In theory, the easiest way to remote control the parameters of an instrument or effect device is to set up a MIDI controller as a Control Surface and take advantage of Instant Mapping. (see Get MIDI Set Up Right for more on setting up control surfaces). In particular, I’m referring to controllers that have a set of eight knobs that control eight parameters on the currently selected device (APC40, VCM-600, Oxygen 8, etc, etc).  The currently selected device is the one with the blue hand in the title bar:

The reason I say this is easy in theory is that knowing exactly what parameters those eight knobs are going to control can be quite tricky. In the case of a simple device with only a few controls (such as Redux) it’s pretty easy. With complex effects like Reverb, or pretty much any synthesizer, it can be utterly confusing. I suppose some people can learn what knob in what bank controls the parameter they need to tweak, but I am not one of them.

My solution: make default racks. Go through every device you use regularly and make a rack with the eight parameters you tweak the most mapped to the macro knobs (check out One Knob, Multiple Functions if you’re new to making racks). You’ll end up with something that looks like this:


Now, that I can relate to! Eight knobs on the screen, eight on the controller. You’ll want to save this rack as a preset when you’re done with it – more about that tomorrow.