How to use a 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator as a midi
controller using RBC9's custom driver & acousmodule's 3D
The webpage for Don Muddiman's "HONS system"
(Hands On Navigator and Stick) provided a new download for
RBC9's updated driver with the "LED off" option, binds, plus the
source code and documentation, which I've re-uploaded here but
click this link to see his HONS "6D" DIY controller (pictured here).
Step 1) exit the 3DxWare application (the software that comes with your
If, like me, you're going to be using the SpaceNavigator only as a midi
controller in your music applications it may be worthwhile to stop the
application from automatically running when your system starts. The
application does not interfere with RBC9's driver except when you're installing
it but if it's not needed there's no reason to let it load every time.
I used sysinternals "autoruns" program to do this.
Just unclick the box next to "Start 3DxWare.lnk" in the "Logon" tab
Step 2) click this link to download RBC9's driver, binds, doc and source
You'll likely have to wait 30 seconds for the download link to appear on that
Step 3) unpack the .rar using WinRAR or 7Zip (freeware)
Step 4) click on the "setup" to install the program and just follow the
Step 5) Click Start Menu, then Control Panel, then System, then click the
Hardware tab at the top, then click on the Device Manager
Step 6) Click on the "Human Interface Devices" then right click on the bottom
one and select Properties. If it says it's a SpaceNavigator, then you've got the
Step 7) Right-click on that HID again and select "Update Driver"
Step 8) Choose the options "no, not this time" then "install from a list of
specific location" then "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install" then
select RBC9 SpaceNagivator MouJoyKey and then click "next." When it tells
you the driver isn't signed click "install anyways" and let the driver installation
complete (the previous installation above put the .inf and .sys files in your
Windows directory and the driver install will find them on it's own)
Step 9) Now you can start the "RBC9-SpaceNav" application. The easiest
shortcut to this is Start Menu and then it'll be at the very top by Windows
Step 10) download the 3DMidigator VST
and unpack the VST .dll into whatever your default VST folder is
there's also a standalone version on that page and I recommend using it to
configure your RCB9 SpaceNav "layout"
Step 11) start the standalone 3DMidigator or your DAW and the VST version
so that you can see whether playing with the SpaceNavigator is making the
little numbers move
Step 12) look at the GUI of the 3DMidigator. Below each icon of the axes is
text which shows what bindings you should use on the layout you're to use
with 3DMidigator. Then look at your TaskBar where there'll be a little
joystick-like icon with a 3-color circle spinning around it. Right-click that to get
RBC9's SpaceNav application's contextual menu. Select "Edit Layout"
Step 13) On the bottom left of the Layout Editor screen under "Layout" right
click and select "add" - you can click the name of the layout and edit it to be
called whatever you'd like. I named mine 3DMidigator VST.
Step 14) On the upper right part of the Layout Editor screen click the icon of
the axis of movement you'd like to "bind" to a certain action. When each is
selected new menus appear directly below. For this particular application
you're going to want to select "Joy-Axe" under the "Bind Type" menu then
whichever is indicated on the 3DMidigator's GUI, generally under "Seclect
Joystick Axe" choose X, Y or Z or "slider" or what have you. My editor didn't
exactly match the GUI's choices but works with what I selected... for instance I
don't see a way of indictating "slider 1" or "slider 2" just "slider...
Step 15) When you're done editing your layout, right click on the name of this
layout under the "Layout" list on the bottom left again and select "Export Binds"
so that you can recover it again in the future, and now it''l be stored in the
contextual menu for "Switch Layout" in the TaskBar.
Step 16) Hit "Apply" in the RCB9 SpaceNav's Layout Editor and hit "yes" when
the pop-up asks you if you really want to aplly the layout.
Step 17) Switch back to 3DMidigator. The little numbers should now move
when you twiddle your SpaceNavigator. Click beneath the "Direct Midi Output"
to select where the plug-in's midi out is routed to, and click on the colored
fields with numbers in the to select what Midi CC# is being sent from that
particular axis of the SpaceNavigator's controller movement.
RBC9's original driver post on the 3DConnexion user forum
Please feel free to contact me with any further tips, insights or corrections.
RBC9_-_SpaceNav driver download that I used I mirrored here on my site, as
the original link is long-dead and the 3DMidigator VST layout I created - simply
place the file in your C:\Program Files\RBC9\RBC9 - SpaceNavigator folder
then right-click in the RBC9-SpaceNav Layout Editor's "Layout" area and select
"Import Binds" and click on the file.
MS Word format download of this tutorial
Thanks so much to RBC9! It's an amazing and empowering app you've made!