MIDIpal Monitor Characters
  • I just reworked the layout of my synths so I could plug back up my 61key controller. As soon as I hooked it up, I noticed data comming into the IN of the MIDIpal. When I disconnected the MIDI from the keyboard, the data went away. I then plugged it back in and selected the “monitor” app. All that showed up was *. I then pressed keys and the correct data was passing through, but in idle, I get the *. I know on a Shruthi, this means that MIDI data is coming in. Is this also true for the MIDIpal? If so, my guess is the MIDI keyboard has flaked out. It’s an old MIDIMAN Radium61. Probably time for something new anyway.

  • Some midi controllers send keep alive messages. My Novation SL was like that. Constant chatter which used up resources in Logic and seemed totally unnecessary.

  • A star is displayed as the second character whenever an active sensing message is received, perhaps thats the problem?

  • I have the same problem with a Roland A37, very irritating.

  • From the manual:

    “A star is displayed as the second character whenever an active sensing message is received. A dot is displayed whenever a MIDI clock message is received.”

  • ^ Attribution :D

  • Just to be clear, it wasn’t the midipal that was irritating, it was the Roland.

  • ah, ok. Well, whatever it is, I don’t like it. haha

    @piscone, true dat!

  • A perfect use for the MIDIPal’s active sensing message filter! But wait… although I still have it on my MIDIpal since it’s on an older firmware version, I now see that you’ve removed this app from newer firmware versions Olivier – why ???

    qp and piscione (and me) go to show that there is a need for it!

  • I removed it because I thought this feature would have worked better on a passive, MIDI-bus powered device. I plan to refine a bit the custom program editor to allow the active sensing filter to be implemented using it.

  • Agreed on the passive, bus-powered device (as we’ve talked about before). But in the interim, would love to have the feature back! (and I would be fine with it in the custom program editor). Thanks!!

  • Yeah it’s annoying, but it’s good to be able to use the MidiPal to see everything that’s on the bus and filter it as necessary.

    BTW, none of the synths I use as controllers do this. It was only the Novation. Maybe it’s got something to do with being USB?

  • The way I have things currently set up is strictly MIDI DIN. No USB (trying to get away from any computer control). I never had this until I pulled out the big ‘ol Radium61. I am getting some stuck notes, but my guess is the keyboard is just a big ol POS and needs to be replaced.

  • I had a different brand but I really hated mine and was glad to see it go. Automap just never really worked for me either.

  • I have a Novation Remote 48 SL. Dont Buy that one.

  • See? It’s not just me… they blow.

  • You, too? I bought it when i was back at makin some Sounds – the MIDI Interface is just about the worst i ever saw and i use Midi literally right from the beginning. Its not only slow as a Glacier (a huge, slooooooooowly one) its also changing….

  • Yes. I had the 61-key version. I couldn’t wait to sell it and felt fortunate that someone, somewhere, still wanted to buy one.

    qp if you want another controller, get one that is attached to a synth! Seriously! You’ll have way more fun with it. I’m sure people here can point you in the right direction if you don’t already have something in mind.

  • I have: Kawai K1, timing wise Rock Solid. Sells over her for some 55 €. Has some really cool Fairlight like LowFi Sampling Sounds. And no Filter whatsoever ;-) Or you could buy my SL compact 49, its almost unused.

  • Active sensing was supposed to be useful – when a synth has received active sensing messages and suddenly stops receiving them it assumes that a cable has been unplugged and stops all notes. Don’t know if many synths implement this. The Shruthi doesn’t.

  • The JX8-P sends and recognizes this. Later Roland Synths (D-10 and younger) don’t

  • What’s the point of stopping the notes if the cable is unplugged? Won’t it be kind of obvious at that point?

  • How does your Synth recognize if the Cable is unplugged without Active Sensing?

  • The point is that it avoids stuck notes caused by a MIDI note on having been sent before the cable has been unplugged and the MIDI note off not reaching the synth since the cable has been unplugged.

    Looks like a lot of live cabling accidents happened in the 80s :D

  • Get a Kawai K5000s! Excellent keyboard action, 16 knobs with real pots that transmit cc:s and a really nice synth to boot.

    The USB stuff should be connected to computers/pads only. Their MIDI ports are just fluff. The computer can filter out active sensing and such.

  • I“m amazed that midi hasn’t been replaced by something else by now.

  • Erm, USB. Let’s face it, old MIDI is good enough for noodling, USB is everywhere and we can carry audio digitally through USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt or MADI, Adat, TDIF or just plain old SPDIF.

    Elektron (Machinedrum, Monomachine etc) has TurboMIDI running at 10 times the speed of ordinary MIDI. I think it’s open in case anyone else like to try.

    However, next time I build a serious synth I’m not going to bother with sysex at first. The built-in web-server plus some HTML5 is better and at worst the editor is part of the thing.

    The in-thing these days is core-MIDI and OSC. Gotta give the iPad etc some lurv.

  • I’m having some fun with the iPad but I like to run everything through a midi patchbay. Having the midipal show all messages was handy, but I really should look for a newer controller. Anyone know of a 76 key or 88 key synth with multiple midi outs?

  • The problem about USB is that it shares the Bus with a Zillion other things so its not Isochron.
    I have the feeling that Logic (for example) isn’t that tight in timing when using a cheapo USB Interface as a MPC. I haven’t measured this its just what i feel about. While MIDI is slow its super tight – a Message is sent when a Message is sent, it hasn’t go thru a huge Pile of Layers of Software…..

  • Speaking of tight, the good old tracker days… That was some tight timing! Someone did things right even in ancient times.

  • Now I really hope nobody combines this thread with the ongoing discussion about Virgin things and states things like “Only Virgin Things are really tight.” or something…...

  • I was hoping to get some small derailment going, but I didn’t wanna go there thinking that too sexist comments were out of line. Also, it would be nice if some women took part in this forum and they wouldn’t have to put up with offensive remarks.

    Hence I suck at derailing even though I try.

  • Why would MIDI have to be replaced exactly? For the guys who can hear the 1ms delta between each note of a chord and complain about hearing arpeggios instead?

    True, there’s a bit a cruft in MIDI (Active sensing, all those weird poly/omni modes), but I think it does quite a good job at what it does. And there’s such a large population of machines already having it, some of them sought after vintage synths, that it would be a bad move not to have it.

    I think MIDI will still be around for a long time, and that we will still use it at a time today’s web standards will be ridiculously dated.

  • Regarding timing: things are difficult timing-wise when you need to react to external input, or send sparse bytes to an IO port. Trackers do not have to solve these problems – this is just playing back a continuous stream of non-interactive sampled audio. Even a Palm with a 4096 samples buffer could do it right.

  • hi, as i am new to midi
    can i ask about using my Roland a-37 on garage band.
    do i need to connect to other synth or can i directly connect through a midi usb cable ??? any advice would be much appreciated

  • @pete, I’m not sure your question is specifically related to MIDIPal, but to connect to garage band, you need something to get MIDI from the A-37 to the computer. There is no USB port on an A-37. You could use a USB to MIDI cable but I haven’t had too much luck with those, so you could look at a MIDI interface of some sort. Having MIDI and audio on the same interface works well. We just bought a Focusrite Saffire 2i2 for my son’s Macbook.

  • @piscione, I have the Saffire pro 42 and its midi sucks ass. Unless they fixed, be ready for headaches. It completely dumped my MIDIpal. It’s the reason I bought an AVRISP, which isn’t a bad thing, but yeah. Any sysex updates to anything would fail.

  • I have an older Saffire Pro and it works fine for MIDI and audio so far. The only problem is I lose the firewire connection sometimes, but I’ve never been able to figure out if that’s a Windows problem or Saffire problem. Sysex updates have never been an issue, and the 2i2 was highly recommended (by the gang on Muff’s).

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