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Author Topic: Use keyboard with MT-32 via SC-55 input???? (midi-thru)  (Read 1370 times)
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Mr_Blastman
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« on: May 03, 2012, 02:05:20 AM »

I'm trying to make some custom patches/sounds using Emagic's SoundDiver or Midi Quest XL.  Fun, right?  I say yes!  Smiley

Well, I have my MT-32 hooked up as the 2nd device in a chain with my SC-55 as the first, and the MT-32 is connected from the midi-thru of the SC-55 into the MT-32's midi in.  This all works dandy cause I can mute the SC-55 and the MT-32 plays gloriously in all DOS games.  Great stuff.

I figured out I had to connect the midi-out from the MT-32 directly into my PC rather than it being passed through midi-thru. The Default instruments will now dump to the PC via sysex.

My problem lies in when I'm editing patches or just trying to play my MT-32 via an external keyboard (A Roland PC-200 MK II).

The keyboard is hooked up to my SC-55 via the front midi-in port.  It plays the SC-55 perfectly.  If I hook the keyboard up to my MT-32's midi in, it plays _it_ perfectly.  What I want to do is have the keyboard hooked up to the SC-55's front midi-in, and then route the keypresses through the SC-55's rear midi-thru to my MT-32.

According to the SC-55 manual, it should do this by default.

Yet, try as I may, I can't get my MT-32 to play any notes.  I've even tried changing the transmit channel on the keyboard from 1 to 2 to no avail... Any ideas?

See, the purpose in all of this is to be editing instruments in Midi Quest, then use my keyboard to play a note, well, hold it down while tweaking things like pulse modulation, LFO etc. and hear it happening realtime.  You can't really know what you're going to get unless you do this.  So, have it kinda act like a pseudo analog turn the dials setup.  Kinda.

Any ideas here to get this to work via the SC-55 front midi in with my keyboard?

Thanks.
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Cloudschatze
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 01:40:00 PM »

What I want to do is have the keyboard hooked up to the SC-55's front midi-in, and then route the keypresses through the SC-55's rear midi-thru to my MT-32.

Is this an SC-55mkII, perchance? If so, the input from MIDI IN2 (front-panel) isn't routed to MIDI THRU by default. You'll either need to use MIDI IN1 (rear-panel), or swap the MIDI IN1/2 functions. This procedure to do this is found on page 35 of the SC-55mkII manual:

1.) Press [ALL] and turn on the indicator.
2.) Press the PART [<][>] buttons simultaneously.
3.) Select "IN1 <-->IN2" with [ALL][MUTE].
4.) Press INSTRUMENT [>], and turn "On".
5.) The operation is completed by pressing PART [<] and [>] simultaneously.

If we're not dealing with an SC-55mkII, but a later SC-55 instead, the same procedure might still apply. If this is the case, see if the same menu option exists, or simply try things with the keyboard plugged into MIDI IN1.

Quote
See, the purpose in all of this is to be editing instruments in Midi Quest, then use my keyboard to play a note, well, hold it down while tweaking things like pulse modulation, LFO etc. and hear it happening realtime.

You'll find parameter changes won't affect currently sounding notes. Not a huge problem; you'll just need to successively hit a key to hear a change, rather than just hold one down.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 01:41:19 PM by Cloudschatze » Logged
Mr_Blastman
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 12:17:44 AM »

I happen to have an SC-55 vanilla--hooking up the keyboard to the back of the SC-55 midi in works as it passes through to the MT-32 but by doing that, the PC can no longer send data to the MT-32 as well via pass through.  Guess I can't have the best of all worlds.  If only I could have the PC input into the MT-32 and simultaneously have the keyboard input into it...
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jharris01
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 01:04:46 PM »

I have a few ideas to share but I not sure they'll be much help. If you are using XP then try multiple USB midi cables (one for each module). It allows you to control which device gets what through your midi software. Personally I found this approach very convenient and who knows: it may solve your communications problem.

I also found that, while experimenting with my own custom sysexs, sometimes the part volume would be set to zero or a very low value. Note that's part volume; not master volume. It gave me the false impression the MT-32 was not receiving notes. As I got better I was able to fix my sysexs, but you can also manually adjust the volume on your MT-32 or send a control change on your MIDI file. Resetting the module doesn't hurt either.

In any case you should start doing some basic computer troubleshooting. For example you haven't told us your OS or what kind of computer/sound card you have or what kind of MIDI cables you use (assuming it's USB). Some members here have reported their generic cables not working right. Though personally I have not had this problem with mine it's always a possibility. Also testing your USB MIDI cable in another port, or possibly a self powered HUB. Though USB MIDI cables don't require a lot of power and can work just fine even on older, USB 1.1 hubs it never hurts to check.

I would also check your keyboard. If it's Roland then maybe download the manual and see if you find something there. Also test your setup with a different one. If you don't have a spare keyboard handy then check out "Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard" (google for it) and use that software to test your setup. Good luck.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 01:07:47 PM by jharris01 » Logged

Cloudschatze
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 02:04:30 PM »

Neither the SC-55 nor SC-55mkII will merge the data from both MIDI inputs for MIDI THRU re-transmission. Ideally, you'd want the keyboard data to go through your computer for sequencing anyhow though, in which case there is a pretty simple solution using the hardware you already have.

SoundDiver and MIDI Quest should both offer some type of "soft thru" option (if not, MIDI-OX can be used), where data received at the MIDI IN port  on your computer interface is re-transmitted through the MIDI OUT.


PC-200 MIDI OUT ---> Computer MIDI IN
                            |
                       [Soft THRU]
                            |
                     Computer MIDI OUT ---> SC-55 MIDI IN1 ---> SC-55 MIDI THRU ---> MT-32 MIDI IN
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 02:06:20 PM by Cloudschatze » Logged
Mr_Blastman
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 03:44:26 PM »

That virtual midi piano keyboard is nice!  Thanks.  Smiley

It'll hold me over til I get a USB midi adapter to add an additional midi in port.  See, with synthesis the MT-32 has to be able to send data into the PC as I understand it (maybe it doesn't?) during the sound creation process?

I'm still trying to figure it out but I'm gonna.  I want to hear some phat sounds outta this baby.

Cloud--your diagram is what I came to think I need to do, thanks.  I'll just have to add an additional port to allow the MT-32 to communicate to the PC with the keyboard doing so as well.  I wish my x-fi came with two midi in ports.  Doh.
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