New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

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New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby husker » 15:13, 16 February 2017

Greetings,

I am new to keyboards, having just purchased an FA-08 as my first one. I am getting into home music, because I need another hobby like I need another hold in my head. I am the world's most ungifted musician, but I am pretty technically adept - spent most of my career as a network and PC guy. I'm having a blast so far learning about DAWs (I use Sonar), keyboards, audio interfaces, etc.

I have most things working well, but I have a few questions:

1) Is there a way to prevent the FA from sending midi via the DIN and USB UNLESS it is in DAW control mode? It seems to send data on Channel 1 no matter what. I would prefer it to stop sending Midi data unless it is in DAW Control mode.

2) Is there any more detail on the DAW control mode outside of the reference guide? I found the handful of pages there to be less than helpful. I have DAW control mode working in Sonar (kind of) but some things do not work as I would expect (like the knobs - they seem to do nothing).

3) Finally, what is the purpose of the FA-06 08 CTRL? After I installed UBS driver, I have 3 listed FA-06 08, FA-06 08 CTRL and FA-06 08 DAW CTRL. I understand the FA-06 08, and the DAW CTRL, but don't understand the second CTRL.

As I said, I'm new to all of this, thank you.
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby Lunar » 19:41, 16 February 2017

Try this link; http://blog.ultimateoutsider.com/2015/0 ... s-daw.html it has some useful info for setting up the FA 06/08 as a DAW controller. Helped me no end in setting the FA up with Cubase, and most of the info should relate to Sonar as well. Have fun with your FA 08, and welcome to the Clan!
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby husker » 03:37, 19 February 2017

Cool, great find, thank you.

Does anyone know if it is possible to turn off the midi transmit unless it is in DAW Control mode?
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby stevel » 00:06, 22 February 2017

husker wrote:Cool, great find, thank you.

Does anyone know if it is possible to turn off the midi transmit unless it is in DAW Control mode?


There is a section in the System Settings that has "transmit" items that you can select to send or not send (or specify the channel - don't have it on right night now).

But I think the note messages will still go out no matter what.

What are you trying to accomplish?
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby husker » 00:32, 22 February 2017

I have my FA08 Midi Out into the Midi In of a Moog Slim Phatty. I often have the Phatty turned on to warm up while I play the FA. If I could just have Midi being transmitted in DAW CTRL mode, that would solve my problem.
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby stevel » 01:06, 22 February 2017

husker wrote:I have my FA08 Midi Out into the Midi In of a Moog Slim Phatty. I often have the Phatty turned on to warm up while I play the FA. If I could just have Midi being transmitted in DAW CTRL mode, that would solve my problem.


Still not clear.

Are you saying that when you play the FA, the Phatty also plays?

What you need to do if you don't want this to happen is either set the Phatty to receive on a Channel other than Channel 1, or set the FA to send on a Channel other than Channel 1.

If you go into a Studio Set, and pick the sound on Part 2, it sends on Channel 2.

If the Phatty still responds, it's because it's set in "Omni On" mode. You have to set a specific channel for it to receive on.

The Manual (p.32) has the setting and preceding pages how to get to it.

So you could leave the FA on Channel 1 and put the SP to receive on only Channel 2.

Or you could leave the SP on Channel 1 (probably the default) and set up a Studio Set with Part 2 selected on the FA which will send on Channel 2 and not trigger the Phatty. Studio Sets will save which Part is selected, so you could save it and then also make that your startup SS so when you turn on the FA, that's the one that comes up.

Then, if you need to go to something that has the SS with Part 1 active, you just switch to another SS (and all the default user ones have Part 1 selected).

This way, when you switch to DAW control mode, which you can choose which channel it transmits on (by default, Channel 1) you can also play the SP if you want (since everything is on Channel 1 at this point).

Is that what's happening, or something else?
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby husker » 01:18, 22 February 2017

stevel wrote:
Still not clear.

Are you saying that when you play the FA, the Phatty also plays?

When you play the FA, it's going to transmit note messages Channel 1. I don't see any way to prevent that in the FA

So in order for the Phatty not to play, you'd need to set that not to receive on Channel 1. Not sure if you can do that either.


Excellent, you just solved my problem. I was able to change the DAW CTRL Mode to channel 2, and the Phatty to receive channel 2. Now, the Phatty only plays with DAW CTRL Mode on. Problem solved.

Sorry, I figured it was a basic issue, but I'm really freaking new to all of this.

Having a blast though.

Thank you again.
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby stevel » 01:28, 22 February 2017

husker wrote:
Sorry, I figured it was a basic issue, but I'm really freaking new to all of this.

Having a blast though.

Thank you again.


Ha ha I was editing my post to hopefully make it less confusing, but you had already responded to the cached version while I was editing!

I'm glad that solved it. You can read the edited version and see if that offers you another way to do it as well - may be just which channels you want to have on which device.

Best,
Steve
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby husker » 01:33, 22 February 2017

Makes total sense now. Half the fun of this to me is just learning.

I've been bitten by this bug badly. Saving up for some modules now - probably an Integra 7 and maybe a Nord A1R to go along with my Moog. I'm space limited, so I am confined to rack modules (which seem to be few and far between).

I'm trying to learn about these Moto Midi patch bay thingys, as at some point I will have to get one of those just to control it all.
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby stevel » 05:00, 23 February 2017

husker wrote:Makes total sense now. Half the fun of this to me is just learning.

I've been bitten by this bug badly. Saving up for some modules now - probably an Integra 7 and maybe a Nord A1R to go along with my Moog. I'm space limited, so I am confined to rack modules (which seem to be few and far between).

I'm trying to learn about these Moto Midi patch bay thingys, as at some point I will have to get one of those just to control it all.


The Integra 7 might be a lot of money for not that much more synth - it shares a LOT of sounds with the FA - I had to edit a patch script and had to start with an I7 version, and it turns out I had to delete comparatively few patches from the FA version. I think you'd have so much duplication it wouldn't be worth it.

That said, I think can load in more EXP sounds so that might make up for it, but I'd err on the side of saying you'd probably be way better off with a different type of module. The Nord would be an excellent choice IMHO. They make great stuff with great sounds and would essentially fill in the hole for anything you're missing from the FA (and the SP covers that monophonic analog style well).

If you're recording into a DAW, ideally you'd get a MIDI interface or Audio/MIDI Interface with a couple of physical MIDI ports on it.

Use the FA as your controller and as a sound source via USB, and then use another USB for the interface and plug the SP and another module into that with MIDI Cables (otherwise you end up using up all your USB ports on your computer!).

I think you meant MOTU, and they do make solid products. You want to get something with twice as many audio inputs as you have synths (twice as many for stereo).

For exmaple, if you had your FA, SP and the Nord, and the SP and Nord have physical MIDI ports, then you'd need an interface with at least 2 MIDI ports on it, and then 4 to 6 stereo inputs - 1 pair each from the SP, the NORD, and possibly the FA (if you wanted to use the interface for all monitoring rather than doing the FA's audio over USB too).

Unfortunately, very few people are making Audio Interfaces with more than 1 MIDI port anymore.

We had Tascam 1804s at my school that had FOUR physical MIDI ins and outs on an 18 channel audio interface. Unfortunately Tascam stopped supporting them with a mac OS upgrade. I had to buy MOTU with only 1 physical port that forutnately had a USB "thru" I could use. So i had to eliminate 2 synths and use only a Fantom Rack (MIDI) and Motif Rack (USB). Fortunately the MOTU we got was Firewire which these Macs still support (unlike the newest ones which are going all Thunderbolt) so it didn't eat up all the UBS ports on the back - 1 has to be used for the Controller and 1 for Mac Keyboard.

So make sure you do your research and get the right number of ports - you might have to use a MIDI interface that's separate from an audio interface (MOTU does make both as separate units) but you'll be eating up two USB ports with those devices alone (assuming you don't have firewire or something else to run them off of).

I hate it now that no one wants to support external synths anymore - especially when there's been a resurgence in modules and hardware boards.
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby husker » 18:03, 23 February 2017

Was doing some research on the Integra 7 last night - I think I may agree with you, a lot of duplication of sounds. I think the Nord A1R will be the next purchase, though I see now they have discontinued it (as of December) as well. It is disconcerting these companies don't sell enough of these rack sythns to make it profitable for them.

I do have a DAW (I use Sonar), but I really want to hook everything up where I can play with different modules without the computer. I do like to sit down and play (and "play around") without worrying about a computer.

For example, I may just want to sit down and play the FA, then later "play" the Moog, then maybe later "play" the A1R. From what I gather, that is less easy that it sounds - it requires a Midi interface that can operate in "stand alone mode" which is I gather is rare. What I am looking at now is the Motu Midi Express XT USB - from reading the manual, you can set up routing where in the software whereby you can program buttons on the front to route midi to different devices without a computer. It has 8 midi inputs and outputs. I guess I could also set this up to route the FA to the computer to control VSTi.

I have a Tascam US 4x4 now, but will need to upgrade that as well. Looking at the 18I20 Focusrite now - it has 8 inputs I can actually use. That would give me enough for the FA (2), Moog (1), A1R (2) and one other synth. I know I can push audio through the USB of the FA, but I've got a heck of a ground loop issue, and I don't think the DAW control mode is all that useful for me. Using ASIO drivers, I would have to set different AIs inputs and outputs each time I want to swap - kind of a pain. I think I would rather ditch the FA USB connection, and put everything through a midi and audio interface.

You are correct - what we really need is an omnibus interface with both audio and midi - like 16 1/4 inputs, and 8 midi inputs/outputs. Wish someone would make that!

Thank you for continuing to educate me.
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby stevel » 01:41, 24 February 2017

I'm like you - somtimes I just don't want to turn the computer on.

I actually am using an old Tascam FW 1804 to route MIDI (4 ins and outs) but when the computer is not on it will pass audio and MIDI, but it will take all ins and send them to all outs. So it's "turn the one you don't want to hear off or down".

Sounds like that MOTU would work perfect for this. It sounds like it operates like the MIDI Timepiece, which you can use the software to set a path to use when it's off. Of course you can't easily change it without booting everything up, but at least if there's one primary thing you typically do you can have that set up.

Back in the old days we had a 16 in out with 16 presets and you could make preset 1 take MIDI in from input 1 and output it to 2, 4, and 7, and then inputs 2 and 5 could then send to outs 1, 15, and 16 on preset 2 and so on.

But alas that's before USB.

Some keyboards have an "echo" or "thru" or similar thing where you can plug the out of a device into it, and then it folds that in with its own MIDI messages and sends them out the USB.

I had a situation where I had a keyboard that wouldn't work with Local On, so I had to turn it off.

I used a controller to play it's internal sounds, and the keys on it to send back through the controller and go out to a rack module. Kind of weird (and I had no interface to be able to select) but I needed two synths and this got the messages where I needed them to go!
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Re: New to Keyboards - Midi and Daw CTRL Questions

Postby Goon » 13:31, 25 February 2017

I have the FA06 plugged into USB port on the MX1 which also is a pretty good interface, that also sports a DIN Midi socket should you also need it too.
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