Notifications
Clear all

Tip: Combining Instrument Volume + MIDI track enable in one Macro

20 Posts
4 Users
4 Likes
1,140 Views
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

Greetings Unify Friends,

I've been practicing this in DAWs to save CPU with instruments I am not using at certain moments in a performance. I combine one knob with volume and disabling the plugin (turning it off, so it saves CPU - this is easy to do, say in Ableton, or Bitwig). The assumption is that when I turn volume to zero, I might as well turn off the track all together so it doesn't process incoming MIDI, and therefore saves CPU.

I found that this is possible in Unify as well, based on the original idea to put the unify/midiEnable/<inst#> path in the control file. But you can do it just as well on a macro knob. So here is how I combined volume and instrument enable. 

For this I added two "parameter links" for example to knob "macro/25" (the first in the 4th row, to not conflict with the default patches' macros). See attached screenshot. The first one is "inst/1/mixLevel" and controls volume of instrument 1. The second is the track dis/enable (unify/MidiEnable/1), based on the position of the volume knob. You see the square "curve" to go abruptly from 0 to 127. A default diagonal line seems to work as well, though.

I hope this isn't redundant information, and let me know if you have any questions. Happy to walk through in more detail. 

I am also currently working on configuring my Maschine Jam and Novation Launch Control XL to work seamlessly with Unify and various performance control needs. Let me know if you have any needs in that space that I should consider implementing on those devices.

 

Cheers,

Bernd

 


Quote
getdunne
(@getdunne)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3574
 

@berndpdx

This is a VERY interesting idea. Thank you for sharing it!

I don't think Unify's midiEnable function will achieve quite what you need. What you ideally need is a way to control bypassing each plug-in. I'll make a note to add that.


ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

Thanks, Shane! Within the current abilities of Unify, I manage to run 24 instances of Falcon 2 simultaneously, and when I use midiEnable to "suspend" some of them (or whatever it is that happens under the covers, I did notice long notes still ringing out even after disable), I get barely any CPU hit. It is truly remarkable how much more I can do in Unify compared to a DAW in terms of CPU headroom. Whatever multi-threading method you're using to distribute the load over the cores/threads is very efficient.

The other thing I mentioned was that I configured my Maschine Jam to enable/disable/solo tracks. This is still work in progress, but here is a preliminary version that does in one device what Skippy's videos show him using Maschine Jam (for macro/faders) AND the Korg Nanocontrol (buttons for enable/disable track). My Maschine Jam template attached does both in one device. The lowest two rows of buttons are

  1. red/green -> track disable/enable, based on midiEnable macro and
  2. white/yellow -> mimicking Unify's SOLO [S] mouseclicks

Above these two bottom rows you'll see (in the attached snapshot) blue/purple buttons which toggle sustained C / G notes across 4 octaves, for easy latching with arpeggiators or pads. Since I use Scaler extensively, I use a "control octave" (reserved lower notes as signals to Scaler) to recall chord presets. I suspect one could use this similarly with BlueArp, as BlueArp lets you recall different scenes.

The faders control volume on the first 8 instruments. Can be expanded to more than 8 faders since Maschine Jam has pages with up to 8x8 = 64 faders (reusing the physical faders via pagination).

To make this work, put the attached "Maschine Jam - 1.txt" file into the Unify "MIDI Controller Files" folder, and load the attached .ncc template file into the "Native Instruments Controller Editor" (if you have a Maschine Jam device, this tool came with it and you're probably familiar with it - if not, let me know, I can walk you through).

 

Ok, direct attachments here don't work for me. Let me try to share through Google drive then... https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1FBPScmJl7edhdjiDacI9a1aT7LCxtizt?usp=sharing

 


ReplyQuote
getdunne
(@getdunne)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3574
 

@berndpdx

Many thanks, Bernd. John has a Maschine Jam controller. I will ask him to look into your suggestions.


ReplyQuote
Hexabuzz
(@hexabuzz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 124
 

@getdunne I just purchased a Machine Jam, partially because of seeing John use his - It seems that there are a few of us here, and I reached out to John but never heard back from him regarding integration of the Jam. It certainly might be interesting to exchange info on how it's being used to control Unify, especially since he seems to have integrated it into part of his regular workflow.

Also, I realize we might be getting a little too micromanaged here on the Forums, but I wonder if going forward it might be interesting to have some sort of hardware controllers subsection, possibly even by popular device, for users to share how they've integrated their controllers, and to also help troubleshoot problems with others with similar setups.


Bernd@PDX reacted
ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

Hi @hexabuzz, great to hear you have a Maschine Jam too 🙂 I think it's the coolest thing since the invention of sliced bread. Like John said in his video, no other MIDI controller lets you morph 8 physical controls simultaneously.

I  happen to be somewhat of an expert on the Maschine Jam, due to excessive use and custom programming since it came out. Take a look at my posting above to which Shane responded. That was my attempt to address the type of interest you expressed. Let me know how I could be more concise and helpful to get you setup.

Once we've figured out to make the configuration as easy as possible, perhaps the controller template coule be bundled with Unify in the future?

Cheers,

Bernd@PDX 

 

PS: I like your suggestion of having a hardware controller focused section in the forum. Great idea! <thumbs up>


ReplyQuote
Hexabuzz
(@hexabuzz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 124
 

@berndpdx Thanks! I'm waiting for it to arrive on Friday, and I can't wait - I hope you won't mind if I have questions that I might ask you for help.

David


ReplyQuote
getdunne
(@getdunne)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3574
 
Posted by: @hexabuzz

@getdunne I just purchased a Machine Jam, partially because of seeing John use his - It seems that there are a few of us here, and I reached out to John but never heard back from him regarding integration of the Jam. It certainly might be interesting to exchange info on how it's being used to control Unify, especially since he seems to have integrated it into part of his regular workflow.

Also, I realize we might be getting a little too micromanaged here on the Forums, but I wonder if going forward it might be interesting to have some sort of hardware controllers subsection, possibly even by popular device, for users to share how they've integrated their controllers, and to also help troubleshoot problems with others with similar setups.

I'm happy to create sub-sections of the Forum for specific topics, although I will mention that I'm not very pleased with the specific forum software we're using (wpForo for Wordpress), so I may want to find a better alternative before expanding the present structure much further.

I'm sorry to hear that you haven't heard back from John. As you can imagine, he gets an awful lot of email, and conversations occasionally do get dropped; I assure you it's not on purpose. I'll let him know.


ReplyQuote
Hexabuzz
(@hexabuzz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 124
 

@getdunne Shane, it's really not a big deal about John - I know he's busy, and I always hear from him eventually!

I also understand about the forum software - It was just an idea for the future about giving users with specific configurations of hardware a way of  communicating more directly about tips or problems specific to their setup without clogging up the general areas. Thanks for at least considering it.


ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

I'm not very pleased with the specific forum software we're using (wpForo for Wordpress), 

@getdunne - while I'm busy cross-pollinating between Scaler and Unify 😉 take a look at the Forum platform the Scaler team uses. I find that the most advanced (old fashioned) forum functionality I've seen, including the self-managing user trust and privilege system. Having been an active user of that forum platform, I have been very impressed how it works.


ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

 I hope you won't mind if I have questions that I might ask you for help.

@hexabuzz - no problem, go right ahead! Happy to help...


ReplyQuote
getdunne
(@getdunne)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3574
 

@berndpdx

The Scaler forum looks very nice, but I couldn't find any mention of the software that powers it. I understand you're in touch with the Scaler team. Could you please ask them about it?


ReplyQuote
Erik van Wees
(@erik-van-wees)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 44
 
Posted by: @getdunne

@berndpdx

The Scaler forum looks very nice, but I couldn't find any mention of the software that powers it. I understand you're in touch with the Scaler team. Could you please ask them about it?

Shane, It most probably is this : https://www.discourse.org I sort of recognize it

I like it very much, they are using it on VCV Rack forum too, aparently it has Wordpress integration ... not sure about migration atm

 

BTW great news about the Scaler efforts, could be the reason i would be finally buying it ... 😛


mj_prod reacted
ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

@erik-van-wees Yes, the Scaler team indeed uses Discourse.org for their support web platform (NOT to be confused with Discord, the video chat service). I responded to Shane in email on this. But yes, it looked familiar to me as well, and as a user, I really like it too.


ReplyQuote
Hexabuzz
(@hexabuzz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 124
 

@berndpdx Got my Maschine Jam today - I'm still getting everything connected and set up, but was wondering if you might have any templates already set up for Unify that you might want to share that I could load up in Controller?


ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

@hexabuzz Glad to hear! The fun is about to start 😉

Take a look what I recently posted above https://forums.pluginguru.com/postid/8854/

I am currently refining the MIDI CC assignments, figuring out how to live in harmony with Unify patch libraries. But the above was a prototype that worked for me, should give you a good start. In time I'll come up with something better. I have something in the works that lets you pick patches from the Maschine Jam pads instead of clicking the mouse on the computer screen 🙂


ReplyQuote
Hexabuzz
(@hexabuzz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 124
 

@berndpdx GREAT!!! Thank you so much!


ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

@hexabuzz When you get at chance, give the Native Instruments documentation a good read. I find their docs are pretty easy to understand. Specifically the Controller Editor and Maschine Jam's MIDI programmability. Basically, every button you see can be custom assigned either a note, a MIDI CC message, act as a gate (active as you hold it) or a toggle (on/off). You have 8 virtual pages, meaning the 64 physical pads can have 8x different purposes as you switch pages (the knobs on top with 1...8). Same with the faders, even though there are only 8 physical, you can bank select 8x and have 64 total virtual faders, again, you can assign MIDI notes or control messages (CC numbers, which then Unify understands also). Let me know if you have any specific questions, as I've become somewhat of an "expert (gasp!) in the 4 years I had this beast, because it's so versatile and fun 🙂


ReplyQuote
Hexabuzz
(@hexabuzz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 124
 

@berndpdx Thanks again for all your help! I have other control surface hardware (A Presonus Faderport 8, a Novation Launchpad XL that I'm using with software as just a control surface for U-He, Diva, a Launchpad Pro that I bought to use with Logic and LiveLoops, and 2 of the old Behringer surfaces, the BCR2000 and BCF2000). From the first time I saw the Jam, it really looked like the best of all of the others, especially with the touch faders rather than hardware, and now that I see the Controller Editor software, the implementation and customization is even better, too. It's too bad it's been discontinued.

Before Apple introduced Live Loops, I never had any interest in any kinds of pad controllers or loop/performance type software, and even now I'm not sure it's what I'm interested in, and I'll probably never download the Maschine software for music creation, but as a controller, the Jam seems to have the best of just about everything.


ReplyQuote
Bernd@PDX
(@berndpdx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

@getdunne  I just now fully comprehended what you said here...

I don't think Unify's midiEnable function will achieve quite what you need. What you ideally need is a way to control bypassing each plug-in. I'll make a note to add that.

I realized that even when an Unify Instrument Layer seems not midiEnable'd (by turning dark green), it still receives MIDI program change messages (which in my context is undesirable). And if it processes MIDI program messages, it means it's still awake and uses up CPU. Not quite like in Ableton where it literally suspends/snoozes when "turned off".

 


ReplyQuote
Share: