Midi Controller for C1Pro

Started Sep 26, 2017 | Discussions
IanYorke Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Midi Controller for C1Pro
6

I had been experimenting with adapting a spare Logitech keyboard to emulate the one sold for the Mac which has a dedicated keyboard layout for C1Pro, as a way of improving workflow. Logitech allow the F keys to emulate keystrokes including modifiers eg Ctrl + Alt + S. Then I came across this website where someone had adapted a Midi controller to work with C1Pro.

https://phodograf.com/controller-1/

So, thought I would give it a go 😊

One Arturia Beatstep Midi later:

https://www.arturia.com/beatstep/overview

Plus, Bome MIDI Translator Pro software:

https://www.bome.com/products/miditranslator#overview

I can report that the setup works great! Controls are fast and responsive and it is a totally different way of working. You can already buy dedicated physical controllers but they are comparatively expensive. It is still a work in progress, quick snap of what the controller looks like with some temporary labels stuck on to show what the dials and pads currently do:

Arturia Beatstep Midi Controller

The Midi is relatively compact at 32cm(12”) x 13cm(5”) and has 17 dials and 16 pads available. It took a couple of evenings to get to grips with the setting up of the Midi / Bome software, but certainly a lot easier than PS:-)

The controller operates in such a way that the various control tabs, such as exposure, clarity etc do not have to be visible on screen. You just turn the dial or press the pad and the corresponding action happens.

I have the large dial on the left-hand side setup as a scroll wheel. This means that if you hover your cursor over a control slider then simply turning the scroll wheel adjusts the control. This is in practice very useful and if anyone has RSI issues then this two-handed operation is so much easier, but needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

Another way in which you can do things differently is to make the toggles like “show mask / hide mask” or “turn exposure warnings on/off” behave in a “hold – on / release – off” way. Again, although this does not sound very different. In practice, I find it to be so much easier. Simply hold down a pad to turn on the mask, start to refine the mask and release / press to hide or see the mask. Difficult to describe the difference but you must remember that you are not pressing a letter on a key board but using a relatively large silicone pad and the whole experience is very different and I find it much more “comfortable”.

Here is a quick snap of the whole setup. The keyboard has a few dedicated keys labelled, and I usually use a tablet as well as it works so much better than a mouse when drawing masks. The Wacom also functions as a touch pad so I don’t have to bother grabbing for the mouse if I have put the pen down:

Ian

sankos Senior Member • Posts: 2,374
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Nice write-up. I can imagine this speeds up your workflow considerably as it literally puts control at your fingertips. Such controllers work even better with converters like LR because the latter lacks the level of UI customization that C1 has.

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Marcin

sebbe Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Thanks for that, I will pick up one today on the way home. It's on sale, therefore I'll get it fo 94 chf (82€) (+59€ for the software). I did resist to buy a midi controller up to now because they are quite expensive. But as I sit around 2 hours a day in front of C1 this is worth a try.

If there is something wrong or not working I will post it here.

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irv00 Senior Member • Posts: 1,500
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

IanYorke wrote:

Here is a quick snap of the whole setup. The keyboard has a few dedicated keys labelled, and I usually use a tablet as well as it works so much better than a mouse when drawing masks. The Wacom also functions as a touch pad so I don’t have to bother grabbing for the mouse if I have put the pen down:

Ian

That's a bit convoluted, tbh. Too much clutter on a desk, too many buttons, too Rube Goldberg...but if using a midi controller puts a plate reverb on your smile, why not?

sebbe Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

irv00 wrote:

IanYorke wrote:

Here is a quick snap of the whole setup. The keyboard has a few dedicated keys labelled, and I usually use a tablet as well as it works so much better than a mouse when drawing masks. The Wacom also functions as a touch pad so I don’t have to bother grabbing for the mouse if I have put the pen down:

Ian

That's a bit convoluted, tbh. Too much clutter on a desk, too many buttons, too Rube Goldberg...but if using a midi controller puts a plate reverb on your smile, why not?

Yes, does not look good with a Macbook pro on a design table.

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sebbe Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

sebbe wrote:

Thanks for that, I will pick up one today on the way home. It's on sale, therefore I'll get it fo 94 chf (82€) (+59€ for the software). I did resist to buy a midi controller up to now because they are quite expensive. But as I sit around 2 hours a day in front of C1 this is worth a try.

If there is something wrong or not working I will post it here.

The setup was done in about two hours thanks to the link. The labels are vital to get into it. But after a while you stop looking at it and just take the right control knob intuitively. And to my surprise I was already much faster after an hour practice and the results were also more consistent.

It's good to stay with the eyes on the pictures and I'm happy I don't need the time to find and click the right slider all the time. Everything seems much more relaxing.

I set the controller vertical next to the keyboard. the knobs starting with exposure and goes down in the same order as my workfolw and I placed the tools on my second screen. I'm not that happy with the buttons up to now. It looks like it needs a lot of presure on them. But maybe there is a setup for that. And the second thing I don't like that there are only key-shortcuts in C1 for the background adjustments and not for the selected layer. Therefore I have to switch to the common way to adjust a layer. But again, maybe I did not see it in the settings.

It looks like I will start using this.

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OP IanYorke Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro
1

irv00 wrote:

IanYorke wrote:

Here is a quick snap of the whole setup. The keyboard has a few dedicated keys labelled, and I usually use a tablet as well as it works so much better than a mouse when drawing masks. The Wacom also functions as a touch pad so I don’t have to bother grabbing for the mouse if I have put the pen down:

Ian

That's a bit convoluted, tbh. Too much clutter on a desk, too many buttons, too Rube Goldberg...but if using a midi controller puts a plate reverb on your smile, why not?

Different perceptions:-)  I thought having 17 dials and 16 pads with a 12" x 5" footprint was excellent.

Physical controls for photo editing are quite new.  Certainly affordable options.  I suppose it is a bit like with cameras.  Do you prefer "menu diving" to physical controls?

Ian

OP IanYorke Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro
1

sebbe wrote:

sebbe wrote:

Thanks for that, I will pick up one today on the way home. It's on sale, therefore I'll get it fo 94 chf (82€) (+59€ for the software). I did resist to buy a midi controller up to now because they are quite expensive. But as I sit around 2 hours a day in front of C1 this is worth a try.

If there is something wrong or not working I will post it here.

The setup was done in about two hours thanks to the link. The labels are vital to get into it. But after a while you stop looking at it and just take the right control knob intuitively. And to my surprise I was already much faster after an hour practice and the results were also more consistent.

It's good to stay with the eyes on the pictures and I'm happy I don't need the time to find and click the right slider all the time. Everything seems much more relaxing.

I set the controller vertical next to the keyboard. the knobs starting with exposure and goes down in the same order as my workfolw and I placed the tools on my second screen. I'm not that happy with the buttons up to now. It looks like it needs a lot of presure on them. But maybe there is a setup for that. And the second thing I don't like that there are only key-shortcuts in C1 for the background adjustments and not for the selected layer. Therefore I have to switch to the common way to adjust a layer. But again, maybe I did not see it in the settings.

It looks like I will start using this.

Have you got the Pad velocity control on "Full" in the project part of the Midi control centre interface?

Also are you using "Control Change" signal in the Bome software?

There is currently a bug in C1Pro where the shortcuts are not being sent to the layer controls.  Phase One are aware of it and working on fixing it.

Ian

myotisone Senior Member • Posts: 2,061
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

IanYorke wrote:

There is currently a bug in C1Pro where the shortcuts are not being sent to the layer controls. Phase One are aware of it and working on fixing it.

Ian

That is useful to know, as I pretty well only edit in layers, I will look out for a fix before giving this a go, as I can't afford a Tangent controller.

Thanks,

Graham

sebbe Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

IanYorke wrote:

sebbe wrote:

sebbe wrote:

Thanks for that, I will pick up one today on the way home. It's on sale, therefore I'll get it fo 94 chf (82€) (+59€ for the software). I did resist to buy a midi controller up to now because they are quite expensive. But as I sit around 2 hours a day in front of C1 this is worth a try.

If there is something wrong or not working I will post it here.

The setup was done in about two hours thanks to the link. The labels are vital to get into it. But after a while you stop looking at it and just take the right control knob intuitively. And to my surprise I was already much faster after an hour practice and the results were also more consistent.

It's good to stay with the eyes on the pictures and I'm happy I don't need the time to find and click the right slider all the time. Everything seems much more relaxing.

I set the controller vertical next to the keyboard. the knobs starting with exposure and goes down in the same order as my workfolw and I placed the tools on my second screen. I'm not that happy with the buttons up to now. It looks like it needs a lot of presure on them. But maybe there is a setup for that. And the second thing I don't like that there are only key-shortcuts in C1 for the background adjustments and not for the selected layer. Therefore I have to switch to the common way to adjust a layer. But again, maybe I did not see it in the settings.

It looks like I will start using this.

Have you got the Pad velocity control on "Full" in the project part of the Midi control centre interface?

Also are you using "Control Change" signal in the Bome software?

There is currently a bug in C1Pro where the shortcuts are not being sent to the layer controls. Phase One are aware of it and working on fixing it.

Ian

I set it to "full" now, the rest was correct. I don't know if it is better now, I'll get used to as well and it works as it should.

Thanks for the information about the bug. Would be great if this will work soon. It's the only thing that is counterintuitive at the moment.

And thank you for posting this here. I think I'll get happy with that setup because it's much faster than "in the old days" and I tend to play more which is good for the final result.

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PiNa1971 Forum Member • Posts: 81
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Thank you for your write up. It looks very tempting.

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Martin

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TerryTasman Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Thanks for all this Ian.

I am at work at the moment and don't have any of the relevant software in front of me please excuse any inaccuracies.

After a bit of stumbling about I have got all the rotary dials into operation except for the Master. As the Dropdown menu in the translator has only 16 channels and the Master is number 17 can you manually enter this? I also have not figured out how to setup the buttons, which setting needs to be changed for this?

I also discovered that the translator treats number pad + - and up down keys as the same which caused a lot of confusion and delay.

I work in a studio where the workflow is based on Camera RAW and Photoshop and plan to play around with these to speed production up. I imagine it will be based mostly around buttons as adjustments are based around shift, tab and arrows but there are a large number of Photoshop Actions so I need to find a way to switch between Preset lists in the translator without having to go into the application. As we are Mac based I'm hoping an Automator Service may be able to do this.

Any thoughts or insights greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Terry

OP IanYorke Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro
1

TerryTasman wrote:

Thanks for all this Ian.

I am at work at the moment and don't have any of the relevant software in front of me please excuse any inaccuracies.

After a bit of stumbling about I have got all the rotary dials into operation except for the Master. As the Dropdown menu in the translator has only 16 channels and the Master is number 17 can you manually enter this? I also have not figured out how to setup the buttons, which setting needs to be changed for this?

I also discovered that the translator treats number pad + - and up down keys as the same which caused a lot of confusion and delay.

I work in a studio where the workflow is based on Camera RAW and Photoshop and plan to play around with these to speed production up. I imagine it will be based mostly around buttons as adjustments are based around shift, tab and arrows but there are a large number of Photoshop Actions so I need to find a way to switch between Preset lists in the translator without having to go into the application. As we are Mac based I'm hoping an Automator Service may be able to do this.

Any thoughts or insights greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Terry

Yes, you enter the channel number directly into the input box.

For the buttons I assigned the various buttons starting at 101 for pad #1, 102 for Pad #2 etc.  You set these up in the Midi Control software that came with the Beatstep. Same as for Dial 17.

I have also now assigned one pad to act as a shift key so that I can have more than one function on a key or dial.

My current pad / dial assignments are shown below:

Hope this helps.

Ian

Savannah0986 Regular Member • Posts: 185
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Sorry I'm late to this party - been a busy week.

I understand what you're doing, and why, but I'm left wondering just how much of C1's functionality needs to be de-moused and moved to the control surface.  No doubt, even with your complex setup, you still need to resort to the mouse for some functions.

I use a Tangent Ripple.  It's available on Amazon UK, and someone there has written a good description of it with 5 stars.  It's solid and attractive, and easy to use and program, and can be set up for most of the usual C1 linear adjustments quite easily.  The guy who reviewed it described his own setup, and I'm using a pretty similar arrangement. You can be up and running in 5 mins.

The downside is the the Ripple is 300 quid, which is rather more than you've paid.

(I'm not in any way commercially connected to Tangent.  I'm a doctor not a mechanic  Jim.)

S.

OP IanYorke Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro
1

Savannah0986 wrote:

Sorry I'm late to this party - been a busy week.

I understand what you're doing, and why, but I'm left wondering just how much of C1's functionality needs to be de-moused and moved to the control surface. No doubt, even with your complex setup, you still need to resort to the mouse for some functions.

I use a Tangent Ripple. It's available on Amazon UK, and someone there has written a good description of it with 5 stars. It's solid and attractive, and easy to use and program, and can be set up for most of the usual C1 linear adjustments quite easily. The guy who reviewed it described his own setup, and I'm using a pretty similar arrangement. You can be up and running in 5 mins.

The downside is the the Ripple is 300 quid, which is rather more than you've paid.

(I'm not in any way commercially connected to Tangent. I'm a doctor not a mechanic Jim.)

S.

Good questions, I will try to explain my logic / reasoning.

Well, I have not used all the available dials / pads. I still have a couple of pads and 16 dials I could utilise but I don’t feel at this stage I need to, but the option is there.

Dials:

As the diagram shows the midi controller dials allows me to scroll through images, zoom in/out, and adjust exposure, white, black and mid levels, contrast, saturation, brightness, clarity, structure and HDR shadows / highlights directly. Thus, all of the “common” image adjustments are taken care of.

There are a couple of the dials that warrant further explanation.

1) Dial #17: The scroll wheel is usable anywhere. This is particularly beneficial when using a Wacom Tablet. You can just hover the “mouse” pointer over a control with your right hand and use your left hand on the scroll wheel to adjust the parameter.

2) Dials 8# and 16#: These two dials allow the brush size and hardness to be adjusted without pulling up the “right click” brush menu. This is not only more efficient but it takes away the distraction of the menu popup, locate the sliders and adjust. Also like David Grover, who works for Phase One and runs a lot of their training webinars, I don’t like pressure sensitivity to vary brush size. I use pen pressure to vary opacity (would like flow but not available at present) and can now get variable size, hardness and opacity without touching the normal UI.

Pads:

The pads give me 1 click access to many functions as shown on the diagram.  I will  pick out a few pad functions to illustrate their advantages:

1) Pads #1, #2, #3 and #4: These give me 1 click access to baseline functions such as undo/redo/auto adjust, and pick white balance. These commands I use all the time and are much more convenient on the Midi pads.

2) Pads #7#, #11, #12, #14, 15#, #8 and #16: Working in layers.
Layers are a very important part of C1. These pads give me direct access to all the commonly used layer functions. Show the Mask, Invert the Mask, new adjustment layer, and all the brushes. Hugely beneficial for me. Just having a button to move up and down the layer stack makes life so much easier.

3) Pads #3, #5, #13, #6: These give 1 click access to functions like recipe proofing, clone / new variant, hide the browser, hide the viewer, edit with… etc.

4) Pads 10 and #11: These pads allow you to see the exposure warning and your mask. However, rather than emulate the standard function I have adjusted them so that they work as a “press and hold” function, rather than an on/off key. I prefer this as it means that I can hold down the exposure warning pad with my left hand and simultaneously adjust for example HDR highlight recovery. Having finished the adjustment just release both controls. Harder to explain than to do but once you have tried this you won’t want to go back😊  Remember, not an option with the standard UI.

With the “show mask” pad, this can be held down to show the mask with the left hand, whilst brushing in your adjustment or erasing the mask with the Wacom pen in your right hand. Another seemingly small change is that when working with layers it is good practice to label your layers so that you know what they are for. However, it may be good practice but I don’t do it, just too time consuming😊 I know when I see the mask what I was trying to accomplish.

Now just holding down Pad #11 and tapping Pad #8 or #16 moves me through the layer stack with the masks highlighted. Again, such a behaviour, which is not possible with the standard interface, may not sound much but try it and see for yourself. Masks and exposure warnings are not wanted except during the moment you are adjusting the relevant controls.

When considering the above it is worth remembering that you can use both hands simultaneously, this is very different to the standard UI. A big help if anyone has any RSI type issues.

Finally, to cost, I had looked at commercial alternatives but found them to be limited in different ways; either, not enough control options to make it worth bothering, or too bulky. I am in the fortunate position that cost is not a constraint for me but the commercial options simply did not fit MY requirements. I stress my because everyone has different opinions and priorities. The Arturia Beatstep Midi provided a very compact but highly capable control system. At 32cm(12”) x 13cm(5”) with 17 dials and 16 pads that can each have a shifted function it presents few restrictions on configuring the controller to achieve whatever you want.

I am still experimenting with the setup because of its configurability e.g. initially I did not know I could implement shift functions. So, if you ever find the Tangent limited a Midi is always an option. You can even use both at once😊

Ian

PiNa1971 Forum Member • Posts: 81
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Hi Ian,

let me thank you once again for your great suggestion to use cheap BeatStep MIDI controller as a hardware controller for C1P. Postman brought me BeatStep at the end of last week and I have spent couple of hours with it. Long story short: it is great but it needs to get used to it. But once there, there is no way back to keyboard/mouse combo anymore.

Is there any chance to share your current (with shift option) beatstep, MIDI translator and C1P shortcuts files with us non tech-savvy mortals? 

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Martin

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OP IanYorke Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

PiNa1971 wrote:

Hi Ian,

let me thank you once again for your great suggestion to use cheap BeatStep MIDI controller as a hardware controller for C1P. Postman brought me BeatStep at the end of last week and I have spent couple of hours with it. Long story short: it is great but it needs to get used to it. But once there, there is no way back to keyboard/mouse combo anymore.

Is there any chance to share your current (with shift option) beatstep, MIDI translator and C1P shortcuts files with us non tech-savvy mortals?

No problem.  I have taken a few screenshots of the Midi controller settings and the Bome translator.  Hopefully they will be self explanatory.  Any extra info needed just ask here.  Relatively simple just the same steps repeated for each controller, makes it look more complicated than it is.

I originally thought the Midi would be used when I was going to be doing a "serious" work session.  The low cost of the Beatstep Midi meant that this was easily justified. However, it is now frustrating not to use it.

The correlation with physical camera controls and menu diving is very appropriate.  Hard to go back to menu diving once you are used to physical controls.

Ian

TerryTasman Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Many thanks Ian.

Will look into it when I get home.

Regards,

Terry

TerryTasman Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro

Ian,

All sorted, thanks very much.

After getting the software sorted I think I spent more time figuring out the layout of controls, still a work in progress. The knobs run from left to right in groups of Exp/Brightness, WB/colour, HS/Clarity, Brush/Layers and Zoom. This follows my long established workflow.

Buttons are for Panels/Browser, Pickers, Crop/Rotate, Copy/Paste, Brush/Layer, Guides/Keystone, Process and a couple I haven't assigned yet. It all became second nature after a couple of hours.

Next, Camera RAW and Photoshop. Because these are so heavily reliant on Tab and Shift I'm not sure that the results will be as useful.

Regards,

Terry

PiNa1971 Forum Member • Posts: 81
Re: Midi Controller for C1Pro
1

IanYorke wrote:

There is currently a bug in C1Pro where the shortcuts are not being sent to the layer controls. Phase One are aware of it and working on fixing it.

Ian

There is a new version of Capture One Pro 10.2.1 which fixes this issue of shortcuts not being sent to the layer controls.

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Martin

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