MIDI Keyboard Macros use the same BASIC Script language as Multi-Keyboard Macros
We will skip all the introduction that you can read in the Multi-Keyboard Macros. Don’t forget to check the PDF manual that has a very detailed description of every function in the script.Project 1 Triple text clipboard. Let’s have Copy A B C and Paste A B C instead of standard Copy/Paste. As a programmer I always wanted this functionality as I need to have few more things in clipboard at the same time.I am going to use AKAI APC mini. It is inexpensive and has a huge amount of buttons and sliders to use. The downside is that the pads are not touch sensitive, so we can’t use the clever Light Touch option (when you brush lightly over the keys, they will only display the name on screen but not trigger the macro) but we can use the Set Color options as a visual clue. On APC Mini the color 3 is red and color 1 is green.
// increase this number for each new clipboard#defineCLIPBOARD 0SendKeyStroke("CTRL C")SendKeyStroke("PAUSE")// get the new clipboard GLB_MClipboard[CLIPBOARD] = GetClipboardText()DisplayText("Copy to Clipboard " + CHAR(ASC('A')+CLIPBOARD))
The Copy buttons are simple:
The only difference is that on each next copy button we increase the value of the #define line, so the next button will be #defineCLIPBOARD 1 etc…What the script does is to send CTRL C to the window, then wait a little for the windows clipboard to get updated. Then put the clipboard into a global array variable GLB_MClipboard and also display text on screen. The CHAR(ASC('A')+CLIPBOARD) simply converts the CLIPBOARD number into A, B, C… letters.
The Paste buttons:
// increase this number for each new clipboard #defineCLIPBOARD 0ifTYPE(GLB_MClipboard[CLIPBOARD])>0 thenSetClipboardText(GLB_MClipboard[CLIPBOARD])SendKeyStroke("CTRL V")DisplayText("Paste " + CHAR(ASC('A')+CLIPBOARD))elseDisplayText("Clipboard "+ CHAR(ASC('A')+CLIPBOARD)+ " is <empty>")endif
Same as previously, for each paste key increase the number in #defineThe first line checks if the if our global array exist (because we may press PASTE before we ever press COPY). TYPE( ) returns the type of variable inside and if it is -1 that means it has not yet been defined. But if it has been defined, that means it has some text in it.We will send the the content of the array item to the clipboard, send CTRL V to the window and display little text on screen.If it has not been defined we only display on screen that the clipboard is empty.
Project 2: Use APC MINI slider to select Photoshop Tool There is a one difference with MIDI Keyboard Macro script - because MIDI device can transmit velocity and control data value, a variable MIDIvaluecarries the velocity and slider/knobs control values (0..127) in the script and variable MIDInote has value of the currently pressed note (or CC)
Photoshop tools are recalled with simply sending a keyboard press such as V for Move Tool, B for Brush etc… we can surely use few of the numerous APC MINI buttons or we can try to be more clever and utilise the slider.
This second version is already much better. We have two arrays: name and keystroke and it will select the array item depending on the MIDIvalueOn the listing above the slider works the opposite way than we defined the keys - the Move would be on the slider bottom and the Brush would be on the slider top (the other way than it appears on Photoshop toolbar).The fix would be to replace the line with:item = (127-MIDIvalue)/nstep
Let’s refine the script further.There is a cleaner, less wordy way to fill up the arrays, using Tokenize. Tokenize command extract a certain token from a string using a delimiter. The syntax isTokenize(string,delimiter,skip)
// lazy way of adding arraysstr = "Move,Marque,Laso,Crop,Brush,Clone"keys = "V,M,L,C,B,S"name = Tokenize(str,",",REFERENCE)keystroke = Tokenize(keys,",",REFERENCE)// how many items we have?nMax = LAST(name)+1// what is the slider step per item?nstep = INT(127/nMax)// reverse so it goes from top to bottomitem = (127-MIDIvalue)/nstepDisplayText(name[item])SendKeyStroke(keystroke[item])
So if we have string "one,two" the "," is delimiter. The skip parameter tells us how many tokens to skip so we can extract only particular token. However if the skip parameter is -1 (or REFERENCE) then it will extract ALL the tokens and send them to a string array - and that is what we are going to use.Instead of making it hard-coded how many items we have, we can just ask the string array how many items it has, by using LAST(array[item]) statement. The LAST statement returns the last defined item number - in our case it would be 5 because we have 6 items and they start with index 0, so we need to increase it by one to have space on our slider for all the items.
The final version of the script:
Similarly we can define other sliders with few different Photoshop Tools. Don’t forget to put a dot in front of the Macro Name so it will not display the macro name just before it displays the Tool name. In fact the app will put one for you if it see you used DisplayText in script.
The basic idea can be very simple
Sometimes it may be good idea to simply disable sliders to avoid random keystrokes if you are not using it. In our case of photoshop tools, touching the slider would type letters v,b,m etc.. which is definitely not good if we are in text editing application and touch the slider by accident. On the APC MINI there are buttons above each of the slider that are just begging to be used for that function.
We will use the newly added SendMIDI command to light up the button depending on the statusSo first uncheck Set pad color because we don’t want it to be set automatically.
The global variable GLB_PhslEnable will be used to track the status if the button is enabled or disabled. Each pressing of the button will flip the status (first line - that’s what the ! does). The rest of the lines will light up the current button or switch the light off. The variable MIDInote carries the actual MIDI number of the trigger button. The color values (3 = RED) are relevant to the APC Mini, other devices may use different values.Now we need to update the slider script to react to the global variable.Put this on the very beginning of the slider script:
Now the slider will be functional only when the button above it is lighted up.Note: With SendMIDI you may light up any other buttons, not just the current trigger. In that case use Monitor window and see the key number of the button you want to change. Then use that instead of MIDInoteSendMIDI(NOTE_ON,1, 48,3)
This will set the key 48 to red, regardless from which script it is called. Try this on first example as an exercise (triple copy/paste). When you press any copy button, set it to blinking (on APC MINI, red blink is 4) - or some other color while set all other Copy buttons to solid red. The blink will then indicate which copy button was used last.