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  1. Norman
  2. MIDI Software
  3. Friday, 22 May 2020
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Hello,
This is my first post on here so I hope all you experts may provide me with a solution to my problem which is as follows :-

What System exclusive message do I need to insert into a cubase project I'm working on to enable a drum machine to commence its sequence which
starts NOT at bar 1 but at bar 20 ?
As I understand it, this might be a generic command open to all sequencers therefore doesn't need a specific makers ID etc etc.

Looking forward to your comments,

Sir Norman Bonus.
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How is the drum machine supposed to know when bar 20 is?

Are you talking about a drum machine AND a sequencer here, or are you referring to the drum machine as a 'sequencer' which it is, of a sort.

You refer to sending SYSEX, from where? A sequencer, or from computer software. If data is coming from somewhere else, then it may be the somewhere else that is determining where/when bar 20 is, in which case the midi stream should just have the SYSEX to start the drums at the required point/time.

If there is any specific SYSEX command for the device, then I'd expect that it would be detailed in the manual for said device. As you don't say what it is.......

More information would be a big help.

Geoff
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  1. one week ago
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Hiya Geoff,

The drum machine is a Korg Electribe EMX 1 and I require it to play a loop for 12 bars which is already programmed in, but not until the sequenced song ( in cubase ) has been
running for 20 bars. I can get the electribe to start wherever I require by sending a sequence start command from my Kenton Control freak but this MMC start message is embedded into the Kenton and I can't find out what it is !
My intention is to put this "message" into the cubase project at the appropriate point thus doing away with the need for the Kenton Control Freak.
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  1. one week ago
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Aha, thanks for the extra information.

I can look up things regarding the Korg Electribe and see if anything there helps, but in the meantime, if it's JUST a matter of finding what the Kenton device is sending, then you can find a piece of software called MIDI-OX and install it on your computer. Get it active, and set it to record the midi data it receives. Then make the Kenton device do whatever it does to start the drim machine, and MIDI-OX should see this midi data, and record it and same it in a midi file. This data can then be looked at, and you can see what's there. And what bits do what? If you need to, you could attach the data to a posting and I or someone else could interpret it for you. You could then include the same data into your Cubase project.

If the data is in the Kenton device, how's it got there? Dit you put it there, or did someone else?

Please remember that midi knows nothing about bars, or bar 20, or anything like that. Bars will be calculated by sending or receiving devices depending on tempo and timing settings of the device, or the general midi data being sent., which can include timing settings, and will include a 'tick' count for each midi event. The number of ticks per beat (and hence per bar) will vary depending on other settings.
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  1. one week ago
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Hello again,

Further to previous messages, I've had a bit of a look at the EMX-1 manual. There's not much about SYSEX in there. There is a reference to the 'Midi Implementation' that needs to be requested from Korg, this data usually comprises a full memory map of midi with information as to what addresses do what within midi, and this data opens the door to creating all manner of SYSEX commands. There may well be a lot of hints and suggestions within the data given. Maybe the instruction that you have on the Kenton device has been created using such information?

There is some reference to 'Universal System Exclusive' messages, which are as you descrive, generic instructions that do not need the Mfg codes, etc, but the manual refers to three ONLY that are recognised by the EMX, namely 2 referring to 'Inquiry Message' and one referring to 'Master Fine Tuning'. There seems to be nothing relating to Stop or Start, so any messages of this type must be normal SYSEX.

There is information in the manual regarding co-ordinating timing matters with other devices, but I cannot comment much on this as I know so little about your setup. I understand that you should consider your setup and decide which device is to be controlling as regards timing - the EMX can do this. In this case, all other devices will need to be controlled. I think the Kenton device can be controller as well., but you should have ONE controller ONLY. The problem then will be - can you make the Cubase system to be controlled?

If the Cubase system is sending midi data to control the other devices, then maybe you should have Cubase controlling, and it simply activates (starts) the EMX at the correct moment. Of course, the start point may be OK, but you'll need the two systems to KEEP in time with each other, so can the EMX be slaved (timeing-wise) to the Cubase (computer ?) I suspect that it CAN be controlled by timing info from outside.

A lot of manual reading for someone?

Geoff.
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  1. one week ago
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Thanks for your persistence on this Geoff, much appreciated.

Ive tried every way possible to record what data my Kenton is sending out when I instigate the MMC Internal clock Stop and Start commands.Although it must be
sending something because my drum machine starts and stops when it should but I can't "record" these events. Ive even tried using the Thru out to record even though
its just a copy of the midi In but to no avail. Here's what the Kenton manual says about the function keys in question :- " These 4 function keys have been pre programmed to provide internal clock controls and basic MMC control of sequencers / drum machines and other recording devices etc etc "
In the meantime I"ll get this MIDI-OX you mention and see if I have better luck with that !
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  1. one week ago
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OK, if these codes are mentioned in the manual, then they must be from the Mfg. Quite what they are I don't know.

MIDI-OX is a fairly small piece of software that you install on the PC. It sits in memory, and latches onto the midi interface (real or virtual) and listens to whatever comes through. It can display on the screen, but more useful is that it can record/save the data, and save as a midi file for separate processing. By the way, I think the MIDI-OX is 'free' for download.

You may, even if temporarily, need to connect the Kenton midi OUT to the computer midi IN to get this data captured. The data sent by the Kenton may not normally go to the PC depending on how the devices are connected together. Once the data has been captured, then the devices can be reconnected as normal.

Geoff
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  1. one week ago
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Hmm.

I note the reference in your last message to MMC. I've looked this up. There's a Wikipedia page about it, which might be helpful.

MMC is a variant of SYSEX, for MIDI Machine Control. It looks like SYSEX, so once you can determine what the actual message is (i.e. the actual bytes used) then I assume the same bytes could be included in a SYSEX instruction sent by Cubase. No reason why not. I assume the Korg device is sensitive to MMC, I was not looking for that before. The manual may see the MMC as being separate to normal SYSEX?

Geoff
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Very few devices use MIDI Machine Control messages. So I assume that your Electribe does NOT support the use of MMC.
Instead it relies on the use of System Real Time Messages: Start, Continue, Stop, and Timing Clock, like most sequencers and drum machines.

The Electribe might also be able to respond to a System Common Message: Song Position Pointer. This message declares the number of 1/16 notes that have elapsed from the start of the song and is used to begin playback of a sequence from a position other than the beginning of the song.

However, many sequencers maintain the control of these System Messages and they are tied to the sequencer's own functions. The user usually cannot enter those messages into a sequence. So if your Electribe supports Song Position Pointer, to get it to start from bar 4 you would have to set Cubase to start from bar 4.
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  1. one week ago
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Mike,

Yes, the Electribe manual makes no mention of MMC, so as you say, it may not support it. However, there is also the Kenton device involved, and the manual for that does explicitly refer to MMC, and it is the action of the Kenton device that I understand from OP that does work, except that it involves the extra device. OP wants to find the codes (SYSEX ?) from the Kenton and use those same codes from within the Cubase system to do the same job.

Just trying to work out how.

Sounds like the complication is that the music in Cubase starts immed, but the drum machine material does not want to start until bar 20.

Geoff
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  1. one week ago
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Hello Geoff & Mike, sorry for the delay in replying, urgent work required elsewhere !!
I looked at the MIDI-OX app but unfortunately its a PC thing and I'm Mac. I followed various links to Mac based similar programs such as Sysex librarian etc but came up with the same problem in that I couldn't "record" the Kenton's output although I know it is sending data as I ended up hooking an irig midi2 and its blue LED was flashing furiously every time I moved a slider or button on the Kenton. Further reading makes me believe that in fact its a System Common message I may need, as stated by Mike, which only requires a simple Start / Stop command to be sent by CUBASE ( not the Kenton ) but finding out what that message is, is beyond my intellect !
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OK, I'll have to go back to the manual again. However, when I was looking before at the pages just after page 83 then was a section that referred to thses commands, and there was a specific reference to the code for Start - just the one byte given. I'm not sure from the text about there if this code is sent alone, or if it needs to be part of a packet, but other docs suggest that the System Realtime Messages do have a single byte &HFA for START, and &HFC for STOP so it might be worth trying those as single chars within the midi. I'd guess that ANY device on the system that can 'start' could respond to a 'start'?

Geoff
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Regarding the MIDI-OX system, there are equivalents for Mac OS. I did a search for 'midi monitor mac' and got links to something called snoize and also a system called Midi Monitor but I don't know which would be better for your situation/system.

Geoff
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  1. one week ago
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Right, looked again at the manual for the Korg, page 84.

The command for start does seem to be just the one byte. The only proviso in the manual text is that the device must be in 'slave' mode to respond to the message, so I would expect that if you want the device to start it's process at bar 20, then have the command in the midi data at the end of bar 19 as the device will actually start at the beginning of the next measure, i.e. bar 20. But you may need to experiment with the exact placement to get exactly the right effect? That is, I'm assuming that the bar 20 you refer to is bar 20 in the Cubase data, but will in actuality be bar 1 as far as the Korg is concerned?

Geoff
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  1. one week ago
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Found a nice iPhone app called Midi ToolBox which one of its attributes is that it records all midi data so I hooked my Kenton up to an irig midi2 and attempted to record the MMC start/stop command from the Kenton ......... nothing except a timing point and a note saying "Start Message " but NOT what that message was !!!!!!
In desperation Ive sent a lengthy email to the support department at Korg UK and am now waiting for their response but I don't think it will be anytime soon !

Thanks Geoff for sticking with me on this one ..... I'll let you know what Korg come up with !
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Aargh - yes, NOT very helpful, in fact. This would almost certainly have been the single byte &HFA, which is the 'start message', but there should be no need or point in 'translating' this for you, it would be FAR more helpful to merely give you the data. Are you sure there isn't an option there to present the raw midi data?

Geoff
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I’d have to write this single byte into the cubase listing at the appropriate point on the timescale and there’s not a facility for the “&” plus I still don’t know if the &HFC is just part of a longer message.
To be honest Geoff when I came up with this idea I assumed a simple ( very simple ) start / stop command wouldn’t take all this fathoming out, I mean really all we’re wanting to do is start and stop a drum machine as and when we want, whilst the main sequence, Cubase is running continuously in the background.

........... thinking of taking up fishing ? !

Martin
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  1. one week ago
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Would you need to use the &H at this point? The &H is merely a prefix to indicate a hex number. In some circumstances the number would be entered merely as the hex digits, i.e. FA, or it might need to be entered in a decimal form, i.e. 250.

Geoff
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Won't let me enter any number higher than 127 Geoff !

Martin
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Hi Norman, Geoff, etc.,

Here goes!

Open the EMX1 manual at page 84, refer to the right hand side and the section "About the MIDI messages used for synchronisation".

Read "Realtime Messages" used ... (it should really say that these are MIDI System RealTime messages as found towards the end of Table 1 in the MIDI specification.)
MIDI timing clock = F8 (that's Hexadecimal so should be written F8H)
Start = FAH
Continue = FBH
Stop = FCH.
That's it for the basic control.
So Cubase should be set to send out the MIDI timing clock so that it controls the timing, and the drum machine set to synchronise to the Cubase clocks, (as detailed in the EMX1 manual.)

So, we need to insert the appropriate realtime control message within the MIDI file at the beginning of measure 20 using Cubase.
Well, Cubase I don't have any more, but using the freebie Anvil Studio, I open track 1 (assigned to MIDI channel 1) and Edit, Insert MIDI event.
I need to select the option to "show all controller events" then I can select - "Start".from the drop down list.
Adjust the Measure, Beat, Tick to the position required, i.e. "020.01,000 ", hit Enter ... job done.

So, attached you'll find a zippped file "MCI-Commands".
Unzip it and you'll find a format 1 MIDI file.
Within it at measure 20 is a start command
Followed by a stop then a continue ... or something like that !

It's just possible that Cubase calls this event type an "MCI" event (Machine Control Instruction).

The next page of the manual goes into Song Selection and Song Position Pointers, but you didn't ask about that!
"About Synchronisation in Song mode."

Now, that wasn't rocket science, was it? ;-)

Hope that helps?
JohnG.
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Welcome John,

Many thanks for your most valued input regarding this current topic.

In order to paint a clearer picture of my, well not quite a problem, but an easier way of arriving at the same conclusion, let me try to explain what the situation is at this end !

I play in a band, or at least I hope I do after this terrible pandemic has been defeated, and we use backing tracks as we don't have a bass player or a drummer. The audio backing track
contains the Drummer and Bass player obviously and strings or horns as and when required.

We do rely heavily on Midi though as all the Lighting, PA effects, both guitarists GT8 pedals and my 2 keyboards depend on it to change programs run the lighting, in real time not pattern based, and a TV teleprompter etc etc.

Recently one of the lads came up with the idea of using some samples like a church bell or a crack of thunder, you know the idea but very small samples, one shot type things. He had a Korg Electribe ESX-1 lying about so put all these samples into that.

I have a Kenton Control Freak ( 16ch ) so we elected to use that to trigger the samples which at the touch of a button, in this case Function button F3, the sample player plays the sample and function button F2 stops it.
The plan is, whilst the show moves on, the next required sample is loaded ready by a simple program change command from cubase to the Electribe. Other than the Program Change command, all this is accomplished with just 2 button presses on the Kenton.

Now all I'm wanting to achieve is to do that very procedure but via Cubase NOT the Kenton !!!

Try as I may, I cannot find what the message is that is sent from the Kenton out to the Electribe ( thru Cubase ) yes its a Midi Machine Control command 0xFA & 0xFC ( thats around 250 decimal I think ) but Cubase only lets you input up to decimal 127.

Now the third member of our band came up with a solution. ............... Put these samples on the backing track as well !!!!!!!!!!!! Mmmmmmm

Yes this is possible but now I've gone down this road I really want to achieve the objective of getting cubase to do it !

Many thanks to both of you for your much valued input .......... the saga continues

Martin
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