BeatMaker Support

Using external MIDI controllers and instruments


BeatMaker can be controlled by MIDI controllers and is capable of sending MIDI events to external software and hardware instruments.

By default, all incoming MIDI messages are sent to the currently selected pad of the current bank (OMNI mode). However, this behavior can be changed by setting up Focus Actions or controlling individual banks. OMNI mode can also be disabled manually from the Settings, SETTINGS & BEHAVIORS” page.

For more information and schematics about how BeatMaker handles incoming MIDI events routing internally, see this article.

Quick links :

- How to use an external MIDI controller

- MIDI Controllers Routing

- How to send and receive audio & MIDI between BeatMaker 3 and your macOS computer

1. MIDI Focus Actions

If you are planning to use only one MIDI controller with BeatMaker, the Focus Actions mode is the most effective way of setting it up: you can control most of BeatMaker parameters (such as pads, macro controls, bank selector and transport) within a single interface.

Depending on which Bank is currently selected within the Performance view (the current focus), BeatMaker will trigger its pads according to your MIDI controller pads/keys.

To open the Focus Actions Editor, open the browser by tapping the top-left corner icon, and tap the Settings icon:

Now tap the "MIDI FOCUS ACTIONS" button to switch to the Focus Actions Editor:

A list of available FOCUS ACTIONS are displayed on the left side. By selecting an action, BeatMaker waits for a MIDI event from connected controllers. When an event is received (such as when you press a pad or key from your MIDI controller), it is automatically assigned to this action.

A quick way to setup your MIDI controller is to press the “AUTO LEARN” button located below the focus actions list. A typical use would be as follow:

- Tap the first action from the list called “TRIGGER PAD 1”

- Tap the first pad or key from your MIDI controller: it is now automatically assigned to BeatMaker’s first pad from the Performance view

- BeatMaker has selected the next action “TRIGGER PAD 2” automatically. Press the second pad or key from your controller to assign it

- Repeat the same procedure for all the pads/keys you want to assign to BeatMaker interface (if you want to assign more than 16 pads, tap the “64 PADS DEVICE” button above the focus actions list to extend the list to 64 pads)

- Assign any other external controls to BeatMaker actions (such as knobs or faders to the Macro controls, or buttons to Transport controls, etc).

You can use the “SKIP” button to go to the next focus action, leaving the current one without assignment. Make sure to press the “STOP LEARN” button when you are done.

You can then save your Focus Actions assignments to a preset file by tapping the 3-dots button located at the top-right corner of the page. By default, BeatMaker loads the last saved template when it is launched. You can also manually load any previously saved Focus Actions template from the same menu.

If the OMNI mode from the “Settings & Behaviors” page is ON, any unbound MIDI event to a Focus Action is forwarded to the currently selected pad.


2. Controlling individual BeatMaker instruments or banks

It may be desirable to control individual instruments or banks without depending on the currently selected bank within BeatMaker. You can do so by assigning a different MIDI controller (MIDI input) to a track:

1. First make sure MIDI OMNI mode is disabled. Open the Browser and press the Settings icon:

2. Press the SETTINGS & BEHAVIOR” button and tap on “ROUTE ALL MIDI TO SELECTED PAD (OMNI)” to set it to OFF.

3. Now close the Browser and open the Performance view, then select the bank you want to configure by using the bank selector at the top

4. Press the 3-dots button next to the bank name:

5. Choose “MIDI Setup” from the menu

6. Press the “PORT” button below the “MIDI INPUTlabel to show a list of your connected devices

7. Select your device from the list. Optionally, you can change the MIDI channel which the bank will listen to (or set it “ALL” if you want the Bank to react to any MIDI channel)

8. If you have an instrument loaded on your bank, it should now be controlled by the MIDI controller you previously selected

Troubleshooting: If you do not hear any sounds when playing on your controller, verify if:

- The MIDI channel your controller is using is the same as within the MIDI Setup

- The notes you are playing can actually be reproduced by the current instrument (are there any samples loaded for this note? Do you have a pad selected and KEYS mode enabled?)

- MIDI OMNI mode must be disabled for individual bank MIDI configuration to work. You can disable it within the Settings, SETTINGS & BEHAVIOR” page.

You can also assign a specific MIDI controller and channel to any pad: please refer to the Editor view article for more information.

3. Sending MIDI events to an external hardware or software instrument

BeatMaker can be used to control external MIDI hardware and other iOS applications that have MIDI input support. You can use the pads/keys interfaces as well as the sequencer and patterns to send MIDI events to a connected device or app.

To configure a track or bank to send MIDI events, follow these steps:

1. Open the Mixer view, then tap and hold your track name for a second to display a menu:


2. Choose “MIDI Setup” from the menu

3. Press the “PORT” button below the “MIDI OUTPUTlabel to show a list of your connected devices

4. Select your device or app from the list

5. Make sure the MIDI Channel you’ll be using is the same as your device or app is expecting (by default it is set to MIDI channel 1)

6. Close the menu by taping anywhere on the screen. Starting from now, any event played from a pattern or pad within this track will also be forwarded to the selected device or app

You can also assign a specific output device and channel to any pad: please refer to the Editor view article for more information.

If at any time MIDI notes get stuck within your external devices or applications controlled by BeatMaker, press the “MIDI Panic!” button from the Settings, “SETTINGS & BEHAVIOR” page.



Was this article helpful?
19 out of 26 found this helpful