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Is MDPro capable of driving a large hardware setup (40+ physical ports) - MIDI Designer Q&A

Is MDPro capable of driving a large hardware setup (40+ physical ports)

0 votes
related to an answer for: Roland JX-3P, JX-8P, MKS-30, MKS-50
asked Oct 29, 2013 in Advanced by chris-foster (120 points)
recategorized Oct 29, 2013 by MIDI Designer Team
Hi Chris,

I'll ping Rainer and let him know this question is up here. Hopefully he'll answer you back.

Thanks for this thread. This question is a bit of a mix between hopes, questions, and notes about technology. So that this forum can answer back, can you reduce it down to some specific questions, please?

One answer is that MIDI Designer does NOT allow you to address specific hardware outputs. That might change at some point in the future, but for now it's a limiting factor for your intended use with the iConnect.

Also, if by "let me walk with my sysex data"... well, MD does not allow for sysex librarian functions at all, but we do rock sysex on all levels (most of the Roland layouts use this).

Please comment back or edit the question and we can continue the conversation. Thanks for contributing.

Best!
Dan

Dan Rosenstark
Author & CEO
MIDI Designer
dream | create | play
Regarding exporting your sysex to another format such as CopperLAN: there are NO export possibilities for MIDI Designer layouts except in our proprietary format, for now.
Hi Chris! Glad you like the layout and appreciate my efforts!
Regarding your idea "My idea is to have as many synths as possible acting as one big patch i.e when I manipulate say... filter cutoff, the sysex/cc info is sent to all synths that have that parameter available...":
This would create a very long string of MIDI information, that would clutter the rest of the MIDI stream so notes would probably be delayed as well; in any case, MIDI timing would suffer quite badly from it. Even now, when you change f.e. the filter cutoff for the JX-8P with swipes swipes up and down, the MIDI stream on that physical MIDI cable would be overwhelmed with too much Sysex information. I'm sure that MIDI itself will be the limiting factor here... Obviously, with CC it's a different story, and you could use MD to realise it with the Supercontrols.

Regarding your question "I'm not sure that a MDPro is up to the task of controlling a very large hardware setup, given each sysex stream needs it's own midi channel (and with over 40 physical midi ports on patchbays)":
Do you have an 'input switcher' that can route the input to any of the outputs? like a sequencer does when you select a specific track, that it will MIDI-thru anything incoming to the output of that track.

I agree with you that it would be a great idea to have some unified Sysex database somewhere, but the variety of formats and parameters is bewildering, especially with multi-'partial/layer/tone' synths like most modern synths are. I think that fact alone prohibits coming up with a unified structure!

To answer your question "Is MD flexible/powerful enough to do a serious hardware setup, let me walk with my sysex data...to justify an iPAD Air...I ask myself.":
You can see MD - in conjunction with a virtual MIDI to hardware MIDI box - as just another input for your MIDI setup. In that light, it's mainly your hardware setup that needs to be flexible enough to route the desired controls to the desired synths. And recapping my comments about the "all synths with 1 control simultaneously" - I think your MIDI rig will protest greatly against such a big stream of data anyhow, that it's not really feasible to try and go that route.

Cheers,
Rainer
Thanks for your reply Rainer,

I have 5 x 8 port motu midi patchbays on Win8 with 'any to any' routing being provided by CopperLan. Data between devices can be thinned to 1 channel if desired and sysex gets it's own separate channel 'sys' that can be enabled separately. They have a commercial and Freeware SDK for developers.

I think hands down, CopperLan is the way for end to end midi/sysex communication.

For note information, I have 6 x Korg S3 Rhythm modules that have 8 velocity sensitive buttons and which can be assigned to any note. If you want a laugh, check out it's sysex implementation...keep a month spare to make a template for this thing :) http://www.houseofsynth.com/korg-s3-rhythm-workstation-drum-machine-sequencer-owners-service-manual

"the MIDI stream on that physical MIDI cable would be overwhelmed with too much Sysex information" not sure about that (given thinning available in CL)...I thought maybe the buffer on the physical device would be the limiting factor, which I think can be overcome by converting the midi device to a native copperlan port with an Alex http://www.alyseum.com/product_ALeX.php

I have made the developers of CopperLan and 'Geco on LeapMotion' aware of the MD product so they know where I'm coming from when I'm bugging them about sysex. I'm trying to make the developers of the best midi solutions aware of each other, in the hope we get the best combination. I dont think developers can ignore CopperLan, this is traffic cop for midi!

What I meant by exporting sysex from MD was the ability to export all those strings that have been entered into MD, via a common readable format....Or the ability to import those strings I have entered into a spreadsheet or database i.e I'm guessing you used a PDF manual and copy/pasted into MD or if done by hand, you inputted the info into a spreadsheet/database first, then copy/pasted? Otherwise the hot new MD killer comes along and you need to it all over :(

In a perfect world, the midi database is available via Restful API to all apps of the world...and probably inputted by utilizing something like Amazon Mechanical Turk.


"the variety of formats and parameters is bewildering, especially with multi-'partial/layer/tone' synths like most modern synths are. I think that fact alone prohibits coming up with a unified structure!"

I think the important thing is to have that data available in the first place, a bright young university thing can then decide between rocket science or solving our midi dreams.

You mentioned running VM's to solve some of your problems, take a look at Openstack for where thats going....this project is on the way to killing off IT as we know it. DevOps or NoOps as they like to be called, will soon have the power to totally bypass the IT gatekeepers in an organization. We are close to having the ability of turning a warehouse of baremetal machines to a functioning datacenter in a couple of hours from a laptop!

It's fun to be a dreamer :)

Chris
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