Sunday, March 31, 2013

XK-80 video and short review

Paddy 4.3 supports the new XK-60 and XK-80 from P.I. Engineering, makers of the trusted XKeys professional, which is used in some professional LR Plugins. The professional has been discontinued and replaced with the XK-60/80.

A video is here:

(Full disclaimer: The folks at P.I. Engineering provided me with an XK-80 - awesome support for Paddy. Thanks again!)

The XK-60 and -80 are effectively the same keyboard, the -60 is just missing a few keys. Paddy supports both, so I will now use XK-80 only as I talk about them. Compared to the professional, the XK-80

  • Has more keys (duh)
  • Has LEDs under each key (red and blue)
  • Has a smaller footprint (you can see a comparison in the video)
  • is grey instead of black
The keys are the same size as on the professional. They feel comfortable but do not have the solid "click" that the professional has. I will get use to them quite quickly I think, but there was something to the professional keys that felt more solid. The XK-80 is without a doubt more rugged overall, though - the black brittle plastic has been replaced with a softer grey housing. And while I am not a fan of the grey color, it feels nice and compact. The key caps stayed the same, and I promptly broke some. Replacements are available.

The biggest plus here is the smaller footprint on my desk - smaller than the professional for more keys. Paddy uses the LEDs under the keys to indicate the layers - e.g., you select layer 2, all keys are blue. I played around with highlighting individual keys, and it was a lot of fun, but in the end, too much work and not that useful. (btw, the additional programming work was minimal - good job there, software engineers at P.I.E)

Overall, a good upgrade to the product line. These keyboards seem expensive, but the next best things have much fewer keys for only a little less money. E.g., a Genovation 682 has 35 keys (less than half) and runs you ~$120 if you are lucky, so a load more $ per key. And it Paddy, the Genovation blocks some higher levels keys like F-14. So for a large external keyboard that doesn't "block" any keys in Paddy and is also useful in other software, I continue to recommend the XKeys. When you have a few bucks left, get the -80, it's worth it

I think my standard setup will be XK-80 with the Behringer Midi sliders on the big machine, and my Genovation With the Novation Nocturn Midi controller on the Laptop.

Lightroom 4.4 RC

Paddy 4.3Beta works nicely with LR 4.4 RC

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Paddy 4.3 Beta

I pushed the 4.3 beta out. Available here:

The main thing is the IPAD support. It's a lot of fun to edit pictures that way.

Abandoning the Installer

I am trying to get the installer ready for Paddy 4.3beta.

This is getting too complicated. Like every other plugin, from now on, I will just provide the .ZIP of the module directory and the fast updater

RIP, installer. I learned a lot.

Friday, March 29, 2013

LR 4.4

Just as I am finally catching up through some cheating, Lightroom 4.4RC is available. Seems to be only bug fix and camera data, so Paddy should work fine

Novation Nocturn video

Video: Editing with the Novation Nocturn. Alpha version will be updated this Easter weekend.


See here to download:

The path to 4.3

I have to resist the temptation to add more until 4.3Beta comes out. The IPad interface works well, there is really not much reason to wait. I found a few bugs yesterday. The path now is
- finish Novation Nocturn interface
- finish website with templates
- thoroughly test the new ability to support several midi devices
- create videos on Nocturn and the XK-60/80

and that's it. Then i will throw it at the masses.

I of course already have the path to the next version in mind. This will have
- Search box for keywords (right now only for functions)
- Supporting an XBox controller

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Novation Nocturn

I now have a cool interface for the Novation Nocturn. It works - can assign sliders to the encoders and anything to the button. I really like this cool little controller

Video to come in a few days

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Novation Nocturn

I have to say, I created a cool piece of software. I got my Novation Nocturn, and I had the sliders moving within 5 minutes. Cool.

Now, to program native support. My goal is
- Easy assignment
- Good initial mapping
- Several pages on the Nocturn. This is the biggest issue because the Nocturn does not report back when the user changes a page, so no message like on the Behringer

I am also not sure yet what to do with the slider. It is not motorized, so no feedback. I wonder whether I can use that for pages - left position is one page, middle a second, right a third.


Android for Lightroom

So, you ask, what about Android?

The bad news; I don't have an Android device, and probably not much time to develop a template
The good news: You can! Paddy's OSC interface is completely open
The mediocre news: Tough to find a good OSC app for Android

I see a lot of posts about Android on the board. I hope that somebody takes this on - it shouldn't be hard to get a proof of concept going. Here, i am trying to outline what you need to do. If you are lucky, you can get the basics going in 15 minutes. Then it will take time to design a layout, but you will get the hang of it quickly

(1) Find an OSC app for Android that let's you design you own template
You want something with buttons, labels, and sliders (in OSC speak, faders). There are a bunch of these out there. Two I found:

  • TouchOSC for Android - far behind the IPAD version, doesn't support labels or tabs, but is really well documented
  • Control (OSC+Midi): Seems cool, has bi-directional communication

There are probably more out there. In these, you will need to find control surfaces. Start by adding a button and a slider. You will also need to tell this software where to find your computer on the network and set "ports" to send on

  • Set the sending port to: 8000
  • Set the receiving port to: 9000

(2) Create a few controls and ssign OSC commands
You can find the list of Paddy's OSC commands here: . Effectively, you need to assign these to your buttons. that's it.

As a suggestion:
Put your first button on /Paddy/Lightroom/function/13 . This is rotate right
Put your first slider on /Paddy/Lightroom/slidernumber/5 with a range from 0 to 1 . This is exposure

(3) Create a connect button
Create a button to initiate the dialog with Paddy. This is the command /Paddy/Lightroom/connect

When Paddy receives this command, it reads the IP address and starts to send commands and slider settings to that IP address

(4) Start the template, make sure the app knows where your PC is
(5) Start Paddy and check "Use OSC" in the basic settings under the Midi/OSC tab
(6) Play and see whether it works
Start by hitting the connect button

have fun and please ask questions if this doesn't work

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Restarting the blog

I decided to restart the Paddy blog. This will allow me to rewrite a bit about the development process, ideas that I have etc.

Currently, I am pushing on Paddy 4.3 whenever I can. The Alpha version can be downloaded here. I have to decide when I push this out. 

At the moment, the three big things are

  • IPad support
  • Support for more than one Midi device
  • Support for the new XK-60 and XK-80, the follow-up models form the trusted XKeys professional
  • Search box in the assignment menus
  • Bugfixes

In planning is support for the Novation Nocturn, but I iwll probably push that out a bit as I just ordered the device. This promises to be tricky as it seems that this low cost device can only send on one Midi channel, which means that the standard Paddy mapping will not work.

We shall see. In the meantime, there are several new videos up for the IPad on the Youtube channel.