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Synth editor software + hardware control?

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:55 pm
by logix
Is it possible to use synth editor software (for MIDI hardware synths) and control the parameters with physical knobs/faders/switches (as part of a MIDI keyboard controller or a dedicated unit) instead of the computer mouse?

I have a Yamaha TX-802, Roland MKS-70, Yamaha TX-81Z, Roland MKS-50, Roland D-110 and Alesis Quadrasynth S4 and it would be great if I could at least have one "previous/next parameter" knob and a "value" knob for this (as opposed to diving inside the menu of many of these synths themselves or moving the mouse around which can get quite strenous and slow).
I'm on a Mac and currently don't have any MIDI/audio related software yet (apart from Garageband of course), but am trying to get myself updated in the world of DAW software, looking to fuse that and my "old-school" MIDI hardware together. While looking for a decent MIDI keyboard controller (discussed in a separate thread) I'm wondering if the knobs/faders/buttons can be assigned to do something like this, but I suppose it highly depends on the editor software, controller hardware, the synth needed to be edited and the combination of all that. I might have to buy a separate MIDI/USB control box of some kind or just get used to mousing around... Suggestions or experiences?

Re: Synth editor software + hardware control?

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:38 am
by meatballfulton
In general, there is no way to use MIDI controllers to control standalone editors.

There is a growing trend for VST/AU editors, that act as plugins in a DAW. Some of these can be controlled over MIDI. However since you have vintage hardware, there are no VST/AU editors for them.

Re: Synth editor software + hardware control?

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:06 am
by Ashe37
There are VST editors for several vintage hardware synths, either individually or as a package like Midiquest.

Re: Synth editor software + hardware control?

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:38 am
by meatballfulton
Since Midiquest has an AU option, that would be worth looking into. It's not cheap: $369

Of course you should verify that the AU version supports MIDI mapping before buying.

Re: Synth editor software + hardware control?

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:43 pm
by logix
Thanks for the suggestion even though I think the price is a bit steep. I'll see if there's a downloadable demo so I can see if it does what I'm looking for first.