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feelyoursound.com releases “XotoPad 2” – Windows MIDI Touch Controller and Instrument

Friday, September 25th, 2015

feelyoursound.com has released version 2.0.0 of XotoPad. XotoPad turns any Windows multi-touch device into a full-featured MIDI controller with chords, scales, faders, and more. Designed for [Read More]

Frank Rittberger updates Smidy MIDI Sequencer for Windows

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Frank Rittberger has updated Smidy, his VST 3 plugin hosting MIDI sequencer to a native 64-bit application. This enhancement is delivered with the newest build of the sequencer’s demo and full [Read More]

Planet-H updates G-Stomper Studio for Android to v4.4 – MIDI Export and other Features

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Planet-H has updated G-Stomper Studio for Android to v4.4. This new release brings Pattern MIDI Export, 4 new 8-Band Vocoders, a new Compressor/Limiter, a Gate and a Transient Shaper Effect, [Read More]

Schema Factor releases 64-bit version of MIDIMapperX 2.0 – Free MIDI Mapping VST for Windows

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Schema Factor has released a 64-bit version of MIDIMapperX. MIDIMapperX is a VST that allows the user to map any MIDI Note On/Off or CC event to an arbitrary sequence of bytes. This allows the [Read More]

NSD releases Circlys MIDI Loop Recorder for Windows (VST 32/64-bit)

Friday, September 4th, 2015

NSD has announced the release of Circlys, an eight track MIDI loop recorder VST plugin for Windows. Circlys records MIDI data even when the transport of the host sequencer isn’t running. This [Read More]

Sync that 303: One little box does MIDI to DIN sync

Monday, August 31st, 2015


Put some actual “computer-controlled” in the 303.

The folks at British maker Kenton have a way of churning out little boxes that do things people need. MIDI Thru, check. Connecting those USB gizmos that lack MIDI, check. Plugging MIDI to your modular, roger.

So, to that, add a single box that translates MIDI to DIN Sync (sync24) — and back again.

DIN Sync, as developed by Roland, is suddenly news again because of a rekindled interest in vintage gear. If you want to synchronize a TR-808 or a TB-303, DIN Sync is what you need.

The Kenton D-SYNC isn’t the first converter box, but I suspect that like some of the other Kenton boxes I mentioned, it’ll win points for its simplicity. If all you want to do is hook your 303 or 808 up to your rig, and get it clocking off MIDI signals — or, in the other direction, sync some MIDI device to DIN — this focuses on that task.


And as always, it’s in an aluminum box and isn’t enormously expensive. £58.20 GBP direct price from Kenton before tax and shipping — just about $ 90 in the US or 80€.

Also interesting: they’re evidently already beta-testing support for devices that use another sync format, 48 parts-per-quarter note (PPQN), such as Korg.

More info:

303 photo, top: (CC-BY-SA) Alexandre Dulaunoy.

The post Sync that 303: One little box does MIDI to DIN sync appeared first on Create Digital Music.


What if we used stereo minijack cables for MIDI?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015


“It was acceptable in the 80s…”

The standard MIDI DIN cable — that’s the big honkin’ connector you use on most of your MIDI gear — has become the bane of music hardware makers. The problem is, as gear has gotten smaller, the standard DIN connector hasn’t. And that’s a big problem, literally. To add a MIDI port to a device, you need to not only have enough clearance for the connector itself, but the whole around the port and the physical assembly that contains it. Speaking as a hardware maker, that takes up space you can’t even see from the outside.

As a result, a lot of hardware that should have had MIDI in and out doesn’t, to save room. Or it’s forced to be thicker than it needs to be. Or it squeezes out other useful ports.

It doesn’t have to be this way. S-Video could have become a replacement in the 90s, back when we used such things. (It has the same 5-pin arrangement, but smaller.)

Now, you may have noticed a lot of gear includes minijacks onboard. A stereo minijack (3.5mm “miniklinken”) connector has three pins — and MIDI also has three pins. (Okay, it has five, but two are unused.) Look at the breakouts included in the box, and what you’ll see is a standard 3-pin stereo minijack on one end, and then a horse-drawn buggy taped to a telegraph machine DIN connector on the other.

But here’s where things get interesting. Imagine you have two pieces of gear, each with these minijack-to-DIN breakouts. And you want to connect them together. What would happen if you skipped the little DIN dongles and ran an ordinary stereo minijack cable between them?

Well, whether it worked or not would depend on how that minijack connector itself was wired. So, I asked a few manufacturers, off the record and unofficially, what they were doing. It wasn’t hard to convince people to talk about it; anyone who has ever dealt with this problem dreams of ditching DIN.

It turns out most of them are using the same wiring — seen above.

Pin 1 — Tip
Pin 2 — Sleeve
Pin 3 — Ring

So long as you have two pieces of gear wired this way, you can connect them with a standard stereo minijack audio cable (that’s a single stereo minijack at both ends). It’s exactly the same as using a MIDI cable.

In this category:
IK Multimedia (iRIG MIDI — that’s the diagram at top)
Novation (such as Launchpad Pro)
Arturia (such as BeatStep Pro)

See this discussion of the iRIG MIDI on Sound on Sound, from way back in 2011 (meaning it’s time to do this, folks):
D.I.Y. MIDI/5-pin DIN to stereo mini Jack leads

Unfortunately, one other key maker is an outlier. Korg, which uses minijacks on its SQ1 sequencer and new ElecTribes, swaps sleeve and ring, unless I’ve got the wrong information. As long as you’re comfortable soldering your own cables, you could solve that, but it means there isn’t an immediate de facto standard.

On the other hand, it’s already pretty terrific that a lot of the stuff you’d immediately want to use hit at the same wiring at random. (No one, to my knowledge, has ever published something like this.)

So, rather than wait any longer, I think it makes sense to go public. Rather than wait for a standard, all you really need is for manufacturers to start using this same wiring. And by all means, don’t eliminate MIDI from a product just because DIN won’t fit. The “post PC” age is turning out to be more reliant on MIDI than the one before it, from iPads to all-hardware live rigs.

If nothing else, if you make DIY hardware, you can start doing this now. And you can plug your custom synth or whatever directly into a Launchpad Pro or BeatStep Pro (just to name two) and start playing it.

That’s a pretty cool accidental standard. So maybe we should make it less accidental.

Comments welcome. And if you have hardware with minijacks, I didn’t cover all of them. I’d love to hear what you’re doing.

The post What if we used stereo minijack cables for MIDI? appeared first on Create Digital Music.


4drX releases MidiKeyswitcher MIDI VST Plugin for Windows for Keyboard Players

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

4drX has released MidiKeySwitcher, a free MIDI VST Plugin for Windows that makes it simple for keyboard players to select and change presets of your favorite synths with a MIDI Channel Map, Program [Read More]

Sector Review – Slices, Sequences, Probabilities & MIDI

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Senza titolo
Do you like randomness and total chaos in music? Are you a math student wanting to study probability and make great music at the same time? Even if you did not answer yes to either question you will “probably” enjoy this app. I know that was kind of cheesy but the app Sector is not. According to the manual Sector, by Kymatica, is a stochastic sample slice sequencer.

In a nutshell, I would say Sector is a sample-mangling app with a twist of random. When you load up a sample via Audioshare or Audiopaste, it divides the sample up into 2 to 32 equal sectors. Each of the sectors can be warped, sequenced or mapped with a Markov-chain matrix. Everything can be set to some sort of probability. When something is set to 100% it means it will always trigger and 0% means it will never. Anywhere in between with produce some randomness based on the percentage.

Map, Sequence, Warp Explained
Starting off with the map section, each sector can be mapped to jump to any other sector. Click on a sector to select it, then click, hold and drag out to adjust the percentage. Each sector can have multiple possible hops going to and from it. You can also hold the (all) button to make every connection possible.

Next we will look at the sequencing section. You can have up to 64 steps with each step being able to have a certain percentage of triggering. To add a sector to the sequence, click on a sector then click in one of the circles. If you want 100% probability, it will trigger then just click on the circle to add it to the sequence. If you would like to add some randomness, click and drag in a circle to adjust the size of the circle. If you want to see what the percentage is, look at the top of the screen and it will show you as you are adjusting.

Lastly is the warping. Each sector can have up to 4 different warps with a 5th possibility to follow the previous sectors warping. There are 30 warps that can be selected. To add a warp to a sector, click on the sector then click on one of the four circles below the sliders. Scroll through the warps on the left side and select one. You can adjust the probability of each warp. You can preview what it will sound like by click on each of the warps. If you bring all sliders to 0%, then the sector will trigger with whatever warp was active right before it.

Additional details
Sector features a MIDI click sync that works well. I have synced it to Loopy and Elastic Drums with no issues. The app has also a well-written user guide and it comes preloaded with a lot of quality samples.

After playing with the app, mangling some loops, and killing about 2 hours without breaking a sweet, I only had one question. How can I actually use it in my music production? I think everyone should be pondering that question at some point about all the apps they have on their iPad. The risk is ending up with lots of apps and no real completed works. We’ll focus on this topic soon, stay tuned.

The new update
Going back to Sector, the app was just updated to version 1.1. It adds MIDI learn and a heap of new MIDI controls to trigger sectors and switch between the different memory slots. You can now use a standard midi controller or any other MIDI source, including apps, to trigger individual sectors. So essentially you can play or sequence it like an instrument. I tested out the MIDI controls with a couple of apps. I was able to sequence the sectors with Genome MIDI and play the sectors with Yamaha’s Synth and Dr Pad app.

One new feature I really like is the silent warp. You can use it to silence a sector to add a rest or mute a sector. Being able to add silence just adds to dynamic sounds that this app can produce. The other updates include various bug fixes, tweaks, IAA app switcher, and the ability to turn off IAA clock sync in case the host app is broken. They also included toggling reverse with randomizing Warp.

If you were on the fence about this Kymatica app then your wait should be over. With the new features that were just added, it makes this app a no-brainer purchase. I would highly recommend this app to anyone who wants a little randomness in their life or just enjoys mangling a sample beyond recognition. For $ 8.99 this app is a steal for what it can do.


Control MIDI and Ableton from your iPhone, Android for handheld music

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015


Put control over Ableton Live in the palm of your hand — and control MIDI gadgets even without the aid of a computer.

That’s the vision of LK (the former Livkontrol), out today for both iOS and Android handhelds.

This isn’t the first pocket controller. But it might be the first pocket controller to become truly invaluable. That’s because there’s robust support for more than just sliding some faders on your phone or working with wifi.

Features, all borrowed from the tablet LK:

  • Wireless connections, but also
  • USB connection
  • USB to MIDI interface support, so you can use this as a standalone MIDI controller

And then you get a bunch of really attractive, useful layouts for control:

  • An Ableton controller, for Session View, Devices, mixing, and grid instrumental playback
  • Hands-on composition for clips
  • MPC-style drum pads
  • X/Y pad for tweaking (KAOSS style)
  • A MIDI controller with support for hundreds of parameters, with pads, faders, and knobs


Now, of course, a phone is a pretty tiny object. But I can see some use cases for this:


1. You want some quick hands-on control of a MIDI gadget. This plus our MeeBlip is pretty insanely compact, and since it has assignable parameters, this also suddenly makes the ultra-tiny black box the Ploytec make some sense, because you could fit both in your pocket. All you need is a proper USB MIDI adapter.


2. You’re working on the road. I love producing while traveling. But you tend to have zero space. Even an iPad mini plus a laptop is a little cramped in a bus or on easyJet. But plugging an iPhone into a 13″ laptop, that’s very possible. I may try this tonight on the Polish railroad, in fact.

3. Sound check. Here’s the one and typically only place I prefer wireless to wired. Being able to trigger your Ableton set (or whatever) while you wander around a venue is priceless.

I can also imagine it being useful for collaborating with someone else in the studio, though then I probably would use the tablet version.


Something else is really interesting about the LK developers’ approach, and that’s that they’re making the app work across Ableton Live, specifically, and generically with MIDI. I think that’s significant because a lot of heavy Ableton users now also want to work with external MIDI gear. (And yes, Ableton, that’s a major problem I have with Push’s inability to function in a useful way when the laptop isn’t on.)

The developers had some comments for CDM on that:

Since we set out to rebuild Livkontrol, our main goal was to provide a real cross platform solution for Ableton Live and MIDI control that could be able to deliver the exact same experience on every device, independently of the user’s personal choice or budget. We believe that, by releasing this phone version, we are one step closer to our goal.
Until future developments, LK for phone devices will be one of the products we will be focusing on, given this version’s versability and capabilities with existent modules. We find it extremely satisfying to have an Ableton Live and MIDI Controller right in our pocket, capable of estabilishing a low-latency connection or being a comprehensive but small sized studio controller, perfect for already busy work environments.

If you’ve already got LK on your tablet gadget, your existing license will immediately work on your phone, so give it a try and let us know what you think.


The post Control MIDI and Ableton from your iPhone, Android for handheld music appeared first on Create Digital Music.