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February 27, 2009

How to use the Korg nanoKontrol with ProTools 8

ProTools 8 only has support for a few controllers, but luckily the nanoKontrol can be used to emulate controls of the M-Audio Axoim 61 almost perfectly.

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Setting up your Korg nanoKontrol

1. Download and install the nanoKontrol USB-MIDI drivers and the Korg Kontrol Editor from korg’s site
2. Download this scene file and open it in the Kontrol Editor.
3. Write the scene set to your nanoKontrol.
4. Close the Kontrol editor.

Setting up ProTools 8

1. Open ProTools and go to Setup > Peripherals > MIDI Controllers

2. Add a controller
Type: M-Audio Keyboard
To  : nanoKONTROL 1 CTRL
#Chs: 8

3. Press OK

You should now be able to move the sliders and see a response in the mix window.

M-Audio uses something called HyperControl to control ProTools 8.  Read the manual for more indepth information about how to control ProTools 8

The controls on the nanoKontrol correspond to the following controls mentioned in the HyperControl manual:


All transport buttons map to their corresponding buttons in HyperControl. Play, stop, rewind, forward and record act as you would expect in in PT8′s transport window. Holding the loop button while pressing the transport keys gives more options. Loop + Play enables loop play, and Loop + Record enables loop record. Loop + Stop will undo the last action and Loop + RR or FF moves to the beginning or end of the song.

Sliders 1-8

Sliders 1-8 control the corresponding sliders in Protools. The sliders are controlled in banks of 8.8. The bank will change if you select a track outside of the current bank of 8, or if you use the change bank buttons.

Slider 9

Maps the rightmost master fader.

Pan Knobs 1-8

The knobs unfortunately are not emulated correctly. This is due to the fact the Axiom 61 uses “endless” knobs while the nanoKontrol uses absolute knobs. The knobs can reliably give settings of full left, centered or full right. Normally the knobs are mapped to pan controls, though this can change

Upper button row

1 – < Track (Previous Track)
2 – Track > (Next Track)
3 – < Bank (Previous Bank)
4 – Bank > (Next Bank)
5 – unused
6 – unused
7 – Mute selected
8 – Solo Selected
9 – Mode Button

The Mode button switches between mixer mode and insert mode. When in Mixer mode the nanoKontrol’s knobs control PT8′s mixer pan knobs. In insert mode the knobs are used to control plug in knobs or settings.

Lower Button row

1 thru 8 – Slider buttons
9 – Flip button

In mixer mode the flip button switches the use of the slider buttons between these functions:

Select track
Arm track to record
Mute track
Solo track

In insert mode, the flip button switches the functions of the pan and slider knobs.

How to control Plug ins with the nanoKontrol

Most users will probably be satisfied being able to use the transport and sliders with the basic button functions. If you would like to also edit plug in controls, you need to enable the Insertmode with the mode button. In insert mode, you can use the knobs to change the values of the plug in controls. Unfortunately though, knob emulation doesn’t work very well with the nanoKontrol. You can use the flip button in Insert Mode to switch the function of the knobs and sliders. Then the sliders will control the plug in (and the knobs will control PT mixer faders). This can get a little confusing because there are no visual indicators on the nanoKontrol to let you know the status of the Mode or Flip buttons.

Finally, if you want to use the knobs to correctly control the plug ins, I swapped the CC#s of the sliders and faders between Scene 1 and Scene 2 (Scene 3 and 4 are copies of 1 and 2).


To edit plug ins with sliders
1. Press Mode
2. Press Flip
3. Enable Scene 1 or 3

To edit plug ins with knobs
1. Press Mode
2. Press Flip
3. Enable Scene 2 or 4

Here is a list of the CC#s used by the M-Audio Axiom 61. You can use these values to set up other controllers or create your own nanoKontrol scenes.


12 – mute selected track
13 – solo selected track
14 – move bank left
15 – move bank right

17 thru 24 – Pan knobs (incremental/endless)

33 thru 40 – faders
41 – master fader

49 thru 56 – Slider Buttons
57 – Flip button

109 – Mode button
110 – Prev track
111 – Next track

113 – Loop button
114 – Rewind
115 – Fast Forward
116 – Stop
117 – Play
118 – Record

Thanks to Analysis_SR at the DUC for most of the MIDI CC info


Hi Frantik,
Thanks again for all your hard work, but I had a question for you. I’m using Pro Tools 7.1 LE (mac g4 ppc, 10.4.11). And I can’t select or add “M-Audio Keyboard” on my peripherals page. I can only choose from HUI, MotorMix, or Command 8. So how do I work around this to still use your setup? Email me back if you get a chance at Thanks in advance for your reply

Brian O

Comment by Brian Opalek — March 28, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

Hi Brian,

Unfortunately the “M-Audio Keyboard” peripheral isn’t available in PT7.. only ProTools 8 supports this controller type.

For Protools 6 and 7, you can try these instructions:

Comment by trikome — March 28, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

Hey man thanks for the reply. Yeah I got pretty much everything working as far as controlling PT with the sweetwater setup. The only thing is with your instructions it looks like I could have used the mode switch function to simultaneously control my plugs (like Reason, Omnisphere, etc) with the nano. Is that at all possible with my current setup from what you can tell? I tried clicking on a fader in Reason and selecting Midi cc learn and then adjusting parameters with the nano, but no luck. I must be missing something. (sorry I’m fairly new to this whole “hands on” controller thing…I’ve done everything in the box thus far)

Comment by Brian Opalek — March 29, 2009 @ 12:44 am

I think you might be able to control reason if you set up the controller in reason. Reason is a stand alone app so it has midi support without the need for protools. other plug ins which need a host to run probably won’t work with the sweetwater set up.

You might consider upgrading to PT8.. I really like it.

Comment by trikome — March 29, 2009 @ 3:18 am

Cool thanks man. and yea pt 8 looks pretty smooth, but I still have to update to Leapord! I’m way behind the times lol.

Comment by Brian Opalek — March 30, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

Hey thanks so much for this. I knew this would work in my old PT 7.4 but recently I upgraded to 8.0. I just bought the nanoKontrol and figured I’d be able to just trick PT into thinking it was the cooper device but thought it wouldn’t work since they changed it in 8. I was literally going to just return the nanoKontrol to the store when I saw the thread on DUC and was led to this site.

Thanks again for saving me 1300 bucks on the M-Audio controllers.

Comment by Josh Rosario — April 7, 2009 @ 3:30 am


When I downloaded the scene set it came up as a NanoKontrol Editor set. nanokontrol-protools8.nktrl_set So I am not certain as to what you mean by write the scene set to your nanoKontrol (isn’t that automatically done). I am assuming that is where my problem lies because all of the other instructions fall into place. When I try to use the nanoKontrol – the sliders cause the solo mute buttons to trigger and the pan knobs are either extreme right or left.


Comment by Elizabeth — April 16, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

You need to download the Korg Kontrol Editor from Korg’s website. (See the link at the top of the blog post). You then load the protools8.nktrl_set file with the Kontrol Editor program, and write the scene set to your nanoKontrol. Then everything should work as I describe. Good luck!

@Josh: Glad you got it working an glad I could save you a few bucks ;)

Comment by trikome — April 16, 2009 @ 10:49 pm

Thank you,

I only started using midi devices about a year ago so having someone who understands the devices and programming them putting up files and instructions like this is great. You are one of those great individuals that adds real value to the internet.


Comment by Jeff — May 23, 2009 @ 1:21 am

cheers Jeff :)

Comment by trikome — May 23, 2009 @ 9:06 am

That scene you say works on MAC? 2. Download this scene file and open it in the Kontrol Editor.

Comment by stpilots — May 28, 2009 @ 6:51 am

I’m pretty sure it would.. assuming there is a Korg Kontrol Editor program for macs

Comment by trikome — May 28, 2009 @ 9:24 am

It definitely works on Mac. I just downloaded it, and it works fine. You have to specifically write the scene from the n nanoKontrol software into the device. Now works as described.
While I’m at it … do you know if there’s a similar fix to be able to use the M-Audio UE-33 Evolution controller with PT8?

Thanks for the help with the nano + PT8!!

Comment by Neil — June 9, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

Thanks for this tip. I was quite angry for a good little while when I bought the nano kontrol, and couldn’t use it with pt8. At least now I can control some of the parameters. I do have a question as far as larger sessions. I’d like to be able to control everything, as far as say a 24 track session, via the scenes on the nano kontrol. Any idea on that? Please pass on some good news. Thanks.

Comment by Justin — June 14, 2009 @ 7:53 am

You can use the next bank and previous bank commands to switch between banks of 8 tracks, but you can’t use the scene button to switch unfortunately.

Comment by trikome — June 14, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

Hello I use Pro Tools 8 M-powered don’t suppose this will work will it? I’ve looked every where to try find out.

Many Thanks

Comment by James Walsh — June 23, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

Yes it works with M-powered just fine :) I’ve got pt8 m-powered

Comment by trikome — June 24, 2009 @ 2:39 am

Thanks Frantik,

I was able to get the nanoKontrol working on my PT8 in record time. Brilliant how you got the fader to control plug-in knobs. Korg should cut you a check for doing their work. I thought I was going to have to return this thing. Couldn’t have done it without you.

Can we get you to map the nanoPad to PT LE like this?

peace, Mokai

Comment by Mokai — July 3, 2009 @ 3:49 am

Many thanks for this, I was going to sell it as i never used it because it didn’t work with PT8 , now it does. Brilliant !!!!

Comment by robin — August 31, 2009 @ 5:53 am

Hi, this is great! Do you know if it’s possible to get more than one nano control working at a same time?

Comment by Sabbro — August 31, 2009 @ 11:11 am

Unfortunately I only have one (and it broke recently!).. anybody want to send me two new ones so I can test out that functionality? ;)

Comment by trikome — September 8, 2009 @ 12:20 am

Muchas gracias! Thank you!, execent job.

Comment by oscar — September 11, 2009 @ 11:10 am

Thank you man for your work, your efforts.

Comment by florent — October 14, 2009 @ 2:10 am

hi!!i just want to ask..can you combine 2 nanokontrol to build an 18 track faders???

Comment by michael — October 14, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

Hello. Discovered another function that might help a few people.

Basically midi cc 75 allows you to scroll through plugins/inserts on a track.

Its all down to what data cc 75 is actually sending though.

two ways to do this.

Option 1. if you have two assignable buttons free on your controllor. then set both of them to cc 75. If the buttons toggle . ie allow an lsb and a msb then set one of the buttons to send data 127 for both lsb and msb.You can use this button to show hide the highlighted plugin. Then on the other button set lsb
to 000 and msb to 001. You then use this button to cycle through the plugins/inserts but double tapping it quickly.

I have actually set up my cross fader on the evolution x-session to control this so by doing a small dj flick from far left to a little right and then fully back to left again, you are cycling through the plugins. (ie sending 000 then sending 001 and then sending 000 again). When i want to show or hide that selected plugin the i do a full crossfade over to the max right postion.(thereby sending a 127 data signal). THis works the same as buttons as i have assigned my crossfader to midi cc 75 so when it goes to far right it sends data 127.

Hope this make sense and will help people with other controllors.

I am now totally stoked with this as my wee evolution x-session that cost me £100 8 years ago works very much like a proper control surface.

Will also post this on trikome website.

Comment by Johnbhoy — October 19, 2009 @ 5:09 am

hi michael and others wanting to know if you can use two nanokontrols together. it looks like you cannot.. both controllers will only affect the same 8 tracks.

Comment by trikome — October 19, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

Thanks very much for this! Do you think the panning problem could ever be solved (without having to flip the knobs and faders)? Also do you know what the cc value is for the ‘start of track’ and ‘end of track’ buttons?


Comment by Gary — October 21, 2009 @ 11:17 am

Hi Gary

They panning knobs issue cannot be solved because the knob type on the m-audio keyboards and the nanokontrol are different. M-audio keyboards have “endless knobs” which mean they can rotate forever. The MIDI information they send is actually the speed of its rotation. Thats why the panning knobs act so funny.

As for “start of track” and “end of track”, press “Loop” + Rewind or FFwd. See the section called “transport” above.

Comment by trikome — October 21, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

Hi trikome,

First of all, well done for getting this going. It’s great to be able to control PT8 with the nanokontrol.

I was just wondering if the top row of buttons can be setup as the solo for each channel? Like the mute is on the bottom row.


Comment by Braiden — October 30, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

HI Braiden,

Actually the bottom row’s functionality can be swapped by pressing the “flip” button. Unfortunately it’s not possible to set up a mute and solo for each track at the same time

Comment by trikome — October 30, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

I’ve been trying to do this with pt7.3 – not working – i know people out there have done it but how????

Jack x

Comment by Jack — December 1, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

Hi Jack, as mentioned above, try the instructions here:

Comment by trikome — December 1, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

I’ve got it working just fine. I can deal with the pan knobs not working properly. One thing I noticed is you can only mix 8 channels +1 master fader. Then when you press the scene button it does other unnecessary stuff. Shouldn’t you be able to press the scene button and go to the next 8 tracks? Is it possible and I just don’t know how to do it? How do you access more fader banks?

Comment by Js — December 25, 2009 @ 12:38 am


You need to use the Previous bank and Next bank buttons (3 & 4 on the top row) to switch banks. The scene button doesn’t affect Protools, it affects the layout of the CC numbers of the controls themselves. The scene button is for switching the sliders and knobs only if you use my scene file.

Comment by trikome — December 25, 2009 @ 1:03 am

Great instruction – one little thing – when I assign the rotary knobs to a rotary knob in ProTools I am able to control it, but it seems that the knobs make big jums. It makes it unusuable as a controller if you want to adjust in smaller steps. Any suggestions or am I doing something wrong.

Thanks in advance!

Comment by Gert — January 27, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

great instruction! one another little thing… is ti possible to assign the back and forward thru the markers inside the song? I mean… the same function that we have when we select one track and you should move back and forward with the Tab key (forward) and alt+Tab (back)… my problem is that I have to use pt 8 live to send base and I have to move between the markers that are the start point of each song… I’m sorry for my english.

Thanks a lot!

Comment by Nicola — February 17, 2010 @ 6:35 am


would you have a list of the specific midi CCs that protools 8 has assigned for the audio tracks? i cant find it anywhere in the manual. i was pretty confused at how 33-41 controlled the volume knobs when they were supposed to be assigned to 7 and 10. you know what i mean?

thanks in advance!

Comment by JOREL — March 25, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

sorry i meant “… VOLUME and PAN… for 7 and 10″ respectively

Comment by JOREL — March 25, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

I’m afraid i’m not following you. The list of midi CC numbers is above. I no longer have a working nano-kontrol so I cannot offer any more help.

Comment by trikome — April 28, 2010 @ 7:56 am

i’m having problems with this. i load the scene in the kontrol editor and i have set up the nanokontrol in PT as instructed but it’s not working and furthermore, every time i open up the kontrol editor, it does not show the scene file i loaded, even though i hit ‘save’ everytime. very weird. any ideas?

Comment by kj — May 28, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

Sorry my nanokontrol is broken so I can’t offer any more help.

Comment by trikome — May 28, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

[...] you want it to, thereby pretending to be basically any kind of control surface out there. I used a great little tutorial to wire it up into ProTools, and I was very quickly in business. The first eight sliders map to the [...]

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