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MIDI for a newbie

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MIDI for a newbie

Postby arepeggio » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:31 am

Hi there!

I’m brand new here on the forum, and I have some newbie questions regarding MIDI.
I’ve been playing guitar on and off for some years now, mostly classical acoustic. I play mostly my self-made interpretations of familiar music, as well as improvisations. I’ve played at some weddings and also on other occasions. Here’s an example what I do:

https://youtu.be/QWuGTnrUVaU

I usually play by myself, but I must admit that I sometimes miss the opportunity to add some additional sound to my performances. That’s why I now want to explore the use of MIDI. I know technically quite a lot of what MIDI can do, but I have to admit that when it comes to using it, I’m still on the first page. So I hope that someone can give me some friendly hints along the way. How do I connect my stuff together, and do I need to purchase anything in order to achieve a setup that works for me.

This is my hardware at the moment:
- Yamaha SLG 110N Silent Nylon Guitar
- Ibanez SA 160 QM Electric Guitar
- Headrush Gigboard Guitar effects pedal. It has MIDI In and a combined MIDI OUT/THRU, it can recieve MIDI clock, and it can send and/or recieve program change.
- Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 Audio interface. It has MIDI in and out.
- Yamaha PSR 1500 Arranger workstation. It has MIDI in, out and thru. I’ve had it for more than 15 years, but it still works just fine.
- Keith McMillen 12 Step MIDI controller, which uses the ’12 Step Editor.app’.
- Keith McMillen MIDI Expander, which has MIDI in and out.

- MacBook Pro, Retina 15 inch, 16GB memory, 500GB flash. 2 x USB, 2 x Thunderbolt, HDMI.
- Logic Pro X
- Ableton Live Lite
- GarageBand
- Guitar Pro 6 (Exports MIDI files from musical annotations or guitar tabs)

- iPad Pro 9,7’’, 256 GB. Lightening to USB (camera) adapter.
- GarageBand
- Launchpad
- Rhytm Pad

- iMac 27” 3,4 GHz Quad-core, 16GB memory, 1TB HD, 4 x USB, 2 x Thunderbolt. (My iMac is not in use at the moment, but it might…)
- Ignite
- Garageband

I have some different goals or wishes for the setup:
(1) First of all, I would connect my 12 Step together with Logic X on my MacBook, using it as a dedicated bass/chord pedal, and using Logic X voices. The 12 Step is able to assign 1 to 5 notes at the same time and 1 or 2 voices at the same time, from each key. But I wonder if it’s possible to somehow make MIDI keep the pace, so that when I push a 12 Step key, the keypress change appears from the next downbeat…?
(2) I would like to make the 12 Step start and stop playing a Logic X track, MIDI track, or Mp3/waw file by pressing a 12 Step key…
(3) I wonder if it’s possible to remote control the 12 Step, maybe from my MacBook, to alter between different preprogrammed chords, and thus make backup for different songs?
(4) When I play my guitar, using my Gigboard, I would like to record it all, both my guitar/Gigboard and the Logic X sounds.
(5) I would like to maybe make something on my Yamaha keyboard, which I later can recall/start with my 12 Step, either directly from my Yamaha keyboard or after Exporting the Yamaha MIDI file or audio file into Logic X.

As you can see I have some different requests, and maybe some of them aren’t possible at all. But as I said, I have to start from scratch, connecting my stuff together. And if you think I’m missing some pieces of hardware, please tell me about it. And when commenting my ‘goals or wishes’, please tell me which goal number you’re referring to.

Regards, Arepeggio
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Re: MIDI for a newbie

Postby BJG145 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:31 pm

Just some quick thoughts...

I wonder if it’s possible to somehow make MIDI keep the pace, so that when I push a 12 Step key, the keypress change appears from the next downbeat…?

That kind of thing is Ableton's bread and butter, but I don't know if Logic is geared up that way. (I'm not familiar with it.)

I would like to make the 12 Step start and stop playing a Logic X track, MIDI track, or Mp3/waw file by pressing a 12 Step key

Again, this sounds more like Ableton's workflow to me. It's great at this kind of thing.

I wonder if it’s possible to remote control the 12 Step, maybe from my MacBook, to alter between different preprogrammed chords, and thus make backup for different songs?

From a quick glance at the manual, it sounds like it's possible to set up a bunch of presets on the 12 Step and then change between these via Program Change messages, if that helps.

4.4.3 Changing Presets With Program Changes

When in Standalone mode, changing 12 Step presets via external software/hardware is possible using program changes. Program changes sent to 12 Step Port 1 will select the corresponding preset in the setlist — e.g. sending program change 23 will load the 23rd preset in the setlist.

I would like to maybe make something on my Yamaha keyboard, which I later can recall/start with my 12 Step, either directly from my Yamaha keyboard or after Exporting the Yamaha MIDI file or audio file into Logic X

Ableton and Logic should be able to control your keyboard in the same way as a soft synth.
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Re: MIDI for a newbie

Postby Zukan » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:26 am

Didn't Paul write an epic book on Midi? I'm sure he did as I got it when I first started out in the mixing world. Was invaluable.

I was, of course, only 2 and he was in his mid 50s but we'll visit that on another day.
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Re: MIDI for a newbie

Postby arepeggio » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:41 am

Thank you, BJG145!
Now it seems a lot easier to figure out where to start.
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Re: MIDI for a newbie

Postby BJG145 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:15 pm

arepeggio wrote:Thank you, BJG145!
Now it seems a lot easier to figure out where to start.

OK! Incidentally when you talk about keeping chords played on the 12 Step in time, I think you probably want to look up the subject "quantise MIDI input" in Logic/Ableton.

When I play my guitar, using my Gigboard, I would like to record it all, both my guitar/Gigboard and the Logic X sounds

Any DAW like Logic or Ableton will allow you to set up a mixture of MIDI tracks with synths, and audio tracks. You'll simply need an audio track in the project corresponding to the Gigboard input and you can record from this while recording or playing back synth tracks at the same time.

You can find out more about integrating your hardware synth with the workflow by searching for "external hardware with Ableton" (or Logic)

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... with-MIDI-
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