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MIDI PROGRAM CHANGE INVOLVING MULTIPLE KEYBOARDS


SoloInterface

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I want to change programs on several keyboards at once with one press of a button. Can it be done without a computer and DAW? I have the MIDI patch bay (the Mio 10 by iConnectivity) which is capable of MIDI mapping. I am going to try the MIDI Patch Changer by Genovation which can send out a string of patch change instructions in one button press to many instruments. The problem is that each instrument (keyboard, some vintage) will need to be on it's own channel to isolate it's specific instruction from the string. In quick succession then I want to keep playing which requires all keyboards to be on the same channel(s) for 'note ons'. Should I be using MIDI System Exclusive methods instead? Should I be considering MIDI event processors? Are DAWs, mice and computers the only way to get this to happen? NOTE: My Oberheim Expander with it's 'omni' capability and 'basic' MIDI channel choice along side it's ability to channel select per zone solves the problem nicely, but the MIDI implementation of most other keyboards is too sophomoric to be able to solve this problem. This seem a basic need at least for us older guys hanging on to older axes. How do (did) the pros accomplish this?

There are three kinds of musicians,

those who can count and

those who can't.

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Are DAWs, mice and computers the only way to get this to happen?

 

No, no and depends on your definition.

 

Set List Maker on an iPhone/iPad (or Android, but not tried) can do this. Now strictly speaking an iPhone is a computer, of course, but it's much easier to lug around than an x86 tower, or even a laptop or Mac Mini.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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What keyboards do you have? Any decent boards will send patch change info for you.

 

I use a 3 board setup with my Floyd band and have my Roland FA08 change the patches on all 3 (Hammond SK1 and Nord Lead A1). It doesn't have very good midi controller implementation, but it still works for sending changes to my other boards. Before I got my Nord Lead A1, I had it doing a 4 board setup, with the Hammond, a Moog Little Phatty and Novation Ultranova.

 

It takes some planning and you might need to move patches around on your boards so when you call up 1 it sends the right patch change to another board, but it's a much easier setup than dealing with a laptop or tablet running an app.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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each instrument (keyboard, some vintage) will need to be on it's own channel to isolate it's specific instruction from the string.

that's correct...

then I want to keep playing which requires all keyboards to be on the same channel(s) for 'note ons'.

This is where I'm not sure I understand. Why do you need this function? Is it that you want all the keyboards to be "layered" such that, when you play one keyboard, all its notes are always duplicated on all the attached keyboards? That would seem to me to be a very unusual application, which doesn't make sense in context of your other statement, "this seem a basic need at least for us older guys hanging on to older axes." But (and I admit I'm not fully awake), I don't see any other reason to need that function. What am I missing?

 

Can you list the actual boards you're using in this setup? That also might help prompt a suggestion.

 

If you don't have a board that can do what you want, there are some discontinued boxes that might be able to do what you want, you can often get them on eBay (things like the Yamaha MEP4, Digital Music MX8, among others), or as others have said, you should be able to do it with an iPhone/iPad (and maybe Android) app... but I'd like to be more clear about exactly what you're trying to do.

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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In general:

 

Have a keyboard controller (and) or MIDI matrix switcher which (both) offer MIDI connectivity for ALL your other keyboards and MIDI modules and provides all the MIDI processing (which incl. MIDI Prg.-Changes on dedicated MIDI channels) you need.

 

I see 3 options depending on how large your rig is.

 

a)

A Kurzweil PC3 series keyboard or Forte WHEN 1 MIDI-IN and 1 MIDI-Out port (16 MIDI channels max.) is enough.

Kurzweil MIDI is excellent !

 

b)

A Physis Piano K4 (or K5,- different action !) controller,- in opposite to the Kurzweil offering 2 MIDI In´s and 8 MIDI Out´s plus 4x USB MIDI as well as offering creation of "instruments" from your connected devices so the UI for editing these doesn´t differ when doing all in the K4/5.

 

c)

Try to find a used and good condition Miditemp PMM88E w/ 8 MIDI In´s and 8 MIDI Out´s and on par (or slightly more) MIDI functionality you today find in the Physis Piano MIDI controllers.

 

Conclusion:

When you want something new and most advanced, buy a Physis Piano K4.

 

A.C.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Thanks everyone. I nailed the problem. It's a 16 key box called the MIDI Patch Changer by Genovation. They're hand made and cost $200. One puts all ones equipment each, on a separate MIDI channel. The MPC can stream out a string of MSB, LSB, PC numbers, one for each MIDI channel, ex. ch1 (102, 50, 40), ch2 (46, 78, 212) . . . up to ch16 in a button push PER PRESET. AND THER ARE 200 PRESETS!! Most tunes of mine might need one or two global (all keyboards) patch/program changes so lets say one averages 3 per tune -- thats 66-67 songs. One does not have to move patches around, or create dummy or redundant patches which optimizes space in patch memory. Great for older machines. There is a software matrix for PC that helps one set this up before hand however I'm a Mac guy. I found that with a little work, one can fully program the unit by itself except for SysEx which it is capable of but you need the PC program. I just programmed up Birdland (Weather Report) which if you know it might use 4 globalish (not all keyboards need to change each time) patch changes. In an 8th rest I can get all the keyboards to tweek that I need with one press of a button. Actually, I rigged up a little 4 inch bar using a mini plug and jack installed (by me) in the unit to remotely advance the up arrow which advances the chain. That bar is directly above middle C. I don't even have to look down. Yumm!

There are three kinds of musicians,

those who can count and

those who can't.

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I lied a little. Everyone is paying attention to my new MIDI Patch Changer except my Roland PF 80. Anyone know the secret to getting the Roland PF 80 to pay attention to incoming MIDI patch change requests?

There are three kinds of musicians,

those who can count and

those who can't.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Tried the latest Apple driver for Roland digital pianos. Got to the screen to enable output channels (equivalent to setting the R(t) value on the Roland) and also enable input channels (R(x) values not seemingly available on the Roland). Nothing. The FP 80 still is acting like a brick. So thats a software driver and a MIDI implementation doc, both, referring to the ability to set MIDI input channel values for the FP 80, yet no capability it seems.

There are three kinds of musicians,

those who can count and

those who can't.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Well. For me, here's an unfortunately answer. Finally, (but maybe not, I'm still look'n for a work around) according to Roland USA, the whole FP electronic piano series cannot respond to any MIDI tweek resulting in any change to it's great patches and registrations playable from it's keyboard. The reason it has a MIDI in port is that there is a completely separate onboard set of 16 GM sounds meant to be accessed by an outside source such as a sequencer so that the owner can 'play along' with something automated. The market for this keyboard is the home and the gigging piano man but it is limited as an element in a kit. However to be fair, the sounds are great and the tactile enhancement produced by the onboard speaker set up I wish was in real controllers such as the RDs. I also liked the piano for it's thin arrangement of controls allowing one to cantilever a second keyboard above it closer to the performer. As many say and the different answers amoung experts attest to, the owners manual and MIDI implementation documents for anything Roland are vague (probably got lost in a translation) and can be misleading. I'm open to any suggestions. Back in a while. Got ta go practice.

There are three kinds of musicians,

those who can count and

those who can't.

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You may need to set the FP-80's MIDI options so incoming messages on a particular channel will be associated with a given keyboard part. At least, that's how it works on many Yamaha models-- e.g., you can specify that you want messages coming in on channel 1 to affect the Right1 part (or Right2, or Left, etc.). If you don't do that, the incoming MIDI will play on the keyboard, but won't change the patch that you hear when you play on the keyboard.

 

If your model doesn't have functions for associating a specific MIDI channel with a specific keyboard part, you might be able to get around that by turning off the keyboard's Local Control and echoing its MIDI data back to itself. Connect a MIDI cable from the FP-80's MIDI Out to a MIDI merge box, and connect the patch changer's MIDI Out to the MIDI merge box as well, then connect the merge box's MIDI Out to the FP-80's MIDI In. That way the patch changes will be merged with the Note data coming out of the FP-80, then sent back to the FP-80. Basically, you'd be using the FP-80 as a MIDI keyboard controller for itself, rather than playing it directly. That's a round-about way to do it, but it should work if no other approach is available.

 

EDIT: You mentioned the mio10. I'm not familiar with all of its capabilities, but it might work better than using MIDI cables-- same idea, but the mio10 would do the MIDI merging, including changing the channel of the FP-80's Note messages if necessary. How are you connecting the FP-80?

 

Michael Rideout
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according to Roland USA, the whole FP electronic piano series cannot respond to any MIDI tweek resulting in any change to it's great patches and registrations playable from it's keyboard.

That's kooky! Here's what I would do: Connect the piano to a MIDI monitor app (or a sequencer) and see what happens when you hit a patch change button. It's not impossible, but it would be very strange if it sent out NOTHING on a patch change event. It should send, if not some CC, then at least some sysex string. (If it doesn't, you wouldn't be able to even record into a sequencer, change the patch at some point while recording, and then hear that same patch change on playback.)

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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