Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar

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toddsilva
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2015/03/27 18:27:44 (permalink)

Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar

Hi all,
 
I have a few external controllers that I’m using for CC control.  They don’t span the full range from 0-127, so I need a utility to "scale" or "transform" the incoming MIDI data.  I found the MIDI Shape Shifter on-line and I think it can do what I want.  (For example, I can scale an incoming value of 35 to produce a CC value of 0, and an incoming value of 90 to produce a CC value of 127).
 
MIDI Shape Shifter is a DLL that configures as a VSTi in Sonar.  So I have inserted the “synth” into the FX bin and created a separate MIDI track to control it.  (See attached screen shot).  I've successfully used this method with other MIDI controlled FX’s like The Finger, etc., but it’s not working in this instance.  The external MIDI controllers work, but only from 35-90, and not over the full 0-127 range.  So I don't think that they are routing through the MIDI Shape Shifter plug-in.

 
Does anyone have any feedback as to what I need to do to get this to work right in Sonar?  I cringe every time I have to do challenging MIDI routing in Sonar.  Do I need MIDI Yoke?  MIDI Ox?  loopBE?  I'm not completely sure what these MIDI utils do.  I understand MIDI, but I don't understand how Sonar “routes” it.
 
Help?
 
Thank you, and much appreciated,
 
Todd

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#1

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    arachnaut
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/03/27 19:42:49 (permalink)
    I don't know Midi Shape Shifter. If I were to do what you want, I would use Reaktor. It can easily modify MIDI data. Enable the MIDI out of Reaktor when you load it. However, if you don't feel comfortable wading through the mysteries of Reaktor, perhaps MIDI-OX can do it. It has a MIDI mapping function. You probably need a Virtual Midi port like LoopBe30 to use it.
     
    I use LoopBe30 all the time to route MIDI from external stuff into Sonar. There is a free version, but I always encountered MIDI feedback loops with that - the paid-for version has a loop detector.
     
    Another tool that might do the job is Plogue Bidule. It has lots of MIDI programmability.
     

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    #2
    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/03/27 20:22:06 (permalink)
    Thanks arachnaut.  So is my issue MIDI mapping (to and from the MIDI Shape Shifter util)?  You've given me some suggestions, but I'm still not sure WHY I am having this issue.  Is there a good resource or reference somewhere that details MIDI mapping and routing in Sonar?  I think I need to get educated!

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    arachnaut
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/03/27 20:44:33 (permalink)
    MIDI mapping has been improved in X3 and later products.
     
    Things that can produce MIDI Out now can have that routing exposed and may be sent more easily to any MIDI inputs. (It is 'Enable MIDI Out' on the Insert Soft Synth option on an instrument track).
     
    Just make sure you can see all the MIDI channels selectors in your track control area.
     
    I don't know how the shape shifter works, I suppose it is a VST instrument. Make sure it's plug-in properties allow it to be used as a synth.

    - Jim Hurley -
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    #4
    scook
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/03/27 21:27:28 (permalink)
    I did get MIDI Shape Shifter to work. Here is how. After installing taking all defaults.
    • Create A New Project
    • Insert MIDI Shape Shifter into the project using an instrument track
    • Insert DPro into the Project using an instrument track
    • Set the input on the MIDI Shape Shifter to my controller Omni
    • Set the input on the DPro track to MIDI Shape Shifter Omni
    • Load a Program into DPro
    • Set echo on both tracks
    • Play controller..............DPro should sound
    • Pick Transpose (+1 Octave) Preset from MIDI Shape Shifter
    • Play controller..............DPro plays 1 octave higher.
    #5
    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/03/27 22:06:25 (permalink)
    Thanks scook!  That flow seemed to be what I was doing earlier, but it works now, so I'll leave it alone and not do anything different.
     
    Thanks for the tip!!

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
    #6
    scook
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/03/27 22:13:31 (permalink)
    The difference may be either using an instrument track to host the plug-in (it is always a good idea to have an audio+MIDI track or instrument track to host synths whether the synth is generating audio or not) or input echo on BOTH instrument tracks (this has tripped me up before).
     
    Anyway, glad it is working for you.
    #7
    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/15 22:41:47 (permalink)
    Hi scook,
     
    I've been using MIDI Shape Shifter and it is working very well for control of VSTi's.  Since each track can get its input from MIDI Shape Shifter, the VSTi's work, but not the FX in the FX Bin.  Is there a way, using your set-up above, to get FX to receive CC commands routed through the MIDI Shape Shifter?  My other option is try an external host running MIDI Shape Shifter and then route into Sonar with MIDI Yoke or similar.  I'm running Win 7 x64 though and don't think Yoke is compatible with it.

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    scook
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/16 00:04:03 (permalink)
    Yes, the way I was able to send CC data from MIDI Shape Shifter to an FX is
    • Add MSS to an instrument track (input echo on)
    • Create a generator in MSS (the LFO-1 preset is a good starting point)
    • Add a MIDI track to receive the MIDI output from MSS (input echo on)
    • Use LoopBe1 or any other virtual MIDI cable for output of the MIDI track
     
    This makes the CC data generated by MSS available for use. To complete the test:
    • Add an audio track with a plug-in in the FX bin.
    • Add an automation lane for one of the FX parameters.
    • Right-clicked on the automation lane fader and selected "Remote Control"
    • Set the remote control dialog to Controller 7 (which is sent by the MSS LFO-1 preset)
     
    At this point the FX parameter should be oscillating based on the LFO-1 preset.
    #9
    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/16 09:36:38 (permalink)
    Beautiful - that did the trick!  Thanks Scook!!!  It worked just by selecting and applying Remote Control; I didn't need to add LoopBe1.

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/16 20:36:47 (permalink)
    Actually.... I think I do need to add LoopBe.... Although the process works, my external controllers are spanning the whole range from 0-127 (CC control), which is why I have to use MIDI Shape Shifter. So without LoopBe, the control is working, but it's just not routing through MSS. I'll install LoopBe and report back.

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/16 22:33:04 (permalink)
    Hi scook, I installed LoopBe, see it in Sonar, and have followed your instructions as close as I can. I'm still not getting the full range of 0-127 from my external controllers for the FX parameters, so that means I'm still not going "through" MIDI Shape Shifter. I'll be honest, I don't understand how to use LoopBe inside of Sonar at all. And the help on their site is minimal. Any recommendations, or other sites that show how to use it in Sonar? I'll do some googling.

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    scook
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/16 22:49:52 (permalink)
    I did not use an external controller, the LFO was done within MSS using the LFO-1 preset. If you need to add an external controller and restrict the range, you may need to use MSS to map the incoming CC data to a different channel or CC so the remote control can be defined to pick up data from MSS instead of the controller.
     
    The MIDI event filter MFX may be useful to restrict the range too.
    post edited by scook - 2015/06/16 23:04:21
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    mettelus
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/17 00:48:21 (permalink)
    I installed LoopBe recently to try it out. It basically shows up as a MIDI device in Windows (where it installs), but also needs to be enabled as a MIDI device in SONAR preferences. From there, it shows up on any Input/Output MIDI as a "controller," so you can route the output of a VSTi to it, and use it as an input to drive other VSTis. I did not get too in depth with it, but it seems that its advantage is that is appears as a controller (to MIDI functions requiring them), versus a VSTi output.

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    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/18 21:46:09 (permalink)
    Hi mettelus, thanks for the feedback. Damn, I am feeling dumb lately! I am seriously not getting this virtual midi cable thing in Sonar. I'm tempted to draw out a block diagram or two of what I am specifically trying to do (with the external HW controllers that need the MIDI Shape Shifter VST plug-in to properly scale their ranges). I may do that when I have some time this weekend.
     
    I have attempted to look on-line for how-to's on midi virtual cables, and am not finding anything of any substance. I have a feeling that there is something real basic here that I am just not getting.

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    scook
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/18 22:39:03 (permalink)
    For your application LoopBe is serving as a loopback for MIDI data. As mentioned above it needs to be defined in SONAR Preferences as a MIDI input and output device.
     
    I would recommended setting up the test I described in msg #9. This will confirm everything is configured correctly inside SONAR.
     
    Once the test is working, then try to substitute the LFO generated inside MSS with your external controller. This is when you will need to take advantage of mapping the incoming CC data to a different channel (or CC number) so remote control can be set to listen to the new mapping. Just like in the example in msg #9 the remapped data is routed via loopBe. It needs to be remapped because remote control listens to all devices but can be set to a specific channel and CC. The remapping allows remote control to only read to the data send through loopBe by MSS and ignore the original hardware data.
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    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/19 18:30:56 (permalink)
    Hi Scook,
     
    OK, I followed your instructions in post #9.  Here's a picture of the tracks in X3e Pro.  Track 2 meter is oscillating, and if I change the amplitude of the LFO in MSS, the meter level changes.  So tracks 1 and 2 look good.  But when I insert the audio track, the FX, and set remote control for one of the FX parameters (including setting it to cc = 7), and then press play on the transport, I don't get the oscillating parameter.  In this case, it's mix amount on valhalla room.  Do I have all of the track I/O's set correctly?

     

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/19 18:31:56 (permalink)
    ?????  Where's the picture that I inserted?
     
    Scook, here's the URL for the picture on Dropbox...
     
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ud7ekp536x7d9pt/MSS%20control%20via%20LoopBe.jpg?dl=0
     

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/19 21:10:19 (permalink)
    Hi Scook,
     
    I think I'm almost there, gotten most of it to work. Thank You for your help!!
     
    There's an weird anomaly occurring though, not sure what is causing this.
     
    I have Diva as my test VSTi.  I am controlling two adjacent controls on Diva from my remote HW box.  The first one I assigned to control directly using the MIDI Learn command, and that control goes from 0% to 100% in Diva.  In other words, full scale.  The second one, however, I set up an automation lane with remote control, and that control goes from ~ 10% to ~ 90%.  Not full scale.  Same external controls, and identical adjacent controls in Diva.  I am missing something in setting up remote control in the automation lane?

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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    scook
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/20 01:03:05 (permalink)
    You are operating with hardware and software I do not have access to or experience with moreover; I do not understand the need for the variety of methods to control a single plug-in. It seems overly complex but I am sure it is because I do not follow what your are trying to do.
    #20
    toddsilva
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    Re: Using MIDI Shape Shifter in Sonar 2015/06/20 12:48:07 (permalink)
    Thanks Scook. I'll take it from here. You've really helped a lot, thank you again!!

    X3e Pro, i7 870 Gigabyte, Win7x64, 16G DDR3, Saffire Pro 14
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