USB Controllers / NanoKey

I am curious if experienced Ardour users have had any luck with the Korg Nanokey on Ardour. And, well, USB midi controllers in general!
Do controllers in general “just work” with Ardour? I just need the basic functionality so if I use a synth plugin, I can control it via the… controller. :smiley:
Not too concerned with the propriety stuff that comes with specific controllers… As long as the controller “gets along with” Ardour so I can make noises, etc.


FWIW, I had to download Nano-Basket from github in order to get the NanoKey to work. Figured I would mention that in case someone comes across this post.

Thank you, Paul. I do get the impression that it is primarily for recording external instruments, but I will experiment nonetheless. :slight_smile:

If you just use the ALSA audio/MIDI backend of Ardour, you don’t need to mess around with a2j or any of that stuff. The devices will just show up.

But … you also mentioned “so I can make noises” … Ardour is not centered on making music inside the computer. We are not like Live or Bitwig or FL Studio. Some people do use ardour in this way, but it is currently primarily designed to record people performing on external musical instruments of various kinds. I don’t want to dissuade you from trying Ardour, but I do want you have the right expectations.

Sweet! Thanks for the info. I’ve only ever used an E-mu controller keyboard with Ardour. It’s a little clunky, and I want to try different controllers. nanokey piqued my interest, and so did the Akai Mini II.

I’ll probably hang out on ebay for a while… lol


I’ve just tasted my nanoKEY and it works well with Ardour in Linux (KXStudio 14.04). I use JACK with the Cadence and Catia programs. If I plug my nanoKEY during the JACK server is running - Ardour and Catia don’t detect it. I need to stop and restart the JACK server. After the JACK restarting Ardour sees the nanoKEY well (also Catia) as the “system midi_capture” devices. Besides, my Evolution MK-425 midi keyboard works well the same way (including knobs and controllers). I suppose - if your system detects keyboard well - Ardour will find it without problems.

p.s. If I start an “ALSA MIDI Bridge” (through the Cadence or Catia) - I can plug my keyboards during JACK is running - Ardour and Catia detect them right away as “a2j” devices, so I don’t need to restart the JACK server in this case.