MIDI key and automation mapping

Key Maps

A Key Map allows you to play BFD3's Drum articulations and Grooves with MIDI notes. It contains defined mappings between MIDI notes and these entities along with a number of other parameters for specialized types of control, especially with electronic drum trigger hardware.

Key Maps can be loaded and saved using the BFD3 File menu, and the Key Map panel provides a comprehensive environment with which to view, modify and create mappings for MIDI notes. Click the Key Map button in the main BFD3 navigation bar to display the Key Map panel.

BFD3 also features an alternative way of creating mappings - the Kit display features the Start MIDI Learn function on the slot context menu for accomplishing this. However, in order to set up advanced mapping functions and fine adjustment, it is necessary to use the Key Map panel.

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Automation Maps

An Automation Map allows you to control BFD3 parameters with MIDI control data and with host automation parameters when using BFD3 in a suitable host/DAW application. Because BFD3 simply contains too many parameters, it would be impossible to map them all for MIDI or host automation control - there simply are not enough MIDI continuous controllers (CCs) in the MIDI spec, and there would be too many host automation parameters to manage in a DAW.

Automation Maps can be loaded and saved using the BFD3 File menu, and the Automation panel allows you to view, modify and create mappings as required. The Automation panel is shown by clicking the Auto button above the Browser - the Browser area is replaced by the Automation panel. Click any of the other tab buttons (Presets, Kits, Drums or Grooves) to return to the desired Browser.

 

Program Change Playlists

The Program Change Playlist function, available in the Automation panel, allows you to use MIDI program change messages to switch through a 'playlist' of BFD3 Presets and Kits.

 

Loading Maps

Key Maps

In most cases, you can simply load a suitable factory Key Map for your MIDI controller or electronic drumkit hardware using the Load Key Map function in the BFD3 File menu. In the Load Map panel that appears, scroll through the list and double-click the desired Key Map to load it. See below for a more detailed guide to the Load Map panel.

To save the current Key Map, use the Save Key Map function on the File menu.

Automation Maps

Automation maps are loaded in a very similar way to Key Maps - use the Load Automation Map function in the BFD3 File menu.

To save the current Automation Map, use the Save Automation Map function on the File menu.  In the Load Map panel that appears, scroll through the list and double-click the desired Automation Map to load it. See below for a more detailed guide to the Load Map panel.

 

 

 

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Load Key Map and Load Automation Map panels

The Load Key Map panel and Load Automation Map panels are very similar in operation.

Map listing

The listing shows maps that exist within the factory maps and the <user location>/Maps folder.

Search

The Search text-box allows you to type a keyword(s) with which to narrow down the listing. Click the Recent drop-down menu to the left of the text-box to display a list of recent searches. Click the relevant search term to perform the search again.

Current Map indicator

The currently loaded map is shown by this indicator. If no map has been loaded, the factory default map is indicated.

 

If any modifications have been made to the current map since it was loaded, an asterisk is shown next to this indicator.

Import multiple Maps

The Import multiple Key Maps and Import multiple Automation Maps functions create BFD3-format map files within the database (saved into the user location) from one or more key map files which are currently not within BFD3's content locations. It may be useful to do this after downloading files created by another user.

The Import multiple Key Maps function can import maps from BFD 1.5 or BFD2 - their contents are recreated for BFD3 as closely as possible.

Load Map from file

The Load Key Map from file and Load Automation Map from file functions load a map file into the current session from locations in your system which are not within BFD3's content locations. It may be useful to do this after downloading a file created by another user. When loading the file, you are prompted whether the file should be saved in to the BFD3 database for future use.

This function can load maps from BFD 1.5 or BFD2 - their contents are recreated for BFD3 as closely as possible.

Include when loading

This button varies depending on whether you are using the Load Key Map or Load Automation Map panel.

In the Load Key Map panel, activate the Automation Map button - this loads any associated Automation Map with the same name along with the new Key Map.

In the Load Automation Map panel, activate the Key Map button - this loads any associated Key Map with the same name along with the new Automation Map.

The corresponding map file must exist within the <user location>/Maps folder. If no corresponding map exists, the settings in question remain unchanged.

Load / Close buttons

To load the currently selected key map, click the Load button. You can also load any key map in the listing by double-clicking it.

To return to the BFD3 interface without loading a new Key Map, click the Close button.

 

Maps loaded when BFD3 is launched

When an instance of BFD3 is launched, it reloads the last Key Map and Automation Map files that were loaded. If a load operation has never taken place, the BFD3 factory defaults are loaded.

However, if you have specified a startup preset in the Preferences, the mapping settings contained within it override the above.

If you create any of your own mappings, you must save your changes! See the guide to saving maps in each of the sections in this chapter.