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Novation SL as controller for old synths? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 3rd January 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
Novation SL as controller for old synths?

Hi all, and a Happy New Year

I'm brand new here and hopefully I will be quite active here (for being me)

I just posted this question at the Novation Forum but my gut feeling says that GS is a much quicker way to get an answer, so here we go:

Googling around there seems to be people out there who has got their Novation SL-units to work as a controller for Roland MKS-50 (alpha Juno)-series.

Can anybody here plz confirm that this really works?

(I saw another thread here (Novation forum) were the user says that he must get a PSU for the Novation to get this to work with his MKS-50)

And above all, my biggest concern; is it possible to use a Novation SL-unit to control a Roland JX8P? (Just like the old dedicated PG-800 programmer)

If YES to any of the questions above then where can one download the templates for this?

Hopefully my wishes for the SL can be fulfilled, otherwise I'll never bother bying one - and I'll go for a Behringer BC[X]-2000 instead.

Kindest Regards

Thx in advance

//T11
Old 3rd January 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I use a Novation Remove SL to control stuff like the old analog Novation Bass Station rack etc. It works great. Just program a template so that the sliders/knobs send midi cc messages that your synth responds to.
Old 4th January 2011
  #3
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tvsky's Avatar
i use a remote zero II to control an mks 80 an 50 with no problems

it handles sysex very well . baring problems on the synth side of things the novation will do its job perfectly

remember you will need a controller that does sysex for most of the early rolands , not CC

you need psu or usb power
Old 4th January 2011
  #4
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

The Novation SL will work well with a JX-8P, and just about any synth with sysex and/or CC access to parameters. As for a template, you can try to hunt one down via Google, but most likely you will need to make one yourself. Using Novation's own free ReMOTE Editor this is not difficult to do if you understand how to read a synth's MIDI implementation chart. I have made templates for both my MKS-50 and Matrix-1000. I plan to make templates for my MKS-30 and JX-3P as well, having recently installed MIDI upgrade kits for both these synths.
Old 4th January 2011
  #5
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Altitude909's Avatar
 

+1

Use my Remote to control all sorts of synths (wavestation, uQ, EX-8000)

My trick for making templates was to simply find a software editor for the device, look a the sysex string it would send when changing a parameter (using yoke and midioX), and then simply copy that string into the editor. Takes minutes to fill out all the controls.
Old 7th January 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 

i wonder if theres a website thats got a huge library of novation remote patches (editors for MIDI synths) available for free download. Does anyone here know of one?
The Novation Remote Yahoo group (http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group...emoteSL/files/) has a few, but it would be nice to see a site with all available editors. Anyone know of one?
thanks
mini
Old 23rd January 2011
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T11 View Post
Hi all, and a Happy New Year

I'm brand new here and hopefully I will be quite active here (for being me)

I just posted this question at the Novation Forum but my gut feeling says that GS is a much quicker way to get an answer, so here we go:

Googling around there seems to be people out there who has got their Novation SL-units to work as a controller for Roland MKS-50 (alpha Juno)-series.

Can anybody here plz confirm that this really works?

(I saw another thread here (Novation forum) were the user says that he must get a PSU for the Novation to get this to work with his MKS-50)

And above all, my biggest concern; is it possible to use a Novation SL-unit to control a Roland JX8P? (Just like the old dedicated PG-800 programmer)

If YES to any of the questions above then where can one download the templates for this?

Hopefully my wishes for the SL can be fulfilled, otherwise I'll never bother bying one - and I'll go for a Behringer BC[X]-2000 instead.

Kindest Regards

Thx in advance

//T11
The Remote Zero Mark II (and I would assume the keyboard Mark II's as well) have a built in template for the MKS-50/alpha junos.

You press the automap button (to turn it off) then press the speed dial. You will see MKS-50 listed as one of the options on the display. Press the corresponding button (the top button in the 7th column)and voila.

Looks like it has most or all of the functions of the PG-300 but I havent tried it yet as I'm stuck in MIDI hell and cant get my system to work since I put the Novation into my chain.

More on that later....
Old 23rd January 2011
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Remote Zero + MKS/Alpha Juno users please help!!!!!!!

I cant get my MIDI to work since I hooked it up through my Remote Zero Mark II.

Please bear with me here is I'm a MIDI noob and barely understand it despite having read up on it quite a bit.

I used to run my system as follows. Live 8->Audiofire out to CS6x in and CS6x out to Audiofire in; CS6x thru to MKS-50 in.

Now I run the same i/o with live but now CS6X thru to Remote in. Then Remote out to MKS-50 in.

NOTHING! The MIDI light on the MKS never blinks either when I rotate a knob on the Remote in the MKS-50 template or when I press a key on the Yamaha.

Maybe the channels are wrong? I have:

Live channel 1 out Audiofire MIDI, channel 3 in Audofire MIDI

CS6x channel 1 in, channel 3 out, "thru port" 2

In the Remote Zero, global menu, routing, it says MIDI to "U1" "M1" "M2"

The MKS-50 it says "MIDI channel = 2"

Whats the hang up? I've been stopped dead in my tracks over this.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me here!
Old 23rd January 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 

I'm not sure if I understand correctly but are you saying that you are using the CS6x to trigger the note on/off and basic controller information for the MKS-50? If so, you would need to connect the MKS-50 to MIDI THRU on the Novation and not MIDI OUT! You would not be able to use the keyboard or the knobs on the Remote however with this configuration. If the MKS-50 is directly connected to the Remote (Remote MIDI OUT > MKS MIDI IN) and they are set to the same MIDI channel then you should at least be getting basic note on/off and controller information to the MKS since the global setting on the Remote is U1, M1 and M2 (in other words, transmitting on all ports). For the sake of simplicity I would set the MKS to MIDI channel 1, since most likely the template has been pre-configured to transmit on channel 1. One thing you should know is that the MKS-50 template uses Sysex (Systems Exclusive) data to communicate and Ableton Live does not (yet) support sysex. In other words any realtime tweaks you make on the MKS via the Remote that rely on sysex will NOT be recorded in Live as MIDI. Live filters out the sysex data... so you can only record realtime tweaks of parameters directly as audio. Controller information like pitchbend, mod wheel, etc. CAN of course be recorded as MIDI as it is communicating via another protocol (namely CC). Hope this helps.

EDIT: I just realized the Remote Zero doesn't have a keyboard! LOL ... hmm this complicates matters considerably. Sorry. Let me think about this and see if I can come up with another solution for you.
Old 23rd January 2011
  #10
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Without a multi-port MIDI interface and/or MIDI merge box I don't see how you're going to get both note on/off information AND sysex information from two different sources to the MKS-50. I apologize again for not realizing the Remote Zero has no keyboard before offering help!

I use a Remote 37 SL (with keyboard!) together with a multi-port MIDI interface to control my MKS-50 which simplifies things considerably.

So, the only solution I can think of would be to connect the CS6x and the Remote Zero to either a MIDI merge box or a multi-port MIDI interface which would enable data to be sent to the MKS-50 from more than one source.

As for a work-around for Ableton Live not supporting sysex, again, recording realtime tweaks directly as audio is the only one I can suggest unfortunately :-(
Old 23rd January 2011
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Without a multi-port MIDI interface and/or MIDI merge box I don't see how you're going to get both note on/off information AND sysex information from two different sources to the MKS-50. I apologize again for not realizing the Remote Zero has no keyboard before offering help!

I use a Remote 37 SL (with keyboard!) together with a multi-port MIDI interface to control my MKS-50 which simplifies things considerably.

So, the only solution I can think of would be to connect the CS6x and the Remote Zero to either a MIDI merge box or a multi-port MIDI interface which would enable data to be sent to the MKS-50 from more than one source.

As for a work-around for Ableton Live not supporting sysex, again, recording realtime tweaks directly as audio is the only one I can suggest unfortunately :-(
Thanks! I think that explains a lot!

So, if I get a MIDI merge box - i would run CS6x thru and Remote Zero out into the merge box and then the merge box into MKS-50 in?

Which box would you recommend?

And as for Live not handling sysex I'm sure I can manage with the work around.

I may go mac sometime in the next year or two and pick up Logic as well - does that do sysex? I definitely plan on adding more 80's modules, thats part of the reason I got the remote zero. I think I'll be using a couple of merge boxes before long .
Old 23rd January 2011
  #12
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bizness80 View Post
Thanks! I think that explains a lot!

So, if I get a MIDI merge box - i would run CS6x thru and Remote Zero out into the merge box and then the merge box into MKS-50 in?

Which box would you recommend?

And as for Live not handling sysex I'm sure I can manage with the work around.

I may go mac sometime in the next year or two and pick up Logic as well - does that do sysex? I definitely plan on adding more 80's modules, thats part of the reason I got the remote zero. I think I'll be using a couple of merge boxes before long .
Quite likely, yes! Concerning MIDI merge boxes here are a couple of links to check out:

MIDI Solutions Products

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...merge-box.html

I don't actually use a MIDI merge box in my own setup but rather a MOTU MIDI Express XT, a multi-port MIDI interface which can serve as a sort of MIDI patchbay as well as an interface. In other words I can route incoming signals to multiple destinations, reconfigure my MIDI setup at the push of a button without constantly plugging and un-plugging MIDI cables. It's not quite the same as true MIDI merge, but it gets the job done.

Yes, Logic can record sysex! And so can just about every other major DAW. Lack of sysex support is one of Live's biggest short-comings for me. Most users could care less I suppose, but for me it's a huge let down.

As for the proper MIDI connections for the CS6x and the Remote to the MKS-50 it would depend on what you were trying to do. If you wanted to play the keyboard from the CS6x and tweak from the Remote then you would connect CS6x MIDI OUT (not THRU) to MIDI merge box IN and Remote MIDI OUT to MIDI merge box IN and then MIDI merge box OUT to the MKS-50. The only reason you would use CS6x MIDI THRU port is if it's receiving data from another source that you would like passed on to the MKS-50.
Old 24th January 2011
  #13
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizness80 View Post
The Remote Zero Mark II (and I would assume the keyboard Mark II's as well) have a built in template for the MKS-50/alpha junos.

You press the automap button (to turn it off) then press the speed dial. You will see MKS-50 listed as one of the options on the display. Press the corresponding button (the top button in the 7th column)and voila.

Looks like it has most or all of the functions of the PG-300 but I havent tried it yet as I'm stuck in MIDI hell and cant get my system to work since I put the Novation into my chain.

More on that later....
I'm either the dumbest or the most misfortunate person alive. No matter what I try it never ends the way its suppose to Enough of the buhu

First I tried exactly what you said, but went through my Focusrite Pro 40 midi connection. Loaded the MKS-50 template on the SL MKII and the result: With my Novation SL MKII I can play on the MKS-50 but it doesn't respond to the parameter changes I try to tweak.

Ok fine, I thought, let's do it the fool proof way (my favourite) then, and so I connected the midi out from the SL MKII directly to the MKS-50 in. "Now it MUST be rocking!". But ooh no, my usual luck strikes yet again....

Plz say that theres a setting that I've missed somewhere, or that are different versions of the MKS-50. Otherwise I'm probably sitting here with a MKS-50 that is broken on the "receive-parameter-changes-through-midi"-front
Old 25th January 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T11 View Post
... Otherwise I'm probably sitting here with a MKS-50 that is broken on the "receive-parameter-changes-through-midi"-front
I seriously doubt that. Unfortunately, I don't have an SL Mark II with the included MKS-50 template to test things out, but I designed my own template for the Remote SL which definitely works for me - at least when I use the physical MIDI OUT port on the Remote and connect directly to MIDI IN on the MKS-50. This stuff is kind of tricky - especially sysex. There is literally no margin for error. Most likely there is some setting somewhere which is messing things up.

The first thing I would check are your MIDI channel settings. In my template I had to hard code the MIDI channel to get it to work. For simplicity I chose MIDI CHANNEL 1. Here is the sysex string to control Filter Cutoff on the MKS-50 on MIDI CHANNEL 1:

F0 41 36 00 23 20 01 10 DV F7

The fourth byte in bold is the hard coded MIDI CHANNEL. If the MKS is set to any other channel the template will not function. Enter edit mode on your Remote and check out what sysex string is displayed for a given knob/slider/pad. Also check which ports that knob/slider/pad is set to transmit on.

Admittedly it's a lot of work, but sometimes you're better off designing your own template from the ground up rather than trying to suss out what some other programmer was thinking.
Old 29th January 2011
  #15
Gear Nut
Thx Maison

The 25SL sysex template was set to MIDI channel 1, just like you thought.
Which explains why I could play on the MKS-50 but not tweak it.

So if I understand you correctly, then every parameter code (for example attack, release, VCF freq, HPF freq...etc etc) has a byte allocated for the MIDI channel?

If so; then it must be time consuming to change it for every parameter. Imagine then how it would be on much more complicated synths..hmm..

Had anyone here gotten a Novation SL to tweak a Roland JX8P, and could tell me how to get my 25SL to do the same? Personally I don't have the know-how nor skills to edit any sysex-files, so a "download this" and "import it to your 25SL like this" would be prefered.
Old 31st January 2011
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T11 View Post
Thx Maison

The 25SL sysex template was set to MIDI channel 1, just like you thought.
Which explains why I could play on the MKS-50 but not tweak it.

So if I understand you correctly, then every parameter code (for example attack, release, VCF freq, HPF freq...etc etc) has a byte allocated for the MIDI channel?

If so; then it must be time consuming to change it for every parameter. Imagine then how it would be on much more complicated synths..hmm..

Had anyone here gotten a Novation SL to tweak a Roland JX8P, and could tell me how to get my 25SL to do the same? Personally I don't have the know-how nor skills to edit any sysex-files, so a "download this" and "import it to your 25SL like this" would be prefered.
So did you get the built-in template to work on your MKS? Normally I would assume it works but this is a Novation product we are talking about after all.

I still havent bought a merge box or patchbay so havent tried mine out yet.
Old 2nd February 2011
  #17
Gear Nut
Yup, it was the built-in template.
Old 18th November 2011
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky View Post
i use a remote zero II to control an mks 80 an 50 with no problems

it handles sysex very well . baring problems on the synth side of things the novation will do its job perfectly

remember you will need a controller that does sysex for most of the early rolands , not CC

you need psu or usb power
Do you mind sharing your MKS-80 template? That would be awesome!
Old 18th November 2011
  #19
Gear Head
 

I've been using my Remote SL to control my KORG DW8000. Bear in mind, some DAW's like Ableton strip out SYSEX messages so it necessary to use MIDI-OX\MIDI-YOKE to route the midi connection. I have midi-ox alongside Ableton for this purpose.

I have one question though for anyone who may be running a similar setup: Is it possible to control Ableton's transport and the KORG DW8000 using my own user template?
Old 5th December 2011
  #20
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Altitude909's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanisprism View Post
I've been using my Remote SL to control my KORG DW8000. Bear in mind, some DAW's like Ableton strip out SYSEX messages so it necessary to use MIDI-OX\MIDI-YOKE to route the midi connection. I have midi-ox alongside Ableton for this purpose.

I have one question though for anyone who may be running a similar setup: Is it possible to control Ableton's transport and the KORG DW8000 using my own user template?
just assign cc values to the transport controls, those will work fine in ableton
Old 31st August 2012
  #21
Gear Nut
 
Lepper's Avatar
Longtime lurker, first time poster. Be gentle.

I am struggling to adjust the sysex parameters of a Roland M-VS1 module with a Remote Zero MKII.

Sysex implemenation here: M-VS1_OM.pdf

Setting up the template using the software editor provided by Novation was pretty straight forward. Uploading templates to the Remote went well, too. I made sure the ridiculous "parameter matrix" on the front of the module was set to receive sysex. I knew I was getting close when I started seeing checksum errors on the three (3!) digit display. Reading the Remote manual, I worked out that you have to adjust the data type from "Single" to "Roland" for each control in a given template. I did that and then... nothing. No sign from the module that it's receiving anything; none of the parameters I'm trying to tweak are changing.

I'm sure the solution is simple. I'm sure that it's some setting either on the module or the Remote that I've missed, but I've been looking at it for so long that I can't think around it any more.

Can somebody help me?
Old 10th July 2014
  #22
Gear Maniac
I know this is sort of an old thread, but it's usually the first to come up when I did a search for it so it made sense to present it here. I have created a Novation ReMOTE template for the Korg DW-8000 (controlled via sysex). I couldn't find any templates, so I spent a night creating one. I couldn't control a few parameters (I'm not sure they were controllable via midi, such as the arpeggiator).

Anyway, enjoy the demo and template (download link in 'about' section of the video):

Old 10th July 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
Thanks for doing that! I just got the email from the listserv and downloaded your templates then came here to ring the alarum bell, but you already got word out
Old 10th July 2014
  #24
Gear Maniac
No problem, hope it helps!

Old 26th October 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
 
GeminIAm's Avatar
That's ace. How are you finding using the Zero/DW combo?

I've been using a BCR2000 for my Korg but ut died on me and I'm wondering if a Zero SL would be a better option quality wise. I really like the screens as well.

Are you going straight over midi? I liked using my bcr to control the Korg over midi but could never get it to work through my DAW. It would be cool if one could use the Zero as a midi interface (freeing up a channel in my 4x4 midi), control the DW over midi so it would still respond to Cubase midi output and control changes from the Zero, whilst using the drum pads and transport buttons with my daw over usb.

Also, the bcr has tonnes of knobs. I'm assuming you'd use the push buttons to select different groups of parameters, effectively turning 8 knobs into 24.

Cheers.
Old 30th October 2014
  #26
A list of Remote Zero SL templates (or groups of templates) I have made:

Roland MKS 70
Waldorf Blofeld
Waldorf Pulse
Waldorf X-Pole
Yamaha DX7
Korg MicroKorg
Line 6 Echo Pro
Alesis Quadraverb

Some of these are posted in other threads. PM me if you want one that isn't.
Old 6th November 2014
  #27
Gear Nut
 
Lepper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by major7th View Post
A list of Remote Zero SL templates (or groups of templates) I have made:

Yamaha DX7
Let's talk about that DX7 template. How many of the available controls are actually useful? After using it for a few years, would you cut it down any?
Old 6th November 2014
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepper View Post
Let's talk about that DX7 template. How many of the available controls are actually useful? After using it for a few years, would you cut it down any?
This is kind of like asking which parameters on the DX7 itself are useful, and whether I would remove any of those.

Design-wise, most of the action happens on template page 1, so it is already "cut down" in that respect.

On that first template, I can quickly scroll thru algorithms, set feedback, set operator levels via slider, set coarse and fine tuning, portamento params, lfo params, mono/poly, and many more! Plus I threw a sustain switch on there. It's much faster than using the DX7 interface.

Template 2 is for global features that didn't fit on template 1, and then I have 6 operator templates whose primary function is to control the envelope times and levels. Not sure where I'd make any cuts, or why. I'm not hurting for template slots in my Remote.
Attached Thumbnails
Novation SL as controller for old synths?-dx7template1.jpg  
Old 6th November 2014
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Lepper's Avatar
I wasn't actually thinking of Page 1. That stuff all seems pretty obviously useful. The one's I was wondering about were the Operator Keyboard Level Scale parameters. I'm struggling to understand exactly what they do and I wondered if you have found yourself tweaking them very often.
Old 6th November 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepper View Post
I wasn't actually thinking of Page 1. That stuff all seems pretty obviously useful. The one's I was wondering about were the Operator Keyboard Level Scale parameters. I'm struggling to understand exactly what they do and I wondered if you have found yourself tweaking them very often.
Nah. I get what they do, but I'm not that deep into FM synthesis yet, and I don't really need that level of subtlety or control for the sounds I'm making. I'm pretty sure you can get different aspects of a patch's timbre to change based on where you're playing on the keyboard, like an elaborate and highly-tweakable key-follow, but some old school DXers here probably know way more about it than I do. Start a new thread about it if there isn't one.
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