Splitting a midi signal from a controller keyboard into 2 channels at a split point and then switching between both.


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I'm looking to use a basic Midi controller keyboard to play two separate little synth modules. Basically I need something that can split the midi being sent from the keyboard into two midi channels ( for example 1 and 2) either side of a split point (for example C3). So that in effect I can play one with my right hand and the other with my left. I have found something I think can perform this function. This seems to do the job

MIDI Solutions Event Processor Plus MIDI Interface

But the next bit is what I'm having trouble with. I would like to also be able to then use the whole keyboard for just midi channel 1 and then also switch to using the whole keyboard for channel 2.

I guess I could achieve this by having the split function on and then when i want to play just one of either the modules on their own turning the split function off and simply turning down or off the module I don't want playing. But I haven't found anything that can easily do that and of course a solution that I could switch as I'd like would be perfect.

Most definitely don't want to have a laptop or computer involved trying to make it a streamlined little set up for playing live. Also as it's for playing live needs to be quick and easy to switch between my desired " modes ". Hope that makes sense. Would love to know if anyone has solution. Thanks for looking
 
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Also look at the MIDI Solutions Router, which is another device that can do what you describe, but also gives you the option of directing MIDI to a second MIDI Out. That could be useful if you're ever in a situation where you're triggering two external devices which don't have MIDI Thru ports on them.

I guess I could achieve this by having the split function on and then when i want to play just one of either the modules on their own turning the split function off and simply turning down or off the module I don't want playing.

What would be the mechanism by which you would turn the split function on or off?

If your controller has an easy way to switch which single channel it is transmitting on, you could use that as an easy way to change functions. You should be able to set it up (in conjunction with a MIDI Solutions device) so that, for example, when your controller is transmitting on channel 1, it splits the output as desired to your two devices on channels X and Y; but when you change your controller so that it is transmitting on channel 2, it is routed to only channel X, and when your controller is transmitting on channel 3, it is routed to only channel Y. (Make X and Y something like 15 and 16, or whatever... i..e. those would be the channels of your two external devices.) Then, by rotating your simple MIDI controller though channels 1, 2, and 3, you'd be able to play your two modules split or either module alone.

Most definitely don't want to have a laptop or computer involved trying to make it a streamlined little set up for playing live.

Would you consider using an iPad or iPhone (or iPod Touch)? Especially if your controller has a place where you could conveniently place it, it might be the best soution. It would be just as easily portable as a MIDI Solutions device (you might even already be carrying one with you anyway?), but you could have on-screen buttons to switch among the various modes of operation you want... and could even build on the three routings mentioned above, with additional split and other options (Program Change, octave shift, etc.), that could all be selected from the touchscreen.
 
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What controller are you using (Make/model)? Many controllers can do this for you. My Kurzweil, Gem Equinox, M-Audio keyboards all have this basic functionality. You create a setup, performance (whatever the manufacturer calls it) with two zones. Using your example above, Zone 1 plays up to B2 on Midi channel 1, zone 2 play from C3 and up on Midi channel 2. No need for a MIDI Solutions Event Processor to do this.

"....But the next bit is what I'm having trouble with. I would like to also be able to then use the whole keyboard for just midi channel 1 and then also switch to using the whole keyboard for channel 2..."


Create two additional setups, one with the entire keyboard in one zone on MIDI channel #1, another setup with in one zone with MIDI channel #2. One turn of a dial and you can then switch between the three setups based on the need.

Another tool to explore is a switchable thru box. GM Labs makes one and it is fairly inexpensive:

https://www.gmlab.it/ then check out their ST4 product.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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As @delaware dave says, keyboard controllers can usually do this sort of thing without needing extra hardware or software. But they don't usually refer to the feature as a "split"; they use the term "zone," and typically they let you define at least four zones. Basically, a zone is a section of the keyboard that you set left and right end points for-- that is, the lowest and highest keys in the zone-- and you can tell the controller what channel you want the zone to be transmitted on. This lets you freely create your own splits and layers.

On the other hand, keyboard instruments usually refer to the feature as a split or a layer, which is less flexible-- but each part of a split or layer transmits on a separate channel. So you could also use an inexpensive keyboard instrument to do this, although if you don't need or want the keyboard to be able to play its own sounds then a keyboard controller is usually a better choice as far as having other controls-- buttons, knobs, pads, etc.-- that can be used in addition to the keys. The panel controls of keyboard instruments are usually for the instrument itself and modt of them typically don't transmit MIDI signals that can be used to control external devices.
 
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Dave and Michael are right that there are tons of keyboards/controllers that can do this kind of thing. I came at it from a different angle because of your opening line, "I'm looking to use a basic Midi controller keyboard" -- What's unclear is, just how basic a controller is it? I assumed a simple single-channel controller with no zoning/splitting/multi-channel capability at all, which in turn would have been what sent you down the MIDI Solutions path. Though also, for the MIDI Solutions boxes to work, your controller has to have 5-pin MIDI Out, and many "basic" controllers these days don't even have that (only USB instead). If you can be more specific about your controller, that could help assure that the responses are relevant to your situation.
 
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Thanks for all your replies, very helpful indeed. I'm currently using a

M-audio keystation 61 mk3

which does have a midi 5 pin out. Scrolling through the manual i couldn't find any options to create " zones " so I assume it does not have this capability unless I have missed something. I'm keen to keep using this controller just because of its size I can fit 2 in flight case. A main one and a spare. So kind of suits what I need well. I have considered a different controller as I'm sure they are much more versatile but I really don't need any faders or assignable controls so hesitant to get anything bigger if I don't need to.

If your controller has an easy way to switch which single channel it is transmitting on, you could use that as an easy way to change functions. You should be able to set it up (in conjunction with a MIDI Solutions device) so that, for example, when your controller is transmitting on channel 1, it splits the output as desired to your two devices on channels X and Y; but when you change your controller so that it is transmitting on channel 2, it is routed to only channel X, and when your controller is transmitting on channel 3, it is routed to only channel Y. (Make X and Y something like 15 and 16, or whatever... i..e. those would be the channels of your two external devices.) Then, by rotating your simple MIDI controller though channels 1, 2, and 3, you'd be able to play your two modules split or either module alone.
I could see this option working as it is fairly easy to switch the transmitting midi channel on the M-audio keystation just pressing the " advanced " command button then a key for the desired midi channel so this could well be the answer thank you @anotherscott. I will investigate the midi solutions router but i think this could be it.

I have briefly considered Ipads or iphones and I sure they are much more versatile but I like the idea of having stand alone box just doing that one thing. Just hope they are stable and reliable.

Thanks again for all your advice. I'll let you know how it goes
 
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I have an M-Audio Code 61 which pre-dates the Keystation. I would hope that their functionality are similar but they may not be. On the Code series you can indeed create a preset and within the preset are 4 zones; each zone has a key range and a midi channel associated with the zone, along with other things like transposing the zone up or down, pedal, slider, knob assignment by zone.

In the event that the keystation doesn't have this functionality the Code Series does exactly what you are looking for. The 61 key are lightweight (11 pounds) and can be had pretty inexpensively. I use mine to control my Gemini module. In one of the presets I use to control VB3, I use the upper part of the keyboard to control the upper organ manual and the lower part of the keyboard to control the lower organ manual. Zone 1 controls the 9 upper drawbars of VB3 and percussion control, Chorus/Vibrato, leslie on/off and zone 2 controls the 9 lower drawbars of VB3. One button flips between the zones, so with one button push I can control the upper drawbars and then push the button and use the same 9 sliders to control the lower drawbars. You might want to look for the Code series which can be purchased pretty inexpensively.

Here are two for sale: link1 link2
 
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I have an M-Audio Code 61 which pre-dates the Keystation. I would hope that their functionality are similar but they may not be. On the Code series you can indeed create a preset and within the preset are 4 zones; each zone has a key range and a midi channel associated with the zone, along with other things like transposing the zone up or down, pedal, slider, knob assignment by zone.

In the event that the keystation doesn't have this functionality the Code Series does exactly what you are looking for. The 61 key are lightweight (11 pounds) and can be had pretty inexpensively. I use mine to control my Gemini module. In one of the presets I use to control VB3, I use the upper part of the keyboard to control the upper organ manual and the lower part of the keyboard to control the lower organ manual. Zone 1 controls the 9 upper drawbars of VB3 and percussion control, Chorus/Vibrato, leslie on/off and zone 2 controls the 9 lower drawbars of VB3. One button flips between the zones, so with one button push I can control the upper drawbars and then push the button and use the same 9 sliders to control the lower drawbars. You might want to look for the Code series which can be purchased pretty inexpensively.

Here are two for sale: link1 link2
Thanks I had a look. Looks a little more advanced and have more functionality that My keystation 3 even if it does predate it. Still persuing my Midi solutions Router angle for now but thank you.
 
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Just downloaded the Midi solutions programing tool software. It allows you to use it without the little box so I've been looking through the settings. I think I have found a way to make it do what I'm after following your idea of changing the transmitting midi channel from my controller keyboard @anotherscott. See below

Still waiting for the actual Box to truly test it but I think this is certainly a workable solution so thanks again for all your advice.
 

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