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Author Topic: Using SparkLE / Spark 2 as a plug-in in ProTools  (Read 3933 times)

ohdoubleyou

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Using SparkLE / Spark 2 as a plug-in in ProTools
« on: October 08, 2015, 02:13:26 am »
Hey everyone, just got myself a SparkLE and I'm really digging it.  The sounds are great and the hardware integration in standalone is super tight.

I'm having some trouble utilizing it as a plug-in though.  Using Protools, on an Instrument track I can record the MIDI from big pads on 1-8, but not 9-16.  Also despite turning the MIDI Velocity off, upon playing the MIDI back the velocity changes are still there.  I see MIDI data being recorded for sequencer controls (play/stop/pattern changes) and XY automation data but the plug-in doesn't respond to any of it upon playback.  I've added all the automation lanes possible to the plugin and I can see the data being written everything but when I play the track back in the DAW, I get nothing.  I've tried all sorts of MIDI routing, playing with the host/tempo buttons, sending MIDI in the PREFS, MIDI settings in ProTools, etc. 

What I'd really like to do is be able to hit Record in PT, and be able to capture a performance with the sequencer; starts/stops, pattern changes, Filter/Slicer stuff, etc.  Is that possible or am I trying to use it the wrong way?  I can see MIDI data being written, am I using it incorrectly?

Any help is appreciated.   Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 11:06:29 pm by ohdoubleyou »

ohdoubleyou

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Re: Using SparkLE / Spark 2 as a plug-in in ProTools
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2015, 03:08:31 am »
So I updated my Spark 2 software to the latest version (2.1.1.890) and my SparkLE to the latest firmware (1.0.0.3) but I still can't seem to get this going.

I've tried routing every which way (Instrument tracks, MIDI/Aux combinations, MIDI channels to/from SparkLE and the plugin itself) but I can't seem to get any usable automation.  All possible automation parameters in Spark 2 are enabled as lanes in ProTools but it seems difficult to record/playback any of the performance/XY stuff. 

The manual is light on on information regarding SparkLE's MIDI integration with host applications, section 7.2 mentioned Spark Creative explicitly but little information on SparkLE.

Am I doing it wrong?

ohdoubleyou

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Re: Using SparkLE / Spark 2 as a plug-in in ProTools
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2015, 09:20:31 pm »
Some progress - I finally got things to work semi-properly after engaging the HOST button.  Unfortunately I'd really prefer that the sequencer doesn't start upon DAW playback at Bar #1 so that there is some count-in for any other instruments I would like to use.

I still have yet to figure out how to record/playback sequencer Start/Stop messages. 

I know the forum activity on here is pretty low, but any ideas?

Have people on here given up on Spark?


jsmirk

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Re: Using SparkLE / Spark 2 as a plug-in in ProTools
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2015, 07:53:38 pm »
Some progress - I finally got things to work semi-properly after engaging the HOST button.  Unfortunately I'd really prefer that the sequencer doesn't start upon DAW playback at Bar #1 so that there is some count-in for any other instruments I would like to use.

I still have yet to figure out how to record/playback sequencer Start/Stop messages. 
For these tasks, you're best to get the midi out of spark and onto the track.  Use the drag and drop method from the sequencer view in Spark.  See the manual.

I know the forum activity on here is pretty low, but any ideas?

Have people on here given up on Spark?
A lot of us have, yes.  I've given up on waiting and hoping Spark is finally a solid instrument while working in a DAW (Logic). Personally, I'm moving on from Spark to hardware drum solutions which is probably where I should have started anyway.

ohdoubleyou

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Re: Using SparkLE / Spark 2 as a plug-in in ProTools
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 05:13:09 pm »
Hey J, thanks for your reply!

I get what you're saying about using the drop & drop, but I was really hoping to use SparkLE/Spark 2 to capture a performance via MIDI (including X/Y, sequencer start/stops, pattern changes, automation, etc) so that it can later be edited or quantized. 

I think it would ideal to keep the note/sample triggering inside Spark's sequencer, this way patterns can be edited from Spark instead of making repeated edits to the MIDI data in the DAW while still retaining the performance.


019297

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Re: Using SparkLE / Spark 2 as a plug-in in ProTools
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2015, 05:42:40 pm »
I have at least 3 different methods I use spark with my DAW. I wish i could me more helpful to you specifically, but I use Cubase, not pro tools. This is VST format, so the advice might not apply.

What I usually do (and it's probably way too complex is..)

open up spark in the plugin rack. I now have a vsti track and a midi track. I enable write automation on both. For me, this captures all the automation and pattern changes. I could just end it there, but I want more...... I open up yet another midi track. I route the spark controller midi device to this midi track and I leave the output blank. This gives me a midi backup track, this way I can go in later and use another sampler or drum machine, or I can change up my performance.

one more step...I also enable a vst group to record the actual audio output from the plugin. This is my ultimate backup. If everything goes wrong, I at least have this. This might not be possible on pro tools, i'm the wrong guy for that DAW.

I have also used the drag and drop method when I am not doing as much of a "live take". I make patterns, and drag them over to the DAW arranger and put whatever patterns where I want. You can do this same thing with audio too, instead of midi if you perfer.

Hope that made some sense.

PS one last thing is you can do multi output recording. So you could record it to 16 audio tracks in pro tools, and you have the best chance to edit. That' s just another way to doing it.

 

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