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How To Play Sequenced Drums In CP4

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Can a drum voice be played via external sequencer set to the same channel as the drum voice if the drum voice is not active (not 1 of 3 voices in a layer/split) while I am manually playing the layer/split with 3 other voices?

If a split point is set at next to lowest note on keyboard with a drum voice assigned to the left of the split, will an external sequencer on the same MIDI channel as the drum voice be able to play all notes in the drum voice, even those in the higher octaves?

Thanks in advance.

 
Posted : 27/09/2014 11:18 pm
Bad Mister
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Welcome to Yamaha Synth!

Can a drum voice be played via external sequencer set to the same channel as the drum voice if the drum voice is not active (not 1 of 3 voices in a layer/split) while I am manually playing the layer/split with 3 other voices?

Sorry, no, that's not quite how it works. Obviously it (the Drum Kit) has to be one of three Voices assigned to a Part, but it does not have to be active from the CP4 Stage keys. If you select a drum kit Voice for a Part, (Main, Layer, or Split), it is automatically assigned to RECEIVE on MIDI Channel 1, 2, or 3, respectively.

So, for example, say you select a Drum Kit for the Split Part, it will automatically be assigned to Receive via MIDI on Channel 3 and will be played by an external device across the entire key range when data is received via MIDI on channel 3... It PLAYS whether or not the [SPLIT] button is lit on the CP4 Stage. If it (the [SPLIT] button) is lit you can additionally play the drum kit with the CP4 Stage's keys and then and only then will the keyboard's split point parameter be respected and only by the internal keyboard. The actual Split Point is a parameter of the CP4 Stage keybed, not MIDI (naturally). We say 'naturally' because via MIDI you play all notes on that channel ... In order not to, you'd restrict it on the transmit side.

If a split point is set at next to lowest note on keyboard with a drum voice assigned to the left of the split, will an external sequencer on the same MIDI channel as the drum voice be able to play all notes in the drum voice, even those in the higher octaves?

No, that's not how it works. As explained, via MIDI, the selected Voice plays across the entire keyboard range (C-2 through G8 for normal sounds, and C0 through C6 for drum kits). There is no such thing as a split via MIDI on a single MIDI channel (that simply is not how MIDI works - unless you note limit the external controller). Since you're using an external sequencer, whatever notes you send in on channel 3 will trigger the Drum Kit assigned to the SPLIT PART. The front panel [SPLIT] button only determines whether or not the CP4 Stage's own keyboard will trigger the drums. Make sense?

So there is no need to set a split point at the "next to lowest note". Simply assign the Drum Kit to the SPLIT PART (CH3), and play it via MIDI. You simply do not light the [SPLIT] button to avoid playing it with the CP4 Stage keys.

The front panel lights for [SPLIT] and [LAYER] activate/deactivate control over those Parts via the CP4 Stage's own keys. You can always play those assigned Parts across the entire range when coming IN via MIDI. The [MAIN] Part is always active and cannot be deactivated for the CP4 Stage.

Hope that helps.

 
Posted : 28/09/2014 6:40 am
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Thank you Bad Mister for your thorough explanation, as always. Definitely helps. I understand and am pleased with how MIDI is received on a selected part. I was hoping this would be the case because an important element in my decision whether to buy the CP4 is my ability to sequence in a backing drum part from an iPad, most likely via Cubasis, while using the drum kit sounds of the CP4 rather than external audio for a drum track.

One follow up question, that is probably as much a MIDI question as a CP4 question. If I create a 1 track MIDI song on an external devise, which would be a drum part, and that track is assigned to MIDI channel 3, if I then save that MIDI song in MIDI format to a memory stick and insert the memory stick into the CP4, will the CP4 identify the track as being on MIDI channel 3 thus playing the drum kit assigned to the Split Part (Channel 3) or will it play some other part or not at all?

Again, thanks in advance.

 
Posted : 28/09/2014 5:24 pm
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Another follow up question:

If I select a drum voice for the split part, from the above discussion I understand it is set to MIDI Channel 3 and can be played from an external sequencer track assigned to MIDI Channel 3 even if the Split button is not lit and in that event the drum voice will not be also played from the CP4 keyboard (with Split light not lit). My question is, if I select a bass voice for the Layer part it will be assigned to MIDI Channel 2. Similar to the above, if the Layer light is not lit, can the external sequencer with a track assigned to MIDI Channel 2 (and the first track set to MIDI Channel 1) play the Layer part at the same time as the Split part with the CP4 keyboard only playing the Main part? The idea being that you can have drums and bass sequenced in and played on the CP4 and at the same time manually play only a, say, piano voice across the entire 88 keys without triggering any base of drum sounds. i.e.: piano, base and drums with the full keyboard for the live piano. And like my last question, can the external MIDI song with the 2 MIDI tracks (Channels 2 and 3) be saved to a memory stick and the same respective channels be played back from the memory stick inserted into the CP4?

And taking this a step further using the above analysis (if accurate) can a 3 track MIDI song set to MIDI Channels 1, 2 and 3, saved to memory stick, play an entire 3 channel song on the CP4? Just curious. Trying to figure out if for my purposes, with limited time to play and my emphasis on playing, not necessarily recording or designing sounds, I would need to keep my MotifXF8 if I buy the CP4 and use it with an iPad for sequencing. Thanks again.

 
Posted : 28/09/2014 6:42 pm
Bad Mister
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My question is, if I select a bass voice for the Layer part it will be assigned to MIDI Channel 2. Similar to the above, if the Layer light is not lit, can the external sequencer with a track assigned to MIDI Channel 2 (and the first track set to MIDI Channel 1) play the Layer part at the same time as the Split part with the CP4 keyboard only playing the Main part?

Yes.

...can the external MIDI song with the 2 MIDI tracks (Channels 2 and 3) be saved to a memory stick and the same respective channels be played back from the memory stick inserted into the CP4?

Yes, but with one slight difference. The MIDI sequence (your drums and bass) can be played from your external sequencer and recorded to the CP4 Stage as a 16-bit/44.1kHz stereo .wav file, simply insert a USB stick into the "To Device" Port and record the drum and bass parts. Then you can simply stream the playback while playing along with your CP4 Stage MAIN Part.

The CP4 Stage can stream audio from a file, not MIDI.
The Motif XF can stream audio and can of course load and play MIDI from a file.

And taking this a step further using the above analysis (if accurate) can a 3 track MIDI song set to MIDI Channels 1, 2 and 3, saved to memory stick, play an entire 3 channel song on the CP4?

The CP4 Stage does not have the capability of playing back MIDI files. It can record and playback audio data.

There is not really a way to do a comparison of the Motif XF and the CP4 Stage, really. They are two completely different animals (with the devil in the details). Whether or not it will replace the Motif XF for *you* is something only you can decide based on your particular use case - that's the "details" which for each of us can be different. The CP4 Stage is principally a piano/e.piano (with some very good synth sounds hand picked from the Motif Library to complement its role as your main keyboard, while the Motif XF is a full fledged music production synthesizer. The iPad as your sequencer is not really up to replacing anything quite yet (in my opinion - eventually it will get there). The Motif XF came with Cubase so you have a real DAW to use if you desire. As an audio recorder the iPad is on par with what is already built-in to both the XF (with its internal SDRAM) and the CP (with its USB drive record/play feature)... Basically a CD-quality stereo .wav recorder.

You will need to do some soul searching about whether or not you can do without your XF. For me, personally, the Motif XF7 + CP4 Stage (together) is my rig of choice. No question! I could not do without them!!! Both!!! Of course for you it may be different, I'm just pointing out: it is a very personal choice.

Hope that helps!

 
Posted : 28/09/2014 10:39 pm
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Thanks again Bad Mister for the technical advise and your personal opinion. I did not realize the CP4 could not play a MIDI file, just MIDI via an external device. I also have been toying with both Garage Band and Cubasis on the iPad as an alternative sequencer, but as you say the iPad is not there yet, but when it is it will change everything for me because I would then use it as a full fledged sequencer. I do not want to connect my computer to the keyboard because it takes too long to get going and adds complexities. I spent many years with a Mac connected to a former XS. I like being able to turn on the XF and iPad, tap a music app or sequencer app and sit down and play (I use Master Mode on the XF to control activate/deactivate the iPad apps). My emphasis is on playing, however, I have composed a number of multi-track sequenced songs on the XF and at least my home audience (as in "captive") enjoys them- especially if strong drinks are served first. I really push my luck when I sing along through the XF vocoder. So probably will add the CP4 plus a 2 tier keyboard stand with sufficient clearance between the bottom of top tier and top of keyboard on lower tier, plus time to upgrade the mixer, probably a MGXU unit so I can get digital audio out of the iPad. This will work great when Bluetooth MIDI is available to free up the iPad connection for just audio out while controlling the unit by bluetooth MIDI at the same time, and there is a company working on that.

Final word. Just discovered the the MG Record and Play App. This sells the MGXU because with a long USB cable I will be able to start/stop record and playback away from the mixer, such as on the piano bench at my C7 miked into the mixer with superior quality mics when I need to record spurts of instant inspiration before it passes. I love this new technology.

Thanks again.

 
Posted : 29/09/2014 12:12 am
Bad Mister
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We are not sure what "Bluetooth MIDI" is, but the Motif XF already can communicate wirelessly to either an iPad/iPhone to record audio and already has several Wifi capable MIDI Apps... And has had them for several years now. You may already have your dream setup... Perhaps it's time to explore that part of your Motif XF before you think about replacing it.

The "Cloud Audio Recorder for Motif XF" is a Wifi audio recorder for the Motif XF. Also allows you to post (upload) your music to your own SoundCloud account. Playback audio through your Motif XF when connected and through the iPad/iPhone when you are away from your gear.

The "Multi Editor Essential", "Performance Editor Essential", "Voice Editor Essential", "Fader & XY Pad", "Synth & Drum Pad", and the "Moblie Music Sequencer" Apps all work wirelessly for MIDI with the Motif XF, right now!!!

They all require a compatible UBS Wifi-device (and setting the MIDI IN/OUT = network). Of course, the MIDI apps can use a cable connection instead.

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/music-production/accessories/apps/

Nothing connects like a Motif XF (this is why it is an essential piece of gear) MIDI, USB, Ethernet, Wifi, SPDIF, optional FW, and analog outputs!

 
Posted : 29/09/2014 1:03 am
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Thank you. I have all the apps you mentioned. I will look into the wifi connection you mentioned. I guess it is part of the system I have not explored. After reading your above responses and really thinking about it over this weekend I have decided to keep the XF8. I would miss it. My interest in the CP4 is mainly its keyboard so I may still purchase it, but not as a replacement for the XF. I really appreciate your taking the time to assist. FYI I have had Yamaha synths, mixers and speakers ever since my DX7. Never had a problem with any of them and have always received great technical assistance. I really appreciate this forum and your help!

 
Posted : 29/09/2014 2:37 am
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