Request Advice on Midi Setup

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Slinger20
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Request Advice on Midi Setup

Post by Slinger20 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:27 pm

Hello,

I have a Linn Drum, TR808 and a Sequential Circuits Six-Trak synthesizer. The LD had the JLCooper MIDI mod, the 808 has SYNC capability, Simmons SDS-V brain (bass drum, snare, and two toms) and the Six-Trak has MIDI. I used all these instruments, albeit separately and without MIDI, in the 1980's mainly, but not since (I grew up, went to college got married, had kids, etc. etc). They all work beautifully still, but now I want to use them with a computer and software.

I'm looking for an example of what can be done but I am drowning in google results of lots of low level info, which is good (I am an electrical engineer with PhD in Computer Science so I appreciate details), but I am just trying to see *what* can be done, and not dig to deep into theory at this point. Are there any examples out there that you know of that come close to highlighting the use of such vintage gear, with modern computer software?

Yeah I can probably get samples of all this stuff in digital form and forget all this hardware, but that's misses the point. I want to actually use this old gear, with a computer.

Thanks!

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desmond
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Re: Request Advice on Midi Setup

Post by desmond » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:28 pm

I'm not really sure what you're asking? What can be done? You have a couple of drum machines, an electronic drum synthesiser, and a 6-voice polysynth.

You can run them in sync with a DAW on your computer, and you can record them into the DAW as audio (and thus free up the hardware for new parts).

As you already know the gear, you already know what they sound like, so I'm a bit unsure as to what you're asking. Are you asking how to connect them to a computer? How to run them in sync?

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Re: Request Advice on Midi Setup

Post by Slinger20 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:32 pm

Desmond - thank you for the reply. Sorry, I am not even sure how to phrase my question. I guess I look at it like this. I have used each of these instruments independently, but not together, that is, not together on a Midi network, and not connected to a computer. So What software options are there for Windows 10, and what hardware would be needed to connect to a laptop, say an Dell XPS15 (gaming machine with 32GB memory). Ideally, it would be great to see a schematic of it all. There's tons of diagrams of Midi instruments setups on the Web, but nothing for my specific equipment. I know Midi is Midi no matter how you slice it, but there's always some catch like thru connections, etc. which I don't see on my stuff. Just throwing this out there, if someone were to come across all this old gear at a yard sale, how would he/she use this in conjunction with today's technology?

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desmond
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Re: Request Advice on Midi Setup

Post by desmond » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:55 pm

You basically want a sequencer or DAW of your choice running on your computer, with some sort of MIDI and Audio interface (if you want to record audio into the computer, hear audio etc).

Presumably you want to use your Sixtrak as a controller (to play/record MIDI notes into the computer), so you'll need to connect it's MIDI out to the computer's MIDI in.

You'll want another MIDI out to your MIDI'd Linndrum, and I think the Linn can also sync the 808 to it using it's own click outputs, so hook that up to. You'll want to transmit MIDI clock from the sequencer/DAW on the computer so when it starts, it starts the Linn & 808 playing.

The Simmons doesn't have MIDI, but you might be able to use trigger pulses from the Linn or 808 to fire notes from those, if you want. Or you might be able to trigger it from spare audio outputs on your audio interface.

You can either connect their audio through an external mixer, or have an audio interface with enough inputs to send them all into the computer for mixing etc.

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Re: Request Advice on Midi Setup

Post by Slinger20 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:20 pm

Thanks Desmond - this info can get me started. Appreciate it. I can start looking around for a DAW and audio interface. I'll most likely be back with some questions.

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Tekhed66
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Re: Request Advice on Midi Setup

Post by Tekhed66 » Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:40 pm

Slinger20 wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:20 pm
Thanks Desmond - this info can get me started. Appreciate it. I can start looking around for a DAW and audio interface. I'll most likely be back with some questions.
Hi Slinger

Have a read of this article to give you an idea of how to setup your external gear with a DAW

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... -with-Live

I use Live to automatically switch all of the bank and patch changes for 4 keyboards at once when playing gigs but routinely use Live to play a hardware synth (eg for a bassline or sequence) when I record at home... sometimes the sound you get from a synth is way better than anything you find bundled with software.

BTW - all of my synths are OLD (20+ years) so 'modern' software will definitely work with old klunky gear... just remember that it's your DAW that will be controlling your synths so setup your PC/Mac to work sweetly with your DAW of choice.

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