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#341039 - 03/20/16 08:06 AM [Off-Topic] Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ?
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Hi all,

I have collected various studio items over the last few decades - played around with each for a short time - never got all to work together from my computer.

My central rig will be a Presonus Firepod connected to my PC, with BB/RB as the main DAW. In addtion I

I have a few questions I thought you might help me with:

1.) I have a few different effects boxes - most have only MIDI IN and MIDI OUT, one has a THRU also, and one only a MIDI IN. Having never used MIDI cables to connect and centrally control all devices:

a.) Do I simply go from my Presonus Out to a first IN, then OUT to IN - until the last box with the IN only ? Is it worth buying a central MIDI interface box to simplify connections.

b.) With what software and from where would I want to control my Effects boxes and program changes ?
- Can it all be done from BB/RB ? Is there even a reason to do this ?
- Are MIDI messages to effects boxes mainly for toggling effects for different songs and different parts of songs ?
- Are there other practical uses - or am I studying connectivity for no practical reason
- Is there recommended software/hardware for controlling mulitple effects processors and synths during live performance ?


2.) I have about 4 boxes that accept USB connections to my computer.

a.) Can I use a powered USB hub to control all 4 - or would that lower throughput so that each should be directly connected to the computer

3.) Where to install BB/RB vs. DAW software vs. Digital Synthesizers - should all 3 be on separate disk drives, or is it OK if BB/RB and Digital Synths are on the same drive ?

4.) Any other gotchas or advice when connecting so many devices to your computer ?

Feel free to answer one or as many points as you like - and as always, thanks to all of you who generously share your experience.

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#341069 - 03/20/16 11:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
pghboemike Offline
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Posts: 2406
As always Joe the Devils in the details

It would be helpful to know specifically what the equipment actually is and what your goals for Each pice are
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#341082 - 03/20/16 12:55 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Larry Kehl Offline
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Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2070
Loc: New Mexico
EDIT

Before my long winded response pghboemike hit it on the head - better help will come to you if you LIST what you have and how you plan to use it

EDIT over
=========================

This is ALL just my opinion and how I do things

You asked multiple complex question(s) I will mainly address the external MIDI gear situation. If you only have a few, three or less, and you chain "in's to out's" like you mention you are probably OK. Although, there are some considerations.

More than two or three chained MIDI units and the MIDI delay might start to be too noticeable - even just two could be an issue for you.

Delay can be a few MS (milliseconds) in each box: MIDI-in hits the internal MIDI processor which then decides what's internal use and internal routing, then what needs re-routed to the out port (that all takes finite time); ditto in next box so you can see the delay's adding up.

With three (3) "In's-to-out's" the delay is PROBABLY around 15 (or MORE) MS for last MIDI box depending on the various actual HW units (15 MS is allowing an average of around 5 ms for EACH I/O pair)

See this thread and look about 6 down to one by "JCRC"

https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=102&t=422038

[I tend to agree with his numbers]


If these external MIDI units are just audio FX units, like you mention (reverb's, compressors, etc.) probably no big deal (but it depends).

If these are SOUND generating units (i.e., external synths) then the audio delays MAY, or may not, become a real audible/timing issue - it depends on your situation for each song.

If you have an audio timing critical situation then you may need to do some sequencer adjustments and 1) lag your internal audio and/or other internal MIDI plug-ins, 2) lead your external gear by a little ( a few MS), or a lot, depending on which unit is first in chain and which is last and which generates sounds first and which generates sounds last, etc, 3) record each external units sound on separate audio tracks then adjust time later (after recording) by sliding that units audio backwards (or other PC audio forwards), etc.

[PS using MIDI-in and MIDI-thru is a little faster but 100% of the "in" will then go to the MIDI-thru, which can create other issues especially, if all you wanted was ONE MIDI channel or one set of info to make it to the next box].


I have a lot of external MIDI gear but I use multiple MIDI patch bays (they each route up to 8 MIDI I/O pairs - independently; they are analogous to AUDIO patch bays). Yes, I still have MIDI delays but it's a known constant throughout my studio since all MIDI synths/gear has I/O to the MIDI patch bay independent from all other MIDI synths/gear.

There are other concerns when using a MIDI-chain (i.e., MIDI in to out to in to out to in...):

Like making sure that what's needed by the box(s) next in the chain get that info WITHOUT affecting the unit that gets the info to be forwarded. Example you send a trumpet notes-on, on channel 2 meant for your killer trumpet patch in the second synth unit, how do you keep the first unit from sounding a sawtooth lead, (which also on channel 2 but on this first unit)? Takes some planning work on your end.

Then there are control channel considerations (these are the MIDI channels external MIDI gear listens for instructions on, NOT musical note on's and off's: like "change patch" of second part of your "multi" or "performance" or "program" or… ( nomenclature depends on synth manufacturer) to sound "mute trumpet," or change mode from mono to poly, or control over-all unit reverb level, etc.). And you can't really have all units on same control channel (that would be a separate planning nightmare).


Change topic

Your USB question is no less "trivial" since using a USB HUB depends on the external gear - some gear doesn't like to talk to PC via a HUB (causes issues, or it flat doesn’t work, or has too long a time lag,..) for some gear it works just fine and you have no issues.

You'll need to try it and see unless you can name the specific units then others here may know or have experience with that unit when using a HUB (at least in their PC configuration/situation).


Finally, your question number 3 is (can be) a little "personal use" subjective but mainly driven by what HW you have installed and available and what SW you really use and how you use it.

I keep all (99% anyway) of my music apps and plug-ins on one drive. BUT I have six internal 2TB HDDs.

Three HDDs are OS boot drives: Win XP, Win 7 64 Pro and now 10 Pro (all designated Drive C if booted or Drive's Z and Y if they are not the boot drive). Additionally the Win 7 and Win 10 physical drives have to be "hidden" from the Win XP drive or the XP will destroy the Win 7/Win 10 restore points at boot.

Then there is my dedicated music application HDD, Drive D (I also use that drive for some Steam game storage- I'm a big time gamer also).

And finally two general purpose/work HDD's, Drives E and H (letters F and G are reserved for my DVD R/W and Blu-Ray R/W drives) the last two HDDs are on my slower/lower bandwidth MoBo SATA ports.

Not to mention multiple 2-, 3-, and 4-TB external USB HDDs for storage, backup images, etc. Drives J through whatever.

I record audio to a fast but non-BOOT'ed OS drive (i.e, if running Win 7 [usually] or Win 10 [which I'm just now starting to configure/play with] - then I route recording/streaming audio to my WIN XP drive. If running Win XP for audio, which is now almost never, I stream audio to my H drive.

I have no issues having all music apps on same drive. I doubt most folks would because once the app (Sonar, RB, BIAB, Mixcraft, Reaper...) is loaded into memory, and is running and your are generating a song and recording, they don’t (generally) need to go back out to HDD for "stuff."

The need to go back to the HDD and interrupt what it's doing is generally caused by instructions from YOU to tell it to do something new.


Ditto most plug-ins go (e.g., Kontakt, SampleTank, compressors, reverbs) the HDD load and lag time is in the loading of the VST/VSTi or the samples/patch's used by the plug-in into working MEMORY - once that's done there is again (usually) no need for that plug-in to require HDD access (I stress, usually).

The real concern is where you record, or route, AUDIO while running these DAWs, apps., and plug-ins. You may want to (should) route recording audio to another (but non-BOOT) drive if possible and the fastest non-BOOT drive you have, again IF POSSIBLE.

I know that, like some (most?) folks, you might only have one internal drive (immaterial if HDD or SDD) so then you need to control what's allowed to run when doing time critical audio work.

Even if you have and a lot of fast and large SDD's, if you let AV, anti-malware, Windows file indexing, and other TSR (terminate stay resident) software running while trying to run DAW's and performing audio recording you are just asking for clicks, glitches, hiccups, and errors.

Good Luck
Larry


Edited by Larry Kehl (03/20/16 12:58 PM)
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#341083 - 03/20/16 01:17 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Wow Larry - that's the kind of insightful response I like to an open-ended questions - I learn things I didn't even ask.

I have:
Presonus Firepod
Old Guitar Effects processor DOD G7
Boss VF-1
Roland Gi-20 Synth controller
TC Helicon Voiceworks.
GT10 guitar effects
Kore2 Controller

I realize I don't necessarily have to have all hooked up at any given moment - and studio use is different than live.

I'd like to be able to:
1.) Plug my guitar in and use ANY effects for recording, and recall sets of effects used for particular songs ; same for vocals
2.) easily be able to play songs with different sounds/setups and get to them with one setting
3.) play any synth sound that NI has through my guitar via GI20, and record into BB/RB through presonus.

Open ended - how would some of these things be optimized to work together in the most integrated, useful way ? I'll bet I my equipment can do things in cool, logical ways I haven't even thought of.

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#341091 - 03/20/16 01:52 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Matt Finley Online   content
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I always try to connect my music interfaces directly to USB ports on the computer (back panel if possible) rather than a hub, even a powered hub. Hubs divide the available amperage and you never know when you'll encounter a device that draws more amps than you have.

However - MIDI requires perhaps less from a USB port than any other device. Low current and extremely low bandwidth. So, MIDI-only devices should be fine on your hub.
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#341114 - 03/20/16 05:28 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Matt Finley]
Ryszard Offline
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Joe, let's talk about your GI-20. I have a GI-10, so I am familiar with its functions. It's pretty straightforward.

All you are concerned with is the MIDI Out, from which you will run a cable to either the MIDI In of a hardware sound module, or to the MIDI In of your PreSonus device, which should be selected as your MIDI input in order to drive your soft synths. If the PreSonus doesn't have a five-pin MIDI In port you will need another device in its place.

If you're on a budget, MIDI cables are cheap and easy to build. The connectors have five pins, but MIDI only uses three conductors which do not require shielding. Radio Shack parts are adequate, and you can make any length you need.

Richard
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#341115 - 03/20/16 05:29 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Larry Kehl Offline
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Loc: New Mexico
First what MATT said re: USB. Overall, fewer issues for music gear if direct to MoBo or over PC bus (via a PCI or PCIe bus card) not over, even a powered, HUB.

[As an aside: what is your PC, OS, and other peripherals (besides the listed firewire and USB items) and finally, and again just "an aside" do you know power supply wattage?]


again for the record this is just my advice/opinion (and you know what they say about opinions and advice)

IMO your most PRODUCTIVE/flexible studio config (with info listed) would be:

1. This is the merely obvious part: Guitar analog to GT10 and guitar GK to GI 20 then:

2. MIDI:

(MIDI part 1a ) for Guitar: again GK13 to GI 20 (obviously) then GI-20 to PC over USB and back from PC over same USB. Inside PC you may need/want some additional MIDI routing SW like Loopbe 30, MIDI Yoke/MIDI Ox, as well as your DAW's and sequencers. MIDI data coming back to GI-20 (from PC) will go out the GI-20 5-pin MIDI out (assuming you are set to "MIDI Playback ON" in the GI-20) so use the 5-pin MIDI out of GI-20 to "daisy chain" into GT10 MIDI-in, then GT10 MIDI-out to VF 1 MIDI-in and finally from VF1 MIDI-out to DOD 7 MIDI-in.

(MIDI part 1 B) ALSO connect the GT10 to computer over USB. This gives you additional flex both for MIDI and audio especially if all you are using on a song is the GT10 it also allows GT10 audio to stay in the digital domain instead of going over to Firepod as analog and getting converted there to digital.

(MIDI part 2) for control of TC Helicon when using "vox" (I have no hands on experience with these kinds of vocal items) but I would use the Firepod's MIDI I/O port to control that unit since, you will be using a mic and/or or audio from PC anyway - this has nothgin to do with guitar (MIDI or audio) "paths" (does it?) so probably less confusion when sitting down to map out a production.

(MIDI part 3) for Kore 2, use and control, use the USB - again I have no experience with this item but given what it does I think direct USB to PC is best. You could try and daisy chain with other 5-pin MIDI units but not sure you want to.

With the right PC internal routing/re-routing software and good configuration control and a good MIDI sequencer you can control GI-20 and Firepod's MIDI out ports to control all patches and configs of your external MIDI gear.

ALL of the "MIDI stuff" WOULD BE EASIER with a MIDI patch bay - that would reduce confusion factor when configuring a song within a sequencer/DAW or trouble shooting why this or that doesn't work as expected in a given song.

[remember before they were called "DAWs" they were called sequencers grin ]

When configs get complex DRAW A PICTURE and keep it handy for reference. (see mine it's an out of date drawing and out of date equipment but you get the idea) MY current one is laying on desk and in rack!

3. AUDIO:

Since I don’t think your Presonus Firepod software interface has a software MIXER function ( I did a quick check of owner's manual but may have missed it) that is a some additional SW for the Firepod that allows you to control, inside the PC, and route/re-route some of the 8 firewire audio signals coming in to Firepod back out to other Firepod outputs you will PROBABLY need a small external mixer.

And from what you say you want to do I think it best if it has some, at least ONE, FX stereo send/receive pair (but might work with a mono send/stereo receive) to be able route audio around at times before coming back to PC via Firepod.

(again see my out o' date audio route drawing)


Thoughts:

As far as your DOD G7, really? Doesn’t the GT10, even additional audio FX of the VF1, give you the same or better FX? And if you send GT10 stereo out to VF 1 stereo in then VF1 stereo out to Firepod you have even more.

I can see MAYBE using the G7 MONO in/stereo as something YOU MIGHT want to add in your GT10 FX loop but why would you? Not bad mouthing DOD or Digitech gear I still have and use a old Digitech 2 rack space unit, a Digitech Studio 400, 4-in /4-out multi-FX unit, it is in-line with my Lexicon Signature 284 rack amp as my main FX unit and I AM an analog, antique, boutique, stomp box SNOB!)


Larry


Attachments
Freelance Graphics - Keyb10.jpg

Freelance Graphics - Keyb10 audio.jpg




Edited by Larry Kehl (03/20/16 05:34 PM)
Edit Reason: a few typos and probably still have some - oh well
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#341129 - 03/20/16 08:35 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
lambada Offline
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Posts: 1148
Loc: Hong Kong
My Zoom USB3 audio interface has a built in midi In and Out, but I have also used an old yamaha USB to midi In / Out cable with some success. I run midi cc and program changes from BIAB to my vocal effects and guitar effects. It works very well, but there is a learning curve. I add the midi cc and program changes to the empty and unused melody and soloist tracks in BIAB. I found I had problems sending midi data on two different channels from the same track in BIAB. So, if you use those tracks already, then, I'm not sure what to suggest. Others may do it better, but I have it working and it took a long time to figure it out. Eventually, I'll put a video up of how to do it. Just do a couple of key units at first and then add as necessary otherwise you'll loose your mind:-)



Edited by lambada (03/20/16 10:07 PM)
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#341160 - 03/21/16 05:18 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Notes Norton Offline
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For your MIDI devices without a thru, this might help

http://midisolutions.com/prodqth.htm

and if you have more than 4 devices

http://midisolutions.com/prodt8.htm

If you want the MIDI devices to be separate, so that one device at a time can be selected (if your software supports it) a MIDI patchbay would work

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=midi+patchbay&Go=Search

Notes
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#341309 - 03/22/16 07:45 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Kajun Jeaux Offline
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Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 364
Loc: Baker, La
Joe, Ebay has an EDIROL UM-550 roland 5 IN/5 OUT USB MIDI Interface/MIDI Patcher for $190(USD). However, speaking from experience, it's better to buy a patcher with more connections than you actually need because in the long run you'll be glad you did.

Note: I use the EDIROL UM-880 in my studio and little by little every channel is in use.

P.S. The input/output routing connections you specify can be stored in one of five (UM-550), or eight (UM-880) memories.

Jeaux

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#341331 - 03/22/16 12:09 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
When connecting multiple MIDI devices to my computer, I'm a little confused regarding whether there is a "central point of control" - is the idea that either a piece of equipment has custom Windows software installed which will allow MIDI signals sent with a tailored windows interface for that device - and if not - you're on your own with coming up for a central piece of software to control it ? E.g. let's say I set my Presonus MIDI out and connect it to each MIDI effects box. What software do I use to send the MIDI patch and control changes ? If the vendor has written custom software - I imagine I use that. But if not - then what would you guys suggest ? Is there software that will let me configure it using patch names from the particular device I'm controlling ?

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#341334 - 03/22/16 12:18 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
I'm sorry - a few more questions. What are some things to remember, given the equipment I listed, if I want to record live with other musicians where there are multiple devices being used:
1.) Vocals with effects (Voice works)
2.) Vocals with effects (Boss VF-1)
3.) Guitar Synth playing Computer based Synth (NI)
4.) Guitar playing through Roland GT10 effects
5.) Keyboard playing through Computer Based Synth (NI)

I think if I could set this up - I would really know what I was doing. My confusion always came from understanding how what I hear through my monitors is not necessarily the sound being recorded, for example with the guitar synth and keyboard playing the NI computer based samples. I know I have a thing or 2 to learn about monitoring, routing signals, and ensuring there is no instrument echo picked up by the vocal mics.

Again - I realize I'm at the beginning of a steep learning curve and I should just try 1, then 2 at a time of these 5 inputs. But any general advice for a newbie at this would be greatly appreciated.

Again - thanks so much for all the detailed, thoughtful answers here - I am already thinking more clearly about it.


Edited by Joe V (03/22/16 12:53 PM)

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#341484 - 03/23/16 10:58 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Larry Kehl Offline
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Posts: 2070
Loc: New Mexico
Joe V

The "central control" thing can be yes, no, and sort of - IT DEPENDS (on YOU!)

First, like we have all suggested when you have more than a few external MIDI items - "Get a PATCH BAY!"


But even without a dedicated MIDI patch bay: you ALREADY have the basic equipment you need. However, sounds like you need to get a lot more familiar with it. I highly suggest you actually hook up the GI-20 to the PC and USE IT to send "stuff" (obviously not notes) out to the MIDI port on your Firepod to the GT10 and learn to control the GT10 patches and parameters with a combo of your guitars GK2/3 and/or PC DAW and you will start to figure it out (you will have to read the GI-20 manual, GT10 manual, and Firepod manual as well as read/understand your DAW's MIDI I/O and control ability).

Any DAW (RB, Reaper, Sonar) can send patch changes to your EXTERNAL HW in real time, most can send SYSEX as well as real time control data (e.g., continuous controllers, note transpose, reverb on/off, chorus levels) to external HW, SYSEX can be used to completely re-configure that external HW, etc.


You really need to read all your manuals end to end (or as we say in the military RTFQ), then sit down with paper and pencil (AWAY from the PC) and try to draw maps of various hook-ups (include both MIDI AND AUDIO routing) and don’t forget if using PC or LAPTOP to include the PC as a another NODE in your MIDI and AUDIO routing.

With a patch bay you can control MIDI routing from each of the other MIDI units (where the PC counts as a MIDI unit) to ALL other MIDI units, or to a few units, or just one unit, or no units.

Patch bays themselves are controlled via one of these methods:

1. The front panel with buttons and menus (like my MSB's or MX-8's) and/or via simple patch changes to those patch bays themselves over THEIR MIDI control channel (the patch bays themselves have multiple "programs" or patches [routing table sets]). I actually prefer these units because I can run a complex rig without ANY PC's turned on at all. It can all be controlled from front panel, foot switches, MIDI patch changes from keyboard or other external sequencers, or any combination thereof. or,

2. ONLY from a PC via their own software (e.g., MOTU MIDI Express 128) , or

3. BOTH front panel and dedicated PC software (e.g., MOTU MIDI Express XT USB, MOTU Micro Express USB, Roland UM-550). I admit to having ZERO hands on with the MOTU stuff btu the Express XT is probably the most flexible


And if you look on-line for the various patch bay manuals and actually read them you will see how they work and this SHOULD EXPLAIN a lot and will/should, by simply reading them, give you mental road maps on "how to configure" YOUR equipment (even without having that the patch bay).

Most patch bays have fairly sophisticated internal additional functions (MTC & SMPTE control, MIDI delay, MIDI merge/split, data filtering/thinning, etc.).

http://cdn-data.motu.com/manuals/midi/MOTU_USB_MIDI_Manual.pdf

https://jlcooper.com/_manuals/legacy/mSB/MSBREVII.pdf

http://www.rolandus.com/support/by_product/um-550/owners_manuals/7525


Note, as far as I know MIDI Solutions Co. doesn't make true or FULL routing patch bays as discussed above - (not a knock on MIDI solutions I own some MIDI Solutions boxes: a Breath Controller box for my BC 2; and a MIDI merge box) . They do make a small box called a "Router" and it does route based on MIDI channel or other MIDI parameters (so it might come in handy but it alone is $149) . Their HW can take multiple inputs and send to one output (merge); take one input and send to multiple outputs ("thru" boxes) ; they make small units like the aforementioned Router, or a Breath Controller (used with a BC2) and send out MIDI breath control (I have one and use it), a dedicated small merge and thru boxes, and even units that can take foot switch inputs and convert to MIDI control change, program change or increment/decrement, start/stop, transpose, re-channelize, etc. These last functions can usually be done (VIA PC messages and sans foot switch) in other MIDI patch bays which can perform these functions on a port by port/channel by channel basis.

http://www.midisolutions.com/ordirect.htm


Time to do some homework - good luck.

Larry
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#341527 - 03/23/16 04:08 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1010
Loc: NYC
Again - thanks so much for your thoughtful responses. I know more than I sound like I know - but as you mention Larry, I simply haven't yet spent enough time with the equipment. I will do exactly as you suggested with the GI20, GT10, Presonus and Firepod...as well as look at your hookup diagram and make one for myself.

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#341534 - 03/23/16 05:38 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5664
Originally Posted By: Joe V
Hi all,

I have collected various studio items over the last few decades - played around with each for a short time - never got all to work together from my computer.

My central rig will be a Presonus Firepod connected to my PC, with BB/RB as the main DAW. In addtion I

I have a few questions I thought you might help me with:

1.) I have a few different effects boxes - most have only MIDI IN and MIDI OUT, one has a THRU also, and one only a MIDI IN. Having never used MIDI cables to connect and centrally control all devices:

a.) Do I simply go from my Presonus Out to a first IN, then OUT to IN - until the last box with the IN only ? Is it worth buying a central MIDI interface box to simplify connections.

b.) With what software and from where would I want to control my Effects boxes and program changes ?
- Can it all be done from BB/RB ? Is there even a reason to do this ?
- Are MIDI messages to effects boxes mainly for toggling effects for different songs and different parts of songs ?
- Are there other practical uses - or am I studying connectivity for no practical reason
- Is there recommended software/hardware for controlling mulitple effects processors and synths during live performance ?


2.) I have about 4 boxes that accept USB connections to my computer.

a.) Can I use a powered USB hub to control all 4 - or would that lower throughput so that each should be directly connected to the computer

3.) Where to install BB/RB vs. DAW software vs. Digital Synthesizers - should all 3 be on separate disk drives, or is it OK if BB/RB and Digital Synths are on the same drive ?

4.) Any other gotchas or advice when connecting so many devices to your computer ?

Feel free to answer one or as many points as you like - and as always, thanks to all of you who generously share your experience.


First bit of advice....

1. Keep it as simple as possible
2. Take your time and do one thing at a time.
3. refer back to #1 as often as necessary.

I used to have a bunch of outboard devices and a number of rack mountable gizmo's too. Many are midi controllable.

HOWEVER.....

I'd remove them all and try it this way....

First.... Buy Cakewalk's Music Creator software.... it's a little brother to Sonar but totally an amazingly capable DAW that is full featured. RB is good, I love it but it does have it's limitations. For $20 you can download MC7 from the Cakewalk store or you can also opt to buy it from PG.

Now.... work totally inside the box. Audio and Midi go into the Presonus interface and audio comes out to your monitor speakers. All effects and other things like the softsynths are totally inside the software. Any effect you want is available in MC7's rack....delay, reverbs, chorus, flanging, EQ, compression, and more.... all in the box and all sound good. In addition, you have more audio and midi tracks than you will ever use.

My studio has no outboard effects devices, no mixer, and only the one interface..... All guitars and mics go into the interface as audio, my midi keyboard goes in as midi (just one cable...out from the DX-27s into the interface) and speakers out of the interface. 100% of my recording is done this way. My Cakewalk Sonar DAW software runs the studio. PG software is used to make the audio tracks for the instruments I do not play live.

I like working with a simple studio setup like this.

Or... you can make it as complicated as you want by running patch cords and using midi this and midi that and setting everything up in software to control the midi..... and you will at some point, probably regret doing it that way.
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#341572 - 03/24/16 05:02 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Finally connecting my studio up - what to do for MIDI ? [Re: Joe V]
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4375
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
There is more than one right way to do almost everything.

Me? I have nothing but outboard synthesizers and synth modules.

Why?
  • Longevity - I have synths from the 1980s that still work perfectly. Back then I was using an Atari/ST, Motorola Mac, and DOS/Win3.1PC. Software synths become dinosaurs when the OS gets upgraded. Scores of them that were darlings of the day no longer work. Now you might ask why do I want to keep old synths? Some of the sounds in those synths are surely dated and for all practical purposes worthless, but others sound great, have never been duplicated, and those sounds are real gems.
  • Better sounds - Since the software synth has to 'do the math' to manufacture each and every note using the computer's CPU, many of them use shortcuts in the process to save CPU cycles. The external hardware synths store the sounds in ROM (sometimes RAM as in the case of my samplers) so the sounds do not need to have anything left out to save CPU cycles
  • Latency - Since the sounds are stored in RAM and do not have to be computed by the CPU, the average latency of a hardware synth is 5ms. That's the amount of time sound takes to travel about 5 feet. Software synths can have a latency of almost a half second, 100 times greater. Add a second synth and the soft-synth latency goes up
  • Mix and match part 1 - Because the external synth sounds all about the same, you can use one synth for the bass, another for the drums, and another for the piano and they will all be synchronized. Soft synths? One might have a latency of 400ms, another 100ms, and another 230ms - that isn't going to sound right
  • Mix and patch part 2 - Since the sounds are all stored in ROM and therefore do not have to involve the computer's CPU in creating the tone for each and every not played in your song, you can mix and match many more synths to get the perfect tone of each instrument with no additional latency, no taxing the CPU, and therefore more efficient other computer functions and less possibility of a crash. I might do a song with my own sampled bass sound on my Akai S900, the right/left snare pair on my Peavy SP, the nice muted guitar on my Ketron SD2, the rear Telecaster pickup sound on my Edirol SD90, conga drums on my Roland SC55, the wonderful Doctor Solo on my Roland MT32, the nuanced sax on my Yamaha VL70m (the only synth I've ever used for sax sounds), the very edgy FM Rhodes on my Korg DS8, and the fortissimo horns on my Korg i3 without a shred of latency, without a hiccup on the computer waiting for the CPU to do its thing, and without a computer crash or lock up due to too much going on inside
I can't do that with software synths.

Insights and incites by Notes
_________________________
Bob "Notes" Norton smile Norton Music
http://www.nortonmusic.com

100% MIDI Super-Styles recorded by live, pro, studio musicians for a live groove
& Fake Disks for MIDI and/or RealTracks

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