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Using Montage Recorder With Cubase

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Michael Trigoboff
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The Performance for the song I'm currently working on has a three-instrument backup band (drums, bass, keys), and six lead instruments. I have the lead instruments in Parts 1-6, and the backup band in Parts 9-11. The lead instruments all have Keyboard Control set to On.

The backup band plays because I have a bar of MIDI in Cubase that cycles repeatedly when I hit "play" in Cubase.

I have 6 Scenes set up so that I can select which lead instrument I'm playing. The Scenes work by setting Mute on the five lead instruments that I don't want to play in that Scene.

I recently discovered that hitting "play" in Cubase when Record is enabled on the Montage starts the Montage recorder. Everything I play plus everything the backup band plays gets recorded. Then I can export the Montage recording as a MIDI file and import it into Cubase.

But here's my problem:

Since Keyboard Control is On for all six lead instruments, all the lead parts I play get MIDI recorded on all six channels (1-6), regardless of which lead instrument I'm actually playing. Setting Mute on the other five lead instruments apparently mutes the tone engine, not the MIDI output from those channels.

This is a pain because I only want the MIDI for a particular instrument from when I was actually playing that instrument, not from everything that was played in the entire song. In other words, I have to go into each of the six lead instrument MIDI tracks in Cubase and delete all of the notes that were not supposed to be played on that instrument.

This made me think that what I actually need to do with my Scenes is to have them turn Keyboard Control on and off so that only one lead instrument ever has Keyboard Control turned on. When I tried to do this, I discovered that Scenes apparently cannot manipulate Keyboard Control.

Is there a way to only have MIDI recorded by the Montage recorder on the Part (channel) that I'm actually playing? Is there a way to control this with Scenes? If not, is there some other way to do it?

I know that there are ways I can do this by recording MIDI in Cubase. But I've recently been exploring the capabilities of the Montage recorder, and I'm wondering if there's a way to use it to do things like this.

 
Posted : 04/07/2017 7:31 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

This made me think that what I actually need to do with my Scenes is to have them turn Keyboard Control on and off so that only one lead instrument ever has Keyboard Control turned on. When I tried to do this, I discovered that Scenes apparently cannot manipulate Keyboard Control.

Is there a way to only have MIDI recorded by the Montage recorder on the Part (channel) that I'm actually playing? Is there a way to control this with Scenes? If not, is there some other way to do it?

KBD CTRL status is not memorized, but doesn't need to be... you are using the MUTE status which is memorized by the SCENE, to determine which Part is actively sounding. As you discovered all channels are transmitted and documented by the Recorder.

The MIDI data IS recorded by the Montage Recorder on the channels you are playing... if KBD CTRL is active then, to be sure, you are transmitting on that channel. The Note-On event includes the MIDI channel, always.
What you want to do is document the Scene changes and make sure they are played back when you playback Cubase.

I know that there are ways I can do this by recording MIDI in Cubase. But I've recently been exploring the capabilities of the Montage recorder, and I'm wondering if there's a way to use it to do things like this.

Absolutely, the Recorder in Montage is designed to capture your Multiple Part/Multiple MIDI channel performing... quickly and easily... even when morphing or switching between active Parts across several transmit channels.

Here's what you need to know:
If SCENE CC is set to a Control Change Number, that Scene channel event will be documented on MIDI channel 1.
If SCENE CC is set to OFF, then Scene events are Output as a System Exclusive message (by convention this data is documented on Channel 1.

What you can do is set the SCENE CC set to OFF (so Sysex is generated), setup a single track in Cubase Pro 9 to receive just the Sysex Messages.
When I record this way, I also set Super Knob CC to OFF, this way I can capture both Scene changes and Super Knob movement on their own MIDI TRACK... the benefit is that you can keep this track (always) active in Cubase to control global functions like Scenes and Super Knob movement active independent of the music Parts.

You can use the INPUT TRANSFORMER in Cubase Pro to reject all data but Sysex.
You could setup so you can linearly record Sysex.

I'm sure there are other methods that could be applied... knowing that your "global control" events (Scene, SuperKnob) are transmitted Out on Channel 1 is the important detail to know. As I'm fond of saying, there is no one-way to work. (The internal Recorder captures all your moves...)

 
Posted : 04/07/2017 8:35 pm
Jason
Posts: 7942
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I'm not sure that it does - but hopefully the answer provided satisfies one method of answering the question. I'm not going to make that determination - the OP can reiterate the goal if need be. I am trying to think of some of the alternative methods.

BM - is there an ARP which plays exactly what you are playing? Not "THRU" (because that's actually what you are playing, and not the ARP playing what you're playing) - but just an ARP you can choose which will have the ARP (instead of your own fingers) playing the keyboard? Reason why I ask is because if you have one of these kinds of ARPs (if it's a possible thing) - then I was thinking you could swap between this ARP and a mute 4/4 ARP to stop the MIDI output. There were times in the past I wanted to have an ARP play exactly what I was playing without interpretation to do things like this. I would end up doing something else (changing my goal). If possible, I'm not sure if there's already an ARP there that does this. I guess another way would be if scenes or control destinations could memorize the setting for THRU and actually just use that - have all ARPs on Mute 4/4 and turn on/off the THRU setting per channel. I don't think this is a destination available.

I'm not sure if this would or would not solve the issue either. But if only ARP output would get recorded and not the trigger input (keys you play vs. the ARP) then this may work. I thought there was a way to only record what the ARP plays without recording the trigger notes that produced the ARP - which is where these questions stem from.

 
Posted : 05/07/2017 4:53 am
Michael Trigoboff
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Thanks, Bad Mister. That was good information. I know what I need to do now.

Can you say something about the choice of having Scene CC (and Super Knob CC) set to OFF vs having them set to a Control Change Number? Under what circumstances would be better to do one or the other? As I'm thinking about it, it seems like it would work the same either way, so I suspect I'm missing something.

Also, I think it could be helpful to include KBD CTRL as something a Scene could control in some future firmware release. As you said, you can accomplish things a different way, but I think it could still be a useful ability to have.

 
Posted : 07/07/2017 4:42 am
Jason
Posts: 7942
Illustrious Member
 

If you start using keyboard control in scenes you also need a provision to scene-force selection=COMMON - because utilizing keyboard control ON/OFF does different things and can be used in different ways depending on if a PART with keyboard control = OFF is selected or not.

Speaking for the part selection "wrinkle" - we do not need scenes to button-press soloing a PART with Montage (there are already part select physical buttons). But there may be reasons to want to put this under scenes to allow for stacking other changes with this Kbd Ctrl=OFF+selection feature.

If you did have a PART selected and wanted to use keyboard control in your scenario - you also need to be sure the PART selected is none (common) to avoid muting all but the selected keyboard control=OFF part. Maybe you would want a scene to leverage individual PART selection (and make other mixing changes) so perhaps adding PART selection goes hand-in-hand with keyboard control=OFF (so allow scene config of part selected = common or 1-16.)

 
Posted : 07/07/2017 7:57 am
Jason
Posts: 7942
Illustrious Member
 

... also note there are external MIDI pedals capable of sending SysEx which you can send a message to address/data

Addr: 0x31 (0x01-0x0F) 0x17 Data: (0x00-0x01)

Where 0x00-0x0F is the part number 1-16 and where 0x00-0x01 is 0x00=keyboard control OFF, 0x01=keyboard control ON

So you may also be able to pedal your way out of this one assuming the price/size/weight/etc for such a device was worth the feature. The less expensive ones may not have the message length or message chain ability to setup all 8 PARTs to a programmed value at once. So you may need to have 16 different buttons (or mode switch the pedal) to address 16 different "programs" - 8 for single PART On and 8 for single PART Off.

If you carry a computer - or are using in the studio environment - then plugins can get you here as well. There are plugins and utilities for sending MIDI, including SysEx, which you can automate. There are solutions out there which allow assigning to keyboard input so you could setup different keyboard shortcuts to get the on/off "profiles" setup how you like. The computer allows for any number of ways to get this done leveraging SysEx.

 
Posted : 07/07/2017 8:11 am
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304
 

Michael Trigoboff wrote:

Thanks, Bad Mister. That was good information. I know what I need to do now.

Can you say something about the choice of having Scene CC (and Super Knob CC) set to OFF vs having them set to a Control Change Number? Under what circumstances would be better to do one or the other? As I'm thinking about it, it seems like it would work the same either way, so I suspect I'm missing something.

No, there is absolutely no difference in how they work. The difference is in how they get documented in the DAW (Cubase Pro). I usually setup a separate MIDI Track that is used just to capture Scene and Super Knob Movements (Sysex) - by setting them both so that they generate Sysex allows me to have a way to keep them active. As long as that MIDI track is not muted Scene and SK commands can be played back.
If you opt to use CC numbers, they are generated and merged with Channel 1 data, which means I must have Channel 1 active at all times if I expect Scene Changes or SK movement to take place.

So the difference is that by using SYSEX and Cubase Pro's capability to isolate SYSEX (using the INPUT TRANSFORMER) I have a way to keep my music tracks separated from the global commands (Scene, SK).
If you use CC numbers and there is music data on channel 1, you can see that an issue arises when you want to Mute the music data separately from the commands. (This just avoids that entirely).

Also, I think it could be helpful to include KBD CTRL as something a Scene could control in some future firmware release. As you said, you can accomplish things a different way, but I think it could still be a useful ability to have.

I'm not that kind of engineer but KBD CTRL would certainly stick out in the "this thing is unlike the others" competition... KBD CTRL - while it is easy to see why you've concluded you would want this but... not sure that is very easily possible. Scenes memorize value settings of the tone generator. We'll have to see what engineering comes up with in future updates... until such time it is not a value that is memorized by the Scene function. Scene memory is limited to a very specific set of parameters.

Turning On and Off MIDI Transmit Channels (Zones) was implemented in a very late update to the Motif XF Master mode, but even there it was a "real time" Performance Control function and not possible to be captured in a "Scene event".

 
Posted : 07/07/2017 3:16 pm
Michael Trigoboff
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Honorable Member
Topic starter
 

So the difference is that by using SYSEX and Cubase Pro's capability to isolate SYSEX (using the INPUT TRANSFORMER) I have a way to keep my music tracks separated from the global commands (Scene, SK). If you use CC numbers and there is music data on channel 1, you can see that an issue arises when you want to Mute the music data separately from the commands. (This just avoids that entirely).

Cool! Very practical! I will be doing things this way from here on out.

I'm not that kind of engineer but KBD CTRL would certainly stick out in the "this thing is unlike the others" competition... KBD CTRL - while it is easy to see why you've concluded you would want this but... not sure that is very easily possible.

I know I could be asking for the moon with this. Back when I was a software engineer, people often asked me for the moon, and I often had to tell them no -- so I totally understand. Whether it's easy to do or impossible depends on internal technical details that none of us around here have.

And if it never happens, I will still be delighted with my Montage, to say nothing of all the help I get around here.

 
Posted : 08/07/2017 12:58 am
Michael Trigoboff
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Topic starter
 

... also note there are external MIDI pedals capable of sending SysEx which you can send a message to address/data

I didn't know that! Something else to put on my Christmas list! 😀

 
Posted : 08/07/2017 1:00 am
Michael Trigoboff
Posts: 0
Honorable Member
Topic starter
 

Just tried it out, recording two Cubase MIDI tracks at once, one for SysEx and one for everything else. Worked like a charm! Scenes switched perfectly when I played the song back.

Thanks to the Data List PDF, I was even able to look at the recorded SysEx events and decode them to verify that the right things were happening.

I'm a happy computerized musician!

 
Posted : 08/07/2017 3:28 am
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