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Basic MIDI Question #3028643 02/12/20 06:21 PM
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SteveO42 Offline OP
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So after years of using VSTi I'm back where I started in the 70's with hardware synths. So this is a basic MIDI question.

What is the best way to hook up via DIN plugs my RD-2000, Integra-7 and MOTU AVB interface so I can control all from my DAW (Cubase 10.5 Pro or Studio One 4.5 Pro)?

My plan is the following:

RD-2000 --> MIDI OUT ---> Integra -7 MIDI In---->Integra-7 --->MIDI THRU---->MOTU AVB Interface MIDI IN-----> MOTU AVB Interface MIDI OUT----> RD-2000 MIDI IN.

Will this work?
Or is there a better way?

Thanks for any and all advice.


Last edited by SteveO42; 02/12/20 06:23 PM.
KC Island
Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: SteveO42] #3028645 02/12/20 06:41 PM
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Sam CA Offline
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For one thing latency may become an issue with such a long chain...

Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: SteveO42] #3028646 02/12/20 06:42 PM
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Dr Mike Metlay Offline
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Hi Steve,

When possible, you shouldn't daisy chain unless you have to, but this is a short enough chain so you can probably get away with it.

As for the routings, this seems to make good sense. Just be sure that your DAW doesn't automatically echo MIDI input back to the MIDI output, or you'll create a feedback loop. There are good reasons to have 2-way communication - for example, some devices can have their LED status or parameter values updated from the DAW, so 2-way communication is vital - but in these cases, the client synth is usually smart enough to know the difference, and will often offer two virtual "MIDI ports" or at least different MIDI channels for in and out.

Try it out, and if it works, you win. If it doesn't, come back with questions and I will see if I can help. You can ask here in this thread, but I am likely to see questions faster over in the Music Lab forum.

Best,

mike


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
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Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: SteveO42] #3028661 02/12/20 07:29 PM
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SteveO42 Offline OP
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Thanks Sam and Mike. My other alternative is to dust off my M-Audio MIDISport 2x2 interface and put the RD-2000 on one port and the Integra-7 on the other port and not use the MIDI ports of the MOTU or maybe dust off my Korg 05/w and plug that into the MOTU.

I think that might be better option.

Thoughts?

Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: SteveO42] #3028664 02/12/20 07:39 PM
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Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted by SteveO42

Or is there a better way?



Why do you desire to use DIN plugs? You can do everything over USB and you wouldn't need the MOTU. Much cleaner and versatile approach unless I'm missing something here.

Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: SteveO42] #3028683 02/12/20 08:54 PM
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Reezekeys Offline
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Jeez you can't have less than two midi instruments in a midi chain! Nothing to worry about with this setup and latency or data corruption. I remember the early days of midi when we midi-ed probably 10 synths in a chain; it worked fine (just don't ask what it sounded like)!

If you can spare the USB ports (or have a hub), using USB midi will spare you having to deal with menu-diving into the RD2000's system to turn local on & off, should you sometimes want to play it without powering up the rest of your system. Unless the RD has a dedicated front panel button for that, of course. I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that it doesn't!

Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: Reezekeys] #3028697 02/12/20 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Jeez you can't have less than two midi instruments in a midi chain! Nothing to worry about with this setup and latency or data corruption. I remember the early days of midi when we midi-ed probably 10 synths in a chain; it worked fine (just don't ask what it sounded like)!

If you can spare the USB ports (or have a hub), using USB midi will spare you having to deal with menu-diving into the RD2000's system to turn local on & off, should you sometimes want to play it without powering up the rest of your system. Unless the RD has a dedicated front panel button for that, of course. I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that it doesn't!


My reco to go with usb has nothing to do with latency or data corruption. Once setup its way easier to select what’s being controlled for playing and recording. I assumed this was for studio use but live...well I’ll defer to you guys.

Btw Rob the Matriarch being the first usb equipped board I’m using for sound I was not aware that having local on and “looping” through the PC via USB doesn’t cause problems like double notes or hung notes. I assume the receiving synth is ignoring the USB data? Either way I like that I can leave local on.

Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: Markyboard] #3028712 02/12/20 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
My reco to go with usb has nothing to do with latency or data corruption.

I know, and my comment was not in response to that. I only said what I thought was obvious, that 5-pin midi would (or should) work fine for a single "thru-ed" device – but I should have said that USB might be better in order to avoid loops or doubled notes (I don't do this stuff anymore, being in my virtual world). I do remember issues with loops & doubles when I had stuff hooked up using 5-pin midi in a way Steve mentions doing.

USB midi would put each device on a separate bus, so all routing would need to be handled in the software. But you could leave local on and not get doubled notes by simply muting the "playthrough" of a record-armed sequencer track, I assume. Just be ready to quickly pull a cable or mute the outputs(s) before you hit that first note! smile

I think whichever method is best depends on whether Steve wants to be able to play the Integra from the RD on its own once in a while, without the computer/DAW involved.

Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: SteveO42] #3028960 02/14/20 03:36 AM
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uhoh7 Offline
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Powder Lesson one: Only one thing you need to know about powder: be first. A great exageration containing a lot of truth.

MIDI lesson one: there is no such thing as a basic MIDI question. LOL

I relate to the OP. RIght now, I am working on getting a Virus TI, DM12, Stylophone R8, RD8, JV1010, and Proteus 1 working together in Logic X.
The scene:
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
the pad by unoh7, resplendant blonde RT3 lounging on right.

Weak link? The F...ing computer of course. I have to become a friggin logic expert in the "enviroment". I'm not close to resolving all my issues, but I can make alot of noise. The only real can of worms...USB of course. My TI wants to use it. A google search reveals the many suicides this has caused. The reason there is never a simple solution is that the great stuff is quirky, and when you get two quirky devices together.....Acid house without a drum track.

One thing made my life easier: I bought a Unitor 8 for about $90---they were 700 new. They are everywhere, no demand because you have to use an old computer to really program them. However: any unitor 8 defaults to a simple very usable mode. 8 ins and outs obviously, and every in goes to everyone EXCEPT itself. So programing is not needed for basic stuff.

DIN daisy chaining, according to a lot of people in the huge synth forum on reddit, works fantastic. Latency and clock issues may occur in either USB or DIN and can be a real nightmare even for studio experts. I have not got to that point yet but it's not to far off.

An incoming challange for me: I want to get some realtime control over the JV1010 and Proteus 1, which have clean but unmoving sounds compared to more modern stuff, but the guts do offer some redress. I was dreaming of redirecting my TI to tweak them, but it's complicated.....hence I have a BCR-2000 coming. Not made any more, these are going up in price on the used market because they can be made to do many many things over MIDI.

Another sign of weird gaps in what you can buy easily. Arp 2600? No probelm. Great hardware sequencer. Not. Great rotary MIDI control surface would be easy. Not. You see alot of stuff that looks like it would do this basic stuff, but most recent production is pointed to controling DAWS, not hardware. If it won't send SysEx, forget it.

The huge DAW dive in the last 15 years has left some giant hardware holes, where you would think choice might abound. TYG we are coming out of that and MIDI 2.0 is coming too, so maybe we will start to see better hardware for MIDI management again. My other DAW is the MPC1000, a superb sampler and arguably the best hardware sequencer in the world thanks to rouge coder "JJ", who is updating his OS for the classic MPCs (circa 2003) all the time. Has a bazillion little features, but one I use all the time is just a MIDI monitor which tells me the channel and event in real time of any device sending on my midi network. Of course my laptop will do this too, and long run I'll need to.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
pedaling wires by unoh7, .....can you see the 760?

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Boom boom booM by unoh7, on Flickr

The Deepmind 12 only gets more impressive. It's big flaw? One part.

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
16 parts by unoh7...I swear Mom, this is my last keyboard till the Osmose comes. Genos.....just chill and keep on droppin....one day I will buy you.

One fun thing about the TI: 16 parts, 16 arps, independent. In 2020, it's a poor man's quantum. The JV1010 has the "Vintage Synth" card in there. It's a huge leap from the earlier proteus. I never used other synths back in the day, so I use it like a reference. Today I made a pretty nice 4 channel EP for practice. Proteus/JV1010/DM12/Virus. Rich, but not too muddy. For sure setting up my new/old gear has taken away practice time. Few endevours suck time more deeply than tuning MIDI, when Windows or MacOS are involved. But I'm hearing results TYG.....now what song am I working on? No boy! Get back to those manuals!

Last edited by uhoh7; 02/14/20 05:03 AM.

RT-3/U-121/Leslie 21H and 760
SL-880/Nektar T4/Numa Cx2/Deepmind12/Virus TI 61
Stylophone R8, Behringer RD-8, Proteus 1
MPC1000, JV1010, Unitor 8, DMP-18 Pedals
Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: uhoh7] #3029031 02/14/20 04:55 PM
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SteveO42 Offline OP
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Thanks uhoh7 and the others.. Yea, you are so right about no such thing as a simple MIDI question. So despite my question, I'm not new to MIDI at all and had similar gear as you do uhoh7. When I was actively gigging my SKB cases were loaded with modules from Korg, Roland, Alesis and others and I drove most of it from an Ensoniq KS-32 and later from a Kurzweil. I even had an Alesis Data Disk in the chain so I could load sound banks on the fly or restore any of my synths should something get corrupted. That never happened. In fact other than the occasional stuck note, everything worked rather well for live performances.
I just hated having to transport it all smile

So I've been ITB in the studio for many years happily using VSTi but am now looking for ideas to integrate hardware with software, my PC and DAW.

The reason I want to go with DIN is because it's simple and it works. I am OCD with my PC (Intel 9900k, 64g ram, NVME/SSD drives etc) as far as USB ports are concerned and I prefer to keep it as simple as possible since my MOTU AVB interface also runs off USB.

I've been at this for years and many Windows PC systems so I know that for low RTL and little to no DPC spiking (clicks, pops etc), especially with a USB based interface, simple is best. The quality of the driver does have the most effect on RTL, especially under load however, the less USB devices the better. And for the mostly unavoidable like keyboard/mouse, iLok, Steinberg key etc keeping that stuff on a separate system board USB controller chip helps to eliminate problems with the audio interface.
Macs are much better in this regard than Windows systems.

So again, thanks for all the great advice! I'll be testing this out next week and will report back on how well the integration goes.



Last edited by SteveO42; 02/14/20 04:56 PM.
Re: Basic MIDI Question [Re: SteveO42] #3029185 02/15/20 07:10 PM
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uhoh7 Offline
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Originally Posted by SteveO42
Thanks uhoh7 and the others.. Yea, you are so right about no such thing as a simple MIDI question. So despite my question, I'm not new to MIDI at all and had similar gear as you do uhoh7. When I was actively gigging my SKB cases were loaded with modules from Korg, Roland, Alesis and others and I drove most of it from an Ensoniq KS-32 and later from a Kurzweil. I even had an Alesis Data Disk in the chain so I could load sound banks on the fly or restore any of my synths should something get corrupted. That never happened. In fact other than the occasional stuck note, everything worked rather well for live performances.
I just hated having to transport it all smile

So I've been ITB in the studio for many years happily using VSTi but am now looking for ideas to integrate hardware with software, my PC and DAW.

The reason I want to go with DIN is because it's simple and it works. I am OCD with my PC (Intel 9900k, 64g ram, NVME/SSD drives etc) as far as USB ports are concerned and I prefer to keep it as simple as possible since my MOTU AVB interface also runs off USB.

I've been at this for years and many Windows PC systems so I know that for low RTL and little to no DPC spiking (clicks, pops etc), especially with a USB based interface, simple is best. The quality of the driver does have the most effect on RTL, especially under load however, the less USB devices the better. And for the mostly unavoidable like keyboard/mouse, iLok, Steinberg key etc keeping that stuff on a separate system board USB controller chip helps to eliminate problems with the audio interface.
Macs are much better in this regard than Windows systems.

So again, thanks for all the great advice! I'll be testing this out next week and will report back on how well the integration goes.


Haha, you have really been there. Jeez 64g ram.....you ARE there. LOL Please tell us what happens.

One more little recent MIDI tale. My RT3 has a full pedalboard, not one of those miserly B3 affairs. Once you have those tones at your feet you are ruined forever. But the current studiologic pedalboards are expensive and pretty simple. The real deals are over a grand. I stumbled on a set of these on ebay:
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Brochure by unoh7, on Flickr
Reasonable price, unreasonable impulse: I bought. Then I looked them up and came to a hysterical web page, with some details and a list of frustrations, mainly due to a lack of documentation. I also found a article with a pic of an Emerson setup: there they were. He used them. Aside from the issue that there are no presets, you start at default every time you power on, things are acutally quite cool. 3 foot taps will get you to any of the 16 Channels and ready to play. Octave changes also 3 or 4 taps. But one weirdness drove the webpage guy nuts: program change. There are 5 footswitches right over the pedals ready to be punched. The destinations are preset to the closest programs. If you decide to go to 43, then you get 44, 45, 46 and 47.

Mine came, and they are great. But it looked to me like some programing must have been possible. No documentation online........wow really? I found a circuit diagram for sale in Italy, and I bought it just in case. Finnally I found a brouchure for sale in germany with the long user instructions. I tried to buy it.....oh no you ar in US sir, too far away....but I finnaly reached the seller and for 15 bucks he sent me the original brochure.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Dmp 18 by unoh7, on Flickr
Sysex is interesting....and German is not far off LOL. Luckily I taught skiing in Austria in the winter of 84/85 and read "For whom the Bell Tolls" in german. No one uses less words than Hemmingway, who BTW shot himself about two miles from where I write this, but anyway I went really slow and figured it out. Basically the webpage guy had managed to work everything out, but the german instructions helped me understand the reports he was giving. It does send sysex in one mode, and I took a pic of all the chips. Maybe someday I will figure out how to modify that, or just use those unique sysex messages to trigger some fancy moves via something like the new "midi-hub".

But for now, these basspedale are quite sweet, really. Thanks to MIDI din, I have no doubt they will outlive me.


Last edited by uhoh7; 02/15/20 07:13 PM.

RT-3/U-121/Leslie 21H and 760
SL-880/Nektar T4/Numa Cx2/Deepmind12/Virus TI 61
Stylophone R8, Behringer RD-8, Proteus 1
MPC1000, JV1010, Unitor 8, DMP-18 Pedals

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