Midi-Loop of Death when having Plugin and Hardware controlling each other?

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darrien
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:46 pm

Midi-Loop of Death when having Plugin and Hardware controlling each other?

Post by darrien » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:19 pm

Hey community!

So I have a Roland TR-8S drum machine and got a VST plugin to control it.

What I would like to achieve is to be able to control the drum machine with the VST plugin so I can for example automate it. But I would also like to work on the machine and record whatever I do on the hardware as an automation.

Therefore I mapped all the potis of the drum machine to the corresponding counterpart on the VST instrument

This kinda works, but not very well: I guess what actually happens is the following:

1. I turn a knob on the machine
2. Midi data is sent to the VST that the knob was turned
3. Midi data is sent to the machine that the knob was turned
4. Go to 2.
This goes on until (I guess) Ableton finds out that there's something wrong and stops this loop. Therefore, when I move anything too fast on the machine, CPU goes up to 200% for a short moment, causing drop outs or even crashes.

Any ideas?

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pottering
Posts: 645
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:41 am

Re: Midi-Loop of Death when having Plugin and Hardware controlling each other?

Post by pottering » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:35 pm

Maybe (just maybe, I don't have much experience with hardware) disabling "Track" in the corresponding MIDI Input and leaving only "Remote" On works?

Does that plugin editor even need MIDI out? If you can turn off the MIDI out it would solve it too, obviously.

TLW
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Midi-Loop of Death when having Plugin and Hardware controlling each other?

Post by TLW » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:56 am

pottering wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:35 pm
u can turn off the MIDI out it would solve it too, obviously.
Plugin hardware synth editors usually - as in I can't think of one that doesn't - use MIDI to communicate with the synth, so MIDI out (and usually in) is required.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

TLW
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Midi-Loop of Death when having Plugin and Hardware controlling each other?

Post by TLW » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:16 am

darrien wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:19 pm
What I would like to achieve is to be able to control the drum machine with the VST plugin so I can for example automate it. But I would also like to work on the machine and record whatever I do on the hardware as an automation.
From what you say it does sound like you might have a MIDI feedback loop going on. MIDI loops do result in chaos very quickly.

To prevent it you probably need to prevent the editor and MIDI tracks echoing control movements on the TR back to the TR. If a synth sends MIDI and the DAW is set to monitor that MIDI and send it back to the synth you get multiple responses to every MIDI message. If the hardware involves a sequencer which sends MIDI things can get messy very quickly.

There's a few ways way to handle this, and it may mean combining several of them depending on exactly what you are trying to do. These are general ways to handle MIDI, DAWs and hardware synths. I don't have a TR so can't test things myself.

If the editor can be set to not echo MIDI back set it not too.

Unless you need the MIDI track feeding the synth to echo back the MIDI the TR is generating set the track monitoring pull-down to anything other than "in". That way MIDI in the track gets sent to the synth, MIDI from the editor (which usually lives in an audio track) also gets sent to the synth, but the MIDI generated by the synth doesn't get echoed back to it causing a loop. You can record the MIDI from the synth so long as you don't set the MIDI track monitoring to "on".

Another approach is to set the hardware synth to "local control off" if it allows that. Then set a MIDI track in Live to connect to the synth and switch the track MIDI monitor setting to "on". What then happens is the synth no longer responds directly to it's controls being operated. Instead it sends the MIDI to the DAW, the DAW echoes it back and the synth then responds to the echoed MIDI.

Hope that helps.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

doghouse
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Midi-Loop of Death when having Plugin and Hardware controlling each other?

Post by doghouse » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:30 pm

You wouldn't have to do anything if the VST was properly designed. Whoever makes that plugin really screwed up if changes on the hardware are not mirrored in the plugin. That is the whole point of using a plugin like that.

darrien
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:46 pm

Re: Midi-Loop of Death when having Plugin and Hardware controlling each other?

Post by darrien » Sun May 26, 2019 11:26 am

If someone ever stumbles over this post in the future:

After trying everything I've read here and in other forums/groups as well as giving the plugin from another vendor a shot as well, I gave up and just created a solution myself using max4live. Works like a charm for what I need and integrates even better than some silly VST that has to be managed on a separate midi track :-)

You can get it here:

http://www.maxforlive.com/library/devic ... -performer

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