KordsKontrol requires an hardware MIDI controller. It cannot be used if you don’t have any.
I do not develop or sell any kind of hardware. Instead, KordsKontrol use renowned and widespread controllers developed by popular music brands such as Native Instruments, Novation, Ableton or Korg.
Currently, KordsKontrol is compatible with almost all the range of Maschine Controllers developed by Native Instruments (except Maschine Jam), and most of the recent (MKII / MKIII) Novation Launchpad controller (except Launchpad MKII mini).
KordsKontrol work also with the antique Korg padKontrol.
I am working on compatibility with Ableton Push 2 controller.
That represent a total of 15 controllers that are (or are supposed to be) compatible for the moment.
Since I do not own all these controllers, I will consider the program in Beta phase until I get a reasonable amount of feedback from end users.
The controllers I own are: Korg padKontrol, Maschine MKI, Maschine Mikro MKIII that I recently purchased to test KordsKontrol 2.0 on a 16 pads controller supporting color, and Novation Launchpad X that I also purchased to develop the 64 pads interface and color support.
Launchpad X is, for the moment, the controller of choice I would recommend for KordsKontrol.
I have tested KordsKontrol with these controllers on Windows, Mac and a small Raspberry Pie 4B running Linux.
I see no reasons why it should not work as expected on all the Maschine controllers since adaptation to the complete product family is only a matter of MIDI template created with the Native Instrument Controller editor. If you notice any mistake on one of the templates provided, please let me know. The one thing I cannot test presently if the choice of colors for the group buttons (my Mikro MKIII only have Monochromic buttons); if you see an issue, don’t hesitate to let me know.
I recommend to use KordsKontrol with a controller that support color on pads (from MKII and Studio) because it much more user friendly.
For Novation products, compatibility with the complete family is a little bit more uncertain because each controller respond to different SYEX codes to be placed in User mode; and the Launchpad MKII has even a different internal mapping of the buttons CC that are used to interact with KordsKontrol. I do not expect any major issue, but all the family has not be tested yet.
I recommand to avoid Launchpads controller that do not support velocity on pads (Lauchpad MKII and Mini MKIII)
I haven’t developed compatibility for Novation controllers that do not have full RGB pads because the readiness of a 4 color interface of 64 pads require too much efforts and are not in line with the spirit of KordsKontrol.
In theory, KordsKontrol should be compatible with Push2, but is is a very specific implementation that I haven’t tested at all.
Push 1 should work also (although it seems that less buttons support color feedback), but, unfortunately, Novation has, in my knowledge, only published on GitHub detailed implementation resources for Push2.
Adaptation of KordsKontrol with other MIDI controllers could be studied. In theory, any MIDI controller with following characteristics could be adapted:
- 16 velocity sensitive Pads sending MIDI messages out; 64 Pads if possible to use the new interface developed with version 2.0
- Pads can be illuminated by LEDS, that can be controlled by incoming MIDI messages (to have a visual feedback interface); a RGB or indexed color illumination is a plus, making the interface easier to read.
- If possible, Pads ability to send Polyphonic aftertouch or equivalent pression data
- Enough push buttons available on the front panel to navigate KordsKontrol functionalities (19 buttons plus an encoder for 16 pads controller, or 21 buttons if no encoder; 14 buttons plus an encoder for 64 pads controller, or 16 buttons if no encoder), also sending MIDI messages out. Having a controllable LED visual feedback on the buttons is a plus, especially if in color.
- Fast refreshing rate while receiving input MIDI for pads and buttons visual feedback
- A LCD screen would be great also, even if a simple overhead GUI is proposed by the software to make up for its absence.
- XY touch pads, strip pads and switch pedal inputs can be supported as well.
The software is compatible with Windows OS, Mac OS and Linus Debian.
There is a well know issue with implementation of MIDI SYSEX with JAVA (MIDI SYSEX are messages used by KordsKontrol to communicate with most of the controllers – all of them in fact except Maschine controllers).
This issue has been bypassed by using a Third-party library. For unknown reasons still, this library seems not to support hot swap (plugging or unplugging of devices after the program start) as it should. I have also found drivers issues with Maschine MKI controller on latest Mac OS versions, and have some detection issues taht are not related to KordsKontrol with my Maschine Mikro MKIII controller on Mac as well, so generally speaking, I believe that using Windows or Linux system could be a little easier for the moment.
Since all the Chords are pre-generated in a database, the software requires at least 200MB of RAM to run properly.
Any decent modern CPU should be sufficient.
Third parties softwares
On Windows, you may need a Third-party Virtual MIDI “loopback” cable installed on your computer, depending on your routing setup.
It has been tested with the virtual MIDI cables “loopMIDI” from Tobias Erischsen and “LoopBe1” from Nerds.
On Mac OS, creating a Virtual Midi bus is a native function of the OS (IAC Driver; See user Guide), so you don’t need any Third-party software.
Several VST virtual instruments, hosted in Cockos REAPER DAW or Ableton Live have been used during the development: Native Instrument products, Pianoteq, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, ….
But KordsKontrol is compatible with any standalone / plugin instruments (VST, RTAS, AU, …) in virtually every DAW, as soon as the application MIDI output can be directed to its MIDI input.
It can work also with any external hardware instrument with MIDI capability, directing KordsKontrol output to its MIDI input.
KordsKontrol requires Java 17 to run; but, to avoid to users to bother themselves by the installation of Java Runtime, I am using a packaging tool called JPackage to allow you to use KordsKontrol without having to install Java as a pre requisite.
Still, in case you need it, the link to Java is there:
As mentioned, I don’t own all the controllers, so any help is welcome to test KordsKontrol on controller I don’t have (see Support page for more details) .
I have gathered details compatibility information on the table bellow:
|Supported by KordsKontrol||Officially |
|Overall recommendation||Number |
|Pads refreshing rate||Pads Velocity sensitive||Pads Pressure sensitive||Color feedback on buttons||LCD display||Sustain pedal input||XY pad |
or touch strip
|Controller allows automatic switch to user or native mode||Controller |
require SYSEX messages
|Controller availability||Controller price|
|Korg padKontrol||Yes||Yes||Old controller, with no color support and only 16 pads||16||No||Excellent||Yes||No||Monochrome||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Very low||Cheap second hand|
|NI Maschine MK I||Yes||Yes||USB driver seems obsolete on latest Mac OS releases||Old controller, with no color support and only 16 pads||16||No||Mediocre||Yes||Yes||Monochrome||No||No||No||No||No||Low||Cheap second hand|
|NI Maschine MK II||Targeted||No||A good choice even if only 16 pads||16||Yes||Assumed mediocre||Yes||Yes||Partial (group buttons only)||No||No||No||No||No||Good||Still somehow expensive|
|NI Maschine MK III||Targeted||No||A pretty expensive choice, only 16 pads||16||Yes||Assumed mediocre||Yes||Yes||Partial (group buttons only)||No||Yes||Touch strip||No||No||Excellent||Expensive|
Overkill for KordsKontrol use only
|NI Maschine Mikro MK I||Targeted||No||Old controller, with no color support and only 16 pads||16||No||Assumed mediocre||Yes||Yes||Monochrome||No||No||No||No||No||Low||Cheap second hand|
|NI Maschine Mikro MK II||Targeted||No||A good choice even if only 16 pads||16||Yes||Assumed mediocre||Yes||Yes||Monochrome||No||No||No||No||No||Good||Cheaper than than Maschine MKII|
|NI Maschine Mikro MK III||Yes||Yes||A good choice even if only 16 pads||16||Yes||Mediocre||Yes||Yes||Monochrome||No||No||Touch strip||No||No||Excellent||Moderate|
|NI Maschine Studio||Targeted||No||A good choice even if only 16 pads – Bigger than normal Maschine II controllers||16||Yes||Assumed mediocre||Yes||Yes||Partial (group buttons only)||No||Yes||No||No||No||Good||Moderate|
|NI Maschine Plus||Targeted||No||Overkill for KordsKontrol only, otherwhile as good as Maschine MKIII||16||Yes||Assumed mediocre||Yes||Yes||Partial (group buttons only)||No||Yes||Touch strip||No||No||Excellent||Expensive|
Overkill for KordsKontrol use only
|NI Maschine Jam||Not supported||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Novation Launch Pad Mini MKI||Not supported||–||–||–||–||4 colors||–||No||–||4 colors||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Novation Launch Pad S||Not supported||–||–||–||–||4 colors||–||No||–||4 colors||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Novation Launch Pad Mini MKII||No supported||–||–||–||–||4 colors||–||No||–||4 colors||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Novation Launch Pad (MKII)||Targeted||No||Lack of velocity sensitivity is a significant drawback||64||Yes||Not tested||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||To be tested||Yes||Good||Cheap second hand|
|Novation Launch Pad Pro (MKII)||Targeted||No||Could be a very good controller – To be tested||64||Yes||Not tested||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||To be tested||Yes||Good||Cheap second hand|
|Novation Launch Pad Mini MKIII||Targeted||No||Lack of velocity sensitivity is a significant drawback||64||Yes||Not tested||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||To be tested||Yes||Excellent||Cheap|
|Novation Launch Pad X (MK III)||Yes||Yes||The best choice – Good value for money, all the features required for KordsKontrol, nothing superfluous||64||Yes||Excellent||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Excellent||Good value for money|
|Novation Launch Pad Pro (MKIII)||Targeted||No||Should be as good as Launchpad X, but more expensive due to standalone features||64||Yes||Not tested (assumed excellent)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||To be tested||Yes||Excellent||Rather expensive|
|Ableton Push 1||Maybe later|
(lack of resources available online, contrary to Push 2)
|Ableton Push 2||Targeted||No||An overkill controller for KordsKontrol, but seams to have all the required features||64||Yes||Not tested||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Pitchbend, no implementation targeted||To be tested||Yes||Excellent||Expensive|