AlsaModularSynth – Using MIDI Controllers

I’m interested in using MIDI controllers to control AlsaModularSynth (AMS) instruments. I found that setting up the controller bindings was easy.

First, I launched AMS with my desired instrument and connected my controller unit to the AMS MIDI input. I then selected View > Control Center… to open the Control Center window.

Tip: I found out later that it’s a good idea to temporarily check the Follow MIDI check box while binding the controls.

In the right pane, I selected the AMS control to be bound.


In this example, I selected Mixer 2 (ID 39), Volume 0.

I moved the desired control on my controller unit. The controller then appeared in the left pane.


I then selected the controller in the left pane. This would have been done automatically if I had checked Follow MIDI.

I then clicked the Bind button at the bottom of the Control Center window. The left pane indicated that the control was bound.



AMS allows a single control on the controller unit to affect multiple AMS controls. I find this very useful. For example, I mapped a single knob to an envelope’s Decay and Release controls.

The Toggle MIDI Sign button causes the controller values to be reversed. I created a VCO mix control by first mapping the levels of two VCOs to the same knob. For the first VCO I then clicked the Toggle MIDI Sign button. The knob now works as a “balance” control between the two VCOs.

I used the Set Min and/or Set Max buttons to limit the range of selected AMS controls. For example, if an AMS control has a range of 0 through 2, it can be limited to 0 through 1 by setting the current value to 1 and clicking Set Max.

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