Using the KORG nanoKONTROL 2 in Qtractor

As a musician and part time audio engineer I recently bought myself a bright white KORG nanoKONTROL 2 USB controller as an addition to my mobile Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) setup. Setting it up and running it within OSX went smoothly, but I prefer Ubuntu Studio as Qtractor is my DAW of choice. So I connected the nanoKONTROL to Qtractor using Jack. I clearly saw midi events coming in, but nothing happened. This is where I started my search for enabling the nanoKONTROL in Qtractor. After reading many articles and blogs (special thanks to Jeremy!) I was able to reconstruct a working Qtractor control file (a .qtc file :-).

In this article I’ll try to explain the steps I took, what works, and what I still need to figure out… Reading the articles and blogs I learned that it is possible to assign Midi Machine Control (MMC) and MIDI Control Change (MIDI CC) messages to certain functions within Qtractor. The “only thing” I had to do is, connect the right CC messages to the right functions (knobs and sliders) in Qtractor. That sounds simple, but it took me some trail and error before I had it working! So the first thing I needed to do was figuring out what my nanoKONTROL was sending (in other words – how it was configured).

So, first of all I headed over to the Korg Kontrol Editor to figure out, how the nanoKONTROL was configured (It’s nice to know that you can run the Korg Kontrol Editor within Linux using Wine!).

And even more important…

After that I figured I had to write a Qtractor control file, so I started to analyze its logic (Jeremy you are the man, thanks!). Using gedit I had the first knobs and sliders working in no-time 🙂 The only problem I had was that my buttons for soloing, muting and recording tracks only worked as long as I kept them pressed. So I headed back to my Korg Kontrol Editor and changed the function of those knobs to “Toggle” mode.

You can download my Qtractor control file here.

You can download my tutorial control file here.

And you can configure / import the Qtractor control file by starting up Qtractor, go to “View”, select “Controllers”.

There you’ll find an “Import” button with which you can import the Qtractor control file.

So what is working and what needs to be fixed? Currently working are TrackSolo, TrackMute, TrackRecord, TrackPanning and TrackGain buttons and sliders. What I still need to figure out, are all the other knobs like the transport functions (play, record, rewind, fast forward, etc.). So if you happen to know how that works, then please send me an email!

PS. Don’t forget to link your KORG nanoKONTROL 2 to Qtractor, because otherwise it won’t work!!!

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line .