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Kurzweil PC3 as midi controller


Tonysounds

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Has anyone been using this as a hardcore midi controller? I would really like a screenshot of its midi programming page(s) to get a look at how logical it is to figure out.

 

PC3x has taken over the Master controller duties in my rig from my A-70. As good as the A-70/A-90 are the PC3 is just MUCH more powerful and flexible.

 

To use it you have to be in setup mode which allows for up to 16 zones each with completely independent parameters. You get the obvious key range, transposition, volume, pan, etc, for each zone.

 

But you also get assignments for each of the nine sliders, mod/pitch wheels, 2 expression pedals, 3 switch pedals, 10 buttons on the front panel, aftertouch, ribbon, and breath controller.

 

The continuous controllers (ie sliders, wheels, cc pedals) each have their own customizable curves with parameters for curve, offset, and range. This allows you to do cool things like invert the direction of the sliders to have them control virtual drawbars in the proper direction.

 

The switch parameters (ie switch pedals and buttons) each could be momentary or toggled and each have independent values for on and off. For example, this means you could have a button send a volume change when turned on and program change when turned off. The setting are completely independent, and they have different settings for EACH ZONE.

 

Each parameter also has it's own entry and exit values per zone.

 

If this sounds like too much, just let me give you just a few examples of the cazy things I'm able to pull off with it.

 

For a good video overview of the Setup mode menus clonk here click on the videos tab and check out the three videos on setup mode. But video 15. Setup Mode: Editor is the one you'll want to check out.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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Like Ian, I come from Rolands, I still have my A-70 and A-50. The PC3 surpasses them in every single aspect I use - except for the multiple midi outputs (hint, hint!). The new PC3 OS effectively turns it into a big midi processor/re-channelizer. You can use any 'dumb' midi controller sending on a single channel, connect it to the PC3 and use the PC3 setup mode to rechannelize, re-zone and re-route the midi to either the internal PC3 engine or the midi/usb midi out jacks (to your rack for instance). All settings are per setup. If you use all hand and foot controllers available on the PC3 you'll run out of limbs before you run out of controllers. You can even assign any key or even pressure to stuff like setup/program changes (if you dare!) ;-)

 

Except for perhaps the venerable VAX-77, the PC3 is IMHO the ultimate controller for the Receptor. I have my entire rig configured to be controlled from my PC3, I can change patches, volume levels, fx sends and just about anything at the flick of a switch. It's amazing, really.

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You can use any 'dumb' midi controller sending on a single channel, connect it to the PC3 and use the PC3 setup mode to rechannelize, re-zone and re-route the midi to either the internal PC3 engine or the midi/usb midi out jacks (to your rack for instance). All settings are per setup.

 

This is one of the things you were asking for in the VAX thread, Tony.

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

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Yep, I see that! Thats huge, especially if I switch from an 88 to a 76 note board.

A couple questions:

What I loved about the A90/A70 was the ability to take a zone in or out of a setup with a button push. Using that I could substitute say a string patch for an organ, or a lead synth for another lead synth. Can I do that?

 

Also, if I read Ian correctly, like the A90/A70, I can set controller message high and low points (in other words, I could set an expression pedal to 34-111, as opposed to 0-127)?

 

Reading specs, it looks like this will hold over 2000 midi setups (correct?). Can I back them up to a USB thumbdrive?

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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And one other question, what about using the PC3 sliders to control drawbars in B4 or Vb3? (By the way Mo, I loaded Vb3 into my Receptor, and it really works pretty cruddilyits not the latest version, because thats not Receptorized, but its the 2nd to last versionif I start tweaking drawbars it flips out, reverts to a simple factory preset and ignores all tweaks from there.)
Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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Don't have enough expertise for most of your questions, but I haven't found much that my PC3 cannot control (once I figure out what I want to do and how to do it in MIDI).

Saving setups: The USB port is slave only (the LE has a real USB port, so will the upcoming PC3K) - toggles between MIDI controller and virtual disk drive for a computer.

For saving setups, you need ONE 64mb, 128mb, or 256mb ORIGINAL TYPE S xD card (maybe one as a spare in case you lose one or it quits). I have every single OS released from the 0.9 through all of the nine beta releases; plus about a dozen "everything" files (all the user changes of any type, includes program changes, songs, setups, added user programs), plus about 75 user programs on a 256mb card and there is still about 90 megs left.

 

These cards are not as easy to find since they are discontinued, but there are still some sources. For that matter, I have a dozen or so 64mb and 128mb that I used with an adapter with a K2661 that are surplus to my needs, and available.

 

I am using a PC2 at church to control VB3 on a notebook - sliders work just fine (except the PC2 doesn't have enough of them), so I'm sure that the PC3 sliders can control VB3. With the most recent beta, I'm finding that the internal KB3 sounds are getting close to what I've been able to do with VB3. There are also a couple of new acoustic piano patches that have a lot of dynamics, and cut through not only the guitars in the country band, but even the steel.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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Tony, you asked for a screenshot, but have you read the manual, or at least, the MIDI chapter?

 

http://www.kurzweilmusicsystems.com/Product.php?id=181

 

and click on the 'downloads' page for the manual...

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What I loved about the A90/A70 was the ability to take a zone in or out of a setup with a button push. Using that I could substitute say a string patch for an organ, or a lead synth for another lead synth. Can I do that?

 

Yes and more. I also love this about my A-70. The PC3 allows for 16 zones in any setup, but only 9 of them have direct mute switches. So only the first 9 zones will have those buttons by default, 1 more than the A-90 /A-70. The mute switches work like the A-70 except you don't have the double-click solo function.

 

But there's an even more powerful method you could use but it involves a bit of programming. The PC3 has controller destinations for standard CC #'s 1-128, but it also has another bank from 129-256 of internal custom CC's. Although these extra CC's won't work on any external synth they do allow for special controller functions, like for example my favorite CC#149 which is Mutezn. A value >=64 mutes the zone a value of <64 unmutes the zone. You could program any of the buttons or foot switches, or even mod wheel or sliders to simultaneously mute a number of zones while umuting a whole other group. So instead of having separate setups for say a verse and chorus and a bridge, you could just setup all your splits and layers in one setup for a song and call up different "scenes" of splits. I use this function everywhere and it saves a lot of patch switching during sets and songs.

 

BTW, there are other similar functions like Solozn which could also be useful.

 

Also, if I read Ian correctly, like the A90/A70, I can set controller message high and low points (in other words, I could set an expression pedal to 34-111, as opposed to 0-127)?

 

Yes, this is correct although the terminology and the way this is implemented in the PC3 is very different.

 

For each continuous controller in the PC3 you have a Curve parameter which could be linear, compressed, expanded. This changes the shape of the curve.

 

You have an add (offset) parameter which goes from -128 to 127.

 

You also have a Scale parameter which is entered as a percentage. You could go from -300% to +300%. Using this in combination with the Add parameter you're able to limit the range of the values.

 

For example scale of 50% with Add value of 25 produces values of 25 to 89. By setting Scale to -100% and Add to 127 you get values of 127-0. This is reverse scaling and is what you want to use for drawbar control. Another cool thing you could do is set the same slider to normal direction for one zone and reverse on another zone, send them bothe to volume or expression and you get a crossfade slider between the 2 zones.

 

The possibilities are literally endless.

 

Reading specs, it looks like this will hold over 2000 midi setups (correct?). Can I back them up to a USB thumbdrive?

 

Yes that is correct. I'm the type of guy who has a separate setup for every song, so you could imagine the number of setups currently saved in my PC3, and there's still plenty of room. And they're all backed up on my PC and an external hard drive just to be safe.

 

No thumbdrive yet, USB virtual drive on a PC or Mac or SD card only. The upcoming PC3k will have the USB thumbdrive port instead of the SD card.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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so I'm sure that the PC3 sliders can control VB3.

 

I can confirm this. VB3 has a mode where you can invert the drawbar response, this saves a bit of time compared to inverting your sliders every time you make a setup. Another option is making a VB3 control setup that you import (you can import 'layers' from any setup [or from any program when in program mode] to the one you're currently working on) in every new setup where you need VB3 control. If you assign the sliders in a program to the cc:s you need, importing settings to a setup is as easy as pressing "enter" and moving the slider(s).

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The new PC3 OS effectively turns it into a big midi processor/re-channelizer. You can use any 'dumb' midi controller sending on a single channel, connect it to the PC3 and use the PC3 setup mode to rechannelize, re-zone and re-route the midi to either the internal PC3 engine or the midi/usb midi out jacks (to your rack for instance). All settings are per setup. If you use all hand and foot controllers available on the PC3 you'll run out of limbs before you run out of controllers. You can even assign any key or even pressure to stuff like setup/program changes (if you dare!) ;-)

 

O.k., that sounds promising and if it´s true, it might be worth for me to try a PC3K.

 

Question, ´cause it seems you already tried the new OS beta:

 

What´s up if the "dumb" MIDI keyboard mentioned above is connected to PC3 MIDI-In and if it sends MIDI on more than ONE MIDI channel ?

My beloved Yammy KX76 sends on 2 MIDI channels simultaneously in SPLIT or DUAL mode,- and I´d like to combine it w/ a PC3(K) then.

Does the new OS recognize both of these transmitting MIDI channels, re-channelizes and routes to internal/external zones of PC3 and it´s 2 MIDI-out ports and USB ?

Possibly incl. all the MIDI processing you mentioned above ?

 

Before you ask why...

I´m using the SINGLE / SPLIT and DUAL modes w/ the KX76 on the fly in realtime. The 2 MIDI transmit channels are fixed then, let´s say MIDI channel 1 & 2,- but if it sends on only one or two channels simultaneously changes on the fly, so the pre-condition would be PC3 recieves on "all" MIDI channels simultaneously or minimum 2 simultaneously in Setup Mode.

 

Possible ?

 

A.C.

 

 

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Al Coda, the way the "dumb" controller feature is implemented in the new OS is through an Input Channel. For every zone in a setup you have an Input Channel parameter which could 1-16 L+M or Omni L+M, 1-16 M, or Omni M. L+M stands for Local and Midi while M is Midi only. L+M allows you to control a zone through an external controller as well as the local PC3 keyboard. Not very useful in my book.

 

Because you have a separate parameter for each zone you could set each zone to a separate midi channel. So yes, you'll be able to combine your beloved KX76 with the PC3.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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Agreed, the PC3 is a powerful controller; probably the most comprehensive keyboard based controller available currently. While I found the A-90 to be a bit more intuitive, PC3's Setup mode - once learned - is an invaluable tool. It works extremely well with my Receptor. Though I have discovered, as also mentioned previously in this thread, that VB3 is a bit buggy with the PC3; but that apparently is a VB3, not PC3 issue. Using The nine sliders as assigned drawbars in a Setup is awesome though; at least that part of VB3 works. I may, like Tony, try using B4II with my PC3/Receptor combination.

 

In the meantime, I'm very much looking forward to the new OS....

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

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Just to echo what others have said here (and our conversation from earlier today), in terms of a MIDI controller, the PC3 is all that and a bag of chips! Additionally, while I have a PC3X, I think you will find the action on the PC3 (i.e., non-X) more than serviceable for piano, Rhodes, Wurli, etc.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Yes to all your questions. (Al Coda and Tonysounds)

 

Just set the sliders to correspond to whatever MIDI CC# B4 uses for the drawbars.

 

You get over 2000 user ID slots for setups.

 

Many thanks for this and for me important info, Dave !

Soundwise, I wanted a PC3 as an addition to my rig since years, but I also wanted these MIDI features to replace my rackmount MIDI matrix controller box which is out of production and in the case it fails.

Great it´s possible now !

 

A.C.

 

 

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Al Coda, the way the "dumb" controller feature is implemented in the new OS is through an Input Channel. For every zone in a setup you have an Input Channel parameter which could 1-16 L+M or Omni L+M, 1-16 M, or Omni M. L+M stands for Local and Midi while M is Midi only. L+M allows you to control a zone through an external controller as well as the local PC3 keyboard. Not very useful in my book.

 

Thanks for the details, Ian !

L+M could be usefull for me occasionally,- playing fast repeated chords in the same octave range and voicing w/ two hands is much easier (for me) on 2 keyboards.

 

A.C.

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Are all these MIDI controller features of the new OS functional on the lower end models as well? i.e. besides the PC3 series... the PC3LE series and the SP4? Within the obvious limits that these models don't have all the assignable controllers that the PC3 has, of course (or in the case of the SP4, as many stored setup locations). But in terms of assigning internal and external sounds to both their internal and attached second keyboard?

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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During the (brief) time that Kurzweil is reducing factory stock, if you check vendors, you should find the PC3 and PC3LE at VERY similar prices (for each model, 61, 76, or 88). I couldn't see buying an LE at the moment (I am thinking seriously of a 361 - have all 3 models then - leave it at church with the PC2).

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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During the (brief) time that Kurzweil is reducing factory stock, if you check vendors, you should find the PC3 and PC3LE at VERY similar prices (for each model, 61, 76, or 88). I couldn't see buying an LE at the moment (I am thinking seriously of a 361 - have all 3 models then - leave it at church with the PC2).

You're correct... at the moment, purchasing an LE doesn't make sense in most cases, so from that perspective that part of my question was more academic (though also might be useful info for someone who already has an LE or might be looking at a used one, or who really wants those trigger pads...). Personally, I'm most interested in the SP4. But yes, that 361 looks tempting. It's the only "full" PC3 that I wouldn't find clearly too big and bulky to gig with, and I like the feel of its keyboard (though not for piano). It's still a little unwieldy for my taste, though. I'm into keeping things really portable!

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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By the way Mo, I loaded Vb3 into my Receptor, and it really works pretty cruddilyits not the latest version, because thats not Receptorized, but its the 2nd to last versionif I start tweaking drawbars it flips out, reverts to a simple factory preset and ignores all tweaks from there.

 

That sucks! Works a treat for me running inside Sonar or VSTHost on my unremarkable Dell box.

Moe

---

"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

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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By the way Mo, I loaded Vb3 into my Receptor, and it really works pretty cruddilyits not the latest version, because thats not Receptorized, but its the 2nd to last versionif I start tweaking drawbars it flips out, reverts to a simple factory preset and ignores all tweaks from there.

 

That sucks! Works a treat for me running inside Sonar or VSTHost on my unremarkable Dell box.

 

I've been running VB3 in my Receptor a couple of years with zero issues live. I had a few crashes when re-assigning cc numbers via midi learn, but live it's been great. I've learned (the hard way!) to set the zone on my PC3 so that I don't have access to the 'preset' octave on VB3, that way I won't accidentaly switch to a preset but have the drawbars 'live' at all times.

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Not sure why, but at the moment Thomann in Germany is selling the PC3 cheaper than the PC3LE7...

 

as saod above, Kurzweil has a temporary surplus of stock, and so to move inventory, the pc3's prices have been lowered temporarily.

NORD STAGE 2, IPAD 2 with lots of soft syths

Roland td9 expanded

Guitars, basses, Pod Xtl, GT-10b

Garritan, Reason, Symphonic Choirs , Cubase, Sibelius

Three shelter cats

 

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Has anyone been using this as a hardcore midi controller? I would really like a screenshot of its midi programming page(s) to get a look at how logical it is to figure out.

 

PC3x has taken over the Master controller duties in my rig from my A-70. As good as the A-70/A-90 are the PC3 is just MUCH more powerful and flexible.

 

To use it you have to be in setup mode which allows for up to 16 zones each with completely independent parameters. You get the obvious key range, transposition, volume, pan, etc, for each zone.

 

But you also get assignments for each of the nine sliders, mod/pitch wheels, 2 expression pedals, 3 switch pedals, 10 buttons on the front panel, aftertouch, ribbon, and breath controller.

 

The continuous controllers (ie sliders, wheels, cc pedals) each have their own customizable curves with parameters for curve, offset, and range. This allows you to do cool things like invert the direction of the sliders to have them control virtual drawbars in the proper direction.

 

The switch parameters (ie switch pedals and buttons) each could be momentary or toggled and each have independent values for on and off. For example, this means you could have a button send a volume change when turned on and program change when turned off. The setting are completely independent, and they have different settings for EACH ZONE.

 

Each parameter also has it's own entry and exit values per zone.

 

Sounds like the PC3 and PC2 have the same capabilities ... I have the PC2 and find it has more controller capabilities than I've needed, though I've used them to do some (I think) pretty creative things. I really like that each zone can be so minutely and independently controlled ... Tony, if you want to mess around with a PC's features and don't really care about the updated sound set, maybe you can score a used PC2 ... takes some of the financial burden out of the decision ...

 

EDIT: Looks like you want to control some specific things so maybe my anecdotal input might not suffice ... but maybe Dave W or a fellow PC2 user with Receptor can answer specifics? My thought was that at least you could buy, then sell a PC2 without loss to see if it does what you want and then spring for a PC3 if you likey.

Original Latin Jazz

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"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Sounds like the PC3 and PC2 have the same capabilities ...

 

Same flexibility, but not in the same ballpark at all.

 

For one, PC3's setup mode allows for 16 independant zones vs. the PC2's 4.

 

Secondly, Tony is interrested in controlling B4 or VB3. The PC3 has 9 sliders vs. PC2's 4.

 

Thirdly, while some of the sounds in the PC3 are imported from the PC2 and its related ROM expansions, the PC3 versions of those sounds benefit enormously from better DSP, a studio grade FX engine (equivalent of 2 KSP8's) of enormous power and flexibility, 32 VAST layers instead of only 4, and several years of development of custom cpu chips.

 

Not to mention VA oscillators, new string samples, included classic keys and orchestral ROMs, and a full fledged VAST synthesizer with access to all the parameters. I believe the PC2 was more like the PC3LE in terms of limitation of synthesis editing and programming.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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The PC3 has a LOT more MIDI controller capabilities than the PC2 (I have them both). Don't have Receptor, so can't answer about it.

If planning any Hammond/clonewheel control, 9 sliders on the PC3 vs 4 sliders on the PC2.

 

I am using my PC2 at church to control a notebook running VB3 (for the times when I don't carry the Electro), but have been considering the idea of a PC361 while the prices are down.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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