I'm back! Plus I have some questions.


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Hi there!

Anyway, my first question regards midi:

I'm looking to buy some midi controllers to make my live playing a bit easier. Well, alot easier, my band's songwriter went and wrote a whole song with orchestral backing, and I have to try and play as much of that as I can live. Some other songs could use extra controllers as well. Anyway, what I want to know is lets say I buy 2 controllers, plus using my old casio, to make them all play through my main keyboard I would set them all to transmit on different midi channels and wire them all through to my keyboard using midi-thru, basically making a serial chain? Is there other options like a midi 'hub' that you can just connect all the midi devices to and the hub has an out that goes into my main keyboard and relays/compiles all the seperate midi information into one stream?

Well, basically what I'm looking to do is the standard not having to change parts while I'm playing any given song since that is really troublesome, causes mistakes and breaks the sound, so any other suggestions to solve this problem would be appreciated. I have a Yamaha S90 ES(basically a Yamaha Motif ES without the sequencer and sampler) as my main keyboard/synth.

Next question, any suggestions on midi controllers? I currently have my eye on the Roland PCR-800(or the 49 or 25 key versions, depending on budget), seems like a really nice controller with a bunch of other funky features that could come in handy later on. For the second controller I havn't decided yet but I'm basically looking only at a very basic one, velocity sensitive, with pitch and modulation wheels and atleast 2 split sections.

My last question regards the Roland PCR-800 specifically, if anyone has any experience with it. It has 18 velocity pads as Roland calls it, which is basically 18 buttons you can assign to any midi messages at your leisure. Now, although it says that it's hard to tell from the manual if more than one can be assigned to one button(as in four octave of the same note for example). What I'm looking to do is assign orchestra hits to these buttons, since they appear ofter enough but irregularly enough to be annoying to split my keyboard or change the sound evertime I have to play them, since it's usually just a bunch of notes in octaves or fifths, and the biggest variety of notes I play is 3 in one song in octaves. If I could assign these to those buttons, it would really make my life alot more pleasant. So, does anyone here have experience using that particular feature on the Roland PCR series?

Thanks a bunch in advance.
 
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hey letsel...good to see ya back, you must be jammin alot. I don't have any experience with the Roland PCR series, but I do love orchestral hits and have used them in various songs and assigning them to a hit pad, drum pad or what ever its called shouldn't be a problem that would be like assigning drum parts to a keypad, I did have a Roland drum pad once with the hits on it, so they were part of the percussion selections at that time. Hope this helps some. As far as controllers the CME's are nice too, and Akai's 49 key.
 
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I just came back from our local dealer, and I inquired about midi mergers and they didn't have any on stock or catalogue. The only midi merger still in production seems to be the Midi Solutions Quadra Merger, atleast it's the only one I could find, which leads me to believe that something has taken it's place like USB instead of midi cables. Don't know much about these things yet. Anyway, the reason I'm looking for a merger is that most of the controllers I look it doesn't have midi-thru, so I'll need some way to to get potentially 3 seperate controllers into one signal into my main keyboard. But pretty much all keyboards controllers these days come with USB ports, so maybe there is some funky way/standard way of sending midi over USB that has taken the place of midi cables. Either way, as always, any advice/help more than welcome.

RotorOnTop: Good to back, but I'd like to think I never left! Just got side-tracked for a while(happens alot with me). Actually we(the band and I) havn't been practicing as much as we should, plus we only recently found a good drummer and singer, so we have only had a full line-up for about 3 weeks now, we havn't even had practice session with all members present. But I'm going to spend alot more time practicing now, feel kinda bad that we had to decline an offer to play live due to everyone not being ready. Thanks for the advice on the controllers, will check it once I have a minute to spare. As for the PCR series, as far as I know you can assign any one midi signal(basically one note) to one of the velocity pads much like midi drum pad, I just wondering if someone knew if I could assign more than one note to one pad. All the orchestral hits are atleast 2 notes at the same time, going up to four. But, there is 18 of the pads, so there is more than enough to assign one note to each and be able to play everything I need to from there.

P.S. The orchestal hits sounds really really awesome on my friends PA system at loud loud volumes. :D
 
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How you doin letsel?

First of all a true midi "controller" has no sounds in them. they are only used to control other sound sources. I'm not sure what your trying to do. If your looking for a board to play more sounds, i wouldnt think you need a "controller". Something like a rack sound module might be better....

But, to control sounds from one keyboard, this setup should work:

you would, (for instance) come MIDI OUT of your s90 to midi in of the next keyboard(such as your casio)...with this setup you then need to use the "audio" output section of the 2 keyboards to run them thru your sound system....ot there should be a midi thru port on your s90...if you hook it "second" in the chain and use a controller that your thinking about buying then you go midi out of the controller to midi in of the s90 then midi thru the s90 to midi in of the casio
 
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I know what controllers are, I'm just looking to bypass the limitations of my keyboards splitting/layering abilities. 88 keys, suprisingly, can't cope that well with my friend's compositions :D. Plus there are limitations to the layering/splitting on my keyboard, despite being for the most part being identical to yamaha's flagship workstation. Plus I'm a perfectionist/geek, so I like lots of shiny toys with blinky lights that helps me play the songs as close as possible as they can be to the recorded versions.

I don't really need any more sounds at the moment, my Yamaha S90 ES has more than I have had a chance to try out, not even counting creating my own synth sounds/modifying existing ones.

The problem I have is that some of the songs have quite a number of voices that I'm responsible for for live playing(the winner being one with 11 voices that I somehow managed to condense down to 5 without any major loss of melody and harmony, just timbral variety), so I have to end up programming alot of different splits and layers for each song. Normally this isn't that big of an issue, but some of the songs are too complex or has too many parts. The problem is my keyboard can only layer/split for a total of 4 parts, atleast, that is all I have been able to figure out so far. The most demanding song so far has 6 multi's programmed for the different sections, the problem being switching between them causes the currently playing sounds to stop while it completely reloads the performance, aside from the difficulties where notes usually needs to be sustained throughout the sections and that I usually use both hands at the time so I have to sacrifice the last bit of one part to switch. From what I can tell from the manual, the master multi's I'm using is meant as one per song, just making switching to differente setups between songs easier.

Therefore I need more equipment... specifically a midi-merger... I don't know, my head hurt now from general annoyance and reading too much. From what I can tell midi-thru will be useless, since I can't have both the midi-out and midi-thru into the next controllers midi-in, I can't link them serially. The way I see it midi-thru ports allow you to send one controllers midi info to various synths/soundbanks, but you can't merge the midi info of various controllers into one synth/soundbank.

Before I go, basically, to give an example, lets say I have 4 midi-controllers, each able to split and transmit on 2 midi channels, lets say channels 1 to 8 respectively. I want to hook all of the midi data going out of the controllers into my Yamaha S90's midi-in(which, in theory mind you, is possible, since you can transmit entire songs with 16 tracks going at once over midi), allowing me to play the voices assinged to those 8 midi recieve channels. From what I can tell from my research so far this is for the most part impossible without a midi-merger. Unless I'm wrong, this is a very sad state of affairs. I won't necessarily use 4 controllers, but damnit, it shouldn't be that hard to achieve. The only possibility I could have overlooked is merging using a computer, but I havn't had time to look into that yet and I need to go sleep now. Plus I don't have a laptop to use for live gigs, or the funds for one.

Maybe I'm missing something. I hope so.
 
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*revive*

So, anyone have any ideas/comments? Anyone know about using a pc as a merger and/or the equipment that goes with it?

What I can say is if I buy the Quadro midi-merger _IF_ it's possible to get it in this country I'll probably only have enough money left for the PCR-800. Not a complete waste since I can still hook my old Casio and the PCR-800 to my Yamaha, but the Casio ain't what I would call a good controller :p. Plus having a midi-merger for future use would only help.

But, having 3 keyboards while playing live would look really awesome and help steal some of guitaristas glory(those bastards) :p.
 

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