MIDI capabilities

25 replies [Last post]
Syntax201
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2016

A friend of mine has a JX-3P Roland synthesizer for sale. (for an amazing price) Is there any way to use this with Nanostudio? There is MIDI output from the keyboard. I use a MIDI myself for the program, but it's an AKAI, and I would love to be able to figure out a way to have the beautiful analog sounds of this Roland on Nanostudio and possibly trigger the program as MIDI for my other tracks. Is this possible? Much thanks.

Slam-Cut
Online
Joined: 09/07/2011

Yes, there are ways to use the JX-3P w/NS, but NS doesn't have MIDI out. For that you'll need to wait for the much anticipated NS2. In the mean time use NS like a sampler to capture the audio output of the JX-3P. There are a variety of ways to do that.

1) Play phrases on the JX-3P and record them into TRG pads. You can basically use a TRG track like an audio track made up of 30 sec (or so) samples.

2) Record single notes in to TRG pads. Then you can use the piano roll editor to tweak the performances you play on the TRG pads. I find this works nicely for long pad sounds, but it also works nicely for any sound really, and a single TRG pad will hold 16 notes, which is a reasonably functional range.

3) Record single notes into an empty Eden preset to create a sample-based preset. Depending upon the type of sound your results maybe limited to a short range since this relies on pitch-shifting and the associated quirkiness that brings. Some sounds will be playable over a couple octaves.

Hope that helps! I'd love to hear some of the presets you create with you JX-3P.

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

> 3) Record single notes into an empty Eden preset to create a sample-based preset. Depending upon the type of sound your results maybe limited to a short range since this relies on pitch-shifting and the associated quirkiness that brings. Some sounds will be playable over a couple octaves.

For most sounds from the JX, this will be your best bet since it will allow you to play them melodically with your keyboard. If the source sound has a lot of modulation it will be a little tougher since the modulation speed will sound like it's changing as you move up and down the keyboard but for 85% of the 'normal' synth sounds, you'll be surprised at how well this works. Make yourself a blank sampling preset that has most of the controls the way you like them and then sample into that one, doing a "Save as" each time.

If you'd like to be able to use those new sampled presets in many projects, be sure to save them to somewhere within the A-G banks, not the project bank. A-G are global, project is... project only.

> and possibly trigger the program as MIDI for my other tracks.

Not quite sure what you're asking here. As far as MIDI control, if you have a physical 5 pin MIDI interface for your iPad, yes: you can control NS from the JX. Like Slam-cut said, there's no going the other way though (from NS -> JX).

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

also, if you look around the app store, there are a few MIDI control surface apps out there that will make programming the 3P a lot easier than it is via the front panel!

Syntax201
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2016

Guys I want to sincerely thank you for getting back in touch with such detailed answers. I love the idea of being able to record a note (preset) through an empty eden bank to capture the preset from the Roland. This has given me the confidence and desire to move forward with the purchase, and for 350 bucks from a friend in great condition I feel it's a great step forward in satiating the analog in me! Would you recommend a supplementary program device such as the PG 200 for the JX-3P? I've heard it makes programming a LOT easier. Syrupcore I am SO pleased to hear that I can control the NS keyboard from the JX3! I will love the feel now when playing my live shows. I've been using an MPK which has worked wonderfully, but having a "real" keyboard and the sounds with it (as you stated to save into banks to access them easily) is a wonderful idea! Now my last question, what device do I need to purchase to go from the Roland to IPad. I have the older 24 pin connector and also have a powered USB hub (CCK) which I have been using without any problems for creating and performing. Thanks so much guys! Oh, and by the way if you are curious I have been using Nanostudio for 4 years, and make music along the lines of Carpenter meets Tangerine Dream in a 1980's synthwave club. It's a mix of genres, but I have released three albums on 30th Floor Records and play shows around the country when I'm not working my full time job and teaching on days off haha. Here's a link to my Soundcloud, and someone was nice enough to post the latest album. Again, all created on Nanostudio. I am loving the support and friendly responses (and helpful) for being brand new here. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQUnUghbA5Q
https://soundcloud.com/syntax201

Best

James Mann (Syntax)

Slam-Cut
Online
Joined: 09/07/2011

I have the PG-800 for my JX-8P, and if I were you I would absolutely get the PG-200 for the JX-3P. Thanks to Syrupcore for pointing out the app versions! I didn't know those existed. I'll need to get one for sure. The PG-200 makes programming MUCH easier and allows greater possibilities for live performance too.

I have the lightening plug on my iPad, so I'm not sure, but the first thing needed is the CCK Camera Connection Kit, from what I remember. I think that turns the 24-pin plug into a USB plug. With that you might be able to use any interface. Search Google for iOS to MIDI connections. There was also a device or two from iRig that worked on 24 pin iOS devices. I used one on my iPhone 4s which was 24-pin. Those are probably a lot cheaper now that lightening has become standard.

The JX-3P doesn't have full MIDI implementation, so that might be an issue. This is something you might want to check out, a sweet looking upgrade for the JX-3P: http://kiwitechnics.com/jx3pupgrade.htm
That looks worthwhile to me personally.

Nice music! I just listened to Tranmissions on YouTube. Really well done. It's clear that you are not new to the genre! You've got a great sound with a wide variety to your style. Do you use any synth or FX apps in addition to NS?

Stiksi
Offline
Joined: 11/21/2010

The camera connection kit is great for USB midi but you might want to check out dedicated boxes since you work with traditional midi gear. Here's a pretty comprehensive list of what's available. http://www.sweetwater.com/c1059--iPad_iPhone_MIDI_Interfaces

And it really pays to check out user comments and reviews before committing. Some of these have unexpected issues.

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

If you only have the one device with din midi, you can get away with one of those USB->MIDI connectors available for ~$10 on amazon. Like this one https://www.amazon.com/SANOXY-Cable-Converter-Keyboard-Window/dp/B0017H4EBG Plug that into your hub and bob's yer uncle.

> I have the PG-800 for my JX-8P

Can you taste my jealousy from there?

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

Shit, I'm sorry. I had it wrong: you can't program the 3P from an iPad app unless it has the KIWI or the Organix mod. The stock unit will respond to MIDI note messages and the like but not sysex control of synth parameters. Hope my misinformation wasn't a part of the purchasing decision!

You'll still be able to control Eden notes with it. And sampling the 3P sounds into Eden is also still a go. Just can't use a software based remote programmer—it's either the PG-200 or one of the mods below (and then the software).

Organix: http://organix.inque.org/index.php?page=jx-3p-upgrade. Very basic upgrade—basically allows you to use a software based programmer and that's about it.

KIWI: http://kiwitechnics.com/jx3pupgrade.htm This one is like a whole new synth! Alas, costs 3 to 4 times the Organix.

Then you can use:
http://mididesigner.com/community/midi-controller-roland-jx-3p-8p-mks-30...

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

Listened all the way through Transmissions. Thoroughly loved it. Have anything on bandcamp?

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

Found it: http://30thfloor.uk/album/transmissions. On the wishlist while I check out the rest of the stuff on 30th Floor. Package seems like a good deal. Getting it one way or the other.

Slam-Cut
Online
Joined: 09/07/2011

"Can you taste my jealousy from there?"
No, but I can sense your disappointment in me for not having it all hooked up and part of my workflow, with all the other gear. I keep telling myself it'll be soon.

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

Nah, let it go man. If it was meant to be, it'd already be hooked up. Need my address?

Slam-Cut
Online
Joined: 09/07/2011

Yeah, and if I were meant to be a musician, I'd already be successful. Not letting 'meant to be' stop me. (I think that could be a lyric...)

Syntax201
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2016

Hey guys! I've been out of town for the last two days, but was genuinely happy to see the responses. You both have been guiding me in the right direction and know what you both are talking about. After doing some research after my initial question I realized that I do in fact need a mod for the MIDI interface to work. Since there is a 6 month wait for the Organix I feel the sensible (albeit a bit expensive) alternative is the KIWI. Sounds like a great investment though. Full MIDI capabilities and also a bunch more patches that stack it up with the power of the Juno series. Although it is 250 (without shipping) it seems like a good investment. From there I will be likely using the PG 200 (Or Beringer) to program. I just scored it yesterday and she is beautiful! I'm glad I will be able to trigger Nanostudio synths through it as well.

So obviously it will be a little bit of a road before all these are in place but I feel encouraged. I was wondering if you could describe in detail how to record the notes into NS? I feel once I get these gem notes inside (even the presets) then with the capabilities within NS I can transform them into some pretty sweet sounds. (i.e.: waves, oscillators, send EFX) I have to reiterate how powerful NS is! (Like you guys didn't already know that) The synths sound remarkably analog and having that power at your fingertips along with the modifications (i.e.: delay, compressor, EQ) can shape up some fantastic sounds! I have never recorded sounds into Eden banks, and am looking forward to having a sweet JX3P go to bank.

I really appreciate that you guys enjoy Transmissions! Several of the tracks (collaborations particularly) introduce some other instruments such as the Polysix and the Juno, but everything is contained around NSP patches! I pretty much ravaged ALL available patches and found the sweet mix of go to sounds I thoroughly enjoy. I have found the Softly Softly and Padded Cell are integral, and then others such as the Lo Fi bells (which I believe are on the Harrison Zamplera patches) and more have become the go to sounds I use in most projects. But isn't that what it is after all? Finding the sounds that just work for you and crafting around them? The Synthetix Drum kit has helped a lot. I would be happy to list all of the NSP patches I've downloaded. there has to be at least 10 banks, I think I have found every single one available on the web haha! At any rate thanks for getting back.

I'd love to get that step by step layout on how to get theses sounds in. Do I need the modification to get the sounds in NS? Or can I hook it up MIDI > USB now? I feel the Sysex system isn't available so sounds like it may not work until I get all my ducks in a row. again, thanks for the help. I would love to make a NSP patch bank of presets and some custom sounds when I get it all sorted. Sometimes I feel like I know a lot in NS and other times I feel like a novice. Your guidance is super helpful and appreciated. :)

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

Can't go do a full step by step at the moment but getting the sounds into Eden is pretty easy. Just check the manual under sampling (Load one of the init patches in Eden, go to OSC->set to sample, hit record, make sure you have a decent signal, record!) Play a note on the Juno near the range you're likely to use it to avoid to much chipmunking. You can also record samples onto your computer and then use Nanosync to transfer them to Nanostudio. From there you can load them into eden via the sampler OSC.

MIDI control of Eden should be good to go with a stock JX3P — just need the MIDI interface and a CCK. One of those cheapo numbers should do it but if you have a local gear shop, maybe pay the extra for one there so that you can return it. iConnectivity, IK Multimedia and Yamaha all make similar cables (USB<->MIDI).

If you plan on buying a PG200, do you really need the KIWI upgrade? The main purpose of that upgrade (besides all of the extra awesome synth additions) is to allow MIDI control of the 3P's innards. If you have a PG200, that'd be doing the same. If you do the Kiwi upgrade, you can emulate the PG200 with that iPad app for about 800X less money. :)

Slam-Cut
Online
Joined: 09/07/2011

VSE says that the JX-3P was Roland's first MIDI synth but it did not have full MIDI implementation. Pretty much just note on note off sorta stuff. So modulation of parameters and any other MIDI stuff, sysex, etc. won't work. If you can get the Kiwi upgrade, you'll be able to add a lot of features, but I think it doesn't work with the PG-200. Always something, isn't it? Not sure if the two are mutually exclusive, but it's something to look into. The PG-200 allows you to real time tweak paramaeters of the synth, which should add a lot of flexibility in creating patches and tweaking them in real time for performance. However, I don't think the PG-200 will let you tweak the Eden synth parameters. That gets back to the not full MIDI implementation thing. I just wanted to make sure you're clear on that and not driving yourself crazy trying to tweak Eden from the PG-200.

Many JX-3P sounds will work nicely as samples for Eden presets, but I also like to use the TRG pads for longer evolving pad sounds. Those usually get weird in the pitch-shifting of an Eden preset. 16 pads is a couple octaves worth, so even leads will work as TRG pads. Record a performance, tweak it in the piano roll editor, then 'bounce it down' to another TRG pad (resample). Rinse, repeat.

With either Eden or TRG you are sampling the audio of the JX-3P (or other synth), not sysex.

Yeah, I think we probably all have those preset banks. Except probably syrupcore. I think he's more of a make it from scratch sort of purist, if I recall correctly. :o)

ReverendP
Offline
Joined: 12/05/2010

https://m.soundcloud.com/reverendp/adagio-04

Hello. I stumbled back here after a long time away and saw this thread.

Here is an example of how I recorded notes into an empty Eden preset. Then used NS to create the song.

Syntax201
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2016

Ok so this is starting to make sense. I believe I'm on the right track. For now (without the upgrade) I will record notes into Nanostudio from the JP and use the synthesizer as a MIDI trigger for other synth banks, etc. Replacing that sterile Akai MPK will be SO welcome :) I still have one question that bothers me.

How do you record notes, sequences, arpeggiations from the Roland into Nanostudio? I've noticed in programs such as Abelton you simply select a MIDI menu and power the device through the MIDI hub. (I have a CCK and now analog 6 pin modified plug in to get me powered through the iPad) Anything you play on the synth (ie: live parameter modifications, oscillators etc.) gets recorded easily into the DAW with Abelton. Does Nanostudio not have that ability? Although I appreciate being able to record the sounds into the synth banks, it seems this work flow is much more restricting and cumbersome. Or does getting a MIDI modification (not necessarily KIWI but Organix which is just 40 bucks) and a PG-200 or iPad app (which I have researched does in fact work with KIWI) get those beautiful parameter sounds I am craving. Or does Nanostudio interface take care of the oscillations, LFOs etc. after the note is recorded? Again thank you for being patient. All of this seems to make sense, (I'm almost there!) I am just craving an interface that allows me to record what I'm playing on the synthesizer with parameters right into an Eden in Nanostudio without spending a ton of cash.

Reverend JP that's a beautiful piece! I love those strings and your arrangement. Top work.

Slamcut and Syrup Core you guys rock! Super friendly and helpful. I realize the support in NS isn't extensive and after going through the previous feeds here you both know a TON of information regarding this. Perhaps the developer might chime in too? :) (Blip Interactive)

Slam-Cut
Online
Joined: 09/07/2011

Quick Post:
Guys on the forum try to field as many support questions as we can so that the Blip Interactive Development Team will be frre to work on NS2. NS can't do everything a modern desktop DAW can do. NS was created in an era when MIDI wasn't possible on iOS and apps like AudioBus, Abelton Link, Audio Share, AUM, etc. didn't exist. NS was designed to be a self-contained all in one box experience - not as the hub of a modern recording studio. Many of us have been pushing for NS to develop into a more Pro app now that iOS & iDevices can handle the demands. NS isn't a desktop DAW replacement yet, but NS2 will be much closer to that.

NS2 will hopefully have new features like Audio tracks and MIDI out. For now we have to rely upon workarounds. So audio phrases (60 sec max I think) can be recorded on TRG pads. Bass lines, arps, pad chords, etc. Another way is to use Eden as a sampler. Sample a single note in and Eden will pitch shift to cover the keyboard range. These can be modified a bit with FX, but not to the degree that a synth (non sample based) preset can be.

NS does receive MIDI in, so you can trigger notes with the JX-3P. I imagine stacking a JX-3P patch and an Eden preset at the same time. The JX-3P doesn't have full MIDI implementation, so it can't send out much more than note on note off, as far as I know. NS also doesn't have a full MIDI implimantation, so I'm not sure how much it recieves. Remember NS wasn't made for that. Things have been added on to NS over the years, but at this point it can't be upgraded any further and we have to just wait for NS2.

I can go into more detail on some of the workarounds later, but you should just try playing around and you'll see what works best for you. A decent audio interface to get audio signal onto the iPad is the first hurdle. Try getting some lush pads into blank TRG kits. Padded Cell is nice enough, but you can really tweak some nice things with the JX-3P I bet.

Syntax201
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2016

Thanks for confirming some of my notions regarding capabilities of NS. It's undoubtedly a powerful self contained program, and in no means do I wish to complain. For the price and range of sounds, coupled with the extremely intuitive work flow makes it a true winner for me. (and let's face it, the primary music software I've created the majority of my music on) The analog sounding synthesizers with oscillators create massive and rich compositions, and the EQ/Delay/Compressor and Send FX are TRUE winners for me. Some artists I am good friends with can't figure out how I get such delay and space on my tracks. I know very well the secret is Nanostudio. Of course in the future it would be nice to see such implementations, but you nailed it when you said MIDI is not structured to go out of Nanostudio, I will in the meantime be fine with doing workarounds. And I guess it is a bit unfair or unjust to compare the capabilities in the scope of complaining when Abelton is literally 50 times more expensive (and that actually might be understating the analogy)

When it comes to remixing, (and a separate topic) I will admit the 32MB cap for loading samples "stems" as I put in for my remixes has forced me to find a workaround. But I did. I just edited "pieces" of the stems or tracks and loaded them into samples. From there I can rework and lay my synths, percussion etc over. I export them at the corresponding BPM, and they line up beautifully in an editing program. Believe it or not I use FCPX and it works out ok. Sure, a few extra steps, but I'm not willing to ditch NS for Logic or Abelton (which I actually have) So I will eagerly and readily await the release of NS. I'm sure the question has been asked innumerable times, haha! So I don't want to annoy or agitate the developer who has done a spectacular job with the DAW in many ways.

Thank you again for going over this in detail, I feel like I understand and will be playing around this weekend when I finish my 50 plus hour week. :) I will put some sounds into the DAW and see what I can come up with. If I am on the heels of something so overwhelmingly beautiful, and it feels like Brian Eno's The Ascent is playing on repeat while I have tear stained eyes, I will make sure to get an .NSP patch out there.

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

> How do you record notes, sequences, arpeggiations from the Roland into Nanostudio?

It depends on what you mean by record.

Option #1—As MIDI: You can record all of those things from the Roland directly into Nanostudio's sequencer as MIDI information. NS doesn't do MIDI out so you can't use that MIDI information to retrigger the Roland. That said, if you're working with say "Preset 5" on the JX3P, you could:
1. Sample the note C3 (or whatever is close to the center of notes you were playing) from the Roland into Eden and save it as a preset
2. Record notes/sequences/arps MIDI information from the Roland into the NS sequencer
3. Point the sequencer track at the NS preset you made from the JX3P's "Preset 5".
4. Use the filters, envelopes, LFOs and effects you normally find within Eden to transform the sound of the original Roland patch sample however you like.

Option #2—As Audio: If you have a little sequence or riff happening on the roland and you want to ensure your tune has it _exactly how it sounds_ when you're playing it, sample the riff onto a TRG pad. Just like it sounds like you already do with remixing.

Even if NS had MIDI out, you'd likely do one of these options anyway since the JX-3P can only play a single sound at a time. So if you wanted to use it for a bassline as well as some chords, your only option would be to sample one or both.

So, if you want to be able to manipulate the timing (etc) of the recording later, you'd pick option 1. If you want to be able to record the sound of the "parameter modifications" happening in real time on the JX-3P, you'd need to pick option 2. Remember that most of the parameters you might want to modify on the JX-3P like filter cut off, LFO speed, tuning etc have equivalents within Eden. They wont work exactly the same but you'll likely be pleasantly surprised by how well Option 1 all comes together.

Oh, considering your love of both synthwave and Nanostudio, have you seen this?

Slam-Cut
Online
Joined: 09/07/2011

What syrupcore said.

PS nice find of NS in a music video

Syntax201
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2016

Fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to do a step by step explanation of getting the sounds into NS. When you say point the sequencer to the Eden I record the preset into could you elaborate a touch? Sounds like it simply means pressing record and laying down the Roland MIDI information, and then corresponding that with a saved preset so in turn I can adjust using oscillators, etc.? This is genius and EXACTLY what I want to do. I didn't realize it was possible. :) Thank goodness for your expertese!

Syntax201
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2016

Oh, and super cool track and Nanostudio find! :)

syrupcore
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2010

> Sounds like it simply means pressing record and laying down the Roland MIDI information, and then corresponding that with a saved preset so in turn I can adjust using oscillators, etc.?

You got it.

That whole Washed Out record is pretty great. The original version of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v00RQms9QiM