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Topic: How many ports for midi setup?

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  1. #1

    How many ports for midi setup?

    Well, I\'m getting deeper and deeper into the issues surrounding running giga off a few standalone computers and it ocurred to me that I\'m not sure if I should spring for a 4x midi interface or if it\'s cool to just stick with a 2x on each of the machines. Obviously it\'s best to use all four ports for a total of 64 midi cahannels per machine but do I really need this? I\'m trying to get the price down a bit and am wondering if this is the place to do it. I would like to run a whole orchestra (VSL) on 2-4 machines, maybe a few odds and ends running at the same time. I guess the thing is I really want to hear the stuff running in real time. (and I hate having to use my imagination)

  2. #2
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    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    I\'m using MIDIoverLAN+ for my MIDI. This eliminates purchasing MIDI interfaces for each machine and also gets rid of quite a few cables. You will need a network card in each machine (many new motherboards have this built in), a switch (got mine for under $30) and cables to hook up each device (purchased cables through compusa.com for about $2 a piece). Please note that MIDIoverLAN only works on PC\'s and not MAC\'s.

  3. #3

    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    Haydn, I think maybe MOL won\'t work for me because even though I can hook up the PC\'s they all get dumped back into my main rig, a Mac running DP.

    So do you have an idea about the original question?

    Thanks

  4. #4

    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    esteso, you\'re dumping midi back to DP or audio? if the latter maybe a reasonable way would be to go with 8 ports from mac to PC1 (unitor or something) and then spread them with MOL from there (even routing back midi would be possible using the virtual ports and echo-option of MOL).
    PCs running the performance set would only need 1 port (evtl. 2), and you would avoid latency from chaining midi or plugging around cables ... all given 128 tracks are sufficient for you
    christian

  5. #5

    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    christian, thanks for your reply. Bear with me, the lightbulb is starting to turn on!

    I will be primarily dumping audio back into the main rig (Mac) This is my idea so far. I think I\'m going to accomplish this by using a 2408 mk3 on the Mac side. This allows the use of 3 banks of lightpipe. Each of the PC\'s will be outfitted with a Frontier Designs WaveCenter PCI card. (1 bank lightpipe, stereo SPDIF, 2 Midi ports) A Motu Midi Express will be hooked up to the Mac (8x8)

    This way I\'ll be able to pipe up to 24 channels of audio back to the Mac. (3 standalone PC\'s) If I get more machines I\'ll have to add another 2408. The Midi ports on each Wavecenter card will be hooked up directly to two ports on the Midi Express.

    As I\'ve said, this is my idea so far, but I can\'t quite wrap my head around the MOL thing yet. That could well be a better solution.

    The first thing I don\'t get is how GigaStudio allocates channels and submixes. For instance, if I used all 128 midi channels, distributed between 2 machines, that\'s 64 midi channels/ machine, hence I would need 4 midi ports on that one machine. I\'m trying to understand why you said I would only need one port, eventually two, for the performance set.

    Are you saying I can run an 8x midi interface from the Mac to one PC outfitted with another 8x midi interface and then distribute midi assignments any way I want to the other PC\'s? This is intriguing but I\'m not seeing as how this will save me anything either monetarily or performance-wise. Perhaps I\'m missing something but don\'t I want to have all of these midi channels fully and independently hooked up to the Mac for flexibility and low latency?

    So the other thing I don\'t get is how Giga will allow me to submix the audio. Since I have a bank of lightpipe on one machine does that mean that I can have 4 stereo submixes configured any way I want them. Lets say 1-16 strings, 16-32 brass, 32-48 percussion, 48-64 whatever?

    Sorry for the long post but as you can see I could use a little help. These may be elementary questions but they\'ve been driving me nuts since I have no experience with Giga.

    Thanks

  6. #6

    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    esteso, first the Frontier Designs WaveCenter specs are not clear to me - one page says 1 midi-in and three midi-out, but you could use the built-in midiport (MPU-401) of the PC as a second.
    i\'m referring to a midi-port as a *plug* carrying 16 channels.
    GigaStudio allows 4 midi-in ports (=64 channels), each can be assigned to an audio-channel.
    as far as i see, the WaveCenter has only drivers for 95/98/ME - this doesn\'t look very convincing to me - what to do, if GS 3.0 will only run on W2K/XP (which i would prefer anyway)?

    the performance-set is very RAM-hungry and you currently wont be able to essentially load more than 16 instruments (one channel each) - this was meant by evtl. two midiports for a PC holding instruments from the performance-set.

    i\'ve only mentioned MOL again, because i personally hate cabeling (and latencies) and love LANs. MOL would give you 16 ports (=256 channels), so usually it saves you the midi-interfaces for the *giga-slaves*. You can assign each port to any midi-in of GS on any PC (just like plugging in a cable)

    hopefully didn\'t confuse you even more ...
    christian

  7. #7
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    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    Definitely won\'t be able to use MOL if you have a MAC. You will need a 4 port (4 in) MIDI interface on each Giga computer and at least a 12 port (12 out) interface on the MAC if you have 3 Giga PC\'s.

  8. #8

    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    haydn, did you read my first post in this thread? we all know there is no MOL-version for mac (although something similar is already under development) - i mentioned to spread _from_ the first PC - and esteso seems to have plenty of midiports available on his mac ....
    christian

  9. #9

    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    Ok, let me see if I have this right. I can run the midi out of the Mac and into the first PC via two hardware interfaces. (8x) Then, at that point, I can distribute midi with MOL since we\'re really just dealing with PC\'s at this point. MOL gives me 16 software ports so it sounds like I can hook up another 4 PC\'s (assuming 4 ports per PC) for a total of 1 Mac and 5 PC\'s (giga) Is this correct?

    Guess I\'m not clear on how the 8 ports on the Mac turns into 16 on the Pc\'s. Oh, wait a minute. I get it. 8 ports can\'t turn into 16 ports, virtual or not. So I would have to run two 8x midi interfaces on each side if I wanted to utilize all the ports available via MOL. That\'s over $1200 right there. So I\'m thinking MOL does not save us poor Mac users anything.

    christian, sounds like, with VSL anyway, that I won\'t be able to utilize more than 1 midi port/ machine anyway. So can I get away with 2 ports (for future-proofing) or will there be times where I\'ll want all 4? Oh, and you\'re right about that Frontier Designs card, it doesn\'t mention drivers for XP which is what I thought I\'d run. Odd, it was recommended by a turnkey guy for XP. Hmmmm......

    Thanks

  10. #10

    Re: How many ports for midi setup?

    ... sounds like, with VSL anyway, that I won\'t be able to utilize more than 1 midi port/ machine anyway.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">this would probably apply to a PC running _only_ instruments from the performance-set, depends on the size of the instrument (= number of samples in the instrument), but the performance-set instruments are very large. this does not apply to instruments from the cube (they need less RAM, so you will be able to load more than 16), especially if you select single articulations and not the basic-sets for each instrument
    christian

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