Helpful ReplyMidi Guru's Please help

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Mosvalve
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2017/02/06 22:31:54 (permalink)

Midi Guru's Please help

This is the setup.
Alesis Q88 88-Key USB/MIDI Controller midi out to the midi in of a Casio keyboard. (the Casio has it's own sounds) Midi out of the Casio to the Focusrite Pro 40 Midi in.
The objective is to be able to control the Casio and Softsynths within Sonar with the Alesis Q88. Not so much to control both the Casio and softsynths at the same time but I guess that would be nice to.
The problem is the Alesis Q88 will only control the Casio. The Casio has a feature where if you turn off internal control it should act like a midi thru but it doesn't.
I need to know how can I get the Alesis Q88 to play softsynths within Sonar while connected to the Casio. Obviously I can go out of the Alesis Q88 into the Focusrite but I'm hoping to have both the Casio and Alesis Q88 connected.
Thanks

BobV 
 
 
 
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Shambler
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/07 13:51:04 (permalink)
Hi Bob,
 
you can only do what you said
 
Alesis midi out to Focusrite midi in
Focusrite midi out to Casio midi in
 
This way the Alesis can control softsynths and the Casio at the same time but the Casio keyboard will not send midi itself.
 
 
Doing it your way should work but there's something not working with the Casio's midi in to midi out echoing which you say you have enabled.
 
Which Casio is it?

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/07 14:58:51 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Shambler 2017/02/07 15:35:33
One option if the Casio won't do what it should is to pick up a cheap USB MIDI interface. Then connect the Casio and the Alesis to it or split them between it and your Focusrite.
 
That way each will have its own MIDI routing in Sonar and the Alesis can be routed between the two in Sonar using the MIDI track input/output selectors. E.g. a MIDI tack can have its input source set to the Alesis and output field set to the Casio. This will introduce a tiny amount of latency but I've an assortment of MIDI gear that's set up in that way to allow control by one controller and any additional latency is in the region of 1-2 milliseconds and not worth worrying about.

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bitflipper
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/07 15:32:22 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Shambler 2017/02/07 15:35:36
MIDI splitters are cheap, and a handy solution for instruments and controllers that lack a THRU.


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Mosvalve
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/07 15:49:45 (permalink)
bitflipper
MIDI splitters are cheap, and a handy solution for instruments and controllers that lack a THRU.


I'm not sure how to make the connections with this splitter. The object is to have the Alesis control so how would I connect this?
 

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Mosvalve
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/07 15:51:01 (permalink)
Shambler
Hi Bob,
 
you can only do what you said
 
Alesis midi out to Focusrite midi in
Focusrite midi out to Casio midi in
 
This way the Alesis can control softsynths and the Casio at the same time but the Casio keyboard will not send midi itself.
 
 
Doing it your way should work but there's something not working with the Casio's midi in to midi out echoing which you say you have enabled.
 
Which Casio is it?


I will try this thanks

BobV 
 
 
 
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/07 16:47:48 (permalink)
Mosvalve
Shambler
Hi Bob,
 
you can only do what you said
 
Alesis midi out to Focusrite midi in
Focusrite midi out to Casio midi in
 
This way the Alesis can control softsynths and the Casio at the same time but the Casio keyboard will not send midi itself.
 
 
Doing it your way should work but there's something not working with the Casio's midi in to midi out echoing which you say you have enabled.
 
Which Casio is it?


I will try this thanks




If you don't want to play on the Casio's keys and record it then the above is all you need.
 
If you want to play on both the Alesis and Casio's keys and record both in SONAR you will need a midi merge box connected like...
 
Alesis midi out to merge in 1
Casio midi out to merge in 2
Merge out to Focusrite midi in
Focusrite midi out to Casio midi in

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Mosvalve
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/07 18:27:44 (permalink)
Thanks for all the help. I will go with the merge box. I appreciate everyones help. thanks

BobV 
 
 
 
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soens
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/15 07:04:39 (permalink)
As stated the simplest way is to use a 2x MIDI port so they can each have their own port. They can even control each other within Sonar. Use "Friendly names" in Sonar to label the ports "Casio" & "Alesis", then get the right INS files for each synth so you can call up the onboard sounds with ease.
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BassDaddy
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/15 09:39:01 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Mesh 2017/02/15 10:51:25
What a great thread! Lots of new info for me.

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/15 10:53:22 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby BassDaddy 2017/02/15 12:44:13
First thing I need is a 2nd keyboard to try this.....
Second thing I need is to learn to play the keyboard.

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/15 12:44:53 (permalink)
Should be half the effort with 2.

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/15 12:45:14 (permalink)
Mesh
First thing I need is a 2nd keyboard to try this.....
Second thing I need is to learn to play the keyboard.


Amen to that!

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/15 18:49:28 (permalink)
It's just like playing guitar... or bass. Just don't think about it too much. (or at all.)
post edited by soens - 2017/02/16 03:42:05
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/19 20:26:29 (permalink)
When you refer to a "merge box" are you referring to something like a Motu midi interface?

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/19 20:41:35 (permalink)
Kinda. There are MIDI multiplexers such as MOTU's MIDI Express, which are offer far more functionality than the OP's needs. A "merge box" is simpler, taking 2 or more MIDI inputs and combines them into a single MIDI output. I use one of these on stage to control one device from two different keyboards. A MIDI splitter is just the opposite: it takes a single MIDI input and duplicates it to 2 or more outputs. A multiplexer can perform both of these tasks, plus a whole lot more.


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abacab
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/19 21:06:29 (permalink)
Back in the day, when I used external MIDI gear (keyboards and rack synth modules), I found that using a M-Audio MIDISPORT 4x4 let me have complete in/out control of up to 4 MIDI devices.
 
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MIDISport4AE
 
This way I could control everything via its own MIDI port from Cakewalk
 
As an afterthought, since M-Audio was bought out by Avid, then later sold to inMusic Brands, perhaps MOTU is a better source for up to date MIDI hardware...  http://motu.com/products/midi/lite  
https://www.amazon.com/MOTU-MICROLITE-micro-lite/dp/B0002NRFH6

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#17
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/19 21:12:27 (permalink)
This is a great thread for me, as I am kind of in the same boat.  I started with just a Roland keyboard, but just recently got a Moog module.  I am space limited, so I am looking at other modules as well.  (This hobby has bitten me HARD!).  I need to find someway to connect my keyboard to other modules, but I do not want to be dependent on a computer or DAW to route.   I want to be able to just turn on a couple of modules and play around with them without having my computer on.  Is there such thing as like a "midi switcher"?  IE - I push a botton, and my keyboard controls Module 1, hit another switch and it controls Module 2, etc...

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/20 05:27:06 (permalink)
husker
This is a great thread for me, as I am kind of in the same boat.  I started with just a Roland keyboard, but just recently got a Moog module.  I am space limited, so I am looking at other modules as well.  (This hobby has bitten me HARD!).  I need to find someway to connect my keyboard to other modules, but I do not want to be dependent on a computer or DAW to route.   I want to be able to just turn on a couple of modules and play around with them without having my computer on.  Is there such thing as like a "midi switcher"?  IE - I push a botton, and my keyboard controls Module 1, hit another switch and it controls Module 2, etc...


That's a difficult one, the ideal connection when you have several synths is

For every synth
Synth midi-out > DAW midi-in
DAW midi-out > Synth midi-in
DAW midi clock master > all synths midi clock slave
All synths local control off

This way every synth has its own separate connection to the DAW and any synths keyboard can be routed to any synths audio generator (including its own of course). All synths use the same clock signal from the DAW so everyone stays in sync with their effects and arpeggiators. Latency between pressing a key and hearing a sound is kept to a minimum by not using any midi thru connections.

Of course if the PC is then turned off none of the synths can make a sound, it's like you need a midi interface which can route without the PC being present and I'm not sure this exists at least I haven't seen one. You would need a device that recognised the PC was off and then routed midi-in 1 to midi-out 1 etc. And generated a midi clock on all the midi-outs too.

Your synths can operate without the PC but you have to turn their local control back on and their midi clocks to internal so that their arps and time synced effects e.g. Delay work as expected.

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husker
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/20 11:32:50 (permalink)
I think I am probably making this more difficult than it actually is.
 
Each of the modules would be connected to the my AI, so the sound should go to that.  So, really all I need is some box that can connect the Midi Out of my FA08, and split it to the Midi in of several modules.  
 
I could record the modules through the audio inputs of the AI.

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/21 18:55:36 (permalink)
One reason for passing MIDI through the DAW rather than just tracking the audio is that MIDI is much easier to edit than audio. Tracking e.g. a mod wheel movement and not quite getting it right can be corrected easily in a DAW MIDI track, with audio only recording you have to keep trying takes until happy.

Another is that despite the apparently more complex setup it simplifies connections and allows the use of the DAW's MIDI facilities which can be considerable.

Another is that if a synth's controls send as well as react to MIDI it becomes possible to overdub a succession of control changes that could not be done any other way. Unless you have more than the conventional number of hands, that is.

There are quite a few MIDI merge/expansion hubs on the market, but as soon as you have two pieces of kit that both use the same channel and can't be changed the DAW route that can distinguish MIDI ports as well as channels is the one that will work while a stand-alone MIDI hub that works by channel only won't.

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/21 19:12:54 (permalink)
Thank you.  I clearly have some learning to do about this.
 
I don't really think that I need midi data out on the modules I am looking at (like the Integra 7, Nord A1R) as well as my Moog.  I only need audio out of them.  I understand how midi data is useful for VSTis, but what I really need to do is just "control" the modules with my FA-08.
 
Am I missing something (or alot of things :) )?

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/21 20:09:50 (permalink)
One thing midi out would do for a module would be to allow the PC to take in and save your custom program settings on the module. OTOH if you stick to the module's factory programs or if you can store your custom settings overwriting a factory program, you might not need to use midi out. But if you need custom settings saved along with the songs that use the module, you would need to grab them by sysex from the module into the DAW.
 
The MOTU MIDI Express XT and Micro Express USB seemingly allow offline ("standalone") patchbay, merging, and "processing", which would mean you don't have to turn on your PC to control various modules from one keyboard. The less expensive MIDI Express 128, or much less expensive "Fastlane USB" needs a PC to route or merge MIDI data.

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/21 20:28:18 (permalink)
I was looking at both of those.  I was researching the Micro Express USB earlier today, but I don't know how it can be truly standalone if it is USB powered...
 
Thank you for your help - I'm still learning.

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/22 09:04:14 (permalink)
Well, USB doesn't have to be from a computer. If it's plugged into a powered hub or iphone wall charger, then it's standalone.
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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/22 09:05:03 (permalink)
Good point....

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Re: Midi Guru's Please help 2017/02/23 19:08:10 (permalink)
husker
I don't really think that I need midi data out on the modules I am looking at (like the Integra 7, Nord A1R) as well as my Moog.  I only need audio out of them.  I understand how midi data is useful for VSTis, but what I really need to do is just "control" the modules with my FA-08.
 
Am I missing something (or alot of things :) )?



I'll try and explain a bit better...
 
As an example, I'll use my DSI Mopho desktop module. It doesn't have many controls, and some are pre-configured to e.g. the filter resonance and cutoff while others are assignable in the patch. All however send MIDI as well as control whatever synth function they're programmed to do.
 
So I might have, say, note, velocity, aftertouch, modulation wheel, pitch bend and an expression pedal on a controller connected to it via the DAW, but I might want to add in more modulations/control changes than that allows me to do in one go (and I'll probably want to adjust things post recording). So if I record a pass through as MIDI I can then replay the recorded MIDI through the synth again while adding more control commands from the Mopho's knobs.
 
With my Waldorf modules that becomes even more important as there are combinations of controls Waldorf's matrix controller layout doesn't allow you to select at the same time. So if I want to e.g. make changes to the filter and ADSR at the same point in the music I can't by manipulating the synth controls. But I can record the MIDI sent by the filter controls then overdub the MIDI sent by the envelope controls. While if I recorded purely as audio I would only be able to control whatever parameters a combination of my abilities, the controller, the synth and the number of hands and feet I have make available at the same time.
 
Put another way, recording as MIDI then overdubbing MIDI CCs removes the limitation of only being able to do so many things at the same time.

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