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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Non midi polyphonic controller
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Non midi polyphonic controller
tardishead
How many wigglers out there are using a non midi polyphonic controller.
Roland 184
Digisound 80-24
I think EMU made one too for their modular system.
Any others out there?
milkshake
tardishead wrote:

Sorry for being dumb - how do you inbed a video in a post?


-Copy the video url.
-Click on the video tab
-Paste the video url
-Remove the s from the https
thumbs up



COTK planned a poly keyboard, but I don't think it ever got released.
http://cluboftheknobs.com/keyboards_2015.html
tardishead
milkshake wrote:
tardishead wrote:

Sorry for being dumb - how do you inbed a video in a post?


-Copy the video url.
-Click on the video tab
-Paste the video url
-Remove the s from the https


Great thanks for that!

Reason why I'm interested in non midi is because I find midi latency unmusical. I know I'm going against the general consensus but that's my opinion. I'm fed up spending money on midi gear when it does not give me the response I want
ranix
There are ways to get MIDI latency under control, but the ones I have adopted are kind of extreme and you're not necessarily on the wrong path

a big factor in MIDI latency is variations in latency - this affects "perceived" latency, which is more or less the greatest amount of latency that happens within a given time window. Since modern computers are multi-tasking, task switching environments, they aren't guaranteed to be doing MIDI when you want them to be doing MIDI. They might be checking for updates or garbage collecting the Java Update Scheduler or something when you would rather your computer be writing to a serial port.

Meticulously laying out your midi paths, using real time computers and microcontrollers for all MIDI operations, and making sure two or more controllers aren't sending MIDI simultaneously on the same cable can help.

But, you also need slew limiters and other accessories for dealing with CC -> CV conversion, especially for the mod wheel, which is annoying.
tardishead
Yeh I hung out a bit with Dave from Innerclock Systems who made it a lifetime study.
He explained that to me
but I've struggled with midi for so many years and only really felt happy when I built myself a 4 octave cv gate mono Pratt Reid keyboard where the timing made the modular a real tactile experience.
If someone could show me a midi to analogue system that I'm happy with sure I'd invest but that just has not happened. And I vowed to not keep throwing money at it.
I'm a jazz drummer. Latency is aggravating and stunts my playing anything.
But yeh predictable latency you can work with to a degree.
Had a go on a friends Digisound 8 voice keyboard and thought it felt really good. Oh yeh it's note assignment was also really good. Again sounded predictable and correct.
I think a lot of it depends on what you first learn on.
Dave Peck
There's also the five-voice Club of the Knobs Polyclavier or Polyclaveir II CV controller keyboards, although I am not entirely sure that either of these really became commercially available products:

http://www.cluboftheknobs.com/polyclavier.html
tardishead
Yeh I hung out a bit with Dave from Innerclock Systems who made it a lifetime study.
He explained that to me
but I've struggled with midi for so many years and only really felt happy when I built myself a 4 octave cv gate mono Pratt Reid keyboard where the timing made the modular a real tactile experience.
If someone could show me a midi to analogue system that I'm happy with sure I'd invest but that just has not happened. And I vowed to not keep throwing money at it.
I'm a jazz drummer. Latency is aggravating and stunts my playing anything.
But yeh predictable latency you can work with to a degree.
Had a go on a friends Digisound 8 voice keyboard and thought it felt really good. Oh yeh it's note assignment was also really good. Again sounded predictable and correct.
I think a lot of it depends on what you first learn on.
Rex Coil 7
When a midi keyboard controller is used with a MIDI-to-CV converter, where is the latency created? Is it mostly in the controller, or the converter?

Let's pretend the other factors are dealt with in the scenario (such as short MIDI cables, not a bunch of other garbage being transmitted, etc ..).

Because, if the converter is the ~thing~ that's creating the annoyance, I believe the Kenton units spec at <1ms. Most hardware synths operate at roughly <10ms as it is. I have a Kenton Pro Solo MkII. I'm fairly picky, and I have to play my synths against a 55 year old Hammond (which fires RIGHT NOW and has a good deal of "key click" which really accentuates the speed of triggering, kindof highlights or puts an "exclamation point" on it's firing speed)... I don't notice any mush when coming off of the Hammond and going to the MIDI-to-CV fired synth. I use a Dot Com QKB61 (a FATAR TP9) and a Kurzweil PC3A6 (another FATAR TP9), in case that matters. Either one provides the same ~speed~ as the Hammond when used with the Kenton. I'm not a jazz drummer, but I do love my share of the Dixie Dregs, and I don't ~feel~ any mush playing that type of music with the setup I've described. Again, as long as the system isn't burdened with other crud in the serial stream. I keep the keyboards and the Kenton on their own channel ... that channel is strictly off limits for any other stuff.

On the Kenton Pro 2000, the two main 1v/oct outputs are 16 bit, and the ~aux~ outs are 12 bit. Just to add those specs as points of interest.

If the Kenton units won't work for you, I wonder ... is there a way to utilize Expert Sleepers Silent Way to fit your needs? It operates at sample accurate levels. On playback, we're talking speed of light stuff ... just as fast as a cv sequencer can send signals.

Uhm .... I'm getting the feeling that I am approaching your needs incorrectly.

Meh ... oh well ... just trying to help ... throwing things against the wall and seeing what, if anything, sticks.

seriously, i just don't get it

Mr. Green
tardishead
mmmmmm now I do feel like I'm going crazy!
I'm going to check all this stuff out again!
I think one of the problems is that I am working off an old but very good Pro Tools HD system. PT midi is not great and is known for it. Logic seems much better but I can't use the full capacity of my AD/DA channels with it.
I'm using 2 PAIA MIDI2CV convertors. I'm going to check them out with just a midi controller. Maybe they're not so great. The polyphonic note assignment is definitely weird and hard to play. There is a firmware update maybe I should look into that too.
Like anything of course it really depends on how much you spend.
I probably need to spend that cash on the Expressionist
Thanks for your input guys.
tardishead
Brian if you play keys and you've got a midi system that works for you then theres definitely something up with my system!
Thanks for the input
ranix
the computer's going to be the weakest link in any midi system with a modern computer in it
tardishead
ranix wrote:
the computer's going to be the weakest link in any midi system with a modern computer in it

Yeh I hear you
I love Silent Way but playing things through it ATM is not good.
Especially polyphonic. But I don't like the note assignment anyway
Gizmo
Can anyone put some numbers on what is “reasonable” latency? If possible, so that the discussion is less subjective. A few milliseconds is unavoidable in any circumstance, it seems to me, but what is a good upper limit? I use MIDI extensively, and exclusively for keyboard playing (no CV keyboards here), with fully acceptable results.

Sound itself has a propagation time of very close to 3ms/meter or 1ms/foot, so the performer-speaker distance is the first thing to consider. But as we live with this sort of delay constantly, it may not be significant as a perceptual factor.

MIDI transmit time is .32ms/message, not significant for single-note purposes, but can become a choke point in heavy traffic (e.g. continuous controllers).

Converter performance is certainly implicated in the equation. I use dotcom Q174s and the CV.OCD all of which seem to me to be quite fast. Direct-connecting a MIDI keyboard to these, I just don’t “hear” or “feel” any delay in my playing. None.

As ranix points out, the computer is another matter, and has taken some arcane driver tweaking to get under control. My setup is Sonar (pray for me) under Windows 10 on a fast HP desktop, with an M-Audio Midisport USB interface.

Bottom line, with Sonar in the picture I believe I am consistently getting well under 10ms latency from keys to hearing. The playing always feels right and is never disconcerting. Maybe I am more tolerant of delay than others? Maybe drummers would find my rig impossible to play.
ranix
I discarded Windows in favor of OSX in 2012 because it could no longer consistently handle the midi stuff I was doing (USB midi output simultaneously with USB equipment like a Maschine).

I eventually ended up discarding OSX too.

the super annoyances come when you use note data for modulation sources, play synced notes on multiple channels in unison, or mix voices with out-of-phase elements in them and the various voices fail to sync with each other because they came in 2 to 8 milliseconds staggered since your computer thought it would be just a wonderful idea to stop watching the USB ports and pine for the fjords. Don't even get me started on what happens when your printer or some other irrelevant shit (mouse, keyboard, usb hub, whatever) malfunctions and starts causing the USB root hub to issue bus resets while you're trying to play.

Your 10ms latency in Sonar is actually anywhere between 0ms and 10ms rather than 10ms on the dot every time.

For comparison, my Atari ST from 1985 has 1ms latency and it's always exactly 1 millisecond of latency no matter what unless you overload the bus and the computer can't physically keep up with your "black midi".
Rex Coil 7
^ yup. Those number posted by *ranix are consistent with what I see (uh .. hear) in my own system. The Kenton specs at <1ms itself. But as I stated previously, your "all in one" performance synths (like a Minimoog or a DSI OB6, or ... ) have about 10ms at worst.

If using a computer, it comes down to selecting digital interfaces that are not only ~fast~ in and of themselves, but that they also use decent drivers (the software that is used to communicate between the DAW and the interface). Believe this or not, I am sill using M-Audio "Audiophile USB" interfaces ... they have got to be at least fifteen years old. But as long as they operate with up to date drivers (and they do) they're still providing quick response. Roughly 5 or 6ms latency.

And I can't say enough good about the Kenton units. I have the least featured of the bunch, the "Pro Solo MkII" and it provides <1ms latency.

However, just as *ranix pointed out, ya gots ta be smarty smart about setting up your system. Turn you printer OFF. Clean up your background operating programs (in other words, shut them off). Turn off the screen saver. Just to point a few thing out. A dual processor computer (minimum) is pretty much a must as well.

There are ways of optimizing your computer that need to be adhered to. Also, there are good MIDI interfaces, and crap-ass MIDI interfaces. Learning to decipher the specifications is a must. Old versions of DAWs can choke a system down as well. I used to use SONAR Producer ver 6.3 (haahaa! ..ver 6.3!!) ... until only recently. I've since uprated to Live 9 since most of what I do is live performance stuff (but Live is still a fairly well featured production DAW as well).

However, if you are using heavy reliance on playback, MIDI is sortof a poor choice. I think I mentioned the use of Expert Sleepers Silent Way. This uses DC coupled outputs directly out of the audio outputs of certain audio interfaces (there's a compatibility list, it's rather extensive!) as the CV outs. Yes, I said it uses audio outputs as CV outs. It also provides on-screen computer envelope gens, clock-locked LFOs, a CV sequencer, and many other in-computer "modules" you may use to modulate your synth with. (You really must see it to believe it! ... there's videos!) The software itself is free ... but you'll need to use a "better" DAW and a "better" audio interface. Some of the interfaces on the compatibility list (certain older MOTU units, and many others) can be found used on eBay for a couple hundred dollarbucks. Some 8-channel version of Live are free when bundled with certain gear (you may even be able to locate a free version of Live on line).

That system produces sample accurate timing lock, which means MIDI jitter and mistimed drums and so on are eliminated. Not reduced, eliminated. Here's a great place to get a quick look/see of why Silent Way combined with Live 9 and a decent audio interface outruns MIDI by hills and valleys ....

Link = https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43506

It helps immensely to understand how Live works before you spend any money on Silent Way supportive hardware. In fact, the author and owner of Silent Way (a British fella, goes by "Os" in forum) offers a lot of help in that subforum. But, be aware he can be a little short spoken at times ... he sortof presumes that end users understand his technical lingo and can be a little difficult to converse with. So, sharpen those Abelton Live skills a bit, and have a grasp on the audio interface you select before engaging with him, and all will be completely excellent! thumbs up

Full disclosure ... I do not own Silent Way ... but if you look in the manufacturer's subforums here in Miffwugglers these is one dedicated to Expert Sleepers. Go there for more details. You are allowed to download and use Silent Way for free to test it with your own audio interface. But Expert Sleepers offer a number of Euro based interfaces that work wonders with Silent Way ... with a number of interface formats (3.5mm, 24 pin DB sockets, and so on).

seriously, i just don't get it
ranix
haha since you mention it, the interface I have for Mac OSX is an M-Audio Audiophile USB device because it's got the best timing and least problems out of all my other USB->MIDI adapters for that computer. I've since switched to a Focusrite Scarlett for audio recording but I used to use the M-Audio for that too and it did a fine job (only 2 channels though)
Rex Coil 7
ranix wrote:
haha since you mention it, the interface I have for Mac OSX is an M-Audio Audiophile USB device because it's got the best timing and least problems out of all my other USB->MIDI adapters for that computer. I've since switched to a Focusrite Scarlett for audio recording but I used to use the M-Audio for that too and it did a fine job (only 2 channels though)
I bought four of those Audiophiles back in like 2002 or something. I was the guy that threw all the money at the band back then. I was trying something pretty "new" for the time, we had 4 people all on laptops using them as their main instruments and sonic processors. The lead singer/rhythm guitarist used a laptop for processing vocals and his guitar at the same time, my wife played "2nd chair keys" and had FM-7 loaded up with a 61 key Edirol keyboard controller, I had 2 laptops running, one to process my bass guitar with and the other for synths. All 4 Dell laptops with Audiophile USBs ran pretty well, without much fuss at all. We played live gigs all the time with that rig. I used it with my basses for compression and EQ, which it actually did a pretty good job of handling.

Various VSTs were used. It was really funny seeing the looks on the bar owners' faces when we set up with 4 laptops, some actual instruments (guitars, basses, and our drummer had an 88 piece kit). I used a few various mixers over time, so all I had to do was hand the FOH guy four cables ... done. Now and then the occasional reboot of one of the computers was needed, but no real catastrophic bombs-away failures. We played with that setup for about six months.

We also used them to record with as well.

So that's where/how I ended up with 3 of the Audiophile USBs today. I sold the 4th one and the Dell he was using to the singer when he left the band. Now that I think of it, I still have three 16 year old Dell laptops kicking around here in soft cases .... somewhere. They'd probably be worth no more than $100 bucks sold used today.

But yea ... them M-Audio Audiophile USBs are very nice. As you said .. fast, solid, reliable, trouble free ... nice and small, priced right too. But ... only two outputs, just as you mentioned.

I never bothered to check if they're on the Silent Way "approved" list or not.

seriously, i just don't get it
ranix
looks like mine is the "Audiobox USB" rather than the "Audiophile"
tardishead
ranix wrote:

Your 10ms latency in Sonar is actually anywhere between 0ms and 10ms rather than 10ms on the dot every time.


Yes thats what I'm talking about. When using Logic thats about what my system specs at. Pro Tools a little worse. So this is quite typical it seems.
Whatever works for you hey! But this inconsistency of timing I find unmusical. I layer my drums with complex polyrhythmic stuff from the modular which does not work without really good timing. If a percussion player was 10ms behind the beat at certain places I'd notice and so would a lot of you. But it all depends on context and workflow.

Quote:

For comparison, my Atari ST from 1985 has 1ms latency and it's always exactly 1 millisecond of latency no matter what unless you overload the bus and the computer can't physically keep up with your "black midi".

Brilliant. Had one of those until 2003. We struggled with the minimal hardware but the timing was always great
tardishead
Silent Way is great and revolutionary. Ive been using it for a few years.
In Logic its fine but in the version of Pro Tools I have which is my prefferred mode of working - there are still latency problems (and certain functions just don't work at all) which I think has a lot to do with the fact that it has to sit inside a VST wrapper. I still use it a lot but not for specific live performance.

Its all horses for courses as they say.
Gizmo
Clearly my requirements are conventional and I am not testing the limits of MIDI, as you are. Still, they keep building on the technology such as with MPE and MIDI-CI.

And BTW, May is MIDI Month, in case you didn't know. hihi

tardishead
Gizmo wrote:
Clearly my requirements are conventional and I am not testing the limits of MIDI, as you are. Still, they keep building on the technology such as with MPE and MIDI-CI.

Either that or I have lost my marbles!
Rex Coil 7
tardishead wrote:
Silent Way is great and revolutionary. Ive been using it for a few years...
Woops ... sorry ... I hope I've not insulted your intelligence with the over-verbalizations of it's abilities.

Perhaps if you attempt to use one of the free versions of Abelton Live you may see better performance?

Or it may come down to the audio/midio interfacio you have?

(unsubscribed - not mad or having a hissy fit - just trying to keep my number of subscribed threads under better control - if you wish to correspond please feel totally free to send me a PM - thanks!)

seriously, i just don't get it
tardishead
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
tardishead wrote:
Silent Way is great and revolutionary. Ive been using it for a few years...
Woops ... sorry ... I hope I've not insulted your intelligence with the over-verbalizations of it's abilities.

Perhaps if you attempt to use one of the free versions of Abelton Live you may see better performance?

Or it may come down to the audio/midio interfacio you have?
seriously, i just don't get it


not at all! Thanks for chiming in
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