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  1. Yves-Marie
  2. reface
  3. Thursday, 25 April 2019
Hello everyone !

The CS is a great sounding synth, right up my alley, it's just too bad I'm having so many MIDI issues with it.

I'm working on a Macbook Pro with Ableton Live, my audio interface is a RME Fireface 802. I recently bought a new Macbook Pro and Ableton 10, and I'm still having the exact same issues, and it's really frustrating me, to the point where I wonder if I'm not going to sell my CS, even though I love it.
Here goes :

The most problematic issue is how the CS will just randomly stop emitting sound (from the DAW and keyboard). It happens when I pause my beat and play it again. I have to restart the CS with the on/off switch, it will then work for a little while before eventually stopping again.

Occasionally, it won't stop emitting sound, but it will turn from poly to mono. A quick switch on the poly/mono fader does the trick.

Other times, the patch will suddenly sound differently, with a short attack, and just not particularly pleasant. Faders unresponsive.

It will also turn back to OMNI once in a while.

All these issues are solved with the on/off switch, except for the OMNI one. But it happens way too often. Every 5/10 minutes. Always after pausing and playing the set again, which is something I'm sure you do a lot as well.

So, like I said, I'm working on a brand new computer and DAW, and the problems remain the same. I have updated the synth, I put it on MIDI channel 1 just to be a bit "safer" (because it does turn back to 1 once in a while too), it's not relying on a MIDI thru signal from another synth : it's coming straight from the Fireface 802 through a Quadra Thru.

I can't play the keyboard. I need to be able to tweak my notes in real time in Ableton, and if I can't do that, the reface CS is just too much of a hassle to use. I need it to be as reliable as every other synth I own, including the original DX7 ;)

I'm not the most knowledgable person on technical stuff either (you might wonder what exactly I'm good at), so my best hope is that I have missed an important thing that would be the cause of it all. Second best case scenario, I have a defective synth.

Hope that was detailed enough, and I really hope someone has the beginning of an answer.

Cheers !
Responses (3)
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Yves-Marie,
There is possibly good news, because the Reface is doing the same thing on both computer setups - it could be the data that you are sending it or something you are doing (consistently) to make the unit do this. (And of course, there is a possibility it is the unit is broken, although I've never heard of one quite breaking like this...

Verify your Setup Technique
Once you make you've made your settings (by powering the unit ON while holding down the designated Key) those settings should remain until you change them.
For example, if you make a Channel Transmit Setting, Power down, then you make a Pitch Bend setting, then power down, and then make Local Control Setting... power down the unit. All those settings will persist...
Then turn it ON normally and go to work.

I mention this because if you leave it in "program mode", you may wind up accidentally re-programming your unit with incoming MIDI data. Because MIDI data sent to the reface can be used to reprogram the data, I'm thinking this must be what it happening. Or there are 'ghosts in the machine'... Really I've not heard of units having this type of trouble. I will ask with our service people.

But in the meantime be sure you are making your settings properly... and then powering down before you send it any MIDI data.

Does the unit behave strangely when not connected to your computer and interface?
If not, then I redouble my suspicion that it is being told to make those 'strange' settings.

Let us know.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. reface
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hey Bad Mister,

Thanks for your quick reply.

So this is really interesting. I will perform tests when it's not connected to the DAW but I'm almost certain it will work OK. Like you, I have a strong feeling that the CS is receiving MIDI data that is messing it up.

If I understand correctly, you think I might forget to turn the CS off and on again after changing a setting, leaving it in "program mode" and causing it to behave strangely when receiving perfectly normal MIDI data. Is that right ? Sadly, I don't think I've ever broken that particular protocol. But let's assume I did it once, would the CS still show these symptoms after all this time ?

But it has me thinking though. When I change a setting, the DAW is most likely connected to the CS, so it might be sending unsuspected data at that moment, maybe ?

In any case I think the best thing to do is a factory reset, and redo my settings "offline", i.e. not connected to anything that might interfere with the setup, and start tests from there.

Thanks a lot for the advice and I'll get back to you soon !
  1. more than a month ago
  2. reface
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hey, so it's been a while, because someone broke into my apartment soon after I started this thread and stole my brand new macbook :o

Anyway, it looks like you were right all along, a clean setup from scratch and everything seems to work fine now. So thanks a lot !
  1. more than a month ago
  2. reface
  3. # 3
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