asked Mar 16 '19 at 22:23 by Mannex17 (11)

I am trying to use my two Behringer BCR2000 controllers in Bitwig. They have endless knobs with rings of LED's around them to indicate their current value/position.

I am trying to map these BCR knobs to parameters in a VST softsynth so I can program patches entirely on the BCR2000's like a hardware synth, without having to touch my mouse.

I've used the BCR2000's in Ableton, where I can freely map any knob/button on my BCR's to any parameter, and if I use my mouse to change a corresponding mapped parameter in ableton, it sends data back out into my BCR's to update the LED positions of the associated mapped hardware knobs. So when you switch presets on your mapped synth, it instantly changes the positions of the LED knobs on the BCR to mirror the settings of the new preset you just loaded, so you don't have to fuss around with knob takeover modes and can immediately start tweaking.

so in summary I need these two things:
-BCR knobs freely mappable to any parameter/VST in the DAW
-Bitwig sends data back out into the BCR's to update the BCR knob position LED's when I adjust/change any of the associated mapped parameters in Bitwig

But it doesn't look like Bitwig can do this. Bitwig gives you two options:

Use the BCR2000's as "Generic MIDI Keyboard"
This allows you to freely map the BCR knobs to any Bitwig parameter, but it only sends data out of the BCR's into Bitwig. Bitwig doesn't send any knob position data back out to the BCR's, and therefore it doesn't update the BCR knob LED positions when you switch presets/projects or adjust one of the mapped parameters inside Bitwig.

freely mappable = yes
updates BCR knob positions from DAW = no

Download the official Bitwig BCR2000 template and use that
Bitwig provides a template .sysex file you can download for the BCR2000, and you install it on your BCR and then you select the "BCR2000" in the controllers section of the preferences.

This actually does send DAW data back to the BCR, and dynamically updates the knob positions, but unfortunately it also permanently locks you into a specific control template. All the knobs are permanently mapped to stuff like track volume/panning, the buttons are set to mute/solo tracks, the first 8 knobs are linked to the 8 macro device knobs, etc. And you can't change any of these mappings.

freely mappable = no
updates BCR knob positions from DAW = yes

so as you can see, both of the current available options fall short.

I DID find a custom controller script that someone wrote for the BCR2000 that appears to get pretty close.

you can freely map the knobs, and Bitwig sends parameter values back to the BCR's and updates knob positions, but it's kind of buggy, in that it doesn't always properly update the knob positions when you load a project file, or load a preset. I'd dive into the script and fix it myself but I don't know jack about coding controller scripts.

I really need to get my BCR's working in Bitwig so I can switch away from Ableton. Bitwig is so much quicker to use and its interface feels more like playing, where Ableton's feels like work. But if I can't use my BCR2000's in Bitwig yet, then I'll have to stay with Ableton for now, which I really, really don't want to have to do.

And actually in retrospect, I'm very surprised and disappointed that Bitwig can't already do this. The BCR2000 is a very old and simple piece of hardware, and ableton's been able to do this properly for a long time now. As someone who was very excited to switch from away ableton to Bitwig, it was a bit of a letdown. I am really glad I tried out the demo and found this out before buying Bitwig.

Thank you for this well appreciated post. I have the same now here. How did you end up? Is there a freely customizable script available?


answered Dec 24 '19 at 12:31 by DeusMortis (21)

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Asked: Mar 16 '19 at 22:23

Seen: 511 times

Last updated: Dec 24 '19 at 12:31