That Pesky MIDI Conflict

Working with “Fixed” Channels in OAX and the MIDI Conflict They Can Create

This topic has come up once or twice over the past couple of months. With our recent series of Ketron videos that pesky MIDI conflict is back! We really don’t have a fix for it, but we attempt to show you what it is, how you can stumble across it and finally that it does require a little planning, but you can work around it.

Unfortunately, you do need to plan out what sounds and MIDI channels you are going to use. If you take the time to ensure you are not attempting to use the same MIDI channel on multiple voice selectors at the same time it will work.

The video is a little long, but we encourage you to watch until the end where we show four external MIDI sounds (which just happens to be what you might want to do if you are a Ketron user) along with additional internal OAX sounds in use at the same time. We will be sharing a video with more info from the Ketron point of view and why four unique MIDI channels make sense should you want to play more than one voice from an externally attached Ketron device.

We welcome feedback from everyone as this is a tough one to explain and help with but it can be done. Don’t be shy – Ask questions!

 

9 thoughts on “That Pesky MIDI Conflict

  • 05/27/2018 at 17:51
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    Here is my two pence worth:
    With the current midi config we have been working with. After a Ketron voice has been entered to the Wersi using the Ketron data sheet bank and channel number. the voice can be change to any other voice at the Ketron. ie. You load a piano voice from the data sheet and save it. At the Ketron you can now select sax and it will play. My suggestion is, you label your original saved voices to the Wersi as say Ch13 piano and your next voice Ch14 organ etc. You will know that any voice labelled Ch is a Ketron voice. When you want to build a new registration you load each your existing Ch voices on the Wersi, play around on the Ketron changing the the voices to the sound you want and then save them to the Wersi as a registration.
    I also prefer to have the 2nd voice added to the lower manual as it gives some backing to the Styles.

    Reply
    • 05/27/2018 at 20:01
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      Ross, Stay tuned for a new config that i think you might like better. Did a little messing with it a while ago but want to try one more thing in the morning.

      Hint – Bill suggested it the other day but I only tried 1/2 of the setup until today. More to come on Monday.

      Reply
    • 05/28/2018 at 06:42
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      Ross – I think you are talking about a Ketron Registration – Is that correct? If it is, remember that once you save that on the Ketron, you can recall it from the Wersi. Any chance you have tried that yet?

      If not – Set up the Ketron to accept program changes on channel 16 – Create a user voice on the Wersi to use channel 16 and set the program change value on the Wersi to match the number of the Ketron saved registration.

      But, stay tuned for an entirely new configuration based on comments below.

      Reply
  • 05/27/2018 at 16:41
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    Hi Curt,

    Ah right, that makes sense now. Thanks.

    Jeff

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  • 05/27/2018 at 15:12
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    Hi Bill,

    Yes, I was wondering about that. So what would be the reason for using the KEY Midi input in preference to the GM input?

    Jeff

    Reply
    • 05/27/2018 at 15:58
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      Both of you have me thinking after reading your comments. Getting ready to try something in a few minutes and will report back in the morning.

      Jeff – IN1 (GM) allows access to all of the sounds, IN2 (Keyb) provides access to the sounds AND the arranger section (AKA styles) which is what I expect most folks would want to take advantage of.

      Reply
  • 05/27/2018 at 07:20
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    Hi Curt,
    Some thoughts on how to deal with your MIDI channel allocation problem in practical playing situations. The objective would be to minimise the number of channel clashes, and when these do occur, to resolve them in the most efficient manner.

    I’m assuming that we are using the GM MIDI input on the Ketron, so all 16 MIDI channels are available. We are used to classifying sounds into particular categories e.g. strings, woodwind, brass, piano etc. so why not designate a MIDI channel to each type of sound. So all the strings could be on channel 1, all the pianos on channel 2, all the brass on channel 3 etc. Now when we come across a Ketron sound that we would like to use as a Wersi user sound in a total preset, we simply assign it the channel number for that type of sound. In practice we would typically be layering different types of sounds on a manual e.g. strings and piano so no channel clashes would occur. Alternatvely we might have say strings on the lower manual as an accompaniment and say a clarinet as a solo instrument on the upper manual, so again no channel clashes occur.

    However, should we wish to combine similar types of sound e.g. two string sounds on one manual to obtain a fuller sound, or strings on both manuals, then we have a channel clash. In these circumstances we can create a duplicate user sound for one or more of the string sounds and assign them channel numbers that aren’t being used. This would be an efficient way of dealing with the problem since we are only creating duplicate sounds as and when necessary on a total preset by total preset basis. And should we encounter a similar issue in a future total preset, we then have a choice of versions of the same sound that we can use.

    Note that none of this is required for OAS users as the MIDI channel is fixed by the upper, lower and pedal selectors. We only need one version of each user sound, and even if we place this in more than one selector, these will be on different MIDI channels so no clashes can occur.

    Hope this helps
    Jeff

    Reply
    • 05/27/2018 at 09:31
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      Hi Jeff

      I believe Curt is referring to the KEY Midi input on the Ketron not the GM input, as otherwise he could leave OAX on dynamic channel allocation and the conflicts would never occur, and select any voice you want anywhere on the manuals.
      You can change the channels of all the voice sections on OAS (Only internal and VST are fixed) as well as styles and sequences, you just can’t do per sound.

      Bill

      Reply
  • 05/27/2018 at 04:39
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    HI Curt

    The errors you are seeing are not unique to OAX, as it is just a limitation of the Midi system in general, (It will occur no matter what Midi equipment you are using as a controller) however in most circumstances it will not be noticed as most Midi equipment will receive on all 16 channels and thus dynamic allocation solves the problem.
    Arranger modules are unique in the way they operate (Hence the 2 different types of Midi inputs that are incorporated (GM = all 16 channels available, Key = Specific channels must be chosen as required by the module) so as to reduce conflicts, If you wish to use the module as an arranger use the Key in input, however if want to use the sounds then use GM in, (Both should be available at the same time subject to polyphony limitations) OAS Midi in is the same with Midi 1 receiving like an arranger and Midi In 2 available on all 16 channels. (I would presume OAX is similar but as the manual details are pretty sparse it may have a more advanced system)
    Improvements to OAX could easily be achieved by giving the user the option of what to do when the conflict appears, rather than just perform a specific action, (This is how most Midi software works) but I can understand why Wersi might do as they do, as most organ/arranger players will not be tech savvy (Unlike those that constantly use Mid equipment/software) and so probably won’t know what to do with the options given, which could cause even more problems.

    Bill

    Reply

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