HUI MIDI mapping protocol

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The HUI MIDI mapping protocol is a proprietary communications protocol for interfacing between a hardware audio control surface and digital audio workstation (DAW) software. The protocol allows a DAW and a connected hardware control surface to exchange MIDI signals that synchronize the states of their (virtual) sliders, buttons, wheels, and displays. The user can write console automation which can then be seen in the DAW.[1]

Created jointly by Mackie and Digidesign in 1997 for Mackie's Human User Interface (HUI), the first hardware control surface for Digidesign’s Pro Tools. By the time Mackie introduced the Baby HUI in August 2002, the protocol was supported by a growing family of DAWs, including MOTU Digital Performer and Steinberg Nuendo.

It is now used very widely. Many hardware controllers from manufacturers like Solid State Logic, Yamaha, TASCAM, Novation, implement this protocol. Similarly many types of DAW software implement the HUI protocol, making them cross-compatible with the HUI-compatible hardware controllers.[2]

While HUI is still supported on the hardware side, non-Digi software has moved on to more open MCU and other MIDI control protocols as Digidesign (now Avid) has made extensive controllers with proprietary protocols that have much more rich capabilities but are part of a closed system.


  1. ^ Thompson, Daniel M. (1 August 2018). Understanding Audio: Getting the Most Out of Your Project or Professional Recording Studio (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Berklee Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-1-4950-2875-5. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ McGuire, Sam (17 December 2013). Modern MIDI: Sequencing and Performing Using Traditional and Mobile Tools. Abdingdon, Oxon: Focal Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-415-83927-3. Retrieved 3 January 2019.