Mix, Match and Splits – Part2

This post is in response to great questions asked by both Jeff and Bill in our original post. Since I can’t post pictures in the comments, I figured it would be easier to explain things in a separate post with a couple of pictures to help everyone follow along.

For review, here are the comments by Jeff and Bill. Let me also add that Ross and I have traded a few emails that are related to the allocation of MIDI channels. In response to Ross, I’ll be putting up a new video to better show what can happen and how you can move past the messages that come up in OAX.

Question 1: Ketron sounds mixed with OAX sounds.

Let’s start with the first screenshot of what I have setup on the Upper manual on the OAX side. On “Upper1” we have the sound “Violin 1” configured, and on “Upper2” we have a sound called “Ketron_C2” configured. Recall that the second sound will be coming from the Ketron based on data sent out from the Wersi on MIDI Channel 2.

Next, in the second screenshot, take a look at the edit options when I double click on the Violin 1 sound configured on Upper1. There is one critical piece of the puzzle missing. If you recall from seeing this same screen in some of our videos, there is normally an additional tab called “Routing” and also a button you can click called “Edit Sound.” The combination of those two options will allow you to both see and set the MIDI channel. Since Violin 1 is a “Factory Sound” it appears we don’t have those options – 🙁

To Jeff’s first question, he asked what happens if both the Wersi sound and an External MIDI sound are assigned to the same MIDI channel. The challenge here is knowing what MIDI channel that Violin 1 is assigned to since OAX selected it for us and sadly, is not showing which channel was selected.

OAX_Home_MIDI2
OAX_Home_MIDI2
OAX_Edit_Sound
OAX_Edit_Sound

 

SD40_MIDI
SD40_MIDI

A long way to say that Bill’s response to Jeff was right on the money which is –>  (c) Recognise that one sound is on an internal MIDI channel, the other on an external MIDI channel and allow the combination.

On to question 2: Ketron sounds mixed with other Ketron sounds.

Referring to the Ketron MIDI configuration screen above there are some subtle details that one might overlook at first glance, I sure did! The big one for me was in the top row you will see some of the boxes are titled Ch1. Ch2, Ch3, etc. I read that as Channel — WRONG! It’s Chord1, Chord2, Chord3, etc. 

If you remember way back in December of 2016 we posted about connecting from our Sonic to a Roland Integra 7 sound module. In that case, the system/dynamic channel assignment of MIDI channels done by OAX work great as the Roland could care less which channel does what. In the case of the Ketron, while we can certainly send data to it on all 16 channels, we do care a little about which ones are used for what. And in thinking about it, we might in the Roland configuration but for different reasons.

Let’s focus on the Ketron config for now. Back to the screenshot above of the SD40 MIDI config and look at the second row. Notice we have MIDI channel’s 13-16 “ON” and assigned to various “parts” of the SD40. May or may not be the perfect config, but I think it will work for most of the “organ crowd.”

The short answer to Jeff is should you select a User Sound configured on the Wersi that uses the same MIDI channel you will be greeted by the following regardless of the external device attached. At the top of this note, I mentioned that Ross, and I have been chatting via email, and this is precisely the situation that he has run into (so I have I). I do plan on tacking this topic in a video or two soon. Now, if you read that message closely, there are another one of those subtle clues in there. This goes to a comment by Bill regarding 16 vs. 32 MIDI channels.

To get an answer for Bill we created a new user sound on MIDI channel 2 BUT assigned it to MIDI port 2 on OAX. Check out the last screenshot to see that we can have two sounds on the Upper keyboard, both assigned to MIDI channel 2 BUT in our example, the sound on Upper1 would send data on MIDI Port2 while the sound on Upper2 would continue to send data on MIDI Port1. So, we could connect our Roland module back up and control it 100% separately from the Ketron and still assign a Wersi sound to Upper3. Would I stumble into some MIDI-conflicts? Probably. Those could be solved with some thought and planning of how things were set up but I’ll admit, a daunting task.

 

OAX_MIDI_Conflict
OAX_MIDI_Conflict
OAX_2Port-Same_Channel
OAX_2Port-Same_Channel

I have not said much about the “Registration” feature on the Ketron (yet). Think of a “Registration” on the Ketron as you think of a “Preset” on your Wersi. We can save whatever configuration we want and recall it quickly via a single touch of the screen. This is something we will show in some upcoming videos but those Ketron registrations can also be accessed via a program change sent from the Wersi. At this point, we have done limited testing and it works. Consider this:

You could have a User Preset on the Wersi that does nothing more than select a Registration on the Ketron or you could setup a User Preset on the Wersi that in addition to selecting a Registration on the Ketron it could also register various settings/sound/etc. on the Wersi – A very interesting configuration indeed!

This morning I moved the SD40 up to my office/studio, and we will be releasing some videos that show more about the SD40 features and functions. Most of that will be hosted over on our IMMusic site As you watch some of those videos and posts all of this hopefully will make more sense. You can subscribe here to follow along.

This is where I’ll ask if everyone here (on the Wersi site) would like to see that content? It won’t involve a Wersi but will have MIDI/Ketron/Roland/Native Instruments/Logic Pro and Sonar content. We are 100% happy to post on both sites but don’t want to offend the Wersi folks who might say “this has nothing to do with my Wersi”. True, but as we have said many times – MIDI is MIDI and portions of what we cover will apply, and at the same time you can learn more about Ketron should you like to add one to your studio. If that is something that interests you, contact us for more info.

Hopefully, you made it to the end of this post (congratulations!). It was a long one. Let the comments and questions begin! 🙂

11 thoughts on “Mix, Match and Splits – Part2

  • 05/22/2018 at 05:57
    Permalink

    Had a quick look at the SD40 manual (Quick guide) online and here are a few suggestions.

    1. Connect the Midi cable from the Wersi to Midi 1 (GM) of the Ketron (This should give you access to all 16 Midi channels) and see if you can select all the sounds available on the SD40 using the Bank, and program change commands.
    2. Connect the Wersi Midi out 2 to the SD40 Midi in 1 and leave the Wersi Midi out 1 connected to the Midi in 2 (Key) of the SD40, as that way you should be able to access all the sounds on the SD40 over 16 channels as well as having the ability to control the SD40 as an arranger. (This should solve the problem of conflicts as you are using 2 separate Midi ports)
    NOTE: The SD40 only has 128 notes of polyphony so don’t overload it or you will have notes dropping out.
    Have fun and let us know how you get on.

    Bill

    Reply
  • 05/21/2018 at 18:47
    Permalink

    Very informative guys, I am very interested in learning about the other features of the Ketron that I have not yet discovered, however, I would prefer to see the whole project completed on the Wersi.
    All I want at this stage, is to get the Ketron working with multiple midi channels on my Wersi and to date I am still getting Wersi midi channel conflicts. I have got 2 channels max working on the upper manual, add a 3rd channel and it shuts of the other 2 channels so I am back to 1 channel.
    My other concern is if many Ketron voices get saved to the Wersi, then it will not be mix and play.
    Bearing in mind that we can only use 3 channels for the Ketron, I assume if 2 voices are selected that are on the same channel, then there will be a channel conflict and it will again bomb out?

    Reply
    • 05/22/2018 at 06:22
      Permalink

      Ross – We can do four voices on the Ketron. (Honest 🙂 ). I’m struggling with the best way to show the issue you and I have run into and an easy way to explain what happens and what to do when (if) it does.

      I did mess around a little yesterday with using a Ketron Registration and calling that from the Wersi. Works fine but that will be more of a matter of preference and how the end user wants to set things up.

      I’m reading Bill’s comments above and thinking about if that will help us or not. Something I haven’t thought of or tried but will today.

      Reply
      • 05/22/2018 at 16:52
        Permalink

        Thanks Curt & Bill, interesting Bill has suggested 3 midi connections.

        I am obviously missing a secret ingredient, perhaps a quick Skype some time may sort it Curt?

        Reply
        • 05/23/2018 at 17:27
          Permalink

          Ross – Hang in there another day or so. I’d still like to do a quick video showing the underlying issue and what to do so others can also follow along. I’m tied up most of Thursday morning but hoping I can get a video whipped up later in the day. It might not get published until Friday my time. If all else fails, we can set up a Skype call in the next couple of days.

          Something for you to try real quick to see what you think. Create a User Registration on the Ketron. Pick any style, a lead voice and also activate the 2nd voice. Save that setup as user Registration 1 / Bank 1. Change to some other registration.

          Next, on the Ketron MIDI config, setup channel 16 for “Reg” as in registration. On the Wersi side create a user voice on channel 16 with a program change of “0”. Hit “send” on the Wersi and the SD40 should change to your User Registration with whatever setup you saved.

          A different way to get from “here to there.” I’ll be showing more about that soon… So much to be had, so little time! :

          Thanks for your patience!

          Reply
  • 05/21/2018 at 07:13
    Permalink

    Hi Curt,

    Many thanks for your detailed investigation into MIDI channel assignment, and to Bill for his informative comments. Here are my thoughts based on your investigations.

    As far as mixing OAX and external sounds is concerned, as Bill says, this is possible on OAS so we would expect this to be also possible on OAX. Even though the two systems differ in their implementation, they are essentially the same in their operation. Both allow a range of different types of sound to be placed in a selector (OAS/X, External, VST etc.), and both have to be able to determine the type of sound so that a path to the relevant MIDI port can be opened up and the sound played. All sounds on the instrument have a unique MIDI Program Code, and these are arranged in banks such that the value of the higher order bits in these codes is the same. So all the external sounds will have the same higher order value, this value is known and will be different to the higher order bits in the OAS/X codes. So it’s easy for the OAS/X to distinguish one from the other.

    As far as mixing external sounds is concerned, here the two systems differ. On OAS we have a fixed number of selectors for each of the manuals and pedals, and each selector has a unique MIDI channel assigned to it. So it would be perfectly possible, for example, to place the same external sound in two selectors of a manual since they would be on different MIDI channels. If we try to do this on OAX, as your experiment has shown, it’s not allowed. By definition, both sounds will have the same assigned MIDI channel and a clash occurs.

    My conclusion from all of this is that in OAS we have a fixed system that can only be operated one way so the results are consistent. In OAX however we have a more flexible system that can be operated in a number of different ways so the results are inconsistent. We have available both dynamic and static MIDI channel assignment systems, with the further complication that the static system is both fixed and variable. Fixed when we assign a particular MIDI channel, but also variable in that we can assign any one of 16 channels. Murphy’s law applies, “If something can go wrong then it will go wrong”. We’re now into “What if territory”. The designer has now to be asking, what will be the response of the system if the user does this, or does that, and has to design for all eventualities. But as someone once wisely said, “It’s impossible to make something foolproof because fools are so ingenuous!”

    So you pays your money and takes your choice. From a design point of view my money’s on the OAS system. It’s robust, reliable, predictable and works under all conditions. The designer doesn’t have to waste time adjusting the design for all kinds of “What if scenarios”, and is saved from having to issue patches and work-arounds when some user in the future hits a combination that’s not been thought of.

    As far as your two sites are concerned Curt, I don’t have a particular view either way. I seem to get email alerts when something new appears on the IMMusic site, so I check this out regularly. I’m interested in what you are doing on both sites, and since I’m intending installing a DAW on the HD Scala in the future, I have a particular interest in the work you will be doing with Logic Pro.

    Jeff

    Reply
  • 05/21/2018 at 03:56
    Permalink

    HI Curt
    I didn’t think they would change from the way OAS does it for No.1.
    No.2 was as I expected, but knowing Wersi you can never be sure that they will do things logically.
    Thanks for trying it out to confirm.
    If you really want to have fun though, you could also try using the internal sounds with multiple VSTs plus the SD40 and Roland in a single performance. 🙂

    Reply
    • 05/21/2018 at 07:02
      Permalink

      I did think of that just to have some fun…but only thought about 1 VST. You have an evil mind! 🙂

      Reply
  • 05/20/2018 at 14:47
    Permalink

    Thanks for the info Curt, I am familiar with both sites and the videos of both sites always show up in YouTube, so if you wish to keep them separate (So you don’t upset anyone) that’s fine for me, hopefully others will post to give you a consensus of what they want.

    Reply
    • 05/20/2018 at 16:14
      Permalink

      Thanks, Bill – I’m very interested to hear thoughts (good and bad) from others. The million dollar question? Did we answer your/Jeff questions or did you learn something new about how OAX vs. OAS works regarding MIDI?

      I’ll be the first to admit that I’m at best 50/50 on the OAX MIDI implementation. There might be cases where it works well but I’m old school and much prefer “hard coding” channels, etc. so that I 100% know what will happen vs. the dynamic assignments that OAX does, by default to “help me”! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *