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AL-88c
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Alyseum Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author AL-88c
Paranormal Patroler
I bought an AL-88c recently and I'm really happy with the purchase. The device is impressively small and sexy (!) and the programming via the CopperLan software is very straightforward. I always prefer using a GUI when programming stuff like MIDI routing, I admit that you can't possibly find an easier way than using a computer for this purpose. Thankfully the AL-88c works standalone as the reason I bought it is to make it the heart of my live (no computer) setup.

So program and forget it is indeed, but I'm looking forward to getting a standalone controller for it if possible. Willi said it's in the pipeline but here's hoping it's coming out soon, yeah? hihi
blz
I just ordered one of these so i'm excitedly awaiting it.
Paranormal Patroler
You'll be surprised by the size of it!
Paranormal Patroler
By the way, I think you can chain two of these via the Ethernet port and use them as an 16X16 matrix with no computer required. Not 100% positive this can be done but if that's indeed a possibility I'm getting a second one. SlayerBadger!
Rigo
I'm looking for one as well, to replace my amt8 ... Thank you Apple sad banana
Having a Tenori-On now seems to make this more important somehow lol
Paranormal Patroler
Ha! The AL-88c is plugged right after my two Tenori-On's. It's perfect for taking advantage of the 16 channels in various ways to sequence the whole setup.
Rigo
Sold the AMT-8, bought the AL88c ... but since it is supposed to be my Christmas gift I have to wait for using it sad banana
Rigo
Christmas gift received w00t
Did a small test already, just to get used with it. And to remind me to put the midi cables in the correct places d'oh!
Tomorrow hopefully some more testing, and deciding what midi module to use in the modular ... Build a Midi2CV from Hexinverter, or just look out for a Yarns or QMi (the 190-5 not being available yet) ?
Paranormal Patroler
Don't look over the MS812. I'm really hot for it, as it can do 8 voices polyphony!!! SlayerBadger!
Rigo
Paranormal Patroler wrote:
Don't look over the MS812. I'm really hot for it, as it can do 8 voices polyphony!!! SlayerBadger!

But then I wouldn't be able to connect the Tenori-On directly to the modular ... always need the AL-88c and the switch.
Paranormal Patroler
True, you'd need the AL-88c but you'd be able to use 8 layers in the Tenori On. You win some, you lose some. I own the Yarns as well but I'm really looking forward to getting the MS-812.
Rigo
Do you use any of the extra features of Yarns ?
Kent
What are the 'Pros and Cons' of this vs. the MIDI Timepiece AV units that I already use?
Paranormal Patroler
Rigo wrote:
Do you use any of the extra features of Yarns ?


Yes, sometimes. But not when I have my TO plugged, that little bugger can do everything by itself. Truth be told I am considering getting a second Yarns at some point but my first priority is the MS-812.


Kent wrote:
What are the 'Pros and Cons' of this vs. the MIDI Timepiece AV units that I already use?


I don't have any insight on the AV units functionality, so comparing them would be kinda moot, but I do own and cherish a MIDITEMP PMM88 and I can say I haven't been using it since I got the AL88c. The Alyseum units are sexy-small, and using the computer to program them is dead easy. The setup I use it for is extremely complex and the AL88c does a perfect job of connecting everything to everything else with not as much as a hickup. Plus they're fairly cheap. If at some point I need to get a second one I most certainly will as I asked mr. Alyseum and he explicitly told me you can plug as many as you want via their Ethernet port or a hub.

I never believed I would say this but these Ethernet stuff are making me considering using the computer for more stuff than just recording. It seems that via Cooperlan you can actually connect everything to everything else at your studio. And it works on WiFi as well! I haven't tested it myself but I do think it's exciting.
Kent
Thanks for the summary. I'll consider one of these if my current system ever becomes more complex.
Paranormal Patroler
The only downside I can think of is the orientation of the plugs doesn't allow for angled MIDI cables. Other than that feel free to PM with any particular questions you might have.
Rigo
So I ordered the Hexinverter Midi2CV full kit ... Only has gate and note CV for each channel, but that will do for now. Next step up would be the Vermona qMI or the still to be released Doepfer A-190-5.
But first ... waiting for the kit to arrive sad banana
dani
I have to confirm, the Alyseum Al-88c is a very neat Studio device, easily connects everything with everything you want, with Midi timing, it's standalone, small and cheap

faboulous work applause

(waiting for my second unit to arrive, don't know about direct Ethernet-connection without router)
Paranormal Patroler
I do think that you can connect two of them via Ethernet without a computer. You have to program them first but then it's possible to connect two for a 16X16 patch bay. Don't quote me on that as I haven't tried it yet, but it's something I have discussed with Alyseum themselves. Will be getting a second AL88c as soon as possible so I'll probably post about it once I try it out.
lrclazer
Paranormal Patroler wrote:
I do think that you can connect two of them via Ethernet without a computer. You have to program them first but then it's possible to connect two for a 16X16 patch bay. Don't quote me on that as I haven't tried it yet, but it's something I have discussed with Alyseum themselves. Will be getting a second AL88c as soon as possible so I'll probably post about it once I try it out.


The AL88c has been one of the most transformational pieces of kit that I've gotten for my home studio. Truly awesome for midi routing, saving and changing between a bunch of different setups, etc. Much much better than iConnectivity stuff.

I've also been thinking of getting and second and chaining. Will be interested to hear how that works out for you.
z3r01
Sorry to bump this thread.

I am on the search for a MIDI-interface to tie in all my MIDI equipment, and have been contemplating between the AL-88C, and the iConnectivity MIDI 2+.

I have been reading up quite a bit on both lately, and the AL-88C seems to be have an edge over the iConnect stuff, for my needs. I have 6 MIDI capable equipment, so right off the bat, the 88C has more than enough physical ports for all of them.

So, before I pull the trigger, a very basic (but essential for what I am looking to do) question, has anyone tried connecting all their MIDI equipment to the AL-88C, and using a DAW (Ableton, in my case) as a master clock to control the start/stop/timing of the MIDI gear? Anyone experience any issues with timing/compatibility?

I do understand that the CopperLan connection is supposed to be better in terms of 'jitter', but I would just like to be very sure about it.

Also, say I have a Zaquencer, Keystep, and a Yarns, and the way I have it set-up at the moment is connecting the Keystep MIDI out to the Zaquencer MIDI In (to key in notes), and the Zaquencer's MIDI out to the Yarns.

So, with the AL-88C, I should connect it like that(?):

Zaquencer MIDI Out -> 88C MIDI In 1
Zaq MIDI IN -> 88C MIDI Out 1
Keystep MIDI Out -> MIDI In 2
Keystep MIDI In -> MIDI Out 2
Yarns MIDI In -> MIDI Out 3

Using the CopperLan Manager, I could route it the way that I have it set-up at the moment (as stated above), right? I should be able to clock all of that with Ableton as a master clock as well?

Also, say if I would just like to use the Keystep solely with Yarns, I could easily route that via the CopperLan Manager?

Lastly, could I connect the 88C to my MacBook Pro, via an Ethernet-to-Thunderbolt cable?

My apologies in advice for the somewhat basic (or even obvious) questions, as I would just like to be sure that I am not misunderstanding what the 88C is capable of.

Thanks!
brucethehoon
I know this is a VERY late response, and I know the availability on so much Alyseum stuff is drying up, and I know Copperlan is sadly not being maintained like it should be, but since I desperately love my 88C and my MS-812, I wanted to chime in for the sake of history.

[quote="z3r01"]Sorry to bump this thread.
So, before I pull the trigger, a very basic (but essential for what I am looking to do) question, has anyone tried connecting all their MIDI equipment to the AL-88C, and using a DAW (Ableton, in my case) as a master clock to control the start/stop/timing of the MIDI gear? Anyone experience any issues with timing/compatibility?

Yup. The timing and jitter are as close to perfect as I've ever seen, even when comparing to devices that cost over a grand to buy. I do it a bit differently than most, though. Most DAW clocks frankly SUCK. Computers are not designed to perfectly generate clocks as they're not real time systems. What I've done is use the Expert Sleepers USAMO to generate the clock, then patched it into one of the AL-88C inputs. I then use Copperlan manager to route that clock to other ports. This gives me a sample-accurate clock on any port I like.

z3r01 wrote:

I do understand that the CopperLan connection is supposed to be better in terms of 'jitter', but I would just like to be very sure about it.

Oh, yes. Just yes. Jitter is something I forget about unless I'm away from my studio and have to use other MIDI solutions.


z3r01 wrote:

Also, say I have a Zaquencer, Keystep, and a Yarns, and the way I have it set-up at the moment is connecting the Keystep MIDI out to the Zaquencer MIDI In (to key in notes), and the Zaquencer's MIDI out to the Yarns.

So, with the AL-88C, I should connect it like that(?):

Zaquencer MIDI Out -> 88C MIDI In 1
Zaq MIDI IN -> 88C MIDI Out 1
Keystep MIDI Out -> MIDI In 2
Keystep MIDI In -> MIDI Out 2
Yarns MIDI In -> MIDI Out 3

The "Copperlan way" looks more like this:
Keystep MIDI OUT -> AL-88C MIDI in 1(physical cable)
(copperlan config :AL-88C MIDI in 1 to copperlan Virtual MIDI 1)
(copperlan config: AL-88C Virtual MIDI 1 to AL-88C MIDI out 1)
AL88C MIDI out 1 -> Zaq MIDI in (physical cable)
Zaq MIDI OUT -> AL88C MIDI in 2 (physical cable)
(copperlan config: AL-88C MIDI in 2 to copperlan Virtual midi 2)
(copperlan config: Virtual MIDI 2 to AL-88C MIDI out 2)
At this stage, you've got a port - Virtual MIDI 1 that is just a raw input of your Keystep, and doesn't get touched by the Zaquencer, or require it to be on, or set up in any particular way. You can use that in your DAW or re-route it anywhere you want.
You also have Virtual MIDI 2, which is the output of the Zaquencer, and you can use it anywhere you like as well.
I routed these to the respective physical MIDI OUTS as well.
Now, you can connect your AL-88C MIDI OUT 2 (physical cable) to the input of Yarns, and you've got your existing setup, but you've also got the output from either the Zaq or the Keystep that you can route to any other inputs.
You can route anything you like as many places as you like.

z3r01 wrote:

Using the CopperLan Manager, I could route it the way that I have it set-up at the moment (as stated above), right? I should be able to clock all of that with Ableton as a master clock as well?

Set your Ableton master clock to output to Copperlan Virtual Midi X (pick whichever you like), then, in the Copperlan Manager, just right click, create virtual midi cable, and connect just the clock to any output you like. No note data will be expected, and it will all be seamlessly merged by Copperlan.
z3r01 wrote:

Also, say if I would just like to use the Keystep solely with Yarns, I could easily route that via the CopperLan Manager?

Easily! As I set it up above, you'd just plug your Yarns into the AL-88C physical MIDI out 1.
z3r01 wrote:

Lastly, could I connect the 88C to my MacBook Pro, via an Ethernet-to-Thunderbolt cable?

Yup!


Again, I know this is a VERY late response, but I truly adore my Alyseum products, and I'm so, so sad that Copperlan didn't make a bigger splash. I have yet to find something it isn't better at than ANY competitor, and I have a small hope that some day we will see more from them. I have had 100% stability and literally not one problem (that wasn't my fault for not understanding things in the first couple of days) from any of my devices. I am essentially buying up old stock wherever I find it.
Paranormal Patroler
Hmm, I wonder if I should buy a third AL88c hmmm.....

By the way, there's a new U3-88c out. Have you seen it ? It's USB3. So if you want to stay hooked to the computer I think it's a good solution. Plus it looks cheap hihi
brucethehoon
Paranormal Patroler wrote:
Hmm, I wonder if I should buy a third AL88c hmmm.....

By the way, there's a new U3-88c out. Have you seen it ? It's USB3. So if you want to stay hooked to the computer I think it's a good solution. Plus it looks cheap hihi


Noooo. you should not buy one. If you find any, you should contact me by PM, and forget you found it. cool

I saw that! I'm not positive... I feel like the USB3 thing is potentially good, and potentially meaningless. If the jitter/lag/sadness is coming from the computer itself (usually the case in my experience) I don't know how much it will help. I'd LOVE to see tests comparing the AL-88C, U3-88C, and a generic USB2 MIDI interface. The thing most people don't remember about the AL-88C is that it's a smart device. You write configuration to it, and it sticks. That means that a LOT of the work done on fast hardware in the AL would be done with driver support by the U3. Creating crazy routing would be done in the box with the U3, and I think would be frustrating for me to manage after living with the AL for so long!
Paranormal Patroler
You know you can hook up two AL88c's together, right ?! That's the coolest thing, you can really go standalone with these. That's why I'm considering the U3-88c ... keep that for the studio and have the AL88c's for my live setups where I connect two cases via MIDI. Just plug an ethernet cable and you're set.

Definitely a beast in small package.
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