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RE: Repeater & EDP: Ideas for synergy

Neil Goldstein (09:35 AM 10.29.2001) wrote:

 >> >I realize the biggest drag about using either EDP or Repeater as clock
 >> >master to the other is that midi commands from my foot
 >> controller will only be seen by the master unit.
 >> huh?  could not the footcontroller be setup to send multiple commands
 >> on different midi channels (one for the EDP and one for the
 >> Repeater)?  i've been playing with this a bit on a Rolls Midiwizard,
 >> controlling a jamman and a mofx.
 >> don't the EDP and Repeater pass midi thru?
 >Yes I've been passing midi through to my EFX too. But think about it: when
 >you take the midi OUT of the EDP into the midi IN of the Repeater, you are
 >in effect preventing any midi commands entering the Repeater. If you take
 >the midi THROUGH from the EDP into the Repeater then you can use your foot
 >controller to control both (this is how mine's set up).

It sounds like folks are stepping into the fun (better known as the 
"pain-in-the-arse") of MIDI_THRU versus MIDI_OUT.

 From what I know of the history of MIDI, OUT and THRU were kept separate 
to avoid potential bandwidth issues with machines echoing upstream data as 
well as spitting out their own. From my point of view, it's just a pain. :)

To alleviate the headaches of getting a master controller to a number of 
different modules, you'll want to look at devices like splitters or 
"thru's". MIDI Solutions are my favorite folks along these lines:


If your MIDI rig is small (say 3-4 devices max) then this solution can 
out pretty well. But, as your rig grows, a multi-port THRU box can get in 
the way and start creating headaches by not allowing you to have control 
over where the data's going. To deal with that, the most flexibility will 
come from adding a computer to the mess, using a multi-port MIDI 
and then letting the computer drive the flow of MIDI IN and OUT.

If you're working with synth modules, then a lot of times, you can ignore 
the MIDI_OUT ports - short of working with a computer based librarian or 
editor. But, if you're using a lot of controllers (foot, percussion, etc.) 
then you'll soon need to merge all the MIDI_OUT's to a single MIDI_IN. For 
that, you'll need a multi-port merger, and again I would recommend MIDI 

But, if you ended up with a multi-port MIDI interface, you may have enough 
MIDI_IN's on the interface that you can dedicate one per device.

To deal with my personal nightmare, I'm running an multi-port MIDI 
interface (Opcode Studio 4) along with an 8 port merger from Philip Rees. 
wouldn't recommend the Rees unit though, it works fine, but tends to run 
very hot. I would stick with MIDI Solutions to do it again.

To get everything working, I've spent many hours in laying out the MIDI 
routing so that I can route information from dedicated controllers to any 
box that's on the "network". You have to watch out for collisions and 
loops; make sure that you know which boxes can send out MIDI clock and to 
keep them in a strict master/slave relationship; watch out for 
machines; and get surprised by the machines that you didn't think were 
multitimbral, but are - like the Roland Handsonic.

Many of you are probably just trying to get 3 pieces to cohabitate, like 
the example above of an EDP, Repeater and a foot controller. To make that 
happen, you may be tempted to just get a 2 port THRU box and be done. But 
if you think that you'll be growing your rig - at all - let me suggest 
you at least look at buying at a point twice your current needs. You'll 
thank yourself later for it. :)

My 3 1/2 cents.. :)