using two midi controllers with hammond/proph

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Varkhan1
2008-07-21
2013-05-23
  • Varkhan1
    Varkhan1
    2008-07-21

    Nick, thanks again for your informative answers, I appreciate it!

    Is it possible to configure one midi controller to be the upper keyboard of a two keyboard synth and another one as the bottom keyboard?

     
    • Nick Copeland
      Nick Copeland
      2008-07-21

      This should be possible, it was always the intention however now that you pose the actual question I have to admit that there are a few issues you might be faced with. For starters, it cannot work with OSS since then bristol only opens a connection to a single physical device.

      It should work with ALSA. Bristol will register with 128:0 or similar, your two midi controllers should register with 63:0 and 64:0 for example - you then need to aconnect 63:0 and 64:0 to 128:0. The issue here is that I am not sure how ALSA would then handle the MIDI mixing operation - it has to take two devices and mix their MIDI messages, it is possible but not trivial and I am not certain how it would operate. Hm, I have not tried this - perhaps I should have a go.

      Have you tried it? I would be interested to hear what you found, problems or otherwise. I will let you know if I get some results here.

      Kind regards,

      Nick.

       
    • Nick Copeland
      Nick Copeland
      2008-07-21

      Hi There,

      This works, I just started up my laptop, attached a PCR-30 and Oxygen-8 on two USB busses, they both appears in the 'aconnect' listing (you will have to see what you get with qjackctl but it will be the same/similar). The PCR appeared as device 20 and the Oxygen as 24:

      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [114] aconnect -i
      client 0: 'System' [type=kernel]
          0 'Timer           '
          1 'Announce        '
      client 14: 'Midi Through' [type=kernel]
          0 'Midi Through Port-0'
      client 20: 'PCR' [type=kernel]
          0 'PCR MIDI        '
          1 'PCR 1           '
          2 'PCR 2           '
      client 24: 'USB Oxygen 8 v2' [type=kernel]
          0 'USB Oxygen 8 v2 MIDI 1'

      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [115] aconnect -o
      client 14: 'Midi Through' [type=kernel]
          0 'Midi Through Port-0'
      client 20: 'PCR' [type=kernel]
          0 'PCR MIDI        '
          1 'PCR 1           '
      client 24: 'USB Oxygen 8 v2' [type=kernel]
          0 'USB Oxygen 8 v2 MIDI 1'
      client 128: 'bristol' [type=user]
          0 'bristol input   '
      client 129: 'brighton' [type=user]
          0 'brighton input  '

      The next two commands linked my PCR-30 to both bristol and brighton:

      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [117] aconnect 20:1 128:0
      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [118] aconnect 20:1 129:0

      The next two linked my Oxygen to the same:

      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [120] aconnect 24:0 128:0
      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [121] aconnect 24:0 129:0

      The device indeces are different, 20:1 versus 24:0, something that confused me for a moment. You need to configure each master keyboard to use the correct midi channel and away you go, it wil drive both the engine and the UI as you need want.

      I tested this with the Hammond however the other dual manual systems will work the same.

      Regards, Nick.

       
    • Varkhan1
      Varkhan1
      2008-07-22

      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [117] aconnect 20:1 128:0
      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [118] aconnect 20:1 129:0
      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [120] aconnect 24:0 128:0
      [nicky@nickpc] brighton [121] aconnect 24:0 129:0

      hmm, I tried  this using my own aconnect -i settings but I still got got the problem that both keyboards are connected to the top keyboard of the hammond/prophet10.

       
    • Nick Copeland
      Nick Copeland
      2008-07-22

      That does actually sound about right. Here is how the dual manual synths work:

      You start the synth with some midi channel, the default when you do not give one with the -channel option is always channel #1. If it is a dual manual synth then it is actually two different synths in the engine being managed by the same GUI, and to be able to use both of them separately they need different midi channels. The default channels are the first one you requested and that same "channel + 1". If you did not give a midi channel then the upper manual will use channel #1 and the lower channel will use channel #2.

      So, if you connect two master keyboards then they need to be configured to use different midi channels - otherwise both will probably also use channel #1 and will only drive the upper bristol manual. Theoretically would have been possible to get both emulators to use the same channel however that is a different pain in the butt where you would have to transpose the second keyboard rather than give it a different midi channel so I think the solution is reasonable.

      Additionally, with the Pro-10: this is two synths with two keyboards - in 'Dual' it uses two midi channels. In 'Layer' it configures both emulators to use the same midi channel so both synths are layered on top of each other. This is the same with the OB-Xa, the Jupiter-8 and the three Crumar Bit emulations however these add the option to 'split' the keyboard. The Split option (not available on the Pro-10) uses a single midi channel however the GUI directs the engine regarding midi key split points. Actually, these layered synths with a single keyboard only ever use a single midi channel, the GUI just plays around with key splits and voice assignments, the latter being used to make a 10 voice OBX-a appear as two 5 voice layered or split keyboard sounds.

      On a related note, if you try and change the MIDI channel of the dual manual synths then they will only accept channel #1 to #15 since they need channel #16 for the second manual so there is an upper limit. You may find a couple of anomalies here which I will only fix if you find them. The awkward one is that if you start a Pro-10 in Dual mode, connnect two master keyboards each on different midi channels it will all work. If you then select 'Layer' mode then both emulators will respond to only the first midi channel so only one of the master keyboards will give you any sound. I consider this to be correct however I have to acknowledge the fact that the original instrument, in Layer mode, would respond on both of its integrated keyboards. I consider the bristol solution to be correct for how I have to emulate this with MIDI rather than in a real hardware synth - for people who do not like it then my solution would be to have them reprogram their master keyboards to send on two midi channels however that is a different pain in the butt. If you have issues then drop a thread here in the Help forum.

      This did all work last night with my two mini master keyboards. I only change the midi channel on the PCR, its easier to do than the Oxygen (only because I have only had the Oxygen about a week and was not sure how to).

      Regards,

      Nick.

       
  • Eric Moreau
    Eric Moreau
    2011-03-18

    It would be nice to be able to configure the channel + 1 thing.
    I use a Casio WK-200, on which channel + 1 is for overlay,
    and channel + 2 is for split.

     
  • Nick Copeland
    Nick Copeland
    2011-03-18

    Making the channel configurable would be difficult: casio don't let you do it either. This issue is not giving the other layer a different channel, it is the logic behind what you then do when you want to change channel - you have to hold the difference for the  two layers. Casio fix this at +1 and +2 and will not let you configure say +2 and +5 either.

    We could open up a feature request rather than just a submit on the forum and see when such a feature could get implemented. It can be done, just a bit of work.

     
  • Eric Moreau
    Eric Moreau
    2011-03-19

    Sorry.  I didn't meant to use the Casio as example. It's just that that's the controller that i am using for now.
    (bought this one for the kids, still shopping for something better)
    My point was that, if the channel + 1 was configurable, one could use the split keyboard feature of the controller
    to control both manuals of the Hammond emulation (one manual on channel n and the other on channel n+2).

    By the way, does the pedalboard have a separate midi channel ?

     
  • Nick Copeland
    Nick Copeland
    2011-03-19

    HI Eric,

    I will work on adding an option to have an arbitrary second MIDI channel. There are two ways to do it: quickly and then correctly. What version of bristol do you have? Perhaps I can get you a coulple of patched files for the Hammond pretty soon then release a general fix later. I saw your change requests get submitted including the ones for CZ and PAiA. Now I am not sure about CZ but the Fatman stuff looks very interesting.

    The pedalboard responds on the primary MIDI channel for the upper manual, but only to the very lowest notes. I could see a good reason to take yet another MIDI channel.

    Regards, nick