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 Post subject: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:03 am
Posts: 112
Location: Canada
Hi all,

I'm currently looking at purchasing a MIDI controller for use with Buzz. I've been looking at the AKAI MPK Mini Mk II as a strong candidate for what I want to do. I'm wondering if anyone has one or has experience with one & how they think it works with Buzz. Any of your thoughts or suggestions on other MIDI Controllers in the same price range would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

See You In The Shadows…


Last edited by Candle on Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:07 am
Posts: 309
Yeah, looks like a good controller! I don't have any personal experience with that controller, but I do use a piece of akai equipment, an MPD26 that I customized with some stuff from https://www.mpcstuff.com/

But yeah, you got some keys knobs and pads, so you should be able to do a lot.

My main recommendation is to use btdsys peerctrl for handling your midi. Buzz native support for midi is poor, and you'll find that you some times lose your midi assignments randomly. I'll be happy to help if you need any explanations using peerctrl. You add a track to the first pattern of peerctrl for every midi assignment you want to make, and you access the midi assignments from the right click menu of the machine. Your automations can all be recorded into peer ctrl patterns copied from the first pattern. Then you're going to want to keep that BMX and use it as your base, so you always have your midi assignments ready to go. I believe you can also create a buzz template that includes peerctrl and the target machines to drop that machine with all it's midi assignments into any bmx. My system has over 200 midi assignments, so I couldn't do what I do without peerctrl. It's a pain to set up, but once you get midi working properly in buzz, it's amazing.

Also make sure you're using some low latency drivers. Wasapi may work for you. I prefer asio if you want really low latency.

And to record your performances, make sure that the midi parameters for note, delay, off and cc are enabled in the pattern that you are trying to record to.

Oh and if you want to write beats using the pads, I would recommend using a VST drum machine and polac vst handler. There aren't any good options I know of in the native buzz ecosystem if you want to go the midi rout.

Let me know if you run into any snags.


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:03 am
Posts: 112
Location: Canada
Thanks for the reply onecircles. To be honest, I've never done much MIDI in Buzz so your suggestion of using PeerCtrl is very helpful. It makes a lot of sense to create a MIDI Template once I have all the assignments set. I haven't bought the MPK yet, though I'm leaning in that direction. If I do have any MIDI setup problems, I will probably take you up on the offer of help. Again, thanks for the great reply!

See You In The Shadows…


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:07 am
Posts: 309
:twisted: geeeeet iiiiiit, i am the devil on your shoulder saying dooooo iiiiiit :twisted:

found a listing for you - 70$

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Akai-Professio ... 0&LH_BIN=1

This seller has 100% positive feedback and 30 day return policy. I buy all my stuff on ebay. Just got my dream preamps. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:15 am
Posts: 496
Location: deep beneath the earths crust
onecircles wrote:
Yeah, looks like a good controller! I don't have any personal experience with that controller, but I do use a piece of akai equipment, an MPD26 that I customized with some stuff from https://www.mpcstuff.com/

But yeah, you got some keys knobs and pads, so you should be able to do a lot.

My main recommendation is to use btdsys peerctrl for handling your midi. Buzz native support for midi is poor, and you'll find that you some times lose your midi assignments randomly. I'll be happy to help if you need any explanations using peerctrl. You add a track to the first pattern of peerctrl for every midi assignment you want to make, and you access the midi assignments from the right click menu of the machine. Your automations can all be recorded into peer ctrl patterns copied from the first pattern. Then you're going to want to keep that BMX and use it as your base, so you always have your midi assignments ready to go. I believe you can also create a buzz template that includes peerctrl and the target machines to drop that machine with all it's midi assignments into any bmx. My system has over 200 midi assignments, so I couldn't do what I do without peerctrl. It's a pain to set up, but once you get midi working properly in buzz, it's amazing.

Also make sure you're using some low latency drivers. Wasapi may work for you. I prefer asio if you want really low latency.

And to record your performances, make sure that the midi parameters for note, delay, off and cc are enabled in the pattern that you are trying to record to.

Oh and if you want to write beats using the pads, I would recommend using a VST drum machine and polac vst handler. There aren't any good options I know of in the native buzz ecosystem if you want to go the midi rout.

Let me know if you run into any snags.


This is awesome! After a year of music being on hold, one of my projects next month is to make a buzz midi map for my nektar panorama p4. I was dreading it because of the random lost midi assignments, and never thought of using peerctrl. brilliant idea! You also answered the other question I had which is how to use the pads effectively. Which drum vst do you use?


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:07 am
Posts: 309
Good to see you Zhazhareen! It's been a bit. Glad the clouds have parted on your music. I went through a similar experience these last couple years because I developed bone spurs in my wrists, but I'm back full force now.

Oh man that keyboard looks amazing. It's going to be incredible with buzz. It's got great style. Any features in particular that drew you to it? How does the keys action feel? I picked mine in large part because it has a highly regarded series of the fatar action.

My dream keys are just a yamaha DX-7. Those apparently have the best keys of all time. I need all the biibly knobios and faderinos though, and I've become very attached to the 37 key size. I hope that when I gain more skill in machining and electronics I can make a custom keyboard with the yamaha keys and the remote sl innards.

As to drum machine, I'm a huge fan of fxpansion geist. I remember I was talking to you when I was experimenting with sample grid, but that ended up being wholly inadequate to the task of midi. Then I was looking at geist and phatmatic pro, and went with geist. I use an older version. I got the impression that they began simplifying things with the newer versions.

It's a full sequencer in itself. You could write very complex music using it alone. It works great with midi, has a built in sampler. Supports layering drum sounds, envelopes, pitch and filters on 16 pads in 8 engines. Song structure, odd time signatures, automations of up to 4 parameters per pad, built in drum effects, playing drum PATTERNS by midi(so good for composing beats), midi recording and retro-recording (record what you just did), 11 sub outputs so you can split your drums to different effects channels, and a lot of other stuff.

It also has this slice feature that creates layered drum pads in the high hat, snare, tom and bass range from any ambient or harmonic sound you throw at it. You can use it to make interesting drums from piano or guitar or noise or anything else.

I'm a big fan of it. If you do end up getting it and working with the newer version I'd be interested to hear your impressions.

Welcome back.


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:07 am
Posts: 309
Oh and you MUST get bome midi translator. It's free, excellent and very easy. You're going to be able to record parts in live no problem, but this enable you to also use your keyboard to enter note data in pattern view as though it were the computer keyboard. (there are some advantages to doing this rather than midi edit), it will also let you map buzz functions like play, play from sequencer position, record, randomize, interpolate, ctrl 0-9, whatever you want into the carriage and buttons of your midi controler.

This post has all the keyboard shortcuts:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1793&hilit=shortcut

My keyboard has a lot of buttons so I have mapped a ton of stuff to improve my workflow.


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:07 am
Posts: 309
If you find a machine stubbornly refuses to accept midi note data when recording. Bring pattern XP in as a machine, enable tracks for the target machine. Use the cursor to select the midi note column in pattern XP, and it should record. I am not sure if this works only with pattern XP as a machine, or with any machine with the midi note column for the target machine enabled.


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