Basic MIDI Configuration OAX / Ketron

Basic MIDI Configuration for Upper Keyboard Only

For the next video in our OAX / Ketron series, we show you a basic MIDI configuration on the SD40 and on OAX that allows us to use the upper keyboard of our Sonic to act as a MIDI controller for the SD40. This setup works well on an OAX-1 keyboard, a Pegasus or any other single keyboard instrument. In the next video, we will show you a configuration more suited for “organ” where we use both the Upper, Lower keyboards and Pedals to control the Ketron.

The Ketron sets up a split point for us. In this case, it’s middle C although you can change that. Any notes you play below middle C will make chord changes on whatever style you have selected on the Ketron, and any notes from middle C to the top of the keyboard will allow you play a melody line.

 

Other videos on this topic:

  1. Basic cable connections
  2. An Overview of the SD40 Front Panel
  3. MIDI Configuration for 2 Keyboards and Multiple Sounds (Part1 of 3)
  4. User Sounds to Control SD40 (Part2 of 3)
  5. Does All This MIDI Stuff Work? (Part3 of 3)

14 thoughts on “Basic MIDI Configuration OAX / Ketron

  • 10/09/2018 at 15:16
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    Hi Jerry and Curt,

    I don’t think you’ll have a problem with the arrangement you are proposing Jerry. I’ve been running a variety of software on an external processor concurrently with accompaniments and sounds from the Wersi with no noticeable delay. If we examine the signal flow through each of these devices we can see why.

    For the internal Wersi system, the signals from the keyboards are captured by the MIDI electronics and translated into MIDI data (1) then passed to the OAX for processing (1), then on to the Hypersonic sound engine software to generate the sounds in digital format (1). The generated sounds are then sent to the digital to analogue converters for conversion into audio (1) and finally to the internal audio input electronics for amplification (1). There are 5 levels in this process, and each level contributes a delay to the signal flow.

    For an external Wersi system, again the signals from the keyboards are captured by the MIDI electronics and translated into MIDI data (1) then passed to the external MIDI ports for transmission to the external processor. Once in the processor the MIDI data is passed to the VST host (1) and then on to the required VST plug-in (1). The digital output of the VST plug-in is then passed to the processor’s digital to analogue converters for conversion into audio (1) and finally transmitted back to the external audio input electronics of the Wersi for amplification (1). Again there are 5 levels in this process. If however we can run our external software standalone rather than in a VST host, then we can remove one of the levels in the external process and so make a corresponding reduction in the overall delay.

    There are a couple of other delays to take into consideration, a delay in the external cabling if the external processor is someway away from the Wersi, and the relative speed of the two processors. As far as the cabling is concerned, electricity travels at the speed of light (186,000 miles/sec), the fastest speed on the planet. Cabling has a low but finite resistance so electronic engineers use a general rule of thumb for the cabling delay, 1ns (0.000000001 sec) / ft. So if we had 5ft. of cable to the processor and 5 ft. back to the Wersi we would incur a delay of 10ns. This is insignificant when compared to the other delays in the process. You would need the cosmic powers of a superhero to come anywhere close to even realising it existed! As far as processor speeds are concerned, these will have a direct bearing on those components in the signal flow that require software processing. We can’t do much about the processor in the Wersi, but we have the opportunity to choose any external processor we like. A good strategy would be to select one that has the same or even better performance than that in the Wersi, so now the whole process is optimised for best performance.

    Hope this helps
    Jeff

    Reply
    • 10/09/2018 at 19:20
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      The unit would be close. Cables would be 6 feet. Great explanation. I am just trying to come up with a way to be able to run a different B3 VST and be able to control it. Also I don’t like any of the piano sounds. I have a Steinberg the grand that I love and want to run it also. It will load in the Sonic but still no way to control it. I am looking at the Seelake AudioStation Mini. Looks like it will do exactly what I want.

      Jerry

      Reply
      • 10/10/2018 at 06:30
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        Interesting find Jerry. I like the whole external processor concept, and I ran that for a bit here with a Windows-based machine. Although it was a touchscreen setup, I still found it a bit awkward to do things on the computer while sitting on the organ bench. Never came up with a good “mounting” solution and something that would still look acceptable based on where our organ sits. As you know, you can’t miss it when you walk in our front door. I say that as I’m considering bringing the bench from the Sonic upstairs today to get an idea of how big it will be should I opt to move the whole thing upstairs to my studio. While it “fits” per the measuring tape seeing it (at least a piece) gives you a little different perspective of things.

        Have you looked at a Mac Mini or NUC if you prefer windows?

        Reply
        • 10/10/2018 at 19:42
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          I did look at the NUC. The AudioStation Mini already has everything needed in the one unit. My plan is the have the unit loaded with the VSTs I will use. Then have the presets on the Sonic directed to the sounds I will use from the AudioStation. Have the AudioStation load everything at boot up and not have to have a screen when out performing. However it can be controlled via wifi with a iPad if I needed a monitor.

          Reply
          • 10/11/2018 at 09:25
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            I like the iPad idea as a backup “console” if needed.

  • 10/07/2018 at 21:00
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    Hi Curt,

    I was at AJ’s for a demo on the SD90 which he had hooked up to a tyros 4 or 5. I liked the functionality and capability of the unit. My concern is the interface between the SD90 and my Wersi oax800.
    From your videos, it doesn’t seem too difficult to hook up. Would just like your opinion as to to
    ease of use between the two or would it not be a good idea. Don’t mind spending the money for the unit, i think it is a great module, but at the same time I don’t want to get it if the interface is not relatively seamless. having had three Wersi organs (NOVA600, SCALA & OAX800), I know there isn’t much that is seamless. I don’t mind a learning curve if it is worth it.
    i”m looking just to get better styles and better sounds and the vst route seems a lot more complicated
    and in the long run probably more expensive than the sd90.

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • 10/08/2018 at 06:51
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      Hey Jim,

      I haven’t hooked up our SD90 to our Sonic although it will be 99% the same as the SD40 which we have connected in the past. The SD90 offers a number of controls on the front panel that on the SD40 are sometimes one or more “touch-screens” away. So, in that case, the SD90 is a much better fit.

      You can certainly set up the Sonic to access all the sounds in the SD90. The thing that you can’t do at this time (not supported by Wersi) is control the styles on the SD90 from the Sonic. As long as you are OK with reaching over and touching the SD90 to use start, stop, fill, break, ending and tempo you are good to go. The combination of voices from the Sonic and the Ketron allows for some amazing presets!

      Are you considering the AJAMSonic version or just the base model? Please keep us posted on your decision and how you make out.

      Reply
    • 10/08/2018 at 08:00
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      Jim – I had forgotten what we talked about is these videos. Just went back and took another look. It turns out that you want to start with this setup – http://wersiclubusa.com/ketron/ketron-sd40-midi-x2/ and to be honest there are a couple of changes I would make to it to get what I think is the best configuration on both the Wersi and Ketron.

      On a related note – There is another possible configuration that I have not tried using one USB over MIDI connection and one physical MIDI cable. The latest O/S update on the Ketron side has added a
      “MIDI Merge” function. If that works as I expect that might make things a little easier.

      Now you have me thinking about hooking up the SD90 and giving it a go, and possibly putting out an updated video on the whole solution… 🙂

      Reply
      • 10/08/2018 at 09:15
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        That would be fantastic

        Thanks

        Reply
      • 10/08/2018 at 21:50
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        Curt,
        When you had the Keytron connected to the Sonic did you select a sound from the Keytron and use a auto rhythm from the Sonic to see if there was a delay when playing the notes with the auto rhythm? I ask this question because I am thinking about getting a mini PC to run some VSTs and am wondering if there is going to be any kind of delay since you’re using midi out to the unit and bringing the audio from the unit back in to the Sonic.

        Jerry

        Reply
        • 10/09/2018 at 06:22
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          Can’t say that I ever tried that combo. I was using sounds AND styles from the Ketron, so the Sonic was basically a MIDI controller in my case although I did route Ketron audio back through the Sonic. I might move the SD40 back down to the Sonic later this week as we have a new SD90 coming in today that I’ll be using in my studio. If/when we move the SD40 downstairs I can try the config you mentioned and see how that works.

          Reply
  • 05/08/2018 at 11:55
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    What a beautiful Flute&Style sounds ! And your PRO playing !

    Reply
    • 05/08/2018 at 14:26
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      Samuel – Ketron gets all the credit for the sounds and the style I used. There are quite a few very nice styles in this unit. Thanks for your kind words. I’m FAR from a pro.

      I’m starting a new video this afternoon showing how we can play multiple sounds from the Ketron and also use both keyboards on the Sonic. With any luck, I’ll get that published sometime on Wed.

      Reply

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