Trigging synths with midi

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kovesen
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Trigging synths with midi

Post by kovesen » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:40 pm

Hi.

We have been using a lot of old drum machines to trig our synths, but we want to leave the fragile machines in studio while we're touring. All drum machine stuff will be done from ableton live and we still want to trig our synths.

This is no problem when we are using the Juno 60, but with other synths that only takes midi it's not that easy. (or is it?)
We only want midi to trig the synths, not decide which notes to play.

Any good ideas?

yur2die4
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by yur2die4 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:12 pm

kovesen wrote:We only want midi to trig the synths, not decide which notes to play.
This has me kind of confused, could you elaborate?? What kind of result are you trying to get, and what is happening when you send MIDI to the synths?

kovesen
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by kovesen » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:59 pm

With the old Juno 60 we send an audio signal to it and the signal decides when the synth is to play a note. When no keys are down, there is no sound.

I would like to do the same thing with midi.

kovesen
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by kovesen » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:44 am

Do I not explain good enough or is this very hard/impossible to do?

vicz
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by vicz » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:26 am

You need a midi to cv/gate converter to trigger the Juno from a midi interface. These are not cheap, eg http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/KENTON-PRO-2-DUAL ... 500wt_1154.

Some older gear has midi to cv/gate built in, for example the rackmount version of Novation bass station, this might be a better value option.

Otherwise you could just capture the audio and trigger the loop....

If you are looking to get a similar effect with a soft synth in Live you could try using sidechaining and the Gate effect. There might be a midi-triggered outboard effects unit that can do the same with a real synth though I don't personally know of one.

Update: Thinking about it, maybe this would work, first create your midi loop, say triggering a kick drum in the rhythm you want, or a simple synth if you want more sustained sounds. In a Live audio channel strip select your (real) synth output as input, and drop in a gate effect. Set the sidechain of the gate effect to the output of your drum/whatever loop. Tweaking the gate levels should give you the effect you are after, also experiment with different instruments/pitches for the sidechain input.

kovesen
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by kovesen » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:41 pm

I already have a midi to cv converter. Use it with my Ms-10 all the time. Maybe I could use the trigger output to trig the Juno-60. Interresting!

I also use gates and compressors to do this stuff, but on the Juno-60 I need to tweek the decay/sustain live...

kovesen
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by kovesen » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:38 pm

Is there really no way to make this happen? In my mind it should be one of the obvious features of midi!

Even though you have something that helps you with the rythms, you should still be able to do the chords manually!

I'm obviously not the go-to-guy in the world of Midi, but some of you must be?

yur2die4
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by yur2die4 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:40 am

I think you'd be better off sending Audio information than MIDI. MIDI is code. It is note specific (or it sends Control information, like adjusting envelopes and filters). It is like sheet music. It makes no sound on its own, All it does is tell your synth to Start specific note, and for how long, and then to release the note.

If you used audio clips with an audio output into your synth, it might work more the way you have described? You can do a lot of editing of clips in Ableton Live to do some pretty crazy audio trigger patterns.

But yeah, based on this:

"With the old Juno 60 we send an audio signal to it and the signal decides when the synth is to play a note. When no keys are down, there is no sound.

I would like to do the same thing with midi."

It sounds that you are attempting to do something audio-specific via midi.

The best bet that I can think of is making automations of Volume/Amplitude information??

For that you would figure out which CC#'s affect the volume of your synth ( #7 has been known to adjust volume for newer synths), and then create a MIDI clip with the automation of the volume control ( CC# 7 ) which sends that midi information into your synth's midi input.

kovesen
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by kovesen » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:57 am

Thanks for a good reply!

What I need it to do is to act as a trigger that turns things on and off. Half of the fun is playing with ADSR while playing the chords live.

Guess thats not going to be easy to do with the Voyager. Damnit!

towers of silence
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Re: Trigging synths with midi

Post by towers of silence » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:52 pm

kovesen wrote:Thanks for a good reply!

What I need it to do is to act as a trigger that turns things on and off. Half of the fun is playing with ADSR while playing the chords live.

Guess thats not going to be easy to do with the Voyager. Damnit!
I think you can do this with the Voyager, but probably not with MIDI. You need to use the Gate input and try sending it a signal from your drum machine/audio clip, etc. You may need to adjust the gain of the clip/source you're using to trigger it but it should do what you want it to do with that particular synth.

As for a synth that has no CV inputs you're probably not going to find a way to do exactly what you want. yur2die4's response is probably the best workaround but it's going to affect the ASDR tweakability that you enjoy. A noise gate would work just fine as well, though, if it was sidechained to your drum machine/etc.

I don't think you can separate pitch information from note on/note off MIDI commands though, so you may need to explore other alternatives if you're set on using MIDI to do it.

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