External Midi W Instr Midi Control

How do you work with external gear in Renoise when it comes to program/banks and Instr MIDI Control?

Spinoff from this topic: [Fixed 2.8 Rc2] Renoise Not "remembering" Midi Cc Values

I have set up Instr MIDI Control devices to access all the parameters on my DSI Tetra. Instr MIDI Control send out CC on startup which makes it impossible to work with programs and banks since all parameters will be over written. Or am I missing something? How do you load and edit synth patches in Renoise?

To me it seems a way to solve this would be Instr MIDI Control only sending CC on startup to any parameters that have been edited since changing program on the linked instrument. If the instrument doesn’t use programs, all parameters will be sent. How do other DAWs deal with this.

Have you tried fumbling with the enable/disable command in Renoise from the pattern editor (X0yy where X is effect number and yy = 00:disable, 01 = enable)?
You can then first disable the device, change programs and banks (using pattern effect commands), then change the control device its values to the correct parameters and then reenable the device. The device is there to control the parameters of the (external) device so that is what it does.

Thanks for the reply. But I don’t see how disabling the device would help? I can load a program without disabling. I can edit the parameters, no problem. But when reloading the song, any mapped but unedited sliders will also send “default” CC. The problem with fixing this manually would be how to know at what value to set them to match the program patch on the synth.

Every workaround I can think of means a lot of hassle. Like enabling only the parameters that I want to edit, or making every sound from scratch and thereby setting all sliders.

I think Inst. MIDI control is not the way to go for this type of things.
What you need is a editor/librarian for your Tetra
As I recall you get one with the unit itself.
There is also a VST version somewere and I found some proof here but the link under the video doesn’t show a file.

There has been talk of a vst version of the Tetra editor for some time, and of course that would be ideal.

I think Instr MIDI Comtrol works just fine with the tetra and other gear. It’s just that it won’t play nicely with a MIDI instrument that loads a program patch.

I thought I might have missed something, a standard way of handling programs and parameters, but it seems more like an overlooked function. Forcing people to use custom vst’s for every synth is no good, especially for vintage stuff, when the sollution is seemingly so simple. So this could perhaps be moved to suggestions…

Something like:
Loading a program to an external MIDI instrument would gray out (or some other way to indicate) all sliders on linked Instr MIDI Control devices, making them “inactive”. They would still work normally except for sending CC on load. As soon as you move a slider it would be marked “active” and start to send CC on load.

This way you could have several songs based on the same but tweaked program. Making my life a lot easier.

The video comment links to this site:
The official site origins here today:
Don’t know if it is of any use…

Ctrlr looks interesting, I’ll try it out as soon as I get a chance. Thanks!

Not the most user friendly program. I couldn’t get the latest version working, but I found an older version that I got running. Although a bit buggy, banks wouldn’t work and programs were one step off… setting the plugin to 21 calls prgr 22 on the Tetra. And for some reason it keeps switching MIDI Controls to off in the global settings on the Tetra, I’ll have to switch it on to edit the parameters. It should send program on startup but it doesn’t. Not edited parameters either… probably because of the earlier problem.

On the positive, it does send NRPN. I thought it might not since Renoise doesn’t support it. But those are mostly for controlling LFOs and sequencer, which isn’t of much use when Renoise can do that stuff.

I don’t see too many benefits with using this plugin + Instr Automation verses using Renoise External MIDI Instrument + Instr MIDI Control. :confused:

Tried the “last stable version” of Ctrlr with better results than the newest. But still a load of issues. Program/Banks and parameters work. In the older version there was this option of receiving MIDI from VST host, but I can’t find it in the new version, only MIDI devices. So I can’t get it to accept notes.

The panel I found for the Tetra seems to be missing a few parameters, like OSC frequency and fine tune. Also in the Instr. Automation device all parameters were labelled “undefined”. Looks like I’d might have to make a panel myself to get this right.

Getting a bit fed up with this… I think I’ll simply create all sounds from scratch instead of loading programs to work from… or perhaps see if I can do some MIDI feedback magic through Bidule to adapt sliders to the program patch.

The Tetra can only do a sysex dump, not send the parameters as CC, so I can forget about that idea. Looks like my best hope now is the synth mapper tool proposed by Cornbeast: [Done] Idea: Generic Synth Mapper

If I understand your question what you want to do is a sysex dump from renoise to your synth. Renoise doesn’t do this natively but mxb’s sysex tool does the trick. I’ve been asking for this functionality within renoise since day one and was always shocked there was so little demand for this, thankfully mxb understood the need and made this in about a week.

ctrlr is incredibly powerful but with it come many ways to hang yourself. I haven’t stayed up to date with the current versions but it was certainly capable of doing what you’re asking a year ago. I’m not sure if it’s still the case but the “stable” versions of ctrlr are not always your best bet. It may will require a bit of dedication on your part to familiarize yourself with the current implementation. One of these days I plan on updating my ctrlr panels in the database to take advantage of some of the new features that have since been implemented but once you get the hang of it it’s not entirely rocket science…

There is no current Tetra panel I see in the ctrlr panel database, maybe create a profile and ask about it at ctrlr.org if you’re still interested in using ctrlr for your synth.

Thanks, looks like useful tool. But I wasn’t looking for a librarian. I simply want to map all parameters of a synth to my BCR2000 MIDI controller, AND call preset programs that I then can edit/automate. When you load a song with this setup the current behavior is this: A program patch is called, then the Instr MIDI Control send out CC for all sliders… Since I have all parameters mapped, the sound is changed according to where ever I left the sliders, completely overriding the program patch.

Right now since I’m getting very little response for my suggestion (Instr Midi Control On Startup), Cornbeasts synth mapper tool looks like the best bet. But it may take some time to realize. I really think such basic functionality should be available natively.

edit: Well maybe I can use mxb’s sysex tool to work around my problem…

I had some years ago a similar problem with the Instr MIDI-Control Device: The default fixed CCs of an elder version of the device were sending 0 on startup and destroyed the patches on the synth. Then the Renoise Developers added the “Off” to the device to prevent that.

I think, the Midi-Control Device was not originally designed to map all parameters of a synth and control it via this device; but to add only the midid-cc you want to automate/change in the song. So these cc are changing during play anyway.

I work like this:

  • sysexing the used sounds from the synth to Midi-ox, name it like the song, and save it to a folder.
  • adding only the midi-cc to the Midi-Control Device that are changed during the song
  • wenn loading the song, I load the sounds via Midi-ox
    But the difference is that I have synths I can edit easily directly on the hardware ;)

Your approach is nowadays, in times of hardware synths with limited control-surface, reasonable of course. An update of the Midi-Control Device would make sense definately.
I would suggest to send out a value of a Midi CC only, if there is an automation value set for that Midi-CC somewhere in the song. If there is no automation of a MIDI-CC it won’t send anything (also not 0 on startup).

Thanks! You get where I’m coming from. :)

Yes, trackers in general have never been live performance oriented, but nowadays with GridPie and whatnot, it’s an excellent live tool… only need some tweaks here and there. Also it’s great to have all parameters mapped when you edit a patch, with a MIDI controller like BCR2000 compact synths become pretty close to having a full blown synth. Instr. MIDI Control works just fine the way I use it, except for this little detail of sending CC to all params on startup.

There has been rack mount synths with limited control surface since the eighties, but newer ones are accepting more CC parameter control.

I’m suggesting a little more complex sollution that eliminates the need for saving every variation of a patch you make on the synth (Instr Midi Control On Startup), you could load a patch, edit some params and save the Renoise song. I think it’d be nice to use factory presets as starting points sort of.

Even if your suggestion is a lot better than it is now, it would be kinda like going back to the workaround before the Instr. MIDI Control - CC on startup bug was fixed ([Fixed 2.8 Rc2] Renoise Not "remembering" Midi Cc Values). Well the only difference is I’d like automated AND sliders that has been moved since a program was changed on the linked ext. MIDI instrument to send CC on startup.

Making progress with Ctrlr. Got the basics working and started to make a panel for my Tetra. :)

Ok, so I made a Ctrlr panel. But without more advanced programming, it behaves pretty much like when I simply use Instr. MIDI Control - all parameters are sent on startup.

Looks like I’m better off forgetting about editing the factory presets, and just start creating all sounds from scratch.

I’d check with Atom on the ctrlr forums… there may be (I’m pretty sure there is) a way to disable all parameters being sent on startup if that’s what you want.

You can also create a lua script and attach the script to a button and have that button send the parameters.

You can pretty much do anything you want with ctrlr :)

Yeah, I might drop a line on the Ctrlr forum. But right now I feel like I should settle and start making music instead, this kinda stuff eats too much of my time.

I’m just a bit surprised that the method I’m after (having all parameters mapped to my BCR2000, ready to be edited/automated AND being able to call a factory preset and edit it) isn’t readily available.

Ok, it’s available in Ctrlr but not fully implemented. You’d have to switch to edit mode to disable a modulator, but will be available in play mode in the future.