Nanostudio and the Alesis i0 Dock - midi issues

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this poison
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Joined: 07/15/2011

Firstly, many thanks for a great app - I was delaying for a native iPad version but took the plunge a month ago and it's a phenomenal piece of work. I upgraded to the extra tracks and I actually use it more than Logic now.

I was so impressed that I purchased an Alesis iO Dock to interface better in the studio - it arrived this week.

Problem is, when I use midi into the iO Dock, I get dropped out notes and hanging notes in Nanostudio.

I tried it on GB and Sunriser (Horizon) - all the same issue with hanging notes within seconds. iMS20 seems less prone to hanging, but notes are glitchy and dropped notes even more common.

Anyone else using it successfully with Nanostudio? It's the one I want to work the most and can't help thinking the issue might be my iO Dock.

All apps are at highest version, as is the iPad 2. I've tried a couple of controllers too (Alesis MiniAk and Roland HP 530e Piano) and will try others this weekend.

Cheers

Stevebowhunter
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Joined: 07/16/2011

Yes I'm having the same problem with hanging midi notes. Not with any Daw, but just playing any instruments on my iPad 2 through the IO Dock with the midi connection. I've tried 3 different controllers and they all do it. I've contacted Sweetwater where I bought it and Alesis, so they are aware of the problem. Although they both told me they haven't heard of this problem, Alesis support suggested that it might be because I don't have the adaptor to make the connection to fit snuggly. It's on it's way. This is very frustrating !

this poison
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Joined: 07/15/2011

My iO Dock is the second shipment - the adaptor came with it and is fully fitted to accomodate the iPad 2, so unfortunately that isn't it (for me anyway - hope it fixes it for you).

I've contacted Alesis - no response yet. My dealer confirmed they haven't seen the issue, and asked me to keep them involved.

I already use my iPad for live setlist and "reminders" etc for each song - my plan was to use it as an expander also (and maybe even some live sequences) so it's a little disappointing, as the iO is great otherwise.

I'll try more controllers this weekend, but I'm a little concerned.

Icepulse
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Joined: 06/15/2010

According to Alesis' site, the device is upgradable via firmware, and (when available) updates will be found under the D/L section at their site.

http://www.alesis.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/23/23e5fb8ed8da3be87524b0f1...

Stevebowhunter
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Joined: 07/16/2011

Thanks for the info you guys. I've been working with Devin at Alesis on this problem. Maybe if you guys call or email him they will get on it a little faster.dlopes@numark.com
He is in the tech support department. Let's get this fixed. I really don't want to go through the hassle of sending mine back to Sweetwater and get one back that does the same thing. Not counting the month it would take to do that. Sweetwater told me they are out of stock right now until the end of the month.

Yikes !

Stevebowhunter
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Joined: 07/16/2011

I went to Guitar Center today and tested 2 Alesis IO Docks new out of the box with 3 different new midi controllers and they both did the sticking on note thing. So it looks like Alesis has some software- firmware work to do. I've emailed there tech support dept. It's Saturday July 16th. So hopefully I'll here back from them early next week. I'll keep in touch.

davide37
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Joined: 07/18/2011

Same problem here with hanging notes. My iO dock is also 2nd shipment with iPad2 adaptor. I've tried two controllers: Novation Remote SL and M-Audio keystation. A disappointing start for what looks to be a solid bit of kit and it doesn't say much for Alesis's beta testing.

David

this poison
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Joined: 07/15/2011

Alesis UK (Numark) have contacted me by email today - they have indicated that this is the first they have heard of such an issue, and they believe my unit has developed a fault.

They have suggested I return it to the dealer for a replacement if it's still under warranty (surely ALL iO Docks must still be under warranty ?!), or send it in for repair if it isn't.

They are being helpful about it, but I'm going to write back and ask them to check the issue history of iO Docks again - I don't really want a ping pong of deliveries if they are all the same!

Stevebowhunter
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Joined: 07/16/2011

They are all the same I'm pretty sure. I went to Guitar center and tried 3 different io docks right out of the box with 3 different midi controllers right out of the box and they all did it !! It's the Dock! Let's get this fixed Alesis !

pacomacman
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Joined: 07/19/2011

I just signed up to this forum because I've got the same problem with my IO Dock, sticking notes a plenty!!

I'm using my own software which I'm in the final stages of testing, and its worked fine up until recieving this dock. I've tried multiple keyboards M3, Motif XS etc and its the same problem. My software works perfectly with my E-Mu midi1x1 Tab and Camera Kit adapter.

This definately needs sorting fast... I was going to use my dock in a promotional video, but now I'm having second thoughts as its not fit for purpose as it stands.

pacomacman
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Joined: 07/19/2011

Ok, I've emailed Devin at Alesis so lets see what he has to say. This is damn annoying to say the least!

pacomacman
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Joined: 07/19/2011

Just to keep you guys in the picture Devin has replied to me and I've tested without WiFi and Bluetooth etc. as suggested and no joy. I sent him some MIDI dumps of me repeatedly playing a 3 finger chord and after 4-5 tries you can clearly see missing Note Off's. Lets see what he can make of it, its certainly not our software!

Stevebowhunter
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Joined: 07/16/2011

Good job pacomacman ! Devin tells me that this may take a while, but they are on it. I hope it doesn't take too long cause I will be sending mine back to Sweetwater before my warentee runs out. Thanks for following up. The more people that complain, the faster they will fix this. Spread the word !

jonnyb0y
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Joined: 03/25/2011

chalk up another one for having midi issues.

many dropped midi commands when using max msp + iodock + touch osc :(

really debating sending this thing back unless they get it fixed soon. the whole reason I got it was to be able to have midi out AND charge the iPad. Now I'm still having to run midi over stupid wifi....

starcorp
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Joined: 10/01/2010

@jonnyb0y
maybe the new irig midiadapter is something for you:
http://the-palm-sound.blogspot.com/2011/07/irig-midi-core-midi-interface...
regards jan

eljefe300300
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Joined: 11/15/2010

All this talk about stuck notes bums me out so... I was waiting for this dock hard! Please post news when you get it guys! Man, all we need in the iPad version of nano would be support for this thing and 2 audio tracks, and I guess alesis fixing the stuck note issue.

One love!

jonnyb0y
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Joined: 03/25/2011

Brilliant. Thanks for the link!

I think I'm going to be sending my iodock back and getting a refund. That iRig looks perfect for my needs :)

When they get the firmware update up the iodock will be just as good though ;)

Hmmmmm....

therealerik
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Joined: 07/23/2011

same here with hanging notes and dropouts.
And also having problems with the sound sometimes coming out of the internal speaker instead of the dock outputs.
I think this has something to do with the order of putting the iPad in the dock and switching on

pacomacman
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Joined: 07/19/2011

I've done more testing this weekend and it seems like I may have spotted something interesting...

I was testing the io dock with my audio app StompBox (guitar app). The first couple of tests were absolutely fine and all sounded great. I am also currently working on an update to another of my iPad apps called Meteor, which is a multitrack audio and soon to be midi recorder. I happened to notice that when I switched from one application to another the audio through the IO dock was occasionally screwing up and I could hear a very loud clicking noise. If I exited my app, switched off the IO Dock and turned it back on again everything would work fine.

So, it crossed my mind that maybe the MIDI problems were also being caused by whatever was causing the audio screw up. Previously I was simply using the dock as a MIDI interface and wasn’t listening to the audio feed.

I connected my Motif XS keyboard to the IO Dock via MIDI cables, and connected the audio out of the keyboard to the audio in (LEFT + RIGHT) of the dock, ensuring the dock was set to LINE IN and Direct was turned OFF. Within my program I can monitor the audio coming in from my keyboard and most of the time it sounded fine, but occasionally after a combination of exiting and re-running my program and turing off the Docks power switch I can get the glitching audio problem. Note that when Direct was turned ON on the dock everything sounds fine!

I performed a test recording of a bulk load of MIDI data into my program while the audio glitch was occurring and low and behold we get dropped notes. If I repeat the experiment when the audio is fine then there doesn’t seem to be any dropped notes.

Not sure if anyone could confirm my findings?

Icepulse
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Joined: 06/15/2010

I hooked a Tenori-On to the IO Dock and fired up NS. No stuck notes whatsoever, and that's a 5 min. song with 3 tracks of sequenced notes and 1 track of solo playing.

With an Alesis Micron, I was getting tons of stuck notes.

I hope the irony isn't lost on Alesis here.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

NanoStudio had a problem in the early days with stuck notes when used with certain MIDI controllers. It turned out to be something to do with 'running status'. According to the MIDI standard, certain control codes can be skipped when sending a run of the same type of event. Only certain controllers choose to implement this, so it could be one possible explanation.

Icepulse
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Joined: 06/15/2010

Would that mean that certain controllers will exhibit this problem, through both the IO Dock AND the camera connection kit? Because my Micron is fine w/ NS through the CCK, but not w/ the IO Dock.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

I was just trying to come up with some plausible theory to explain why the IO Dock firmware doesn't seem to get stuck notes with some MIDI hardware.

Icepulse
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Joined: 06/15/2010

...and I appreciate that!

pacomacman
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Joined: 07/19/2011

It is all well and good trying to explain this away as a hardware compatibility issue, but I'm using 3 top synths here, a Yamaha Motif XS, Virus Ti and Korg M3, and have issues with all of them.

One minute I can send a complete song dump down to my iPad via the IO Dock without errors, and the next time I have tons of errors. I believe that it has something to do with the order in which software is run and the dock powered up etc. When things go wrong for me, the audio input into the iPad is also screwed, a loud clicking sound like a synchronization issue.

pacomacman
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Joined: 07/19/2011

Try hooking up your Tenori-On again and ensure NS is working correctly. Press the HOME button to exit back to Springboard, then switch back and see if things are still working. Try powering down the IO dock and then power back on again whilst NS is running etc.

If I am correct it seems that all attached MIDI hardware works correctly on occasions, but it is pure luck if it will work or not. This is also NOT just a MIDI problem, audio gets screwed up also. You must record audio into an app to hear the screwed audio as it sounds fine using the 'Direct' monitoring. I've noticed that when MIDI is screwed, so is the audio. At least this is what I am seeing!

this poison
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Joined: 07/15/2011

I'm just completely lost about what I should do. I just spent a couple of hours on a plane with NanoStudio and came up with a great song. Got home, plugged into the iO Dock to play just 8 bars of live piano, then spent 25 mins deleting and redrawing because of the hanging notes. It's rediculous. The midi transmission is just completely unproductive.

Alesis say return it to the dealer, but I cannot help thinking that is an ill thought out and ill informed easy-out for them. I'd bet a good sum of money based on the inputs above (thanks to all) that I'll get another one the same back.

I love my iPad. I love NanoStudio (which is the main reason I love my iPad), and I love everything about the iO Dock except this midi issue. I don't want to send it back. I want it to work.

What a mess.

I've not managed to get any hardware working as a master keyboard. Then again, why should I have to keep trying. Midi is (or is supposed to be) a standard.

yeskeys
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Joined: 06/09/2011

has ANYONE gotten an I/O dock that doesn't hang notes? Just got mine....arrrgh. Please advise, Sweetwater wants to swap out....

this poison
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Joined: 07/15/2011

Well I've just had Numark (Alesis) in the UK confirm that it is a known issue that the Tech guys in the US are working on.

(No doubt thanks to the contacts earlier in this thread - thanks guys).

They have indicated the firmware upgrade will appear on the site when it's ready (and they'll also email me to).

That was despite telling me a week before to send it back to the dealer for an exchange unit as mine had "clearly developed a fault"!

This stinks of poor testing.

Likewise I'd like to know if anyone has a working iO Dock as this is crippling and disappointing to say the least.

beatmunga
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Joined: 07/27/2011

Am I the only one who smells a rat here?

Bear in mind that Alesis is also Akai, whose Synthstation is similarly annoying with MIDI.

Both Blip and Akai have confirmed that even the most powerful iPod Touch/iPhone put Midi processing as a last priority over everything else. This is nothing to do with processor power (very little is needed for Midi, which is 30 year old technology) but more to do with how they are designed to handle visuals & audio before worrying about anything else. With very similar technology and the same iOs, the iPad must be subject to the same problems.

This means that Numark/Akai/Alesis have embarked on developing, manufacturing, promoting and selling a peripheral product which is not adequately supported by the host system. Plain as.

Why they would do this I can only put to 2 reasons:

1. Their research into Apple's MIDI implementation was not done properly and they missed this vital factor; or
2. They knew about the problem all along and cynically went ahead with the product anyway.

In short, either incompetent or cowboys. Not good either way if you have paid for one of their defective products.

I think it is going to be a long time before anyone can use Apple's iOS devices in anything like an integrated way with standard MIDI systems.

And we should treat with suspicion any company that claims otherwise...

Check this thread:

http://forums.blipinteractive.co.uk/node/2140

ragno7
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Joined: 07/09/2011

I'm hoping ios 5 comes with more midi fixes and upgrades... I don't think it will be such a long time before it's fully worked out... Though, I think some sort of world clock implementation would be a great addition.