Using Roadie Coach as a MIDI controller (via BLE)

Modified on Mon, 4 Dec, 2023 at 12:12 PM


Before you start

To use Roadie Coach as a MIDI controller, you must connect it to your device via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). Please note the following important points to ensure a smooth setup:

  • Currently, the Coach BLE MIDI feature is only available on Mac, iOS and Android devices that support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Coach can only connect to one Bluetooth device at a time, so before connecting Coach to your device of choice, please make sure that Coach is not connected to the Roadie Coach iOS or Android app
  • The BLE MIDI functionality is available on Roadie Coach starting with firmware v1.2.6

Connecting to a mobile device (iOS or Android)

Connecting Coach as a BLE MIDI peripheral to an iOS or Android central device is mostly dependent on the MIDI app you will be connecting to. Below are guides for a couple of popular choices:

  • For iOS (e.g., GarageBand): this Apple article describes how you can connect to GarageBand on iOS through the app settings
  • On Android (e.g., FL Studio Mobile): this tutorial informs you how to connect a BLE MIDI controller

If your mobile app does not support BLE MIDI, don't worry. You can always use a routing app like Midimtr on iOS or MIDI BLE Connect on Android to channel BLE MIDI messages to MIDI-compatible apps

Connecting to Mac

  • Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your Mac
  • Turn on your Roadie Coach
  • Scroll down on the homescreen and select "MIDI Control" (Fig. 1)
  • A loading screen will appear (Fig. 2)

  • On your Mac, launch the "Audio MIDI Setup" application (Fig. 3)
  • In the application, click "Window" and then select "Show MIDI Studio" (Fig. 4)

  • Click the Bluetooth icon on the top right corner of the new window (Fig. 5)
  • A new window will pop up, find “Roadie Coach” listed under "Device Name" and click "Connect" (Fig. 6)

Your Roadie Coach is now connected to your Mac ready to be used with any DAW that supports MIDI commands such as Ableton, GarageBand, FL Studio, and others. 

Connecting to Windows

Roadie Coach BLE MIDI is compatible with Windows 10 systems equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 or newer. To use this feature, you need to install two pieces of software:

  • CoachMIDI: This software enables the connection to Coach through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and facilitates the transmission of MIDI messages to LoopMIDI

  • LoopMIDI: This software creates virtual MIDI loopbacks, allowing the transmission of MIDI messages to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Setup Instructions:

  • Step 1: Start by launching LoopMIDI and set up a virtual MIDI port named "coach-midi

  • Step 2: Open CoachMIDI. If a popup appears stating "Windows Protected your PC" select 'More Info' and then 'Run Anyway'

  • Step 3: CoachMIDI will begin scanning for Roadie Coach devices. Turn on your Coach hardware, and it should automatically connect. CoachMIDI will notify you upon successfully finding the "coach-midi" virtual port

  • Step 4: Now, any UI element you interact with on the MIDI screens of Coach will send a MIDI command. These commands are visible in the CoachMIDI command line. Additionally, you can observe the data transmission in LoopMIDI


The "MIDI Control" app integrated within the Roadie Coach features three distinct screens you can easily navigate through a vertical scroll.

In these screens, predefined MIDI commands are sent which, by default, perform specific functions such as modifying the master volume or initiating a particular drum sound. While these preset commands are functional, the true potential unfolds when you map these commands to perform tailor-made actions in your digital audio workstation (DAW). Almost all DAWs offer functionalities to remap MIDI commands, providing you with the capability to personalize your control setup extensively.

Mixed screen

By default, all the UI elements in this screen send commands to channel 1.

The left slider sends the Volume command (MIDI CC 7) and the right slider sends the Pan command (MIDI CC 10). The four buttons send MIDI NOTE ON when pressed and MIDI NOTE OFF when released, this is the order of the notes:

Note 42 
Note 46

Note 36

Note 38

Trackpad screen

By default, this screen sends commands to channel 2.

This is a 2D trackpad with a circle that you can move to any X and Y position. The X direction sends Effect Controller 1 (MIDI CC 12) and Y direction sends Effect Controller 2 (MIDI CC 13) commands. The top left corresponds to (0,0).

Drum pad screen

By default, this screen sends commands to channel 3. 

This screen has an array of 3 x 3 buttons. The 9 buttons send MIDI NOTE ON when pressed and MIDI NOTE OFF when released.

Additional screens

In our latest firmware update, we released 3 more MIDI screens bringing the total up to 6 screens.

Screen 4: Sliders send MIDI CC 1, 11, 16 and 17 commands on CH 4.

Screen 5: Trackpad sends MIDI CC18 on X and MIDI CC 19 on Y the buttons send MIDI CC 80 and 81 all on CH5. 

Screen 6: Buttons send MIDI NOTE 36, 46, 42 and the slider sends MIDI CC 7 all on CH6. 

In addition to these new MIDI screens, you now have the ability to swap, remove, or even add multiple screens of the same type by swiping to the Settings Menu and selecting MIDI. 

Specific DAW mapping guides

To aid you in unlocking the full potential of MIDI commands, we've curated a collection of video guides that detail the mapping process in the most popular DAWs and programs. Here, you will learn how to customize MIDI command actions to suit your unique needs, facilitating a smoother and more intuitive music creation process.

Ableton Live

Here's an article accompanied by a video that demonstrates how to map MIDI commands to various functionalities in Ableton: Making custom MIDI Mappings. Utilizing this knowledge will empower you to seamlessly integrate Coach into your live performances and jams. With Coach, you can initiate or halt backing tracks by triggering different scenes, recording loops in real time, applying effects, and much more. 

To get a glimpse into the possibilities, see how Bassam set up his Coach with Ableton in this article.

FL Studio

Mapping your MIDI controller in FL Studio can open up a world of enhanced control and creativity. Here are two comprehensive video guides to help you master MIDI mapping in FL Studio:

How To Map Midi Controls in FL Studio (& Record Automation)

Midi mapping for FL Studio and Voicemeter

Mapping your controller allows you to interact more intuitively with FL Studio’s features. We found mapping Coach’s trackpad and sliders particularly beneficial for tasks such as recording effect automation, therefore offering greater creative and tactile freedom compared to a traditional mouse and keyboard setup.


GarageBand is an incredibly user-friendly DAW that will automatically map your MIDI controller keys to instrument sounds and functions. Check out this quick tutorial video on How to use a MIDI Controller in GarageBand.

GarageBand does not have a MIDI learn feature, however, it is possible through a third-party app called MidiPipe. Follow this tutorial to learn all about it.

Logic Pro X

Here are three videos that show you how to map your MIDI controller in Logic Pro X and how to assign various types of parameters depending on your use case: 

This video offers a straightforward tutorial on how to control effects with your MIDI controller and assign commands using faders. It is simple enough for those who want to learn how to control functions or parameters such as delay, filter cut-off, volume and others. 

In this more extensive video on how to set up your MIDI controller as a DAW mix control surface, the focus is on assigning mixer commands using your MIDI controller. Here you will essentially be using the MIDI controller as a convenient "shortcut" for controlling various aspects of the mixing of your composition, eliminating the need for manual mouse-based adjustments. 

Learn how to record MIDI instruments to create a track in this video. It is a beginner-friendly tutorial that walks you through the process of recording various MIDI instruments on Logic Pro X to compose a track. This video is quite helpful to grasp the basics of MIDI instrument recording and track creation. 

Pro Tools

Everything you need to know about how you can connect, setup and use a MIDI controller with ProTools is right here in this tutorial video.

To map a specific function to one of the MIDI keys on Roadie Coach, select your instrument/plugin on ProTools > Right-click on the button/effect you wish to learn > Tap on “Learn MIDI CC” and then press on the MIDI key on Coach. Follow the instructions in this tutorial for more information: Pro Tools: How To Map MIDI Controls

What's next? 

We are working on lots of exciting features for MIDI control. These will be released in the coming weeks. If you have any more ideas and feature requests please post them on our Upvoty page and vote on your favorites here.

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