Antichambre

Describe the MIDI Router of your dream?!

16 posts in this topic



Hi everybody,

Sit down ... Take a deep breath ... Close your eyes ... Now your mind is free ... Start dreaming about your perfect MIDI Router ...
Imagine its IO count, features, shape
/ case, its behaviour and menu / screen functions.
..
Leave aside any technical limitations, just imagine it ... Could you take a few minutes to describe it, please?we-need-you-300x230.png
Best regards
Bruno

 

6 hours ago, Phatline said:

latency free --> Low latency!

6 hours ago, Phatline said:

lcd on xy axis beside to label io and functionality --> Names!!! and easy access

6 hours ago, Phatline said:

routing presets for each song. so a programchange option --> Peter said more! He dreams about Preset and additive sub-preset

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Yes, latency is important in particular when routing is chain of MIDI equipment. 
Labels for direct viewing is something obliged.
Routing Presets of course...

5 hours ago, gerald.wert said:

A way to quickly and easily switch to a new route and then switch back.

Easy and fast ui port/channel routing access! --> a good USER INTERFACE

5 hours ago, gerald.wert said:

Could be used for other parts as well. Say for a lead part, especially when making a program change on an instrument when the audio drops or something weird happens when you make a program change or you want to create sustain on a part  but want the pattern to come back in without cutting off the sustain

Optional 'panic' function for lost note-off or high sustain during a port/channel switching.  --> panic option for quiet switch
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1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

* 32 INs / OUTs to attach all synths and gear to a single base unit with direct MIDI wires. --> scalable with 16 IO base module

Yes definitively!

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

controlling MIDIboxes, e.g. an MBSEQ, a LoopA, multiple MBNG controllers.  --> a dedicated sysex protocol

We can imagine some dedicated sysex commands...

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

As multiple devices need multiple different routing setups, i'd love to see "additive routing"  --> additive routing sub-preset

I love this idea too.

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

let's call it "known device names" --> Names!!!

We can imagine more than that, more than label IO and device name, with the use of the SD card we can try to get a library of CC, drum mapping names too.

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

* Potentially a filter (i.e. to filter MIDI beat clock from a single input port) or a even a loop detector to avoid deadlocks --> Events filter on each port
* Sysex routing (i.e. be able to route sysex streams, that don't have a CHN from one port to multiple ports but not to all ports - important for the MIDIbox NG) --> separated events routing, Voice / Real-Time / Sysex
* If possible, a more detailed MIDI packet protocol inspector and "flow graph" display. Yes, its bling, but you'd expect that from me! :) And it might help to see what is going on inside the box! :)  --> this could be a good for screen sleeping mode

That's perfect!
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1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

activity display showing in-, out- and merger activity --> a good USER INTERFACE

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

8 mergers, freely configurable --> merging to all destinations

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

ports can be given a name, and these names are displayed in the user interface --> Names!!! again

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

zero latency for the router --> Low latency!

thumbs-up.png

Edited by Antichambre
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no special need for a standalone router route functionality done in the apps itself for special case like seq note processor... latency free it should be. so maybe some programmable chip  in combi with a uC acting as ui..... a 16x16 matrix use blm for that . lcd on xy axis beside to label io and functionality... find lcd for the blm16x16+x... what makes it in any case more flexible. routing presets for each song. so a programchange option...

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A way to quickly and easily switch to a new route and then switch back. Use case in a live performance is to switch to a second drum machine for a small section say 4 beats for different sound for accent and then want to switch right back. Could be used for other parts as well. Say for a lead part, especially when making a program change on an instrument when the audio drops or something weird happens when you make a program change or you want to create sustain on a part  but want the pattern to come back in without cutting off the sustain. With a poly synth it is easy to set the same sound to come back in on a second poly within the synth. There are other ways to do this but a route changes vs channel change on the sequencer might be more fun and flexible in live settings.

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Ah, what an unexpected topic! :-D

Key features for myself in "dream mode" (so it might sound unrealistic, but we are dreaming, right?) would be:

* 32 INs / OUTs to attach all synths and gear to a single base unit with direct MIDI wires.
* In other words: one router, that aggregates all MIDI equipment directly and speaks to everything, also different controlling MIDIboxes, e.g. an MBSEQ, a LoopA, multiple MBNG controllers.
* As multiple devices need multiple different routing setups, i'd love to see "additive routing", so that not only the whole route set can be exchanged, but only the routes for certain devices can be exchanged, while the rest stays the same. I.e., I might want to change routes for one attached ProgrammA, but leave all other routes (i.e. to/from the SEQ) as they were, so i'd just want to switch out a subset of routes.
* And something we already spoke about in that rather long mail thread, let's call it "known device names" :)
* Potentially a filter (i.e. to filter MIDI beat clock from a single input port) or a even a loop detector to avoid deadlocks
* Sysex routing (i.e. be able to route sysex streams, that don't have a CHN from one port to multiple ports but not to all ports - important for the MIDIbox NG)
* If possible, a more detailed MIDI packet protocol inspector and "flow graph" display. Yes, its bling, but you'd expect that from me! :) And it might help to see what is going on inside the box! :)

Many greets! Peter

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  • 64 input ports and 64 output ports, scalable
  • 8 mergers, freely configurable
  • a panic button
  • zero latency for the router
  • configuration via software interface ("setup")
  • handling via a dedicated hardware interface (remote control) that can be placed anywhere, e.g. on the mixing desk (like a Lexicon LARC)
  • ports can be given a name, and these names are displayed in the user interface
  • setups can be stored and recalled via MIDI, and there is a program change table like in some older Yamaha synths
  • activity display showing in-, out- and merger activity
  • modular approach, so that I don't have to pay for all the IOs when I only need 32 because I'm Hawkeye
  • distributed, as in "I have a number of racks with equipment, and these are located all around my studio, but I want to keep my MIDI cables short with only one 'multicore' going to the central matrix from each rack"
  • obviously DIY, but preferably there is someone who has done all the hard work, and PCBs are made available
  • affordable

The v2 of this will feature all of the above :happy:.

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@Hawkeye

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

but we are dreaming, right?

Yeah we are dreaming ;)
I will add all your propositions because everything is good...

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

* As multiple devices need multiple different routing setups, i'd love to see "additive routing", so that not only the whole route set can be exchanged, but only the routes for certain devices can be exchanged, while the rest stays the same. I.e., I might want to change routes for one attached ProgrammA, but leave all other routes (i.e. to/from the SEQ) as they were, so i'd just want to switch out a subset of routes.

"additive routing" This is a very good idea! It can be some sub-preset for each port and some globals for the whole system.

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

* Potentially a filter (i.e. to filter MIDI beat clock from a single input port) or a even a loop detector to avoid deadlocks

Midi events filtering must be a basic feature, for loop detector this feature will not be easy but we can start with a kind of "Route inhibit" even if it will not resolve all the problem.

1 hour ago, Hawkeye said:

* If possible, a more detailed MIDI packet protocol inspector and "flow graph" display. Yes, its bling

This feature is not a 'basic' one but a very cool option to check bandwidth of individual port and manage midi filters.
Must be coded for a great screen like a SSD1322 ;)

@ilmenator
 

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

64 input ports and 64 output ports, scalable

Always more ahah, we recognize the people who collects synth since a long time ;)

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

modular approach, so that I don't have to pay for all the IOs when I only need 32 because I'm Hawkeye

Yes! Scalable is a good point, yes, people will choose in function of their need. 16 IO Modules?

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

8 mergers, freely configurable

seems difficult to manage, mergers number must match the number of destination. This a minimum.
But it must be a Merger/Distributor for sure!

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

a panic button

Yeah panic button in front for manual request or as automatic option(block routed source events -> panic -> and final switching)

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

configuration via software interface ("setup")

Not an 'NG' like config for easy setup?

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

handling via a dedicated hardware interface (remote control) that can be placed anywhere, e.g. on the mixing desk (like a Lexicon LARC)

Peter's LoopA format and stand for example?

1 hour ago, ilmenator said:

The v2 of this will feature all of the above :happy:.

Yes all of us know it, it's a good solution, except the number of cards and connections :/
I suspect there's something better and cheaper to do with an FPGA ;)

 

What about channel mapping and note mapping(drum mapping) ?

More idea, wish, dream?

Bruno

Edited by Antichambre

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Might as well add a touchscreen that will show activity on any node for debugging purposes, portable would be killer

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  • Re-channelization
  • Various types of message processing, (precedents include JL Cooper MSB's, (which do basic note and octave transposition etc.) - of course the SeqV4 is a shining example of some extensive data processing possibilities)
  • For full Swiss Army knife utility - a further sophistication could be message-type conversion - i.e. note-to-CC, velocity-to-value etc. (might be a bit on the overboard side, but I've run into some situations - (esp. with gears that limit how and which messages can be interpreted), where it would be useful).
  • MIDI activity indication - could be just blinkenlights or ideally some sort of real-time message display as mentioned up-thread, for debugging and sanity checking
  • RTP MDI - (am not using this feature yet on SeqV4, but looking forward to having the ability to interface via wifi devices - could see it being very powerful for bringing in ctrlr editors for various synths etc).

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adjustable midi clock divider and splitter to chain 2 or more 16-Step-Volcas or other gear

example:
 

while MIDI START

{
	begin for a := Step 1  to Step X do

		RUN 1/2*(Midi Clock) ON IIC1, Channel 1

	end

	begin for a := Step 1  to Step X do

		RUN 1/3*(Midi Clock) ON IIC2, Channel 5

	end

}
And the ability to translate midi information on the fly.
(Volume ---> panorama or pitch band)
And transposing on the fly -> C major to F minor

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@slo

On 24/05/2018 at 4:39 PM, slo said:

Might as well add a touchscreen that will show activity on any node for debugging purposes, portable would be killer

This is an option which could be study ang adapted on lemur or otherand, yes, we needs status and activity from the main system.

@audax_axon

On 25/05/2018 at 1:48 AM, audax_axon said:

Re-channelization

Yes channel remap... And channel mute, event types filter per channel... Full process for voice events, on each port, sources and destinations

On 25/05/2018 at 1:48 AM, audax_axon said:
  • Various types of message processing, (precedents include JL Cooper MSB's, (which do basic note and octave transposition etc.) - of course the SeqV4 is a shining example of some extensive data processing possibilities)
  • For full Swiss Army knife utility - a further sophistication could be message-type conversion - i.e. note-to-CC, velocity-to-value etc. (might be a bit on the overboard side, but I've run into some situations - (esp. with gears that limit how and which messages can be interpreted), where it would be useful).

Some extended processes like this can be added, your examples are great I have run this type of situation too. CC to Sysex sounds good too.

On 25/05/2018 at 1:48 AM, audax_axon said:

RTP MDI - (am not using this feature yet on SeqV4, but looking forward to having the ability to interface via wifi devices - could see it being very powerful for bringing in ctrlr editors for various synths etc).

Same as slo, a good option as UI.

@mfk

5 hours ago, mfk said:

adjustable midi clock divider and splitter to chain 2 or more 16-Step-Volcas or other gear

very good idea, for that feature the router has to be the master clock or re-sync function, we can easily divide and multiply the clock. 
If the router is the master, should be good to add some DOUT for SYNC and do the same on the clock, e.g. Korg needs 48ppqn instead of the roland classic 24ppqn. Positive and negative clock delay on each port is an other idea...
 

5 hours ago, mfk said:

And the ability to translate midi information on the fly. (Volume ---> panorama or pitch band) And transposing on the fly -> C major to F minor

:) other extended voice processing.
 

 

 

Edited by Antichambre

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Swinging/Shuffling of all kind of realtime data, different clock subdivisions, pulling / pushing of the clock per port - stuff like on the R&M Multiclock. MIDI via audio as on the Expert Sleepers stuff for tight integration with your DAW would be dope.

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Well then. The ability to reroute single-channel poly info to MPE across 16 channels of a port would be cool and a good use of all of those MIDI ports!

;)

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@u-link

1 hour ago, u-link said:

Swinging/Shuffling of all kind of realtime data, different clock subdivisions, pulling / pushing of the clock per port - stuff like on the R&M Multiclock

Definitely need a dedicated clock processor.
 

1 hour ago, u-link said:

MIDI via audio as on the Expert Sleepers stuff for tight integration with your DAW would be dope.

Maybe port types can be modular, you choose what you need, for me SYNC option, and MIDI over Jack 6,35 for FX pedal... but can be Timecode, RS422, ADAT Sync etc...

@latigid on

51 minutes ago, latigid on said:

The ability to reroute single-channel poly info to MPE across 16 channels of a port

A good processing option, but I will need to read again the specifications cause I never use it, I understand 'why' but not 'how' for the moment ...

Best
Bruno

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2 hours ago, u-link said:

MIDI via audio as on the Expert Sleepers stuff for tight integration with your DAW would be dope.

what stuff you mean they have a lot. what midi? cc clock? a plugin? (asking as intrest cause still use ableton and max some time)

Edited by Phatline

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10 hours ago, Phatline said:

what stuff you mean they have a lot. what midi? cc clock? a plugin? (asking as intrest cause still use ableton and max some time)

Expert Sleepers do a series of plug-ins that converts MIDI to Audio data that gets sent out a dedicated output of your audio interface. A module then converts this back to MIDI (or CV). The idea behind this is that on a computer, audio gets handled way better and with much more accurate timing than MIDI. As the messages are output as audio, the latency is gonna be exactly the same as the one on audio. They claim sample-accurate MIDI clock and note transmission without any jitter. Obviously this only fully works as long as you send monophonic messages.

http://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/silentway.html

 

I have an interface of theirs that take an SPDIF-In and converts it to eight MIDI-Outs. It's a bit fiddly to set up, and there are some slightly annoying limitations, like that you can only use one of the eight MIDI-Outs multitimbrally ... But when it works it is very tight! I used to have the Innerclock SyncGen, which is a similar device, but only for MIDI Clock, and this also worked very reliably.

If this MIDI router would have 32 I/O, of course you could just plug the eight outs into it ...

Edited by u-link

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As we're just tossing around ideas:

  • "Morphing" (As on the Clavia / Nord synths): You select an input, channel, CC, you can set how much and in which direction it modulates any other CC on any output, allowing for very complex modulations at the touch of only one control. Ideally with modifiers etc. LFOs and Envelopes generated by the router itself as sources would be awesome, too! 
  • Support for microtonal scales would be interesting - I think Tubbutec's Microtune module might be a source of inspiration. 
  • BPM to Pitchbend calculator: A function that automatically calculates a Pitch Bend value to offset the tuning of loops in relationship  to the actual BPM. Imagine you have some sampled percussion loops that are at 125 BPM, and you are playing at 128. You can enter both the original BPM of your loops and how many semitones your sampler detunes them in reaction to Pitch Bend. The router then calculates the needed PB value to send to the sampler patch so the loops are at the correct pitch (well, length, rather...). Something like :128/125=1.024, sampler pitchbends sounds 7 semitones, so PB value needed = XXXX 
  • A "performance mode", with split zones etc, both for keyboards and controllers.
  • CC/NRPN/SYSEX presets for all kind of gear (can be added and exchanged by the community). So if someone figures out the Juno-106 SYSEX implementation, he can easily share it with all other users. Built in CC to NRPN/SYSEX (or even other CCs to standardize your implementation) conversion makes light work of automating such synths. This would even allow your controllers / sequencers permanently sending the same 16 or so CCs, and the conversion just takes place in the router. Pretty handy if you'd know that Parameter Layer 9, permanently assigned to CC12 on the MBSEQ is always changing Filter Env amount on all your synths. That would also be great to swap out different synths without having to change the assignments in the sequences!
  • Editing of the CC to CC/NRPN/SYSEX conversion presets would be best in some kind of list editor (on a  computer), vertical row shows incoming CCs, horizontal rows are all your synths. Now you can just select the function you want controlled in a cell via a drop down box.

Man, I never thought that thinking about a MIDI router could get me excited ...

Edited by u-link
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