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Ableton & DX7 ii with Grey Matter Expansion

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Ableton & DX7 ii with Grey Matter Expansion

Postby Von Junzt » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:53 pm

Hi folks,

I finally have found time to dig into my Yamaha DX7 ii with the E! board. I have FM Alive and Dexed, yet I can also use the synth with Ableton as an external instrument.

Is there anything I need to consider/ think about when using Ableton 10 Suite with the fully configured DX7 ii?

Does anyone have any tips and tricks?
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Re: Ableton & DX7 ii with Grey Matter Expansion

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:21 pm

I'm not really sure what you're asking.

Yes, an external MIDI synth will work fine, both as a controller, and as a sound source. You'll probably want to turn MIDI local off, and if you want to handle the audio, connect up the audio outputs to your audio interface as well as MIDI, so you can monitor through Live, and record audio, as the DX7II is not multitimbral (you can only have one sound coming from it at once - well, two, sort of. Unless the DX7II E! board makes it multitimbral, can't remember offhand) so you'll likely want to commit to audio if using multiple DX7 sounds in a track... (or use Dexed etc).
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Re: Ableton & DX7 ii with Grey Matter Expansion

Postby Von Junzt » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:33 pm

desmond wrote:I'm not really sure what you're asking.

Yes, an external MIDI synth will work fine, both as a controller, and as a sound source. You'll probably want to turn MIDI local off, and if you want to handle the audio, connect up the audio outputs to your audio interface as well as MIDI, so you can monitor through Live, and record audio, as the DX7II is not multitimbral (you can only have one sound coming from it at once - well, two, sort of. Unless the DX7II E! board makes it multitimbral, can't remember offhand) so you'll likely want to commit to audio if using multiple DX7 sounds in a track... (or use Dexed etc).

Hi Desmond, thanks for your reply. I was probably unclear.

Do I need to set the DX7 ii E! to MIDI receive to use Ableton Live to sequence it?

And how does Ableton Live record MIDI notes etc. from the DX7 ii? For example I play a single note on a pad and move the pitch wheel up and down?
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Re: Ableton & DX7 ii with Grey Matter Expansion

Postby desmond » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:38 pm

Von Junzt wrote:Do I need to set the DX7 ii E! to MIDI receive to use Ableton Live to sequence it?

I doubt you need to do anything in particular, usually these functions are for special things like sysex reception, but if it is a general "MIDI on/off" setting, then yes, leave it on if not set like that.

Von Junzt wrote:And how does Ableton Live record MIDI notes etc. from the DX7 ii? For example I play a single note on a pad and move the pitch wheel up and down?

Live has audio tracks (with audio clips) and MIDI tracks (with MIDI clips). Create a MIDI track, record enable it and press record, and whatever you play on the DX7 will be recorded as MIDI data into a clip as usual. Playing back that clip will play back the MIDI data as recorded back to the DX7.

You'll need the DX7 connected to your computer via MIDI of course, both ways if you want to both record and playback.

If you have any problems, post back and we'll try to help further.
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