A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

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Torstein
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A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by Torstein » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:38 am

Quick question for the board:

My humble studio consists of mostly hardware synthesizers--mostly rackmount, made mostly before 1990. I have a need of managing various sysex patches for my synths, and it's becoming quite painful. Just last night I was attempting to upload some Hypra-Rom DX7 patches to my TX802, and it overwrote more than it should have, because the sysex files were too large (had too many patches in there, even though you can set it to only overwrite 1-32, or 33-64).

Do I just live in a bubble, or is there really no reasonably good software editors/librarians out there for all the old synths? I used to really like Unisyn, until it stopped running in OS X 10.6. I've heard Midiquest is c**p, (though I haven't used it). I tried JSynthLib today too, and decided life is too short for badly-designed software that doesn't work.

Anyhow, without digressing too much, I spent about an hour today and was able to cobble together a Processing app that controls the TX802 over MIDI. I just wanted to see if it was viable, and sure enough, I'm able to change pitch and trigger a note-on message from a Processing java app.

So my question is, is there enough of a need out there with all you hardware synth owners, that you'd drop a few bucks for a full-featured synth editor/librarian, that covered, say, two dozen of the most popular MIDI-enabled hardware synths?

I'm considering writing a proper editor if there is enough of a market for it. h**l, I might just do it anyways because there is such s**t out there at the moment when it comes to decent software editing and patch librarians, that I'm about to pull my hair out.

Appreciate your feedback-
Eric

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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by k5k » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:03 am

tried sound diver by emagic?
I use that and midiquest, still getting used to midiquest though, its definitely not working as it should....

probably easiest to write or adapt an adaptation for sounddiver!

theres lots of sysex editors for different synths out there too, usually they suck.
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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by stikygum » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:54 am

I'm definitely interested. I think there is a lot of untapped potential in a lot of older synths, that with a proper editor could open up a whole new level and ball game of electronic music creation. And I also think that software editors can be one of the single most valuable tools you can have for a synth (especially if it's hard to edit). So in short, yes :ugeek:
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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by griffin avid » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:29 am

MIDI Quest/Sound Quest has been fine for me (PC running XP).
Used with 5 different Roland synths (JV,JP, Juno and D-550 etc)
Yamahas.....77..AN200...Korg Electribes (EA-series). MicroKorg to load all the MS2000 banks...Alesis DM5.
Lexicon LPX-15.

In many cases, the setting up has been a little confusing even with the included notes about how to set up every synth. I mostly use it as a patch librarian and sometimes to mangle presets (randomly).

I prefer specific Soft Editors for every synth, but those are usually pretty rudimentary.
I like the SoundTower apps, but the range is quite limited.
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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by mute » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:11 pm

the problem with Soundiver is you can't get it anywhere and they stopped making it years ago. the new CTRLR stuff is super awesome but its not a librarian persay.. theres just a ton of versions of it for different synths.

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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by boxed » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:48 pm

Sound Quest's Midi Quest can edit pacthes and manage most of the major synths out there. From a single interface.

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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by nathanscribe » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:39 pm

This issue has given me headaches of various intensities over the last few years... I gave up trying to use software editors and just try to learn/remember all the different interfaces and nooks and crannies of all my gear so I can use it with minimal reference to any manuals.... doesn't woork like that of course, as my brain won't allow it.

If there were a generic librarian/editor that could work under OSX 10.6 I think there'd be interest. Many of the editors I've tried are getting old now. I even picked up an old IBM laptop running '95 for this purpose but it'd be a lot easier to keep everything on the Mac. I'm sick of transferring files via floppy to my spare desktop PC to USB stick to Mac - or vice versa. What a palaver.

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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by StepLogik » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:51 pm

SoundQuest (win XP) is what I use but it is a pretty lousy piece of software. Crashes a lot and has a cryptic UI. It will also occasionally leave synths in a bad state after it transmits sysex. This could be a hardware/checksum problem but it is quite annoying.

If you want to build custom panels to control your hardware, NI Reaktor is quite useful. Its major shortcoming is that it cannot send Sysex. You can use Midi-OX to translate NRPN from Reaktor into Sysex but that gets to be a tedious and rickety setup.

I've been working on an application that allows you to write MIDI applications in HTML and Javascript. It is fairly stable now but I'm working out some threading problems that are causing MIDI hiccups. I've been using it to write little MIDI utilities and simple step sequencers. Because the app uses the IE engine, UI updates are sluggish so I doubt it would be useful for complex real-time applications but it is quite useful for making control panels.

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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:04 pm

The market for commercial third party editors died a long time ago. Back in my Atari ST days it wasn't uncommon to pay $200 for an editor that handled one synth.

Today, mfrs typically bundle editors so there is no incentive for third party mfrs to offer alternatives. People b***h when a mfr like DSI or Moog asks you to pay $50 for an editor after you paid $$$$$$ for the synth.

Universal editors are even worse, because you have to choose which machines and OSes to support. Some users want support for their old synths which is a lot of work and $$$$ for a new entry in the market. At least Unisyn and MidiQuest have been around long enough that they have large libraries already in place.

Yes, it sucks. I'm a Mac guy but actually bought a WinXP laptop a few years back because a free editor from Yamaha has no OS X version. So I bought $400 of hardware to run a free editor :evil:
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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by atom » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:40 pm

I''m trying to create a framework that does exactly that, you can find a list of already created editors http://code.google.com/p/ctrlr/wiki/Ctrlrs a discussion forum for this is here: http://ctrlr.org. Sonn i hope to implement a easy way to dump programs and translate them to Ctrlr programs for every device. A scripting language (LUA) will be available to modify how a ctrlr acts. Every editor has MAC/Windows support and is available as Standalone and VST versions.
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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by I12 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:39 am

I wish you'd do a Mono machine editor, librarian!
Dont bother its not worth it!

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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by atom » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:10 pm

there is a queue of requests you can add your on the ctrlr.org site. right now i finished elektron sidstation, and am doing oberheim matrix1000, next is propably DSI Tetra
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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by I12 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:41 pm

I didnt mean to be rude, i know your very busy :oops:
Dont bother its not worth it!

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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by atom » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:15 pm

no problem i didn't think you were rude. i just wanted to explain the process of making those controllers.
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Re: A Universal Editor/Librarian for Hardware?

Post by metrosonus » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:15 am

the entire pre TI virus line needs a good editor.

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