Midiplus Mini Engine


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Hi all, would anyone know if it is possible to select which midi channel this device receives data on? I wish to use it just mainly for bass lines, thus I don't want it receiving drum patterns etc. My keyboard transmits bass data on channel 11, but I cant seem to find anything in the very small manual about selecting midi receive channels. Any help would be great.
 
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SeaGtGruff

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I may be wrong-- it's hard to tell from the brief description on their web site-- but I'm guessing it's multitimbral and receives on 32 channels at once (or 16 channels per MIDI port). If you don't want it to respond to certain channels, you might need to filter them out using some sort of hardware or software MIDI filter. For instance, MIDI Solutions makes an Event Processor as well as a Router that can filter MIDI events, so you should be able to use either of those to exclude any channel messages you don't want to send to the Mini Engine. Or if you're able to use a computer or laptop or tablet as part of your performance setup then you should be able to use a DAW to filter and route the desired channel messages from one device to another.
 
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I may be wrong-- it's hard to tell from the brief description on their web site-- but I'm guessing it's multitimbral and receives on 32 channels at once (or 16 channels per MIDI port). If you don't want it to respond to certain channels, you might need to filter them out using some sort of hardware or software MIDI filter. For instance, MIDI Solutions makes an Event Processor as well as a Router that can filter MIDI events, so you should be able to use either of those to exclude any channel messages you don't want to send to the Mini Engine. Or if you're able to use a computer or laptop or tablet as part of your performance setup then you should be able to use a DAW to filter and route the desired channel messages from one device to another.
Thanks Michael, yes, I was beginning to think that way also. Just purchased it to have some different sounds, so it wont be much of an issue. I also purchased the V MACHINE which is supposed to play VST'S without the need of a computer, but the 88 page manual has to be read word for word just to ''switch the thing on'' so to speak. Very complicated little box. Just a question, is it possible to switch off midi send channels in the PSREW400, that would solve the first issue?
 

SeaGtGruff

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The PSR-E models don't have sophisticated MIDI settings for selecting which channels to transmit, as well as what to transmit on those channels, such as are available on the more expensive PSR-S, Tyros, and Genos models.

The only ways you can control what to transmit are to toggle the "Kbd Out," "Song Out," and "Style Out" functions on or off as desired; toggle the Dual Voice and Split Voice on or off as desired; and toggle the song or style tracks on or off as desired.

If you're using the keyboard as a simple MIDI keyboard controller-- that is, you aren't transmitting song or style data, don't need to split or layer the keyboard, and don't need to use the assignable functions of the Live Control knobs-- there's also a trick for transmitting on channel 3 rather than channel 1, which is to turn on the Split Voice and set the Split Point as high as it will go.
 
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I may be wrong-- it's hard to tell from the brief description on their web site-- but I'm guessing it's multitimbral and receives on 32 channels at once (or 16 channels per MIDI port). If you don't want it to respond to certain channels, you might need to filter them out using some sort of hardware or software MIDI filter. For instance, MIDI Solutions makes an Event Processor as well as a Router that can filter MIDI events, so you should be able to use either of those to exclude any channel messages you don't want to send to the Mini Engine. Or if you're able to use a computer or laptop or tablet as part of your performance setup then you should be able to use a DAW to filter and route the desired channel messages from one device to another.


I have a midi plus a engine II and the manual is rubbish! I am trying to work out if like my ancient Roland MT32 you can allocate different sounds to different midi channels or whether it can only produce one sound at a time...so far I can only get it to listen to midi channel 1 via Cubase. Any help much appreciated.
 

SeaGtGruff

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If you meant the S-Engine Mkii (I can't find an "A Engine"), I see what you mean about the Owner's Manual; it doesn't even include a MIDI Implementation Chart! And it says there's a "GM bank," but there's only 64 "GM" programs in the bank. There's no explanation of how to select which of the two banks you want to use via MIDI messages, so I'm not sure whether you can select a voice via MIDI or whether you've got to select the voice from the module's control panel.

I'm guessing that if the module were a multi-channel and multi-timbral device then you would be able to use its control panel to set each channel's voice as desired. I don't see anything in the manual which suggests that you can do that, so I'm guessing it must be a single-channel, single-timbre device. If that's correct, I don't see why they think they can suggest using the module to play MIDI files from your computer.
 
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If you meant the S-Engine Mkii (I can't find an "A Engine"), I see what you mean about the Owner's Manual; it doesn't even include a MIDI Implementation Chart! And it says there's a "GM bank," but there's only 64 "GM" programs in the bank. There's no explanation of how to select which of the two banks you want to use via MIDI messages, so I'm not sure whether you can select a voice via MIDI or whether you've got to select the voice from the module's control panel.

I'm guessing that if the module were a multi-channel and multi-timbral device then you would be able to use its control panel to set each channel's voice as desired. I don't see anything in the manual which suggests that you can do that, so I'm guessing it must be a single-channel, single-timbre device. If that's correct, I don't see why they think they can suggest using the module to play MIDI files from your computer.
Ah, my typo, yes I mean s engine Mk II. Definitely multi timbral inasmuch as I can manage to get to choose any of the sounds on channel 1, and it then resolutely chooses piano on all other midi channels except drums on 10 No matter what I try. Not definitive, but sellers on Amazon describe it as 16 channel multi timbral, as do sites such as music geek http://musicgeek.com.ph/home/91-midiplus-s-engine-mkii-sound-module-and-drum-computer.html
Maybe midiplus will reply to my email!
 

SeaGtGruff

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How do you choose the sound for channel 1? Are you setting it from the module's panel controls, or using MIDI messages in Cubase to do it? And if you're doing it with Cubase, what messages and data values are you using?
 
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Well, let me start by saying that I’ve deliberately been totally out of the daw loop since the 90s when I gave up on spending days programming drum loops on Pro24 and early Cubase, and went back to hardware based recording and my beloved guitars n effects. So it’s only in the last few weeks I bought a pc, got a copy of Cubase elements, and a copy of ableton lite, bought at a engine mkII and cabled everything up (midi master keyboard, s engine, micro korg, Yamaha Cs1x, sr16 drums, Yamaha tmx drums, an ancient Roland mt32 and even my old Yamaha qy22. With my 2 in 4 out usb midi interface...I decided not to plug in my old Akai sampler.

Anyhow, true to form the mt32 is a well behaved old dear, the microkorg does what it should, TMX is super solid, but everything else is being very difficult. SR16 plays but refuses to change drum kits, the Cs1x won’t do anything (it was always, always difficult and renowned as such) and the surprise tbh is the s engine mkII which really as a new bit of kit should be a dream to work with. It is not.

this is compounded by the fact that really I am discovering Cubase for the first time and it isn’t super intuitive either. I’ve sussed out how to set midi signals in and outs so effectively have 64 midi channels.

the s engine I am running just on its usb cable for power and midi in/out (I tried routing midi to it via the interface but that caused all manner of issues).

so in Cubase I find if I set a track with input from my master keyboard and output direct to the s engine on channel 1, then I can use the prog buttons and large dial on the s engine to select a voice. So far so good.

if I then create a second track, again input from master keyboard and output to s engine, but this time on midi channel 2, I get (a pleasant enough) piano sound. Using the prog buttons dials now, with channel 2 selected, either changes nothing at all, OR sometimes makes channel 1 and channel 2 now revert to piano.

the same applies if I try a third or fourth etc track on midi channels 3,4 and so on.

however, on midi channel 10 I get drums. Which is good and shows I can have 3 channel difference so long as track one midi channel one can be any sound I like, track three midi channel 3 (or 4+) will be piano and track 3 midi channel 10 gives drums.

I was expecting that once I set up a new track in Cubase, selected midi channel 2 out direct to s engine, that the prog button and dial on the s engine would cause the channel 2 sound the change. Not so. Nor can I find a way to select voice by midi channel in Cubase (which may be because I am a newly minted Cubase idiot).

I have a pal who is an ableton sensei who says now I have installed ableton he can can help me triage the hardware side to see where any issues are (he is in Seattle and I am in the U.K.). Let’s see where that takes me!
 

happyrat1

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I don't use Cubase OR Abelton, BUT I do use Cakewalk.

What you have to do in the DAW is configure each device to let the DAW know what CC#'s to send for each individual voice.

THEN you can assign a voice to each device and each MIDI channel from a menu of options.

Cakewalk uses and INS file for each instrument which has to be imported into the DAW to be usable.

Cubase and Abelton use their own specialized files to accomplish this.

You have to search the web to find these files, or worst case scenario, you have to learn how to write your own.

I've written up INS files for over a dozen boards over the years.

It is fussy and complicated to write a properly debugged file.

Good luck to you.

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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One thing about Cubase is that (I think) it normally (that is, by default) combines all 16 MIDI channels into a single MIDI track. This might sound insane, but it actually isn't.

I don't know how familiar you are with the MIDI file specifications, but there are three types of standard MIDI files-- format 0, format 1, and format 2.

Format 0 contains a single MIDI track chunk ("MTrk"), with the data for all 16 MIDI channels combined into that single track. This is equivalent to the default way that Cubase handles MIDI tracks-- the data for all 16 channels are combined into one MIDI track. Even so, each channel is still separate from the other 15, so you don't need to worry about their data being "merged" together, because each channel message still contains its appropriate channel number embedded within the low nibble of its status byte.

Format 1 contains two or more MIDI track chunks, with one or more MIDI channels in each track chunk (usually one channel per track, but there's no reason why each track can't contain more than one channel).

Format 2 is a bit similar to format 1, except each MIDI track chunk is meant to be played back by itself rather than all tracks being played back concurrently. For instance, a format 2 file might contain a collection of songs, one song per track, or a collection of drum rhythms or musical sequences, one pattern per track.

Anyway, Cubase has a "dissolve" function that lets you take the MIDI channels of a MIDI track and split them into separate tracks based on some criteria such as channel numbers-- or even based on Note values (so you can split a Drum Kit's sounds into separate tracks for more convenient editing).

I think you should be able to use a single MIDI track in Cubase for all 16 channels, and set each channel to its own sound-- although you might need to add a Program Change event at the beginning of each channel's data to do that, since I'm not sure whether you can set each channel's Program in the track settings.
 
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I may be wrong-- it's hard to tell from the brief description on their web site-- but I'm guessing it's multitimbral and receives on 32 channels at once (or 16 channels per MIDI port). If you don't want it to respond to certain channels, you might need to filter them out using some sort of hardware or software MIDI filter. For instance, MIDI Solutions makes an Event Processor as well as a Router that can filter MIDI events, so you should be able to use either of those to exclude any channel messages you don't want to send to the Mini Engine. Or if you're able to use a computer or laptop or tablet as part of your performance setup then you should be able to use a DAW to filter and route the desired channel messages from one device to another.

i have finally heard back directly from a midiplus engineer who worked on the unit. he said via email in reply to my specific question about setting up the multi timbral capability of the s engine ii
‘ The Engine Mk II does not currently modify the functionality of MIDI channels.We plan to add the MDI channel function. If we complete the MIDI channel function, we will provide you with the upgrade procedure. Thank you for your feedback.’

so looks like all the reviews and indeed anyone advertising to sell the unit are wrong. reviewers probably didn’t even bother trying to set up for MT midi use. pfft. Now informed Amazon so will see what happens.
 

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