Q Light Controller Plus - User Documentation

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MIDI input/output plugin

Introduction

This plugin gives input/output support for the MIDI protocol and gives the user freedom to control typical parameters like channels, Notes, Program Change and Control Change.
The MIDI plugin can be quite powerful used in combination with MIDI devices such as keyboards, MIDI controllers (like Behringer BCF2000 or KORG nanoKONTROL) or a software audio sequencer like Cubase or Ardour 3.
The usage can vary from fader-to-fader control (the BCF2000 case) to sequence triggering for synchronized shows (metronome controlled gigs using an audio sequencer)

Configuration

When you click on the configuration button a window will appear, showing all the MIDI input and output lines detected.
Each line has three options that can be changed depending on your needs:

Feedbacks

The MIDI plugin is one of the QLC+ plugins supporting feedbacks. When QLC+ detects a MIDI device with an output line, it will enable the feedback check box in the Input/Output panel. Please note that output and feedback are exclusive, so they cannot both be used at the same time.
If your MIDI device supports a return channel, QLC+ can send a visual/mechanical feedback to it. Devices such as the Behringer BCF2000 support this feature. This is very useful during live shows to have immediate knowledge of the current state of faders mapped in QLC+.

A small trick that can be achieved with QLC+ is to use feedback as a generic MIDI output line to trigger external controllers/sequencers.
Let's look at some examples:

KORG nanoPAD X Axis

For unknown reasons, the nanoPAD factory defaults don't map the X Axis of the pad area. To have it fully working with QLC+, please download the KORG utility (Windows and OSX only) from here and set the X Axis to CC2 (Control Change #2).

AKAI APC LED Feedbacks

When using one of the Akai APC family controller, there is one feature that could come very handy: LED color feedbacks.
The default behaviour with Virtual Console buttons is: value = 0: LED off, value = 255: LED green
This can be customized when selecting an input channel, by pressing the "Custom feedback" button.
A new area is displayed, showing the possibility to enter a lower and an upper value. This is basically translated in which values QLC+ should send for buttons on/off states.
Since the MIDI protocol works in a range of 0-127 values, and QLC+ works in the DMX range of 0-255, the following table points you directly to the values you should enter to obtain the desired color of an APC LED. Basically they are taken from APC manuals and doubled.
ValueLED color
0Off
2Green
4Green Blinking
6Red
8Red Blinking
10Yellow
12Yellow Blinking
14-255Green
It's interesting to notice that you don't necessarily need to keep 0 as lower value. For example with lower = 6 and upper = 2 the result will be: Function Off -> red LED, Function On -> green LED.

MIDI beat clock

Starting from version 4.5.0, QLC+ supports the MIDI beat clock
Not to be confused with the MIDI timecode, the MIDI beat clock is a useful signal to sync BPM-based devices such as a drum machine with your lights controlled by QLC+.
Two special MIDI channels have been mapped in QLC+ to control your Virtual Console widgets with a beat clock.
Here's a brief explanation of the special channels:


Hint: If your controller is set to work at high BPM (e.g. 180-200), you might find difficult to catch the start signal. One trick for doing this is to catch the stop signal. Example:
  1. Enable the QLC+ Virtual Console widget auto-detection
  2. Hit play on your device generating the MIDI beat clock. QLC+ will detect channel 530 and will switch very quickly to 531
  3. Stop the playback on your MIDI beat clock device. QLC+ will detect channel 530 again.
  4. Disable the QLC+ Virtual Console widget auto-detection
In a similar way you can catch the beat signal as well. Just disable the auto-detection process before stopping the playback on your beat controller (invert steps 3 and 4).

MIDI initialization message

There might be cases where your MIDI device needs some commands to turn into a specific operating mode
The MIDI protocol can handle this through SysEx. These are particular messages to instruct a MIDI device how to behave.
QLC+ can use a XML template to achieve this that can be selected in the MIDI configuration panel.
Here's an example of how a template looks like:

<!DOCTYPE MidiTemplate>
<MidiTemplate>
 <Creator>
  <Author>Your name</Author>
 </Creator>
 <Description>A brief description of that the template does.</Description>
 <Name>Template name to be displayed by QLC+</Name>
 <InitMessage>F0 47 00 7B 60 00 04 41 09 00 05 F7</InitMessage>
</MidiTemplate>
You can create the ones you need and place them in your MidiTemplates folder.
You are welcome to submit them in the QLC+ forum.

QLC+ Channels map

To handle a mix of various MIDI messages (Notes, PC, CC, etc..), QLC+ remaps them into a sequential order.
Following, the channel numbers to be used in the Input Profile editor:

ChannelMIDI message
1Control Change 1
......
128Control Change 128
129NOTE ON/NOTE OFF 1
......
256NOTE ON/NOTE OFF 128
257NOTE AFTERTOUCH 1
......
384NOTE AFTERTOUCH 128
385Program Change 1
......
512Program Change 128
513Channel Aftertouch
514Pitch Wheel
530MIDI Beat Clock: Start/Continue
531MIDI Beat Clock: Beat
532MIDI Beat Clock: Stop

In OMNI mode, add 4096 * Channel number


Version: 4.10.5 Last update: 2016-12-03 18:23:38 +0100