Hallo, Geoff, and thank you for your response.
Difficult to know where to start !
Full disclosure: I do not use a DAW, and am very wary of getting drawn into the learning curve of that, although I realise in the end it would probably provide the tools for what I’m seeking to do.
The software I referred to is one I have used for many years. It is a single-author application, and has the virtues and disadvantages of that origin. In principle it allows everything you describe in your third paragraph. The author is ingenious, lateral-thinking, I would say; but there is no width of support community, and I suspect some of the glitches I mentioned would have been ironed out in a more corporate production. My obvious option is to persevere with this, and that includes the issues you mention in your 4th paragraph.
However,the fact remains that I still find including a computer in the set-up is cumbersome in live play, which is what I’m principally concerned with here.
I’m interested in what you say about your modules. I have two Ketron SD2 modules. I rate them highly for (what I hear as) the best of their sounds – but they have no onboard controls at all. I am aware that another avenue for me would be to get one or more modules which do have onboard selection. What models do you use?
By chaining I meant connecting items of kit in sequence. For example, I can easily set up my Roland A500 in various ways as to selecting one program at a time. I could then take a line from the through port of the Ketron to the second Ketron. (What I would then need is a program/bank select in that line.)
More generally, I think there is an issue of language here. My current post is but the latest instance of a search that’s been going on for years. Search engines are in many ways very literal creatures – if you know exactly what you’re looking for, they’ll find it. Fail to get the received terminology right (difficult when you’re exploring a topic from a position of ignorance!) and you won’t get far. Given the amazing array of gubbins there are available for MIDI, I suspect that someone somewhere makes the sort of simple switch gear I need to insert bank and patch control into a stream, but the only instance I can find seems to be a small scale production now abandoned – the MIDI Patch Changer keypad . By the same token, something like the left-hand pad of the A500, as a stand-alone box, would probably give me all I need.
Re your penultimuate paragraph: I think one of the issues here is the simple fact that we’re running MIDI software as a top layer in a general purpose computer. There can be so much else going on in the machine which then at times impacts on the real-time activity in the midi application. I did yesterday put up a pendant post, wondering aloud whether anyone anywhere had ever developed, as it were, a MIDI operating system, which would allow the user to boot the computer exclusively into that use, but I don’t think there’s been any response. The answer may be ‘no’, although in general my impression is that with MIDI, if something can be tried, someone, somewhere, has tried it.
I’ve run on somewhat, but I hope this gives a fuller picture of what I’m trying to achieve. Thanks again for your interest.