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Author Topic: Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained  (Read 375 times)

alke

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Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained
« on: July 27, 2020, 12:54:54 pm »
Hi,

this might be a dumb question, but.... I need more sequencer tracks and thought of buying another BSP so that I could control all of my four hardware synths (no computer involved) and two drum machines independently. Would this work? So basically I would send BSP1 midi out to BSP2 midi in, and from BSP2 midi out towards my midi splitter and from there to the synths, and assign each track to a different midi channel. Does this sound correct? Are there any pitfalls?

Another option would be to get another sequencer with more tracks, but on a budget, this would be the most feasible solution if possible.

megamarkd

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Re: Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 07:50:06 am »
You will need to use your MIDI splitter box with BSP#1.  The BSP doesn't do "proper" MIDI THRU so you will need to run around your second BSP off to the synths and drummer you want it to sequence, while still shooting off MIDI for clock BSP#2.  If any of your synths and drummachines have proper MIDI THRU ports or echo MIDI IN on the MIDI OUT port (soft-thru), run them on a chain from BSP#2.

Another option is, if are planning to sequence the two of BSP's with their own pads, you can just run a cable from the Master to the Slave using Clock sync.  If you run in this manner, you will need to remember to manually reset the Slaved BSP when you stop and want to restart from the top of a sequence.

In both situations you will need to have one of the BSP's run a MIDI chain from it.  If none of your instruments have MIDI THRU functionality of any description (physical or soft) you will need a second splitter.

Regarding channels and what not, you are correct about the separate channels per instrument.  Although running on two separate MIDI busses, it is still good practice to give all your instruments a unique channel (if you have less than sixteen instruments running of course). 

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 ;) )

alke

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Re: Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 04:15:16 pm »
Hi Megamarkd,

Thanks. Please see attached diagrams I made of the target I'd like to achieve, and if I understood correctly, your alternate take on what could work.
My Kenton MidiThru box only has one midi in port, so I'd need another thru box to do this and then use clock sync?

megamarkd

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Re: Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 11:29:03 am »
Basically yes.  You could put a few more moneys in and get a router (I use and recommend iConnectivity) which can do bucket loads more than just split, but yeah, failing any MIDI THRU on instruments you need another splitter.  What synths and drum have you got?  If they do MIDI THRU, you can get away with running with only one splitter.

The scenario in diagram one won't work as the BSP only THRU's data on the channels you have set for the three tracks.  Diagram two is the definite winner. 
But I have a third scenario.  If you were to put in the extra clams for, say a mioXM*, you can run both the outputs of your BSP's into it, where you can merge them.  Then one output from the mioXM back into BSP2 for your MIDI Clock and one output to your THRU-12 which would distribute to your instruments.  Then later on down the track as you inevitably acquire more instruments, you will have a nice and flexible box to act as the centre of your MIDI network.

*I have a Philip Rees V3, a Kenton MERGE-4, an Akai ME80p, a JL Cooper MPB+ rev2 and a bespoke MIDI patchbay salvaged from a television studio and I can't express enough how useful my mio4 is.  Its indispensable for dealing with quirky MIDI implementations. There are rules for almost any situation you can think of.  They also have USB MIDI host built-in, which for dill-brains like us "no computer involved!" types, means things like the Seaboard suddenly be come viable purchases (ignoring the cost, of course ;) ).  Another benefit of the USB MIDI host functionality is reduction cables coming from equipment theat have USB MIDI functionality.  If I can stop buying eurorack modules for a second, I'd be putting money into a mioXL to augment my mio4.
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 ;) )

alke

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Re: Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 05:29:37 pm »
What synths and drum have you got?  If they do MIDI THRU, you can get away with running with only one splitter.

I have a Roland TR8S and a Boss DR660 for drums, and a Yamaha CS1X, Waldorf MicroQ, a Roland System1 and a Arturia Microbrute for synths.
The TR8S and System1 do not have a thru port, but can be configured for soft thru. The MicroQ and CS1X have a thru port, but the Microbrute nor the DR660 do not.

megamarkd

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Re: Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 07:35:17 am »
What synths and drum have you got?  If they do MIDI THRU, you can get away with running with only one splitter.

I have a Roland TR8S and a Boss DR660 for drums, and a Yamaha CS1X, Waldorf MicroQ, a Roland System1 and a Arturia Microbrute for synths.
The TR8S and System1 do not have a thru port, but can be configured for soft thru. The MicroQ and CS1X have a thru port, but the Microbrute nor the DR660 do not.

You're set then!

Let's call the System1, Microbrute and TR8S Group 1, which you will be running with BSP1 channels and the Micro Q, CS1X and DR660 Group 2, to be run by BSP2.  Set the channels accordingly.  I grouped in this manner because that will make the chain run with the two synth that have dedicated THRU.  I'd suggest the chain run as following: Micro Q -> CS1X -> DR660.  You can swap the Q and CS1X positions if you need to for some reason.

Now the MIDI routing will go BSP1 into THRU-12.  Connect the THRU 12 outs to BSP2 and the three instruments in Group 1.  Then from BSP2 connect Group 2 via the Q.

Now this should work.  If anything will go wrong, it'll be in the Group 2 chain, so swap around til it does (but there shouldn't be any issues).
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 ;) )

alke

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Re: Using two or multiple Beatstep Pros chained
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2020, 11:39:54 am »
Awesome! Thanks Megamarkd :)

 

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