A few words on KordsKontrol Remote

KordsKontrol needs a controller to interact with. For the moment, only usual pad MIDI controller from various brands are officially supported.

Back in 2019, I developed proof of concept to extend the compatibility to virtual controllers hosted in tablet like an iPad.

What does it means?

Instead of interacting with a physical controller, KordsKontrol is interacting with an app that runs on the tablet; the app and the main KordsKontrol software communicates by a network protocol (UDP protocol).

KordsKontrol software is still running on the computer; it is not running on the tablet. The tablet here is used to replace the need of a physical MIDI controller as user interface.

There are several advantages to this approach:

  • You don’t need to buy a controller; if you have a tablet ,you can use KordsKontrol
  • The app running in the tablet can be completely customized, which mean that the layout of buttons can be designed for KordsKontrol, instead of requiring KordsKontrol to adapt to existing controller layouts.
  • Thus, you can have a display on the Tablet to show you what is going on (on which page you are,  which bank is selected…) – Most of hardware MIDI controller do no have such display feature, so the interface has to rely exclusively on the pas and buttons LEDs feedback (and on he ‘virtual’ small LCD display that pops up on computer screen and the console window that is opened at software startup on computer if you are not running KordsKontrol in an headless setup).
  • You can use KordsKontrol wireless (its works as soon as the KordsKontrol host computer and the tablet are on the same network)

A drawback is that on a tablet, you lack the physical feedback of the hardware controller pads, and, on most tablet, you cannot get access to the velocity. This is thus limited the expressiveness capabilities of this solution.

The proof of concept was working very well, no significant latency was noticed and the connection was reliable.

Still, for the moment, this feature is not officially proposed in the KordsKontrol release because it would require a lot of additional work, and I do not have the resources for it for the moment:

  • The iPad app is no longer supported by latest versions of iOS, so it has to be recompiled
  • The iPad app was developed for KordsKontrol 1.x versions, which means it do not support color pads or buttons, and is limited to 16 pads layouts (no support for the new 64 pads layout that comes with version 2.0)
  • The in depth debugging of UDP communication protocol between the app and the host software was not finished
  • I am not a professional developer and I would have to spend a significative amount of resources to be able to officially release the iPad app on the store
  • Not even mentioning the development of an Android compatible app.

A question that may be raised at this stage is also: instead of hosting KordsKontrol software on a computer, and running an app on a Tablet, why not running KordsKontrol standalone directly on the tablet?

The reasons is that KordsKontrol is developed in Java, and I do not know an easy way to port it on iOS or Android. These devices cannot simply allow you to install a Java Runtime Environment in my knowledge. The management on MIDI resources might be specific as well.

Anyway, if you are a developer and interested to support KordsKontrol remote, or  portage of KordsKontrol on tablets, do not hesitate to contact me!