Controllers

Instruments

Overview


Some Q&A on the MIDI setup:
Q : Why the BCR-2000 in combination with the Tenori-On?
A : The BCR2000 allows 128 bit of volume and pan control, as well as sustain on/off for each of the Tenori-On layers. The Tenori-On 16x16 matrix supports only 4 bit resolution for any parameter.
Q : Why the Arturia keystep?
A :
  1. It adds an arpeggiator and poly sequencer to the D50
  2. It adds a second keyboard for the "separate" key-mode of the D50.
  3. It functions as a master clock and transport controller for the other connected sequencers. The keystep is the only device in this setup that provides a control for the "continue" (also known as resume) transport function.
Q : The Zaquencer and Kiwi PE already provide a MIDI merge function. Why is the MIDI merge box used?
A : Well now, that takes a bit of technical detail!
Goal is to be able to control all modules from the SY99's master keyboard function simultaneous with the Zaquencer and Kiwi control functions. First attempt was the simple MIDI daisy chain shown right.
This fails because of the following:
  • The Zaquencer and Kiwi, like most devices offering a MIDI merge, prioritize incoming MIDI active sense messages over any MIDI data they generate themselves.
  • The SY99 always sends MIDI clock messages (even when its sequencer is not running!) and, should any output bandwidth remain, MIDI active sense messages. Because of this there is no remaining bandwidth for the Zaquencer and Kiwi PE to merge any of their own generated messages with the input received from the SY99.
The MIDI Solutions merge box does not prioritize incoming MIDI active sense over other incoming MIDI data, which is as it should be. As such that tool helps to achieve my goal and allows the SY99 master keyboard controller and MP-113 foot pedal to control the modules simultaneously with the other controllers.
Q : What about the blue cables to the MIDI Thru connectors?
A : The sole purpose of the blue cables is to distribute MIDI clock, start, stop and continue messages throughout the system.
Of course these cables will transport all other MIDI messages as well, which is of no importance here since any channel and system exclusive messages will effectively be ignored by all receivers in the chain (due to each receiver having its own exclusive window of midi channels / module ids).
Q : This setup employs several MIDI thru- and merge nodes. Are there any timing related issues here?
A : NO, not yet
Over the years, up till now, this has never caused any problems (latency or otherwise) at all. MIDI 1.0 was and is well prepared for daisy chaining. Only points that needed attention in this setup are:
  • Yamaha instruments in combination with MIDI merging devices that do not take incoming MIDI active sense into correct consideration (see MIDI Solutions merge box question above for the solution).
  • Running two (or more) sequencers as input for any MIDI merging device. This is an obvious limitation for MIDI since real time messages are system global and not bound to a channel.
Latency problems as reported by others are often related to not well designed firmware , extremely long chains or complex chains having one or more feedback loops.
Even in a non-trivial setup like the one pictured above MIDI related problems do not occur or can be avoided.
Q : What is the MP-113?
A : The MP-113 is a 13-note MIDI foot pedal, which is mainly used to control the JX-03 but can, by changing its sending MIDI channel, of course also control the Matrix-6 or Microwave 1 in this setup.

About the audio setup:

Please don't ask! It is a luxury compromise of various things that I would very much like to be otherwise.