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dsealer
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Very newb question
« on: Nov 11th, 2019, 1:46pm »
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I apologise if this is not the place for my question.  I couldn't find a group for new users.   Just a reflection, I don't understand any of the topics I've seen on this forum but I'm hopeful for help anyway.
So here goes.  I know nothing about midi.  I'd like to get involved but I don't know where or how to start.
I have 2 keyboards, both 20 + years old.  I have a kurzweil 2500 and a Korg sc pro.
Can some tell me what I need to get stared and how i would connect things?  Maybe direct me to. a forum more suited for dummies like me, Midi for Dummies.
Thanks,  
Don.....
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #1 on: Nov 11th, 2019, 9:34pm »
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Hi Don
 
This is a perfect place to start your Midi travels.
 
Midi is a method of communicating between musical hardware (usually) . One keyboard to  another or a Midi instrument to a PC.
It is NOT sound. It is a list of instructions like "play this note now" and how that is done and what the generated  sound is it doesn't care.
It will be followed by a "stop playing this note" message to turn it off. eg Press the key the release the key.
There are messages for getting louder/softer or changing sound plus many others.
Midi is more a printed score or list of instructions than a CD.
 
Your Kurzweil has Midi connectors (no USB) and I can find a Roland SC Pro88 and a Korg SG ProX (no USB on this either, but it has one Midi In and two set of Out and Thru)
 
So to get Midi from your keyboards to your PC and from your PC back to your Keyboards you will need a USB Midi interface.
Do NOT buy one of theses interfaces

they are a waste of money even at a few dollars
 
Get one from Roland or Yamaha or Behringer or Korg. Any one as long as it comes with its own drivers on a disc or downloaded.
I use M-Audio Midisport ones and they have been great.
 
A good detailed start to the different Midi messages is this web site ...
http://www.somascape.org/midi/tech/spec.html
 
There is also the Midi Association web site.
 
Feel free to return to ask any more questions.
 
All the best
Royce
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #2 on: Nov 11th, 2019, 9:53pm »
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Thanks Royce I'll check it out and you can be sure that I'll be back.
 
Don.....
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #3 on: Nov 12th, 2019, 12:42pm »
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So here goes for Royce or whoever may respond.
Let me give you a little background on me.  Maybe it will explain my lack of technical know how.
 
I'm approaching 70 years of age.  I've been playing guitar and some keyboards since I'm 14.  I've played in many bands in my time.   A few years ago I retired from working full time.  I now spend much of my day in my small little studio, jamming and recording with friends.  
 
I would like to add some virtual instruments like drums (purchased EZ Drummer), or horns, strings, etc.  I see these things online described as “samples”.   I’m guessing to play these samples it would be done with a keyboard via midi.  However I could be wrong. That's where I'm hoping some of you may help me understand what is correct and how I can accomplish this.  Please keep in mind that I'm pretty much dumb as a rock with these sorts of things.  So what my seem simple and basic to most of you may not be that way for me.  Rocks are hard to a penetrate.
 
With that said I hope in time to become adequate with this technology.  Also I have ordered the midi connection Royce suggested.
Thanks for listening and for your guidance and patience,
Don…..
 
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #4 on: Nov 12th, 2019, 9:36pm »
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Hi Don,
I'm nearly your age, but I have been playing, writing and building this sort of  stuff since I was 16.
I was even an member of the MIDI association in the early '80s not long after it started.
 
My older brother (74), on the other hand, although a gigging musician (piano and organ) all his life, has only really started this stuff in the last few of years.
He is going gangbusters.
You just need to persevere and work at you own pace and ask lots of questions.  
 
Midi can be as simple or as complicated as you need it to be. That is why it has lasted so long. Version 2 of Midi has only just happened.
 
There are a couple of Virtual Instruments types, but I think it is best to stick to VST.
Speaking generally (you will find exceptions just to confuse you)  VST's can broadly be divided into things that generate audio (piano, synth, drum machine, sampler etc) and things that modify audio (echo, reverb, phaser, flanger etc)
 
Think of them as devices or black boxes that need to sit inside a bigger program like a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). In fact a DAW can run lots of VSTs at the same time.
 
This may confuse you as I think you have probably run EZ Drummer all by itself in your PC already.
BUT the program you are running is a separate stand alone program with EZ Drummer VST running inside it.
 
I will only talk about DAW, but stand alone applications apply as well.
If you are you already using a program to record your music you'll probably know this stuff  already.
(if so what DAW are you using?)
 
 
There are lots of DAWs and programs that will load a VST and play them
There are lots of VSTs (many free), but be careful. Get to know just a couple well, otherwise you are likely to be overwhelmed.
 
So as well as a Midi interface to send instructions to the VST inside your computer you will  need something that can change all those bits and bytes into sound.
 
Some computers (particularly laptops) have an audio interface in them.  
Let me know your audio setup and PC details including operating system (eg Windows 7 ).
 
So, in general, the connection path you need to get sound from your VST is.. (remember cables always connect Out to In or In to Out)  
Midi Controller (Kurzwiel 2500) -> Midi Interface -> USB PC -> DAW -> Track with a VST -> generated audio -> Audio interface Out -> Amplifier and speakers.
 
All the best
Royce
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #5 on: Nov 13th, 2019, 6:22pm »
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Hi Royce and thanks for your time.
I use a Dell laptop with W10.  I run all my mics and instruments into a Behringer XR 18.  Everything from there to my DAW, Reaper.
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #6 on: Nov 13th, 2019, 8:08pm »
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Hi Don,
sounds like a great setup.
 
How far have you got with the XR18 ?
The manual says it is a Audio and Midi interface so it doesn't look like you need anything else.
Behringer usually has its own drivers for Midi so you should be good to go.
 
You should be able to plug your Kurzweil Midi Out into the XR18 Midi in and see the data come in.
To do this you have set up the XR 18 Drivers. Then you can start MidiOx and if the Input Monitor is not visible go to the menu View / Input Monitor... to see the input window. Goto View/Port Routing.. to make this visible as well.
 
Connect the XR16 Midi ports to MidiOx by going to Options /Midi Devices.. and click on the XR-18 (I don't know what the driver will be called) in the Input and the Output selection boxes. Unclick the 'Connect all' box at the bottom of the window and click OK.
 
On the Port Routing window you should be able to see pictures of Midi sockets on the left (Midi In) and the right (Midi Out) including the XR18 ones.
 
If you play a few notes on the 2500 you should see lines of text in the Input window.
 
Are you controlling the XR18 via USB or WiFi or with an iPad?
Have you set up Reaper to receive audio or Midi from the XR18?
Have you used a DAW before?
Have you recorded anything on Reaper ?
Should I assume it is Reaper version 5.something (5.985 is the latest) or earlier?
 
How can I help? What are you trying to acheive?
The more detailed information I have the better (I hope) I can help.
 
All the best
Royce
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #7 on: Nov 15th, 2019, 5:41pm »
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Hi Royce.  I'll do my best to answer.  I've been using the xr18 mainly in my studio when recording, only once or twice in a live situation.  Behringer has a great support forum so I'm sure I can get help there if I need it from that end.
As for Reaper, it is the lastest version and I've been recording with it for over a year.  I'm pretty familiar with it but once again their support is stellar.  
How can you help?  Well once I get my cable and hook things up I'll be asking lots of questions.  I'm so glad you are willing to give me some pointers.  Hopefully I won't bother you for too long.
Thanks for all you've done so far.
Don......
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #8 on: Nov 17th, 2019, 8:16pm »
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So my midi cable is here.  How should I proceed?  I've got it connected.
 
Thanks,
Don.....
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #9 on: Nov 19th, 2019, 7:05pm »
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Hi Don
What is make and model of the new Midi interface?
Normally you would not plug in the new midi interface until l you have finished running the driver installer.
You can add the new interface to Reaper and record and play back the Midi notes on either/both the Korg and the K2500
 
Run MidiOx  
If you haven't changed MidiOx there should only be a Output Monitor window.
Go to View and select Input Monitor.. and Port Routing..  
Re-size and rearrange these window to suit you tase. Midi Ox will remember any change you make.
 
Go to Options/Midi Devices and select the Midi In and Midi Out of your two interfaces and un-check the "Connect all... " box  
Press OK
You should see your two Midi Ins (+ MIdiOx Event Port) on the left and the two Midi Outs on the right.
Now you can plug you K2500 into the Midi (In to Out and Out to In) of the XR18
Now you can plug the Korg into the new interface.
 
Play the K2500 and you should see the Input monitor display you Notes.
Similarly, play the Korg and you should see the Input monitor display you Notes.
 
On the Port Routing window drag the Midi socket pic for the Korg Midi In on the left to the K2000 Out on the right.
You should be able to play the K2500 with the Korg.
 
MidiOx can modify Midi messages and add features like split keyboard with different Midi channels  and pretty much anything you can think of.
What do you want to do ?
 
 
Royce
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #10 on: Nov 21st, 2019, 8:51am »
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Hi Royce.
I'm  not sure of some things you've asked me.
I don't know what you mean when you ask about my " new midi interface".  I have only what I described previously. My 2 keyboards, k2500, Korg SG Prox, my Behringer XR 18, my laptop and Reaper.
 
I am running my midi cable from the K2500 midi out to the XR 18 midi in.
 
I did install Midiox
 
Reaper is not seeing my K2500.  It does see the XR 18.
 
Do I need another cable that runs from XR 18 midi out to K2500 midi in?
 
Sorry for not understanding.    And thanks for your help.
 
Don.....
 
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #11 on: Nov 21st, 2019, 6:33pm »
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Sorry Don, my mistake. I thought you had received a new interface, but obviously is was just a Midi cable.
 
Yes it is much better with at least two cables.  
While you are there, save yourself some headaches by labeling the plugs (I like my brother's idea of using a "liquid paper' (correction fluid) pen.)
Show the direction Midi is going down the canle  
 --> (out) .........cable.............. --> (in)  
Do both plugs on one cable at a time to avoid mistakes.
I have pairs of cables with electrician's tape in a couple of spots down the length with a <-- and a --> plug at each end.
It makes it very easy when you need to reconnect things.
 --> (out) .........cable.............. --> (in)  
 <-- (in) .........cable.............. <-- (out)  
 
 
Just to make sure we are on the same page, in Reaper your X18 connects in two ways.
Firstly as an Audio interface, but also as a Midi interface.
Reaper can't see what has been connected to the X18 so it can't display K2500. It should display the X18 or Behringer or.. (let me know)
 
Ctrl+p brings up the preferences in Reaper.
Under 'Audio' there is 'Device' which is used to set up the audio part of the X18, which I think you have sorted.
The next item is 'Midi Devices' where you also have to set up the X18 for Midi input and output.
Set the input for both input and control messages. The result should look like 'Enable+Control'
Set the output just to Output.
 
 
On a new track click the input and hover over 'Midi Input' and select the X18 from the list.
Click the track's 'Monitor' button and click record enable.
If your K2500 Midi output is connected to the Midi in of the X18, when you play it, the meter on the track should show a red line bouncing up and down.
 
So Midi is coming in and can be recorded, but you also need to say where you want the Midi to go on playback (as well as when monitoring)
Click on the 'Route' button and on the right where it says 'MIDI hardware output' select your X18.
 
If the X18 Midi output is connected to your Korg, playing the K2500 should play the Korg if the channels are the same on both.  
If you record the K2500 Midi, playing it back will sound the Korg.
 
If you make a mistake in your playing, you can edit it by double clicking on the clip (right hand side of the track).
As Midi is just a list of notes and not recorded sound, you can move the notes around, add extra notes, make it play back at eye watering speeds without changing the audio quality.  
You can also change the synth patch and play it with a different instrument.  
Swap the X18 Midi output cable to the K2500 and play the track back on that.
 
When the Midi track is just the way you want it, create an new audio track by selecting 'Input:Mono' or 'Input:Stereo' and the X18 input/s.
Have the Korg audio outputs connected to the inputs on the X18 you selected above in Reaper.
Make sure all record enables are turned off.
Then just record enable your new audio track  and press record.
This will play the Midi to the Korg while recording the audio from the Korg and then you can treat and mix the audio as you have done before.
 
This is a slow method if you play perfectly every time, but much faster if you don't.
It also lets you revisit your work and change things around - that trumpet solo you recorded might sound better on alt sax. Change the patch on the synth and have a listen.
Or copy the Midi track and transpose it up by a third, or fifth or create those notorious octave strings.
 
You can also play/record the song section by section-  
Song = verse verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus chorus.
Record the verse then copy it.  
Record the chorus then copy the verse and chorus  
Record the bridge then copy the chorus twice.
You only have to fix the verse once, the chorus once and the bridge once.
 
All the best
Royce
« Last Edit: Nov 21st, 2019, 7:01pm by Breath » IP Logged
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #12 on: Nov 21st, 2019, 7:33pm »
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Royce, thanks for the quick reply.  I'm missing something I guess because I'm not getting anywhere.  Hopefully these pic will show what I've got.
I've only got 1 cable hooked up but I'll get another one.  In the meantime maybe you can look at this and see what I'm doing wrong.
Thanks,
Don.....
Not sure how to add photos
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #13 on: Nov 21st, 2019, 11:20pm »
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You can't store them here so you need to put them in Dropbox or somewhere.
The picture of the interface I showed you is just from the web, http://image.dhgate.com/albu_391909463_00-1.0x0/midi-interface-cable-con verter-pc-to-music.jpg
 
Here is a site comparing picture storage sites that might be useful that I found  from a google search.
https://photolemur.com/blog/best-online-photo-storage
 
Royce
 
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #14 on: Nov 22nd, 2019, 9:59am »
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Hi Royce.  I put a couple of pictures in Dropbox.  Is thee an email address I can share them to?  I hope to get out today and buy a 2nd cable.
 
thanks for your help,
Don......
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #15 on: Nov 22nd, 2019, 1:38pm »
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Royce,  I added a 2nd cable but still not able to see my k2500 in my DAW.
 
Don......
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #16 on: Nov 22nd, 2019, 6:51pm »
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Royce, I believe I've got it set up!!!!  I don't know what I'm doing with it.  I have about a dozen or so instruments.  Most are things I wouldn't use probably so I'll look for some others.
Thanks for all your help.  I'm sure I'll still have questions because as I've said I don't know what to do with it now but I'm making some progress and feeling better about it all.
Don.....
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Re: Very newb question
« Reply #17 on: Nov 22nd, 2019, 8:00pm »
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Hi Don
great news about the setup. Looking forward to seeing (hearing?) what you do with it.
Keep the questions coming.
 
You can send me a private message here at MidiOx.  
Click on my user name 'Breath' and there is a link at the bottom of the new page for a private message.
 
All the best
Royce
« Last Edit: Nov 22nd, 2019, 8:03pm by Breath » IP Logged
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