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The saga continues......

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  • The saga continues......

    Well, as some of you already know, I've been having problems for quite some time now with regards to being able to do SysEx backups of the kits, patterns, and songs on my TD-8. Since my current gear works too fast for the TD-8 to handle dumps into it, and I'm in no big hurry to drop $1000.00 for a Roland MC-80, I decided to do what everyone else is doing and use the PC librarian stuff (specifically, MIDI-Ox) as a temporary fix. So I bop on down to Comp USA and pick up a Cakewalk PC-to-MIDI cable and it's the standard deal: MIDI in-and-out jacks, a 15-pin male serial jack for connection to the PC's MIDI/joystick port, and a 15-pin joystick thru connector. Groovy. I'm in business. Or so I thought.....

    So I get home and swing my PC's motherboard around to plug in the cable, and that's when the roof caved in. My computer is a Hewlett-Packard Brio BA410, and the two free serial ports on the back of it are 9-pin male instead of 15-pin female! There is a 15-pin connector on the Brio, but it links the monitor. Did I make a bad choice in cables? Well, every single one I've run across on the Web is 15-pin male, so that doesn't seem to be an issue. Did I make a bad choice in computers? Possibly. I had a buddy of mine check the back of his H-P Pavilion, and, sure enough, there was a 15-pin female joystick port....

    So, once again, it would seem that I'm screwed (sure wish I had one of those QX-3's, feefer...). It looks like my only answer is a gender-switching 15-pin to 9-pin adapter, but so far I haven't even been able to locate a standard 15-pin to 9-pin adapter. A Web search indicates that the standard ones exist, but what about the gender-switching version?

    Or maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here. Obviously I'm supposed to connect the cable to my sound card port, but the sound card I use is the Lexicon Core2, which terminates into a 25-pin breakout box from a 25-pin cable connected to the port on the installed PCI card (I use this system with Cool Edit Pro software for recording purposes). So I guess the question now becomes twofold: is this the connection I should be making, and, if so, is there such a thing as a 15-pin to 25-pin adapter?

    This whole deal is really bumming me out. HELP!!! As usual, any advice would be greatly appreciated....
    TD-30 / SPD-SX /Alesis Strike Multipad

  • #2

    The good news is that you have the right cable... Normally a sound card will have a 15 pin female port on the back.

    However... I checked out the Lexicon Core2 on their website http://www.lexicon.com/Core2/index.html and there is no mention of a midi interface. So it looks like it does not have a midi interface.



    • #3
      If your PC has USB port you can find cheap MIDI interfaces. I know MOTU (www.motu.com) has one but you can search for other brands.
      I use a parallel port MIDI interface from MOTU, PC-Midi Flyer, that doesn't need power adapter and it has two inputs and two outputs. But USB should be better to connect and use.


      • #4
        Gentlemen, thank you both for your replies....

        I think I'm going to take Pierre's advice (not that I have much of a choice, I guess) and go with a USB-to-MIDI interface. MidiMan has a 2x2 unit out there for about $55.00.

        Pierre, did you have to assign any special configurations to your computer in order for your MIDI interface to work properly with a USB port? And, more importantly, are you currently using your PC for SysEx purposes? If so, do you recommend any particular librarian software?
        TD-30 / SPD-SX /Alesis Strike Multipad


        • #5
          Why not just buy some tired 20 dollar sound card?

          Use the good sound card for audio recording, and the cheap one for MIDI. The worst sound card in the world will still do dumps and record midi.

          You could probably get one free from someone who has an old junky one. Ask around.



          • #6
            Took me a few reads to get it, but I finally got it.

            I suggest you use the USB midi solution. Because you are using a Lexicon Core2 digital interface, I don't suggest you put a 2nd soundcard in there. With some of the newer interfaces it's not a big deal, but the Core2 digital interface is a bit on the older side and may not behave nicely with a standard sound card such as a Soundblaster Live Value ($49 oem, which is the only standard soundcard I would recommend). Besides, your computer probably already has a soundcard in it that is either built onto the motherboard or shares a PCI card with a modem. If you added another soundcard you then might have a total of 3 and that could get ugly really fast.

            Go USB - it's painless, and you can unplug it easily and plug it into your laptop (or other friend's computer) in 2 seconds.


            • #7
              I can agree with that, don't use two different soundcards at the same time if it is not necessary. It can only cause you trouble!
              Music was my first love...


              • #8
                Hi Mick, and sorry for the delayed answer.

                Originally posted by Mick Wade:
                Pierre, did you have to assign any special configurations to your computer in order for your MIDI interface to work properly with a USB port?
                My trusty old PC doesn't have USB, but I had to install a driver for the parallel port MIDI interface I mention. After that I ran Vkit-Trans, it detected the MIDI interface and off I went. I assume that after you plug in the MIDI interface in your USB Windows will recognize a new hardware and will, a) try to find a known driver or b)ask you for the driver. Once this is done then any librarian, recording, etc program should have to recognize the MIDI interface.

                And, more importantly, are you currently using your PC for SysEx purposes? If so, do you recommend any particular librarian software?
                I use Vkit-Trans although I have an expanded TD-10, I also use Cakewalk to save bulk dumps from the TD-10 (and also recording ).
                Finally I bought Emagic's Soundiver, which is a librarian that supports more than 500 midi instruments including TD-10, TD-10 expanded, TD-8 and TD-7. It is really powerfull, you can edit any parameter and the changes will be sent inmediately to the TD-10 (if it's on and connected). on the drawbacks side you wil find that's it's a liitle bit expensive if you're going to use it only for the TD-10.
                I'll stop before boring you and everybody else telling Soundriver's wonders. If you want to know more about it let me know and we can discuss in a new topic.

                Cakewalk, Cubase, Logic=record and edit sysex, audio, save bulk dumps from module.

                Vkit-Trans=save dumps from module (only for TD-10) both individual and bulk.

                Soundiver=modify any parameter of the TD-10/8/7 from your PC/Mac and save dumps, bulk or individual.

                One final message, you cannot edit patterns with any software that I know.

                Ok, too many lines...
                I hope I made sense,


                • #9
                  As the man said on the Miller Lite commercial about the French and mayonnaise: "Nice going, Pierre."

                  I MIDI'd my D4 to my buddy's computer last night and downloaded some freeware called "D4win" that was editor software in the vein of SoundDiver. It was pretty cool being able to completely edit all facets of the kit from the PC, but not necessarily essential for me. It's never really been that much of a hassle for me to edit the old-fashioned way. Having said that, I'm sure I'll end up getting SoundDiver sometime soon. I know a lot of the people on this site have recommended it highly.

                  As far as the TD-8 patterns and songs are concerned, editing them is no problem with the current setup that I have. Even my QY10 will sync to the TD-8. I've already taken several factory patterns off the TD-8, modified them, and saved them to floppy on my DataDisk or bumped them right back into the TD-8. I've also done this with complete songs I've put together using these modified patterns. What just plain sucks is this: at this time I've got 5 songs composed in the TD-8's memory and am able to put together no more. Even after erasing the other 45 factory preset "songs", I still have only 11% available memory, and as I recall, I'm only using 60 of the 100 available user pattern slots. I can save all my songs and patterns as MIDI sequence files on the DataDisk, but, for the time being, if I want to put them back into the TD-8 in order to use it as the main sound source, I'm out of luck....

                  I've said this before but it needs to be said again: don't ever get all smug and assume that your gear will operate flawlessly at all times. If you are an e-drummer and you don't have a Plan B at the moment of truth...the show's over. Don't have this happen in front of 5000 bikers and find out the hard way like I did. See, with the V-drums I'm carrying half the gear and have a hundred times the musical firepower I had with my previous setup. Robert Fripp is always preaching about being "portable yet powerful" when it comes to your gear, and its just simply being in line with the purpose of modern technology. Bottom line: This PC trip is fine for home use, but it isn't going to do me much good out live. I still need an outboard unit of some kind, and, for that matter, so does anyone else using the V-drums live or on the road. The show must go on, but you've got to be ready if it doesn't feel like doing so at a particular moment. Baby your V-drums and they'll baby you right back!

                  Thanks again to everyone that replied and for putting up with my Tolstoy-length posts. I'm just trying to shed some light on why I'm so obsessed with this SysEx thing.....
                  TD-30 / SPD-SX /Alesis Strike Multipad