Midi: Keystep -> Octatrack MK2 -> AnalogFour -> MachineDrum


#1

Hi,

I don’t have much knowledge on how to set up a midi configuration properly, and researching it on the web & elektronauts doesn’t seem to locate a similar set-up.

I want to have the following chain
Keystep (Midi Out) -> Octatrack (Midi In)
Octatrack (Midi Out) -> A4 (Midi In)
A4 (Midi Thru) -> MD (Midi In)

I want to achieve the following:

  1. Use the Keystep to trigger notes into any one of the four A4 tracks
  2. Use the Keystep to trigger notes into the MD
  • I know that I’ll need to change the Midi configuration in primarily the Octatrack and A4, but not sure what exactly
  • When set up correctly, do I simply need to switch the channel in the keystep (Shift + channel key) when I want to use a particular A4 track or the MD?

Thanks in advance!


#2

IMO your set-up might fail to give you all the required functionality.

My first suggestion would be to consider that configuration should follow purpose, like in “design follows function” :wink:

An incoming midi-channel will be transposed by the OT to the midi-channel of the active midi-track and send out accordingly to the midi-out of the OT. The original midi-track number is lost.

If you want to set the midi-channel on the Keystep, I would recommend to use the midi-through of the OT instead, but then the OT can’t send it’s own midi-commands to the instruments in this chain.

The use of a midi-split and midi-merge unit could be a good idea. The midi-splitter would allow to send the midi-out of the Keystep to the OT and the chain of instruments. A midi-merge could merge the midi-out of the Keystep and the midi-out the OT and send this to the chain. This should give you the required functionality.

Keep in mind, if you route midi like this, there will only be 16 channels available. You will have to set up your devices such that each channel is used only by the device, which is supposed to do. This means to set the midi-channel per track accordingly.

As an add-on I would recommend to read in the the manual the section how the OT can route midi channels using the OT midi-tracks. This could inspire alternative ideas.


#3

Thanks a lot!

I was thinking that it should be possible to use the Keystep to send note data to the A4 via the Octatrack, when the Octratrack is in “Midi Mode”. In other words:

  • use the Octratrack to command the A4 directly when Octa is in standard mode
  • use the Keystep to send notes to the A4 via the Octatrack when the Octatrack is in Midi mode. For example run the sequencer directly on the A4 and use the keystep to input notes.

Apologies if this doesn’t make sense. I need to read up a lot on Midi.


#4

Makes much sense … :wink:

If you are new to midi this might be of interest …

  • a midi-in port of a unit A accepts midi from another device and, if the send and receive channel match the unit A executes the midi commands, of course only, if it understands those commands
  • a midi-out port sends midi commands created by the particular unit
  • a midi-through port takes the midi commands from the midi-in port and replicates them without changes

The OT in midi mode takes midi-in and transfers the commands to the active midi-track. The midi-channel is ignored by the OT. Since the midi-track can send out midi to gear, which is connected to the OT midi-out, the incoming midi-commands are stripped off their channel information, but send out to the channel setting of the active midi track. This allows a sort of re-routing and it’s special to the OT.

If you want to use your Keystep to define the midi-channel and send midi to the OT and the other devices by using the midi-out port of the OT, this re-routing prevents exactly the intended use.

But this can be overcome, by using midi-split and midi-merge units. Example:

  • Keystep midi-out --> midi-split midi-in
  • midi-split midi-out-1 --> OT-midi-in
  • midi-split midi-out-2 --> midi-merge midi-in 2
  • OT midi-out --> midi-merge midi-in-1
  • midi-merge midi-out --> A4

If you don’t need to connect the Keystep to the OT and it’s sufficiant to control the A4 etc. with Keystep and OT, The splitter mentioned above can be omitted.


#5

Sorry for the delay, was away with work. Thanks again for the info.

I got this to work, for the use-cases I need anyway.

  • Keystep Midi Out -> Octatrack Midi in
  • Octratrack Midi Out -> A4 Midi in
  • (Haven’t hooked up the MD yet, but I’ll run Midi thru from the Octatrack into that)
  1. Turned off Midi on all Audio Tracks on the Octa in the Project -> Midi settings.
  2. In Midi mode, changed T1 to use Channel 1, T2 to use Channel 2, etc. up to T4
  3. On the keystep when I change the channel to 1, it plays Track 1 on the A4. When I change the channel to 2, it plays Track 2 on the A4.
  4. I can sequence the A4 from the Octratrack (start, stop), which is sufficient.
  5. I can real time record on the A4 with the keystep sending in notes.

All sorted!


#6

Also useful is the MIDI patch bay software from Not A Hat. This allows me to have the MIDI DIN out from my keystep connected to the Octatrack and the USB out from the Keystep routed via the virtual patch bay to the Analog Four’s USB MIDI in. The A4s MIDI in is tied up receiving sync from the Octatrack. This of course only works if you have a computer! Just another setup to add to the discussion!