MIDI Groove Box
User @robert-p has submitted a request for a "MIDI Groove Box".
If load type-1 multi-track MIDI file to the MIDI Box there is no way to trigger particular MIDI sequence by MIDI note (no note mapping option), or I'm missing something? Is NI Maschine the only option to have this functionality in my DAW? (Studio One doesn't have any built in MIDI-clip launcher and it seems that there is no 3rd party plugin on the market available). It would be great to have a Plugin Guru MIDI Groove-box (as a paid VST plugin). For me, the workaround is to use my old NI Kore software (it has built in MIDI player, track list, note mapping etc) and free MidiPads plugin, but it's not the most effective solution. Please, give us the MIDI Groovebox...
This is how it works:
- there are 16 performance banks, 8 presets per bank = 128 presets (that responds to the program change messages sent by my midi controller).
- 1 preset contains a track list - up to 128 MIDI sequences can be loaded to each preset and each sequence can be mapped to different note (I usually map 16 sequences per preset)
- All tracks that are loaded to the track list can be auditioned in the context of the song before mapping (tempo sync).
- Mapped sequences are triggered by pads in my MIDI controller
- All loaded MIDI sequences are saved within one Kore preset file
- The whole performance can contain up to 16384 MIDI sequences (about 10 Toontracks MIDI Grooves addons)
- MIDI pads - they also respond to my MIDI controller program change messages - they can be used to trigger the notes/sequences and to provide the information about pads assignment.
This is a very interesting request, which I'll have to think about and discuss with John. I've taken the liberty of reproducing your original posts here in a new dedicated Forum topic, and removed them from the "midibox-drop-area" topic because this request deserves a discussion of its own!
I love reading ideas like this because I simply have no idea what you're talking about, and I'd love to learn more!
Do you have any examples of using functionality like this live? What kinds of performance/compositional flexibility does it give you? What style(s) of music are you using this for?
I'm talking about the functionality of NI Maschine without the Mashine Jam hardware - triggering MIDI sequences by using any keyboard/midi controller. Here is an example:
- Load MIDI Groove Box to the MIDI fx layer and route it to your instrument layer
- Load Superior Drummer, Easy Drummer, NI Battery or any of your favourite drum samplers to your instrument layer
- Buy some Toontrack's or Groove Monkee MIDI Groove addons - hundreds of beats in MIDI format - many styles and variations, or create your own styles
- Drag and drop your MIDI beats to the MIDI Groove box, select the groove and hit play in your DAW (or whatever host your'e using) - the drum sampler starts playing the beat - select the variation (ie. intro, verse, bridge, fills) and map it to one of your MIDI pads or keys in your MIDI controller
- If your MIDI pad controller has more than one pad bank (ie. AKAI MPK249 - 4 pad banks) you can map 64 sequences and access them instantly - I usually map 16 and and I trigger them with my Korg microKontrol drum pads. This is small midi keyboard controller that i use to play the bass line with my left hand. (I can change the drum pattern with my right hand and play the bass line with my left one at the same time).
- If your MIDI pad controller has one pad bank only you can use "Program change" dial to switch between presets (128 presets x 16 sequences)
- Then I load some of my fav. instruments to another instance of Unify and I use my second MiDI keyboard controller (bigger one without the drum pads) to play chords, melodies, arps etc with my right hand.
- My 3rd midi controller (Korg padKonrol - excellent drum pads) is routed directly to my Drums vst - I can play the drum fills on it while the beat is played back thru the MIDI Groove Box.
This video shows the idea of triggering patterns via midi notes:
And this is why we need an alternative to the Maschine:
"Selecting patterns with external gear is only possible with the Jam Controller, its part of the NI business model to lock features to its own stuff to encourage people to buy those, in their mind thats good."
Cool! Thanks for posting that - I get it now! It's a complete 180 from how I work, and how I generally picture composition and performance, but I can see how dynamic and spontaneous it can be. I should probably give it a shot, just to see how it feels and stretch my comfort zone, and maybe it will be a whole new way of working!
Try it, it feels great! An if you put all of this into you DAW (linear mode), you just press the record button and you have your whole performance multitracked as MIDI/Instruments tracks (and that includes the drum tracks from the MIDI Groove Box), so you can edit it later:))
I have an Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII so that has a 4 x 4 pad setup, and I'm using Logic Pro, so I guess the new Live Loops is very similar to this style of working, so I'll give it a shot!
Now that I think about it, I probably do work like this sometimes, although I didn't make the connection, as I use Scaler 2 and Cthulhu sometimes to get some inspiration with working with chord progressions.
I heard about the Live loops, its worth trying. I also had Arturia (the first Analog Experience series) some time ago. Now I'm thinking about the new Keystep 37 :))
Back to the topic: Why do we need a MIDI Groove Box? If we don't like the Maschine - we can use Akai MPC, Right?
Well, I tried to make it work with my MIDI controllers - it worked, but the maximum number of MIDI sequences per Project is 128. The best you can do, is to make 128 sequences x 128 tracks each (multitrack type 1). that gives you 16384 MIDI grooves - the same number I've got on my 10-year's old NI Kore.
The difference is that it would take ages to convert your MIDI groove packs to MPC format, on the Kore it takes minutes - you just drag and drop the bunch of files and you've got more than 10 MIDI Drum Groove packs ready to play. Each MIDI pack contains between 10 and 20 "songs", each song has several drum parts (intro, verse etc). Each drum part has several variations.
Once you have all your grooves in your MIDI Groove Box, all you need to do is to start playing the bass line on your keyboard and find the groove you like (MIDI Groove Pack addons have logical file structure). It's synced with the song tempo, so you can browse and play at the same time, you find the grooves and map them to the MIDI notes on your Pad/Keyboard controller.
You can't buy Kore anymore - it has been discontinued, and you can't find it's functionality anywhere else.