X-Touch Mini issues

I am currently trying to setup a Behringer X-Touch Mini with Ardour. After first trying it out in Mackie mode, I was quite underwhelmed with the functionality (or rather, the lack of) this yielded so I quickly switched back to Generic MIDI mode.

I was quite happy to see that MIDI feedback is indeed working, but I’ve come up with two issues so far.

  1. I am trying to bind some of the buttons to basic transport control, i.e. play, pause, arm record, etc. This works well, but MIDI feedback does not work properly. This was already discussed here:

But the solution is not really satisfying. The issue is that the buttons send a Note-On message when pressed down and a Note-Off when released. Ardour ignores the latter which is fine. However, the MIDI feedback comes immediately after the Note-On. So the button release happens after the Note-Off which causes the X-Touch to turn the LED in the button off. Since the MIDI feedback has arrived already, it remains off. Feedback is working well if I control Ardour with the mouse. I’ve tried some things to remedy this:

  • Turn the button from momentarily to toggle-mode, however, Ardour will not trigger on the Note-Off event, so this does not help
  • Remap the buttons to MIDI-CC and toggle-mode, made it send the same MIDI-CC value for both press and release. Ardour accepts this when binding the control, but pressing the button has no effect.

Is there a way to make Ardour send another MIDI feedback message after the Note-Off event?

  1. The MIDI-CC behavior of Ardour together with the rotary encoders is strange. Rotary encoders are absolute and I can successfully bind them to, e.g., the stereo pan control or a fader. Also, when I move the control with the mouse, the LEDs on the X-Touch are updated. Furthermore, after moving the knobs again, it will start from the value that was set in Ardour using the mouse. Almost all nice and dandy, however:

After using the mouse to change a value, Ardour seems to ignore all MIDI-CC messages from that knob until the value sent is once bigger than the size that was last set with the mouse. So, let’s say (I checked this with MIDI-Snoop) I use the mouse to set the panning value in Ardour to 63:

  • When I do this, I see in MIDI-Snoop that the last message from Ardour was, e.g., Channel 11, CC1, Value: 63
  • If I now turn the knob counterclockwise, I see messages in MIDISnoop coming from the X-Touch with values below 63, as it should be, however, the slider in Ardour does not move
  • I have to turn the value up to at least 64 once for Ardour to start tracking the MIDI messages again, I can then immediately dial back towards zero, the slider will follow

A similar thing happens with the fader. Obviously, the feedback does nothing here, but I also have to “pick up” the fader in Ardour by moving the hardware fader over its value, otherwise, Ardour refuses to move the fader at all.

Not sure if that sounds weird, but maybe someone can attempt to reproduce it with another MIDI device. That behavior seems independent from the X-Touch actually, I’ve been able to reproduce this even with a software MIDI controller.

Little update, I was able to work-around issue 1 by using remapping all the buttons to toggle-action and then converting the NoteOff messages with velocity 0 that come very second button-press to NoteOn messages with velocity 127 using x42.midiflter and the following script:

midimap v1

0x8a ANY ANY | 0x9a SAME 0x7f

However, not my preferred solution. I need Carla Patchbay to run the plugin and then route it to the MIDI Control In of Ardour. Setting this up every time is a bit tedious. Is it possible to route the Control MIDI through a plugin in Ardour itself?

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