14.1. Adding support for your MIDI/HID Controller¶
With several dozens of DJ controllers supported out-of-the-box, Mixxx gives you comprehensive hardware control for your DJ mixes, see Using MIDI/HID Controllers.
Support for additional devices can be added to Mixxx by creating a new mapping file. This file tells Mixxx how to translate, or map, MIDI/HID messages from a controller into commands that Mixxx understands.
You can download and share custom controller mappings in the Mixxx User customizations forums.
For a list of controls that can be used in a controller mapping, see Mixxx Controls.
By far, the easiest way to create a new MIDI mapping is by using the Controller Wizard.
Connect your controller(s) to your computer
Select your device from the list of available devices on the left, and the right pane will change
Activate the Enabled checkbox
Click on Learning Wizard to open the selection dialog
Click any control in the Mixxx GUI
Alternatively, click the Choose Control button and choose one from the selection list
Push Learn and then move a control or push a button on your controller to map it. You can also move a control without pushing the Learn button if you are learning many controls.
If you are learning a button, just push it once. If you are learning a knob or a slider, try to move it throughout its range.
After Mixxx detects the control, you may click Learn Another or you can click on another button in the Mixxx GUI to learn another control.
When you are finished mapping controls, click Done
There are also some advanced options in the Midi Wizard you may need to use:
Soft Takeover: Use this option for knobs or sliders to avoid sudden jumps in when the knob in the GUI doesn’t match the physical knob. If you select this option, you won’t be able to perform super-fast motions as easily. (Recommended off)
Invert: Use this option for controls that you want to work backwards from how they were detected.
Switch Mode: Use this option on controllers that have controls that act like switches and emit one value on the first press, and a different value on the next press. (Think an actual hardware toggle switch, or a button that lights up on the first press and turns off on the second press).
Jog Wheel / Select Knob: Use this for knobs that don’t have a beginning or an end, but spin continuously.
The Controller wizard saves the new mapping to the
controllers directory in
the user settings directory, see The Mixxx Settings Directory.
You can then modify the XML file it creates (or any of the ones that ship with Mixxx) if you’d like to fine-tune it or add more mappings. For more information, go to https://github.com/mixxxdj/mixxx/wiki/MIDI-Controller-Mapping-File-Format.
The Controller Wizard works only for MIDI devices. Currently you can’t map modifier (shift) keys and platter rotations. Use MIDI Scripting instead.
In order to support the advanced features of many MIDI/HID controllers, Mixxx offers what we call MIDI Scripting.
For more information, go to https://github.com/mixxxdj/mixxx/wiki/Midi-Scripting and https://github.com/mixxxdj/mixxx/wiki/hid_mapping_format.
14.2. Making a Custom Keyboard Mapping¶
The default keyboard mappings are defined in a text file which can be found at the following location:
<Mixxx installation directory>\keyboard\en_US.kbd.cfg
Depending on your system’s language settings, Mixxx might use a different
file as default, e.g.
de_DE.kbd.cfg for German or
It is not recommended that you modify the system-wide keyboard mapping file because all your changes may be lost if you uninstall or upgrade Mixxx. Instead, copy the default mapping file to the following location:
Then edit this file and save the changes. On the next startup, Mixxx will check
Custom.kbd.cfg is present and load that file instead of the default
mapping file. This has the advantage that you can always revert back to the
default mapping by deleting
For a list of controls that can be used in a keyboard mapping, see Mixxx Controls.
You can download and share custom keyboard mappings in the Mixxx User customizations forums.
14.3. Additional Effects via external Mixer Mode¶
Mixxx comes with a set of native effects. Additionally, using the external mixer mode you can route each deck directly to 3rd party effect hosts.
The following examples are only intended to encourage experimentation, they are not definitive guidance.
Effects via AU Lab on macOS¶
On macOS there is a simple and free way to give Mixxx access to the collection of AU/VST/MAS plugins that are installed on your system.
Install the free SoundflowerBed, a system extension for inter-application audio routing.
Install the free digital audio mixing application AU Lab.
macOS 10.15 (Catalina) introduces additional restrictions on running non-Apple software. Make sure to grant permission in System Preferences –> Security & Privacy –> Microphone –> AU Lab.
Alternatively, try Blackhole, a modern virtual audio driver that allows applications to pass audio to other applications with zero additional latency, and Hosting AU, a free micro-sized DAW that hosts Audio Unit instruments and effect plugins.
Select for Deck 1 the Soundflower 16 device with Channel 1-2
Select for Deck 2 the Soundflower 16 device with Channel 3-4
Click the Apply button
In AU Lab
Click on the + button to create a new configuration
Add 2 stereo input tracks in the Audio Input Tab
Add 2 stereo output tracks in the Audio Output Tab
Change the audio input device to Soundflower 16
Change the audio output device for example to Built-in Output
Click Create document
In the Output 1 channel, select an effect from the drop-down menu, for example
The effect should now react if you play a track in Mixxx.
Effects via JACK Rack on GNU/Linux¶
Use Jack to route each deck directly through JACK Rack effect racks, or for more control you can use Ardour (or another DAW) using sends for effects. This gives Mixxx access to the extensive collection of LADSPA plugins.
Make sure the correct multichannel audio interface has been selected in Jack (Jack settings visible bottom left). Note that Mixxx possibly labels its Jack ports as Portaudio.