Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
fh991586
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 971
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:20 pm
Real name: Francis
Gear: Roland JX3P, D50, U220, MVS1, JP8080.
Korg Kaossilator, Monotrons, MicroKorg, M3R.
Yamaha Motif Rack.
Midines
Location: French Canada

Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by fh991586 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:12 pm

I can't seem to find a similar thread around here, so I try my chance.

Is anyone doing the same as I am? I recently made a nice discovery about using multiple rack synths controlled through a midi patchbay. From my main keyboard controler, I can play multiple synths at the same time using a Roland A-880, thus getting great combined sounds never heard before.

The best example I can think of is the piano. All those ordinary or old synths don't have a great piano preset, of course, but they all come close up to a point. Using the piano presets on ALL of them at the same time produces a much better piano sound, getting a lot closer to reality (as far as I know it, but I'm not a pro nor a piano owner). In my case, the preset piano from the Roland U-220, Yamaha TX81Z and "Fosterism" from a Korg M3R gets a pretty decent sound. And I could add 5 other layers since the patch bay has 8 entries!

I just started doing this (I'm still a newbie on many points), so there'll be a lot more to hear in the future. It's a function ressembling a Roland D-50, but with more than 2 patches at the same time. I don't recall reading anyone doing the same, but I can't be alone, right? So what's your best combination so far?
Considering parting away from:
-Roland TR707
-DSI Mopho

User avatar
rhino
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2607
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:00 pm
Real name: bill
Gear: keepers:
Kurzweil K2500x
Ensoniq TS-12
Yamaha SY-99
Alesis QS-8
Roland JD-800
Roland JX-10
Akai AX-80
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DSS-1
Moog Mini
Fizmo
Location: kentucky hills

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by rhino » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:33 pm

Welcome to our crazy little place!
This is why no one should ever have only ONE synth !! Each different unit expands and compliments the other.
Try using different velocity curves on layered synth sounds. If you can find an old Digital Music MX-8 patchbay and deal with the fiddely programing, it's great for this sort of thing. One of my faves - altho it can be done on most any synth - is mellow EP layered with bright A.Piano... with the acoustic swelling over the EP at higher velocities.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

User avatar
Solderman
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by Solderman » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:06 pm

I must admit, I do not use my Kawai MAV-8 midi patchbay for layering of sounds. If I want to do that, I usually just set each synth to the same Midi channel. Mostly I use my MAV-8 to switch different synths between keyboard or computer control so I don't have to use the DAW software's "Thru" function.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

cartesia
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:55 am
Gear: Octatrack
Bass Station 2
Band: TBA

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by cartesia » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:38 am

Yeah, I don't use a midi patchbay, but layering is an important part of almost all modern music

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:14 am

Yeah I don't have a patchbay either but I layer stuff a lot, EQing different sounds differently and layering them is a really good way to get really complex patches going.

User avatar
taskoni
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:17 pm
Gear: Fun cost money - how hard you want to laugh
Location: Lithuania / Bulgaria

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by taskoni » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:57 am

I am using Motu Micro Express (the old parallel version) to control my synths with EWI. I found it very important for my life performance. The Micro Express can re-channelize and merge MIDI! So via DMC Ground Control I can and access any synth and patch in my rig on the fly on different MIDI channels so I don't have to preset layers before gigs. Versatile? You bet!
Hope that helped a little,
regards,
b.

User avatar
Psy_Free
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:36 pm
Gear: Synths 'n' stuff.
Band: Klangzeit
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by Psy_Free » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:40 am

For a super fat bass (if that's your bag, not mine particularly, but good for a laugh), I patched up a Minimoog Voyager, AS Red Square, Waldorf Pulse, Novation Super Bass Station, DSI Mopho & MFB Synth Lite each with various Oscillator waveforms, at different footages (octave settings in case your under 30), with very slight detunings. That's 14 Oscillators & 3 Sub-Oscillators. Then I went to the Ear Nose & Throat dept at my local hospital followed by a trip to the speaker shop :lol:

Of course I'm just making this up, but it just shows what is possible with a patch bay & a chunk o synths. A great way of generating complex harmonic structures from relatively simple sounds & synths, and saves overdubbing if you use traditional recording type equipment.
"Any noise is good. For what is a different matter"
Bandcamp 1
Bandcamp 2
Soundcloud

User avatar
StepLogik
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1492
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:16 am
Gear: Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Vorpal Sword, Chain Mail +3, Ring of Invisibility, Staff of the Magi, Boots of Speed
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by StepLogik » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:46 am

MIDI patchbays are essential for us all-hardware guys. I use a MOTU Midi Express XT which is 8x8 with plenty of filtering and routing capabilities - as well as serving as a USB interface to a computer. My only complaint is that the UI for their ClockWorks software (which is used to configure the patchbay) is horrendous. Whoever designed it must have been high or an engineer.

The Kawaii MAV-8 is a very nice patchbay because its very visual and you can easily see what is routed to what. I don't think it has a CPU either so there is probably very little latency.

I've always wanted to get a Sycologic M16 patchbay which was quite sophisticated but they are pretty rare.

User avatar
fh991586
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 971
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:20 pm
Real name: Francis
Gear: Roland JX3P, D50, U220, MVS1, JP8080.
Korg Kaossilator, Monotrons, MicroKorg, M3R.
Yamaha Motif Rack.
Midines
Location: French Canada

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by fh991586 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:23 pm

I've been pretty lucky to find locally a pretty affordable Roland A-880 the next week I started looking for a midi patch bay. I didn't know it was getting so difficult to find these days!

I still have to figure out about the channel thing: otherwise than the 1st, I don't understand the use of them...
Considering parting away from:
-Roland TR707
-DSI Mopho

User avatar
vin14
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:07 pm
Gear: ∂Juno1 / BassStation Rack / CS-5 / D-50 / DX7 / Juno-106 / M1 / Minibrute / SK20 / SY85 / Trident / Voyager OS / Minimonsta / ImpOSCar
Band: oddball
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by vin14 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:36 pm

I've been doing this for many years (and I'm sure I'm far from alone), though without multiple midi leads rather than a patchbay. The other night I playing around with with a brassy patch on the DX7 controlling the Virus TI, with a big analog-style pad and the D-50 with the Glass Voices preset. It was huge! I usually do similar things recording. Partly because I usually sketch a track using just logic and record hardware synths or/and add in plug-ins afterwards. I often keep the logic instruments resulting in that layered sound.

User avatar
gs
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:10 pm
Location: USA

Re: Midi patch bay = combined synth sounds

Post by gs » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:42 pm

I have a Digital Music Corp. MX-8 as well, and it's an indispensable tool in my hardware setup. Yes I also use that velocity curve programming for certain keyboards (like my Yamaha Clavinova) that don't go all the way to 127 velocity. I believe that function is called the 'compander'. It's also great for merging MIDI signals and for changing patches on all your kit at the hit of a button or connected footswitch. All kinds of other cool stuff can be done with an MX-8, including MIDI channel offset, creating keyboard splits on monotimbral gear, velocity cross-switching, and programmable delays.

Layering of course can be done by traditional daisy-chaining via the THRU ports. I've been layering synths for decades with great results and still do it, however for me there seems to be a point of diminishing returns on layering more than 2 or 3 synths. Often I end up with a too-muddy sound, where it's better off to keep the synth count down for clarity. This seems especially true for synth-bass, where the fewer running oscillators the better (IMO). For complex evolving pads, I suppose the more the merrier.
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Korg Z1, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M

Post Reply