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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: 117
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
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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: 117
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: 311
: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: 517
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: 311
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: 311
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: 311
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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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:15 am
Posts: 517
Location: deep beneath the earths crust
Thanks OneCircles! It's good to be back. :) Of course right after I posted that a bunch of shit came up and I had to put off my project for a bit. :/

I grabbed the Panorama P4 because of it's promise of "deep integration" with bitwig studio. At the time I was looking for a more modern way of making music to use live instead of buzz, since I never really understood how to use buzz live. Well bitwig ended up not being as cool as I thought it would - it crashed more than an old buzz project with a bunch of questionable machines, and the minute I had to start drawing and editing notes with a mouse in piano roll I knew I was doomed. I knew I could do things faster in buzz so I decided it was not worth trying to learn a new daw right now anyway.

the build quality of the P4 is quite solid, and I like the key action. It reminds me of an old roland electric piano that I learned to play on. certainly not the greatest as they're only semi-weighted, but I like them.

Thanks for the reminder on the "every buzz shortcut" thread! Using that with Bome will be a great way to achieve some of the things I want this controller to do. I basically want to make a "deep integration" for this controller for Buzz. I wrote to nektar asking for tips on writing some scripts to be able to use some of the more advanced things on the controller, but I don't expect much help since that's probably all proprietary info.

today I finally got down and started trying to make some midi assignments with peerctrl. I got about this far:

Quote:
...you access the midi assignments from the right click menu of the machine.


I'm a little stuck. I've got things set up as shown in the attached image, but when i move a knob, slider, whatever, it doesn't display the channel/controller number as expected. Am I going about this the wrong way?


Attachments:
peerctrl.PNG
peerctrl.PNG [ 39.33 KiB | Viewed 371 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:15 am
Posts: 517
Location: deep beneath the earths crust
well, I turned the controller off, closed buzz, turned the controller on and started buzz and now it seems to be working fine. :lol:


Attachments:
the-it-crowd-characters-were-the-most-ic-2-25004-1502748398-2_dblbig.jpg
the-it-crowd-characters-were-the-most-ic-2-25004-1502748398-2_dblbig.jpg [ 86.74 KiB | Viewed 371 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:15 am
Posts: 517
Location: deep beneath the earths crust
Looks like this only works when PeerCTRL has focus. have you found an easy way to switch machine focus outside of physically clicking on them or using the arrow keys?

I wanted to put each zone of the controller into a separate PeerCTRL to keep things from getting overwhelming if I have to go change a param.


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:31 am
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szaszhareen wrote:

I wanted to put each zone of the controller into a separate PeerCTRL to keep things from getting overwhelming if I have to go change a param.


According to the manual you should never use more than one peerctrl per song.


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:15 am
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Location: deep beneath the earths crust
good to know - thanks Anders! time to make a gigantic list of params :ugeek:


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 Post subject: Re: MIDI Controller
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:15 am
Posts: 517
Location: deep beneath the earths crust
Onecircles, thanks for the Geist 2 recommendation. Geist allowed me to do in minutes something I've been trying do do either with buzz or with hardware for years: route 8 drum sounds individually to fx sends and eqs! My god, the hours I've wasted trying to make this work.

I'm stoked about the ability to launch scenes in Geist with midi notes, because this solves another of the few things you can't do in buzz. Were you able to get this working?

I'm still using the demo version. I've set my controller to channel 11 as noted in the manual, and verified with midi ox that the correct note is being sent, but the scenes aren't triggering. I emailed fxpansion support, we'll see what they say.


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