Monthly Archives: July 2010

Growl On-Screen Notifications

As said earlier, I have only 8 knobs in my MIDI controller, so not all of the controls in Lightroom are directly available. Novation’s software provides several pages of controls, but when the controls are changed, it becomes very hard to remember which one is which.

For next release, I am planning to include on-screen notifications using Growl. Growl provides somewhat coherent way to display notification messages on screen and it’s available for both OSX and Windows.

That said, there are some big differences between those two versions – OSX version does not support GNTP protocol provided by Windows version. But on OSX, there’s a ready-made commandline tool for showing notifications (growlnotify)

Here’s a screenshot how it currently looks, using Growl’s built-in in “Music Video” display style:

Here, I’ve adjusted Exposure to +1.15. If you adjust multiple values at the same time, it picks one value to show – this might need some fine-tuning later on. But even now, it really helps if you lose track of which knob is which.

Implementation is currently just executing the growlnotify command from plugin server. My next task is to get the same functionality to Windows version, as I’d like to keep same features on both platforms in each release.


Cat’s out of the bag!


Lightroom 3 plugin for MIDI controllers

This plugin allows you to adjust photo develop settings using MIDI
continuous controller knobs or faders.


Unzip package to your home directory, giving you with this readme.txt
and Knobroom.lrplugin directory.

Ensure that your MIDI controller is connected, as the installation will
immediately open the device.

Start Lightroom 3, and open Plugin Manager from File menu. Click “Add”
and navigate to folder where the Knobroom.lrplugin is located. Select
Knobroom.lrplugin and click “Add Plug-in”.

Knobroom should immediately start and present you with a device
selection list. Select your MIDI device and the channel it is
listening. The channel is used for reprogramming device settings when
changes are made in Lightroom or the selected photo changes. Knobroom
always listens to all MIDI In channels.

You can assign MIDI CC numbers to Lightroom develop sliders using
File/Plug-In Extras/Knobroom/Assign Controls menu item. Selecting a
preset changes all settings at once, or you can modify each setting


You can either uninstall from Lightroom’s Plugin Manager, or if you run
into any sort of problems when starting Lightroom, you can just rename
or remove Knobroom.lrplugin directory when Lightroom is not running.

Release notes

Version 0.1.4 (public alpha release)

– This is alpha release and it is not yet recommended for production
usage. The version will expire by December 31, 2010.

– MIDI input is shown on every Lightroom start. This is to remind you
that Knobroom is running. MIDI input selection from File / Plugin
Extras does not work properly.

– If MIDI devices are not connected when Knobroom starts, the device
list is not properly updated later on.

– Sometimes, when photo is deleted, Knobroom stops working, and reports
with “nil” error message.

– Setting white balance does not work for JPEG images, or if RAW image
is not set to Custom white balance.

– Lightroom plugin spawns a separate server process for handling MIDI
input. The process is connected to Lightroom using TCP socket 56627.
If you are using special firewall software, you might need to open this
port manually or be prompted to accept connections.

Slightly behind :)

I was estimating that version 0.1 would be in release form shortly after June, but it looks like it could still need some more work, and I’ve spent my time mostly on other projects.

Biggest issue is with life cycle, the plugin interface provided by Lightroom is very limited, so the actual MIDI input is done is separate process. The process is started when plugin starts, but there is no proper way of telling when Lightroom exists.

So, it might take a week or two longer 🙂