Jump to content
You must now use your email address to sign in [click for more info] ×

Using a MIDI controller with Affinity Photo

Recommended Posts

I wasn't sure where to post this idea, but here goes...

I just saw this today. An open source app (midi2lr) that lets you control LR via a midi controller. The obvious benefits are that you can have a hardware or virtual (think IPad based) device with dedicated analog controls (sliders, buttons, toggles, etc.) custom tailored to interact with AP.


Take a look here to see what I mean.

http://petapixel.com/2015/08/12/midi2lr-an-open-source-app-that-lets-you-use-any-midi-controller-in-lightroom/ (video at bottom, 1'41")

What a great interface for interacting with a photo editor!


There seems to be 3 components needed:
1. AP API (possibly via the Extension specification?)
2. MIDI2LR (fork open source project to create MIDI2AP)
3. Midi controller. These range in price from $ - $$$.


Is their a high-level API for AP to allow for this type of input? Maybe via an Extension? Not sure as I haven't been able to find any documentation around this specification.


Here is another example showing LR being controlled with an inexpensive midi controller.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRwkDZguAQg  (16'03")

Thanks for your time.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Staff

Hmmm.... this is interesting... we approached another company that made specific controllers for photo-editing software a while ago and nothing came of it, maybe we could do something ourselves to enable MIDI controllers instead?... We'll have a chat in the office about it when we get a minute - thank you! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, hoping for something without a mortgage...LOL


The real appeal for me is as a BYOD solution. The price can then scale according to individual taste. For example Korg Kontrol 2 - $59 paired with appropriate software.


@Happy Kitten: Glad to hear this may be something of interest to the team. It easily could be an additional SKU complementing your other products. I'd definitely be interested in contributing to a MIDI2AP open-source project/effort. Could your test harness (which I assume is API driven) be extended/re-worked to facilitate a quick prototype/POC?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...



I just found out about MIDI controllers being used for Lightroom, and that would absolutely get things done faster. Plus I am feeling wrist strain more and more after hours of using a mouse every day so that alone would be worth the investment for me.


I would also be looking at the Korg Nano 2.


Thanks for having a forum for requests for this great software!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Hi All!, new member here. Love Affinity photo!. 

I was also looking into controlling Affinity with a midi controller, like Novation Launchcontrol (https://global.novationmusic.com/launch/launch-control#)

Not sure if this threath is still being looked at. Hope so.




PS: Did some more reaserch and found this tool (http://www.bome.com/products/mtclassic)

Quiet nice, I am able to send keystrokes to Affinity. But was more looking into a full lfedged integration, where rotational buttons could control brush size for example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The full Resolve control panel is $30k, but there are cheaper and less space-consuming panels, like the ones from Tangent, or Blackmagic Design's own recently released Mini and Micro panels, which come in at roughly $3000 and $1000 respectively if I recall correctly.


They are all centered around trackballs for a traditional three-way Lift/Gamma/Gain color corrector, which Affinity currently lacks, but it would be a very useful feature even without a control panel, so it would be worth adding anyway.


Other than that, in addition to MIDI, DMX (a protocol used to control theatrical lighting) might also be worth looking into.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

This is the one thing that stops me using Affinity Photo for everyday use. My workflow with Lightroom controlled by the Native Instruments Maschine is so fast and intuitive that I can't leave their horrid pricing structure. Ironically Adobe didn't even invent it.


Please add MIDI compatibility (like MIDI2LR).
It's a killer feature.


Trilby Temperley - photographer & music producer


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

With a robust hotkey interface, you can use midistroke (http://charlie-roberts.com/midiStroke/) to map any midi controller to your application of choice.


The Behringer Xtouch compact at $299 is a good start.   https://www.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Computer-Audio/Desktop-Controllers/X-TOUCH-COMPACT/p/P0B3L


But yes, a controller would be nice.  Having it feed back to motorized faders for things like color correction would be really cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds interesting. I have never used MIDI devices in such a way, but I wonder if the standard MIDI value range (0 – 127) would suffice for the intended purpose. Sure, there are methods to increase the precision, but you would need to have MIDI controllers that support these methods. Hmm … :/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, 0-127 would kind of defeat the object. I was thinking about the midi controllers these days that 'endless' knobs, but then they would still just max out to 127 once you'd turned enough, then any further turning would do nothing :l

Ideal world would be able to weight the amount that an endless knob would change, so one full turn could only change a slider by 10%, for example. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There shouldn't be an issue with MIDI value ranges. You can check out this link on midi2lightroom.com for a detailed explanation. The gist is that the interface controls the settings based on the type of "function" being mapped. Control settings/values are user-definable so can map to -M to +M as needed. The software interface also sets the controller's value/knob when switching between photos, ie. syncing knob's value auto-magically to match the photo's current values.


I'm using LR + Behringer mini-touch ($69) + midi2lr. It's a great little combo. And, yes, I'm still dreaming of the day when AP supports a midi-interface.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the link! :)


But I still see a problem of resolution. Say you want to add a Selective Color Adjustment to a layer. Then you should be able to sweep through the two hundred assignable values of each adjustment slider (-100% to 100%) with a single turn of your MIDI knob. However, the native MIDI resolution will allow you to access only 128 values directly. So I wonder how this is achieved … hmm … :/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a great demo of Behringer X-touch mini in use with LR that may visually address your question. 


Not having any detailed knowledge of the midi interface/specs, I can't speak directly to your question of 128 value support. However, it would seem the actual resolution supported is greater than 128 discreet values based on actual usage. As Dan Moore writes, "the difference now is that midi controllers like the X-Touch Mini use encoder knobs which turn indefinitely and use an LED fan to indicate value. When connected to Lightroom using Midi2LR the encoder knobs update from photo to photo based on the given property." Effectively, using midi2lr and Behringer X-Touch Editor (PC only), one can set arbitrary value ranges: 0 to 100, -100 to 100, 0 to 16,387 with step/scale values. The step/scale effectively controlling the "sensitivity" of the knobs. Since the knobs turn indefinitely the mapping software controls the range of values being transmitted.


Hopefully, the demo video answers your question on the mapping of controller knobs to input resolution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
On 9.11.2016 at 10:36 PM, Teo_ said:


Something like this project http://www.loupedeck.com or a cheap Midi controller could be enough for me.



What I want (and haven't checked  one yet) is a support for a USB controllers. Very simply joystick support! 

It is what the industry needs!


Because that means you can go and buy a Joystick board like http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=180

And then buy a bunch of buttons, knobs and rotaries and build your own controller, just like you want it! All it requires is that board, wires and then wanted buttons and other parts. Not even soldering is required (if someone is so afraid about that). 


And you can build something simple and nice like Whiskey_Tango_Foxtrot_FCPX_03.jpg






It is about 50€ for the Joystick board, a 10-20€ for the buttons, knobs, rotaries and wires. And then just some time to design the layouts, build the boards / platforms and plug all in. No programming required by the end user than set it up in Affinity settings


All it requires is that Affinity Photo would recognize a normal USB joysticks with 8 analog axis, 32 buttons / 16 rotaries and even one 8-way hat. And have support to have multiple of those devices (not just one). 

That should be easy as DirectX on Windows (and same what ever system it was for OS X) API supports it so Affinity Photo only needs to know to communicate with it. 

No need to go buy those 300€ devices when you can make your own exactly for your purposes and needs!



And what I really would love to see, is someone to use https://voiceattack.com/ with Affinity Photo (doesn't require support from developers). 

Think about it. You have microphone on laptop or on workstation and you can just say "Black and White", "New layer" or a "Mask" and you just get those.




With a voice control and USB joystick support, Affinity tools could be managed very easily!


Forget the MIDI devices, they are already past in most cases.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

I Use a Roccat Tyon/Leadr Gaming Mouse with 32 Button-, and 4 Scroll functions (shift function) on a rubber mate and a Cintiq.

Roccat Leadr Wireless Mouse Review (Large, MMORPG) - YouTube

but I can't assign all shortcuts with ALT+ CRTL+ Shift+ fuction or assign the scroll wheel in prefference.

and I can't assign a shortcut with ALT+ CRTL+ Shift+ and scroll wheel in prefference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Attinity said:

I Use a Roccat Tyon/Leadr Gaming Mouse

This thread is about MIDI controllers. Please create a new thread to discuss your shortcuts issue.

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.4.1 (iPad 7th gen)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
On 11/9/2016 at 1:02 AM, MattP said:

Hmmm.... this is interesting... we approached another company that made specific controllers for photo-editing software a while ago and nothing came of it, maybe we could do something ourselves to enable MIDI controllers instead?... We'll have a chat in the office about it when we get a minute - thank you! :)

Has anything ever come of this?

Windows 11 Pro, XP-Pen Deco 03, AP, AD & APub

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I'm also an LR user who would like to switch to Affinity Photo and one of the reasons I did not do it yet is an ability to use MIDI controller. I'm using Behringer Xtouch mini and I must say it is 2-3 times faster with the controller to edit photos in LR. It would probably be even more when using it on a daily basis.

Anyway, just registered here to ask if there were any developments in this area?

I'd love to switch to AP...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.