Pitch Bend & Modulation Wheel - iPhone App and/or Controller

Discussion in 'General Keyboard Discussion' started by Christoph, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Christoph

    Christoph

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm about to purchase an older Yamaha P-80 keyboard for next to nothing but the downside is that it does not have a pitch bend or modulation wheel. Yes, I can automate either within Pro Tools but to much work. Need to work fast. My first option, would anyone know of an iPhone/iPad app I can use with the P-80, that will work without any issues? The second option would be a controller but nothing quite fancy. I only really need something to handle pitch bend & modulation.

    Thank you!
     
    Christoph, Jul 8, 2016
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Christoph

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    858
    Based on what I see in the manual, the P-80 doesn't recognize and respond to Pitch Bend or Modulation events, so I'm assuming you want those events to be sent to your DAW and merged with the events from the P-80 for controlling virtual instruments?

    Yamaha has a free app called "SoundControl" that runs on either the iPad or iPhone, although it's optimized for the iPhone (as far as the screen layout) and shows up in the App Store only under the iPhone apps-- but you can nevertheless still install it on an iPad if that's what you want to do (I have it installed on my iPad).

    I don't know if the app will recognize the P-80, and the P-80 certainly shouldn't respond to the Pitch Bend and Modulation events, but it might work if you send the events from the app to the P-80 and then have the P-80 simply pass them on (merged with its own Note events) to your DAW and virtual instruments.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jul 9, 2016
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Christoph

    Christoph

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey SeaGtGruff,

    Thanks for the info. Appreciate it. I have looked into SoundControl and it seems to be exactly what I would like but from what I can see on the Yamaha info page, it's design to work with a single Yamaha model. Pretty strange considering they have many keyboards without PB & M. Your current KB's are the PSR-E433, PSR-E443, YPT-400. Does SoundControl work with them?

    I don't have the keyboard as of yet as it should be in my hands by next week but assuming the app does not work, what else can I use? I was under the impression that with keyboards without PB & M, I can use a controller (secondary keyboard or the likes) and assign that to the same midi number and all would work.
     
    Christoph, Jul 9, 2016
    #3
  4. Christoph

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    858
    Yes, the app works with the three models that I have, and should work with just about any model-- other PSR-E/YPT models like the PSR-E203/YPT-200 and up, as well as the DGX/YPG models, PSR-S models, older PSR models, Tyros, etc. I assume it will also work with the P-80, although I'm not sure how the P-80 will handle the events it doesn't recognize-- hopefully it will just let them pass through so they'll be merged with the events coming from the P-80 itself.

    There are other apps that let you design your own virtual MIDI controls, such as the MIDI Designer app, although MIDI Designer doesn't have pitch or mod wheel controls as far as I could see-- sliders, buttons, knobs, XY pads, etc., but not wheels. :(
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jul 9, 2016
    #4
  5. Christoph

    Christoph

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Michael.. I shouldn't see why the app wouldn't work with the P80, assuming it'll handle the events... and I have to research other apps as well. If you don't mind answering, you mentioned the PSR-E203 working with the SoundControl app and I believe this keyboard also doesn't have a PB & M wheel. How does it recognize it? I'm just trying to educate myself here. Thanks!
     
    Christoph, Jul 9, 2016
    #5
  6. Christoph

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    858
    The app does more than provide virtual pitch bend and modulation wheels-- it lets you send ten types of messages:
    1. Pitch Bend
    2. Modulation
    3. Cutoff
    4. Resonance
    5. Reverb Depth
    6. Chorus Depth
    7. Attack
    8. Release
    9. Volume
    10. Pan
    There are ten configurations-- five presets and five user-definable setups:
    1. Basic -- Pitch Bend and Modulation
    2. Filter -- Cutoff and Resonance
    3. Effect -- Reverb Depth and Chorus Depth
    4. EG -- Attack and Release
    5. Mixer -- Volume and Pan
    6. User1 (can be renamed) -- any two of your choice from the ten types of messages
    7. User2 (can be renamed) -- any two of your choice from the ten types of messages
    8. User3 (can be renamed) -- any two of your choice from the ten types of messages
    9. User4 (can be renamed) -- any two of your choice from the ten types of messages
    10. User5 (can be renamed) -- any two of your choice from the ten types of messages
    As you can see above, each preset or user-defined configuration lets you send two of the ten types of messages. If the screen is in portrait mode, the two controls are displayed as wheels. If you rotate the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to put the screen in landscape mode, the display changes to an X-Y pad, with the X-axis changing the first parameter (e.g., Pitch Bend) and the Y-axis changing the second parameter (e.g., Modulation).

    You can also lock the screen to freeze the mode, so the type of controls won't change if you should accidentally tilt or rotate the device, and also to prevent the setup from being changed accidentally.

    By the way, when you change a parameter it will retain its new setting, so you can change the Filter settings to your liking, then change the EG settings to your liking, then change the Effect settings to your liking, etc. The Pitch Bend is an exception, since it automatically snaps back into the default (center) position when released.

    Additionally, there's a small side panel you can slide in and out of view by touching a tab, which displays a small one-octave keyboard that you can use to play sounds and arpeggios, so the app can actually be used like a one-octave (C to B) virtual synth-- apparently monophonic, or at least the virtual keyboard doesn't seem to play more than one note at a time (the last note pressed has priority). I don't have my iPad connected to a keyboard right now, but the sound that plays in response to the virtual keyboard is a piano sound, and there's no way I can see to change it to a different instrument sound, although I'm wondering if you might be able to select a different instrument sound by sending Bank Select and Program Change messages to the app, with the built-in virtual MIDI synth defaulting to the GM1 or XG Grand Piano sound (Bank 0, Program 0). I'll have to connect it to a keyboard later and experiment to see. In any case, the sound can be modified by changing one or more of the ten sound parameters. And you can of course turn the volume off on your iPad/iPhone/iPod touch so the only sounds come from your connected instrument.

    Anyway, the one-octave keyboard can be used to play arpeggios if desired (the ARP button can be toggled on or off), with the option to play the arpeggio continuously (there's a HOLD button that can be toggled on or off), the ability to change the tempo from 11 to 280 BPM using either a pop-up slider or (for more precise control) a set of plus and minus buttons, and the ability to select the arpeggio type:
    1. Piano Arp 1
    2. Piano Arp 2
    3. 70's Rock
    4. 16Beat Pop
    5. House Piano
    6. Electro Pop
    7. Melodic Trance
    8. Basic Arp
    9. Fifth Seq
    10. Synth Arp
    11. Melody Seq
    12. Tek Echo
    13. Synth Chord
    14. Trance Rhythm
    15. Hybrid Seq
    16. Guitar Strumming
    17. Steel Guitar
    18. Finger Picking
    19. Funky Guitar
    20. Standard Disco
    Since you can use the app with or without an instrument connected, you can go ahead and install it on your iPad/iPhone/iPod touch so you can experiment with it before your P-80 arrives. :)

    As far as the various Yamaha keyboard models and how they will respond to the app, this is determined by the keyboard itself. If you look in the Owner's Manual, Reference Manual, Data List, MIDI Reference, or Service Manual for your particular instrument, one or more of those documents should have a MIDI Implementation Chart-- in the case of the P-80, it's on page 45 of the Owner's Manual, and also on page 18 of the Service Manual. This chart shows which types of MIDI messages are transmitted and/or recognized by the instrument. "Recognized" shows whether or not the instrument will respond to a particular type of message if it's encountered in a MIDI song file, Yamaha style file, or incoming MIDI data stream. I assume the chips, circuitry, and operating system inside the instrument determine whether or not it's capable of responding to a particular type of message-- e.g., my three Yamaha keyboards can't respond to Aftertouch messages (of either type) because its internal software isn't designed to handle them. Some instrument models can respond to a particular type of message even though they can't transmit it-- e.g., they may be programmed to respond to Pitch Bend events even though they don't have a Pitch Bend Wheel.

    Unfortunately, the MIDI Implementation Chart for the P-80 indicates that it neither transmits nor recognizes Pitch Bend, Modulation, Cutoff, Resonance, Attack, Release, or Pan events, so using the app to send those types of events to the P-80 won't produce any results-- but hopefully those events can still be sent to the P-80 and passed through to some other attached device, such as a computer running a DAW and virtual instruments.

    By the way, I highly recommend downloading the PDF version of the P-80's Owner's Manual from Yamaha's web site if you haven't already done so, because being able to search a PDF document for a particular word or phrase is far more helpful than having to hunt through a paper manual. And I don't know whether or not you have any skills or desire relating to hardware repairs (I certainly don't! ;)), but the P-80's Service Manual is available for free from the ElektroTanya web site:

    http://elektrotanya.com/?q=showresult&what=Yamaha "P-80"&kategoria=&kat2=all

    If you've never downloaded anything from ElektroTanya before, it can be a little confusing. When you click on the link for the desired manual or other resource, you must scroll down to the text beneath the manual's cover image and wait patiently for a bit (maybe up to half a minute or so) until the line of text that reads "This file is downloadable free of charge: ...processing..." changes to say "This file is downloadable free of charge: Get Manual." Then you can click on the "Get Manual" link to download the manual. Do not click on any buttons that say "Download," as they're actually for advertised programs that have nothing to do with the manual!
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jul 9, 2016
    #6
  7. Christoph

    Christoph

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Michael,

    I want to thank you for sending over all of this info. Certainly is valuable and quite a bit to read through, to determined whether or not it'll all work with the P80. Regarding the app, I don't think I can get it to work unless I buy a USB cable or a USB wireless LAN adaptor but where would I plug that into. At this moment, I have a Roland RD 100 so if I would want to try the app with in, assuming the events would let me, I still need to purchase the adaptors to get it all to work. If I would choose between the two, I'd rather it be wireless.

    I was always under the impression that, lets say I don't use an app but a secondary 25 key Oxygen for example, which has a pitch bend and modulation wheel, I can connect one to the other and all should work, even if the P80 may not show that it would be possible to use any of events you mentioned. I simply want to figure out if I do use a secondary keyboard, can I transmit PB & M events to a VI plugin.

    Assuming it doesn't work this way, I should just focus on getting a keyboard which has PB & M and call it a day :)

    Cheers!
     
    Christoph, Jul 10, 2016
    #7
  8. Christoph

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    858
    Well, the app works by itself (i.e., without an instrument connected) on my iPad, so you can play with the app to familiarize yourself with the controls.

    Yamaha has two wireless Bluetooth interfaces that they announced at the Winter NAMM earlier this year-- one for USB-MIDI and the other for MIDI. My understanding is that they're also updating-- or have already updated-- their apps to work with a Bluetooth MIDI connection. I haven't tried the wireless USB-MIDI interface yet, but it's definitely on my wish list. Right now I connect my Yamahas to my iPad using a standard iPad Camera Connection Kit, which lets me plug a USB cable into the iPad, and it works great, but a wireless connection would be nicer! :) Since the P-80 doesn't have a USB-MIDI port, you'd want to use the Bluetooth MIDI interface (MD-BT01):

    http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical-instruments/keyboards/accessories/interfaces/md-bt01/

    I'm not clear on whether you're getting the P-80 to use an instrument on its own or as a MIDI keyboard controller-- or both-- but the Yamaha app won't be able to affect the P-80's sound for any parameters (e.g., Pitch Bend and Modulation) that the P-80 isn't designed to respond to, so you won't be able to use it to bend notes on the P-80 itself. However, as long as the messages going into the P-80's MIDI In port are also being transmitted out of the P-80's MIDI Out port, the app should probably still work with any virtual instrument plug-ins that you're controlling with the P-80. As long as the app is free, it's worth a try.

    But if you haven't actually gotten the P-80 yet and are having second thoughts about how you'd connect it and whether or not it will work well in conjunction with any particular apps or other software, then it certainly never hurts to check out other options.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jul 10, 2016
    #8
  9. Christoph

    Ted Nicoson

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    111
    Chris

    Your previous posts mention wireless LAN adapters. These plug in to the typical rectangular USB "To Device" port the same as a USB Thumb Drive, but presence of such a port does not necessarily indicate that the keyboard supports wireless LAN operation. The keyboard's operating system must support wireless LAN operation, or it will not recognize the wireless adapter. There are a lot of current keyboards on the market that do not support wireless LAN operation, and many of those that do, only support a particular manufacturer's adapter model, so this is something you need to check before investing in any wireless gear. When Roland first put the Jupiter-50 on the market, it did not support wireless LAN, but by the time I bought mine, they were offering a free operating system download to update it to support wireless LAN. The point here is that if a keyboard 's operating system does not currently support wireless LAN and its operating system is not user updateable in "flash" memory, then it will most likely never support wireless LAN, as that would require a service center visit to change the operating system ROM, PROM, or EPROM chip.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
    Ted Nicoson, Jul 10, 2016
    #9
  10. Christoph

    Christoph

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    @ Michael.. More valuable info.. Thank you! After checking out the links and trying to decide whether or not the P80 will do what I'd like it too, I was told to look into an app called Weeel and this app is brilliant (Thanks, John). All that was needed to get it going was to set up a Network within AudiMidi Setup, which took a minute and I have Pitch Bend and Modulation working nicely. Yamaha should have designed SoundController to work exactly like Weeel. I just wish Weeel had an option to make the GUI look closer to a wheel (call me old school, lol) but for the time being, this is a "must get" for folks who don't have PB & M wheels with their current keyboard or if they do have, would rather use their iOS device. Only 99 cents. Seriously worth it!

    @Ted.. Thanks for the info and I do understand what you're saying. As it stands, I have my iPad hooked up to my Mac Pro via lightening cable and works nicely. Why create other problems if it's un-neccesary :)

    Cheers!
     
    Christoph, Jul 11, 2016
    #10
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.