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I've never used midi before - so......

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I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Matt D » Tue May 26, 2020 10:35 am

Ive got a collection of synths and workstations and have only just added midi, after nearly two decades. Im using iPad to iconnectivity mioXM and everything works fine.

My question is around midi channels.

I get that my workstation is multitimbral. So a single midi port has 16 channels and I can use the combi mode to have 16 instruments playing all at once, via midi messages from Cubasis3

However, what is the point of 16 channels per port being sent to a mono synth?

or as a better example, my DSI-OB6 allows you to set a midi channel (being received) on a patch, but whats the point as it isn't multitimbral either?
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby fatbenelton » Tue May 26, 2020 10:49 am

Because you may have limited midi ports and need to use the midi through/out to ‘pass on’ messages to other synths.
So, in theory, you can control 16 different synths from one midi port by daisy chaining the synths and setting each to a different channel.
Some synths respond in ‘omni’ which means they respond to any and every channel so that chucks a spanner in the works but if you can set the midi channel between 1-16 think of it as allowing flexibility and the ability to set the midi ‘address’ rather than only being for multi timbral use.
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Matt D » Tue May 26, 2020 11:07 am

So in theory

I could go from the midi interface Port 1 - to the midi in on the OB6

Then go from the midi thru on the OB6 - out to say, a Roland D50 midi in

all from the same port?

How many can you daisy chain like that?
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby The Elf » Tue May 26, 2020 11:08 am

You can have a number of synths all attached to one MIDI port - as each has its own channel you address each separately. The channel is a like a radio station - only the synths 'tuned in' to that station will hear it.
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby desmond » Tue May 26, 2020 11:09 am

Yes.

You can daisy chain as many devices as you want but in general it's not a good idea to connect everything like this for various reasons (delays, dropped bytes, the different handling of different devices to MIDI and so on).

You are limited to 16 unique channels per port, so if you wanted to individually address 16 different synths on a unique channel, that would be the limit. But if you wanted to layer up synths and have multiple synths receiving on the same MIDI channel, you can do that too.

As it became common to have more than one port, it then became easier as you'd have to chain less devices, and you'd have multiple sets of 16 MIDI channels to work with, which became more useful as devices went multitimbral and could receive on all 16 MIDI channels independently).
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby The Elf » Tue May 26, 2020 11:10 am

Matt D wrote:I could go from the midi interface Port 1 - to the midi in on the OB6

Then go from the midi thru on the OB6 - out to say, a Roland D50 midi in

all from the same port?

How many can you daisy chain like that?
As many as you like, but it's not advisable to do it this way. You would be better using separately addressable MIDI ports, or at least a MIDI 'thru' box. This would avoid degradation of the data and also means you don't have to keep the entire chain powered up to address the synth at the end of the chain!
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Matt D » Tue May 26, 2020 11:14 am

Thank you to everyone for the replies


Ive finally just learned the point of a midi thru on a synth!

All very useful and now it makes a lot more sense.
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue May 26, 2020 1:13 pm

If you have more than a couple of synths/sound sources that you wish to drive over MIDI, then I can heartily recommend the ESI M4U EX.

It offers 8 MIDI sockets, (4 on the front and 4 on the back) all of which can be used as inputs or outputs and can act in standalone mode in 3 different ways, one of which is to send a copy of all data coming in on MIDI socket 1 to the other 7 MIDI sockets, making it perfect for controlling a number of destinations from a single source.

It can also do the opposite, merging the input from MIDI sockets 1 - 7 together and sending the result to socket 8.

There is a review of the 16-socket version in SOS here (the M8U EX) which works in an identical fashion, only having double the physical sockets.

Of course they also can act as 'normal' MIDI ports to a DAW or other computer software as well. The nice thing about that is that the sockets automatically figure out whether they should be inputs or outputs, so the interface presents a full set of both to the computer (ie: in the case of the M4U EX that's 8 ins and 8 outs).
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue May 26, 2020 1:44 pm

Double post. :headbang:
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue May 26, 2020 1:45 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote: ESI M4U EX.


Thanks for posting that device, it looks like a must-have for my setup! I'm currently using a MIDI Solutions Quadra Thru without incident, but I have about 8 devices that can receive MIDI and this would prevent frequent plugging/unplugging!
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue May 26, 2020 2:03 pm

I'm using mine in conjunction with a 22-port passive DIN patchbay (a Signex CPM-22), to the back of which I've brought many of the MIDI INs from around the room, as well as a couple of OUTs from those boards I want to use as controllers.

I also have one pair of DINs on the Signex connected to a Kenton MIDI USB Host MkII so I can use a USB-only MIDI device as part of the old-school DIN network, either as source, destination or both.

It took me ages to get around to sorting all this stuff out but it makes accessing MIDI devices at the drop of a hat so much easier and reduces the effort of repatching tremendously.
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Dan LB » Tue May 26, 2020 2:06 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote: ESI M4U EX.


Thanks for posting that device, it looks like a must-have for my setup!

+1. Thanks for posting that Eddy, hadn’t seen that before. :thumbup:
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby zenguitar » Tue May 26, 2020 4:31 pm

Looks very useful. Different feature set than my iConnectMIDI 4 but definitely bookmarked for future reference as the USB C connection and hub would be a nice match for my MacBook Pro.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Martin Walker » Tue May 26, 2020 4:36 pm

Dan LB wrote:[+1. Thanks for posting that Eddy, hadn’t seen that before. :thumbup:

Nor had I, and its bronze steampunk livery really enhances it in my opinion (no change there then ;) )

Image

I've long been impressed with ESI products, having reviewed various of them during my years of writing for SOS.


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Re: I've never used midi before - so......

Postby Martin Walker » Tue May 26, 2020 4:38 pm

zenguitar wrote:Looks very useful. Different feature set than my iConnectMIDI 4 but definitely bookmarked for future reference as the USB C connection and hub would be a nice match for my MacBook Pro.

I've recently dug out my iConnectMIDI, which has turned out to be the perfect USB-connected interface between my PC and my Yoshimi Pi.


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