I had abit of a lull in commission work at the tail end of the week so I spent most of yesterday designing the new MIDI controller layout/templates for the studio. This is mostly based around a Novation Nocturn, Automap 4 and Cubase’s built in track presets. The Nocturn has unfortunately been out of action the last while as three of the encoders were broken but I got on to the Irish distributor for Novation and they then put me on to the helpful folks at Fixtronix who sold me a new circuit board for a very reasonable 40 bucks. What I basically set up is a virtual console channel strip that uses my default dynamic processor VST’s. I then printed the controller assignments onto coloured stickers and stuck em to the Nocturn. The great thing about this apart from making mixing quicker is that it’ll force me to listen more and look less :)
I also set up templates for the other Nocturn group buttons, four batches of eight of the most used keyboard shortcuts for automation and MIDI, audio and score editing. For the mixer group I painted a different colour on each dial representing the sub mix channels and instrument folders I use during mix-down; vocals, woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp, keys, tuned percussion and strings. This will make it easier for me to quickly mute and rough mix buses during tracking. I still need to set-up the other MIDI controllers I use in the studio but as these are more for inputing notes rather than controlling effects and channels it has more to do with best practice than assignments e.g when recording string lines its better if I record them in live via keyboard and breath controller instead of drawing in the lines with the mouse. The same goes for percussion played in with the padKontrol. It takes a while to set this all up but it’ll make for more realistic mock-ups and better sounding mixes.