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Am i the only one left who still uses Midi for storing the outboard effect data? Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 8th November 2008
  #1
Am i the only one left who still uses Midi for storing the outboard effect data?

Am i the only midi dinosaur left? Anyone dumping system exclusive data on their sessions? Anyone using controllers to program their effect devices?

Instead of storing the effect data internally or to a card i dump it to the PT sessions and recall them instantly when i load and play the sessions.

On my wish list would be:

1) Individual program dumps(like the new Eventides) instead of bulk midi dumps which is a available on most outboard effect processors.

2) Not having to store the settings first to a user bank and having to dump that.

3) A universal remote controller like the old Lexicon MRC that one can use to program a bunch of multiple devices so you don't have to have so many remotes.

4) An easy learning capability like infrared remotes do to learn how to program the different effect units.

Anything else?
Old 8th November 2008
  #2
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I suspect that lots of synthesizer enthusiasts who use their hardware synths as outboard effects still do it that way. I record sysex dumps into projects of my synth settings, so that I can play them back to set up the unit even if I've wiped out the memory of the synth. Synthesizers are better than a typical effect unit about letting you dump or restore an individual patch rather than the unit as a whole by a bulk dump, and about letting you dump to and from the current (temporary) patch settings. Well, depending on the synth of course.

-synthoid
Old 8th November 2008
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid View Post
I suspect that lots of synthesizer enthusiasts who use their hardware synths as outboard effects still do it that way. I record sysex dumps into projects of my synth settings, so that I can play them back to set up the unit even if I've wiped out the memory of the synth. Synthesizers are better than a typical effect unit about letting you dump or restore an individual patch rather than the unit as a whole by a bulk dump, and about letting you dump to and from the current (temporary) patch settings. Well, depending on the synth of course.

-synthoid
I agree. I just thought over the years you would see an improvement in these areas.

I applaud Eventide with the thought they put into their processors in regards to performance & midi. But how about it TC electronics? Lexicon?Yamaha?

Another thing i forgot to add was how about some program editors for processors like we had in the old days for synths? I know some processors come with(Eventide, yamaha, lexicon).
Old 8th November 2008
  #4
Lek
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I've never used midi for anything, but just recently dusted off my roland r70 drum machine as I have many old songs tracked to multitrack tape and adat that have tape sync signals recorded on them, and needed to figure out how to do a sysex dump as they use these antiquated memory cards and have a small internal memory. So I just taught myself how to do sysex dumps - I was overjoyed to actually be able to do a sysex dump, and then load it back into my r70 from the midi software
Old 8th November 2008
  #5
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Not effects units but I do store sysex dumps from the AWS900 (recall info+auto).
Old 8th November 2008
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
Not effects units but I do store sysex dumps from the AWS900 (recall info+auto).
How do you store the effect unit data for recalls then?

Also how many effect units are using when doing mixes?

I am using a couple and when doing recalls i would love to recall the data as quick as something on a plug in.
Old 8th November 2008
  #7
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this is really old skool dude!!!!

are you dumping this to floppy disks???? can you even still buy them???
Old 8th November 2008
  #8
I back everything up via SysEx Librarian. great little app.thumbsup
Old 8th November 2008
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
this is really old skool dude!!!!

are you dumping this to floppy disks???? can you even still buy them???
No you record the sysex data as part of the sequence/song on a track.

In PTools you just make a midi track for the effect processor and assign the midi I/O. You record enable and press record. You then dump the sysex info on to track from the processor. PTools is cool because one of the displays for the midi tracks is sysex data so you can move it around to any point in the song if you need it. If you move the sysex data to the beginning of the song & hit play it will reset the effect parameters exactly how you set it when working on said song. Voila instant recall/reset like a plug in.


Another cool thing when working this way is that you can do demo program changes for the effects. If the sequencer can send controller data & your effect processor can recognize it you can program the effects you select from the sequencer itself.

Really the possibilities if developed well are very useful especially if you work in a hybrid format. I am trying to stir interest in it and see if there are people out there working in a similar way.
Old 8th November 2008
  #10
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Am i the only midi dinosaur left? Anyone dumping system exclusive data on their sessions? Anyone using controllers to program their effect devices?
Yup, 16 outboard units here.
Have you tried MIDI Quest XL?
Old 8th November 2008
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaudio View Post
Yup, 16 outboard units here.
Have you tried MIDI Quest XL?
I haven't used Midi quest since the days of the Atari 1040st and Mega ST.

I was checking out the features and i notice it has a VST plug in controller. Problem is i work on PTools. I wonder if it will work through a VST to RTAS wrapper?
Old 8th November 2008
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
On my wish list would be:

1) Individual program dumps(like the new Eventides) instead of bulk midi dumps which is a available on most outboard effect processors...
Yeah that's number 1 on my wish list too.

Without that capability on most of my OB FX, I just program, save and recall each patch for each song as usual, then do a dump for each box at the end of a project, in it's own dedicated sequence (one sequence for everything, on individual MIDI tracks).

Man, I didn't know the new Eventides did this- makes me want to check them out even more than I already did..

Does anybody know about the MIDI capabilities in the Bricasti M7? That one may be next for me.
Old 8th November 2008
  #13
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
I haven't used Midi quest since the days of the Atari 1040st and Mega ST.

I was checking out the features and i notice it has a VST plug in controller. Problem is i work on PTools. I wonder if it will work through a VST to RTAS wrapper?
v10 is way better, strangely enough
Dunno about PT, I've never thought of trying it - If I get a chance I'll have a go.
Old 8th November 2008
  #14
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Bounce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Am i the only midi dinosaur left? Anyone dumping system exclusive data on their sessions? Anyone using controllers to program their effect devices?

Instead of storing the effect data internally or to a card i dump it to the PT sessions and recall them instantly when i load and play the sessions.
I do this sometimes with our Orville. I definitely do it when I'm using someone else's fx box they bring in and with synths. I don't use a ton of outboard fx, though, these days. Mainly Orville or Axe-fx if I go out.
Old 8th November 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killahurts View Post
Does anybody know about the MIDI capabilities in the Bricasti M7?
I'm working on that right now for the V2 software release. The new MIDI functionality allows for system exclusive save and restore of the current state of the M7 system.

After restoring state, the M7 is set up exactly as you left it, including any edited parameters as well as the front panel interface.

I would love to hear from folks on this topic.



-Casey
Old 8th November 2008
  #16
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post me an M7 and I'll give it a thorough testing for you
Old 8th November 2008
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
this is really old skool dude!!!!

are you dumping this to floppy disks???? can you even still buy them???
I think you are imagining something different than what TF is talking about.


If being able to recall all your time domain outboard parameters(on what is over a dozen "imbedded" devices, and as many as 2 dozen devices in roving racks in my "A" room) from your song launch in a DAW, without having save presets in the various boxes memories is something you wouldn't find useful... MIDI is not for you.


If being able to tweak all the parameters of a PCM80 or H3000 or TC M5000 that's 9ft. away from you in a rack from the "sweet spot" using the tactile surface of the LFAC(mine will do this via MIDI, yours may or may not) to control multiple parameters sounds unappealing... MIDI is not for you.

If being able to automate realtime or drawn changes in the DAW from your control surface or mouse/trackball and replay them seamlessly with your mix sounds "old school" you may be in the "wrong school", and MIDI is not for you. This would include program changes and tempo mapping for delay(even reverb time if your a modestly clever boy).

If using MMC to drive ANYTHING that has a positional registry in the control room from ANY of the various "transport masters"(DAW keyboard, remote wireless keyboard, control surface, LFAC transport control, etc) WITHOUT relinquishing anything to a master/slave arrangement isn't something that would make your life dramatically easier... MIDI is not for you.

To answer the original question.

No thrill... you're not.

I use just about every conceivable MIDI related protocol/procedure including Sysex/MTC/MMC like a madman here every day. I have MIDI incorporated into every fixed and rolling rack and every one of almost a dozen DAW in the building are set up to ID and communicate with any device in any room at any time.

ANYTHING useful with a MIDI port gets in the loop.

I personally don't understand why ANY digitally controlled analog device DOESN'T have MIDI incorporated. Those of us who have a bunch of EL-8's or Fatso's or whatever would certainly love to have not only sysex "recall", but also REALTIME control of those devices during mix.

Call me crazy.

MIDIOT till death I fear!!!

HOHOHO.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 9th November 2008
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
(even reverb time if your a modestly clever boy).

PahhhhhhCLICK-CLACK-TICK-TICK-CLACK-TICKETY-TACKaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


But great post Slip, couldn't have said it better..

15 years from now, MIDI will probably be the only technology from today still used in my studio.
Old 9th November 2008
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post
I'm working on that right now for the V2 software release. The new MIDI functionality allows for system exclusive save and restore of the current state of the M7 system.

After restoring state, the M7 is set up exactly as you left it, including any edited parameters as well as the front panel interface.

I would love to hear from folks on this topic.



-Casey
Hey Casey, some of us effect power users would love this feature. I was wondering about it on your M7 as well. If it could allow for both individual program and bulk info it would be great. As long as we didn't have to save it internally first which becomes a pain in the ass when you fill up the memory banks.
Old 9th November 2008
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
I think you are imagining something different than what TF is talking about.


If being able to recall all your time domain outboard parameters(on what is over a dozen "imbedded" devices, and as many as 2 dozen devices in roving racks in my "A" room) from your song launch in a DAW, without having save presets in the various boxes memories is something you wouldn't find useful... MIDI is not for you.


If being able to tweak all the parameters of a PCM80 or H3000 or TC M5000 that's 9ft. away from you in a rack from the "sweet spot" using the tactile surface of the LFAC(mine will do this via MIDI, yours may or may not) to control multiple parameters sounds unappealing... MIDI is not for you.

If being able to automate realtime or drawn changes in the DAW from your control surface or mouse/trackball and replay them seamlessly with your mix sounds "old school" you may be in the "wrong school", and MIDI is not for you. This would include program changes and tempo mapping for delay(even reverb time if your a modestly clever boy).

If using MMC to drive ANYTHING that has a positional registry in the control room from ANY of the various "transport masters"(DAW keyboard, remote wireless keyboard, control surface, LFAC transport control, etc) WITHOUT relinquishing anything to a master/slave arrangement isn't something that would make your life dramatically easier... MIDI is not for you.

To answer the original question.

No thrill... you're not.

I use just about every conceivable MIDI related protocol/procedure including Sysex/MTC/MMC like a madman here every day. I have MIDI incorporated into every fixed and rolling rack and every one of almost a dozen DAW in the building are set up to ID and communicate with any device in any room at any time.

ANYTHING useful with a MIDI port gets in the loop.

I personally don't understand why ANY digitally controlled analog device DOESN'T have MIDI incorporated. Those of us who have a bunch of EL-8's or Fatso's or whatever would certainly love to have not only sysex "recall", but also REALTIME control of those devices during mix.

Call me crazy.

MIDIOT till death I fear!!!

HOHOHO.

Best regards,

SM.

Ahhh of course my GS brother from another mother would!!!!!!thumbsup

So the LFAC can do this huh??? The problem is finding a TC M5000 being sold with one. All of the ones i've seen are without the remote. I wish someone would design a new universal remote for effect units. I am suprised no one has done it, i mean there is a market for such a thing.

On a basic hybrid mix i have 12 effect units running digitally in and out alone, not counting the many other analog I/O effect units that are hooked up as well. Not all have midi, but the ones that it would be a god send to control them from one place as well.

I agree on the Distressors. I have (4) and just to be able to recall the data per session instantly would be cool as well. Dave Derr are you listening?
Old 9th November 2008
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
but the ones that it would be a god send to control them from one place as well.
That's why I use MIDI Quest
Old 9th November 2008
  #22
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Is this turning into open MIDI worship?

MIDI rules.

I've been working on an MMC remote control for the HD24. Beats the pants off that rinky-dink remote that ships with the thing.

I wrote a program that parses Virus TI sysex dumps of multis and converts them into RAM bank images for the Virus. Sweet, huh?

My MIDI fantasy (heh) is to develop a MIDI-over-audio protocol that packs MIDI messages into the bytes of 24-bit audio, and uses a digital audio channel to deliver that **** at 96KHz with sample-accurate timing. That's 2.3Mbits/second of control information delivered on time every time. I would build little gizmos with an optical AES connetor on one end (gotta maintain optical coupling here) and a MIDI jack on the other, patch it into my audio interface alongside the audio channels, do some latency compensation tweaks to get it *exactly* lined up to the sample, because that's how tired I am of having my notes wiggling around like so much jello, and record with timing perfection.

OK, well, I haven't put much time in on it yet, but it's an idea.

-synthoid
Old 10th November 2008
  #23
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travelboy's Avatar
 

That's a pretty neat idea, synthoid! Well, use cases would probably be somewhat limited. It would work just fine for dumping settings, but since you would not be able to edit the MIDI data within an audio application, you cannot do much more without converting back and forth.

And where fault tolerance is concerned, I see two alternatives:
1) rely on pure digital copying with no changes whatsoever in the data. That would make the interface very easy to design, but it would fail if you just alter the level somewhere or convert to analog and back
2) design a fault-tolerant protocol (for example by mapping MIDI bits to frequencies. Then you have to find a good compromise between requirements. If you distribute the frequencies further apart, you can easily detect them with digital filters, but the whole thing becomes slow because lower frequencies need longer pieces of audio. Not sure how slow (MIDI is very slow anyways, if compared to audio clock rates). If you squeeze them tighter together in the upper frequency range, you need better filters. One would have to calculate it. Hey, what a crazy project :-)

I like the idea. I have once built a synthesizer from scratch (logical gates and flipflops) in an FPGA. It never got very advanced, but at least I was able to plug in a MIDI cable and play simple waveforms in polyphon. My MIDI interface was basically a UART and a state machine. If you don't want to parse and validate the data, you could get away with little more than the UART on the input side. The output is easy anyways.

Keep us informed if you ever start working on that idea
Errm... sorry for driftig off-topic.
Old 10th November 2008
  #24
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Well, err, I'm the one who hijacked the thread. heh But thrill is a nice guy and besides, we're all MIDI lovers here, right?

Quote:
1) rely on pure digital copying with no changes whatsoever in the data. That would make the interface very easy to design, but it would fail if you just alter the level somewhere or convert to analog and back
Right, I had imagined relying on digital copying only. Changing the level would have about the same effect as running it through a fuzz box, haha. But it would be easy to maintain unity gain in a modern digital setting, where everything is bits.

The other way, what you call fault tolerant, could be something like SMPTE/LTC striping, using bi-phase mark, but that has much much lower bandwidth than what I'm talking about. Biphase mark takes a minimum of several sample periods to encode one bit. The digital version of what I've proposed carries 24 bits (3 bytes) per sample period. It's two orders of magnitude denser. If you channelized my scheme into 16 bit audio, with one bit in each 16-bit sample dedicated to a single channel, then you'd have 16 MIDI channels each operating at a dedicated bandwidth of 96kilobaud or so. With 24 bits per sample, you could use the 8 remaining channels for realtime messages, sysex, MTC, etc etc. Or you could treat the bits as individual MIDI ports, and have 16x16 MIDI riding on a single audio channel. It would rock.

What I love about it mostly is that the pinpoint timing is already done for you: digital audio is perfectly timed. It bugs the heck out of me that they can figure out how to deliver 100 channels of 192KHz audio into a computer with sample-accurate resolution, but they can't get one middle C keystroke into the thing with better than a couple of milliseconds of slop.

I have a couple of FGPA dev boards lying around here that I was going to use for a supermondo MIDI merge / channelizer / silicon sequencer thing that I was also fantasizing about, haha. Either of these projects would be easy enough with those boards.

But I have too much actual work to do, so I haven't picked up any of those projects in a long time.

-synthoid
Old 10th November 2008
  #25
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travelboy's Avatar
 

My reasoning with wasting bandwith for fault tolerance was that you cannot actually benefit from higher speed, since you have to speak MIDI on both ends anyway (because your equipment doesn't understand anything else). That's a pity. And it doesn't solve the timing problem, because if you trigger many notes simultaneously, they will still play one after another due to MIDI transmission delay. If I'm not wrong about the way MTC works, there is no way to tie a note to an actual point in time - they simply play whenever they are received. It's like using a Ferrari in busy city traffic. In theory you could go very fast, but in reality you have to go with the pace of everybody else :-)

So if you cannot use the bandwith for higher timing accuracy, the other obvious idea is using it for many parallel ports. But how many MIDI ports do you really need? Maybe not dozens.
Old 10th November 2008
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelboy View Post
My reasoning with wasting bandwith for fault tolerance was that you cannot actually benefit from higher speed, since you have to speak MIDI on both ends anyway (because your equipment doesn't understand anything else). That's a pity. And it doesn't solve the timing problem, because if you trigger many notes simultaneously, they will still play one after another due to MIDI transmission delay.
Right, the bandwidth is overkill, although it actually improves the timing in one case: when a single MIDI bus is used to carry several channels of MIDI events that will ultimately be played by different sound modules. If you stay in the digital audio realm before doing the split, then the notes delivered to each sound module have much closer to their original timing. Merging MIDI streams in the digital audio form doesn't disturb the timing nearly so much as merging in an actual serial MIDI stream.

Concerning ports, the Digidesign MIDI I/O box has 10 ins and outs! That's a lot, but 8x8 would be very nice in a studio with lots of synthesizers. You could do comfortably that with a single audio channel.

-synthoid
Old 11th November 2008
  #27
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Tom H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
I personally don't understand why ANY digitally controlled analog device DOESN'T have MIDI incorporated. Those of us who have a bunch of EL-8's or Fatso's or whatever would certainly love to have not only sysex "recall", but also REALTIME control of those devices during mix.

+1, for real etc. It's the future. thumbsup
Old 11th November 2008
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylicious View Post
+1, for real etc. It's the future. thumbsup
Yeah but when and who will be the first?

I know AMS Neve has been trying to do it with all their newer gear. Doing recalls through USB ports. You can't control them though. It is about time though.
Old 11th November 2008
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post


If being able to tweak all the parameters of a PCM80 or H3000 or TC M5000 that's 9ft. away from you in a rack from the "sweet spot" using the tactile surface of the LFAC(mine will do this via MIDI, yours may or may not) to control multiple parameters sounds unappealing... MIDI is not for you.
Hey Slipp i gather you are doing this from your 9098I correct?
Old 11th November 2008
  #30
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radu.ionescu's Avatar
 

i do that everytime with my templates when i need a fast "standard patch" for recording (short n long rev, del, chorus, click (D4)) also for Control Change parameters on fx devices. All stored on a good old Cubase VST32. until we got a PTHD

aaa the old joys of recording! i love that
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