The Controllers track allows you to send midi and OSC messages to applications and external devices. This allows you to send "patch" changes to your music applications and devices such as the AXE FX, Kemper profiler, Line 6 and Boss 6 multi-fx pedals, and any other pedal that supports MIDI in. If you have an application that acts as an OSC server, you can use the Controller track to send OSC messages to control the application.
Sending Messages to an External Device or Application
Controller messages may be added at any time in a song. Usually, you'll want to send a message at the start of a song and then optionally, at Verse, Chorus, and/or Solo sections.
If the Ext Control track is not shown, select Ext Controller track from the View menu.
The easiest way to add a Midi message is to double-click in the Ext Control track at the time that you want to send the message. You can also right-click on the track and select Add a Midi message...; to add an OSC message select Add an OSC message... from the menu:
Editing MIDI Messages
To edit a MIDI Controller message simply double-click the marker. The marker editor for MIDI messages has some of the same fields that other markers have like a Text field for entering the text of the marker and a Color selector for changing the color of the marker. It also has additional fields for defining the MIDI message you want to send:
Notice that the MIDI specific data is enclosed in a blue box; when editing an OSC message, the box is colored green.
Use the Text field to change the text displayed on the marker. Usually, you will want to enter a short description of what this marker does (i.e. "Distortion", or "Elec Piano").
The first thing to do is to select the Msg Type since this will modify the data shown in the other fields. Song Master can send Program Change, Controller, and Note On, and Note Off messages.
A Program Change message allows you to specify the program and bank numbers of the program you want to switch to. Program change numbers (sometimes referred to as presets) depend on the device so you will need to refer to the device's manual. The MIDI specification allows program numbers to range from 0 to 127, however, since most devices have more than 128 "presets", you can specify which block of 128 presets is to be used by specifying the Bank #. Song Master makes it easy to send a bank change message immediately prior to sending the program change. You may need to do a little math to figure out the corresponding program and bank numbers used by your device.
Select Control Change for the Msg Type if you want to send a control message to your device. When Control Change is selected, the two fields below it allow you to enter the CC number and the Value. Again, you'll need to check your device's manual for the CC numbers it recognizes.
Selecting Note On and Note Off will send the MIDI message to start playing and stop playing, respectively, a given note. Specify the note number to play and its velocity in the two data fields under the Msg Type dropdown.
The Send To dropdown is where you select the MIDI device to send the message to. If the device isn't listed in the dropdown, click the ... button to the right of the dropdown to display the Midi Connections dialog. Note that Song Master requires you assign a user friendly name to each device you want to use (refer to these articles for details: midi osc). This has several benefits, for instance, you are free to name the device anything you want so instead of using a midi device name, such as, "MIDI Port 1", you can refer to it as "Guitar Effects". It also means that if you attach your midi device to another port, you only have to go into the Midi Connections editor and change the device associated with the name there, as opposed to changing every midi message marker in all of your Song Master song files!
Use the Send button to have Song Master send your defined MIDI message to your device and verify it does what you intended.
When you are finished editing, close the dialog by clicking the 'X' in the dialog's title bar.
MIDI Message Example
In the short video below, we will have Song Master send a program change message to our guitar processor to have it change to our AC/DC rhythm guitar sound. In the video we do the following:
- Double-click the marker to display the marker editor
- Name the marker "AC/DC rhythm" to tells us what it does
- Set the Msg Type to Program Change
- In our guitar processor, we have an AC/DC sound at preset 53 (note that the midi spec uses the number 0 to represent the first program/preset; if your device numbers presets starting with 1 you may have to subtract one from the preset number that you enter in the ).
- Since our program/preset is less than 128, we set the Bank # to 0
- In the Send To field we select the name we assigned to the midi port that our guitar processor is connected to
- Finally, we clicked the Send button to verify that we've entered everything correctly
Editing OSC Messages
The process for editing an OSC Message is very similar to editing one for to send a MIDI message.
In the screen shot below, we have defined an OSC message that will be sent to another application ('Gig Performer' in this example) that we are using to host our keyboard plugins. Each OSC message must have an OSC Address that tells the application what you want it to do (you can think of an OSC Address as the name of the command you want it to do). In this example (Gig Performer defines a large number of OSC Addresses) the one we want is named /GigPerformer/SwitchToProgramNumber". This works in a similar way as the Midi message example above, and tells Gig Performer that we want to activate the first (0) preset (called a "rackspace" in the Gig Performer vernacular) that we setup in that application.
To Send Multiple Messages at a Given Time
You can send multiple messages (either Midi, OSC, or a combination) by clicking the v- Multi button to expand the dialog and expose the message list box.
In the video below, we add another MIDI and OSC message to an existing Controller marker. Click the Add MIDI button to add a MIDI message; similarly, click Add OSC to add an OSC message. To edit a message in the list, select the message to have it displayed in the edit fields at the top of the dialog.
Depending on your use, the order of messages sent may be important. If this is the case, then click-and-drag a row in the list to the desired order.