unit with rotary encoders / and LCD or LED indicators I'd be interested to know whether the current settings of the controls are stored / recalled when you switch between scenes.

If you have managed to get one of Live's Relative options to work for you when you are assigning midi controls Rx then I would be interested to know which one it is. When I tried them they all caused the contols to jump about in large steps when using the rotary encoders.

Thanks Steve.

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 11:24 pm
by Rx
i admit that i haven't tried switching scenes. i actually bought the mK instead of the Novation Remote with an eye towards getting another controller, like the BCR2000. here's a review of that box from em411

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:23 am
by noborders
Does this mean that you can't switch scenes in microKontrol during a live performance, if you don't want your parameter settings to reset during the performance?

Or is this not true and is it really about knowing how microKontrol's endless rotary controller works and knowing how to assign it as a "relative" controller from Live?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:00 pm
by toneroll
you need to set your scenes up transmit different midi channels...

ie live in scene one all params set to midi ch. 1 after you have set all your pads sliders etc you hold button scene then pad16 [write]

then on pad 2 youd have a drum machine scene with c1 as bottom right pad if you dont want a single thing to interfere with the mixer settings you .......-----------> set global midi to 2 the go over the pads and sliders etc changin them to 2 ... then scene [write]

as for the rotary enconders these transmit a midi cc change

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:09 pm
by noborders
Phew! Thanks for clarifying that! Glad to know that it was a false warning. This microKontrol is such a perfect controller (from the current selection of controllers) for Ableton Live, for both production and live use. Of course, all controllers have their unique features but I love having endless knobs, sliders, keys, and especially pads, all in one portable unit!

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:33 pm
by toneroll
dont forget those lights

yeh man , and for anyone else readin the thread the MK is the dogs bollocks-------- (very good)

you can do what you want with this thing

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:50 pm
by onyxashanti
well, i own the Mk, and i love it.

especially now that they've upgraded the librarian software so that you can [logically] edit the scenes and parameter settings of the unit, from computer screen...a definite time saver.

the only problem with the rotary knobs, that i've encountered, is that the parameters from knobs 1 and 2 "flicker" a bit, but that is subsiding with use as is the stiffness of the pads. and, let's be honest, the lights look fantastic in a night club situation.

although i have looked at other controllers such as the uc33e and the novation stuff, i find it hard to replace the korg's unique set of features, and now that fl studio 5 has a built in controller map for it, built in, i'll be using it even more than i do now.


I don't get it?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:08 pm
by steved
I have the microkontrol in front of me. I create some scenes. Each scene is set up to transmit on a different midi channel. I follow the instructions on pg 41 of the manual - section {16} Quote -

" this specifies the initial value of the encoders when selecting a scene. You can select either 000, 064, 127 or LAST (the last set encoder value will be the initial value ) "

I specify Last.

Scene 1. Rotary encoder 1. Assigned to pan. Adjust the value to 50.
Select scene 2. Adjust the same encoder to 100.
Select scene 1 again. I would like the initial value of the encoder to be 50. But no. It's 100. That's my whole point.

So I cannot get it to work like my Pocket Dial - as stated before.

Please could someone who has a microkontrol try this because either i'm doing something wrong, or this is a shortcoming.

There isn't a problem using the pads in different scenes - that's ok. But they are only latched or momentary controls.

Since my initial post I have actually found a lot of uses for the microkorg - especially the pads, and I use the keys to select tracks and buses etc.


Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:24 pm
by toneroll
specifying last means the last value dialed in on the encoder will go over with it to the other scene.....

thanks ....

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:38 pm
by steved
OK .... which is not what would would happen if you were using normal rotary encoders - e.g I can use the Pocket dial to control any number of Simplers. If I set the filter frequency cut off value on one Simpler I don't want that carried over to the next Simpler when I switch to it. That's what I was hoping to use the microkontrol for - but It looks like you can't do that.

thats right. You can't do that. exactly.

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:58 pm
by salatspinatra
Having the microkontrol scenes built around different midi channels will keep your paramaters from jumping to a new value the second you change scenes. however, as soon as you touch that knob it will originate at the value of the the last scene, 0, 67 or 124 as you mentioned. Not fun.