Current alpha version is only developed and tested using Novation Nocturn controller. In theory, any continuous controller should work, but it might need some additional configuration. Novation comes with its own Automap software which allows customizing the controls. I am using Nocturn simply because it is one of the most affordable ones.

The controls are mapped as follows


CC #0 Exposure
CC #1 Recovery
CC #2 Fill Light
CC #3 Blacks
CC #4 Brightness
CC #5 Contrast
CC #6 WB Color Temperature
CC #7 WB Color Tint


CC #8 Red
CC #9 Yellow
CC #10 Green
CC #11 Blue
CC #12 Purple

CC #127 Debug: ready

There are several kinds of continuous controllers available. Nocturn is “virtual” controller, meaning that the knobs spin endlessly and they have array of leds showing the current position. Positions can be re-programmed on the fly using MIDI out.

Another suitable type is motorized controllers, where the knobs or faders change their physical position when MIDI out messages are sent. Behringer BCF-2000 is an example of that kind of controller.

Thomann is the largest music store in Europe, they have several suitable controllers on their list:

Novation Nocturn

Behringer BCF2000
Behringer BCF2000 (white)

Behringer BCR2000

Korg nanoKontrol (black)
Korg nanoKontrol

15 thoughts on “Hardware

  1. I really want to use a hardware controller for LR, and so I am very excited about Knobroom. I know nothing at all about midi controllers though. If I go out and get one, how do I set it up to work with Lightroom? Does Knobroom take care of everything, or will every controller need the “Automap” software that you mention the Novation controller comes with?

    I personally use most of the LR Develop controls while editing, does a controller with more dials (like the BCR-2000) mean I can control more LR functions, or am I limited to only a few?

    One last thing: you may be interested to know that the word “knob” in the UK is slang for male genitalia. If this is a concern, a good alternative would be “dial” (“Dialroom” would work, “Knobroom” is only going to make UK visitors to your site think that they’re going to find something else πŸ™‚



    1. Yes I was aware of the word knob, it’s only you brits that have dirty mind…

      There’s controllers for all purposes, I prefer small controller that does not need external power and has virtual *cough* knobs. I also have BCF2000 but it’s mostly collecting dust, since I mostly work with laptop, external power isn’t really good idea and it does not really fit into bag either. I guess all the controllers have their own supporting software.

      Nocturn has pages so I can quickly change how the 8 knobs are assigned. I’m not particularly fond of the Automap application and I hate that the controller needs special software to run, but I haven’t really found any alternatives at reasonable prices.

  2. Hi Jarno,

    Well, I’ve acquired a Nocturn, and I’m quite happy with it! I did want a controller with lots of, umm, knobs (and I’m a Canadian in the UK, so I find their amusement at “knob” quite amusing myself πŸ™‚ so I initially went looking for a BCR2000. I couldn’t find one to look at here in London, but I did find a Novation ZeRO SL MkII, which has tons of controls (and a very helpful LCD display, which probably would show the control names?). I decided that it was too big for my desk and so I checked out a Korg nanoKONTROL and the Nocturn. I wasn’t sure how well the sliders would work with Knobroom, and I liked the build quality of the Nocturn much better.

    Given my complete lack of experience with a piece of hardware like this, it took me a while to figure out how to control it (even the concept of cc’s was beyond me, so setting them in both knobroom and automap was quite confusing, at first). The trickiest bit was figuring out how to expand beyond the first set of controls (how to get the knobs to have more than one function), especially getting the “fx”, “inst”, and “mixer” buttons on the bottom right of the controller to work (I figured out “pages” pretty quickly). The trick for those was activating 4 different channels in the Automap prefs and assigning each to a different “Group”, as Automap calls them (a bit confusing, because the setup for Knobroom seemed to indicate that only one channel could be used).

    I have nothing to compare Automap to, but it’s very helpful to have a virtual representation of the controller on my screen (very glad I have two screens!), as I’ve labeled all of the controls in Automap. What’s also really cool is being able to map keyboard commands, I can now zip forward and backward from photo to photo with the dials (a bit awkwardly: I’ve one dial set to “command-right arrow”, the other is set to “command-left arrow”. It’s not as convenient as having one dial go left and right by itself, would be a great thing for you to add to Knobroom!). I can also set star ratings, and flags, and switch quickly between the Develop module and the Library.

    Do you have a paypal address? I’d like to send you something as a token of my appreciation for this hugely useful plugin (it’s mostly to say “thanks”, but also to say: “add more stuff to Knobroom!” πŸ™‚



    1. Hello Chas

      I realise that it is a long tim esince your original post but i am very interested in your experiences with the Novation ZeRO SL MkII and Lightroom… the main question i have is do the faders recall/remember/set the values they are at in LR when switching to a new image? With the Behringer BCF2000 i understand the faders are motorised and recall the settings from LR dynamically when you change images… obviously the BCF2000 is mains powered and more suitable for workstation/desk use but was just wondering if the Novation has the same functionality before i invest in either.

      I am thinking of using it in conjunction with RPG Keys product that is also great for LR but has no fader capacity…



      1. I don’t think those faders in Novation Zero are motorized, the marketing video doesn’t show it moving πŸ˜‰

        1. Hello Jarno

          The faders on the BCF are indeed motorised and they reset to the current images settings as you move around your catalogue… I found a unit in my local market so bought it and have ordered the BCR 2000 unit to see if it and the BCF can work in tandem giving direct access to pretty much all the needed controls in LR… add the RPG Keys product and everything is covered apart from when i need to paint/brush something when i have to go my mouse or my wacom… πŸ™‚

  3. Hello (at first sorry form my english, it is dificult for me),
    Is anyone using midi keyboard controls with knobs with knobroom?
    I am trying the Axiom25 keyboard from maudio with Lr3.6 (OSX Lion), but I can not send midi messages to Lr. The keyboard (and their knobs) can be reprogramed with new cc messages (through the keyboard or the “enigma” software), but nothing work for me.
    (I have tested the keyboard with “midi monitor” software and all is ok I think)
    I have tried to change the Lr language to english but nothing again.
    I have tried several keyboard’s knobs configurations. But nothing hapened
    I can’t access to “plugin extras” –> knobroom settings (nor midi hardware or midi chanel or ports configuration), only to “plugin extras” –> assigned control
    Is it all ok? Maybe knobroom not work yet with midi keyboard with knobs, can you confirm it? or I am ignoring something?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Note for me: remember Francisco ALWAYS read the known issues πŸ˜‰

      Ok, now is all ok, Axiom25 works too with knoobroom plugin, CC# can be edited with -Enigma- software or from the hardware itself.

  4. Note for me: remember Francisco ALWAYS read the known issues πŸ˜‰

    Fails to start if plugin path contains spaces (thanks to Alistair Graham for pointing this out)

    Ok, now is all ok, Axiom25 works too with knoobroom plugin, CC# can be edited with -Enigma- software or from the hardware itself.

  5. Hi and congrats on the cool work,
    I downloaded the app, the bcf template, contributed and am very please to see a very nice futur with that… only downside, it makes my computer feel old. : )

    I got the bcf to make a few adjustment but don’t see any logic in it, maybe I’m in the wrong mode. It is now in babyHui (I read you mentionned it in on one of your posts) and got the 4 pages to do Β¨someΒ¨ random things

    So is the bcf current? I read you use Nocturn. Or should I re-assign the… knobs?

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