Beginner question on midi mapping methodology

Sep 9, 2023
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Hello all,
Finally thought I should sit down and ask for help with a question that's been plaguing me for .. well, decades now. I have a real problem with midi mapping - mostly with the methodology of how to map effectively and efficiently. I don't spend my time around musicians so I haven't really been able to discuss working practices with others, and my midi gear has been stored in boxes for years while I've been relocating to different parts of the world. Finally got everything together this week and I'd like to sit down and crack this thing that's been nipping my head. I'm sure it's extremely easy really, but it's really affected my enjoyment of making music. I can get things to work, but sometimes it's a messy workaround and I feel a total midiot. (TM/R! 😄)
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My current equipment: Cubase 12 Artist with Komplete 14 on a win 10 PC, Steinberg UR24c interface. Nektar T4, Nektar Aruba, Kore 2 and Kenton Control Freak Special Edition (old 16 button and 16 fader midi in/out/ through controller with different profiles).

So, when I get down to midi mapping, I generally start mapping a controller then find that there are multiple ways to do it and that throws me. An example is, I'd like to set a profile on the Kenton Control Freak up to exclusively act as my main channel volume/mute controller for the mixer in Cubase. I can just do midi learn for the Kenton faders, but then wouldn't that mean that the other midi instruments will also be sending cc messages that will control mixer volumes and pans? Should I create a profile on the Kenton, after making it's output to a specific midi channel and then remote map that in Cubase?

When I'm midi mapping my VST's, do I just midi learn each one, mapping on, say, a strict left-right basis, on my T4 keyboard or do I try create profiles and use the same midi controller encoder for a particular midi cc value, so that I know that a particular encoder will always change LFO or attack, whatever the VST is?

I've got profile creation in the hardware and midi learn in the software - two ways of getting to the same destination, each with advantages and disadvantages - what's the best way of utilising these to make life easier and everything more organised, especially when I have quite a few VST's to control?

Another problem with my software is that I now have a series of wrappers - Nektar can use Nektarine for midi maps and profiles and some of the NI apps have more wrappers before you get to the actual instrument. I've got to the point where I'm thinking of ditching all the wrappers and just make things as simple as possible, at least for the synth.

It's all in the head, as they say, but this issue has been a pain. I'm sure there's a sensible, logical process out there - I just haven't been able to work it out for myself yet.

(edit/addition) The reason all this mapping stuff is important to me is because my first synth was an MC-202. I loved the tactile nature of the thing and would like to recreate that hands-on approach to a degree without having to buy lots of hardware.

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