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Quick MIDI Question: No. of Channels?

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  • Quick MIDI Question: No. of Channels?

    I plan on interfacing my Akai S6000 sampler with the TD-10 VDrum Module (soon to be bought), triggering snares, and kicks, etc that I have compiled over the years.

    I want to set this up so that the snare (PD 120 pad) triggers whatever sound I have set-up on MIDI Channel 1 on my Akai; the kick triggers MIDI Channel 2; Hat 3; Toms 4; Cymbals 5, and so on.

    I do DEFINATELY NOT want all pads to be routed through the SAME MIDI Channel as this defeats the amazing 'Multi-Mode' mixing capabilities of my Akai.

    All sounds routed into the same program? urg, no thanx...

    I ask as I remember reading that the V-Drum module/s can only sand signals through channel 10. Surely this cannot be right can it?


  • #2
    I'm not sure about this, but I think you can only send MIDI through one channel, although that channel does not need to be 10.

    I think you can only send the kit out one channel though. I might be wrong, I've never tried to send each pad out a different channel.




    • #3
      Hey, djburt. And welcome aboard:

      I don't own the TD-10 (I have the 8), but I know that what you're proposing is theoretically possible.

      Here's the deal: first of all, this business about the TD-10 transmitting only on MIDI Channel 10 is nonsense. I can be adjusted to transmit and receive in any combination of the 16 MIDI channels. MIDI Channel 10 is the standard channel assigned to drums in the General MIDI (which really sucks, if anyone cares) format. What the V-drums cannot do is have the kit and sequencer percussion sounds accept simultaneous commands on 10. It has to be one or the other, which is referred to as "CHANNEL 10 PRIORITY" in the module.

      Both the TD-10 and the TD-8 have a built-in sequencer (the 8's is 5-track), and, again, each track can be assigned to any of the 16 MIDI channels. The only stipulation to this is that no two tracks can share the same channel. Both units have what is referred to as a "PAD PATTERN" function, and this allows you to trigger an internally-generated sequence or pattern by striking a pad. Consequently, what you'd be doing in your particular scenario is triggering a series of up to 5 one-note, one-track patterns, each assigned to a different MIDI channel.

      The MIDI signals would in turn trigger the appropriate samples on your Akai, which would allow for the mixing flexibility that you're after. If this sounds good so far, great, but here's where I have to rain on your parade:

      Neither module is set up for polyphonic sequencer playback. In other words, if you trigger a sequence by hitting a pad and then strike another one simultaneously or before the former pattern has stopped playing, the previous sequence is cancelled.

      Sorry, but unless you plan on playing the most linear beats on Earth, it looks like you'll have to mix your samples the hard way. Gotta tell you, though: the day someone invents a drum module that allows each pad to route to a different MIDI channel will be an interesting day indeed!......

      [This message has been edited by Mick Wade (edited July 31, 2001).]
      TD-30 / SPD-SX /Alesis Strike Multipad


      • #4

        "There's no benefit to running different drum/percussion instruments on different MIDI channels: it's not faster, or anything like that, if that's what you're thinking."

        Er, wrong.

        Clearly you haven't used an Akai S5000/6000. This will be the main hub of my sounds and, in reality, kicks all ass off any drum sound modules there are out there. Why? Well, I will be triggering more than drums, perc sounds. I'll be sending vox samples, noises, pads and so on and to have all these sounds lumbered together with my drum sounds doesn't make sense to me.

        On top of this is, it doesn't make sense to even use the Akai Multi screen at all in Feefer's limited scenario. Kinda makes getting the Akai a waste in the first place. In feefer's scenario the sounds would be stored in an Akai Program (akp) across a keyspan. Fair enough. But adjusting levels, pitch, pan is very fiddly and requires flicking through many pages just to get to one sound. Furthermore, all sounds in that akp are routed through the same output which renders all sounds inseperable for further mixing. This is simply not the way to go. You don't REALLY send your drum sounds through one stereo output do you? Clearly you cannot in a professional situation. Mixing engineers will be in tears if you do, not to mention the poor mix that will result from this set-up.

        Now switch to reality: If you asign each sound to a seperate akp you can then take advantage of the Akai Multi mode which allows you to stack up to 128 parts and route any one to any MIDI Channel (32 Channels in the Akai S6000 courtesy of 2 MIDI Ins), any output (including main XLRs, 1-16 mono line outs, ADAT Optical 16 Channel, Stereo AES EBU, Stereo Optical) and utilise the onboard FX Board included EQ (hence removing the need for a mixing desk). Voila! Virtual mixing desk. Panning, level, pitch can all be done on one screen for ALL parts (or akp's). So yes it is faster, and anything like that.

        So in theory, flexibilty here is enormous. Think about it. If I wanted to just play a kick and snare I could route up 64 snare parts all configured to MIDI Channel 1 and 64 Kicks routed to MIDI Channel 2 and just use the snare pad and kick trigger configured respectively. Each snare and kick can then be mixed and routed at ease and very very quickly and accurately (this, of course, is a very excessive example, but you get my drift). All this kinda makes the V-Drum module kinda wither away whimpering. After all, all that COSM Modeling can ultimately be sampled anyway.

        But alas, Mick has pissed on my fire. I have, however, been told by my local yamaha dealer that the DT Modules can set up seperate pads to trigger accross different MIDI Channels.

        Just for the record, I'm in no way putting the V-drums down (they are, in fact, by far the very best E-Drums I have had the pleasure of playing). I am just trying to overcome a few trigger problems that have been bugging me for some time.

        Mick, is it true that there is no drum module that allows each pad to route to a different MIDI channel?

        If this is the case, then I am F*#@!d. I'll check my yamaha man and keep you all posted.



        • #5
          >> Er, wrong

          Save your breath guys. He knows it all already.


          • #6
            Originally posted by djburt:

            I ask as I remember reading that the V-Drum module/s can only sand signals through channel 10. Surely this cannot be right can it?

            Sorry, feefer. I was just going off this particular part of his message. You had actually posted your reply while I was still working on mine....


            There's no module that I'm aware of that performs in such a manner. It's a cool idea, though. Such a module would essentially be built the same as a sequencer in the sense that MIDI notes could be routed to different channels based on output configurations. I can't say I have a working knowledge of the Yamaha DTXtreme, but I would be more than a little surprised if it could actually perform the function you describe.......

            TD-30 / SPD-SX /Alesis Strike Multipad


            • #7
              Thanx for the replies people. Yes, ak.Sys is remarkable - allows me to do some serious sample editing in Peak and Pro Tools and swing them over to the Akai seamlessly.


              My application is primarily for live use - so yes, using the mutli mode would be much quicker here (viewing all parts on one screen is nice in a live situation). Feefer, your simultaneous MIDI Channel stacking is, of course, the great solution. Great!

              Also, nice to hear that you're using an external sound module with your kit. Sounds to me like you're getting good results, and yes, the Akai FX Board isn't exactly pro-quality by any stretch of the imagination.

              For me the ultimate situation would be to get the Akai ADAT Optical expansion board (16 channels) and send that into a yamaha 03D digital mixer which, I hear, has great internal processing (dynamics, EQ, delays and reverbs). Everything remains in the digital domain (and avoids the S5k/6k DACs that you mention).

              I don't find it totally true to say that "the S5/6K doesn't sound anywhere near as clean and punchy as my Roland XV-5080." After all, its what you put into the sampler in the first place which makes a difference. Mmmm....hard to make a comparison between a sampler and a sound module, but yes the processing is probably better on the Roland, I'll give you that.

              Feefer, what do you reckon to the Akai ---> ADAT Optical Expansion ---> Yamaha 03D Desk set-up (eliminating the need for any outboard compressors, gear, etc) in a LIVE situation? Similar to Steve Alexander's (Duran Duran) live rig. I'll be sending the soundman individual outs from the Yamaha 03D after they have been EQ'd and compressed to taste (for my own peace of mind), so his job would be merely mixing levels and any extra EQ, etc, if necessary.

              Have you had chance to use the ADAT Optical option?




              • #8
                Hello Wade et al.,

                I have been struggling with a simlar issue. The TD-10 has some great kits and I want to be able to use more than one at a time. Here is the dilemma.

                I choose kit A and play a beat into my external sequencer. I get it all fixed up and hit play. The TD-10 is responding to channel x and playing kit A.

                Now I want to go back and add another rhythm on top of that beat using kit B. I want to assign kit B to another channel so I can play it while kit A is still playing and responding to channel x.

                I thought about using the percussion groups, assigning each kit's triggers to note numbers across two octaves and using my external sequencer to do the transposition for each track (or kit).

                Can't really do this though because percussion groups aren't really meant for assigning kits (some kit sounds aren't even accessible from a percussion group).

                The sequencer seems to deliver a four channel multi-mode, but three of those channels are for percussion groups and you only get one channel for kits, the one you have selected and is responding to channel x and your triggers.

                Essentially, I want to use the TD-10 like a multi-instrument module so I can play multiple kits on different channels from a sequencer.

                With respect to kits, The TD-10 seems to be a multi-timbral module that only responds to a single channel at a time, the channel you have the triggers assigned to. All these great sounds but you can access one kit at a time ?

                Any ideas ?

                Thanks in advance for your insight.

                - sgooB


                • #9
                  I own a a DTX V2.0 and a Drumkat and both these units will allow for different pads/inputs to send on any midi channel independent of the others. It's really basic midi operation, the fact that you can't do this with any Roland module is really inexcusable.
                  Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......