Question about routing midi output of device into input of a second device


#1

Our friends at AudioFront (makers of Midi Expression Quattro) have released a drum trigger to midi interface called eDrumin. It’s housed in the same enclosure as the Quattro so only has 4 trigger inputs. I have been testing one and am happy with it. I need to add a second one to be able to trigger my 5 piece kit with 4 cymbals (yes that’s 9 inputs but they are all TRS and some of my crash cymbals and toms are single input so they can share an input). All drum trigger to midi interfaces eliminate what they refer to as crosstalk (for example a hit to the kick drum causing the toms mounted on it to also trigger). To eliminate crosstalk the second unit needs to see the midi from the first one.

The developer, Rob Jonkman, instructs the user of 2 eDrumins to use their VST host to route the MIDI output of one of the eDrumins into the MIDI input of the 2nd eDrumin. I haven’t gotten the 2nd eDrumin yet but want to get my head around it.

For a MIDI Output Port, are the Assignments where you choose the routing to a MIDI input Port?

It looks that way but just want to be sure.

Thanks


#2

I think my first post had too much background info so I’ll re-phrase the question:

For a MIDI Output Port, are the Assignments where you choose the routing to another device’s MIDI input Port?


#3

Hi Doug,

intersting tool btw. I had a look at the webside and downloaded the manual. What I mean to understand is:

  1. eDrumin can act as a class complient USB Midi device and will show up as one in the daw (here cantabile) it is connected to.
  2. As eDrumin has no external devices to parametrize it you have to use a special software (called Control Application) to do this via USB. This is only necessary during parametrization as it seems, During nornal operation (drumming) the software doesn`t need to run.
  3. There is an optional MIDI-Out available which seems to output the derived Midi signals in parallel

Furthermore I found a clear statement concerning parallel operation of more than one unit in a set:

Can I use more than one eDRUMin at the same time?
Yes and no. You can connect as many eDRUMin interfaces to your system as you want, but the Control Application only supports editing 4 devices at the same time. Furthermore, using multiple eDRUMin interfaces on a single e-drum kit, you might run into crosstalk issues as one device will not know what’s going on in the other. Assuming you can provide isolation between pads (by using separate stands, for example), crosstalk will not be an issue.

If I got this correctly this means you will only be able to control one eDrumin module at a time. To be serious I dont have a clue what will happen if you connect more than one module. Furthermore I dont see a Midi Input to daisy chain 2 modules (or did I miss something?).

Should the 2 devices appear as to separate Midi devices in cantabile (f.e. 1 and 2) when connected to USB-ports at the same time it`s easy: I prosume to force the Control Application to do the parametrization for each of them individually you simply have to do parametrization for only one of each units at a time. Afterwards you could reconnect both of them and use them in parallel.

If both units can not be found at the same time or if the order of both units gets mixed up after a shut down things get more complicated. From my point of view a possible solution that could work would be:

  1. Connect the first module via Midi-Out to a Midi-In of a Midi gateway connected to cantabile and declare the Midi Port as eDrumin Module 1
  2. Connect this first module addiationally to a USB port of your PC
  3. Do the parametrization for the first unit
  4. Disconnect USB
  5. Connect a second Unit via USB to your PC
  6. Declare the dDrumin Midi device found by cantabile as the eDrumin Module 2
  7. Do the parametrization for the 2nd module

In each case you should have available all trigger signals on 2 Midi ports

As far as I saw there are enough capabilities to declare Midi channels and notes to trigger signals inside. So you simply get Midi note on events you can feed to a drum module (or whatever you want to trigger)

Not sure if this answers your question.

Good luck and kind regards, humphrey


#4

Hi Humphrey,

Thanks for looking at the eDrumin manual. Each eDrumin is written to by the Control Application when you make adjustments (manual states that you should leave the Control Application and the eDrumin powered up for 5 seconds past the last change you make. Once this configuration data is written to the unit it can than function without the Control Application.

Part of it’s programming is to look for crosstalk between the pads. This is done by an algorithm that looks at incoming signals on different channels (inputs on the device) and detects telltale signs for crosstalk and then suppresses it. I think the developer has programmed in the ability for the USB input to accept output from another eDrumin and use those channels of data to look for crosstalk.

So my question, which might be so basic that I shouldn’t even be asking it is: If a USB MIDI device shows up in Cantabile’s Options > MIDI Ports as an output and if I highlight that device and then in “Assignments” below I check the second device’s MIDI USB input then the MIDI data from the first should be seen by the second?

I’m just making sure this is going work before I spring for the second unit.

BTW, anyone interested in drum triggering should check out the eDrumin. The developer used all his experience from building his DSP Trigger VST to create the device. With very little knowledge of how drum trigger to midi devices work you can get any brand of pad, cymbal and hi-hat working.

For instance, you could use your existing expression pedal as the hi-hat pedal in conjunction with an inexpensive (or even DIY) cymbal trigger into Superior Drummer, Addictive Drums, BFD, Steve Slate or Jamstix and have a fairly realistic hi-hat close to open sound with the foot chick and splash.


#5

O.k., I see what you mean. For some reason eDRUNin modules seem to offer not only a (physical) Midi-in (which is what one expects) but also a physical Miidi-out in the daw. Your idea seems to be to define a (virtual) Midi-in port for a second eDRUMin Module and directly route the out of the first Module to it. What you expect is to have both Midi-signals available afterwards on this virtual Midi-in (the virtual Midi-in would behave like a Midi-Merger in this case). Correct?

Hm, good idea but I think this doesnt work (at least I have no clue how), For my understanding Midi-ports in Cantabile always define mappings from physical ins to virtual ins or physical outs to virtual outs. Routings are available in the routing dialogs and connect virtua Ins and Outs. I dont see routing capabilities in the assignment dialog for Midi ports. If something like you describe this also should be available for other Midi-devices which is not the case here.

What I can thinnk of would be to create 2 Midi Ins and one Midi out in cantabile and add a Midi-Routing in Background rack from Midi-In 2 to Midi Out 1. this routing would be available permanent. If the eDRUMin Module does what you expect the merged Midi data should show up on the virtual Midi In 1 afterwards independant from the song you call up.

Sorry I cannot help out here. Maybe some of the members here have a better idea.

Hope you get this managed,

fingers crossed and kind regards, humphrey


#6

It takes a couple weeks for eDrumins to arrive (they ship from manufacturer in Taiwan) so I’ll report back on what the actual solution is. Thanks again for pondering this - I think you’re right that I won’t be doing the routing in Options > MIDI Ports. It will probably be done in the Routing Tab.