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Configuring a MIDI controller using MIDI Learn

Last Updated: Mar 04, 2015 06:00PM CET

djay Pro supports a wide range of DJ MIDI controllers natively (plug & play) out of the box. Please see our list of natively supported MIDI controllers to check if your controller is already supported in djay.

If you have a MIDI controller that is currently not natively supported by djay Pro, you can still use it with its easy-to-use MIDI Learn feature. The same feature also allows you to alter the mapping for a natively supported MIDI controller.

  1. Connect the MIDI controller to your Mac.
  2. In most cases, djay Pro will automatically alert you about the new MIDI controller. Click "OK" in the dialog, or configure the controller from the "MIDI" menu. The MIDI configuration window for the controller will be opened.
  3. By pressing or moving a control (e.g. button, slider, or knob) on your MIDI controller, djay Pro will automatically add an entry for the control in the mapping table in the configuration window.

    Example: Add a mapping entry for the play button on your MIDI controller by pressing the play button on your controller. In the same way you can create an entry by moving the crossfader on your controller.

  4. Select the target for the mapping from the drop-down menu in the "Target" column.

    Example: If you are configuring the play button for the left turntable in djay, select "Deck 1" from the menu in the "Target" column.

  5. Now select the action that should be performed when using the control from the drop-down menu in the "Action" column.

    Example: Select "Play/Pause" from the menu in the "Action" column if you are configuring the play button.

Note: You can reorder mappings using drag & drop, and delete the selected mappings by pressing the Backspace key.

Testing a new mapping

You can immediately test a new mapping by using it on your MIDI controller. No saving is required to test a new mapping.

Adding multiple actions for a control

You can also make a single control perform multiple actions when being activated: simply control-click (right-click) the mapping entry and select "Duplicate Mapping for Control" from the menu to create another mapping entry for the same control, which you can again map to the desired target/action.

Saving or reverting the configuration

  • When clicking the Done button, your custom MIDI configuration is saved on disk.
  • Clicking the Revert button will revert to the last saved configuration, or to an empty list of mappings if the configuration was not saved before.

Using multiple configurations

djay Pro supports having multiple alternate MIDI configurations for a controller. For example, if you have a MIDI controller with multiple "trigger" buttons, you could have one configuration where the buttons are mapped to trigger samples, and another configuration mapped to control audio FX or loops.

  • To create an alternate configuration:
    1. Select "Edit Configurations..." from the "MIDI Configuration" menu at the top of the MIDI configuration window.
    2. Select your current configuration from the list.
    3. Select "Duplicate" from the "Options" menu.
    4. Rename the new configuration by double-clicking the name in the list (optionally).
  • To use multiple available configurations, simply select the desired configuration from the "MIDI Configuration" menu at the top of the MIDI configuration window.

Sharing MIDI mappings

You can share and exchange your custom MIDI mappings with other djay users by sending the respective mapping file:

  • To share a mapping file:
    1. Select "Edit Configurations..." from the "MIDI Configuration" menu at the top of the MIDI configuration window.
    2. Select the configuration you want to share from the list.
    3. Select "Show in Finder" from the "Options" menu.
    From there, you can e.g. send the mapping file via email or save it on a USB stick.
  • To install a mapping file, simply double-click the file in the Finder.

Advanced Control Options

Advanced options for each mapping are available by clicking "​Show Advanced Control Options" below the mapping list. From here you can set various options for the mapping:

  • Control type: while the control type is usually auto-detected, you can also select the control type manually. The following control types are available:
    • Button
    • Fader / Knob
    • Rotary (01h/7Fh)
    • Rotary (3Fh/41h)
    • Rotary (Absolute)​

    The different "Rotary" control types are for "endless" rotary controls (called "encoders") like jog wheels or music library controls. The easiest way to find the right option is to test the control with each option.

  • Invert: For sliders and knobs, different MIDI controllers sometimes send inverted signals, which make the controls in djay Pro move in the opposite direction than on the controller. Select this option to invert the control.
  • Pickup Mode: with this option enabled, djay Pro will detect when the on-screen control is no longer in sync with the control on your MIDI controller, and wait until you re-align the control to make it have an effect. This is especially useful for tempo sliders, as using the "sync" option will alter the on-screen slider.
  • Speed: for rotary-type controls (incl. jog wheels), change this slider to determine how much effect a given movement of the control will have (i.e. "how far" it goes).
  • Reaction: for jog wheel controls, change this slider to determine how smooth vs. responsive a movement of the jog wheel should be. A "smooth" setting will make slow movements of the jog wheel sound more clean, but with a lower reaction, whereas a "responsive" setting will make movements of the jog wheel have a more immediate effect in djay Pro. Try to find a setting that matches your desired behavior of the jog wheels.
  • MIDI Out: this allows to have djay Pro send a MIDI signal back to the MIDI controller, e.g. to enable button LEDs. For buttons on most controllers, simply enabling the "MIDI Out" checkbox will make the button’s LED work correctly. However, for some controllers it will be necessary to manually select the MIDI channel, message type ("CC" or "Note on/off"), and control number that corresponds to the button you are mapping.

    Consult you controller’s manual, or try out different settings "by hand" e.g. by slowly moving the "Control" slider (this will send a MIDI signal for each subsequent control number, allowing you to observe your MIDI controller while moving the slider to find the right setting). At any time you can use the "Test" button have a MIDI signal be sent with the new settings.

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