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Technically Speaking

Article from Music Technology, April 1993

Technical Questions Answered by Vic Lennard

Q In your January issue, Andrew Slegt of Bath asked if anyone had a manual for his PPG 2.3 and Waveterm B. If he, or anyone else, requires a copy of the 120-page manual, the man who wrote it can supply one for the sum of $25 sent to the following address:

PPG Manual, (Contact Details).

This doesn't cover the Waveterm.

By the way, in January's issue there's an unbelievable looking Odyssey in the picture on the first page. What has been done to it?
Sean Coppinger
London W3

A Thanks go out to Dominic Milano (Editor of Keyboard magazine, USA). One down, one to go - any offers on the Waveterm B manual..?

As for the Odyssey, a chat with Peter Forrest, the author of the article, reveals that this is an early 'white-face' Odyssey - in other words, the panel is pale grey. Rather rare - and certainly less reliable than the later, black Odyssey. It also has at least one vital part encased in resin which is bad news if you buy one and find it doesn't work!

Q One of the mainstays of my studio is an Oberheim Matrix 1000 which I use for most of the analogue sounds. I know that it isn't multitimbral (I wish that it was!) and I may invest in a second unit shortly.

The problem I have is how to change banks. Of the ten banks, eight of them have preset sounds and I use a variety of these in my compositions. What I've been trying to do is to embed a MIDI message at the start of the song but without success. I've tried the Bank Select box on Cubase but this doesn't have any effect. Can you help me?
Andrew Trenton

A The MIDI Bank Select message was added to the MIDI Specification in 1990/1. As the Matrix 1000 predates this, Bank Select is not a function it supports.

There are a couple of ways you can change banks. If you're using a keyboard, you'll have to use a combination of the modulation wheel and patch change buttons. Make sure that the MIDI transmit channel of your keyboard and MIDI receive channel of the Matrix 1000 coincide, push the mod wheel to its maximum position and select a patch between 0 and 9. You should find that the bank of that number is selected on your Matrix 1000.

If you're working with Cubase, you can either use standard MIDI data for this procedure or alternatively use SysEx. The mod wheel approach requires the following message (all numbers in hexadecimal):

Bn 01 7F Cn NN Bn 01 00 Cn PP

...where 'n' is one less than the MIDI channel, 'NN' is the bank number you want to select and 'PP' is the required patch number within that bank.

I've tried this with a Matrix 1000 and have found that it often requires the message to be sent twice; it doesn't appear to like different messages of this type sent in such close succession. The SysEx method is neater and more reliable:

F0 10 06 0A NN F7 Cn PP

...where, again, 'n' is one less than the MIDI channel, 'NN' is the bank number you want to select and 'PP' is the required patch number within that bank.

Q Please could you tell me how to connect my Atari 1040 STE with Virtuoso sequencer to control a Korg M1 synth and Yamaha RY30 rhythm composer at the same time. Do I need a MIDI merge unit or a Thru box? All the books I read seem to skirt around the problem and answer others instead.

If I do need a MIDI merger, which one would you advise?
P Moselly

A Good news - no, you don't need a MIDI merge box. Take a look at Figure 1 for the cabling diagram. The RY30 is essentially a drum machine and the system in the diagram allows you to use it in two different ways: programming the rhythms directly into it (as opposed to programming them on Virtuoso) and simply accessing its internal sounds via the Korg M1. If you choose the former, you'll need to make certain that Virtuoso transmits MIDI Sync and that the RY30 is set to respond to it. For the latter, the MIDI channel of the Virtuoso track you're recording on must be the same as the MIDI receive channel of the RY30.

Figure 1: Connecting a synth, drum machine and ST computer

One point to note: the RY30 is capable of recording pitched information, such as a bassline played in via a keyboard. If you try to transmit this from the RY30 itself - which you'd do if you wanted all of the sequence information to be on Virtuoso - you'll find that the pitched data doesn't play back. All you get is a single, continuous note. This is because the RY30 supports playback parameters which it cannot transmit over MIDI.

Got a problem? Vic has the answer. Write to: Technically Speaking, (Contact Details).

Previous Article in this issue

That Was Then

Next article in this issue

Out Takes

Publisher: Music Technology - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

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Music Technology - Apr 1993

Feedback by Vic Lennard

Previous article in this issue:

> That Was Then

Next article in this issue:

> Out Takes

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