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Sysex feeling like a punishment

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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:49 pm

Are you still battling with your note-off thing?
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:50 pm

You did change that ID byte back to 0 right? (just checking!)
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby The Elf » Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:51 pm

There's nothing wrong with MIDI! MIDI is our friend!

How about pointing us at the manual, and explain how this piece of gear is responding, to see if we can deduce what's going on?

Oh, and tell us what you're trying to do!
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:08 pm

OK so this device is an Introspectiv 9090, which is a clone of the TR-909 sound circuits developed by Colin Fraser and Trevor Page, and it's designed as a module with no onboard sequencer. The analogue sounds trigger at Note On commands as you'd expect, and Note Off has no effect on them, they just run to their natural decay as determined by the knobs. The sampled sounds, however (crash, hats, ride) are gated by Note Off, and by the use of Velocity 0 as transmitted by some devices in lieu of Note Off. Clearly this is not something we necessarily want, and certainly if you're sending it signals from another drum machine, it's simply not possible to adjust the note length, so all you get from the 9090 is a tiny 'click' as the sample starts and immediately ends.

In order to get these samples to run fully, this sysex file contains data to allocate sounds to MIDI notes, and a single byte to define sustain behaviour: when byte 26 is 0, sustain is gated off, but when it's non-zero, note off is ignored and the sustain runs fully.

Plenty of folk have reported no trouble at all getting this to work, but clearly I'm not among them. Thanks to the previous posts, I've got Sysex Librarian (Snoize) now seeing the full file, and I can edit the hex, so that's now not a problem. The problem is getting the device to recognise it.

Basic method is: hold the config button on the device while powering up, causing the MIDI LED to flash (yes, that's OK so far) – send the file – my interface flashes to show the file is being transmitted – but then nothing happens at the other end. MIDI is getting to the 9090, I can play the sounds, but it doesn't like the config file.
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby zenguitar » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:10 pm

Have you tried sending it slower using the settings in SysEx Librarian?

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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:13 pm

desmond wrote:Are you still battling with your note-off thing?

Indeed, this be it. :D
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:13 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:You did change that ID byte back to 0 right? (just checking!)

Yes indeed! I suspect the receiving device is primed to look for 90 90 though, is that a possibility?
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:13 pm

zenguitar wrote:Have you tried sending it slower using the settings in SysEx Librarian?

Andy :beamup:

I have, and to no avail!
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:18 pm

nathanscribe wrote: I suspect the receiving device is primed to look for 90 90 though, is that a possibility?

Not unless the device was engineered to break the MIDI standard. I guess that's not impossible but it seems like a very daft thing to do if it does. Is there anywhere you can verify what those two bytes should be?
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:20 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Yes indeed! I suspect the receiving device is primed to look for 90 90 though, is that a possibility?

Not in a sysex string, no. Data bytes in a sysex string (actually, in MIDI, *any* MIDI) *can only be 7-bit*. Anything >127 is a Status byte, not a data byte.

So you either need $5A, or the message you have is wrong (I'd try things like $09 instead of typos, but it depends on the sysex documentation which is unknown), or the value *is* $90 but needs to be encoded over multiple 7-bit bytes in the sysex string.

Can you point us to the source of where you got this info? Because it seems suspect to me, or something's lost in translation (and clearly whatever you have set up isn't working, so therefore must be wrong)...
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:23 pm

Well the data string as pasted earlier is from the user manual, and that's the only info available, except for fights between people on the internet who can get no joy from this process, with others who are determined it works perfectly.

I tried both 5A and 09 and neither worked. Config light on the device just carries on flashing as though it's not received anything. Tried a slower transmission, that doesn't affect anything. Tried two different sysex apps. Neither work.

I've also tried a sysex file downloaded from the 9090 facebook group, which is claimed to work perfectly, and yet it doesn't for me at all. The string in that is 90 90 and it's 27 bytes.
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:27 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Well the data string as pasted earlier is from the user manual, and that's the only info available, except for fights between people on the internet who can get no joy from this process, with others who are determined it works perfectly.

Links to these discussions, and the info from the manual would be helpful.

As it is, we've only got your word from your side of the story, and you might be reading the manual wrong perhaps (given you're such a fan of MIDI! ;) )

And the string you've provided here both doesn't work, and violates the MIDI spec, so it's not a good start! :lol:

Otherwise, without any other info, and no access to the device in question, there's not much else we're going to be able to do... :shrugs:
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby The Elf » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:48 pm

http://www.9090project.co.uk/download/9090userguide161102.pdf

Here it is, guys. It does look very strange. I can only suggest that maybe the software handling the Sys-Ex is spitting out its dummy at the hex '90's in there?
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:51 pm

Hmm, bit suspicious those bytes are 90 90 and the device is a 9090.

Maybe the developer got over excited with the find/replace in the documentation...? :silent:

I'd contact the developer, because what a random MIDI transmission software will do transmitting non-valid sysex bytes is up for grabs - they could have any of multiple behaviours.

Alternatively, you could write a loop to loop through all 128 7-bit values to see if one works (some software might wrap around the 8-bit value into a 7-bit value).

That's a *really* bad sysex implementation and the developer should not have done that (if that's what he did) as he shows no understanding of basic MIDI fundamentals... :headbang: He just thought the $90 $90 looked cool. Bad.
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Re: Sysex feeling like a punishment

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:53 pm

Ah cheers Elf. Yes, it's a bit thin on info in there, the discussions online are in a private facebook group but amount to the same.

Anyhow after all this, it may be an issue with the firmware in the early PICs that were issued. Seems like the solution is to replace the PIC with one with the correct behaviour programmed in already, as trouble updating the old ones has never been resolved.

Sigh. Thank you everyone, it's good to know there's a bunch of experts hiding behind the curtains :D
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