Midi Tools – Overview
The MIDI TOOLS are tiny, cute boxes manipulating Midi Data. They will be plugged in between the sender (MIDI OUT of DAW or Keyboard) and the receiver (MIDI IN of Synthesizer) and will be supplied with power from the connected Midi cable – there is no power supply jack. This is quite practical and works with the vast majority of equipment.
The Midi Tools are coming in 3 flavours:
- The PolyChainer will be plugged in between the Synth Programmer and allows to play e.g. two Matrix 1000/6/6R (or other Synths) with 12 note polyphony. It works perfect as well with every other synthesizer.
- The CCTranslator translates ordinary Control Change (“CC”) messages into the complex SysEx commands to control and remote your vintage Synthesizer
- The ChordTransposeFilter offers 4 features at the same time: Chord Memory, transposition of incoming midi notes, filtering of undesired Midi data and a simple MIDI Thru
The MidiTools are housed in a beautiful stainless steel case, the upper half painted in transparent strawberry red, yum. Like all Stereoping products their firmware can easly be updated over Midi. Please click the tabs for more info about the little helpers.
The PolyChainer distributes incoming midi notes to it’s both MIDI OUT jacks – one after the other. The position of the switch labeled POLY / LAYER determines whether it should double the POLYphony or LAYER the sounds of 2 connected synthesizers. The maximum of possible voices per synth does not matter at all.
Originally it was designed for enabling the Synth Programmer to use the GROUP mode with two Matrix (1000 or 6/6R or even mixed) for doubling polyphony. Without the PolyChainer this is not possible for two reasons:
- the Matrix 6 does not offer the GROUP mode at all
- the Matrix 1000 seems to have a little bug: Midi Parameter Change SysEx-data being forwarded on it’s MIDI THRU jack is destroyed, parameter changes therefore can not be forwarded to the 2nd Matrix.
The PolyChainer solved this by not using the M1000’s own Group mode. Instead it distributes the notes alternately to the connected synthesizers. Further it allows to select which one of the synths will be provided with parameter-change data. This even works with two Matrix 6 or 1000 mixed in all combinations.
Several decades ago the Synthesizer’s were designed to listen to „System Exklusive“ commands (in short „SysEx“) to change their parameters. These commands are not uniformed, each manufacturer / model follows it’s own command structure, sometimes quite cryptic due to checksums or nibble splitting. Apart from the complexity and diversity of SysEx-data, most DAWS and sequencers can not handle, record or edit them.
Nowadays manufacturers and DAWs are using „Midi Control Change“ messages (in short „CC“) for parameter changes and automation in the midi world. Most or all DAWs/Sequencer conveniently support CC-automation and editing with convenient graphical curves or customizable dashboards.
Unfortunately the sound parameters on vintage synths can not be changed directly with CC messages, in most cases they will be simply ignored. This is where the CCTranslator comes into play: The CCTranslator will be plugged right in between your DAWs MIDI OUT and the Synth’s MIDI IN and translates ordinary CC messages into the complex SysEx-Strings your Synthesizer needs to be feeded with. All remaining sequencer/keyboard data like notes, pitchbend etc. will be passed unchanged to the Synthesizer of course. This means: the CCTranslator allows editing and automating your Synth parameters right inside your DAW.
Oh, apart from the CC/SysEx-translation feature you will get a Chord memory on top.
Available for the following Synthesizers:
- Yamaha TX81Z (also working with DX11, DX100, TQ5 and similar)
- Oberheim Matrix 1000/6
- Waldorf Microwave
- Korg DW8000
- Roland JX-8P
- Roland AlphaJuno 1/2/MKS-50
- Lexicon LXP-5
Note: depending on the firmware, not all available parameters of the Synthesizer are translated. Please take a look into the PDF manual for a table containing the supported parameters.
CHORD TRANSPOSE FILTER
The ChordTransposeFilter manipulates incoming data detected on MIDI IN and forwards the manipulated data (or not, if filtered) to both MIDI OUT jacks.
It offers 4 features:
- MIDI THRU (1 MIDI IN, 2 identical MIDI OUT)
- Transposing of incoming Midi notes by a user definable interval. Quite practical if you want to transpose your keyboard up or down to reach notes normaly out of range
- Chord Memory for up to 8 notes. The learnt chord will be saved in memory until next powerup.
- Filtering of undesired midi data. Each filter can be de-/activated separately, also saved permanently til next powerup.
Available midi data filter:
- Active Sens
- SysEx Daten
- Realtime messages (Start, Stop, Continue..)
- All Notes Off
- all channel data coming in on channels beinf different to the learnt base channel
- Program Change
- Aftertouch (channel & Key)