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Hardware requirements - Editor software


Editor software

The third criteria when choosing a controller is the presence of a factory-made editor software, which is not the same as the Lightroom plugin mentioned earlier. An editor software is a factory-made configuration software, which we can fine tune our MIDI controller with. Nowadays, when eg. MIDI2LR is so advanced and has almost endless features for Lightroom, a factory-made editor is not a must, but we should talk about it. Everything you set up on your controller by the editor is a general adjustment, but not every MIDI controller has an editor software. However some of the Novation branded controllers do not even come alive without their Automap Server editor software (it has to run in the background every time, otherwise the controller will not turn on), some other controllers need to be configured with the editor only once, and again, others don’t even have a factory-made editor.

AutomapServer editor for certain Novation MIDI controllers
AutomapServer editor for certain Novation MIDI controllers

With such an editor program we can configure for example the CC-code for the knobs and sliders, as well as the Note-code for buttons. These codes are already assigned to the controls from factory, but with an editor software you can change them if you want. If your controller supports multiple slider/knob layouts (Pages, Layers, Presets - every manufacturer calls it differently), then you can create and edit them in the editor software. Some editors allow to assign QWERTY keystrokes or keyboard shortcuts to the buttons of the controller instead of a Note-code, which is really good. From one hand it is a general function throughout the operation system, so you can use eg. Copy-Paste (Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V) even in Word or Excel, or you can assign arrows or Enter. On the other hand you should know that MIDI2LR or any other Lightroom plugin is not 100% ready yet, there are some Lightroom features which you cannot assign to buttons or knobs via the plugin but these features can be activated via keystrokes or keyboard shortcuts. You can teach those to your controller with the editor software…hopefully, but not every editor can do that. ‘Previous’ and ‘Sync settings’ buttons are like this for example, but I am sure it only takes just a little time for MIDI2LR to include these features (until then there is the Copy-Paste prompt).

Behringer BCEdit for certain Behringer MIDI-controllers
Behringer BCEdit for certain Behringer MIDI-controllers

To sum up, you can use any type of USB-connected MIDI controller for Lightroom, but the best types are those that have motorized sliders (faders) and/or encoders. Moreover it is a plus if they have an editor software.

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