Every jam session is an improv. It’s about messing around with ideas that might never work, responding in the moment and building on others’ ideas on the spot. It’s what makes collaborations a breeding ground for the wildest, most out-of-the-box sounds.
To make it easier for you to put spontaneous ideas into action and make use of spur-of-the-moment inspirations, we’re excited to announce two new Premium features to Soundation studio: custom MIDI mapping and MIDI export. Be ready to get hands-on with your music, work across platforms and much more.
Get to Grips with Custom MIDI Mapping
Custom MIDI mapping puts the power at your fingertips. It allows you to assign what each knob, wheel and slider on your external MIDI controller will control inside Soundation. That means almost everything you do in Soundation with the mouse or the keyboard can also be done from a MIDI controller.
Essentially, custom MIDI mapping takes music creation away from all the clicking and scrolling. It offers instead a more natural, tactile and spontaneous approach to music creation.
Why MIDI Mapping?
Having the freedom to set your MIDI controller to trigger anything with just one touch is a time-saver and a workflow-enhancer. You can, for instance, change multiple parameters with a single knob-twist to open a world of sonic possibilities. During a mixing phase, you can map your MIDI controller to functions like volume, panning and mute to get maximum control over your mix.
MIDI Mapping at a Glance
Enabling MIDI mapping and tailoring your MIDI controller is simple. Here are the steps you need to create a mapping.
- Connect a MIDI controller to your computer, then click on the MIDI icon on the sidebar.
- Choose the MIDI controller of your choice from the drop-down menu to open a template. If the system detects your MIDI controller, a corresponding template will be selected automatically.
- See what parameters you can control in the list. “Active device” refers to whatever instrument you have open or whatever effect you’ve selected.
- Click “Map MIDI” to reconfigure MIDI mapping from the template. If you can’t find your device from the list, select “Custom,” then “Map MIDI.” All mappable controllers will be highlighted in yellow.
- Open the bottom panel to view the effect parameters and open an instrument to view its parameters.
- Click on the highlighted parameter to select the function you want for each knob, slider and wheel. The parameter name will appear on the encoders list.
- Twist a knob, turn a wheel, or move a slider to send MIDI from your controller.
- Soundation will automatically map the selected parameter to the chosen knob, wheel and slider of the controller.
- Repeat the steps above for the remaining controls you want to map.
- Click on the “Map MIDI” button and minimize the sidebar to exit the settings.
Then you’re all set! Setting up a MIDI mapping is a one-time effort. Your arsenal of DIY control options is automatically saved, so next time you enter the studio, your mappings will be there and ready to go.
Work Across Platforms With MIDI Export
Too often, great ideas fade into the background as jam sessions end– new riffs, beat patterns and snippets of melody are gone as quickly as they came. It doesn’t have to be like this. With MIDI export, you can carry your tunes to the finish line, tweaking the sketches in another DAW and re-working them into songs. This allows you to transfer MIDI material from Soundation to virtually any MIDI sequencer or application on any platform.
There are two ways to export MIDI files.
Export MIDI Regions
Exporting MIDI regions lets you save each region as a separate file. To do this, select one or more MIDI regions and right click. Then, select “Export MIDI file” from the menu.
Multiple single-track MIDI files will be saved to your computer.
Export MIDI Track
Exporting a MIDI track consolidates all regions and lets you save the whole track as one standard MIDI file. Simply right click on a MIDI channel and select “Export channel as MIDI”.
The exported MIDI file contains the notes and includes other information like velocity, time signature and tempo. That means when you import the MIDI file to another DAW like Ableton, you can pick up right where you left off in the jam session.
Something to keep in mind: If MIDI regions are empty or contain notes with 0 velocity or notes that are longer than the region, they will not be transferred.
We’d love to hear how MIDI mapping and MIDI export help with your workflow! If you have mapping ideas that might maximize your MIDI keyboard’s hands-on control potential in Soundation, share them with the team at our official Discord server.
And as always, drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help setting up your external MIDI controller or have any feedback to share.