Writing MIDI automation with X Touch?

I have a midi track playing a sampled drum kit. I’d like to automate the Foot Controller to vary how open/closed the open hi-hat is. Obviously I can draw in automation by hand, no problem.

But is it possible to write this automation using my X Touch and, if so, how?

The automation lane doesn’t have the mode selector drop-down that, say, the Fader does. But even so, I can’t figure out how I could get the automation lane to respond to a fader on the X Touch anyway – maybe it can’t be done?

Thanks in advance.

MIDI automation is just MIDI CC data. You can write this with any MIDI device that sends CC data and is being used as a “Generic MIDI controller”. But you are most likely (I hope) using your X Touch via Mackie Control Protocol, and in this mode, there’s no way to get CC data from the device (to the extent that it sends any) and into Ardour. The faders/buttons/knobs all have defined purposes, and none of them include being attached to a MIDI CC “track”.

Okay, so I’ve figured out how to do this. So, for the benefit of anyone else who might be in a similar situation…

Not only did I need Generic MIDI enabled (Preferences > Sync > Control Surfaces), which I already had, but I needed to double click that to alter the settings and select the X-Touch from the drop-down list for “Incoming MIDI on:” I then managed to bind a fader by the usual MIDI learn method.

I thought connecting the X-Touch to the track in the Mixer would do the trick, but I guess that’s for connecting MIDI for recording on the track. It makes sense that there’s a separate place to connect MIDI for controlling the track as opposed to input it.

Thanks Paul. You posted whilst I was composing my reply to myself. Yes, I’m using the X-Touch in MCP mode but was trying to bind a fader that wasn’t in use to the fader for the automation lane.

I plugged in a Korg NanoKontrol to try to bind to the relevant automation but couldn’t get that to work. That was when I discovered I needed to select an input device in the Generic MIDI control surface settings.

I’ve now managed to achieve what I wanted to do, using a spare fader to control the automation lane, which works fine in real time. But the problem now, of course, is that there’s no way to write/record the data except to draw it in by hand. Is this a feature that could be added? If so, I’ll submit a request on Mantis.

Not sure I understand “there’s no way to write/record the data except to draw it in by hand” given what you’re written before. Can you explain?

So I had managed to connect the X-Touch to the CC4 fader so that an X-Touch fader controlled the CC4 fader level during playback. But there doesn’t seem to be a way of recording the CC4 level changes during playback of the existing MIDI file on the track.

With e.g. the volume fader, there’s the drop-down to select the automation mode (Play/Write etc) and you can record the fader movements as automation. But I can’t see a drop-down on the CC lanes, so how can the fader movements be recorded i.e. added to the MIDI data on the track? I already have MIDI data on the “main” track, recorded from Hydrogen, I’m wanting to record CC4 “automation” separately, after the fact, if that’s possible.