Using banks on an Akai MidiMix

I use an Akai Midi Mix as my controller for Gig Performer. Has anyone using this controller had success in using the bank left and bank right function of the controller to cycle between different banks on the controller?

TLDR; find out if the same encoder sends on a different CC# per bank.

I don’t have one of these but I am curious about it. I haven’t looked but I suspect the AKAI Professional downloads offer a utility that lets you redefine at least MIDI output of the controller.

A couple of general suggestions based on my limited experience with the internals of my own AKAI MPK Mini Mk II controller:

I would first find that AKAI MIDIMix utility and see how or if it lets you redefine what those MidiMix bank buttons actually do. My guess is you can’t redefine them. I would wonder if it has a “MIDI only” mode that lets those Midi bank buttons send a CC or PC or note etc. But I suspect they are actually just internal to the controller itself.

At the least the utility would let you redefine what CC number the encoders send values on per bank for instance.

So it would be I suppose a bit tricky, and maybe a bit risky to change the controller bank using sysex from a Gscript for instance. You’d probably have to poll for a SYSEX dump, analyze and manipulate that and then send that modified SYSEX dump back, etc. Theoretically possible but AKAI doesn’t publish their sysex data maps, so you’d have to find a reverse engineered key to that. My analysis: not a rabbit hole worth going into because you’re probably never going to wind up with the kind of buttery integration you get with a N-I S-series or Arturia controller with their software etc.

Most reliable use case is probably going to be just setting the controller bank buttons “blind” to Gig Performer. Gig Performer won’t know what bank the controller has selected, but it won’t actually matter if encoder #1 sends MIDI CC 9 in bank 0 and sends on say MIDI CC 21 in bank 1, on MIDI CC49 etc… That’s what you would use to redefine the encoders — if they are all set to send the same CC In each bank as the previous. But you may not even need to.

You can check this very easily by just attaching a MIDI monitor block to a MIDIMIx input block in GP, turn an encoder, switch the MidiMix to the next bank, and turn the same encoder.

If you get CC values coming in on a different CC# for the same encoder when switched to another MIDIMix bank, you probably don’t need to change anything.

You can just map VST controls natively to arbitrary controller/bank CC# combinations and then it’s up to you to keep track of which bank you’re using. I suspect the bank buttons have color change LEDs or something to indicate selected bank? Probably.

I would also recommend first saving the default configuration of the entire MidiMix controller in whatever way the utility allows because at least in the case of the MPK Mini type controllers it actually doesn’t have an option to do a “factory reset” or “init” type of global reset to known state.

This is a well-known design philosophy annoyance with the AKAI controllers. I mean how hard would it be to include another menu item in the utility app with a backstop dialog that offers to save current configuration before sending a factory SYSEX resetting everything to factory state. Clearly dropping of a ball there. Specially since there doesn’t seem to be (at least I haven’t found it) a “Vulcan neck pinch” for doing a factory firmware reset on at least my AKAI controller.

This can be an annoyance if you want to use the controller AKAI software like MPC Beats etc that expects a certain default — dare I say “factory” — setup from the AKAI controller to work “out of the box” without adjustments.

I hope this gives you at least a bit more context for using an AKAI controller with Gig Performer.

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