APC-R Quick Start
Congratulations for getting your hands on your first APC-R unit! In this section we are going to get started setting up the APC-R for a complete remote gimbal + camera workflow.
If you are only looking to control Blackmagic Design cameras wirelessly without any gimbal, we recommend you jump directly to the dedidated section : Wireless Camera Control for Blackmagic Design cameras.
You can also follow our complete APC-R hands on video tutorial on the Middle Things Youtube Channel.
1. Download & Install Middle Control
The Middle Control desktop app is the central software that controls all your APC-R units and communicates with the Blackmagic Design ATEM switcher if you have one. The software has to be running all the time. It is available both on Mac OS and Windows.
2. Getting your APC-R ready
First, start by mounting the two antennas on the APC-R. You should never power the APC-R without any antennas, since it could damage the electronics.
2.1 Powering the APC-R
There are two different ways you can power the APC-R, you can choose one or the other :
- Using the APC-R connection (i.e : 5V DC from a USB power bank)
- Using the APC-R connection (direct power from your DJI Gimbal )
For the gimbal & camera control use case, we would recommend powering the APC-R using the CanBUS cable directly. However, if you want to use your APC-R without any gimbal, just for wireless BPMCC or URSA Broadcast control, we would recommend using the USB port of your camera or a USB power bank, connected to the APC-R micro USB input. For this wireless use case, please check our dedicated section : Wireless Camera Control for Blackmagic Design cameras
- Make sure the two APC-R antennas are always mounted before powering your APC-R. Not mounting the antennas could damage the electronics in the long term.
- You should not use the APC-R AUX port for power or USB communication. The AUX port can only be used with the Middle Tally using a USB3.2 cable.
2.2 Connecting the APC-R to the gimbal
Connect your APC-R Canbus cable to the DJI RS2 using either :
You can mount one of these adapters on either side of the gimbal.
Depending on your gimbal model, the connection port you have to connect to on the APC-R will be slightly different:
DJI RS2 and later
Connect the cable to the toport on the APC-R. If using the DJI Focus Wheel, set the little switch to CanBUS.
DJI Ronin-S / Ronin-S / Ronin 2
Connect the cable to the toport on the APC-R. If using the DJI Focus Wheel, set the little switch to SBUS.
The APC-R LED will turn yellow as soon as it is powered on.
2.3 Connecting the APC-R to the camera
The APC-R can remotely control Blackmagic Cameras. There are two different options to do so :
Option A : Direct Bluetooth Control
You can pair the camera to the APC-R so that the two devices communicate using their built-in Bluetooth chips. The ACP-R will forward all of the Middle Control & ATEM camera commands to the camera. It is definitely the recommended method, since this offers the best experience overall over option B :
- Better Focus Control
- Camera control update rate is higher than Option B
- Additional features such as remote Status / False Colors / Zebra & Focus Peaking toggle on the camera.
To pair your APC-R to your camera using Bluetooth, you need to use iOS Middle Setup app (not possible on Android).
Once the pairing is made, you do not need to open the app again, so you can borrow an iPhone / iPad / Mac M1 just for the pairing if you are on Android.
1. Activate Bluetooth on your iPhone / iPad / M1 Mac.
2. Launch Middle Setup and select your APC-R.
3. Make sure you also activate Bluetooth in the Setup page of your Blackmagic Design camera.
4. Bring your camera close to the APC-R.
5. Select your camera in Middle Setup. A prompt will pop up, asking for a code.
6. A 6 digit code will show up on the Blackmagic Bluetooth Screen. Enter this pairing code into the Middle Setup prompt.
And your camera is paired! The LED on your APC-R will turn from yellow to blue.
You can also change the APC-R Camera number for this APC-R in the very same app.
Option B : Indirect SDI / HDMI connection (through the ATEM)
If your camera isn't equipped with a Bluetooth chip or if you prefer to control the camera directly through HDMI or SDI with the traditionnal Blackmagic workflow, you can go for this option. The Middle Control Software will send all the camera control instructions to your ATEM, which will then forward those instructions to the camera using HDMI or using the camera SDI IN port.
To proceed with this option, just connect the ATEM to the camera like you normally would (HDMI, SDI In, BiDirectionnal Converter... ) . The commands are sent from Middle Control to the ATEM (and from the ATEM to the camera) automatically.
⚠️ You should not use both options at the same time. For instance, you shouldn't have a Blackmagic Pocket 4K controlled by an ATEM Mini Pro through HDMI (Option B) AND also controlled by the APC-R with Bluetooth at the same time (Option A) It's one or the other.
Unfortunately, if you are using an ATEM Mini connected to a Blackmagic Camera using HDMI , the only way to cut the Camera Control info from the HDMI signal is to use an HDMI splitter, or a 3G Bidirectional Converter. More info
3. Connect your APC-R to your network
3.1 Network Workflow Overview
Now that the APC-R is powered on and connected to your gimbal. Let's connect it to the network. The most simple workflow we recommend is to use a router on which you connect your laptop(s), your ATEM and your different APC-R units using ethernet cables. The router will automatically set the IP addreses of your APC-R units for you thanks to its built-in DHCP.
As opposed to a router, a switch does not have any built-in DHCP server. So if you are using a network switch instead of a router, you will have to set the IP adresses of your APC-R units manually. See this section for more information.
3.2 Connect the APC-R Ethernet Port
Connect your APC-R to the network router using an ethernet RJ45 cable. Make sure your laptop is connected to the same router as your APC-R.
3.3 View the APC-R Connection Status in Middle Control
Start the Middle Control Software and confirm that your APC-R is showing up in the status page. You can click on the APC-R name to bring up more detail. On Mac OS, the status page is the left sidebar of the app. The devices will show under "Network Status".
- If you are not seeing any APC-R show up in the Middle Control Status, please check the corresponding. troubleshooting section
- In some cases, the CanBUS status can say "Not Connected" , when it actually is connected. So if you have connected the Canbus, and you see "CanBUS not connected", try and see wether you have remote gimbal control despite that message.
3.4 Connect Middle Control to your ATEM
Connecting Middle Control to your ATEM is not an obligation, but it will unlock you additional features such as:
- Save & Recall Camera Presets (white balance, focus, ISO, iris...)
- Showing the current camera parameters in Middle Control, Companion, or the Middle Remote
- Fully Wireless Control for your Blackmagic Design cameras. Check out Wireless Camera Control
To connect Middle Control to your ATEM, set your ATEM switcher IP address in the Switcher tab and press "Connect".
4. Control your Gimbal & Camera Remotely
4.1 Using the Middle Control software buttons
Head over to the Gimbal tab of Middle Control.
Select camera number 1 and click on the pan / tilt arrows. Your gimbal should start moving! You can adjust the speed using the Pan/Tilt Speed slider.
If you've connected your camera as well (see 2.3), you should be able to control the camera's parameter too in the Camera tab (i.e autofocus, start rec, iso, iris, focus...) .
- The default APC-R camera ID value is 1. This is why we need to select camera 1 in Middle Control to control the corresponding gimbal / camera. To change the Camera ID, please read this tutorial.
- If the Iris doesn't seem to change but all the other settings work, press the - multiple times. You might have an F4.0 lens and only moving iris between F1.8 and F2.8.
- If the Focus doesn't seem to change but all the other settings work, try long pressing the focus +/- buttons.
4.2 Using an external USB Joystick Controller
For a more practical experience, you can also connect a USB joystick controller to your laptop. Then, you can map the axis and buttons of the joystick to gimbal & camera actions in Middle Control:
- Press the Edit Mappings button.
- In Middle Control, click on the the camera or gimbal action you want to assign.
- Move or press the desired joystick axis or button.
- Some actions will only be available for buttons, other will only be available for axis.
You can check the supported USB gaming controllers on the APC-R support page.
4.3 Using the Middle Remote
The Middle Remote will provide you with the best possible control experience, with a highly professional look & precision control. Thanks to the 3 axis joystick, 4 RGB buttons and 8 touch sensitive infinite control knobs with dedicated OLED displays showing the current camera values, the Middle Remote is the perfect fit for Middle Control. And it can support other ecosystems such as sound (Behringer X32, Yamaha... ) or lights (DMX).
4.4 Using a Streamdeck XL (Bitfocus Companion)
If you want to connect Middle Control to Bitfocus Companion, please head over to the Bitfocus Companion section.
Anything unclear or buggy in this tutorial? Please contact us at
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Going further, you can have a look at the following sections :