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About MIDI and SysEx...


Stroehmann Showman

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I'm looking to send SysEx strings to my OB3 squared module (all in the OB3 manual) that turn on/off the rotary, turn on particular preset organs, set the percussion right, vibrato, overdrive, etc...

 

I'm looking for 8-16 presets that could let me send multiple strings at the same time, at the push of one botton. My Midi controllers don't let me do that (heck, they don't even let me send ONE string, let alone 5-6 at a time).

 

Any ideas? Like everything else, cost is an issue...

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Depends what you are looking for and your budget. Some people hate 88 key controllers because they weight too much. Also, choose according to your style. If you mainly do organ/synth parts, go for a lighter action controller. If you are more into piano playing, then look for a 88-key weighted action.

 

I personally use a Kurzweil MIDIboard since 1990. It's solid as a tank and offers all the MIDI/SYSEX stuff I need, including poly aftertouch. But it isn't for everyone : 75 lbs. :)

 

You might find used old good controllers on eBay from time to time. For 88-key weighted action, check also used Rolands A-80 and A-90.

 

Here\'s a A-90 spec sheet.

 

I'm sure you can find a lot about this topic here using the search function.

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I have 88 weighted keys on my Alesis QS8.2 (see avatar). I'm looking for a controller that has 61 keys with more of an organ-type action for the second tier....

 

It seems like there are a million midi controllers out there- but they're all designed for home-recording on your computer. I need one that's designed for live performance...

 

OR, I could use the one I have (which is the best of the worst as far as action of the keys) and add on with a footboard MIDI controller. I'm thinking it may be cheaper to do that way.

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Originally posted by Prague:

Is the OB3 manual online?

I just searched for it for 20 minutes. I even called Gibson and Viscount. I came up short. ..

 

The manual is really short... It's got basic operations for the unit itself: how to set the split points, how to adjust the volume for the bass and lower preset sections, selecting the midi channel(s) for transmission, and that's pretty much it (they assume you can figure out volume and whatnot on your own, which is refreshing)...

 

And then, there's a list of parameters and functions controls through standard midi control change. I can actually program this into my MIDI controller, but it's pretty limited in scope (rotary effect- as opposed to rotary on/off, delay, damper, pitch bend, and all sounds/notes off...)

 

And finally, a giant chart of sys-ex messages... An example: "rotary on" is F0 31 01 01 0E 01 F7. "Rotary off" is F0 31 01 01 0E 00 F7. That last part is what I'm trying to control from the controller. I know it can be done b/c I just had a controller that could do it, but I exchanged it because you could only save one string to one button/knob, which was actually more of a hastle than just using the OB3 itself...

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Recently someone posted a link to a company that sold a number of keyboard accessories, including a line of little MIDI widgets (like MIDI merge). One of the widgets was a programmable message converter, and the price was even reasonable.

 

With a widget like that and a little elbow grease (or pay them like $20 to program it), I believe this would do the job, except that you'd still need a controller to send ONE string when you press a button. Either that or you dedicate keys at the top and bottom of the keyboard for the purpose.

 

I do something like with NIB4, using MIDIOX on my laptop: the lowest keys up to C are presets, and the keys over the highest C do stuff like turn percussion and drive on/off. And my sustain pedal is a momentary switch for Leslie speed (fast when down, slow when up). Mod wheel and pitch wheel control leslie speed and scanner.

 

I also use the NIB4-D controller, but I set most of this up before I got it. It's nice having the controls right there, although sometimes I do gliss down and go too far and accidentally change my preset!

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Exactly, Ashby is the way to go. You'll probably stumble on a certain Bruce Wahler there. I cannot praise him enough. He knows the Event Processor Plus inside out and there was never a trick I wanted to pull that the unit was not capable of delivering.

 

I lost count of the number of times I wrote heads-up in here to let fellow keyboard players know how good this gadget is. Once you get the hang of programming it (pretty straightforward BTW), you will wonder whether "keyboard controllers" are necessary at all, for the EPP can turn even a crapy Yamaha PSR home keyboard into a powerful controller.

 

Let us know how you fare Stroehmann.

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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I didn't realise Ashby also makes MIDI solutions. Not to get this too off-track, but now might be a good time to mention that they are highly respected for their keyboard-oriented tube preamps and other related gear, and also do custom setups for reasonable prices. They especially cater to owners of Rhodes, Wurlitzers, Clavinets, and B3's, with their unique tonal needs.

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I spoke to Bruce at Ashby today (he pretty much IS Ashby). I usually start conversations like this completely apologetic b/c I hate taking up a lot of time from someone's job...

 

Anyway, the guy was COMPLETELY awesome. He spent about an hour explaining the nuances of MIDI SysEx to me... He gunuinely wanted to help me, and I didn't feel like a burden at all. Thank you guys for the lead, and I am now a huge Ashby fan.

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Originally posted by learjeff:

except that you'd still need a controller to send ONE string when you press a button. Either that or you dedicate keys at the top and bottom of the keyboard for the purpose.

And for you... One discovery that I made that you may find helpful... The MIDI Solutions "Event Processor Plus" is rediculous. It allows me to change just about any 36 incoming messages to other kinds of outgoing messages. I'm going to program the unit to remap CC messages to SysEx messages. I've already begun working with the software. It seems straight-forward enough, and Bruce confirmed that it's definitely possible...

 

Then, I can program up to 16 CC messages to be sent out on each preset on my Midi Controller, They'll be sent to the Event Processor and changed to SysEx...

 

Anyway, if you're interested, you can download the software for the device here www.midisolutions.com/ptepp.htm and you can play around with it and see what it does...

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Originally posted by Stroehmann Showman:

Also, I bought a Merger and an Event Processor Plus. I'll let you know more when I get them.

Yeah, Wahler is an angel!

 

Guess what: I happen to have exactly these same two units you bought. Have been using them for a very long time, and the more I use them the more uses occur to me.

 

One of the applications that really impressed me was to trigger a syncopated single-note line AND an arpeggio at the same time using ONE key (used to cover Rush's "Distant Early Warning"). The trick was to use both the MIDI note ON and MIDI note OFF events as independent commands. I still get people asking me if I am using some sort of sample track when we play that one live :D:cry:

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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Sven, Technically, yes. But Bruce apparently wrote the manual for the Event Processor Plus, so there's definitely some overlap...

 

 

Also, I was talking with Bruce, and I asked him if I could use a Merger --> Event Processor Plus --> Quadra Thru Box

 

His answer was not only "yes," but that he feels you can do just about anything MIDI with those three units and he's been trying to get Midi Solutions to design such a thing. But maybe the bean counters wouldn't like that...

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