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  1. Bob
  2. MIDI Software
  3. Monday, 09 October 2017
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I need some help with Sound Bridge 3.0.0. I'm attempting to transfer .wav samples to my QS6 via Sound Bridge (SB) and my HP Laptop. I have created an Instrument in SB and assigned MIDI notes to the samples. Also, I have a USB/MIDI I/O cable connected between the laptop and the QS6, but I cannot get SB to recognize the Synth or the FlashCard. MIDI Setup in SB looks normal, i.e., the USB Input and Output ports show up and are selected. I have tried to TEST MIDI I/O through SB, but I get the "Synth Not Found" error. FYI... I have a MIDI player on my laptop and the QS6 will play a .mid file in MIX Mode with no problems, so I know the cabling is good. I realize this is "legacy" stuff, but hopefully someone out there remembers enough about SB to tell me what I'm doing wrong.
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Hello,

Just to clarify - you SEEM (on the basis of your question) to be mixing two totally separate things.

Firstly, you may have a link for MIDI data, and you say this is working, in that you can play a midi file.

Secondly, you need some sort of link (USB ?) to transfer a .WAV sample.

It is not impossible that there will be a way of using the same cable/connection to do both, but I'd NOT expect this to be possible at the same time, and you need to be aware that this would be two quite separate operations that could have ways of conflicting with each other. If you're trying to send the digital/.WAV data, you must be sure there's nothing MIDI happening, and vice versa. A midi connection could well be sending data all the time (even if just timing data), and this could mess up a digital data link?

Please clarify just how the connection works, keeping the two things separate?

Geoff
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Ok Geoff... I'm sorry... I DID kind of run those two together, didn't I? The answer to your question is No. I'm not trying to play a MIDI file and transfer samples simultaneously. The MIDI player is not running when Sound Bridge is running. I only used the MIDI player to confirm that the USB/MIDI cable was working. It appears that the QS6 is not responding to the SB App.
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Thanks for the clarification.

Do you know how Sound Bridge sends the .WAV/Sample data. Does it send it as MIDI (SYSEX) or does it send it as raw binary data. Is there any setting on the QS6 to select to receive one or the other? What actually happens - does the computer just keep sending, and think it has sent, but the QS does not receive anything? Does the computer know the send is not working? As a result of a quick web search, I note that the software and the QS6 may have been supplied together, so they SHOULD work together, and it sounds like you're trying to do something that the system OUGHT to be able to do, so my GUESS would be that the QS6 needs telling that it is receiving the sample data, but IS set to receive midi music data.

Geoff
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I can answer most of your questions based on my limited knowledge of the program:
1) Do you know how Sound Bridge sends the .WAV/Sample data. Does it send it as MIDI (SYSEX) or does it send it as raw binary data.
Ans: I believe Sound Bridge compiles the .wav files into a format that QS6 recognizes and transmits it to the keyboard as serial data thru MIDI cables (via USB). I don't believe it is SYSEX, but I could be wrong.
2) Is there any setting on the QS6 to select to receive one or the other?
Ans: I cannot find a setting on QS6 to allow Sound Bridge to "talk" to the QS6 PCMCIA Card. There are several "MIDI" settings, but nothing I've seen addresses "MIDI Data to PCMCIA Card". I'm not saying there isn't a setting to receive data from Sound Bridge, I just haven't found one if there is.
3) What actually happens - does the computer just keep sending, and think it has sent, but the QS does not receive anything?
Ans: When you click on the "Send to Synthesizer" button, a progress box appears with the text "Searching for synth". The progress bar never starts, but after about 5 seconds, another pop-up appears with this message: "The program can't compile because the synthesizer is not responding. Make sure your MIDI settings are correct..." I have checked, re-checked and triple-checked the MIDI settings and I believe they are correct because I use the same settings for the MIDI player. MIDI player App sends data and QS6 plays the music. Also, with MIDI player running, I can press keys on the QS6 and I can see the GUI keyboard respond, so there is data both ways with MIDI player.
4) Does the computer know the send is not working?
Ans: As far as I can tell, the computer doesn't care, but Sound Bridge does so it errors out.
5) As a result of a quick web search, I note that the software and the QS6 may have been supplied together, so they SHOULD work together...
Yes, Sound Bridge was on the original supporting program CD-ROM, but of course I don't have the disk. I asked Alesis support team for a copy of the program and they gave me a link to download it.
6) ...it sounds like you're trying to do something that the system OUGHT to be able to do, so my GUESS would be that the QS6 needs telling that it is receiving the sample data...
I agree, but I can't find a GUI "switch" on the QS6 that says, "receive data from Sound Bridge" (or something similar). It appears that Sound Bridge sends some sort of "hand-shake" signal to the QS6 and if QS6 doesn't shake back, SB quits. The MIDI transmit light on my USB device flashes about 4 times, 5 seconds apart, then it errors out due to no comm from QS6. Here's the kicker: The QS6 manual is pretty ambiguous about Sound Bridge. There is mention of the software, but there are no directions on how to setup QS6 to accept data from Sound Bridge. Supposedly, there was a manual for Sound Bridge, but I have not found a copy anywhere. That's primarily why we're having this conversation. :) Thanks for your inquiries!
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One more thing you should know... I have 2 versions of Sound Bridge: ver. 3.0.0 and ver. 3.0.1d2
There are minor GUI setting differences between the two programs, but neither of these programs will transmit to QS6. I guess I could try putting the samples on my QS7, but that is not my keyboard of choice for performing the new instrument on stage.
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Well, I've been checking on-line manuals for QS6 and SB, and not getting very far.

The QS manual is no help, passes the buck to SB, so I think it's safe to assume that any problem is at the computer/SB end.

The QS manual merely says - to load samples, need flash card in PCMCIA slot of QS, then follow instructions in on-line SB manual!!

Wow, helpful!

I then found what appears to be SB manual, which gets far too complicated given I know nothing about SB, but it seems to spell things out in detail. One thing I did note, you need to check that there are no other devices connected, else SB will get confused.

Also, I assume if there is NOT a suitable flash card in the QS's PCMCIA slot, then nothing will happen anyway?

Also, I saw a hint somewhere that the data you're trying to send needs to be in a particular place, and the format needs to be SYSEX (correct SYSEX as well) and the data is sent as MIDI and if the sending proceeds as it should then the QS will show a message something like 'Receiving MIDI Data'

So, the place to look is the SB manual, which may well be on-line only, which I fully agree isn't ideal!!

Any help??

Geoff
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Thanks for the reply, Geoff. Manuals: I had same issues with trying to find an on-line SB manual. However, I DO own QS6 & QS7 manuals, hence my remark about SB being somewhat ambiguous in the QS6 manual. As a last resort, I will get in touch with my technical team contact at Alesis and see if she can provide access to the SB manual.

"One thing I did note, you need to check that there are no other devices connected, else SB will get confused." My laptop and QS6 are "stand-alone" and totally isolated from the rest of my MIDI gear. There are no other devices connected to the USB/MIDI I/O cable and there are no other MIDI cables connected to the QS6, therefore this should not be an issue. (Note: QS6 has no Thru port, but the MIDI output port can be configured as an "output" or a "thru";)

"Also, I assume if there is NOT a suitable flash card in the QS's PCMCIA slot, then nothing will happen anyway?" I saw a post yesterday (or was it the day before? :)) on another forum from several years ago where a guy was trying a new version of SB and couldn't get it to work. He said he regressed to ver 3.0 and he noticed an immediate connection to SB without a Flash Card in the keyboard. So apparently, there is SOME indication either in SB or on the QS6 display when the two devices hook up.

SYSEX: Since I have not been successful at transferring the samples to the keyboard, I cannot confirm or deny the format of the data when it's sent to the keyboard. I DO know, based on the error message, that SB wants to "compile" the samples... before? or while it's sending the data? I'm just not sure about the data transfer format and to be honest, I'm not concerned about the format as long as my samples get to the Flash Card and I'm able to copy the instrument to one of the banks in the User profile. That is my ultimate goal.

I will pursue an SB manual from Alesis and let you know what I find out.

Thanks,
Bob
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Bob,

I found a SB manual on the web, just using Google. I don't know if it was THE manual, but there was a lot of detail about the steps to send the sample files. The sort of detail that will mean something if you can follow it step by step, but means nothing without the system in front of you!

I think I searched for something like 'sound bridge manual qs6 alesis'.

Just checked again - try:

http://www.emusician.com/gear/1332/sound-bridge-sorcery/31729

Geoff
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I saw this document even before I started this forum thread. The author does an excellent job of describing how to configure data in Sound Bridge, i.e., samples, programs, sequences, SYSEX, etc., but doesn't give any detail on how the QS is setup to receive SB data. There may not be any specific "setup" for the QS to receive data... it may always be in a Receive MIDI data mode, which means my QS may be broke!! Dunno!

The paragraph "Wide Receiver" is where I'm presently stuck! Where he says "The display of your QS or DMPro should say Receiving MIDI" - that doesn't happen on my QS. And herein lies the problem for me... he doesn't tell you what to do (or check/verify) if your display DOESN'T say "Receiving MIDI". I have yet to see that on my display. The problem I have is the error message: "[data transfer] failed because the synthesizer is not responding".

Ok. Here's the kicker: I'm watching the LED's on my USB/MIDI device and when SB sends "Searching for synth" data, both the transmit and receive LED's flash simultaneously... which would indicate to me that SB sends a packet of data and QS6 responds, but for some reason, it appears that SB doesn't recognize the return packet from QS. Is it being "lost in translation?" LoL

I digress and go back to my way of testing MIDI communication between my laptop and the QS. The MIDI sequencer/player software I downloaded three days ago works perfectly. I can transfer MIDI data both directions between the Player and the QS. So why SB doesn't recognize data from QS is beyond my old feeble brain! :)

Thanks Geoff!
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Bob,

I really don't know what else to suggest. You seem to have tried everything.

Could still be something silly? So obvious we don't think of it?

Just one thing.

Have you checked that the PCM/flash card does normally work, in whatever way you can. If there is any hint of any problem, can you use a light to look in the flash slot, to ensure there are no bent pins. If you got the keyboard new, then this should be unlikely, but it's the only other thing I can think of. As you report in your last message, SB seems to be trying to connect, but the connection seems to be failing. Is the link sort-of seeing the card, but not right? As I understand the other bits I've been reading, SB at this point is really trying to establish communication with the card, via the QS, so SB can send data to the card.

Clutching at straws??

Geoff
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I have 2 PCMCIA Flash Cards... both cards are fully loaded with QS sounds and I can load both cards into QS memory, so I don't think I have a Flash Card issue.

Hopefully Alesis can supply me with a manual and it will all make sense soon.... or like you said "[something] so obvious we don't think of it" LoL I'll let you know.

Thanks again, Geoff
Bob
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Hi
I did manage to get this to work about 15 years ago but it was not straightforward.
I loaded samples from a computer onto the soundcard via QS6.1 then played them back by assigning the sample to a key on my QS4.
QS4 could playback but not receive samples as i remember.
I think it was an "outro" (maybe "farewell" from the sound of music !! - to get the band off stage.
To add my probably not that helpful comments , i think having the correct PCMCIA card was the key ... i bought a 4 meg off ebay that was guaranteed compatible.
Hope this helps in some way !
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Hi Tim, Thanks for offering your help. I have 2 8Meg PCMCIA cards that were given to me when I bought my QS6 12 years ago and I can play the sounds on both cards, so I don't feel "having the correct PCMCIA card" is an issue at this point. Sound Bridge is supposed to be able to erase data on the PCMCIA card, so what I want to do is erase the sounds on one of the cards using Sound Bridge and write new samples to it so they are available on one of the User banks. Using Sound Bridge, I have been able to assign all 53 samples to keyboard notes and set loop times, etc.. The problem is getting Sound Bridge and the QS6 to communicate with each other. As mentioned earlier, I have a .mid file player on my laptop and my QS6 will play a .mid file perfectly in MIX/GEN MIDI mode. Also, when I press a note on the QS6, I see the same note respond on the MIDI player's GUI keyboard, hence by-directional communication with the MIDI file player, so I feel pretty certain that my USB/MIDI I/O configuration is correct. According to what I have read on this subject, when Sound Bridge transmits data, the QS6 is supposed to display "Receiving MIDI" and apparently Sound Bridge is expecting a response from QS6, but I have never seen that on my QS6 display and Sound Bridge times out after 4 attempts to communicate with QS6. So.... I think the QS is not setup properly (or in the wrong mode, or whatever) to receive and respond to Sound Bridge data. I'm obviously missing something here.... I just don't know what!
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Does anyone have an electronic copy (PDF or DOC) of the Alesis Sound Bridge Users Manual that was supplied on CD-ROM with the QS family of synthesizers? I am in desperate need of this manual. Thanks.
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What kind (brand) of MIDI interface are you using? Because if it is one of the cheap ones from China they are notorious for being unable to handle SysEx transfers, which means they might seem to work fine when you play notes, but might fail when trying to make a Sound Bridge connection...

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Thanks for the reply. I'm using a Hosa Technology USM-422 Version 2.1 USB/MIDI interface.
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Bob, the picture I found online of the Hose USM-422 interface looks just like the picture of the cheap Chinese interfaces that don't work correctly... I have no way of knowing if they are the same, but if I were you I would get a different interface and try that to see if yours might be the problem.

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nice one
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http://www.midiworld.com/quadrasynth/sndbrdge.htm use this page to resolve your sound bridge problem.
or you may visit our magicjack customer service
References
  1. https://www.techugs.com/
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