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Automation with Unify for backing tracks

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craigr68
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I've been experimenting with using Unify standalone exclusively to perform my backing tracks.  I play 2 midi keyboard controllers and sometimes guitar.  The screenshots show a simple test of this.  In layer3 I have a mixed down audio track containing all the backing tracks.  In layer1 I have the vst I'll be playing (Pianoteq) from one of my Midi kybds.  Layer2 is an 1/8 Hi-hat click which I would normally mute.  I have it setup so key C1 triggers play on/off (Transport screenshot).  Normally I would have several more vst layers requiring automation for various kinds of parameters like volume, reverb mix level, etc.  If I set those parameters up in the macros, is there any way I could automate the movement of those macros?  This would be simulating what I currently do from my DAW automation lanes.  Or any other way to do automation within Unify?

This topic was modified 1 week ago 4 times by craigr68

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getdunne
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Posted by: @craigr68

is there any way I could automate the movement of those macros?

This is something I've been working on, but it may be some time before it comes out. In the meantime, you can use something like Xfer Records LFO Tool to generate MIDI CC sequences, and run these into an embedded Unify layer with the appropriate CC numbers mapped to the macro knobs.


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craigr68
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I've got automation mostly working in Unify Standalone.  I'm using Cakewalk to generate cc events that Midibox will play back from the primary layer to the embedded layer (Screenshot - primary upper left, embedded right side).  I export the cc events as a .mid file in Cakewalk, and load it into Midibox in the primary layer1.  This is mostly working.  I have key C1 set to trigger playback with Midi/Latch set in transport.  Midibox will play the cc values (cc17 and cc2) and the macro knobs in the embedded instance do move as expected.  Midibox starts playing correctly.  But if I start playing the piano keys C#1 and above, the piano plays ok but Midibox stops playing.  See anything in my settings that would cause that?  I think it's because I have the Midibox layer set to the full range of the keyboard C1 thru G8.  How can I get Midibox to only respond to C#1 but let keys above that go thru to the embedded layer to play the piano and not interfere with each other?


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getdunne
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Posted by: @craigr68

...if I start playing the piano keys C#1 and above, the piano plays ok but Midibox stops playing...

The keys above C1 are switching off the latching of INST1. You should set the latched layer's key range to C1-C1.

Setting the Transport to Latch mode, with a limited key range (as I see you've done) can be tricky to understand. Basically, this allows you to latch the Transport itself (Unify's transport, not the DAW's) on and off, so any hosted plug-ins that follow tempo will start and stop. This is appropriate for Unify stand-alone, but might not be what you want in a DAW. Without knowing more about how you intend your patch to work, I can't advise in any more depth.


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craigr68
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Posted by: @getdunne

You should set the latched layer's key range to C1-C1.

I want the keys above that (C#1 to G8) to pass thru to the same embedded patch and play its piano layers.  It's the piano layer volumes that I'm automating with midibox, which is working.  But if I can't get notes thru to the piano layers simultaneously, the purpose is defeated.


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getdunne
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Posted by: @craigr68

I want the keys above that (C#1 to G8) to pass thru to the same embedded patch and play its piano layers.  It's the piano layer volumes that I'm automating with midibox, which is working.  But if I can't get notes thru to the piano layers simultaneously, the purpose is defeated.

Ah, so if I understand correctly, you want to have a MIDIBox instance latched on/off by C1, sending out a CC message sequence while also passing through other MIDI notes, which don't affect latching.

The trick to this is to do the latching only on the outer Transport, and set MIDIBox to "Loop", not "Loop/Key" mode. (Or "1shot" instead of "1shot/key".) In this mode, MIDIBox simply follows its host transport; it's not affected by MIDI coming into it.

I'm attaching a (zipped) patch which mocks up what you're trying to do, simplified as much as possible. With Unify 1.8 or later, you can unzip and drag/drop the .unify file into Unify, then Save so it goes into your patch database. (Library is set to "User Library", but you can change that when saving if you want. Alternatively, you can locate the User Library/Patches folder, copy the .unify file there, and then rebuild the patch database, but the drag/drop/save method will be quicker.)

For simplicity, I'm using one of the MIDI CC "LFO" sequences from the Standard Library, which is a sequence of CC#1 (mod wheel) messages, so I assign a macro knob in the embedded Unify to CC#1, but you would change that to whatever CC# you're actually using. Alternatively, I see you're using Unify v1.8.2 public beta, so you could also follow the MIDIBox instance with the new CCMate MIDI-effect, to transform the CC#1 messages in the sequence to any other CC# you prefer.


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craigr68
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Posted by: @getdunne

"Loop", not "Loop/Key" mode

Ok, ya, that did it.  Also, important to do the latching from the transport. 

One other question:

I have a M-Audio Oxygen Pro 61 keyboard that has a LED that I use as a visual metronome.  In Cakewalk, the Preferences->MIDI "Send MIDI Sync"  has to be checked on for it to work.  Is there any way Unify can send that out?  

Going forward: Now that I got this thing working, the plan is to take my backing tracks - look at all my projects automation lanes that are currently set for Unify macro control parameters - then recreate them as MIDI envelopes - then export them as .mid files - they'll just be a string of CCs.  Then I'll use this patch as a template to load those into Unify Standalone.  Ultimate goal would be to ditch Cakewalk for live and just have it be a Unify Standalone patch.  But it would be a lot of work to convert over 80 songs.  For now it's in the concept phase.  

Thanks so much for all your help on this and so many other things you've helped with - much appreciated.

 


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getdunne
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Posted by: @craigr68

I have a M-Audio Oxygen Pro 61 keyboard that has a LED that I use as a visual metronome.  In Cakewalk, the Preferences->MIDI "Send MIDI Sync"  has to be checked on for it to work.  Is there any way Unify can send that out?

Unify doesn't send any MIDI-out at all right now, but we hope to offer some kind of enhanced version that can do that plus a whole lot more.

I don't know much about MIDI Sync, but the Cakewalk documentation has some useful information. I'll put this on the to-do list.

Do you actually need full MIDI Sync (to synchronize classic MIDI hardware devices), or do you just need a visual metronome of some kind? If the latter, would you be OK with something implemented in software, with visual display on the computer screen?


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craigr68
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Posted by: @getdunne

Do you actually need full MIDI Sync (to synchronize classic MIDI hardware devices), or do you just need a visual metronome of some kind? If the latter, would you be OK with something implemented in software, with visual display on the computer screen?

I forgot Unify doesn't do Midi out.  I think I just need whatever MIDI Sync signal Cakewalk sends out. 

I'm not sure what you've got in mind with a software visual display.  I used to use Cakewalks built in visual on-screen metronome and found it not so great.  Then I bought this M-Audio keyboard and was delighted with its LED.  Think I'll always prefer that.  If you know of a really good computer screen metronome, I'd give it a try.  Nothing beats a click in my ear but I'd have to come up with a way to isolate the audio from the audience.

This post was modified 5 days ago by craigr68

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