Control Change Fader Configuration

Overview

The fader button is (of course) used to control faders in your DAW. The configuration options have been extended quite a bit since the first version of the Control Change action. This page will guide you through the different configuration options and give you the information you need to get the most out of your fader buttons.

The basis of fader configuration is, in fact, very simple; you define what fader to control, whether you want one or two buttons (to control up/down movement) and how to display the fader state on the button(s). What "complicates" the matter is the flexibility in how the fader buttons can react to and display the fader state and the number of parameters available to control configuration.

A single button can control the movement of a fader up or down; to control fader movements in both directions, you need two buttons, which is also the recommended configuration. One button increases the value of the fader while the other decreases it. I recommend placing the buttons to mimic the fader direction on-screen; normally, mixer pages have vertical faders, so place the + button above the - button. To get the most "mixer-like" display on the buttons, I recommend using the feature with split fader display where the visible fader handle (on the buttons) can span the whole way from the bottom of the lower button to the top of the upper.

Fader state can be optionally be displayed as numbers (raw midi data, a translated value, or dB) optionally combined with advanced graphic displays with "mixer design" kind of feedback with moving fader handles.

Fader movement configuration

Before version 2.0.8, you defined the fader steps using detailed increments and millisecond delays. Starting with version 2.0.8, there is an alternative configuration where you use a ruler to specify a fader speed between slow and fast.

  • Buttons created with earlier versions retain the Detailed configuration. There is a one-time conversion where the values in the detailed configuration are converted to the corresponding simple values, so if you want to use the simple configuration for an "old" button, you can switch configuration type and retain the fader direction and speed.
  • Newly created buttons will get the Simple configuration by default.
  • You can change configuration type anytime, but except for the one-time conversion for old buttons, the plugin does not convert settings when you do. Each configuration type has its own settings, and the plugin uses the settings for the selected configuration type.
Simple configuration
Fader speed While the button is pressed, commands are sent to change the fader value. This slider affects the frequency with which these commands are sent, thereby controlling the speed with which the fader moves. Fast will move the fader the full length in about .5 seconds while slow do the same thing in about 10 seconds, giving you better control in small movements.
Fader direction Select if a pressed button should move the fader up or down (i.e. increase or decrease the value of the fader). One button can only move a fader in one direction; if you need movement in both directions you can define two buttons that are connected to the same fader but with opposite fader directions.
Detailed configuration

When a Fader Button is pressed, it start sending values from whatever level it had. The Interval field defines how often new values should be sent while the Increment field defines in how large steps the value should be incremented/decremented. The default values will increase/decrease the value one step every 100 milliseconds, i.e. 10 steps per second the button is pressed.

The First Delay field enables a delayed start of the repetitions and can be used to alter the functionality of the Fader button.

  • If set to 0, the repetitions start immediately.
  • If set to a reasonably small value (say 500 ms) you will get a computer keyboard kind of behavior where you get an immediate action when you press the button, and the repetitions will start after a while.
  • If set to a large value (say 5000 ms) you will get a Step button that only increment/decrement the value a single step (according to the Increment field) every time it is pressed.

Value display

Select if and how you want to have the fader state visually displayed as text on the button — no state display, just a raw midi number, a translated number, or a dB value. For a translated value to be displayed, you must also select the file that holds the mappings between midi values and translated values. Please see Translation files for more details.

Faders are implemented differently in different DAWs, and to display dB values, each DAW fader must be uniquely handled. The plugin can handle faders from a selection of popular DAWs; if you want dB values for something that is not in the list, you can request that it is added (but I will probably need some fairly extensive help from you to get the information needed to handle the fader).

When using Control Change to control a fader, you have much less resolution than what the actual fader has (128 steps vs. 16384). Using the Stream Deck button to control the fader, the fader in the daw will get the exact value displayed on the button. If you control the fader in your daw, it is more than likely that dB values in the daw and Stream Deck will differ since the value in the daw cannot be precisely defined using the 128 steps available in the Control Change command.

You can combine value display (text) with the graphic display, but a translation file that defines images doesn't play well with the fader graphics selected below.

The standard title configuration in the Stream Deck editor is used to define the position, font, and text color for the value display.

Fader graphics

Select if you want to have the fader state visually displayed as graphics on the button - No state display, built-in "mixer-like" (in lack of a better word) faders with moveable handles, or your own background/handle images. Additional fields will be available as described in the coming sections depending on what you select in this field.

Important; If graphic representation is selected, the images must be selected in the plugin area, not in the normal icon selection in the editor. Please see the Icon Definitions page for more details.

Mixer-like faders

When you select Mixer-like faders, you choose between a number of built-in images that tries to emulate the look if a mixer fader (...I said tries :-) )

You select the final design by selecting a number of properties for the fader, as described in the following table. If you can't get the look you want using the built-in faders you can design your own (see next section)

Field Description
Background The built-in designs include a dark and a light background. Select the one that suits the theme of your Stream Deck and/or your eyes best.
Handle Select the color of the fader handle.
Orientation Select if you want a vertical or horizontal fader.

Vertical faders have their min value at the bottom and the max value at the top. Horizontal faders have their min value on the left side and the max value on the right side.
Scale Select if you want a linear scale, a 10 dB scale, or no scale at all on the button.

The plugin has a fixed 10 dB scale on the button. If the daw has another scale (6dB or 12dB), the fader position in Stream Deck will not correctly reflect the position in the daw.
Button role In the most simple case, a single fader button is just that - a single fader button. You can do one thing (raise or lower the fader value), and the state of the fader can be shown on the button.

A more common configuration is to have two fader buttons controlling the same fader - one raising the fader value and the other lowering it. In this configuration, you can still have them as "single buttons" that do their thing, and each button displays the fader state just as when you have a single button.

A new feature in the plugin allows you to have the two buttons share the state display and have a fader double the length compared to a fader display on a single button. Min value is at the bottom of the lower button, and the max value is at the top of the upper button. If you have a dB scale selected, the lower button will have the lower part of the dB scale, and the upper button will have the upper part.

Please note that "lower button" and "upper button" reference their relation to the fader value. For smooth fader movements between buttons, vertical faders should be positioned with the lower button directly below the upper button. For horizontal faders, the lower button should be positioned directly to the left of the upper button.
Padding When using a vertical dual button fader setup, you can, e.g., add the dB value to one of the buttons. If you for the upper button select to display a fader value, the plugin will automatically select a background image with free space at the top - space that never will be occupied by the handle. If you select to display a fader value on the lower button, the plugin will reserve free space at the bottom. The size of the reserved space is fixed. Control Change fader buttons can not show track name (something Mackie Control fader buttons can) since Control Change buttons do not know the track name.

Padding is not applied when using horizontal faders or when using a single button fader. If the automatic padding does not suit your needs, you need to create your own fader backgrounds as described below.
Your own fader design
If the built-in mixer-like design doesn't work for you, you can design your own fader style where the handle movement is controlled in the same way as for the mixer-like faders. There are some additional fields you need to take care of...
Field Description
Background image Background images must be square (since the buttons are square) and the recommended size is 144x144 pixels. They can be larger but there's no point in having larger images since they will be resized to 144x144 anyhow (since that's the size used by StreamDeck) at an extra performance cost.

The images should be in .png or .jpg format. Do not store images in the plugin folder, since they will be deleted if a plugin update is installed. I generally recommend storing all plugin related files in the Documents/Trevliga Spel folder to have them all in the same place.
Handle image Handle images must be constructed with greater care than background images. The following are mandatory rules:
  • They must be stored in .png format.
  • They must be exactly 144 pixels wide or high. The size of the handle image determines the orientation of the fader; if it is 144 pixels wide, a vertical fader is created; if it is 144 pixels high, a horizontal fader is created.
  • The width/height that is not 144 pixels should be as tight to the handle image as possible since that controls how the plugin can move the handle. If, e.g., a vertical handle has excess transparent areas above or below the "real" handle, it will not be able to move fully to the edges. There are no limitations on this size - the 23 pixels mentioned in the explaining picture are just what happens to be used by the built-in handles.
  • Use transparent areas to fill up space on each side of the handle, and use those areas to position the handle center or closer to one side.
Button role Please see the description of Button role for Mixer-like faders, it's exactly the same thing here.
Padding If you create background images (for lower and upper buttons), you can reserve some space at the end positions where the plugin can display track name and dB value. When you have those background images defined, you can set the padding dropdowns to a value corresponding to the reserved space you have created in your background images. (Padding is only used for vertical faders; if the selected handle image causes a horizontal fader to be created, the padding values are ignored).

I have created two example images with some gray space at the end positions in the image to the right, and I have set both padding dropdowns to 45. The value in the dropdowns represents the number of pixels that should be reserved at the position. The full image (width and height) is 144 pixels, so the value in the dropdowns should be seen relative to that image size.

With both values set to 45 (as in my example), the handle movements are restricted and will never come closer to the upper and lower edge than 45 pixels. The full value range for the fader is still used; it's just that it doesn't use the full height of the buttons. This way, the text information, and the handle will never occupy the same space.

Only top padding is used for the upper button; if you define some bottom padding for the upper button, it will be ignored (and vice versa for the lower button).