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Hammond XK1 and Korg TR midi problem


Mr T, Sweden

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Hi!

I got a Korg TR76 the other day and I just love it. My current live and rehearsel rig now consists of a Hammond XK1, the Korg and a GEM RP-X. This way I got just about everyt type of sound covered without needing extra expanders or having to lug around a lot of weight.

 

However, there is one big problem! The midi out of the XK1 is not recognized by the TR! :( Yes, I've checked every possible setting and that's not the issue. The input of the TR responds fine to other gear I have and the same goes for the XK's midi out. So it seems that the Hammond sends out to weak midi signal for the TR (maybe less than 5V for the signal, or too low current). I know I've found the same phenomena on some old piece of gear I have, just don't remember which. The only way I got it working now is to take the XK's midi out route it through my Edirol UM3EX, through my PC and back again into the TR... And no - I don't wanna have some extra piece of midi gear just to get the two working together...

 

Does anyone else had this issue with some gear? If so - how did you fix it? Seems like I would need something to amplify the midi signal and I could probably build something like that... just seems a bit awkward. Midi should be midi right, with no problem..? Maybe some active midi merge could do the trick also. Too bad no one is making such anymore... Please help!

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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I could never get my K2600 to trigger my Voce V-5 organ module correctly, no matter how hard I tried. Seems there was always some issue with setting the octaves correctly, double-triggered notes, and even with simple program change functions. I'd fix one problem, which would give rise to another. You may be overlooking something really simple. It seems unusual for the TR to not respond at all. That being said, someone once described hooking up several MIDI devices as analogous to a bunch of kids playing on a playground.....some kids will play nicely together, while others will not.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Problem solved! I just picked up a JL Cooper Nexus Plus 2x8 midi merger! Have been looking for a merge box for some time now, and now when I needed on the most - there's one for sale here in my home town! :) And people don't believe in fate... :P

 

Anyway, now the midi goes from the XK1, through the merger and into the Korg - voila! Nothing else changed. As a bonus I now can play my RP-X from both keyboards AND I have another 5 midi outputs for future expansion... :) Also, it seems to have some midi filtering, zoning capabilities and some other stuff. All for about $125. Think that's reasonable. Just findig a mergebox is hard work these days...

 

However, the mystery why the direct MIDI signal from the Hammond is not recognized by the Korg still remains. Some day when I got the time I will investigate the MIDI signal further by oscilloscope... :)

 

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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Interesting. I've used a Roland TR-707 drum machine and a Prophet 600 (both circa 1985, the P-600 being the first MIDI device in the world) with brand-spanking new keyboards and everything in between. No problems at all. Ever.

 

MIDI has been the BEST data transfer protocol ever developed as far as compatibility and operation.

 

I'd be interested in seeing the issue between the Hammond and Korg.

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Well - It should be foolproof but it's not. As I said I've had the same issue before with other gear. Can't remember which thoug, it's either my Korg Wavestation, Korg 707, Oberheim Minigrand, Voce V3 w Midi Drawbar(most probably) or the Alesis Quadraverb GT...

 

Anyway, I'm no newbie with MIDI in anyway. And being an electronics engineer by profession I know that similar protocols like RS232 and RS422/485 can be a hassle to get working if you have grounding/earthing problems and so on, so I wouldn't think that MIDI would be better in any way. I mean - we don't use MIDI to connect our machines in this plant... :)

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, the merging problem is solved and the TR excepts the XK:s midi signal now when I run through the JL Cooper. However - now, I have another irritating problem...

 

Whenever I send control change from the XK (like mod-/pitch-wheel or exp pedal), the TR's midi out gets interrupted causing notes on the connected RP-X to either stuck or not get sent. And this is not just on the TR. If I use XK, RP-X and my PC88 instead the problem is the same. An idea I have is that maybe the XK send such a large number of CC's as soon as I move a wheel or pedal that the connected gears midi buffer gets overflown. I will check this with some sequencer soon, and see if the XK's a more dense stream of CC's then my other gear.

 

So the question is - I believe that the XK is the cause of this - so has any one else had midi problems when using the XK as a controller? I will of course investigate this further myself also. I is a very strange problem... Also it's worth mentioning that controling the RP-X directly from the XK, with no other gear connected, is no problem. The same goes for the TR or PC88 alone with the RP-X. And I'm quite sure that this goes whether I use the JL Cooper or not. I'll get back as soon as I've made new observations...

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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Sometimes the MIDI Thru ports on devices are more software driven. The "dumb" ports seem to be reliable when passing data. Even the 2x8 can be a contributor.

 

The CC data shouldn't be any worse than any other keyboard. The protocol is the same (if Hammond followed the MIDI protocol). It seems the Korg is still the problem.

 

I still don't understand your setup. Which keyboard(s) do you want to be in control? Which keyboard(s) do you want to be controlled?

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Don't think the Korg is the problem since I'm pretty sure I've had the same problem with the Hammond connected just to the PC88 and then to the RP-X. But of course - I will investigate this further.

 

Anyway - to describe my setup (live rig):

The Korg TR76 is the main, lower board and the Hammond is on top. These do control each other so that the Korg can be used as lower manual for the XK. Also the XK control the TR at the same time. Both keyboards midi outputs goes to the JL Cooper, which is an advanced 2 in / 8 out midi merger, where you can select for each output if it should listen to input A or B or both.

One output then goes to the TR and another to the XK. (None of the keyboards has any midi "soft thru" activated, so there should be no midi loops). A third output is then connected to my RP-X so that I can use that in multi timbral mode and play lets say Rhodes from the TR and at the same time clav from the XK.

 

So as you can see, it's a pretty complex setup, although there's no more then three sound sorces. But this is for live and rehearsal - at home it's even worse... :)

 

Then I take the output from the TR which first goes into the PC88 (with soft thru activated) and one Kurz output goes to the JL cooper and then to the RP-X and XK, the other out goes to a Yamaha EX5. So this way the PC88 can play all others except the TR. The TR then can play either the RP-X, the Hammond or the EX5 (or the PC88 if I would use that as a sound sorce...).

 

So - hope this makes the picture more clear. Yes, It is very complex, but I think it should work anyway. As I said - as soon as I have more time I will try to find out more what is causing the problem. I'll get back with more observations after the weekend!

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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Ok! Now I know where the problem lies! I came to think of it, and the only place the XK1 midi really comes through is after the merging. And this is why I had the problem with both the TR and the PC88. With the TR, I merge in the JL Cooper, and with the PC88 I merge inside the PC88. So, then you would think that the merging itself would be the problem - that it would choke when you try to merge a stream of CC# and at the same time play notes, but this i not the case.

The problem lies inside the RP-X! It is set to recieve on ch 1-4 and then when the XK sends CC# on either ch 7 or 8 (which the TR is set to listen to) the RP-X totally chokes. I connected my EX5r in the same way and it has no problem with the XK1's control change messages. So there you have it - the RP-X listens to channels it shouldn't... seems like I need a channel filter now... Well - sorry Hammond for accusing you! :) So for now, I have to set the RP-X only to listen to the TR, not the XK.

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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If you only need to send on one channel, you might try turning off the other two (pg. 84 #'s 11 - 13). I think that volume and mod wheel etc. data is sent on all three channels if they are all on. Some instruments are OK with that, others seem to choke on it. Also, check the external zones if you are using them.

 

Good Luck.

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I do know how to turn off zones on the XK1, but the thing is that I want to have at least one external zone on to control the Korg. Noticed one strange thing. The internal zones (organ parts) are always transmitting and this doesn't seem to affect the RP-X. It's only when I also engage an external zone that the problem starts. Very strange... well well... I wish I could turn off the the midi transmission of the organ parts without having to turn off the midi reception for these. A future upgrade perhaps?
Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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I believe that if you leave the MIDI channels on and then turn on a zone you are double sending just about everything. You might try leaving the channels (pg, 84 11 - 13) on but set the zone to not send note on data. To do this, set the lowest note in the zone to D and the highest to C#.
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Yes, but is not the note messages that are the problem. It's all the CC# data that chokes the RP-X. Is there a way to turn off transmission of CC for organ parts, without affecting the reception and the external zones?
Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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If you can connect your XK-1 to a computer, you might try the demo of Sound Quest MIDI tools ( http://www.squest.com/Windows/SQMidiTools/SQMidiTools.html ) to see exactly what is being sent - use the MIDIAnalyzer tool. In addition to all the CC data, you probably are double triggering notes. You can turn off some of the parameters that are sent (pg. 84 #'s 4 - 8). If you don't need to send lower manual and pedal data, turn those channels off (pg. 84 12 & 13). If all you need to send is note on/off and volume data you may not need to use an external zone. Just leave the upper manual MIDI channel set to send on whatever channel you want the RP-X to look for.

 

 

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Yes, I do need to use external zone, since I don't want to trigger any other gear when playing organ sounds. So, the other gear is set not to listen to the "organ channels", but to the external zones channels. I also do want the XK1 to listen to all organ channels so that I can play its lower and pedal parts from another keyboard. I really wish that the organ parts had individual settings for recieving and transmitting. Also - I really wish that the RP-X would not listen to channels it's not supposed to. It's strange really that it gets blocked by channel 7 and 8 (which I use for the Korg) when it's set to only listen to channel 1-4...

Well well - thanks anyway for the tip about the Sound Quest tools! :) Will have a look at it some time soon.

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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I have an XK-System and I have used it to control a Yamaha CBXK-1XG and a Kurzweil PC2R. The Yamaha could handle all three manuals at once while the Kurzweil choked on the CC Data. If I wiggled the volume pedal, notes would be delayed in coming on or turning off. I finally got it to stop by sending on one channel only.

 

Currently I use the XK-System to also control an XM-2 module in addition to playing itself. While it isn't necessary, I use the SoundQuest MIDI Mapper to route the MIDI data to where I want it. This allows much more flexibility. The XK-3 (everything but note on/off data), lower manual and pedals are all connected to a computer along with a Peavey PC1600x. I then have patches set up in the MIDI mapper to route the lower manual and pedals to either the XK-3 or the XM-2. I split the lower manual data so that the lowest 1 1/2 octaves go to either the XK-3 or the XM-2 and the remaining 3 1/2 octaves go to the XM-2 and play its upper manual. The PC1600 is routed to whichever instrument is playing the lower manual to act as drawbars for it and pedals for the XM-2 when needed so I don't have to keep switching the XMc-2. This allows me to set the XK-System to A#/B mode and use both sets of drawbars for the upper manual. I can have screaming overdrive on the upper manual while having clean chords on the lower manual and play the lower manual upper octaves with different drawbars and little or no overdrive (and I can shift octaves for either manual if needed). Also, separate C/V, Reverb on only one manual, etc. I also can send the lower manual to the Yamaha for "extra sounds". The PC1600x's buttons can be set to send program changes to the MIDI Mapper so that the whole setup can be changed with the push of one button.

 

Good Luck.

 

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