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Keyboard patch management live Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 21st August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Keyboard patch management live

Tried this in the sub forum, got no response, maybe the wider distribution here will help.

I need a patch setup management solution for live keyboards. How are you guys setting up your patches live? I would prefer hardware solution capable of sending patch changes to several modules, some of which are multi-timbral workstation types.

Thanks in advance!
Old 21st August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Odd, I don't recall seeing your post in the EM forum...

Question: Are you talking about actually loading patch data, or just sending patch change commands?
Old 21st August 2007
  #3
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

I used to play a multi-keyboard rig with a bunch of LA rock bands and I used things like this:

Roland FC-300 | Sweetwater.com

You can set it up so that pressing preset #1 on the foot controller changes your Virus to preset #43, and your V-Synth to preset #16 and your Oberheim to preset #89 etc. (This is called 'preset mapping' or 'patch mapping'). Foot controllers are nice because you can keep both hands on the keyboard. They also allow you to either select the preset directly or by using a simple UP/DOWN footswitch, which makes things very easy if you want to go to the trouble to set up the preset sequences properly before the gig.

If you are using a fairly decent midi master controller keyboard, it may already have these abilities built-in so check the manual. Also, your various other synths may each have the ability to 'map' incoming patch change info to other patch numbers, so you may not need this function in your controller keyboard or foot controller at all - your individual synths may be able to do this already and you just need to send basic patch change info to them and do the 'mapping' at the receiving synths.

DP
Old 21st August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornutt View Post
Odd, I don't recall seeing your post in the EM forum...

Question: Are you talking about actually loading patch data, or just sending patch change commands?
Patch change commands.
Old 21st August 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Cool, I'll look into this, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Peck View Post
I used to play a multi-keyboard rig with a bunch of LA rock bands and I used things like this:

Roland FC-300 | Sweetwater.com

You can set it up so that pressing preset #1 on the foot controller changes your Virus to preset #43, and your V-Synth to preset #16 and your Oberheim to preset #89 etc. (This is called 'preset mapping' or 'patch mapping'). Foot controllers are nice because you can keep both hands on the keyboard. They also allow you to either select the preset directly or by using a simple UP/DOWN footswitch, which makes things very easy if you want to go to the trouble to set up the preset sequences properly before the gig.

If you are using a fairly decent midi master controller keyboard, it may already have these abilities built-in so check the manual. Also, your various other synths may each have the ability to 'map' incoming patch change info to other patch numbers, so you may not need this function in your controller keyboard or foot controller at all - your individual synths may be able to do this already and you just need to send basic patch change info to them and do the 'mapping' at the receiving synths.

DP
Old 21st August 2007
  #6
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synthoid's Avatar
 

Most of my synths are multitimbral (seems like most new synths are, these days). I like to manage these by setting up a "multi" (what Roland calls a "performance" on the Fantom) by sending a command at the beginning of each song, and then using MIDI channels from my controllers to select individual sounds as the song is going on. If using a foot pedal to switch sounds, I would use the foot pedal simply to select which MIDI channels are coming out of my controller(s). The advantage of this is that you don't get glitches as patches are changed in the middle of the song, and you can configure shared effect units together with the patches as a multi. Probably depends a lot on the particular keyboards and modules you are using...
-synthoid
Old 22nd August 2007
  #7
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santibanks's Avatar
there are a couple of better solutions with much more functionality and ease in programming.

Opcode Studio 5 (LX) which is mac os 7/8/9 only (you need a mac with a serial port to program the unit, but don't need it on stage once programmed)

Digital Music Corps MX8 (you still need to send a program change from 1 source)

Miditemp PMM88 which does the same as the opcode but is more expensive and on the other hand doesnt need any computer.

I personally use the Opcode Studio 5 to control a pretty big rig. Got around 50 songs programmed in there (with some pretty complicated setups incorporating layers, keyspans, advanced triggering options, some mix automation, program change messages, sysex strings etc.) and it works perfectly without any problems, glitches or what so ever. I trigger everything with just 1 footswitch which means I can concentrate more on playing and don't have to reach for knobs, faders and buttons on keyboards or rackmodules. 15 inputs and outputs, 2 footswitches can be attached aswell as a CV pedal and even an audio input. SMTP options etc. Works with OMS.

Tony Banks from Genesis and Lyle Mays from the Pat Metheny Group still use them during rehearsals, in studios and on stage.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Thansk for that. You know, I think I have an old Digital Music Systems MX8 floating around - I could give that a shot.Do you suppose it will properly handle bank selection?

The Opcode sounds interesting, but I do not have a Mac :(
Old 22nd August 2007
  #9
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santibanks's Avatar
I had the DMC myself for years (I still have it technically but our singer is using it for his rig at the moment) but bank changes are a bit of a problem (depends on the brand. It worked with ensoniq because the last few program change numbers are bank selects but other brands dont have that AFAIK)

Get the opcode. THey are cheap on ebay. I got mine for 50 euros, mint condition. And got a laptop (Powerbook 1400) for 25 euros. Really, you are looking for old stuff here. Old macs with a serial port and an Opcode Studio 5.

There are 2 versions, the normal one and the LX. The difference is that the LX has more memory so you can store more.

Opcode handles everything and works like this:

You have a max of 127 patches that you can store in the unit (the only reason is that a preset selection is defined from 0 till 127 or 1 till 128 by midi standard. Technically, more should be possible but its limited by midi).

You can give patches a name and make setlists. These give the order of the patches you will be using. Every patch can be there as much as you like it. There are some parameters regarding this list about the way you shuffle trough them.
The way to shuffle trough is with a footswitch, sending a program change or just using the front panel. You can use all 3 whatsoever. Every time you do something, it changes to the next step in the setlist.

The ease of this is that you can program all the songs you have and just reorder them every night for a gig for example.

Now every patch can hold a various array of routings with advanced options like mergings, splittings, modification of midi controllers, mapping of midi controllers, transposing, changing velocities, filtering stuff etc. Everything is possible.
You can even make so called virtual instruments like pre-defined stacks of midi modules for a huge stack of sounds, various control posibilities for the CV pedal etc.

And every patch sends a string of stuff you can pre program. Patch and bank changes, all midi parameters, sysex stuff. And you can also make the unit send a string with stuff when it leaves the current patch and switches over.

Now some practical examples.


Im keyboardist in a Genesis tribute that does everything from the 70ies till we cant dance in 1991 so I have a wide range of songs and presettings.

There is a song called Me and Sarah Jane which was done original on a Prophet 10 with a pedal controlling a filter to make a sound change from an organ to a polysynth. Now I dont have the P10 but I do have 2 presettings that I like for that part.
I set the N5 I'm using to 2 parts. One with an organ patch, the other one with a polysynth. I make the sound by fading out the organ and fading in the polysynth at the same time. I just use 1 pedal for this and made a virtual instrument where I use the opcode CV pedal as a midi expression/volume pedal. But for the polysynth, I invert the signal with a modulator that is available in OMS. So the organ fades out if I put the pedal up, and the poly fades in, if I push the volume up, then the organ goes up and the poly down.
Pretty simple.

Now there is a song called Driving the Last Spike. Its basically all Wavestation sounds and the Ensoniq VFX aswell as a roland piano sound. THe major bulk of switching is just programming effects and wavestation. And there is a part where the stuff is transposed because of a keychange we do to save our singers voice (Genesis did it and it sounded good, we will do it and take the benefits of it)

The setlist would be something like:

5. Driving 1 (Some JD800 sounds and VFX patch used troughout the song)
6. Driving 2 (VFX patch, wavestation fantasia like sound and a room reverb)
5. Driving 1 (Back to the patch with the JD800 sound just for 3 notes)
7. Driving 3 (Huge organ sound with a very nice reverb over it)
6. Driving 2 (And back to the wavestation fantasia)
8. Driving 4 (Edited fanasia, a piano and the VFX patch)
9. Driving 5 (The same patch as number 2 but everything transposed a key down)
7. Driving 3 (The huge organ sound back, I could make a different preset as this one is transposed originally but I learned those few chords already so no need for it)

So there are 5 presets and the running order is thus 5;6;5;7;6;8;9;7 which are 8 switchings made (the song is around 10 minutes).
All I do is to step on the right footswitch to do so. The advantage is that all sounds are now preprogrammed with the right external effects (I use 2 boss SE50 units). Especially the wavestation fantasia and wavestation organ need different reverbs.
The organ is massive with a massive hall reverb, the fantasia has a shorter reverb to give it a bit more definition and some more release. There is a part where Im holding a B chord with the organ sound on the wavestation. And directly after I have to play the G note for the fantasia bridge that comes after it. There is no time there to switch a preset on the wavestation manual and also bend back myself to change a program in my effects rack. The opcode makes it possible with just a step of a footswitch.
Get a good sturdy one (really a switch, not a footpedal. It really has to click) and your really done.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #10
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainy-taxi View Post
there are a couple of better solutions with much more functionality and ease in programming.

Opcode Studio 5 (LX) which is mac os 7/8/9 only (you need a mac with a serial port to program the unit, but don't need it on stage once programmed)

Digital Music Corps MX8 (you still need to send a program change from 1 source.
Yup, forgot about the MX-8. I also used one of those for a few years to control patch changes in my live rig. I thought the interface was kind of clumsy compared to some other devices, but it worked OK once it was programmed.

DP
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
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santibanks's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Peck View Post
Yup, forgot about the MX-8. I also used one of those for a few years to control patch changes in my live rig. I thought the interface was kind of clumsy compared to some other devices, but it worked OK once it was programmed.

DP
well you need to get used to it and understand the logic of the 2 processors (A and B). I could program less songs into it as I had to find workarounds etc.
Its a nice unit but can have some shortcomings. Especially on the merging side etc.
And sometimes the buttons stick a bit but other then that its a nice unit.
Old 19th July 2010
  #12
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