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HID/USB Bulk controller mapping

Mixxx doesn't currently have a mapping format for HID or USB bulk-transfer mode controllers so they must be handled entirely in script. That said, the procedure to do so is exactly the same as for MIDI controllers that use scripting, but you also add an incomingData function to handle all input from the controller.

The steps are:

  1. Create your script file. The same function and file naming conventions as well as init and shutdown function requirements apply as with MIDI scripting.
  2. The script file must also contain a function called incomingData. This will receive all data packets from the controller and is responsible for parsing them and taking appropriate actions based on which bytes change. It has the same signature as the inboundSysex function in MIDI scripting.
  3. Create an XML file that tells Mixxx the name of the controller and which script file(s) to load, just like with MIDI scripting but make sure to end the file name with .hid.xml or .bulk.xml as appropriate.

Read on for more details.

Script file

Here is an example file containing the required elements:

var SuperCool = {};
SuperCool.init = function (ID,debugging) {
    // Do setup here
    if (debugging) print("SuperCool "+ID+" initialized!");
SuperCool.shutdown = function () {
    // Do shutdown steps here, like turning off all LEDs
SuperCool.incomingData = function(data,length) {
    // Parse packet data here & call relevant functions

Packet format

There is no standard HID packet arrangement/structure. The length and contents (and even endianness) are completely up to the manufacturer. For input packets, you can watch the incoming packets in Mixxx's console output when running Mixxx with the --controllerDebug command line option. For output, you can examine the USB descriptors of the HID device to figure out what packets to send. On Linux you can use the usbhid-dump and hidrd-convert tools to show these descriptors in a human readable format. First, identify the USB product and vendor ID of your device with lsusb:

$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 046d:c52b Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver

Here the vendor ID is 046d and the product ID is c52b. Use these with usbhid-dump:

usbhid-dump -dVENDORID:PRODUCTID | grep -v : | xxd -r -p | hidrd-convert -o spec

Refer to this tutorial for how to interpret the information from hidrd-convert.

Sending data to the controller

Once you know what data you want to send, simply call controller.send() with:

  • An array of data bytes to send,
  • null (the second parameter is required for backwards compatibility, but it is actually ignored by Mixxx)
  • The HID report ID. If the controller only supports a single report packet, set this as 0.
var byteArray = [ byte1, byte2, byte3, ..., byteN ];
controller.send(byteArray, null, reportID);

XML file

Here is an example containing everything you need. Just copy and change the appropriate parts:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<MixxxControllerPreset schemaVersion="1" mixxxVersion="1.11+">
        <name>SuperCool HID Controller</name>
        <author>Your Name Here</author>
        <description>HID mapping for the SuperCool controller</description>
        <devices> <!-- Optional section that Mixxx can use to auto-load presets on matching devices -->
            <!-- Get the vendor and product IDs for the controller from your operating system -->
            <product protocol="hid" vendor_id="0x1111" product_id="0x100" />
    <controller id="SuperCoolHID">
            <file filename="SuperCool-Controller.js" functionprefix="SuperCool"/>

There is also an HID Packet Parser JS script in the res/controllers directory you can examine for parsing hints. (If you would like to try using it directly, simply add it to the top of the scriptfiles list in your XML file:)

             <file filename="common-hid-packet-parser.js" functionprefix=""/>

However, the structure of this library's code is messy and it may cause as many hassles to use it as it solves.

How to map a new HID device

Familiarise yourself with HID scripting by reading the previous sections and looking into existing HID mappings. Basic programming knowledge is required.


Run mixxx --controllerDebug and see which bytes change when you toy around with the controls. Map these bytes to the mixxx controls.

Outputs (e.g. LEDs)

Go into Windows and download software which natively supports this controller (e.g. you can use the demo of Traktor Pro for Traktor Controllers). Get USBlyzer (it has a free demo) and watch which signals the software sends and what that changes on the controller. Then try to send something to these in your mapping script via an output package and see if you are right. If yes, proceed mapping them to the correct values.

I also recommend to create a new page on this wiki for your controller if it doesn't exist yet and documenting your findings. Even if you can't do the actual mapping, if you have a specification for how the inputs and outputs are arranged someone more experienced should be able to quickly write that up for you. An example for such a specification is the Traktor Kontrol Z1 page.

Translations of this page:
hid_mapping.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/20 12:40 by