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Hardware midi mapper? (for live use)


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Hardware midi mapper - small enough to velcro on to a keyboard. Anyone got one they'd recommend?

 

Can you be more specific about what you're trying to do? The all-purpose things I'm thinking of would be too big (rackmount size), but for specific tasks, little things like the MIDI Solutions boxes may be able to do the job. Another option might be a sub-notebook running some software to do whatever you're looking to do...

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I have TWO old Yamaha MEP-4s that do stuff, well they are old so not all the new Midi stuff is there ,,and they are one rack units

 

BUT if you have a BIG keyboard and plenty velcro I think it would stay put :laugh::laugh::laugh:

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I hadn't seen the EES before. Any idea what these cost? And whether there's any way to get one in the U.S.?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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thomann.de used to have them but not any more. I think you have to mail the company and ask. I'm sorry i don't remember the cost. I was looking for something like this 2 years ago but solved my patch-changes another way.

 

While searching for a reseller for this device i found this:

http://www.ruinwesen.com/products

 

Maybe it could be useful? Could be complicated to program it though.

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(I'm the OP)

Apologies for my "woeful lack of info" - and I'm the other side of the pond from most of you so I'm only just reading the replies.

 

It's coping with the demands of the Floyd tribute band I've just joined (and posted about to get audition help/advice).

 

I've three sound sources:

internal sounds on a Roland Juno Stage

JV1010

laptop running NI Kore

 

I've got available (keyboards)

Roland Juno Stage (76 keys 1 midi in+out)

Roland A33 (76 keys 2 midi in+outs)

Yamaha NP30 (76 keys 1 midi in+out)

 

I may also use a Korg iH harmoniser unit (midi in+out and through)which needs fed midi note info for chords/harmonies.

 

I've gigged with just the A33 and the laptop before - with all sounds from VSTs and mapped across the keyboard. It's gone down twice (in just over 100 gigs) - it's also not powerful enough to have all the sounds loaded and available for the whole gig.

 

Wondering if I could have a box (with buttons) that will send patch/volume and maybe mapping info round the various sound sources - and a set of emergency presets that I can switch to should the laptop lock up and I'm in mid song.

 

Hope that's enough info (and thanks for the replies).

 

(BTW the NP30 has a usuable piano but it's only got a 1/4 inch stereo headphone out)

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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You could see if a Behringer BCN44 would do the job. It's small and cheap but flexible - manual is online at http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/BCN44.aspx

 

However, it's only got 1 MIDI out so I'm not sure how you'd route its program change messages to all your gear - the Roland A33 will act as a MIDI merge which might help, but you might need something more complex than the BCN44 (or a MIDI splitter box) to get the signals to everything.

 

Just had a look on ebay (UK), and if you search for "MIDI thru" you'll find lots of affordable splitters that will take a BCN44's MIDI output and split it to multiple MIDI signals for your gear.

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Based on what you've described, the perfect solution - in terms of function - would be an MX-8 by Digital Music (JL Cooper used to make a similar box). These can still be occasionally found, but:

1} They've been out of production for awhile (might have to dig around a bit for repair info, parts. The battery in the unit would be my initial concern, but that should be easy to locate.) 2} An MX-8 is a 1U rackmount - not very deep, and fairly light; but being a full rack unit wide, it could be a challenge to find a convenient space for velcro mounting.

 

Otherwise it's the perfect routing solution for what you've described. If there was a compact, 'table-top' device that had all of the MX-8's functions - plus control features, i.e. - assignable sliders, knobs, and pitch/mod controls - I'd snag it in an instant. Novation has something that's in the ballpark, but it has no MIDI routing/mapping, nor pitch/mod controls.

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My MX-8 is broken. :mad: The JLCooper box with 16 in/outs is absolutely impossible to find in Europe.... the best compromise I could find has been an old KMX (Ensoniq) 15x16 box. The construction could be better, but it has worked perfectly (touch wood) for some years now.

 

 

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Thanks for all the help/suggestions. I'm gig free tonight and only had one student today - I've been looking online at every bit of gear suggested (and skimming available manuals).

 

I think I can do most of what I was originally hoping for with the EES and a 1 in 2 out midi thru gadget.

 

Anyway, I now also have a plan B after thinking about the various INs & OUTs available (and much scribbling).

 

Cheers all.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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It's coping with the demands of the Floyd tribute band I've just joined (and posted about to get audition help/advice).

Congrats on getting the gig!

 

Wondering if I could have a box (with buttons) that will send patch/volume and maybe mapping info round the various sound sources

Ah yes, the specifics help! "Mapping" is a very broad term... it sounds like you're talking specifically about key mapping for splits and layers. (As opposed to, for example, mapping pedals to different functions, or mapping hardware knobs to software controls, whatever.)

 

I believe you can send patch/volume info with a Behringer FCB1010, but no key mapping. The rack-mount things people have mentioned (MEP4, MX-8) will probably do every kind of patch/volume/key-mapping you'd want, but they're light on your "with buttons" request, so you actually still might want something in addition for direct patch selection on those units. (The MX-8 does have the virtue of being about half as deep as the MEP4.) Some other things that can do patch selection and should work in conjunction with something like an MX-8 would be things like Rocktron Midi Mate, Rolls MP-128, or M-Audio Evolution UC33E.

 

I assume you're not looking for a new keyboard, but if and when you do, there are some keyboards that are good at controlling external sources, assigning program changes and splits. I think the Nord Stage and a lot of the Kurzweils can do it, for example. And Korgs, I think. In fact, I think you might be able to use a little MicroX to do what you want, since I think you can set up 16 timbres in, all as external (i.e. you don't have to use the MicroX's internal sounds if you don't want) and it will let you assign a MIDI channel, a key range, a program change, and control changes for each. It's a non-traditional use of the piece, but in theory, I think it would work fine. I'm sure someone here will let me know if I'm missing something here. :-)

 

the NP30 has a usuable piano but it's only got a 1/4 inch stereo headphone out

Easy to fix... http://www.pssl.com/!ZS94EY!FctvYgxU0np1aHg!/Y-Cable-14-F-Stereo-to-Dual-14-M-Mono for example.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I have TWO old Yamaha MEP-4s that do stuff, well they are old so not all the new Midi stuff is there ,,and they are one rack units

 

BUT if you have a BIG keyboard and plenty velcro I think it would stay put :laugh::laugh::laugh:

My (two) MEP-4s were the heart of my MIDI processing for live work during the 1980s. Loved those things! Still have mine as well. I also used a Digital Music MX-8 but much preferred the MEP-4.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I also used a Digital Music MX-8 but much preferred the MEP-4.
What did you like better about it?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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OK, so the first question to answer is:

 

Do you need a midi patchbay or not? By which I mean do you have to patch multiple controllers to multiple sound generators, and does that patching have to change during the gig.

 

Second: do you need to map different keyboard zones to different sound generators?

 

Third: Do you need to twiddle knobs and control some sound generator?

Moe

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"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

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My MX-8 is broken. :mad: The JLCooper box with 16 in/outs is absolutely impossible to find in Europe.... the best compromise I could find has been an old KMX (Ensoniq) 15x16 box. The construction could be better, but it has worked perfectly (touch wood) for some years now.

 

 

You could try to find a Miditemp PMM88E (8x8)or MT16 (16x16) MIDI matrix processors @ebay.de, there were 2 auctions last week and they appear from time to time.

MT 16 is nothing else than 2 PMM88E mainboards in a larger rack unit and connected internally by FORNET (a optical digital connection similar to ADAT for audio), same functionality but more physical I/Os.

 

You´ll find exactly the same MIDI functionality in Miditemp MP88 Midiplayer which appear more often @ebay than the units mentioned above.

 

Miditemp devices surpass any MX-8 or Cooper matrix by far !

 

A.C.

 

 

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To those following this thread and intrigued by the MX-8, there's on one eBay (U.S.), item #250705090567. It's a relist, no one had even bid the opening bid of $30 the first time (+$12 shipping). I think the seller made a mistake by not putting MX-8 in the listing headline. If people have MX-8 on their saved search email notification list, they won't be notified of this one. It also has a $50 buy-it-now if you don't want to take your chances. Good deal, I think.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I was just about to mention the Miditemp - it's a German company who mainly manufactures hardware audio/midi players. But all the players have a built in midi matrix/patchbay function. I have never used on myself, but I been interrested in them for a long time. They seem have all the midi remapping functions you could want plus midi patchbay functions - and while their rackmount units they can be controlled from a small remote control.

 

You can find more info on their homepage.

 

The MSX multistation (info here and at a store here) is still manufactured, but it is pricey - around 1900 euros. Still it's to my knowledge the only 8x8 midi processor/patchbay still on the market. It also has, like its predecessors, a big remote control to control the player and your rig.

 

Their upcoming MP33 with iPod dock seems like a seriously interresting product!

Too much stuff, too little time, too few gigs, should spend more time practicing...!  🙄

main instruments: Nord Stage 3 compact, Yamaha CP88, Kurzweil PC4, Viscount KeyB Legend Live

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There's also the extremely rare and unique Oberheim MC3000D desktop controller, which could turn any midi keyboard into controller. 8 sliders, 8 pedal inputs, 2 midi in, 8 midi outs. Not a lot to info to be found, but some pictures here, some info here and a short HC review here.

 

It's the little brother of the MC3000 keyboard which you can find a review of here

Too much stuff, too little time, too few gigs, should spend more time practicing...!  🙄

main instruments: Nord Stage 3 compact, Yamaha CP88, Kurzweil PC4, Viscount KeyB Legend Live

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Thanks to Al and T for the MidiTemp suggestion. I knew them already and it seems that their machines are very high quality, but they're also horribly expensive. About the only thing that my KMX doesn't do is freely assignable merge - just two ins at a given time. But I can overcome that with my Fatar Studio 2001 controller, which merges all of its four ins at once, without chocking. The connections becoome a bit complex at that point, but for the few times I need it, it's ok.

 

 

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Thanks to Al and T for the MidiTemp suggestion. I knew them already and it seems that their machines are very high quality, but they're also horribly expensive.

 

Only if you buy the new Miditemps,- it´s because these do everything, not only MIDI.

 

I buyed my PMM88E for EUR 130.- used in excellent condition.

Actually, they cost more used, up to 300.-,- but even at this price, they are worth every penny for gigging.

 

Even a older PMM88 (not E) surpasses most competitors, and that´s what you get for around 120.- used and up today.

 

A.C.

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thomann.de used to have them but not any more. I think you have to mail the company and ask.

I emailed EES about the ProConX. Their reply:

"please note we finished our business activities - after more than 25 successful years - already at the end of 2008. So our products are not available any more."

Oh well. Looked like an interesting piece. Actually it looks like they had a number of interesting devices. Too bad they're out. And I guess they were in too small a niche to generate much interest in having the products acquired.

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Ah well, midi products is not that hot on the market any longer i guess. I went in to a musicshop the other day and asked for a midi thru box. The guy looked at me for quite some time, looking as if he tried to remember what it was. :)

They did not have any.

The Genovation thing could be handy if patch change several keyboards with a single keystroke is what you need. But i am thinking that to make the connections easy a patchbay is best.

I believe Tony Banks used a Miditemp, or maybe still does.

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A small notebook or even a netbook and one or some of these:

 

MIDI Interfaces

 

More MIDI Interfaces

 

along with the MIDI Mapper and other MIDI Tools from here:

 

MIDI Tools

 

can make an extremely flexible and powerful MIDI control system.

 

 

*I use a desktop computer but I don't think a netbook would have any trouble handling the MIDI routing etc. I don't think the Sound Quest MIDI Tools have changed much since a 286 was powerful and 512k was a lot of memory.

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I believe Tony Banks used a Miditemp, or maybe still does.

 

He does and has 2.

 

Buying a MIDItemp is no mistake, they are very, very reliable, do almost everything, are easy to learn and to operate, I never had one crash by power issues like spikes or such,- and the company exists.

Even a PMM88(E) or MIDIplayer 88 is legacy gear, you´ll get it serviced, get eproms w/ latest OS and such.

 

Forget all the drawbacks and limitations of MIDI in todays gear.

Splitting keys into 3 zones per MIDI input of the PMM w/ free definable splitpoints, layering as much MIDI channels as you want or a combination of both, overlapping or not, velocity switch layers, preprogrammed Prg-Changes & MIDI volume offsets per MIDI channel and controller offsets, MIDI merge all in´s to any out in any combination per patch/song, send stable MIDI clocks out of any MIDI out of your choice (PMM generates clocks @different tempos per patch), send MIDI data strings or sysex commands automatically if you call up a patch, name MIDI I/Os and channels, name patches, transpose by channel (outputs) and zones (inputs)by several octaves. Re-channelize all incoming MIDI data to(m)any output channels, program customized velocity curves, add and subtract velocity values ...

 

The only things it can´t do is MIDI controller re-mapping (turning a MIDI CC No. into another one) and adding slave notes to a MIDI key number.

 

If you buy it used, ask the seller for the condition of the combined rotary encoder/push-button.

It´s the only very hard to replace part because it´s discontinued by ALPS.

 

For any keyboardist using hardware (MIDI multi mode) keys and modules it´s the ONLY life saver available,- all other machines are toys and compromises only, even the other ones from the past.

 

If you own such a device, you don´t even think about the masterkeyboard features of your existing keys and modules,- they don´t need ´em anymore,- and you program everything in a few minutes by using a single remote control panel only for all of your gear, even if your racks are hidden somewhere in the back.

 

The remote control panel fits on nearly every top of keyboard existing and the display is built into that controller.

 

A computer solution is no solution compared w/ this machine, it would be a much more flimsy setup and I don´t know a program which has all these features.

 

Only a Kurz PC 3 can do one of the missing features, controller re-mapping, but it also cannot do many of the other tricks.

 

Miditemp is 99% perfect.

 

A.C.

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  • 3 months later...
Any updated thoughts/experience on the Genovation MPC-900?

 

EDIT: Well I won one on eBay for $89USD so I guess I can provide an update here after I try it out.

Yeah, I saw that, and briefly considered buying it myself. Some boards could really use a 10-key keypad for patch selection (I hate scrolling), and that's a nice compact size, though it looks to be a bit of a nuisance in being in multiple pieces. But if you're always using it with the same board, maybe you could velcro and permanently wire a lot of it into place.

 

The setup editing looks like a nice feature, too... too bad the software is PC only (no Mac).

 

One feature I thought was missing was that there's no mode where you can assign an entire patch change to a single button... you always have to hit "enter."

 

I've only begun playing with an M-Audio Evolution UC33e. It looks like a good solution, though it took some back and forth with tech support to figure out how to make it do what I wanted, the manual is terrible. It does provide the 10-key keypad for patch selection function, and it does a whole bunch of other things. It's not as small as the Genovation, but it's still pretty compact.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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