Barry’s DAW Toolkit: Review Of The Novation Nocturn With Automap 3 Pro

If you've spent any time at all using plug-ins to coax a great-sounding mix from "inside the box," Nocturn is like manna from DAW hardware heaven!

Nocturn’s GUI has as many layers available as there are map-able parameters in a plug-in. You can also repeat parameters on each page (such as the Bypass button or parameters that you would always adjust together such as frequency and boost/cut on an EQ) just use the Add A Page function-for as many (or few) parameters as you want to control.

I found this whole scheme to work amazingly well considering all the quirky developer differences between all the plug-ins out there-I know because I have hundreds of plug-ins! Auto Map 3 Pro works very well in mapping all the parameters of plug-ins with dozens of automatable controls.

Things are not perfect however. I see that most of the time the Bypass In/out button of a plug-in is mapped to a knob. It works fine but I prefer the lower left button as my standardized location for bypass.

No problemo as Automap 3 Pro has a “learn” function where any button or control knob can be assigned to any function you want.

You can drag and drop knobs to buttons within the Control Map Window or simply turn or push the button on the plug’s GUI and its operation is instantly mirrored on Nocturn. Once you save your changes as part of the plug-in’s default map, you’re done-it can’t be any simpler than this!


Automap 3 also categorizes all your control maps and a simple browsing facility lets you review all open plug-ins to quickly switch to control any of them. Automap 3 also supports standard MIDI and HUI protocols for controlling and assigning MIDI parameters to a hardware MIDI device, any non-automatable plug-ins, or mixer control in your sequencer.


A growing number of pre-made maps will be available to download from

Using Nocturn
Without a console or console-like controller, I mix in the box these days using a large Pro Tools HD Accel rig. With these accessories and especially Nocturn, it is wonderful to get back some tactile sensation when mixing-adjusting volume, EQs, compressors, reverbs etc.

I often automate plug-ins for both effect treatments and fixing poor sounding recordings. Be able to twist an EQ knob or move a real fader for vocal rides are about the only things I miss from old school mixing. FaderPort gives me the fader and Nocturn everything else-I have no excuses now for better mixes!!

So, in a way, I’m reconnecting with my “roots” using modern technology and Nocturn helps to make it happen. I’ve been adding and modifying new maps everyday of the plugs I often use and Automap 3 Pro has got me covered already with reverbs and other multi-effect processor plug-ins.

So get back to mixing using real controls and keep the mousing to a minimum! Novation Nocturn sells for $249.99 (MSRP). It ships with version 2.1 software and buyers can download free version 3. Automap 3.0 PRO is a payable upgrade, at $29.99 via The differences are shown at:

Check for much more. Direct link to purchase Novation Nocturn.

More Reviews & Articles By Barry Rudolph

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