Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

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MickeK
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Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:24 pm

Hi,

First of all. I'm a musician that once buyed Cubase SX 1.0.6 I never developed to a skilled user. As a start project I finished two complete songs and was very happy to understand it so far. My intention was to be able to test arrangements and be able to be a one-man band at home. Doing tracks with analog guitar/base/vocal and MIDI inputs for drums and keyboards. That was done with my Roland V-Drums together with EZ Drummer VST (the dll dated 2012) and a keyboard together with B4 Native (the dll dated 2002). To be honest this setup is enough for my needs.

This might be an "idiot" question but it would be very nice to use my setup for a live jam with my friends. No need to record anything but need for two MIDI instruments playing at the same time. I donät know if it's possible as my soundcard just have two MIDI connections (In and Out). My V-Drums has a MIDI out and my keyboard has MIDI Thru In and Out.

Is there any chance that connecting two MIDI sources with some help of THRU and split them in Cubase into two MIDI channels, one for VST B4 and the other VST EZDrums? That would be great but probably not possible? If not, any suggestions to do what I'm after?

My best
Micke
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SYNC
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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:40 pm

ETITED a few times for clarity. Yes, SX is all you need I trust you. No one should attempt to talk you into a new computer or the latest Cubase version.

Yes, it's possible to Daisy Chain midi instruments as you say, but it's better to use a midi router from my experience ...

For inputting midi, I use e-drums, a keyboard/synth and a midi guitar...they all get connected with 'standard' midi DIN cables. My audio interface only has a pair of midi I/O, as many do. I used to just run midi in & out of my midi devices, and if it had a midi thru I'd used that, but not all did, so I just ran midi in and out of some devices - I also have midi sound modules by the way.

Now I use a 8 In 8 Out Motu MTP AV midi router...they can be had very cheap used on ebay...that's why I have THREE of them actually :D Any input can be routed to any output, and can be programed/routed from the front controls ...with or without a computer even connected. I have USB & Serial versions of the Motu, but funny, I end up just using ALL standard midi DIN's In & Out, even into my sound cards midi.
So what you could do with a midi router, is plug all your midi instruments into it with standard midi DIN cables from each, then take ONE midi DIN cable out of one of it's midi outputs, INTO your sound cards midi. Midi interfaces and cable are capable of 16 channels, so PLENTY for just a few midi instruments playing live..or recording. That problem solved!

In my home studio, and with my midi routers especially, because of my midi hardware routing can send all incoming 'played/live performed' midi. Since you don't have a midi router, though you may be able to go In/Out of your midi devices (Daisy-Chaining) to get the played live performed midi into your Cubase computer, I wouldn't highly recommend it, especially if you don't have midi THR on all devices. This is mainly because when there's no midi thru, what can happen is, changing settings on one device can make changes on another device...this actually happened all the time with my multiple Yamaha DTXpress midi drum trigger sound modules. If paying attention, you can live with that..but really, it's so much better with a midi router, so I would advise doing that. With just a few midi instruments being played, there's no problem.

You DO know each midi track has an Input/Output? You must set this properly. Whatever you're sending, say edrums on a particular track, set it's Input to receive that. Whatever you want to play for sounds with midi, set it's output to that...if your edrums for sound, then midi out of your sound card, if a drum VST-, set it's output to that VSTi, in which you should have already set in your VST instruments list. Use your monitor button (the speaker icon).

And now...Cubase...hmmm.. I've never actually had the opportunity to try and make more than one midi instrument play different midi tracks (or Instrument tracks as the case may be for you) with whatever Virtual Instruments (VSTi's) that were assigned to them. But many times I'll have my midi keyboard AND midi guitar routed to the DAW when working on recording a midi track, and they're of course going to the same midi track in this instance, I can naturally trade off playing either the guitar or keyboard to make the VSTi play, during 'record' or just playing around.
Many times I HAVE done 'Multi-Record' in the DAW with say three people, all playing audio into the DAW, all into 'seperate' tracks being recorded simultaneously, I have never done a similar type of midi multi-record into the DAW....BUT...this just HAS to be possible I would imagine. But what they call it, this I am not sure. Cubase does so much and again it has to.

For something that may steer you in the right direction of what YOU are trying to do, what I HAVE been doing for a while now, is use 2 computers....one computer runs VSTi's, the other audio tracks...I connect a regular 5-pin midi DIN cable from one machine's audio/midi interface to the other, using the 2nd machine like any ordinary midi sound module. THIS IS VERY TRICKY though. You have to send several midi channels/tracks from one device to another (in this case between two computers) and I have sent ALL 16 midi channels this way...each midi track in one machine, being assigned to their own midi track with VSTi's loaded in the other machine.
The TRICKY part...you have to learn about the Cubase Midi Transformer AND Midi Filter. You have to learn about doing this Globally AND Locally...PER midi track/channel. If you don't, all midi tracks being SENT by one machine, wmay play all receiving midi tracks loaded with VSTi's in the other machine. This happened to me & was ready to give up thinking doing this was not possible. THEN I discovered the Cubase midi Filter & midi Transformer :idea:

Sooooo! In closing .... I would THINK that what I have done/do with 2 computers and midi, is what you'd need to do with playing several midi instruments live into the DAW...whether recording or not recording. Midi Filtering & Midi transformer - you should get to know how to do these settings Globally AND Locally.

But...UNLESS there is some simple Midi multi-record option that is similar to what I used to do with recording several musicians with incoming audio being assigned to separate audio tracks at once. I just don't know about doing this with using midi...but my above example with 2 computers would do it I'm sure for what YOU are trying to do with 'live' midi coming in.

NOTE; To monitor tracks (I believe midi or otherwise) Don't forget to turn on the monitoring button to hear all tracks...otherwise you may not hear the track when it's not in the highlighted/selected state. Each track has a little speaker icon on it (the monitoring button) to the lest of each lane, just under where it say's [M] & [S] and to the right of the 'record' icon. An oversight easily made.

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:40 pm

I very much appreciate your efforts to give me the full picture. I can read in how precise you try to transfer your knowledge but I have to admit I'm not sure if I follow. That is on me totally. I'm not stupid at all and have used computers proffessionally since early 90'ties BUT even if I'm a muscian as well I never really got into the world of MIDI.

I do know that a MIDI instrument (like my piano and V-drums) uses the MIDI Out to send data instructions to the MIDI In of the sound card. I also understand that those instructions had to be interpreted my the computer before any sound will come out from the Audio Line Out. The VST Plugs (my B4 Hammond and EZDrum) take care of this from separate MIDI tracks in Cubase.

My only "success" so far has been that I once mangaged to connect my instruments one at the time and create one drum track and one hammondtrack in Cubase. From the resp. instruments MIDI Out to MIDI IN on the sound card and then handled as two tracks in Cubase. I know in general that a MIDI system is more than that an the opportunities are awsome but (at least for the moment) I only have intention to be able to play both instruments "live" with help of Cubase VSTs.

I hope you perhaps can fill in my lack of knowledge. The attached pic "myMIDIsetup.jpg shows all my gear and the in- and outputs I have available. This visual view might help me to understand if you can relate any new input to my "reality" so to speak.

I describe how I understand what you're saying, hoping you might fill in and correct.

Concerning the MIDI Router:

A MIDI Router as such is new as a concept to me (surprise ;) ) but I know what "router" stands for. I Googled to see how it looks. Found MOTU MIDI Express XT (something like yours perhaps). On the back 8 MIDI INs and 8 MIDI OUTs. On the front a single pair of MIDI IN/OUT. DIN connectors. In additon an USB output supposed to connect to a computer.

1.
Am I right to say that the front MIDI IN/OUT connects to the both opposite connectors on my sound card (and the USB to the computer)?

2.
Do I use two single DIN cables to connect my two instruments from their MIDI OUTs to two avaiblable MIDI INs on the back of the router? That is: No need for some double OUT/IN from the piano to IN/OUT on the router? Made that conclusion as the drums don't have any MIDI IN anyhow.

3.
Even if it's possible as you mention to use the router stand alone I guess that is the case if you play with the instruments own original MIDI maps. In my case I do have to use the VST Plugs as I'm after sounds only generated from them. So in my case I have to go through Cubase to obtain that, right?

4.
If my suggested setup (or a similar) is correct I then just have to "tell" Cubases individual tracks what MIDI channel (as directed from the router) send the drums resp. piano and then assign the Cubase tracks to the two VST's?

Is this the correct setup to start playing on both instruments and get the correct output?

Concerning Daisy Chain:

As well a new expression to me. The fact my piano had a DIN called Thru made me think about the possible solution I asked for in first posting. To somehow pass the signals and still have them seperated in my software. If that works (but I could read in some "warning" of one instrument dominating the other?) and I still only have a need of playing the drums and the piano simultanously it might be the cheapest solution. Perhaps overkill to buy the router? But if the router is more relaiable solution I might go for it and find some reasonable cheap one on eBay.

Anyhow, I can only see one possible chain here and I wonder if I got that right:

5.
As the drums only has MIDI OUT I guess that it has to go to the PIANO? To me tat's the only way to include the piano in a chain. So Drums MIDI OUT to the Pianos MIDI IN or perhaps MIDI Thru? Next guess is pianos MIDI OUT to Sound cards MIDI IN. Or is the Sound cards MIDI OUT involded somehow?

6.
If using this chain Cubase can still interpret two different MIDI signals and be assigned to two tracks as long as I differ the channel settings of the tracks?

------

To end up this let's just say that I don't need to understand the full capabilities of a MIDI system. Would be interesting to know more but I save it for later. Right now my needs are just to obtain the quite simple task of using both my VST Plugs to both of my MIDI instruments simultanously. Follow instructions, connect and get it to work would make my day :).

Sorry about all my confusion and a big thanks if you're patient enough to enlighten me a little bit more on this.

My best
Michael
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SYNC
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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:47 am

Hi, been working all day & my brain is fried & I'll just confuse you AND me (lol) in trying to address every question. But for now, I'll ramble more...and here's an interesting read for midi beginners that may help you to understand more ...

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_ar ... sics1.html

&

http://tweakheadz.com/how-to-get-starte ... ng-studio/

I was in your shoes not all that long ago & didn't know squad about midi. It took a long time to sink in. As I said I used to daisy-chain, running all midi instruments in and out of each other. Though it can work, I found investing in a midi router was the best thing for my midi set up. But you're welcome to give daisy-chaining a go 1st...I did that too! Do NOT try to absorb all things midi (just like you said) ..it'll mess you up, just get the basic, and get stuff working!

Midi THRU just passes what that device/instrument has sent into it's input...in other words, the THRU is a copy of what the input see's. So, if you send your edrums midi out, into to your keyboards input, your keyboards midi thru will 'only' be sending out the midi information from your edrums. While 'playing' your keyboard, the midi in which you're playing will not be sent out of it's midi thru, but will be sent to it's midi out.
So..I believe to daisy chain both your edrums & keyboard, yes...you'll start by sending your edrums midi out, into your keyboards midi in, and send the keyboards midi out, into your sound cards midi. If you only want to use your edrums & keyboard as a midi controller, to send midi out of them, into the computer, and don't want/need your computer to 'play' the edrums & keyboards own sounds, the you don't need to send your sound cards midi out at all.

Midi THRU is useful if say, you're playing a master keyboard (the keyboard you're sitting at & playing), and you want what you're 'playing' sent out (the midi) into say, 2 or 3 more keyboards (called slaves) which then each additional keyboards 'receive' the midi that you're sending out from your master keyboard that you're playing on. Each of the keyboards can then send it's own sounds out via it's audio outputs into a mixer or sound card for a super multi-layered sound.

I don't believe in your particular case, you'd even use the midi THRU on your keyboard, because you're not intending to have one midi instrument that's being played, have the other midi instrument be an additional sound source for it. You only wanting to have 2 separate 'midi controllers' go into your computer to control separate midi tracks/channels.
In the scenario of sending the edrums midi out, into the keyboards midi in...if you then sent your keyboards midi thru into your computers midi in, then what will happen is your keyboard won't be sending midi into your sound cards midi it, only your edrums will play a VSTi in your computer.
However, you may need to do some fancy work, (midi filtering etc) to prevent one midi device from doing something unwanted to the other midi device. That's where a midi router comes in handy. I only suggest the older Motu MTP AV because you can get an 8X8 router for DIRT CHEAP. As I said, I don't even use the USB function on the USB versions, so an even CHEAPER & OLDER parallel Motu can be had. By the way, the front & rear midi INS & OUTS don't matter on either the parallel or USB motu versions...they're labeled '1 through 8' and any ins can be sent to any outs, separated, or combined! For example, plug your edrums midi out, into ANY of the routers midi in, (say midi #1 IN) then plug your keyboards midi out, into say midi #2 IN) ...then, simply send ANY of the routers midi out, into your sound cards midi IN. Again, you do not need a midi out from your sound card. If you DO get a router, and one with a USB connection into your computer, you'd just use the USB from your router, to your computer. I just prefer to stay all 5 pin midi DIN myself.

Again, try the daisy chaining 1st and see if you end up with issues. For me, my midi set up got crazy, and I needed the routing capability for how I use my midi gear. I don't just do one thing, set & forget...things get routed around as needed.

Here, check out some images of several midi connections...

https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is ... onnections

Notice how the midi IN's, OUT's & THRU's are being used. It appears THRU is mostly used to send from master instrument (the one you're playing) to slaves where your master is controlling them by it's midi.

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:24 am

MickeK wrote:
Concerning the MIDI Router:

A MIDI Router as such is new as a concept to me (surprise ;) ) but I know what "router" stands for. I Googled to see how it looks. Found MOTU MIDI Express XT (something like yours perhaps). On the back 8 MIDI INs and 8 MIDI OUTs. On the front a single pair of MIDI IN/OUT. DIN connectors. In additon an USB output supposed to connect to a computer.

1.
Am I right to say that the front MIDI IN/OUT connects to the both opposite connectors on my sound card (and the USB to the computer)?

2.
Do I use two single DIN cables to connect my two instruments from their MIDI OUTs to two avaiblable MIDI INs on the back of the router? That is: No need for some double OUT/IN from the piano to IN/OUT on the router? Made that conclusion as the drums don't have any MIDI IN anyhow.

3.
Even if it's possible as you mention to use the router stand alone I guess that is the case if you play with the instruments own original MIDI maps. In my case I do have to use the VST Plugs as I'm after sounds only generated from them. So in my case I have to go through Cubase to obtain that, right?

4.
If my suggested setup (or a similar) is correct I then just have to "tell" Cubases individual tracks what MIDI channel (as directed from the router) send the drums resp. piano and then assign the Cubase tracks to the two VST's?

Is this the correct setup to start playing on both instruments and get the correct output?

Concerning Daisy Chain:

As well a new expression to me. The fact my piano had a DIN called Thru made me think about the possible solution I asked for in first posting. To somehow pass the signals and still have them seperated in my software. If that works (but I could read in some "warning" of one instrument dominating the other?) and I still only have a need of playing the drums and the piano simultanously it might be the cheapest solution. Perhaps overkill to buy the router? But if the router is more relaiable solution I might go for it and find some reasonable cheap one on eBay.

Anyhow, I can only see one possible chain here and I wonder if I got that right:

5.
As the drums only has MIDI OUT I guess that it has to go to the PIANO? To me tat's the only way to include the piano in a chain. So Drums MIDI OUT to the Pianos MIDI IN or perhaps MIDI Thru? Next guess is pianos MIDI OUT to Sound cards MIDI IN. Or is the Sound cards MIDI OUT involded somehow?

6.
If using this chain Cubase can still interpret two different MIDI signals and be assigned to two tracks as long as I differ the channel settings of the tracks?
The Router;

1 - Yes and no, it doesn't matter whether you use the routers front or rear IN/OUTS, they're all the same. Yes, ANY audio or midi OUT of one device, connects to the IN of another device, so pay attention! I've screwed this up more than I care to admit.

2 - Yes, use 2 midi DIN cables, one out from each midi instrument into any of the routers IN's. How you then connect the router to your computer depends on ONE MORE midi DIN cable, out from the router into your computers midi IN, OR...if using ONE USB cable from the router to computer. I use all midi DIN's, np USB midi here.

3 - Having a router that can be used in a stand alone mode, just means you don't even need to use a computer to use it. Very handy for anything you may need. Though you CAN hook it up to a computer. Thing is, if you don't get one that does stand alone, you'll likely have to get a USB model to send midi to your computer, as it will need communication from your computer to even control the routers interface. A stand alone capable unit can be adjusted from the router itself, therefore can be used with just the midi DIN's for everything In/Out. Again, if you're using VSTi's (EZDrummer & the B4 was it?) then you don't need to send midi out of your computer at all. Nor will you need to connect any audio cables to & from your edrums or keyboard.

4 - short answer YES. This may get tricky though and may need more explanations as needed depending on how much you know about how to do this routing within Cubase. Basically, assign each midi controller & Cubase to a corresponding midi track/channel. In order to 'hear' your VSTi's simultaneously from each midi instrument being played, you may need to activate each midi tracks MONITOR button (the speaker icon), otherwise I think, only the midi track that is highlighted (from your mouse etc) will be the one heard.

Daisy Chaining;

5 - Yes, with only a midi out available on your edrums, start there...midi out, into your keyboards midi in, send your keyboards midi out, into your computer sound cards midi in. Again midi THRU on your keyboard, will only pass on the midi from your edrums, so what's the point in YOUR case.

6 - Yes it can, Cubase has mind boggling midi routing capabilities.

If I can use 2 computers, connected by way of my audio/midi interfaces on each, sending midi across all 16 channels available in a single midi DIN cable from one computer, to play 16 VSTi's set up in a 2nd computer, YOU can certainly connect a simple 2 midi instrument controller arrangment, to run VSTi's in Cubase. In FACT, each midi instrument/controller (your edrums & your keybaord) can each play SEVERAL VSTi's at once! This may not be as desirable for your edrums (unless you like to layer say snare drums etc, etc, etc) but for a keyboard player, they tend to like to layer sounds til the cows come home :!:

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:16 am

Hi SYNC,

Just found the Thank you thumb so I expressed how thankful I am from all your postings :). You're newest posting turned up just as I finished this so I had to go back and edit some ;).

Anyway, even if woun't try to grasp the full MIDI concept right now, I think I'm a bit wiser when it comes to obtain my desired setup. I will study a bit more about MIDI later, so thank's for the links. I've saved them. At the moment I focus on my "simple" task, and now I know for sure that it will work somehow.

To be honest I am first of all a live musician that prefer to jam and play live instruments. I once bought Cubase to now and then create some one-man-band tracks. My only experience to MIDI so far was to connect my MIDI instruments one at the time and record. Quite simple. One intrument OUT to IN and one track recording. Even I couldn't miss to get it to work. It was great fun but very time consuming. That's why it's been a while I even opened Cubase, and perhaps beeing a dinosaur using the SX version. I spent my latest years mostly play through my amp against records to practice :).

My two MIDI instruments will problably NEVER be part of any intricate MIDI system. I see all possiblities but at least for the moment simplicity and quick adaption is the keys. From your inputs I now know that I will never have to go through any THRU connector, neither connect MIDI Out from my sound card. I know what they do but woun't have to use them.

You get the picture. We use a couple of amps for guitar, base and vocals. And intend to get a Hammond and drums into the group without having to put up a "analog" drum set or (god forbids) bring in a B3 organ and a Lesley cabinet (that's tons of gear). Therefore, the option to play my smaller MIDI instruments and use Cubase/VST instruments to get a rich sound (output from my stereo) is a blessing. Easy and neat rehearsals in a quite small room. Cubase becomes the interface to get it work as I now know that it's possible separate two MIDI inputs from two instruments. BTW, thank's for reminding me of Monitor. I know about it but I might have forgotten.

As the "Daisy chain" solution doesn't include any cost at all (I have an extra DIN cable) If it works I stay with that solution as I don't have any other needs for the moment. I let you know as soon as I have time to try it.

Still it seems like you have some doubts so if it don't work (need for filthering by a router) I will check out the market to prepare. Either way I now that I can get this setup somehow and that's just great. I will invite my friends as soon as I get this to work because we're putting an act together and it's time to start.

Reading your last posting I just have to ask one more thing concerning the Router (as I might buy one). Is an USB port a demand to send the MIDI signals to the computer? Thought that the MIDI OUT to the sound cards MIDI IN took care of that alone. Can I use either the DIN or the USB to get the MIDI signals? You prefered the DIN's so I'm a bit confused concerning that connection. The good old IN and OUT are that much more easy to grasp ;).

My best
Micke

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:50 pm

Hi Micke, and you're welcome for anything that I may have been any help in.

Keep in mind I am no expert by any means, and have never tried to grasp all things that are midi. Like you, I try to only pick up on things that a guy could use...as in use right now. There are still many thing about midi I do NOT know, like midi message numbers etc. Certain things do not need to be known to just connect yer stuff N' go. If it works, then just play with it. Be aware, there 'may' be something I've said that may not be fully correct, or complete I can be a haphazard type sometimes.

To answer your last question, NO...you do not absolutely need to use USB to go from a midi router to your computer. Not in your case, or my case either. We both have midi In/Out in our audio/midi interfaces (sounds cards). For your particular current midi needs, as long as the router has a minimum of 2 midi Ins, and 1 midi Out, you can use the routers midi DIN Out, into your sound cards midi In, without ever using the routers USB port (if it has one).
Again, the reason why I mentioned the older Motu MTP AV (the even older serial version/with no USB on it) is that it can be bought used for as low as $25 to $50 on ebay..though sometimes you'll see people trying to sell them for close to $100 too, but for $100 you may as well try to buy the less older (still older) USB version of the MTP AV. Another reason, is that for little money, you can have 8 Ins & 8 Outs (room to grow), for much less than a 'brand new' midi interface only having 2 Ins & 2 Outs (which would work for your current needs). The other reason is they can be used with or 'without' (stand-alone) a computer ....or in my case, I use them particularly 'without interfacing' it to my computer, though one of the midi Out's of the router, go into my midi In on my computers sound card. So while it's connected to my computer via a 5-pin midi DIN cable, it's really being used in a stand alone mode, in that I'm not actually 'controlling' it from my computer...It's being used as a stand alone device, just as I would if there was no computer in my room at all. I control the routers midi I/O routings from it's front control panel.
Keep in mind that a midi router with the capability of using USB to interface with your computer, will allow you to send midi In & Out... LOT's of channels! But you AND me, do not currently need that capability, that's why I don't use the USB, and just use one midi DIN out of my router, into the midi In of my sound card.

Regarding Daisy-Chaining ... not that it won't work, it should :!: ... But once again, there just are some 'issues' that may arise that'll make you midi-bi-curious to run and get a router! I did the Daisy-Chain thing for a year or more myself, like you with just one keyboard & one edrum trigger module. The Daisy-Chaining eventually showed it's short comings for me.
An example from my experience, I have 4 Yamaha DTXpress trigger midi modules for my expanded ekit. Yes, my ekit is ridiculous! I tend to go overboard with things (OCD). But there's a reason for my madness (or maybe I'm simply just mad lol)... I wanted all my extra trigger pads to be able to control every kit piece in my drum VSTi software. Many good drum VSTi's have more kit pieces than a base ekit has pads. The problems...What started happening is when I made midi changes in one trigger module for assigning drum pads, it made unwanted midi changes in the other module, screwing things up a little & making things more confusing. Mind you, that my ekit is still a work in progress! At times I'll give in, and use just one midi trigger module into the DAW to make things easier and just to Get R' Done! I actually have FOUR Motu 8X8 MTP AV's...(2) serial versions & (2) USB versions, all bought used from ebay. I don't actually use them all of course. I have not got around to it yet, but my plan is to use 'one' of my 8X8 midi routers, dedicated for just my ekit! That is, all 4 of my Yamaha DTXpress modules will connect into the midi router, and one midi cable will leave the router, then go into my midi router that I use for everything 'else'. Yes, as you may have guessed, I can max out my one 8X8 midi router that I use to go into my computer(s) & has most of my midi gear connected to it.

While reading your last post, I'm reading a LOT of ME actually. Good luck & have fun! :)

PS, I would suggest, or urge you to spend some time reading those links through. They are for the most part, the BASICS, and may be a little more clearer in some explanations than I am...sometimes I don't get to the point in a straight line. I try my best to explain things to people, but I have my own short comings in that department :?

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:04 pm

Short rapport of the Daisy chain: I did the connections: MIDI OUT from the Drums to MIDI IN on the keyboard, and from that MIDI OUT to sound cards MIDI IN. I've created two MIDI channels in Cubase with the setting showed in my attached pic above. EZDrummer VST to Chn 1 and B4 Organ VST to Chn 2.

(after some more test I now edit what I wrote here before)

The problem seems to be that the V-Drums doesn't send any signal in this chain. If I monitor both channels nothing comes out playing on the drums but the keyboard generates both EZDrum and B4 simoultanesly.

Did I miss something obvious here or is the answer that this doesn't work in my setup and buying a MIDI Interface is the only solution?

My best
Micke

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:36 am

That was a nice attempt so far Mickie, you're going through the motions of trial & error keep at it! Either you, or I or maybe BOTH of us have missed something. However I recall that I was able to get my own set up working, with what you are trying to accomplish....although being ONE person in my home studio, I was using ONE midi instrument/controller at a time mind you.

It's been a couple of years since I've got/been using a router now, but back when I was daisy-chaining > from my sound cards midi OUT > to my keyboards midi IN > then from keyboards midi OUT > to my drum trigger modules midi IN > then drum trigger modules midi OUT > back to my sound cards midi IN. With this I was able to do what I needed to do.

I may be recalling incorrectly, and now I'm not sure that I wasn't using my keyboards midi THRU after all...though if I did, I don't know how this may have helped any with what I know midi THRU to be :? You're welcome to experiment with using the midi THRU in one way or another....can't say how, as if you read up on midi THRU, it'll say it's often used from say a Master midi keyboard/controller, to send midi to say another keyboard, 'unaffected'.

See these pics

Image

Image

As you've said before, the only way you can daisy-chain your drum module & keyboard is start by send the drum modules midi OUT 1st...then go into your keyboards midi IN...the midi THRU is just another kind of 'out' as I understand it...so really, the only ways you can then send both the drum module & keyboard by daisy chaining, is after you've sent your drum modules midi OUT into your keyboards midi IN...the only 'two possible options' now are to go from your keyboards midi OUT into your sound cards midi IN, OR just try your keyboards midi THRU into your sound cards midi IN instead ...because I may have be wrong before, but as far as I know, if you were to send that midi THRU out into your sound card, you may only send midi from the drum module?, then NOT the keyboard...but try that anyway, so you can be 'sure' if I was wrong or not...?

My 1st thoughts of your issue of not sending midi from both your edrums & keyboard, are that you're routing something wrong somewhere. Likely within Cubase. Remember there are 16 midi channels available through a single 5-pin midi DIN cable. And if using a single midi DIN cable in & out of your midi I/O connections, you'll be on ONE single midi 'port'...(each port has 16 midi channels)

As for a midi router, - which by the way, an 8X8 router having 8 'separate ports' with 16 midi channels each = 64 midi channels total - that should make things a lot easier fer sure. Right now there are several Motu MTP AV's for sale on ebay ...the much older serial versions for $40-$80, and the newer USB versions for nearly double the price. USB to a computer can have a LOT more midi I/O traffic, although you're not in great need for a lot of I/O traffic, but if you could get a USB model, you can either use the USB, or just use one of the 5-pin midi DIN outs on the router.

But, experiment more before you run out & buy a midi router. Ok, so you can hear both EZDrummer & the B4 VSTi's, that's a start. Again, I'll mention/ask if you've selected the MONITOR button for each midi track (speaker icon)? Without doing this, you'll probably only hear the midi track that is 'highlighted' (usually selected by your mouse, but the computer keyboards arrows can move/highlight from track to track too).

Things to check...
1st make sure your edrums are set to send midi out on say, midi channel #1 (could be any midi channels 1 thru 16)
Make sure your keyboard is set to send midi out on say, midi channel #2 (could be any midi channels 1 thru 16)

Make sure your Cubase midi track for EZDrummer is set for the corresponding midi channel #1
Make sure your Cubase midi track for the B4 is set for the corresponding midi channel #2

Keep in mind I said "Channel" not 'track' above, that easy to confuse the two terms.

Now, make sure that each of your midi tracks for EZD & B4 (after assigning the proper "channels" in the fields within the track you've highlighted (note, only after you've highlight the particular track do you have the area to the left to make changes for that particular track! - don't make the mistake of making changes to a midi track you have highlighted, thinking you're on another midi track - I do this all the time! :roll: )

Your 'OUTPUT' for each midi track must be ok, you've got EZD & B4 assigned to them already. But what about your 'INPUT' assignment for each midi track? What does that say? (left upper area of your Arrange Window after you've 'highlighted' that midi track). Make sure each midi tracks INPUT is set to what you want (you can select 'ANY' if you want to make it easy, but I tend to select the 'particular' Input I need.

If all this doesn't do the trick, go into your main Midi Filter in the set-up, and make sure you don't have any of the particular midi channels muted. That dialog box looks like this...
Image

When I send midi between 2 computers via my sounds cards midi, I'm using ONE midi DIN cable. I do the above, but ALSO I had to learn about (PER MIDI CHANNEL here I'm talking now) I had to learn about Midi Filtering (not just the main midi filter as in the above pic) but PER CHANNEL, as well as the Midi Transformer PER TRACK. My bad results before this, is that every midi channel being sent from the midi sending computer, was sounding every Virtual Instrument (VSTi) on the other computer. Now this was with several different midi channels/tracks & VSTi's, not just TWO incoming midi instrument/controllers (edrums & a keyboard). Mind you this took me SEVERAL MONTHS to figure all this out! DOH! Boy, did I ask a lot of questions! Lost some hair, and sanity along the way too. But man, when I got it going, I treated myself to a beer...or two!

Here's a pic of the PER midi track Midi Transformer...whatever version this pic is from ???

Image

You can selected it from something like this image...

Image

See where is says "Rhoads"...to it's right there's a little "e" ... just below THAT there's a screwy looking tail on arrow thingy, selecting that button opens the dialog box for the Midi Transformer, again, for EACH midi track. There's a GLOBAL & a LOCAL selection possible. For ME to get 2 computers to send/receive several midi tracks on their proper perspective midi channels, and be ISOLATED from each other, I had to go through all this. Let me tell you the Midi Transformer took DAYS to figure out! Hell, I can't even explain it :? You're going to have to read the PDF manual on that... over & over again. Now, you may not actually NEED the midi Transformer for 2 midi controllers at one time, as I did with 2 computers (much more complicated!) but keep in mind, I've never actually used 2 midi controllers at one time either! But still, I just KNOW it's easier than my cluster-buck of a midi mess :)

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:30 am

This is getting deeper. My lack of MIDI knowledge might be an issue here. But I start with a quick declaration of the results of all my options when it comes to the cables. Perhaps you see something. I've tried every possible alternative and the result is:

V-Drums MIDI OUT -> Keyboard MIDI IN / Keyboard MIDI Out -> Sound Card MIDI IN
Result: Both EZD & B4 generated from Keyboard and V-Drums dead

V-Drums MIDI OUT -> Keyboard MIDI THRU / Keyboard MIDI Out -> Sound Card MIDI IN
Result: As above - Both EZD & B4 generated from Keyboard and V-Drums dead

V-Drums MIDI OUT -> Keyboard MIDI IN / Keyboard MIDI THRU -> Sound Card MIDI IN
Result: Both EZD & B4 generated from V-Drums and Keyboard dead

I then get lost in your checklist already, so we can start with sorting that out if the answer lies here. You say:

>>>
Things to check...
1st make sure your edrums are set to send midi out on say, midi channel #1 (could be any midi channels 1 thru 16)
Make sure your keyboard is set to send midi out on say, midi channel #2 (could be any midi channels 1 thru 16)

Make sure your Cubase midi track for EZDrummer is set for the corresponding midi channel #1
Make sure your Cubase midi track for the B4 is set for the corresponding midi channel #2
>>>

This confuses me. I do ONE "channel setting" in Cubase pointed out in attached pic.
chnsetting.jpg
-
(79.15 KiB) Not downloaded yet
You refer to TWO different settings, one "VST inst. set to send MIDI out" and the other "Cubase MIDI Track for VST inst. set for the corresponding MIDI chn.". Perhaps I'm missing a crusial part of the Cubase interface here? Our Cubase versions are similar but not exactly the same. For example, I don't have that VST Instruments TAB from + icon right on the track. I get to the VST Interface from the e in left column and have other settings from + to each track in the song. None of them refers to "channel".

I find the single setting I did correct. Looking at the pic - which of the two alternatives you like me to check is fullfilled by that? And where do I find the other? I checked the general VST Instruments window but couldn't find it there. I clicked all folders connected to the track (yes, I'm aware of the difference channel/track) and can't find anything in that direction.

As my two MIDI instruments (the actual piano and drums) can't be "set" to anything themselves it seems like some other option in Cubase has to be involved that I'm not aware of. The In option in my pic has, as I understand it, be set to my sound cards MIDI. I will study the Cubase manual as soon as my daughters leave. Have to take care of the time they visit their 'old' dad ;).

Have to leave and my daughters coming in but we can start with sorting this out. Still would be nice to get things work with just the chain as my needs are so limited (at the moment) but I'm prepared to pay a small sum for simplicity if the MIDI Interface fixes that.

The more you let me know the more aware I am of my great lack of knowledge about MIDI. Feel a bit ashame asking for a quick solution when I perhaps don't even can refer to the correct Cubase settings. But anyway, we can start with the qestion above.

Thank's for your patience.

----

Waiting for response I read manuals. Thought I found useful some basic fact about channels sent from my acutal MIDI instruments. According to the V-Drum manual "Channel 10" was used. The piano manual instructed how I can set "Transmit/Recieve" channels to anything between 1-16. I set the Transmit to 1. In consequence I changed the tracks in Cubase to channel 10 for EZDrum B4 to channel 1. All seemed totally logical now and I expected success now when I found out about a channel concept I wasn't aware of before. Very disappointed. Nothing changed. Same result as above with all possible cable combinations.

I feel totally stupid! Even when I believe I understand something and try to adapt it to my quite logical brain I find out that I don't get closer...

----

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:58 pm

[Edited a couple of hours later & also see your additions since then]

In your image, I see you have not selected the MONITOR button (the speaker icon) on either midi track. Also, the volume is low/off on the screamin' B4.

As far as I can guess, the reasons for any single midi instrument/controller that makes 'two' VSTi instruments sound off, is because you are 'sending' and/or 'receiving' on the same midi channel(s)...if that's what's happening.

Additionally, there simply MUST be some option within your midi instruments/controllers (V-drum module & keyboard) that allows you to set what 'midi channel' that's being transmitted from it. You'll have to check your hardware manuals for those settings.

Regarding the Cubase version(s) of this pics I posted, I'm not sure which they're from, they're jyst pics I found on the net to try to show you what I was describing. And I have never used/bothered with any 'folders' you've mentioned, and don't know much about them.

Ooops gotta run, will be back later.

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:07 pm

Added... (in a hospital waiting room here, lol - I'm just the driver today!)

Yes, drums are 'typically' used on midi channel 10, however it doesn't 'have' to be in 'all' cases. Stay with midi channel 10 for your V-Drums & also for the Cubase midi drum channel anyway, just in case. This was a passing thought for me earlier.

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:14 am

PS. I allways use the Monitor button when testing sound, screen dump was just to focus on channel settings. And an obvious to check after all failure is done, both cables works.

To discover that I actually CAN set my MIDI instruments channels felt like a relief. Obvious to most users I guess but I never had to care about that before. But you never know unless you ask even if I feel ignorant and stupid :). As I refer to in last posting I have found out about my instruments channels (see below).

From that point I found the items we discuss totally logical. Somehow you need to be able to let Cubase (or any reciever) know how to seperate a composite MIDI signal. That signal can then split into different MIDI tracks by identify different channels. With VST Instruments assigned to the tracks you actually can play (in my case) hammond and drums from your MIDI instruments as long as you tell what channel the tracks use. But...

Reality didn't prove this to me. Was very disappointed as I thought I could make it happen. I'm back to that kind of inconsequence that just confuses me. I'll try to explain as detailed as possible to avoid we're missing anything:

V-Drums:

The "MIDI Implemention Chart" of the manual tells me that "Transmitted Basic Channel" is "10" with the remark "Cannot be changed". My conclusion: The V-Drums ALLWAYS send MIDI signals in channel 10.

My objection: I have never used channel 10 to my MIDI drum tracks in Cubase when I've just used MIDI Out to sound cards MIDI In. Still I can play the drums and Cubase get the signal, even if the tracks channel is set to 1 or 2 or anything. It's not in consequence with the information that my V-Drums is transmitted by channel 10. Perhaps the channel info is override if you just connect one instrument or what? If so it's not logical and harder to understand the overall "rules".

The Roland Keyboard:

The "MIDI Implemention Chart" of the manual is devided in two, one "Normal Mode" and one "Multi Timbre Mode". As I understand it "Multi Timbre Mode" is used only if you would like the keyboard to play with more MIDI voices than one. That's not the case so my conclusion is I just have to care about "Normal Mode". Right?

"Transmitted Basic Channel" is "1" but can be changed to any channel 1-16. No remarks. A column also tells me that channel 1-16 is "Recognized". In addition for "Multi Timbre Mode" just "1, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15" is "recognized" but if it doesn't have any significance in my case we leave any explanation of that out. We stay with the "Normal Mode" info.

There's a lot af other info in this chart but as I read it's not of importance. It's the channel setting I have to care about.

Then there's a section descibing how to change channels labeled "Setting the MIDI Transmit/Recieve Channels". I have two choices a) To match transmission and reception channels and b) To set different transmission and reception channels. Without the details I then can use buttons and keys on keyboard to choose the avialble channels.

Question is if my case desire a or b? I tried both. First a with channel 1 for transmission/reception. Then b with transmission to 1 and reception to 10. I tried it as the signal from the drums in my world is "recieved" and that drums sends on channel 10. My own logic, but it didn't work.

In Cubase:

In consequence with all above I've of cause used channel 1 to the MIDI B4 track and channel 10 to the MIDI drum track.

The result is just like before. The MIDI signals is only send from the keyboard and mixes both the EZDrum and B4 sounds.

I feel stupid but do you understand my total confusion? I'm an experienced computer user since long ago (even if I missed MIDI) sp I now there has to be some logic. Right now it just not correlates to what I expect.

About a possible MIDI Interface:

If connecting such a unit solves everything I believe I would go for that by now. But the sound card would still get a compisite MIDI signal so I would probably have to sort the items above out first of all?

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:36 pm

Hi MIcke,

No need to feel stupid, midi doesn't come very easy to those with little or no experience...you don't know what you know, until you know it ;) I don't know everything, and have done/do exactly what you're now doing... that is learn what I need as I go! So far, it seems as though you've learned quite a bit in a short time, that's good...give yourself credit!

I would THINK what you're trying to do is possible with your equipment, but I don't fully know your V-Drums & Keyboard hardware...much less fully know my own, except what I've needed to know so far. I haven't been at midi for all that many years, in fact I had rejected it, it was just too confusing. I was basically oblivious to it for many years...I was a playa' not a programa' :) Well, now midi & the use of VSTi's are a MAJOR part of my music creation.

You need to find where the problem lies, and go through the process of troubleshooting, and that's going to take experimentation, trial & error and more manual reading...in addition to any direction I and any others can give of course.

Apparently, the midi from your V-Drums aren't being passed on 'into' & 'through' your keyboard, but at the very LEAST it SHOULD when going from your V-Drums midi Out, to the midi In of your keyboard, then midi THRU into your sound card, after all that is what midi THRU is designed to do...that is, the 'received' midi from you keyboards midi IN, go's out directly to the keyboards midi THRU. In fact, as a means of troubleshooting I think you should concentrate on accomplishing only just that for now, temporarily setting aside trying to get the keyboards midi into Cubase...

Again, experiment by doing this...
V-Drums midi OUT > to keyboards midi IN > midi THRU out of your keyboard > into your sound cards midi IN.

If you can't get your V-Drums midi working into Cubase with the above physical connections, you simply must be either configuring something wrong, or there's something faulty with your keyboard's hardware midi I/O connections (which I doubt the later).

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:58 pm

MickeK wrote:PS. I allways use the Monitor button when testing sound

Ok, good you may need it so that you can hear the VSTi's on the non-highlighted midi tracks when receiving multiple midi channels into Cubase, from whatever source that is transmitting those midi channels.


MickeK wrote: you need to be able to let Cubase (or any reciever) know how to seperate a composite MIDI signal. That signal can then split into different MIDI tracks by identify different channels. With VST Instruments assigned to the tracks you actually can play (in my case) hammond and drums from your MIDI instruments as long as you tell what channel the tracks use. But...
True, as a single 5-pin midi DIN cable & midi DIN I/O connection is capable of transmitting/receiving a total of 16 separate midi channels. A midi controller device such as a multi-timbre keyboard is capable of transmitting several midi channels at once, though you may transmit on a single midi channel of course.
MickeK wrote: V-Drums:

The "MIDI Implemention Chart" of the manual tells me that "Transmitted Basic Channel" is "10" with the remark "Cannot be changed". My conclusion: The V-Drums ALLWAYS send MIDI signals in channel 10.

My objection: I have never used channel 10 to my MIDI drum tracks in Cubase when I've just used MIDI Out to sound cards MIDI In. Still I can play the drums and Cubase get the signal, even if the tracks channel is set to 1 or 2 or anything. It's not in consequence with the information that my V-Drums is transmitted by channel 10. Perhaps the channel info is override if you just connect one instrument or what? If so it's not logical and harder to understand the overall "rules".
I see the confusion, and it does just seem to work that way when using a single midi out of say, your drum module which is said to transmit over midi channel 10 (that's a standard for drums), but when you start factoring in the transmission & receiving of several midi 'channels' at once via a single midi cable that all changes! In a single midi cable/connection you can have 'up to' 16 midi channels competing, they then have to be sorted out and assigned accordingly.
MickeK wrote: The Roland Keyboard:

The "MIDI Implemention Chart" of the manual is devided in two, one "Normal Mode" and one "Multi Timbre Mode". As I understand it "Multi Timbre Mode" is used only if you would like the keyboard to play with more MIDI voices than one. That's not the case so my conclusion is I just have to care about "Normal Mode". Right?

"Transmitted Basic Channel" is "1" but can be changed to any channel 1-16. No remarks. A column also tells me that channel 1-16 is "Recognized". In addition for "Multi Timbre Mode" just "1, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15" is "recognized" but if it doesn't have any significance in my case we leave any explanation of that out. We stay with the "Normal Mode" info.
As far as I know, if you do not intend to use multi-timbre, then you can use Normal Mode, but if in a situation you DO need it, you may have to toggle back & forth. I'm guess this all depends on the VSTi instrument you're using at any given time, if it's a multi-timbre patch or not.
MickeK wrote: Then there's a section descibing how to change channels labeled "Setting the MIDI Transmit/Recieve Channels". I have two choices a) To match transmission and reception channels and b) To set different transmission and reception channels. Without the details I then can use buttons and keys on keyboard to choose the avialble channels.

Question is if my case desire a or b? I tried both. First a with channel 1 for transmission/reception. Then b with transmission to 1 and reception to 10. I tried it as the signal from the drums in my world is "recieved" and that drums sends on channel 10. My own logic, but it didn't work.
I THINK in your particular case, of trying only to SEND out midi from your instruments/controllers, you only need to concern yourself with 'Transmit' , HOWEVER, and this is what I'm not sure of myself...in the case of your keyboard, which you want your V-Drums midi to go into (receive) and send out (transmit) your V-Drums midi from your keyboard, you may have to make a transmit AND receive setting there (?)
You say you can either transmit & receive on the 'same' midi channels, or transmit on one, and receive on another midi channel. Again, I'm in uncharted territory with this particular question. BUT, my GUESS to at least TRY (and MAYBE there separate THRU parameters on your keyboard that allow you to pass your V-Drums midi In & Through????) is to basically routing the incoming midi from your V-Drums (channel 10) into your keyboards midi IN (your only option) ...now, should you set your keyboard to receive AND to transmit on BOTH midi channels 10??? That's at least worth a TRY to see if you can pass your V-Drums midi through your keyboard! It may or may not then allow midi from your keyboard to pass(?) and then also experiment by midi leaving your keyboard from it's THRU & OUT midi ports (one midi cable, or mdid I/O connections can be considered one 'port' by the way). This will at least tell you 'something' if it then passes your V-Drums midi through...and maybe, just MAYBE the keyboards transmitting/receiving parameter setting ARE the separate settings needed for connection your two controllers the way you need to? I may be wrong, again I'm in uncharted territory on this bit.
MickeK wrote: In Cubase:

In consequence with all above I've of cause used channel 1 to the MIDI B4 track and channel 10 to the MIDI drum track.

The result is just like before. The MIDI signals is only send from the keyboard and mixes both the EZDrum and B4 sounds.

I feel stupid but do you understand my total confusion? I'm an experienced computer user since long ago (even if I missed MIDI) sp I now there has to be some logic. Right now it just not correlates to what I expect.
The midi channel 10 for V-Drums make perfect sense in the case of it being the default midi channel for it, but with a keyboard, you HAVE to be SURE of what it is actually Transmitting on. On my keyboards LCD, it's easy to see what channel I'm transmitting on, there are tiny numbers in my display, and the one(s) I'm transmitting on have a 'circle' around those midi channel numbers. For your keyboard I don't know...just make SURE what midi channel you're transmitting on is all I can say. If you are uncertain, here is a way to experiment (I've done this myself many times when confused) In Cubase, (as your keyboard is transmitting midi, experiment by scrolling through all midi receiving channels, and see if you hear anything along the way....I've got a hit on this procedure many times, realizing it was my own error & confusion on my midi transmit/receive! Sometimes, as a way of testing, I'll set my midi track to receive ALL incoming midi, from any source...this let's you at least temporarily accept any and all incoming midi to test if you can hear anything...or see any incoming midi activity in Cubase, I think all Cubase versions have this activity meter within the larger/main transport bar.
MickeK wrote: About a possible MIDI Interface:

If connecting such a unit solves everything I believe I would go for that by now. But the sound card would still get a compisite MIDI signal so I would probably have to sort the items above out first of all?
I would suggest a midi router anyway myself!

Hmmm... I'm guessing if you had a midi router, by now you'd likely have worked things out....well, at LEAST on the HARDWARE end...(your V-Drums & keyboard) As I've siad, a midi router makes things a lot easier...you plug your midi instrument/controllers into whichever midi DIN INPUTS (each one being a midi 'port') on it you like, and then send out midi from whichever OUTPUT ('port') you fell like. A "port" just being a hardware midi I/O, and each port capable of 16 separate midi 'channels'. But you'll be dealing with one single 'port' going into your sound card if you use a 5-pin midi DIN (as I do). With USB from a midi router, into your computers USB connection, you have the capability of SEVERAL midi port I/O's to & from your computer & midi router. You, like me, we don't need that currently, and a single 5-pin midi DIN is all that's needed form a midi router to your sound cards midi IN.
However, once again I bring up the main Cubase Midi Filter in the main options...being sure no midi tracks are muted there :idea:

Don't forget....there's the midi Input Transformer & Filter settings available on each midi track within Cubase!...again, settings for GLOBAL & settings for LOCAL. For me to accomplish what I spend MONTHS trying to figure out :roll: the sending of several midi tracks from one computer to another via each computers audio/midi interface, I definitely HAD to use the Midi Transformer/Filter to make things work exactly as I intended! To repeat, until then all transmitted midi channels from one computer were being received by all midi channels on my computer loaded with VSTi's (that VSTi computer acting as a glorified midi sound module) to relieve loads on my main DAW computer.

To touch on what you had mentioned before....YES ... you HAVE to have midi channel 'separation' when using a single 5-pin midi DIN cable/connection. To DO this, you need to make settings within the Midi Input transformer/Filter PER midi track. The setting in this area (again within each midi track there's an 'arrow' with a squiggly line/tail as in the pic posted) ...this opens that dialog box up for you to make the needed settings. Otherwise, I THINK you'll end up with the problems I had, not having complete separation of transmitted/receiving midi to & from everything involved. Once you learn this, you'll know what to do. If you need help on that, I'd have to revisit this myself. But what I can describe about it, is that PER MIDI TRACK it filters out/blocks any incoming midi 'channel' you do not want, and allows the midi channel that you DO want for that particular midi TRACK!

But 1st you need to get BOTH midi controllers to be sending their midi into Cubase of course :!: :!:

When and if you get to where you have very elaborate routings, you'll definitely want to make your own TEMPLATE starter projects within Cubase...that should be 'save as' and type in some name that let's you know it's a template specific to whatever you're tying to do. In my case with 2 computers & sending midi, with all that complication of the per track Midi Input Transformer/Filter etc, I just HAD to use a template! This is why I can't really easily explain the procedure, as I was using templates I had made some time ago.


-----------------------

For anyone else reading this thread who is very good at doing all of this, feel free to jump in, and feel free to correct anything I may have said that's wrong. My feelings won't be hurt! :)

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:30 pm

After hours yesterday, testing all possible cableling between my two MIDI instruments and the Sound card AND in addition changes of channels on the keyboard (V-drums allways use 10) I ended up with lack of faith. Nothing changed whatever I did. Cubase delivered the sound of both VST's simoultanesly and did it whatever channel setting the tracks had. I was more that confused, couldn't relate to any consequence and was ready to give it all up. At least to get a Daisy chain deliver to my intentions. PERHAPS my special setup can't deliver. I know you never guaranteed it and that your slightly different setup and intentions perhaps worked but mine woun't. PERHAPS there's some Cubase setting that I have to change.

When I finally connected them as single MIDI sources (like I used to when I once recorded) I got into thinking what the BIG conclusion of all testing SHOULD be. It's the obvious thing you state in end of posting. "1st you need to get BOTH midi controllers to be sending their midi into Cubase". Never before (as I didn't have any reason to) I monitored two tracks when recording my MIDI input. Therefore, never before I heard the sound of two VST instruments from one signal. I now understand (at last) that ALL VST's play their sound if a single MIDI signal comes in as long as they're monitored. So I actually never send a "composite" MIDI signal at all. In consequence Cubase override any channel setting and send the signal to ALL active MIDI tracks simoultanesly. It might be my tired brain that mixed up those basics. From our postings I (at least) understand that a COMPOSTIE signal delivers every pressed key and every hitted drum together and in addition tells what signals comes from what channel.

So with this in mind I try to think of what I've done so far. All possible chain setup fails to get let Cubase understand that two sources are connected. As no possible chain works and no channel setting on the keyboard differs it then HAS to be done from within Cubase. And if so I can't find it. I attach all present MIDI related settings from my Preferences.
MIDIPreferences.jpg
(192.46 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Perhaps you see if something looks wrong. To me it looks correct - but on the other hand I can't relate to the terms correctly. And as you say, if the MIDI Input Transformer & Filter settings should have any relevance, I guess that Cubase FIRST have to know that two sources are connected.

I now doubt the chain will work (unless you see something) and my hope is now that a MIDI Router is the simple solution. Haven't touched my guitar in two days and I can't spend more time with this. I really appreciate MIDI as it makes it possible to play with desired sounds from VST instruments. But right now I cannot study MIDI to get into it deep. I just like to come to the point when I can do my little jam band and use Cubase to put out what we play on two different instruments. When that's done I'll be happy to rely on MIDI (whatever it is) and just play. You comfort me with the fact that this is possible. I hope I can do it buy buying a router, plug it in and get it to work :).

All my best
Micke

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:22 pm

Hi Micke, I feel your pain & disillusionment, trust me I've been there! Remember men can cry too! :lol: :)

Troubleshooting a problem can many times be a difficult task indeed. Hey man, you've advanced in your knowledge & understanding of midi, and that can only be a GOOD thing! The fact that you haven't touched your guitar is days...been there too. The thing about trying to advance in one thing, often means sometimes setting aside another thing. By all means, take a break & PLAY your guitar if you are longing to do so. In fact, I'm also in a process of advancing an aspect of my home studio, ways of routing things, researching, asking questions, and experimenting, building another computer etc. I find myself getting immersed in my tangled web of experimentation, and I have to remember to divide the little time I have available between things. Some days ago, I allowed myself a couple of hours, just playing my acoustic guitar and singing several of my favorite acoustic type cover tunes I grew up with and have just played through over the years....then I turned on my DAW recording equipment for a short while to realize some things that I need to further understand & experiment with. My big problem these days (over 50) is my short term memory...I forget some things I've already done, and have to do them again to be sure of what works & what doesn't :? I turned it all off, and proceeded to piece together my new computer build. A very productive day, partitioning my time between 3 aspect of my music passions. This is all just my hobby these days by the way.

Ok, so let's get up off the crying chair ;)

I'm not 100% sure your set up can 'deliver your intentions' either. Maybe it can., and you're just not routing your particular hardware to make that happen? YES, a midi router is a much better solution in general. After I got mine I realized even more possibilities and things just became a little easier, not having to deal with the complications of going In/OutThru/Out/In this & that & everything else!:? My midi set up became much more elaborate, and a small investment of a midi router solved ONE of my problems at least! Again, I highly recommend one.

But ... some of the things you say are clicking with the same problems I was having sending & receiving midi. Case in point - and I think this is a 'critical key' here for you - you say that transmitting midi from your midi instrument/controller is playing two tracks/channels with VSTi's loaded on them. This is exactly what happens when not correctly routing/configuring within a program like Cubase. I BELIEVE this may be the job for that Midi Transformer/Filter option PER TRACK as I mentioned (that arrow thingy button). Again, for me I had to make LOCAL (per track) settings, which can let the midi channels you want for that track 'pass through' and which to 'block' from getting in...the way it works is, incoming midi channels being sent from a midi device get sent to all channels indiscriminately, 'unless' you 'block' it from being sent to that secific midi tracks Output, VSTi's in your case.

A reminder/repeat...what you are doing is sending/transmitting midi from one device to another receiving device. The midi transmitted can be sent on 'whatever' midi channel(s) chosen...a program like Cubase can't know which channel(s) you want 'separated' until you tell it. This is where you start at a midi Track, by 1st setting which midi channel(s) you want to accept as the Input(s) and where you want that incoming midi to be sent Out to...in YOUR case, your VSTi's (Screamin' B4 & EZDrummer). Next, is is the General Midi Preference settings, you need to be sure of which channels are being muted, and which are allowed to pass through. If you're not sure, you can CHECK this but pressing a midi channel or two to see if it's muted or - I get confused on this to and this is what I do to 'test' it, because I forget which is muted...??? is it when highlighted that it's muted??? or is highlighted allowing it to pass through (I forgot :? ) When it doubt, I always start all over & select everything as a 'DEFAULT' in these fields.
Actually, as I 'recall' I leave the General Midi Preferences at the DEFAULT...it is from my memory and belief (whatever THAT's worth anymore) that as long as you're implementing/using the Midi Input Transformer/Filter (opened by the arrow button again) this option 'over-rides' the General midi settings (?) Whether that 'claim' is true or false, in my case - and maybe yours - is that if your midi being 'sent' is causing TWO VSTi's to sound, you are NOT 'blocking' the unwanted/unintended midi 'channels' ..or allowing 'just' the particular channel you actually WANT to be sent to that VSTi.

By breaking things down, and using ONE midi Instrument/Controller at a time, you have simplified things and could concentrate on a narrowing down individual points/problems to solve. You've then discovered that ONE midi instrument is playing TWO VSTi's though you have 'sworn' you've made the necessary midi channel I/O assignments within your hardware, and from within Cubase. But as far as I can tell, you have NOT YET got into the Midi Input Transformer/Filter dialog box!
From memory, you'll want to press that 'arrow thingy' to open the Midi Input Transformer/Filter, select from and put a check mark on ONE of the 3 options available...select 'LOCAL' ...there's an upper and lower field, as I 'recall' you'll only concern yourself with the upper field. And make you setting there. THIS area WILL make the needed 'separation' need from the incoming midi, to the midi being sent to your VSTi's so that, ALL incoming midi will NOT play ALL VSTi's. I am POSSITIVE that in my case, I HAD to do this to stop all midi channels from sounding all VSTi's at once :!:

This afternoon, I may spend a short time on revisiting a project where I'm sending several midi channels from one computer to another, and specifically revisit the midi Input Transformer/Filter option...if nothing else, to make it more clear to myself again.
Whether or not you get yourself a midi router, you STILL may need to learn about this Midi Input Transformer/Filter option I keep going on about :)
When you do the above (the midi Input Transformer/Filter option), keep it simple! Connect just the ONE midi Instrument/Controller...then work out WHY it's making both VSTi's sound now that you have your MONITOR buttons on both midi tracks, which can now hear that this is what's been routed to, and been doing all along, because when the monitor button was off before, you didn't know that was happening! But I believe you'll need all MONITOR buttons ON on the tracks that you're sending several midi channels to at one time. You just have to make the SEPARATION (or block & let pass etc).

PS, things aren't really as complicated as you think, once you know what you're doing :idea: If you need to get away from it for a break, go ahead. When you get back to it, your head will be more clear, things you didn't quite grasp, will suddenly click in your brain. That's how 'learning' anything works 8-)

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:57 pm

Thanks for your efforts. Just some quick questions around what you just said that puzzles me and will get me a bit further if answered.

I've checked out the interface of the Midi Transformer/Filter option PER TRACK to prepare myself. The thing that do not correlate with the use of filtering what signals should be passed where is the simple fact that so far my incoming signals was created on one MIDI Instrument only. Most cabel setups it was from the keyboard, in some case the drums was passed through in the chain. So to me there shouldn't be any filtering to that kind of signal. The MIDI signals passed when I played the instrument is intended to one track as it is now. Remember, the other MIDI Instrument don't send at all so my present signal isn't a composite one. I understand exactly if the case was that I reached for a hit on a pad on the V-drums and at the same time pressed a key on the keyboard and both those passed the chain and entered Cubase from my Sound cards MIDI IN. THEN using a separator like "channels" would be in play. Am I right here?

BTW I interpreted the channel "buttons" (unlightend) from the Preferences MIDI setup as NONE is muted. If all was muted it shouldn't produce any sound. Am I right?

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:39 pm

[Edited some hours later for typo's & clarity of explanations]

I won't claim that what I try to explain, is the clearest explanations possible, nor are they to the point...I do my best with what I have to deal with myself. And I'll admit to not always understanding the question. I'm aware that issues of communication between two people can get confused. With that, I'll try my best to answer what I think you're asking, and admit where I'm not clear myself :)

And you're right about when a sound is muted in the General Midi Dialog Box...THAT is your test to clear the confusion there...if your HEAR what you want to hear...that is the track, channel & VSTi you want , then you must have it selected properly, and chosen the correct options.

I'm confused on this myself, but when it comes to using just ONE midi instrument/controller (your keyboard or your V-Drums set), 'stuff' just works! Is it a default thing that just happens? I'm not sure, but it's a HELL of a lot easier to get working, ain't it! There's nothing to worry about when stuff just works. I HAVE to think it's probably, that when just ONE midi instrument is being used, and whatever channel you're transmitting on, with ONE midi cable through ONE midi port, as this IS the case, and also there's no midi filtering, no midi transformer, blah, blah, etc, etc to worry about...and the midi track which you have highlighted, and what ever channel you have selected, it go's DIRECTLY to that track. If anything, I'd say it's more of a Cubase default...again like I said before, a midi instrument/cable/connection port/track does NOT know what midi CHANNEL, until you filter out or less pass a particular midi channel(s) - [Added Note; all this is applies to when sending multiple midi channels]

As for the Midi Input Transformer dialog box, > :!: IMPORTANT STUFF HERE :!: < (and this is why/where you have to be having the problem of hearing TWO VSTi's at once with even ONE incoming midi source) again, where you open with that confounded arrow again, lol Yes, this dialog box is very confusing, and I get turned around myself on what allows what to pass, or get blocked in this dialog box, as well as the General Midi area has confused me....that's why I said to test & experiment so that YOU are sure!

Now, I'm at the helm right at this moment looking over things, settings etc. Here is what I can tell you about the Input Transformer dialog box, it's only based on what I've done myself, so bear with me...

> Select (you've guessed it) that blasted arrow, you'll see 3 things in the drop down list (Off, Global, Local)
> Select 'LOCAL' (check marked) and the Input Transformer dialog box opens up, and that 'arrow' is now highlighted
> Notice an upper area, and a lower area, we'll be in this 'upper area' only
> See the Modules close to the very top? Select the 1st module, 'Module 1' make SURE it's activated (lit up)!
> In the upper area again, where it say's 'Filter Target' make sure its you have "Channel" below it
> Where it says 'Condition' make sure it say's "Unequal"
> to the right where it say's Perameter 1/Perameter 2, select ONLY the 'CHANNEL' you want/need (1-16)
> Below...where it say's 'Function' make sure it say's "Filter" the the right of that.

You should NOW have been able to 'separate' your VSTi instruments from each other. Time & time again I have screwed up on the above Midi Input transformer dialog box setting up....oh, forgetting to 'Activate' the Module, or selecting the wrong settings (in order shown L to R) Channel > Unequal > (my specific channel selected 1-16) and at the bottom of this dialog box, "Function > Filter". This took me a LONG time to figure out! This is why I wrote down the particulars in a notebook I keep in my home studio, in which I'm also looking at, along with an actual song project with all this set up. Go over my check list with each (">") you see, and do 'exactly' as I wrote it...well, besides what midi channel you've selected of course! (ch 10 for drums, ch 1 for key's etc)
Again, this is PER TRACK..and on some of my midi tracks, I have the same midi channel selected in the above dialog box, probably because I wanted them to be assigned this way, to 'double up' on something. I've never used the bottom area, nor selected anything but 'Module 1' for everything, so I can't say anything about their uses. But THE ABOVE is how I personally was able STOP sending ALL incoming transmitted midi from playing ALL VSTi instruments! If something still isn't working, try changing the midi channel in the dialog box, as you may not be actually sending/transmitting on the midi channel you THINK you are from your hardware! (been there, done that!) and by changing the midi channel in the dialog box, is how I found that mistake.

I HAVE to think that what YOU'RE trying to do, use TWO midi Instrument/Controllers is the SAME as me using TWO computers...except I was sending 16 tracks of midi from one computer, with 16 midi channels, with 16 VSTi's loaded...all through ONE 5 pin midi DIN cable from sound card to sound cards midi I/O port.

Go back, and plug in/use ONE midi Instrument/controller at a time, with the two loaded VSTi's you have, on their own midi channels, do those EXACT midi Input Transformer dialog box settings I wrote above, be sure the MONITOR button is ON, and now you should be only hearing ONE VSTi not both of them anymore, and come back to tell me you've separated them! :D

PS, the actual midi TRACK number you're on, as you probably already know, has NOTHING to do with the midi CHANNEL you've selected :idea: You can be on midi TRACK #1, and be sending/receiving on midi Channel #10 etc. Although, it's sometimes easier to have them the same number to quickly identify them...but as long as you can keep it sorted out.

When and if you get a midi router (within that routers own settings) you'll then be assigning TWO midi instruments into the router (on whatever channel), then assigning BOTH of those INPUTS (with the midi instruments) to OUT of ONE midi cable/ports of the router, into your sound card. This is the same as what I do with my set up. There shouldn't be any difference how when I'm sending TWO midi tracks from ONE computer, to TWO VSTi's loaded in another computer via ONE midi cable, or YOU are sending midi with TWO Midi Instrument/Controllers (your keyboard & V-Drums) to TWO VSTi's (your B4 & EZD)...you would STILL need to have this separation/filtering :idea: Again, I can't say if your midi Instrument/Controllers are actually capable of what you're wanting to do (?) ...that is, with the physical midi I/O Daisy-Chain routing. But a capable midi router would solve THAT particular issue of getting BOTH midi instrument/controllers midi into your DAW I'm sure.

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:04 am

I admit it's easy to misunderstand. I try to use correct terms but full respect if I don't get it trough. On the other hand, you're more experienced and sometimes I have to read more than once to TRY to follow :). Even if I don't have the time at all right now I can't leave the subject.

Anyway... ...I did the test you asked for in the Input Transformer box. Your view seems to differ a bit from mine so I had to "translate" to my Cubase view but I believe I got it right. I worked with my MIDI Drum track in the score. My conclusion of what we're trying to do here is that I tell Cubase that this track will filter out any MIDI signal that's not sent from channel 10 (as my VDrums send only on channel 10). In addition I set the track it self to channel 10 in the left panel and of course IN to my Gina3G MIDI (sound card) and OUT to EZDrummer. All changes I made in attached pic.
InputTransf.jpg
(100.21 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Comment refering to your description:

- I get no drop down list clicking the 'blasted arrow', instead the dialog box opens directly so let's just hope 'LOCAL' is the case (if it has relevance).
- My Module area is at the bottom of the dialog. Selected Module was preset to '1' and I marked '1' below Active Module as well
- 'Filter Target' now set to 'Channel' and 'Condtion' to to 'Unequal'. 'Parameter 1' to '10'
- I have no 'Function' header below but I found the option 'Filter' next to 'Mode'

In this dialog box I can't relate to the concept 'Module'? Four possible 'modules' it is but I don't know why. Anyway I did what you asked for.

Testing my equipment it seems like I succeeded. With both EZDrum and B4 tracks active I have to do the MIDI input from the VDrums to hear the signal. If I connect the keyboard and play no sound is generated from the EZDrum VST track.

Using just two MIDI instruments it might be unnecessary to filter the B4 track as well. Perhaps it doesn't hurt if I later need the use of more input. I didn't do anything as I'm uncertain of the 'Module' concept. As Module 1 is used to the other track perhaps both 'Selected' and 'Active' should be 2, 3 or 4 ? If that's right and I filter the B4 track as well I will repeat all steps except from setting 'Parameter 1' to '1' (the channel my keyboard now is set to transfer from). If you can confirm my guesses I might do that filtering to my B4 track.

So far so good. If I filter both tracks this way the result should be that my two MIDI VST tracks only will sound out MIDI signals that comes from channel 10 resp 1.

What I did try to say in last posting was that all tests so far showed one thing for sure. None of the possible chain alteranatives could produce signals from both my instruments. The MIDI was sent from either the keyboard (most cases) or the drums. In a real situation those signals would correlate to either playing keys or drums so my present signal is not composite. That's my expression and perhaps not what you use to say. To me a signal is composite if some of the instructions in the signal relates to hits on the drum pads and some from pressing keys on the keyboard. Only then I see any need to, by the channel info within, do the filtering i Cubase that split the signal into the two tracks.

I cannot pass a 'composite' MIDI signal at the moment. I know what channels my two instrument pass and I've tried every possible cabel alternatives from the drums to the keyboard and finally to the sound card. Never signals from both instruments are passed. So to me the most crucial question right now is to get Cubase to identify that two MIDI sources are connected. If we finally get to the point that a chain will not work I really hope that connections passing the MIDI Router will be recognized. How and why I don't know but that's my hope.

I really try to search for any Cubase dialog that somehow relates to identifying external MIDI sources. I found 'MIDI Device Mangager'
MIDIDevMan.jpg
(90 KiB) Not downloaded yet
that at least reminds of such a function. Like that you have to 'install' external devices to give Cubase access to them, 'feel' their MIDI Outs (and identify) and so on. Second thought of this is that the usage perhaps relates to let Cubase get access to those instruments internal MIDI sounds (voices) to be able to record the original sounds. I don't know.

What I know is that I never have used that dialog and no device was ever 'installed' there. My instruments could be played one at the time so I never have any need to wonder about it. It's probably not what we are after, just wanted to mention it. You don't need to explain it if it's of no relevance.

BTW I am surprised that I seem to be the only person in history aiming for a setup to play a MIDI keyboard and MIDI drums from Cubase VST tracks. There's guys explaining all kinds of "Live" setups when MIDI boxes routes thousands of signals and controlers, devide parts of keyboard and so on... NOT A SINGLE example of the simple thing I'm after. To me it seemed obvious that this was easy and used by many. As you mention no one else have added anything to our postings either. Perhaps we're 'dinosaurs' using 'ancient' Cubase version and that this forum is of low interest. My SX works fine to what I'm doing so why spend more money?

I hope that this posting, and the result of my latest test, can lead to something. If my guess on 'MIDI Devices' has no relevance I guess I'd better order a Router right away. I found some affordable new ones that can be delivered in a couple of days. Eager to invite to a jam as I said ;).

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:57 am

Hi again Micke,

My brain is fried at the moment...But I'll try my best ramble again ...

Yes,trying a midi router may be a good idea at this point. When you can get your hands on one...maybe your local music store will let you take one home...rent/try etc? Or as you said, just BUY one. Just make sure you get one that 'can also be' used as a stand-alone unit (without a computer if/when wanted) so you can do the necessary routing(s) you need on the interface itself...well, that's preferred anyway...otherwise, you'll have to make those setting in the computer as your ONLY option with it's own software interface.

As I had said... connecting ONE midi instrument at a time is JUST to sort things out to simplify your troubleshooting. When using one midi instrument, you WANT to hear just the output of that midi track ONLY...that is, with just the V-Drums connected, you should hear ONLY EZDrummer...when you plug in JUST the keyboard, you want to hear ONLY the B4 as that midi tracks output. If you hear ONLY the wanted corresponding track/channel/VSTi, with this test method of one midi instrument, then you've succeeded.

The pics I found and posted, as always are images from googling of the subject...what version they're from I don't always know. They may look a little different among versions, but their concept should be the same.
It looks like in the image of your Midi Input Filter dialog box, that you've done what I said to do. YES, by entering midi channel #10, you've isolated/blocked any other midi channels from coming through, which is what you want. I'm not sure if you're on LOCAL either (?) I'm not completely clear on the 'Module' concept myself, as it's been a while since I severely read up on it in the manuals, but I just know that using Module 1 and 'activated' works. I would GUESS that each 'Module' would allow you to set up multiple 'options' to then choose from... you know, like an 'alternate' :idea:

If I understand you correctly, you're saying you only have done Midi Input Transformer set up with the EZDrummer track? and did NOT do this on the B4 midi track? If not, I would suggest to do the same for the B4 midi track as well anyway...why? because your GOAL is to get TWO midi sources (your V-drums & keyboard) to play into Cubase at the SAME time to play TWO different VSTi's. You may as well get it set up so that it should work :idea:

And, why it seems that you are the only one in the world doing what you're trying to do? Well, you're NOT...it's just that you haven't found anyone doing that ;) I've done something similar & more elaborate..and as I said, it should likely be the same methods...and that method involves the Midi Input Transformer...oh, and possibly more COWBELL too :lol:

So keep using that 'blasted arrow' and don't forget to use that 'blasted MONITOR' button on both midi tracks ;)

OH! I don't recall if I had asked, you ARE using regular MIDI tracks right? And not Instrument tracks? It's my understanding that an Instrument Track in Cubase will not allow midi to be sent externally...to a midi sound module, keyboard, or drum module etc, I can only assume that it may not work right with 'receiving' midi too...I'm not sure about that, but none the less, stay with regular midi tracks for now, as I can't tell you much about Instrument Tracks.

I can't say much about your 'Daisy-Chaining'... if it's even possible (?) that would be setting within that hardware...primarily a setting within your keyboard, as the V-Drums is the 1st in this chain, starting with midi OUT. Your keyboard would HAVE to be able to 'receive' your V-Drums midi, and pass that along to one of the outs (midi out or thru) as well as 'combine' the two...which by the way, I'm guessing that's what you are meaning by saying "composite".

I don't have much experience with the Midi Device Manager or fully understand it myself...though I played with it for quite a while, I was still confused. But, I have been under the impression that it was NOT for what YOU are trying to currently do...nor have I needed it for doing what I've done similarly. As I understand it, this is more for to 'control' your external hardware from within your host DAW program, Cubase. I was trying to control my external hardware (midi sound modules) as what it was intended for. I'd say disregard that for now.

Yeah, there's not a LOT of interest in Legacy versions, as many have moved on and kept upgrading. If the software you have does it for you, no need for anything else.

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:52 am

Hi SYNC,

Fried brain here as well ;) but for the moment I can now sit back and wait - for an interface to be sent to me.


I've come to the conclusion that a MIDI Router will solve my problems. All indications point to the fact that the chain don't work. I've tested all alternatives with cabeling between my units and I believe I've tested the alternatives to do specific MIDI settings in the keyboard. If I missed something there (it was quite many options of turning thing on and off and whatever) I came to the end of the road anyway.

Before I got your latest posting I did what you suggest, filter the track with the B4 as well. It works. I could use one of the cabel setup to check. V-Drums MIDI OUT -> Keyboard MIDI IN / Keyboard MIDI THRU -> Sound Card MIDI IN
generated before both EZD & B4 from the V-Drums. Filtering the B4 track to only use 'Channel 1' did what I expected. Playing the drums generated just EZD sounds.

So my conclusion is that if I can connect the VDrums MIDI Out to one of a MIDI Routers MIDI In and the Keyboards MIDI Out to another MIDI In on the Router the MIDI Routers MIDI Out will send what I call the 'composite' signal to my Sound cards MIDI In. From that signal Cubase, by filtering, decide what will be played on the EZD resp. B4 track. I feel quite confident that it HAS to be so :).

In a perfect situation I would do what you suggest, get a unit from a store with option to return it if it doesn't work. To my disappointment I can't do that. I live in the south of Sweden with 1 miljon people within 50 km and 20 minutes from Swedens 3rd city Malmoe. Not ANY of the music stores in this area has a MIDI Router in stock, otherwise I had been on my way already. So I checked out alternatives to order and best buy whas the ESI M4U XT. It's just 4 Ins and 4 Outs but I think it will cover all my needs for now and a while. Compared to the MOTU 4+4 it was cheaper and the reviews was great.

I didn't really understand how your MIDI Router could be used stand alone but I took my chances to get things happen. Have to wait 4-5 days to get deliverance. I attached the item with specifications. Hope you can cheer me up telling me it seems to be a good buy.
ESIM4UXT.jpg
(193.52 KiB) Not downloaded yet
So we rest the discussion for now. As soon as I get the gear and are able to test I promise to add a posting here.

BIG thank you for all your efforts here. With our kind of common back ground you perhaps understood all my confusions and really tried to help. You know a lot more than me but I understand that there's still mysteries in the MIDI world for you as well. If I ever get into more MIDI I know there's a lot more than this but if I'll get it to work I just give my regards to MIDI as a tech and start play ;).

My best
Micke


PS. From all my web-investigations about my task I encountered the "Instrument track" concept as well. New to me as my Cubase SX dinosaur version didn't have that. So yes, I creat 'real' MIDI tracks all the time :).

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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:07 pm

Having my morning coffee :)

Had a look at that midi router. It should do the trick for what you want to do. It's not a stand-alone capable device, so you'll HAVE to use a computer with it to control it's midi I/O routing. This is no problem as long as you don't have any intentions of 'jamming' without a computer to control the routers midi I/O.

Side Note; ['Some' routers (my Motu's do this) can be pre-programmed /routed within the computer 1st, disconnected and then be used 'live' with a midi instrument/midi sound module array. From what I can tell, this unit you ordered appears this is not possible.] ...


From the Knowledge Base...

Can I use M4U XT without a computer?

No. M4U XT is a USB MIDI interface that requires to be connected to a computer to operate. In order to send MIDI signals through from an input to an output and/or to merge several MIDI signals, a software application is required. Many Audio-/MIDI sequencers and DAW applications provide this functionality.
It has USB bus power, and is Plug N' Play, but I'm not clear on whether the USB also sends & receives midi signals In & Out of your computer...though I would have 'thought' most modern midi routers do, but didn't specifically read that(?) If it does indeed do this, it'll be an 'option' for you. It at least 'appears' to me that within the computer, you can make the necessary routing you'll want to 'merge' the midi DIN Inputs of your two midi instruments, into one of the routers midi DIN's Output, as you desire.

Having a router in general will make your midi life much easier anyway, and since you at least have two midi instruments it's a good investment & will expand your midi abilities.

TIP; You may want to make & save a template project within Cubase for your midi routing so you don't have to keep making the settings within the Midi Input Transformer :idea: Well I did that, especially since in my case, I had 16 separate midi channels being transmitted via one midi DIN cable. I also keep a notebook near me & write down various particulars. In addition, I have written down within a 'text document' for my own Motu MPT AV's I/O's (what devices I have plugged into & out of), and keep that on my desktop. It get's confusing with several midi instruments, external midi sound modules, and computers that I use as dedicated external VSTi sound modules. I would have gone completely insane without using midi routers.

Anyway, good luck & have fun! Hope to hear you saying "Daem, it works!" :)

MickeK
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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by MickeK » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:06 pm

Daaeeem, IT WORKS! ;)

No problem at all. The interfaces MIDI Outputs are identified in Cubase by the USB connection. Drums in one and keyboard in one. Perfect. Mission accomplished - at last... Thank's again / Micke

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SYNC
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Re: Playing two MIDI instruments at the same time?

Post by SYNC » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:13 pm

Lol, right on, great news :) The way you're feeling now may be similar to how I felt when I finally got a midi router... things were so much simpler, and I wondered how I got along without one. This was especially true after obtaining more midi devices.

Using USB into your computer instead of the midi DIN to your sound cards midi IN I see... as long as it works without glitches, that should give you more midi I/O options.. if you should need it.

Does the routers USB midi directly into your computer now provide direct I/O access/separation to your midi tracks 'without' the need to use/make changes within the Midi Input Transformer for each track?

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