Knowledge Base


Reasons Why You May Choose To Not Use Focus Mapping

There are times when new Studio One users will setup their keyboard controllers and immediately start using MIDI Learn to learn either it's knobs/sliders, or use Focus Mapping to map their instruments.   This can be the wrong approach in some situations as we will outline below.

  1. Modern sample libraries respond to various continuous controllers (CC's) for control such as CC1, 2, 7, 11,  91, 92, for some of the more commonly used CC's, and many more, depending on the complexity of the sampled instrument.  
  2. In order to directly control those parameters from your keyboard controller without doing anything else in Studio One, those messages have to go into the track input like any other MIDI message.
  3. If you MIDI Learn those messages, they'll get intercepted by Control Link and never reach the instrument.

With most modern sample libraries, that's the easiest path forward.   Don't use Focus Mapping in that case.   Most if not all professional sample libraries allow custom assignments of CC's to their UI elements.



  • Because these signals are going through the track, the instrument track monitor button has to be on.   However, unlike Focus Mapping, the instrument UI does not have to be open.
  • Different sample libraries may use different controllers for the same functions.  For example, while Dynamics is typically always CC1, and Expression is always CC11, vibrato and some other assignments can vary.  In many instruments vibrato is CC2 but in others it's not.  Given that, you would want those assignments to conform across your instruments so that all of your instruments that allow (for example) controlling vibrato, will all respond to CC2 for vibrato.   You would do that on the instrument itself.  
  • These same concepts can work for software synths as well if their knobs can be setup to respond to any CC, and your controller has enough knobs to do what you want.

One advantage to working this way is that the MIDI CC automation will export with MIDI files, where automation from other control methods will not.   


There will be situations where you can benefit from Focus Mapping an instrument,  but if you can control all of your instruments directly with no additional mapping, that's arguably the overall best case.


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