Control PowerPoint from MIDI, OSC or StreamDeck

One of the device additiations in Central Control 1.2 is Microsoft’s infamous PowerPoint. This allows us to use any supported device in Central Control to drive your presentation. Maybe you want to use TouchOSC as a wireless clicker or you just can’t quite remember the lyrics to your hits so you need to control PowerPoint using MIDI control from Ableton. Let’s find out how to do it.

Central Control main window adding a PowerPoint device to project

First, we’ll add a PowerPoint device to our Central Control project by click Add Device, and then navigating to PowerPoint. Once this is done, ensure PowerPoint is running on the Central Control system, and then we can use the toggle switch to turn the device on. The next step is to add the relevant device for our desired controller. For this example I will be using an Akai APC Mini. I’ll repeat the steps as before to add this to my project, and then once this is done, select the relevant MIDI ports for the controller. After that, turn this device on too.

We are now ready to start mapping controls. To do this we’ll select the APC Mini, and then click “Device Mapping”. This is where all control assignments are made. In the top left there is a list of controls. If we know the name of the control we want to map to, we can simply scroll through this list to find it. If not, turn on “Jump To Control”. With this on, pressing the desired control will automatically scroll and select it in this list. Once a control has been selected, we can now start assigning commands.

Central Control mapping window assigning PowerPoint commands to an APC Mini

We’ll start by assigning the Previous slide button to the first button. Click the “Previous Slide” in the avaliable list of commands, and then “Add Command”. Then, we will assign the “Next Slide” command to the second button. If you press these buttons, you will now be able to navigate through the presentation. If your controller has LED feedback you’ll also note that these buttons light up to show if it is possible to go to the Next/Previous slide. With this done, we’ll now map an entire row of buttons to select specific slides in the presentation. To do this, we will select the first button in the row we wish to assign, in this case it’s “Matrix 8,1”. Select the “Go To Slide” command and the commands parameters will appear on the right hand side. Before clicking Add Command we will turn on Quick Assign. With this done, click Add Command until you have assigned all of the desired buttons. Note that with Quick Assign on as you click Add Command, it will automatically select the next control and automatically assign the increment the values of relevant parameters. The Go To Slide command also provides feedback, with the relevant button lighting up based on the selected slide.

And that’s it! Although this uses a MIDI controller as an example, it is a near identical process to map to another support device in Central Control – OSC, StreamDeck, an Xbox Controller or even HTTP requests.


Central Control 1.2 Now Avaliable!

A day like today is not a day for sound bites but I feel the hand of history on my shoulder. This is a big release and it is with great pleasure that I share it with you today.

Support has been added. Colours can be set for each feedback state, as well as a background image and a label. We’ve also added some special features just for my TriCaster family that we’re calling LiveKeys. This allows you to map a video input preview, effect icons or composition thumbnails to a StreamDeck key.

Bitfocus Companion
Map buttons in Companion straight to control surfaces in Central Control, allowing Central Control to fit in to your existing Companion worfklow. The importance of this can not be understated, giving Central Control users access to over 100 new devices.

Control your presentation from a StreamDeck, MIDI controller, OSC and any other device in Central Control. PowerPoint doesn’t need to be the foreground window either.

Allows control of virtual buttons and faders using simple HTTP requests. A great use of this could be to control a PowerPoint presentation from a TriCaster macro. For example:
The state of controls can also be requested like so, ideal for building custom web control panels.

Virtual Faders
Another useful tool. 32 virtual faders that can be mapped, allowing control of fader only commands from encoders and buttons.

New Devices
Vizrt Vectar
Elgato StreamDeck
Elgato StreamDeck Mini
Elgato StreamDeck XL
Bitfocus Companion interoperability
Microsoft PowerPoint
Virtual Faders
HTTP Listener
HTTP Requester
NewTek TimeWarp TW42

Tidied up device list in Add Device dialog
ATEM – added Take USK, Set USK Delegation, Transition Style, and select transition commands
vMix – added loads of audio commands, better transition options and PTZ Nudge
Performance improvements to TCP module
Device Mapping window doesn’t list devices without commands anymore.

Bug Fixes:
Fixed bug where add command button was activated when it shouldn’t be.
Fixed bug where remove Voice Command device from project would cause an exception to be thrown
Fixed annoying UI bug where a control losing focus would sometimes cause a white bar to appear at the top of the window.

Joe de Max appearance on Streaming Idiots

Central Control developer and owner Joe de Max made an appearance on Tom Sinclair’s Streaming Idiots show this week, to discuss Central Control, it’s history and the new features in V1.1. Topics discussed included MIDI control of vMix instances running on Amazon AWS, Central Control’s layering system, seemless mapping of multiple devices and much more. As Tom Sinclair said, “This is a game-changer!”. Tom also said the software should retail for a minimum of $300, and that Joe – the developer – was giving it away at the ridiculously low price of $49. Catch the interview below and download your 30 day trial! Catch Streaming Idiots every Wednesday at 2:30PM EST either on their Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Central Control 1.1 Now available!

Fellow Central Control users,

It is with great excitement that I today announce the release of the latest version of Central Control, V1.1. Featuring 8 new devices and many improvements and bug fixes. Head over to the download page to get it now! Also see the demo video below!


Generic OSC – Addresses
To use the generic OSC device, simply send values using the following addresses (where x is the button number)


Release notes

Version 1.1

New Devices:
Voice Commands
Generic OSC Input
OSC Switcher
OSC Mixer
OSC Replay
NDI Studio Monitor
Sound Player

Loads of new replay commands in vMix & TriCaster
vMix: NextTitlePreset and PreviousTitlePreset commands added
vMix: SetOverlaySource command added
Improved feedback responsiveness on Behringer X-Touch Compact

Bug fixes:
Fixed bug where logarithmic feedback values from vMix were not correctly being converter to linear.


Welcome to the Central Control blog, where we’ll post news about Central Control, cool workflows, case studies from users and much more. Stay tuned!