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Help for Midi Newb

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Big_D, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    I could really use some help with Midi. I've had an Alesis SR16 for years that I use to accompany me when I'm song writing. I tap out the rhythm on the pads, make a loop, send the audio to my mixer and jam to it. I've never tapped into it's midi capabilities as I have no idea where to start. I record accoustic drums so I don't need it for that but I would like to use it to add some other percussion insturments to my songs. The manual is not very clear on how it gets connected to other devices. The SR16 and my Layla 24's all have in, out and thru connectors but I'm not sure what gets connected to what so I don't even know how many cables I need to buy. I use Sonar and believe it has sequencing software built in. Is this what I use to program the SR16? How many cables do I need? What ports do I use? If someone could answer these questions I will know what I have to buy to make it work. I would also appreciate a reccomendation on a good book or a website for midi newb's. I need a little direction to get started and I can figure it out from there. Thanks
     
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    First, you will need to buy two MIDI cables of appropriate lengths. Then, if you connect the OUT on the SR16 to the IN on your Layla, and then connect the OUT on your Layla to the IN of the SR16, communication between the two devices will be established. You will be able to do things like use a sequencer on the computer to play your SR16, record what you play on the SR16 onto the computer as MIDI data, and use the SR16 to control virtual instruments if you ever get into that. Good luck, and if you have any more questions, this is the place to ask.
     
  3. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Thanks David, That's exactly what I needed to know. I'm sure I will have more questions in the future (I will probably add a small synth later) but this will get me started. Thanks again.
     
  4. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    David, I did have one more question. I wrote several Jazz based pieces years ago and would like to complete them using a synth to work out the horn parts, mainly trumpet, trombone and sax. Would you suggest a hardware or software synth. I am a computer professional so PC based stuff is easy for me to learn but I'm sort of old school in that I am very comfortable turning knobs and pushing buttons from my analog days. Is their a big difference in cost and features. If you have a suggestion as to which might be a better fit for me I would appreciate it.
     
  5. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I would recommend a software sampler and sample libraries. A software sampler is much less expensive than hardware and just as powerful if not more. There are so many great sample libraries out there for just about any instrument you can think of. Synthesizers won't give you the realism that samlers can provide.
     
  6. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    That sounds perfect since realism is what I'm after. I have one more question and I'll leave you alone, I have a Digitech S100 MFX Processor that I use for FX on my guitar amps. I like to get certain FX on tape from the amp rather than adding them in later. Some FX just translate better this way but it's a pain kicking them in and out with a footswitch. The unit has a jack for a midi foot controller and the manual says it accepts midi program changes and lists the program change numbers. Could I use the sequencer to map FX program changes to the proper places in the song and send that midi data to the S100? If I could that would give me repeatable results for retakes and punchins and I could concentrate on my performance not FX changes. Since it only has the one jack is this where the thru port is used from my Lalya? Thanks again for all your help David
     
  7. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Yes, your effect program change idea should be possible. You will want to hook up the Laylea to your SR16 as discussed earlier, then connect the THRU on the the SR16 to the IN on the Digitech. The THRU port is like an additional OUT port that provides a copy of the data that was sent to the IN port. Hooking upo devices in this way is called a 'daisy chain'. Note that hooking up more than a couple of devices in this way is a bad idea because the MIDI pulse data tends to get smeared and strange things can happen. If you need to hook up a lot of devices, you will need a MIDI patchbay.


    Nonsense. That's what we're here for :)
     
  8. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Thanks David, I'll try that hookup tonight. Do you have a recomendation on a software sampler that would fit my needs? I record mainly real insturments and the sampler would only get occasional use for insturments I can't actually play. Mostly horns and keys. I guess what I'm trying to say is my needs are very basic so I think spending a lot of money on a sampler would be a waste in my case. Big productions are not my thing so ease of use, price and compatability with my existing software would be key. I just switched from an older version of Sonar to Cubase SE as it better fits the way I work. Your advice has been great and I thank you for all of your help.
     
  9. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    There are so many and most of them are good. Look into Kontakt, Halion, or Gigastudio. Gigastudio has a budget version called Gigastudio 32 that might be right for you. Likewise, Kontakt has a budget version of itself called Kompakt that you should look in to. I believe they all ship with sample libraries, so which one you pick probably depends on which sample library you like the best. Try to find a store that has them installed for demonstration. Good luck.
     
  10. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Thanks again David your assistance has been invaluble!
     

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