NT-Modular-Be Spoke Accordian

Was kind of hunting around for a bit of an accordion sound, and figured this was close enough to a synthetic sound as I was going to make with the modular case today. It’s very similar to the NT-Modular-Wet Lazers key group I put together, just a few patch changes for how the filter operates and which wave table I was using out of the Disting EX Plus Alpha.

NT-Modular-Wet Lazers

Okay… queue up the kinda cheesy FX sounds… this is mostly just the Disting EX routed through Squawk Dirty To Me for filtering. Honestly it’s not *that* special, but I did do a little bit of LFO routing into a VCA into the resonance CV control to get that slight vibration sound.

I did try briefly to see if it was quick to use velocity CV out from the MPC, but I didn’t get it working with just a few knob twiddles, so frankly… I failed at it. Going to need a bit more reading of the manual again to see how to get it going.

NT-Kit-Baggin

Still taking a break from wrist issues, but I had some time to throw together a new drum kit. Baggin is a few different sounds I was messing with elsewhere, and probably don’t really go together, but I think I’m going to have to try and put a track together. Likely it’s going to take a bit of FX and filter to tame, but I figured I’d post up the samples for anybody who is interested. I’ve got the pads color coded, so hopefully it’ll help you around the patch a bit.

NT-Modular-Last Breath

This is a super simple patch I put together on the modular, simple because this smaller case only has a handful of modules in it. While it isn’t complete yet, I wanted to test out and see how well it did or did not work.

The sound is basically an oscillator running on the Disting EX in dual mode, so that I could also get an envelope generator, because I don’t have that in this case at the moment. The oscillator is fed into the VCA, which is modulated by an LFO running positive on the Left channel, and running negative on the Right channel, this creates a kind of panning tremolo effect. I think routed that audio output into another pair of VCAs so that I could control the volume by the envelope. From there, the audio is running into a stereo filter to augment the sound a bit and give it some resonance to adjust the sound a bit.

All of this is controlled by the Akai MPC Live II CV outs, so that it is sending gate information to trigger the envelope, and pitch information to change the pitch of the oscillator.

Hopefully that all makes sense 😀

How to Setup Your Akai MPC Live/X using Bluetooth Midi with your iPad running Synth One

Well folks, I’m continuing to try and help you out for questions in the comments. Let’s see if this Synth One specific video helps. I suspect that the issue with the MPC not seeing audio is due to the user not hooking up the audio outputs from their iPad/iPhone to the MPC, but just a guess. Hopefully this will help.

For those who don’t know, Midi only carries note data such as what note number and velocity, it does not carry audio information.

How to sync your OP-1 to your MPC Live/X/One

This is just a quick video to walk you through how to sync a Teenage Engineering OP-1 to an Akai MPC Live/X/One over USB. The steps are pretty straightforward, but I’m going to add the steps below as well for those that would prefer to skip the video and just want some text to follow along.

Akai MPC Live/X/One Setup

On you’re MPC, you’ll want to head over to the menu by pressing the MENU button. This will get you into your normal menu. You can choose to have the top middle setting SYNC to Off or something else, but personally I’d just turn it off since in this case we just want the MPC to control the master sync.

Next, you’ll want to touch the gear icon on the top so we can get into the Preferences menu, and then go to the MIDI / SYNC menu on the left. Here you can see I have the OP-1 Midi Device MIDI 1 with only the SYNC option turned on in the OUTPUT PORTS section.

The only thing that I do want to note, is that if you recorded content on your OP-1 already, you’ll want to make sure the BPM on your Akai MPC matches the BPM of the content you recorded on your OP-1. Yes, the Akai MPC will now sync the BPM to your OP-1, but if they do not match, your OP-1 tape loops are going to be out of sync with your MPC.

Teenage Engineering OP-1 Setup

For the other half of this, you’ve got one setting to change on your OP-1, and that’s in the tempo menu. If you don’t know which button is the tempo button, well it’s the one on the upper lefthand side of the keyboard that looks like a triangle with a line coming out of it. That’s a pretty generic metronome symbol.

In my case below, you can see that the OP-1 is set to a BPM of 87.0, and the Tape Speed is 1:1, this is the TSPEED that you want to get the best quality out of the OP-1.

At any rate, to get the OP-1 Tape to sync with the MPC Live, you’re going to want to rotate the Green Knob until it looks like this, which is letting you know that the BPM and TSPEED are linked together, and that the OP-1 is Syncing to an external clock.

From here on out, you’ll want to use the transport controls on your MPC to start and stop playback.

Have fun!

Using Q-Links on your MPC Live/X/One to control Midi CC on your iPad (or other gear)

Just a quick video to answer a comment from a viewer, and help show how to use Q-Links on your MPC to control external gear. Since I had it setup already, I just used it all from my iPad, but this will work on other external gear as well.

Since I’m sure some of the things I was doing in the video will be a little tough to catch from the angle and size of the screen, I’m going to outline all the steps below as well.

Equipment used:

HyperDrive HD319 – This is handling usb and audio duties… great piece of kit for your iPad.

Roland UM-ONE – USB to Midi duties… nothing fancy

Now on with the steps… assuming you’ve got everything hooked up.

Akai MPC Live/X/One

First, make sure you’ve setup a MIDI track, and you’ve got your MIDI PORT setup properly. In my case, I have the Roland UM-ONE hooked up to the MPC A MIDI port. Boy, that’s a lot of upper case letters.

Next, I usually just hold down the Q-LINK button to open up the Q-LINK menu, but you can also get to it through the MENU button and then touching Q-LINK EDIT button on the screen.

Assuming you’re holding the Q-LINK button down, then you’ll want to touch the Q-LINK EDIT button on the touch screen. Again, either way will get you there, but this is just the muscle memory that I have developed.

Regardless of how you get to the Q-LINK Edit page, you’ll want to change to the PROGRAM menu, so that we can edit the Q-LINKs for the program we have selected.

Here you can see that some settings are already defined, and you’ll likely find that Modulation, Expression, and Volume (possibly even Pan) are already mapped to whatever synth you’re controlling. Other Q-LINK settings here may also control parameters already on your synth… you can change the parameters and see what does and does not work for you.

I’ll also note, there is absolutely no problem in wiping out or over writing the Q-LINKS to control other parameters. You can see in the picture here that I changed Q-LINK 16 to CC 104, just to show that you can change it to whatever you’d like.

At any rate, this should get you on the MPC side to work properly. As a last note to leave you with before moving over to Arturia iMini… don’t forget that you can save programs, so if you want to setup a template for a specific synth and save it, don’t forget to name your Program so you remember what it goes to, and save it someplace you’ll be able to find in the future.

Arturia iMini

You can skip this section if you don’t particularly care about Arturia iMini, but I’m adding it since I showed it off in the video.

Assuming you’ve setup the above on your iPad, this next steps will just guide you through the MIDI Learn process in iMini.

You’ll see here, just the opening page for iMini, nothing special, and all of the MIDI settings you’ll want to get access to are hidden through touching the CONNECT button.

Once you touch on CONNECT, a hidden menu above will pull down, and this is where we need to be to access MIDI settings.

Go ahead and touch MIDI to open the MIDI specific settings.

The popup below shows you which MIDI Channel iMini is listening to, which devices it sees, and importantly for this exercise it has the MIDI LEARN button so that we can specify which MIDI CC’s to use for different knobs and buttons on the MPC (or other devices you choose to use).

This will open up a view where the blew circles are telling you which parameters are already mapped to something if they are checked, and when you touch a circle it will turn green to let you know it is learning whatever knob you change next.

I hope this helps you get setup and using more synths with your MPC!

Get Audio and Midi from your iPad to your Akai MPC Live/X/One

Just posting a short video to show the gear I use to get both cabled audio and midi from my iPad to my Akai MPC Live II.

Equipment:

HyperDrive HD319 – I linked to the Hyper Drive site, but this is around $80-$90. Personally I shopped around and was able to get it with discounts/sales at Best Buy a year ago for $60. It does give you a lot of features though, so definitely worth checking out if it is compatible with your iPad.

Roland UM-ONE – This is the USB Midi interface I used for the USB to Midi conversion. Nothing special about it, but it does work as a generic USB device, making it compatible with the iPad.

Hope this helps you out!

Akai MPC Live/X/One Midi USB adaptor with Apple iPad

Based on some questions, I decided to put together a quick post on how to use a Midi USB adaptor with your iPad to control your Akai MPC. This should work on any Midi equipped device, but below is the video I created as a short walkthrough.

Equipment:

Apple USB-C to USB Adaptor – Honestly any USB-C to USB Adaptor should work here, but this is what I had on hand to get this to work.

Roland USB MIDI Interface UM-ONE – I suspect many other USB to MIDI interfaces should work, anything that is compatible with the iPad should be fine, but this again is what I had on hand.

Have fun!

Wrist Update

For the picture that’s not real smoke/steam, but boy does it feel like there is something going on in my wrist.

Saw a nurse practitioner.

Pretty sure it’s not CTS. I noticed a lump on my wrist now that the swelling is down a bit… and it is likely I’ve got a ganglion cyst near my palm attached to one of the tendons. I can feel it is a bit mushy on the tendon, and it moves when I move my fingers. It’s quite possible that this additional mass is pushing on some of the veins, and it’s likely also getting caught up on my other tendons when I move my hand.

There’s a lot going on in that part of the body, and I’m not about to try and pop the cyst. I tried that years ago with the cyst on the back of my wrist on my left hand, and it was painful enough without all the nerves and stuff there. So no thanks.

Scheduling to get an Ultrasound for a better look of what is going on in there, and then to see an Orthopedic specialist starting next week. Hopefully this is something easy to fix, but it’s probably going to take surgery. *sigh*