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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Strings and things
MIDI Mode 4 implementations
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject: MIDI Mode 4 implementations Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog posted a comment about Midi mode 4 in another thread, and I got curious about how this concept has been used.

So - what hardware or software instruments do you know of that implements Midi mode 4, i.e. is able to accept midi on several channels (preferably 6 or more) for the same sound?

I don't know of any myself...

/Stefan

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

impOSCar http://www.gforcesoftware.com/ins_imposcar.php is the only one I know of that directly supports this other than the actual roland guitar based synths like the GR33 etc.


Andy
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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Roland MKS-70 directly supports MIDI mode 4 in the fashion that MIDI guitarists think of, i.e. select mono mode and the base channel. There are several others that support mode 4 (technically "Omni off, Mono"), I have some myself, but I don't know which ones would work like an MKS-70 (ATM many of my synths are packed away, so I can't easily test...)

DJ
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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just found this article which deals with MIDI modes. Towards the bottom of the page, there is this very interesting paragraph:

"When setting up Mode 4, the Mono On message includes a value which determines how many MIDI channels should be assigned to a channel-group. If the value is set to one, the sound-generating system will act as a simple monophonic instrument. If the value is set to, say, six, then a the sound-generating system would take up a block of six MIDI channels. If the value is set to zero, then a the sound-generating system is supposed to take up as many MIDI channels as it has voices. For example, on an eight-voice polyphonic synth, the group would consist of eight MIDI Channels; normally, each channel would render just one note at a time."

So is the "base channel + range of channels" thing in the MIDI standard for Mono mode? I'm trying to find out more at midi.org now. Perhaps more synths than we think is Mode 4 capable in the way we'd like...

DJ
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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In the official Summary of MIDI Messages document it says about the data byte of CC message 126 (Mono Mode On):

"Note: This equals the number of channels, or zero if the number of channels equals the number of voices in the receiver."

So it looks as if every synth claiming to support Mode 4 or "Omni off, Mono" should work as expected for MIDI guitar. We need to do some MIDI implementation chart reading and testing Razz

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ooh, interesting. Smile Time to put those synths to the test! Thanks for digging that out.

/Stefan

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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My favorite MIDI ref has this to say:
Quote:
Mode 4 - Omni Off / Mono

In theory, the device plays one note at a time on 1 (or more) specific MIDI channels. In practice, the manufacturers of MultiTimbral threw the entire concept of Monophonic out the window, and use this for "MultiTimbral mode". On a MultiTimbral device, this mode means that the device plays polyphonically on 1 (or more) specific MIDI channels. The Monophonic controller message has a Value associated with it. This Value is applicable in Mode 4 (whereas it's ignored in Mode 2), and determines how many MIDI channels are responded to. If 1, then on a non-MultiTimbral device, this would give you a truly monophonic instrument. Of course, on a MultiTimbral device, it gives you the same thing as Mode 3. If the Value is 0, then a non-MultiTimbral device uses as many MIDI channels as it has voices. So, for an 8 voice synth, it would use 8 MIDI Channels, and each of those channels would play one note at a time. For a MultiTimbral device, if the Value is 0, then the device uses as many MIDI channels as it has Parts. So, if a MultiTimbral device can play only 8 patches simultaneously, then it would use 8 MIDI Channels, and each of those channels could play polyphonically.

Some devices do not support all of these modes. The device should ignore controller messages which attempt to switch it into an unsupported state, or switch to the next closest mode.

If a device doesn't have some way of saving the musician's choice of Mode when the unit is turned off, the device should default to Mode 1 upon the next power up.

On final question arises. If a MultiTimbral device doesn't implement a true monophonic mode for Mode 4, then how do you get one of its Parts to play in that useful Monophonic state (ie, where you have Portamento and legato features)? Well, many MultiTimbral devices allow a musician to manually enable a "Solo Mode" per each Part. Some devices even use the Legato Pedal controller (or a General Purpose Button controller) to enable/disable that function, so that you can turn it on/off for each Part over MIDI.

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