MIDI reset?

  • Hello everybody,

    I have started using a Kurzweil controller with a triple ribbon working in 14bit to control the Aleph. It works wonders, but everytime I leave the Aleph for 30 seconds or more one of the values jumps to another one. Very annoying, as it practically makes the controller useless.

    Now I had noticed this systematic behaviour way before, but was hoping it could come from my ribbon, controller (both had problems) or even MIDI to USB. Now I have fixed the ribbon, the controller AND I have changed the MIDI to USB cable... and it is still the same.

    So I was wondering: same as the MIDI_CC object gets reset each time I open a scene (with channel and CC set to 0) no matter what I try, a bit like the BigNum operator, could it be possible that the Aleph checks the MIDI to USB cable every 30 seconds or so when idle, which could result in somehow receiving a wrong value? And if yes, is there any fix to that?

    Thanks in advance for any answer!

  • While exploring, I found out that the Aleph doesn't seem to receive 14-bit resolution from MIDI, only 7-bit. It doesn't change anything to my problem, though.

  • I will finally add that I cancelled everything else within the controller (Kurzweil Expressionmate), only kept one single button and even unplugged the ribbon itself. I sent a value by pressing the button, the Aleph responded and after 20 seconds or so it went back to another value. Also I tried it on an external synth with MIDI object display, and within my computer with Max and Ableton Live. No problem, so my guess is that it really comes from the Aleph. I also tried a regular keyboard with knobs and had no issue, though...

  • So I found a kind of solution, but still can't explain it.

    In the Kurzweil ExpressionMate there is a very nice feature called Midiscope. It'll show Notes, Controllers, System (Real-time & sys-common) and SysEx messages from the Main Output, the Aux Output, the Main Input or the Aux Input. I tried everything and nothing showed up although the Aleph kept resetting the value after a certain time! More astonishing, but going in the same direction I was pointing at, if I remove the MIDI to USB cable from the Aleph the value jumps instantaneously to the same point. Finally if I set up a value with the ExpressionMate and then remove the MIDI plugs from it the change happens anyway.

    This shows clearly that it doesn't come from the Kurzweil element, or at least not in a MIDI way that can be seen as such.

    It could then come from the Aleph and/or the MIDI to USB cable. I have tried two of those though, and the same thing happened... Now I tried the same with an external keyboard (here the Edirol PCR-M1) through MIDI functionality, using the same MIDI to USB cable, and no problem!

    So what I did in the end, after trying many different things, is I connected the MIDI to USB cable between the Aleph and the Kurzweil ExpressionMate, which is a really advanced MIDI machine by the way, plugged the output of the Edirol PCR-M1 to the Aux input of the Kurzweil and merged the data from the Aux output to the Main output... And now everything works!

    I won't complain much more then, but it would be interesting still to find out what's happening here. My guess is the Aleph is "trying" the USB connection every 20 seconds or so by sending something to the cable. Some controllers send their data continuously or block the "idle" message, no matter what it is, whereas some controllers respond as idle as soon as you don't touch them. I still don't get why the Aleph uses that opportunity to switch to another number though.

  • Thanks for your rigorous testingi i_snor. I had issues with my OP1 and the Aleph using MIDI and finally just gave up on it.

    The OP1 would crash the scene I was using and lock up Aleph if I ever hit a lot of simultaneous notes instead of single notes.

    Sometimes the Aleph would crash the OP1 causing its screen to output gibberish and require a power cycling which was surprising since I thought Aleph was just receiving midi.

    I never took the time to troubleshoot the way you did as there are a lot of other things I can do with the Aleph and I figured at some point the midi drivers would get updated.

    I certainly would not be comfortable with the Aleph live connected to a midi controller.

    Anyway I just wanted to post that I too experienced MIDI frustrations. At this point I don't consider Aleph's MIDI robust enough to be useable.

  • Ah thanks rayce, good to see I'm not the only one. Still the configuration I got now looks rather solid, but I'll try it this entire week before going live with it for sure - and will let you know. Also I have built a lot of scenes now, mostly with waves and including some funky sequencer and all, so it'll be an occasion to show how it all works on a video.

  • Looking forward to seeing it all in action!

  • hi,


    "My guess is the Aleph is "trying" the USB connection every 20 seconds or so by sending something to the cable. Some controllers send their data continuously or block the "idle" message, no matter what it is, whereas some controllers respond as idle as soon as you don't touch them. I still don't get why the Aleph uses that opportunity to switch to another number though"

    that's not happening. the aleph is not sending any keep-alive. the controller probably is though.

    also it's not set up for 14bits. i'll try and make sure that sending 14b cc doesnt mess up

    i made the midi drivers based on basic test signals from the computer. not enough testing on e

    if you want to help debug for your device, i need as close to possible to a full capture of the raw bytestream coming from it. e.g., the direct values of the device port under linux.

  • wait a sec... so MIDI_CC gets its channel set to 0 on scene recall, even if you stored a different value in the scene? that's not what i'm observing.

  • double post sorry. anyways i've seen some similarly funny behaviors for CC input before, other people reported it was fine, so i need to look again. if you have any way of capturing the raw bytestream from your controller, that would be enormously helpful.

  • I will try and do that as soon as I get some time, so in about two weeks. And yes, the channel gets reset to 0, and the CC number does as well. Thanks for your reply Ezra, hopefully we'll figure it out!