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M553 and the Fantom G8
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Author M553 and the Fantom G8
Putte
I just want to make sure about one thing, or two. I would like to sync my 5U sequencers, the Q960 mostly working as clock for the rest, to the Roland Fantom G8 sequencer.
-First of all I´m wondering if this would work via a Moon modular M553, the G8 working as a master.
-Second, is it possible to sync the 5U sequencers to the G8 arpeggiator as well?
JohnLRice
It will "probably" work quite well thumbs up but, I don't have a Fantom G8 so I can't say for sure. Some keyboards with internal arpeggiators don't output the note stream via MIDI but still might output the MIDI clock so check the manual.
Putte
Thanks, John! It´s a very specific question, and I suppose very few have come across this exact issue.
According to the manual, setting the G8 to Remote, instead of master, sends a click via MIDI. It´s supposed to work for start and stop too, which would be really nice.
The G8 arpeggiator has a click function, but I´m not sure if the arpeggios automatically syncronize to them. Tried shortly yesterday, and it didn´t seem they do (So, why is it there?).
The more I think about this, it seem like a Roland forum question, more than one for you 5U guys.
Anyway, thanks again, John.
Putte
It was with some trepidation I ordered the M553 a few weeks ago. Some years back, a new M551 just wouldn´t work to play lead synth, and I finally sold it to someone who needed it for sequences. I could see the M553 giving me the same experience, but it didn´t… after a while.

My system is based around a Q960, clocking a m554, which generally divides clocking to two M569. So, it felt natural to connect the M553 with the Q960, and keep the further patching as described. The MIDI signal comes from the Fantom G8, mentioned earlier in the topic.

I did some mistakes when I patched it up. Clock out to Control input, was one of them. It took me a while to realize, I needed to use the Shift input instead. Stupid! Still, one problem remained. The Q960 just wouldn´t respond to the Start/Stop Connections.
Finally, I decided to patch the M553 up with the M554, and then to the three sequencers. That meant I couldn´t use the Start out and the Stop out functions on the M553, but it turned out I could start and stop the Clock anyway.

The sequencer Start and stop buttons on the Fantom G8 controls the Clock starting and ending, without Start out or Stop out being patched on the M553. Its great, but why is that so?
kindredlost
Try using a Q962 Sequential Switch from the Moon 553 “stop” gate and the input/output “flags” of the switch as latches to set the Q960’s stage nine. It acts like a reset so when the midi clock stops the Q960 is set to stage nine and ready to go to stage one when the clock signal comes in to the shift input.

I’ve been using this setup for years and it works well but the downside is it dedicates a Q962 to the patch. I also use the start output of the 553 to the Q962 to start the Q119 and Moon 563 Trigger Sequencer. A multiple is very useful to spread the control gates around between these modules and sequencers. The Q962 has plenty of voltage for many modules, and an added benefit of indicator lamps.

I might add that I rarely try to use a standalone keyboard as a midi clock source. Mostly I use a DAW to drive midi clock for everything so I’m not clear about how the Roland keyboard outputs clock start/stop commands to the 553.
ranix
Putte wrote:
I decided to patch the M553 up with the M554, and then to the three sequencers. That meant I couldn´t use the Start out and the Stop out functions on the M553, but it turned out I could start and stop the Clock anyway.

The sequencer Start and stop buttons on the Fantom G8 controls the Clock starting and ending, without Start out or Stop out being patched on the M553. Its great, but why is that so?


I'm not clear on what you mean, or how you have patched.

I think that on the M553, the Start output will send exactly one Trigger when the clock is started, and the Stop output will send exactly one Trigger when the clock is stopped. If you don't have either of these outputs patched to anything, the clock signal will just "pause" when the Fantom stops sending a MIDI clock, and when the Fantom starts again the signal would resume.

I think if I were clocking my q960 from my Fantom, I would want to send the Start signal to the step 1 "in" input of the q960 or similar so that the sequencer would restart from the beginning if a midi clock start (0xFA) was sent. (edit: it sounds like kindredlost does this more than me and knows there are problems if you patch like this, his way has fixes for the problems you will encounter if you follow my suggestion)

Usually I do the opposite and clock the outboard synthesizers FROM the q960
Putte
Thanks so much. You´re right, of coarse, both of you. I´m sorry for my poor explanations, but glad you answered anyway.
That makes the M553 even better, I suppose, especially working with the Q960. The M569 doesn´t have that extra step, which would be useful in this case. I have to poke it to the last step, in order for it to trigger step 1 when it starts.
Squattamolie
Just patch the 553 STOP out to the 960 stage-9 IN. Anytime you stop the G8 sequencer, the 960 will come to rest on stage-9, the next time you start the G8, the 960 will go correctly to stage-1. I do this all the time, it works perfectly.
Putte
That easy? Then there´s just the issue of getting the M569 to do something similar.
JohnLRice
Putte wrote:
That easy? Then there´s just the issue of getting the M569 to do something similar.
Didn't you already sort this out? cool
Putte wrote:
The M569 doesn´t have that extra step, which would be useful in this case. I have to poke it to the last step, in order for it to trigger step 1 when it starts.
Putte
Not in the way I wanted. I guess that input expander could solve that problem, but I won´t buy one for that reason.
JohnLRice
Putte wrote:
Not in the way I wanted. I guess that input expander could solve that problem, but I won´t buy one for that reason.
Ahh, I thought you already had the 569ES or 569ESB. When you said
Quote:
I have to poke it to the last step
I thought you were using an expander but now I realize you meant you were manually shifting it to the last step! d'oh!
Squattamolie
Putte wrote:
Not in the way I wanted. I guess that input expander could solve that problem, but I won´t buy one for that reason.


You shouldn't need the input expander. The idea (with using the 553 with Moon sequencers) is you're supposed to be able to send the START out of the 553 to the RESET input of the sequencer while it also is receiving the first clocks coming through the CLOCK OUT.

Even though I quite like the 553, even with trying two different units with various combos of a 568, a 569 and two different 563s, I couldn't seem to get them to consistently start so that they were in sync with everything else. They (any of the Moon sequencers) would always be on step 2 when both 960s and all the STG stuff was on step one.

The answer was a trigger delay (not a gate delay). I run the START out of the 553 into a trigger delay, delayed just a tad, and that correctly resets any and all Moon sequencers so everybody is all on the same step - that has been 100% effective.
JohnLRice
Squattamolie wrote:
Putte wrote:
Not in the way I wanted. I guess that input expander could solve that problem, but I won´t buy one for that reason.


You shouldn't need the input expander. The idea (with using the 553 with Moon sequencers) is you're supposed to be able to send the START out of the 553 to the RESET input of the sequencer while it also is receiving the first clocks coming through the CLOCK OUT.

Even though I quite like the 553, even with trying two different units with various combos of a 568, a 569 and two different 563s, I couldn't seem to get them to consistently start so that they were in sync with everything else. They (any of the Moon sequencers) would always be on step 2 when both 960s and all the STG stuff was on step one.

The answer was a trigger delay (not a gate delay). I run the START out of the 553 into a trigger delay, delayed just a tad, and that correctly resets any and all Moon sequencers so everybody is all on the same step - that has been 100% effective.
Good idea! thumbs up
Putte
Thanks, Squattamolie! I haven´t checked if the Q960 and the M569 are synchronized from the start. Have to look into that delay thing. New to me.
Squattamolie
Putte wrote:
Have to look into that delay thing.

I initially got confused because I thought a gate delay would do the trick, and there are a number gate delays available. But what it requires is a trigger delay, which is quite different.

I found a build of a really cool Ian Fritz design from Free State FX, and also found that Jason Fry (@ FSFX) does great work and is equally great to deal with - worth checking out:

FSFX All-in_EG
Putte
I´ve been messing with the M553 for about a month now, including a few pauses. Mostly, Everything works great, but there is one problem.

Ón the G8, I´ve made a four track sequence of the intro to Marillions Splintering heart (I now, a marvelous piece of music), which a hope we´ll make a cover of soon.

The sequence is a four bar loop, and the problem turned up when I tried to add a fifth track with the modular. It´s just a fast four step bass and white noice thing. It starts and goes perfectly for four bars, until the loop on the G8. There, the M553 adds a 1/16 or something, and it does so every loop. A short pause, skipping one step, and then i continues.

It´s like the G8 clock sends something every loop end, or the M553 translates loop info as a break. I realize this might be G8 problem, but the M553 is sort of in the middle of this, so that´s why I bring it up.
JohnLRice
Putte wrote:
I´ve been messing with the M553 for about a month now, including a few pauses. Mostly, Everything works great, but there is one problem.

Ón the G8, I´ve made a four track sequence of the intro to Marillions Splintering heart (I now, a marvelous piece of music), which a hope we´ll make a cover of soon.

The sequence is a four bar loop, and the problem turned up when I tried to add a fifth track with the modular. It´s just a fast four step bass and white noice thing. It starts and goes perfectly for four bars, until the loop on the G8. There, the M553 adds a 1/16 or something, and it does so every loop. A short pause, skipping one step, and then i continues.

It´s like the G8 clock sends something every loop end, or the M553 translates loop info as a break. I realize this might be G8 problem, but the M553 is sort of in the middle of this, so that´s why I bring it up.
Is the G8 sending a Stop then Start command on every loop? hmmm.....

If you have an iPhone or iPad plus a MIDI interface for it you can get a handy app called MIDI Wrench that allows you to view and analyse MIDI communications which can be useful in trouble shooting problems:
https://www.crudebyte.com/mobile/midi_wrench/
Putte
I don´t think so. It just get the hiccups once every fourth bar. The tempo is quite high, and the smart thing would obviously to check the M553 on slower speed. I´ll try that tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice, by the way, but I don´t have those things.
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