Busy Learning a Better Way!

A Better Way to Allow Access to Ketron User Voices

Klass checked in via email this morning to ask a question regarding using his Ketron with his Wersi. That reminded me that we hadn’t posted much lately. We have been locked away in the studio working on two things. We learned that the last config we shared with you works, BUT it doesn’t allow access to Ketron user voices. We have a better way and a fix for that, but we are still testing a few things with our new setup. Stay tuned for a third way to connect your Ketron to your Wersi. They all work, with each one allowing slightly different functionality.

We have also been recording a few short demos so folks can hear the SD40 in action. The first one was released a few days ago. Check it out below:

The next demo will be a classical piece. We have a few more in the works that we hope you enjoy.

5 thoughts on “Busy Learning a Better Way!

  • 06/09/2018 at 14:34

    Hi Dave,

    I’ve been giving some thought to your observation about how the Abacus communicates with the Ketron, and in particular the order in which you switch on these two devices. In this context the Abacus is the transmitting device and the Ketron is the receiving device. So it’s not so much the fact that the Abacus is not recognising the Ketron, more likely that the Ketron is not recognising the Abacus. It’s a particular characteristic of the MIDI system that nothing happens on the receiving device until something happens on the transmitting device. Typically when playing a Wersi we wouldn’t be aware of this little ‘feature’ since we’re always selecting/loading/activating/adjusting something before and as we play, so MIDI messages are constantly being transmitted. This is what I think might be happening when we switch on the two devices.

    In the case of switching on the Ketron first, when this has booted up and is running it will be ready to receive MIDI messages from the Abacus. Now when the Abacus is switched on it goes through its boot up sequence and the last action in this sequence is to load the last used total preset. Everything on the instrument works on MIDI so now the MIDI system is activated, MIDI messages are being transmitted internally and externally and communication with the Ketron is established.

    Now let’s consider the case where we switch on the Abacus first. Again the Abacus boot up sequence is performed and at the end of this sequence MIDI messages are transmitted, but the Ketron is switched off, or going through its own boot up sequence, so the MIDI messages are lost and communication with the Ketron is not yet established. In this situation it’s worth trying changing something on the Abacus like loading a total preset that has the Ketron sounds in it, or re-loading this total preset, or de-activating then re-activating the relevant selectors, or adjusting a relevant volume control. This forces the Abacus to transmit MIDI messages and the Ketron should then respond.

    I’ve encountered this effect a number of times whilst developing the Wersi HD Series. For example, when using Hauptwerk I have all my stop combinations for the virtual pipe organ embedded in a number of total presets. But if I call up one of these in the OAS then run up Hauptwerk, the virtual instrument just sits there looking pretty but not reacting. Now if I re-load the total preset it gets the appropriate MIDI messages, all the relevant stops pop out and away we go. It’s just the way the MIDI system works. This has led me to develop ‘Jeff’s first MIDI law’ for those intending connecting external devices to their Wersi. It states that “If nothing appears to be happening, don’t just sit there, waggle something!”

    The advantage of constructing your own system of course is that once you are aware of this effect you can design around it. The problem with connecting two devices that operate in their own particular way is that if ‘Jeff’s first MIDI law’ doesn’t work, then there’s not a lot you can do about it. Worth a try though.


    • 06/10/2018 at 07:07

      Hi Jeff,
      Thank you for the explanation, at least I was on the right track even if it was back to front,
      a bit like the Abacus, hope you are going to do some more articles on all things Wersi and
      post some photos.

      Thanks again


  • 06/08/2018 at 15:04

    Hi Curt,
    Up date on the Abacus/SD7 as promised, I now have the basics sorted with control from
    the lower keyboard of the Abacus Duo Pro, I can also control the volume of the SD7 from
    the Abacus as well as transpose and octave shift, I have found that to control the SD7
    from the Abacus, you must switch the SD7 on first then the Abacus, if you do it the other
    way round the Abacus does not see the SD7, strange I know, but that’s what happens.

    I next have to look at MSB/LSB, again I will keep you posted.


    • 06/08/2018 at 16:30

      Excellent update and great progress Dave! Keep all of us posted. I’ve been busy working on a new setup/config myself. Stay tuned for another video in the coming days once I work out a few more kinks.

      • 06/09/2018 at 06:09

        Hi Curt,
        Thank you for the reply, I am that pleased with the SD7 midi to Abacus I am now going
        to order the SD40 and have it dedicated to the Abacus, it will be interesting to see what
        you come up with regarding Ketron user sounds, here we go again !!


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