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Topic: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

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  1. #1

    GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    Hi,

    am new to Instant Orchestra. Did not figure out yet how to control CC1 (=Modulation) per channel. If I send modulation events on different midi channels all instruments in all slots seem to interpret all mod-events, so the dynamics "jump" around like crazy. Is there a way to enable per channel modulation comparable to how it e.g. already works for pitch bend? (E.g. if you have two keyboards with one mod wheel each - or like in my case - an Eigenharp that has a "mod wheel" per key)

    Greetings,
    NothanUmber

  2. #2

    Re: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by NothanUmber View Post
    Hi,

    am new to Instant Orchestra. Did not figure out yet how to control CC1 (=Modulation) per channel. If I send modulation events on different midi channels all instruments in all slots seem to interpret all mod-events, so the dynamics "jump" around like crazy. Is there a way to enable per channel modulation comparable to how it e.g. already works for pitch bend? (E.g. if you have two keyboards with one mod wheel each - or like in my case - an Eigenharp that has a "mod wheel" per key)

    Greetings,
    NothanUmber
    Hello, Nothan - Thanks for the post.

    It could help to know what recording software you're using. But it basically sounds like you're not quite understanding yet how ARIA is built.

    There are 16 slots for loading instruments. By default, those slots are pre-assigned MIDI Channels 1 through 16, matching the slot numbers, but that's arbitrary. You can set the channels however you want by clicking on a number and changing it.

    You have to have matching MIDI tracks in your project, each assigned to the different MIDI channels. When you click on a track to activate it, that will be the only channel that responds.

    It sounds like you're in some sort of OMNI setting, with all MIDI channels working all at the same time - and that won't work.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    Hi,

    thanks for responding!
    I am using EigenD 2.0.68 as host (this software is specifically written for Eigenharps and uses the AU/VST hosting capabilities of the Juce framework).
    Eigenharps have three axis per key that can be used to control various parameters. As this is not forseen in the midi standard (there we only have velocity and poly aftertouch as per-key infos), the Eigenharp software uses the trick that it assigns each key you press a free midi channel and sends all events created by this key on this channel until the key is released (and thus the midi channel is "freed" again). So you can play with up to 16 keys in parallel.

    In my setup I use for Instant Orchestra, currently velocity, channel pressure, pitch bend and modulation (CC1) is generated by each key.
    I set the midi channels of the individual slots to 1-16 (in fact that is the default setting), not to Omni. The same instrument is loaded into each of the 16 slots (if you'd use different instruments you would hear a random sound if you press a key depending on which channel was temporary choosen for the key)
    Some midi events seem to be interpreted by channel/slot (e.g. pitch bend and channel pressure), some are interpreted by all channels at the same time (e.g. CC1 = modulation), so if I move two keys into opposite directions vertically (assigned to pitch bend) I can bend the pitch of the two notes individually but if I move the key horizontally (assigned to CC1) into opposite directions then the instruments in all slots seem to interpret these modulation events (although they come on different channels). So dynamics/volume jumps back and forth between these "mixed up" values.
    Can I change this behaviour somehow?

    Thanks for helping,
    NothanUmber

  4. #4

    Re: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    Argh, so stupid...
    I did not set the modulation entry to "per-key" but left it at "global" in the EigenD settings (you have a matrix that maps the key axis/breath controller/ribbons etc. to midi parameters - and there you can (and have to..) choose between "global" and "per key" for each entry. "Global" creates one midi event for each channel - e.g. necessary if you want to control something with breath, as there is only one breath pipe that should affect all played notes at the same time). Such an obvious mistake at afterthought...

    Now everything works as expected!
    Instant Orchestra seems to be very nice indeed for controlling it "live" with an appropriate midi instrument!

    Sorry for taking your time,
    NothanUmber

  5. #5

    Re: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by NothanUmber View Post
    ...I did not set the modulation entry to "per-key" but left it at "global" in the EigenD settings (you have a matrix that maps the key axis/breath controller/ribbons etc. to midi parameters - and there you can (and have to..) choose between "global" and "per key" for each entry...r
    Good! I'm glad you figured it out, Nothan. I've come across this Eigen programming only one other time, here on the Forum. It's all very new and unknown to me. It's interesting that the programmers have come up with something so different from the standard MIDI spec. I can see it's making it difficult for users to figure out how to integrate their MIDI instruments, like Instant Orchestra, in your case.

    What you describe as your solution I see now is the Eigen version of what I was referring to when I said you apparently had some sort of Global setting in your MIDI set up, so that all instruments were responding all the time to all data.

    I hope from this point on, you just make wonderful music, and don't have to worry so much about the technology.

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    Hi Randy,

    having a new concept for the native plugins makes sense because VST/AU/MIDI was not created with such an instrument in mind regarding expressions per key, resolution and amount of data (the control data produced by an Eigenharp is comparable to an audio stream regarding informations per time). As the majority of existing stuff uses these established formats it has of course to be possible to use them - in some cases it requires workarounds (like this temporary midi channel assignment trick) and data reduction what is not necessary with the (few...) native plugins.

    EigenD is essentially like a modular system with many components - and it's open source for the major part, so people can extend it and write new modules. That's opportunity and danger at the same time - you can spend your time with experimenting with unlimited numbers of configurations - while this can be fun in it's own right you don't get too much music done if you "just tweak".
    I have a somewhat usable setup now and plan to concentrate more on the musical part from now on.

    All the best,
    NothanUmber

  7. #7

    Re: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    I see, Nothan--

    If I understand correctly, the Eigen software is intended to be used with the Eigen wind controllers. If a user wants to use other, standard sorts of MIDI instruments in the program, then work arounds have to be figured out, since the Eigen program doesn't comply with basic MIDI specs. So unlike the recording programs used by the vast majority of people, where using plug-ins is standardized and works the same in all programs, the user just has to do some experimenting and adaptations to make them work.

    It will be interesting to see if Eigen's new and rather different MIDI implementation becomes more common!

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: GIA: Control Modulation Per Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    If I understand correctly, the Eigen software is intended to be used with the Eigen wind controllers.
    Yes, it has a breath pipe attached (optional for the bigger instruments). Many (like me) play it mostly without breath control though, just with the keys -which are the real special thing. Here a (quite technical) video from this years' developer conference that explains how they work in case somebody is interested:

    http://www.eigenlabs.com/downloads/p...key/watch/449/

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    If a user wants to use other, standard sorts of MIDI instruments in the program, then work arounds have to be figured out, since the Eigen program doesn't comply with basic MIDI specs. So unlike the recording programs used by the vast majority of people, where using plug-ins is standardized and works the same in all programs, the user just has to do some experimenting and adaptations to make them work.
    I'd put it that way: EigenD was specifically made for instruments that support polyphonic playing of notes and individually modify the sound of each note while it is playing.
    MIDI was invented with a keyboard in mind - it is made for an ensemble of up to 16 (keyboard)-instruments where you can play chords and modify the timbre of all pressed keys as a whole with mod wheels, expression pedals etc. (The only exceptions being poly aftertouch and velocity which are indeed per-key).
    At the point where Eigenharp development started something like this simply didn't exist.
    Now e.g. VST 3.x with note-expression exists (also still being a rather small eco-system yet) which goes into the same direction (not going as far as EigenD yet, where you can essentially feed most kinds of output-signals into most inputs - much like a real analog modular system - there is no distinction between "control" and "audio" rate signals).

    For both the EigenD concept as well as VST 3.x it's comparably difficult to map that to MIDI as MIDI was never designed for these application. If you just want to control a VST like you do it with a keyboard in EigenD (global modwheel, global expression etc.) it's just a matter of loading the plugin and start playing.
    But then you just use it as a keyboard with a fancy form factor, leaving out all the expression control capabilities.
    As the plugin writers did not have Eigenharps in mind, you have to do some mapping to get it to work as expected (by you, not the plugin authors). It's not that hard, but it has to be done (and can be done wrong as I demonstrated.. )

    Essentially MIDI support in EigenD works that way: there are three modules (called "agents" in EigenD-world):
    One that converts EigenD-events to MIDI (so you can record a MIDI-downscaled version of your performance in a normal DAW), one that converts MIDI events to EigenD events (so you can control EigenD e.g. with existing MIDI controllers) and a VST/AU hosting agent that "eats" EigenD events, converts them to MIDI- and parameter automation internally and feds this to the hosted AU/VST plugin. Then the plugin generates audio which is converted into an EigenD data stream again and can be sent to other EigenD agents (e.g. further processing steps or finally the audio agent that sends it to the audio card/your DAW as audio stream).

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    It will be interesting to see if Eigen's new and rather different MIDI implementation becomes more common!
    It much depends on whether new instruments arise that need more expression capabilities than current keyboards have. If not there is not much reason to go away from MIDI/AU/VST - it just works.
    Otherwise EigenD could be an interesting approach - it's not limited to Eigenharps conceptually, but could support any kind of new musical instruments, as long as somebody writes an input agent that converts the intrument interactions into EigenD events.

    Finally: The Eigenharp is a challenging intrument to master (polyphonic thinking of a piano combined with having to shape/intonate the individual notes like with a bowed/breath instrument). And it's only out for two years or so. People are making progress though, slow but step by step.
    It will be interesting, indeed!

    Greetings,
    NothanUmber

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