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Author Topic: Arpeggiator not working on Keystep using Volca FM  (Read 234 times)

tattika

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Arpeggiator not working on Keystep using Volca FM
« on: December 18, 2019, 01:26:25 pm »
Hi, I just bought the Keystep yesterday to use with my Volca FM. When I connect them with a MIDI-cable I am able to get single notes from the keyboard, but the arpeggiator is not working properly.

If I power both devices, empty the sequencer on the Volca, and press play on the Keystep, I can trigger the play buttong of the Volca with the play button of the Keystep. This works if the Volcas clock is set to automatic. If I set the Volca to internal clock, the I can't trigger the play button with the Keystep. In either case if I set the Keystep to arpeggiator and press play, it plays the same note again and again, like DA DA DA DA DA. If I play several keys, it changes between notes. I can control the rate with the Rate button and it seems to change the tempo light in the Volca. But the Arp Mode button doesn't do anything. So I can't change the mode of the arpeggiator, like I can on the Volca alone. The Time Div button changes the the speed / number of notes also no problem.

I've read all the discussions I could find online about this issue, but none of the solutions have worked so far.

I've set the MIDI-channel to the same number on both devices. I've changed it to other than 1. I've set the Keystep's clock as internal by setting both sync switches in back of the Keystep to the lower setting. (I've tried all the other combinations as well.) Someone had some problems because he had disabled MIDI RX Short Message in the Volca, but it doesn't affect this problem.

Arturias web page seems to be down so I can't really ask help from the technical support. I also can't update the firmware of the Keystep because of this.

I've never used MIDI before. Am I missing something obvious? Is there something else I can do?

megamarkd

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Re: Arpeggiator not working on Keystep using Volca FM
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2019, 06:07:15 am »
Hi, I just bought the Keystep yesterday to use with my Volca FM. When I connect them with a MIDI-cable I am able to get single notes from the keyboard, but the arpeggiator is not working properly.

If I power both devices, empty the sequencer on the Volca, and press play on the Keystep, I can trigger the play buttong of the Volca with the play button of the Keystep. This works if the Volcas clock is set to automatic. If I set the Volca to internal clock, the I can't trigger the play button with the Keystep. In either case if I set the Keystep to arpeggiator and press play, it plays the same note again and again, like DA DA DA DA DA. If I play several keys, it changes between notes. I can control the rate with the Rate button and it seems to change the tempo light in the Volca. But the Arp Mode button doesn't do anything. So I can't change the mode of the arpeggiator, like I can on the Volca alone. The Time Div button changes the the speed / number of notes also no problem.

I've read all the discussions I could find online about this issue, but none of the solutions have worked so far.

I've set the MIDI-channel to the same number on both devices. I've changed it to other than 1. I've set the Keystep's clock as internal by setting both sync switches in back of the Keystep to the lower setting. (I've tried all the other combinations as well.) Someone had some problems because he had disabled MIDI RX Short Message in the Volca, but it doesn't affect this problem.

Arturias web page seems to be down so I can't really ask help from the technical support. I also can't update the firmware of the Keystep because of this.

I've never used MIDI before. Am I missing something obvious? Is there something else I can do?

All seems to be behaving as they should.  Setting the Volca to internal clock will stop it from reacting to MIDI transport messages (play, stop, continue) so your Volca is doing what it should in that mode.

Can you give more detail on "But the Arp Mode button doesn't do anything."?  Are you talking about the dial on the Keystep?  What should happen when you change the dial is it changes the order of the notes played.  Are you not hearing any change in that respect?  What it won't do is change the any mode the Volca is in.

MIDI is sorta universal but sorta not.  Although MIDI is called a "standard", it is rare for anything more than the most basic functions to match up between to instrument manufacturers.  So things like sequence and arpeggio mode changes tend to not affect anything but the instrument they are on.  Tempo and transport are a universally shared element so that will match up across all instruments (as long as the correct settings are made on the receiving instruments).  Other more specific functions though, they tend to be assigned a more advanced version of the simple MIDI messages call "system exclusive", which as the name implies, is an exclusive message for that machine only.

MIDI can be very confusing at first and without someone in the room with you who knows its ins-and-outs well, it will flummox the new-user, as it can be rather illogical at times.  Best way to learn though is to dive in head first as you have and then ask questions.  Maybe do some broad reading on the subject.  There are some wonderful sites that address the subject of MIDI in a easy to understand way, so perhaps (if I can suggest this without seeming condescending) search for "MIDI for beginners" or "MIDI basics" with your favourite search engine.  You will find some very old sites in the results, but that is because MIDI has barely changed since it was first conceived.  MIDI 2.0 specification was recently released and promises so huge changes in how instruments will talk to each other but it's early days for it and only a few of the new spec has been implemented in only the newest of the newest instruments.
That said, once you get your head around the basics, you will learn the logic it uses and be able to use it more successfully.
I really hope I've not confused the matter and I have been helpful.
Currently running https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1311723 / www.modulargrid.net, sequencing with KSP and recording with a Zoom (no DAW involved, for better or worse ;) )

 

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