zener

Midibox vs Ipad - as midi synth/daw "multi" programmer

14 posts in this topic

Hello ,

 

looking for a stand alone "multi" devices remote "unit" as midi synth / daw programmer

to use as midi remote "multi" control / programmer for synths / expanders that don't have dedicated panel

with pots or faders , for direct access parameter ,

also for virtual instruments / plug ins , as well .

fot speed up programming process .

 

checked around  but found nothing as dedicated and programmable "universal" hardware programmer unit

like dedicated access for waldorf microwave , pg1000 for d50 , etc...

 

I seen various software tools for ipad ,

but work with only 1 unit at time (unfotunately)

 

and "i.m.h.o." a rotary control (virtual pot) cannot be managed in the best way by swiping a finger over a lcd screen ,

(unless it is graphically represented by a slider)

 

The "true" midi "programmer" unit I'd like to have in my sound generators hardware (and virtual synth/plug ins) setup

it's a device similar to mackie C4 layout (attached image)

with 4 (or more) rotary encoders raws (each raw with 8 rotary encoders)

each raw with a display (as the C4),

4/6 separate midi output ,

usb port (as well ),

a number of push buttons for : setups, assign, entry , save-recall,

also a rotary encoder with push/enter function for fast patch number scroll/selection  load-save.

 

With the following "essentials" functions :

- Full midi control change and midi command  support

- Each rotary encoder assignable to a midi control change function/command , program change,etc....

- "Single" mode : all rotary encoders raws work only with 1 external unit - midi out

- "Multi" mode: any 1 of the 4 rotary encoders raws can be setted to a different of 4 midi out ,

i.e. :

"Single" mode :

rotary encoders raw 1+2+3+4 to midi out 1 to 4 , all raws same midi channel from 1 to 16 ,

or : each rotary encoders raw to a different midi ch , 1 to 16 (same midi out)

"Multi" mode :

rotary encoders raw 1+2  to midi out 1 , midi channel from 1 to 16

rotary encoders raw 3 to midi out 2 , midi channel from 1 to 16

rotary encoders raw 4 to midi out 3 , midi channel from 1 to 16

or more:

rotary encoders raw 1 to midi out 1 , midi channel from 1 to 16

rotary encoders raw 2+3 to midi out , midi channel from 1 to 16

rotary encoders raw 4 to midi out 3 , midi channel from 1 to 16

etc....(very "flexible")

 

- Patch save and recall , ("Patch" = 1 "Single" or "Multi" mode layout setup)

- 100 or more patches memory bank

- Patch Number recall/switch function by program change , for recall patches from sequencer,etc...

 

too much for a midibox ?

 

please post , if you think other more functions can be added as well .

thanks in advance

Z.

post-7433-0-45896100-1427123960_thumb.jp

Edited by zener

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i hade two of this C4...now only one...and the this one i also want to sell...they are very overpriced... and the sysex command set is really huge (massive datatransfair...which in most cases overload my max msp patches, midibus, or audio databus...)

 

the display is very exotic...2x56 Charcters... if you want it affordable - go to ebay and take 2x40 Character displays... (i got 20 of these for only 100€ alltogether with backlight!!!! ... such encoders costs 0,5-4€ each...)

if you want less timeconsuming, and solder work, or design work ---then just put Encoder below the screens and you are done! (meens no ledbars)

 

you could spare some lcds if you use LED-Ring which indicates the Value...and you use both rows to letter the upper, and the lower Encoders.... but since you could get that displays so cheap on ebay.... of course 1000 LEDs are cheap as hell but you have to solder them also... for LCD you have to crimp some cables, and make some transistor driver for backlight (no big deal).... anyway thats only my point of view.

 

In order to letter the controlls it might be better to use only 4 Encodesr a 2x40 Character displays --- so 2x2x40 Char for 8 Encoders *4 Rows = 8LCDs + 64 Encoders nad maybe 64 or more Buttons > hardware sidely it is possible... 8LCDs ore more is also no problem.... ... alsoe you can turn the knobs better if they have enough space between.... i like that...i like also long names like LatterFilt instead of CUT or Overdriv instead ov OVR .... display space.....

 

Software side from the ready to use applications (midibox ng) I- dont have no clue... i wrote my own application...so i could decide how much Encoders under the LCDs are sitting....

 

search for MIDIBOX NG

 

and maybe this will be intresting for you...not C4 like a nother "NICE"

Edited by Phatline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Mackie C4 is a great piece of gear, very sturdy and the 2x56 character displays it uses are very nice with the 8 encoders underneath.

 

You could always build a "translator" that simply translates/modifies what the C4 emits and receives, to something that your gear understands. Maybe based on the MIDIbox NG. This way you also get rid of the SysEx "problem" (which is not a shortcoming but actually a very elegant way of being able to transmit text messages onto the C4's display...). The C4 protocol is linked to in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...............so i could decide how much Encoders under the LCDs are sitting....

search for MIDIBOX NG

 

and maybe this will be intresting for you...not C4 like a nother "NICE"

thanks for post

checked that nice project (so cool...)

they are making a great work

but seem only 1 synth at a time can be edited

or i'm wrong?

z.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Mackie C4 is a great piece of gear, very sturdy and the 2x56 character displays it uses are very nice with the 8 encoders underneath.

 

You could always build a "translator" that simply translates/modifies what the C4 emits and receives, to something that your gear understands. Maybe based on the MIDIbox NG. This way you also get rid of the SysEx "problem" (which is not a shortcoming but actually a very elegant way of being able to transmit text messages onto the C4's display...). The C4 protocol is linked to in

 

thanks for post

i posted the c4 image only as layout example

my "dream" programmer is as i described in the first post (with attached image)

 

need to control 1 to 6 "external" midi sound "generators" and or combined setup with virtual instruments /plug ins,

 

this type of setup require a programmer that can be configured in a "multi" mode (as described in the first post)

to allow to edit different indipendent sound generators at the same time (each sound generator connected to 1 of the 4/6 programmer midi out)

or a "hybrid" situation/setup , stand alone sound generators(synths,samplers...) and virtual instruments/plug ins

for a "fast speed" sound editing ,

 

z.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if you rolled your own "translator" then you could obviously make it as "multi"/"hybrid"/whatever as you want it to be!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, if you rolled your own "translator" then you could obviously make it as "multi"/"hybrid"/whatever as you want it to be!

 

do you mean the midibox don't support all "functions" of the  midi "commands" ?

 

thanks

z.

Edited by zener

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I mean that a MIDIbox could act as the "translator" without actually having its own knobs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, I mean that a MIDIbox could act as the "translator" without actually having its own knobs.

Ok , thanks for info !

 

but as i need , mackie C4 do not have 4 separate assignable midi out ,

and about a properly midibox hardware configuration is necessary,

 

but i cannot found info if a single core can drive 4 or 6 indipendent midi output (each with 16 midi ch)

or if it work as the "vintage" old midi trhu box where 1 midi input was connected in "parallel" to 4,6,8 midi output ,

but only 16 midi channels available overall ,

 

then midi input of the sound generators (synths,samplers,etc...)

must be setted properly (each with a number of midi ch , .....flexible but not too much , also midi overflow always "lurking" because all data addressed to a single midi port/chip ) for avoid wrong midi commands "address.

 

Here a partial bom list about ,

(please post any "valid"info that can help)

32 rotary encoders - better if have also push button function ?

a number of digital input

hardware for drive led rings

push buttons for patches program , save and load , patches memory bank scroll ,etc....

(for patches memory bank scroll ,save and recall a rotary encoder+push button as "enter" function  it's the right one , as in "mb sid")

 

other more ?

 

thanks in advance

z.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you need to do some more reading to fully understand the power of MIDIbox. I'd recommend you to have a look at ucapps.de and check out the different hardware modules to get an idea. This will also answer your doubts about the number of MIDI ports available on a single core!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<p><span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">&lt;blockquote class=&quot;ipsBlockquote&quot; data-author=&quot;ilmenator&quot; data-cid=&quot;169495&quot; data-time=&quot;1427227614&quot;&gt;I think you need to do some more reading to fully understand the power of MIDIbox. I'd recommend you to have a look at &lt;a href=&quot;<a href="http://ucapps.de/">http://ucapps.de/</a>&quot;&gt;ucapps.de&lt;/a&gt; and check out the different hardware modules to get an idea. This will also answer your doubts about the number of MIDI ports available on a single core!&lt;/blockquote&gt;


....Checked the midibox info "center"  before start this thread...

 

also many time before ....when looking for a diy Hui remote control for pro tools.....today available used for very low price
like also for avid pro control, control24, command 8 , 002 and 003 desktop model , m audio project mix , recent Icon controllers

mackie too , free Ipad Apps , and many others.....

 

unfortunately it require too much very precious time for who are not electronics engineer ,
( precious time that have to be moved from making music to not very funny midibox/electronics construction )

 

it's not an hardware mounting kit that require only some good ability/capacity of electronics assembly and soldering,
a bit of system configuration firmware ability/capacity , and some hour on the web to buy all parts necessary ,

In short : it's not a 2 ,3 days making of project ,

(as it "should" be, as well ,and to become much better known,diffused, and used / developed than it is now)


this "factor" makes it a time expensive/dispersive thing , almost useless

 

Midibox it's of course a cool starting platform from which to develop and customize some nice device ,
(or for who looking for something to customize and put on the market for get money.....)

 

but unfortunately only for those who have done a few years of school or specific courses of electronics and software programming,
( if someone does not make it all a little bit more "simple/easy" )

 

Time is money for who are not a student .......... unfortunately ... § - (
better use this time to work and get money to use to buy what you want or need ,
(also knowed as "productive" mode)

 

In the various threads i checked ,
i seen that long time is necessary for get a finished type of midibox that work properly ,
specially for the software side , bugs to fix , customizations , and not simple other more things ,


(and more) for that i seen in this forum there is not a thread with complete info necessary that allow to build a complete finished similar project , that work properly as multi midi sound generators programmer ,

 

That could help me , and I would love to have in my setup , for speed up the boring and very very little creative sound programming process ,
(a bit really sad....)


Maybe one day....... "someone" ..... ( Chinese ? ) will wake up and.....

(...and think about a few years ago we arrived on Mars...)

peace

z.

Edited by zener

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but as i need , mackie C4 do not have 4 separate assignable midi out ,

and about a properly midibox hardware configuration is necessary,

...

 

Connect Mackie In to Midibox Core, Connect Mackie Out to Midibox Core Connect Synth CC in+out  to Midibox Core, Connect USB to to Midibox Core -the other end to a PC where your Plugins run.... THE CORE HAVE THE MIDI-IO..... the C4 is only a brainless I-O Device...where the CORE made Virtual Pots of the parameters...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

 

Connect Mackie In to Midibox Core, Connect Mackie Out to Midibox Core Connect Synth CC in+out  to Midibox Core, Connect USB to to Midibox Core -the other end to a PC where your Plugins run.... THE CORE HAVE THE MIDI-IO..... the C4 is only a brainless I-O Device...where the CORE made Virtual Pots of the parameters...

 

Thanks for post !!!

 

please correct me if i'm wrong :

then moving the mackie C4 rotary encoders , the midi messages go inside the core of midibox , where they are redirected to external midi sound generators destination  parameters ,

i.e.  : in the midibox core "firmware" the midi messages received from mackie C4 rotary encoder n°1 ,

have to be setted to go to a : midi out port -> midi channel 1-16 -> function/paramter n° 0->128 ?

like a "translator" ?

 

thanks in advance

z.

Edited by zener

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes AND: The Core itself send CC back to C4 to light up the LED-Rings - else the LEDs will not light up!

 

@ translator: not only > it has to act as storage for a huge ammount of Variables - call it "virtual parameters" aka Synths aka DAWs aka VSTs aka Sequencers-Controll-Change-Parameters,

    since you switch the UI -  form Plugin2Daw2Synth... it is a must to recall them from the internal Memory ---otherwise - you have to recall a whole DUMP of CC-Data from the Controlled Devices

    - which over Midi will defenitivly kill your Midiclock your Notes/hanging-notes, THE MIDISTREAM....

    Of course the CCs that are sent out of the Controlled Devices are saved as Virtual parameters in the CORE > and could dumped out to the UI anytime without messing the midistream.

    - i am pretty shure that when you dump out the UI-Data to a C4 on a own Port which is only for UI - that the other ports are not messed with that stuff (dont hit me to that --- i only assume this)

 

look at the midibox ng, take a look on its functionality,,,,, to send some Sysex-Streams out to a midiport-is not that complex... but C Skillz are definitivly needet....not that complex is good i dont even have an idea how to implement this in Midibox... but maybe someone other can help you, maybe someone other understand how this SYSEX thing work when he read the follwong lines:

 

i have made a max msp patch ... hm yes the C4 receive ControllChange Messages to update the LED-Rings (it needs to looback the sendt data - as i said) so no special deal with that - standart...

The LCD itself is a differnt story... here a screenshot to that story:

After "iter" is the output to the MidiPort >connectet2> C4-Midi-Input

Convert ASCI to INTEGER and Pack a whole DisplayContent to a package > and then send it with a prefix "240 0 0 102 23" to the C4  -it is- "Sysex"

after "240 0 0 102 23" came the Display ID: "48" or 49 or 50 or 51 (4 Displays)

after this the Character Nr0: 1st Letter first row,         Character Nr.56: 1st Letter second row....

after this a lot of INTEGERS wich formaly was a Text-Message, if you want a "space" write "32" and so on...

after all Text messages are printed you terminate all that with "247"

...thats bretty much the Mackie Systex Format for the Displays... all the other stuff you can find under Mackie Sysex Implemention or so...

by the way a clear screan looks like this:

240 0 0 102 23 $1 0 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 247

 

where $1 is 48 49 50 or 51 (the Display Nr)

 

Describtion Max MSP patch:

"atoi" converts asci (text) to integer (eg: 0-256)

"pack" make i list/package of integers...

the long row of 32s  represents one whole Display-Content

 

 

 

C4 as Hardware can be a choise if you can program C- you have to program a sysex-translater for the Displays, you have to understand how midibox NG works, the platform itself and those external Functions ... what for my expirience with Midibox Software is the hardest part... trying to follow Someone other Code - for me is so complex that it is easyer for me to start from scratch -even if i dont know how to do this -learing to do this is easier then trying to learn from an complex software-tecture... it depends on the mind - my mind is - need to know, step by step, learing by doing, not a software for all cases, a software for my case, not more...

i startet with midibox in september 2014 i think... to install the software to build a Application took my 2 weeks or more... translaiting a already made Application from MaxMSP to Midibox in rudimintary took me one week - i knowed what i software must be there at the end of the day... you have to know what you need to make music... but then it comes to special things like writing Bank-Data to SD-Card - it took my 3 weeks only to write a single bythe on a sd-card... or my acutal problem: interconnecting via LAN and OSC protocoll...3 weeks later and still have no glue... well every one is a nother one... try it.

Edited by Phatline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now