Changing MIDI volume

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HappyFunTimes
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Changing MIDI volume

Post by HappyFunTimes » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:16 pm

I'm using the arpeggiator on a microkorg to trigger my DX7. Everything works just fine, and the notes sounding on the DX respond properly to the velocity of my playing on the MK.

Here is my problem: I want to play separate notes on the DX keyboard while the MK is triggering it. This works now, but the problem is all of the arpeggiated notes are louder than the notes played on the DX. It is not a matter of my playing velocity on either keyboard.

I know that the issue probably stems from the MK volume working on 0-127, and the DX on 0-99. Is there anyway to "turn down" the MK, so that the notes all sound at the same volume? If not, is there some work around?

chrisburke
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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by chrisburke » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:14 am

Dear HappyFunTimes - love the monicker!

This is a reply from a noob, so it's a guess, I've not seen your particular keyboard. I do everything with MIDI cos I'm disabled, using a mouse and a notation program.

POSSIBLE workaround - I might well be talking out of my - CENSORED - here - ducking? Set up a sidechain compressor so everytime you use the louder keyboard it 'ducks' the volume so making it the same as the quieter keyboard? That's one idea.

Another idea off the top of my head - there was hair there once, sob! - in-line volume control like guitars use? I've seen these being used with key-tars - that's those keyboards-on-guitar-sticks - so they're MIDI compatible. With a key-tar, it's wire from keytar into box with volume knob on, box with volume knob on into computer. It's not being controlled BY the computer, it's kind of a real-life plug-in that turns the sound up and down from the box. So the signal from the computer would still be as much too loud, but the box would turn it down before it hit the keyboard.

Third idea - assuming you've got the memory/processor power, dunno how much your keyboards use - two instances of the triggering program, one for each keyboard. That way you could set up the volume controls independantly for each keyboard, therefore having each one individually controllable. Of the three that could be the most elegant, as it would mean you could rise/lower the volume of each keyboard individually, using - prob. - CC changes.

Fourth idea - remembering I know nothing about your particular keyboards - for the one that plays too loud, could you import the patches you use regularly into the actual keyboard? So they don't have to be triggered by the computer at all, but are controlled solely by the keyboard? That way you could use the keyboard's volume control and not be reliant on the computer at all.

Fifthly - and this IS possible, crazy though it sounds - if you've got a good smartphone - I-phone or similar - there's keyboard apps you can download and put patches in - Yes, I know this sounds crazy - and then control the second keyboard via the smartphone. I've seen it done, believe it or not!

OK, I hope the above give you some ideas.

Yours respectfully

Chris.

db0451
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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by db0451 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:01 pm

Yeah, you're talking about velocity, not volume. You want to change the velocity of the steps programmed in the mK's arpeggiator. So here's an answer specific to the keyboards in question.

Background: the DX7 and related keyboards weren't intentionally or precisely limited to velocities 0~99: my DX7 goes up to 108 if I hammer it. The limited range is due to physical/timing shortcomings in the keybed/controller. This varies among units and I think got better as the years went on or different models were released. Probably as a response, the software treats velocity 99 as the neutral point: when sensitivity > 0 and velocity < 99, the op's level is adjusted down from that programmed, and vice-versa above 99 - but at exactly 99, sensitivities 0 and 7 both produce no change in OL. So, you need 99 if you don't want softer- or harder-than-average sounds compared to nominal OL. This also applies to the SY77/TG77/SY99 and probably (some) other Yam keyboards from that era.

So, if the mK is playing at velocity 127, any sensitised ops will be a lot louder than their nominal output levels (as at velocity 99). I can't find any indication that the mK's arp is velocity-programmable (manual pp. 44~45), which makes sense as the mK itself doesn't have velocity. I don't know whether there's a way around this - but try experimenting with the velocity curve (p. 47) and see whether that makes a difference.

If that doesn't work and the mK can only output 127, there isn't really a way around this - unless you have the E! card for the DX7, which I think allows compression/expansion of the velocity range to affect the tone generator differently.

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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by Sonus » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:06 pm

HappyFunTimes wrote: Is there anyway to "turn down" the MK, so that the notes all sound at the same volume? If not, is there some work around?
MIDI-OX could solve this issue by mapping microkorg velocity values 1~127 to 1~64:

Image

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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by db0451 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:23 pm

But then the max velocity of 64 will be too quiet when compared to hard notes played on the DX7's own keybed, which would basically just be reversing the OP's problem.

So can MIDI-OX map across a configurable range, namely 0~99? I don't use it often and have never investigated that part of it.

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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by Sonus » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:29 pm

db0451 wrote:So can MIDI-OX map across a configurable range, namely 0~99?
In data mapping, you can assign any value, set a fix velocity or invert values:

Input NoteOn Value 2 - Min 1 Max 127 | Output NoteOn Value 2 - Min 1 Max 99
Input NoteOn Value 2 - Min 1 Max 127 | Output NoteOn Value 2 - Min 64 Max 64
Input NoteOn Value 2 - Min 1 Max 127 | Output NoteOn Value 2 - Min 127 Max 1

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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by db0451 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:42 pm

Thanks! Good to know, in case I ever find one of my synths doesn't have its own velocity curve and need to involve the computer :lol:

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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by ninja6485 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:36 am

If the dx7 us set up like the tx81z, could you split the output of the DX and send the arp through the left out and your keyboard part on the right, and adjust the outputs accordingly? And is there a way to adjust the maximum velocity the DX will respond to? Or evene turning velocity off so everything plays at the same level? Also, are there any global options on the microkorg that give you access to velocity?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by madtheory » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:15 pm

ninja6485 wrote:If the dx7 us set up like the tx81z
Not the original DX7. Only one output, no splits and layers. Remember it's one of the earliest MIDI keyboards. The DX7II can do it though- that one was contemporary with the TX81Z.

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Re: Changing MIDI volume

Post by db0451 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:59 pm

ninja6485 wrote:If the dx7 us set up like the tx81z, could you split the output of the DX and send the arp through the left out and your keyboard part on the right, and adjust the outputs accordingly?
As madtheory mentioned, no. Anyway, velocity can be programmed to affect timbre, not just volume, so this wouldn't necessarily cover everything even if it were possible.
And is there a way to adjust the maximum velocity the DX will respond to?
As I mentioned, not without the E! card.
Or evene turning velocity off so everything plays at the same level?
Of course, just set velocity sensitivity to 0 for all operators in the patch.
Also, are there any global options on the microkorg that give you access to velocity?
As I mentioned, yes, they're documented in the manual. But the OP hasn't confirmed whether they affect the arpeggiator.

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