Tutorial: using any midi controller as a video controller in your editing software

Take time with the setup and you can be rewarded with a multifunction controller that offers more than just audio mixing controls

Curious about how to use your midi controller into a video controller in your NLE? I’ll show you how in this exclusive tutorial, but you’ll need a few things first.

What you need:

The tutorial is below, and details around each of these items continues underneath the video.

Using Any Midi Controller As a Video Controller In Your Editing Software from ProVideo Coalition on Vimeo

Midi Controllers

If you don’t have a controller already, check your local music gear dealers or online shops for one. Most DJ controllers, midi controllers, and daw controllers will work as long as they send out common protocols like Midi Control Changes (Midi CC) or NRPN.

Chose a model with a layout that suits your needs. For example, you could get a device with lots of pads to support your keyboard and mouse editing, or you could get a device with joghwheel, knobs and faders to replace all your input devices completely. It really depends on your needs and preferences.

maschine studio hardware

If you’re not sure where to start or get stuck, I can make a few recommendations.

Editing Software

Think about what functions you use most often and assign hotkeys to them. I highly recommend that you sketch out which functions you want to place on the controller.

Bome’s Midi Translator Pro

While Bome’s Midi Translator Pro is running in the background, it’s listening to incoming midi signals and translates them to a keyboard hotkey. To make this work you need to assign your midi controller in the projects default midi in section and add new translators for every function you want to program to your controller. It’s a good thing for us that there’s no need to know the exact midi numbers our controller sends, since you can capture midi in the translator options. Just check “capture midi”, move the knob, pad or fader on your controller and click on the incoming midi message.

bomes screenshot

Now all need to do is to assign the hotkey. We choose “keystroke” from the drop down box in the output section, so now you can go to your editing software and press the controller to see if it’s working.

Tip #1: If your controller sends out multiple midi commands when you press a pad, start with the first on top and work your way down if it’s not working.

Tip #2: In the rules section you can set up conditions. For example, you can assign multiple actions to a single pad or button. There are lots of tutorials if you get stuck, and you can also check out Bome’s forums. The community is really great about helping people out.

I hope this tutorial is an inspiration and compels you to make your own customized controller. Have fun!

m zimmerAbout the author: Born and raised in Germany, Mike started in the late 90s as a rapper and beat maker. From there he made his way to become a passionate sound designer, music technology vlogger, and qa tester for leading companies in the music industry. On his website Padbangers.com, he reviews new gear, sounds, and apps for producers. He also established The Producers Hangout, a YouTube based live show with his co-host Ken Flux Pierce.




Mike Zimmer

  • J Dor

    Cool stuff. Is there any way to controller the lumetri effects directly via midi, say the amount of saturation or exposure for instance?
    Not sure what Adobe’s implementation is, but I guess they have no midi. Maybe in the future?

    • scottsimmons

      Since you’re mapping buttons to buttons you should be able to map whatever you want.

    • I guess you need to write a plugin for that. Sadly – I’m also looking for solutions how to control Pr with an controller full custom style… 🙂

  • Do you were able to get a bidirectional way of communication?
    For example switching target video track on/off with button light on the midi-controller on/off?

    • Mi Ke

      Unfortunately not. Premiere doesn’t send out Midi. That would be so cool if we could achieve a controller like that…

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