The Definitive Guide to Trying to Connect Your OP-1 Via USB-MIDI


#121

Hey guys. I thought you might help me with my setup.


Goal: Have some kind of setup to play live.

So what we have now:
- TE OP-1
- Korg Volca Keys
- Moog Mother-32
- Korg Poly-800 ( +SQ-1 in the future)

What I want to have:
- Ability to send clock from OP-1 to all three devices’ sequencers (Volca, M32, SQ-1) to sync tempo + play\stop signal.
- Be able to use additional midi-keyboard (presumably Arturia Keystep) to play on 3 synths instead of OP-1’s keyboard (to be able to play on drum sampler and sequencer without spamming signal to other synths).

How I see it:
1. First I will need some kind of Midi-host to get usb-to-midi from OP-1. I stopped my choice on Mode Machines Cerebel interface. MODE MACHINES Mode Machines Cerebel USB To MIDI Serial …
One of my other choices was to get Komplete 6 and use laptop to route OP-1 -> laptop -> Komplete-6 midi.

2. Next, I would need a midi-merger to merge midi-host signal with input of the midi-keyboard. I’ve also stopped my choice on Mode Machines Midi Merger MODE MACHINES | NANO MIDI MERGER, I know that there are better solutions, than Mode Machines (kenton, etc) but MM are the only things available from my local retailer (warranty, service and stuff) .

3. Next, I would need to get some kind of midi-thru device, which is also happens to be one of the MM’s. https://supr.com/mode-machines/products/nano-thru/ They discontinued it, but local retailer seems to be have some in stock - but its not the case as any midi-thru box will do.

4. Connect synths via Midi cables from splitter.

One side of this is that this setup looks a bit expensive, while everything might be way cheaper with interfaces like MIDISPORT 4x4 Anniversary Edition - M-Audio - Acclaimed audio … or http://www.m-audio.com/products/view/midisport-2x2-anniversary-edition (+midi-thru), but they seem to be only interfaces i.e. would still require laptop in the setup, thus Komplete Audio 6 + Midi-Thru splitter sounds like a way better solution for the buck, considering that Komplete Audio 6 is also an audio interface.
Other side: this allows to keep setup laptop-less.

Questions 1: Does anyone know on which channels does OP-1 send clock? Some say, it sends clock on every channel, even if operation channel is different.
Question 2: Wont midi keyboard interfere with midi-clock from OP-1 when played?

One sudden thought I had - Arturia Keystep seems to be sending Midi-signal it recieves to from laptop to it’s Midi Out, i.e. it can work as midi router, with Laptop as host.

Conclusion: I’ve ordered Arturia Keystep. I will feed PO-sync signal to Arturia Keystep’s Sync IN, Sync OUT to M32 and Volca Keys, midi out - Poly800. Still would be a pain to start sequences on-beat, but if it would turn out to be a problem, I will get Midi-thru splitter and sync all synths with midi

#122

Re Hobbytronics USB-MIDI DIN converter

Despite the help of Mike from Hobbytronics Ltd, I couldn’t understand how to set realtime messages flag to on.
Did anyone succeed in this ?
If so, dear wizard, would you please explain how to set in in Linux, Mac or Windows ?

#123

@Konst


It seems like you put a lot of research into this. I don’t mean to negate it, but for the cost of those 3 pieces, would you rather just get the iConnectivity mio4? It would act as a USB Host for OP-1 and Keystep (and any other USB MIDI device), plus has 4x MIDI Din I/O. And it can also act as a MIDI interface with your laptop. Lastly, using the app (either on the laptop or iPad/iPhone), you can configure the routing of the MIDI signals so that OP-1 only sends MIDI time sync instead of note on/off.

The main thing about what you are putting together that strikes me as odd is that the Cerebel is exclusively USB MIDI to MIDI Din out. It is not a two-way interface. At some point you might want to use the Keystep to play your OP-1, and then you would need either a laptop or something more.

As you have discovered, the laptop is all you really need as a USB Host. So if you are ok with using a laptop in your setup, you might as well go as cheap as possible and get something like the MIDISport plus use USB for any devices that have that as an option.

I hope these thoughts help. Please let us know what you decide on.

#124

I second @GCF on the MIO. It even has USB Hub support for up to 5 USB Midi devices which is not a very common feature.


#125

@LyingDalai


The Hobbytronics USB/DIN comes with realtime message set (default) to on.

I’ve used Coolterm to connect to it to double check and mine was set on as delivered.

For me it works sending midi clock from OP1 but not to the OP1 (it crashes) Cheers, paul

#126

@GCF

Yeah, in general I came to the same conclusion. For now I decided to start with Keystep. I think Keystep is no-brainer for me - at bare minimum I need it to jam on M32, because I dont really feel like playing on those buttons on the m32’s shell. But when I started to google how Keystep’s sync\midi\cv functions work, I found that it is actually pretty solid and covers part of the scenarios which I wanted to cover. Arturia KeyStep - some setup ideas

My plan for now looks like this:
1. PO-sync signal to KeyStep Sync IN
2. Keystep Midi Out to M32.
3. Sync Out to Volca.
Or.
1. PO-sync signal to KeyStep Sync IN
2. Keystep Midi Out to Poly800.
3. Sync Out to Volca+M32 via splitter.

It will give me basic syncing functionallity which I require for now. I had 2 volcas at once, and main downside was trying to start sequence on-beat, i.e. you cannot send start\stop via sync, obviously. But hey, we’re musicians - I think we can handle hitting button on-beat at least once in a while.
I could’ve even just sent sync from OP-1 to Volca\M32 directly via splitter, without keystep, but I still need some keys to jam on M32.

If I will find it a painful setup, I will always be able to add some midi-devices in between.

I also found out, that Laptop sends midi back to Keystep’s Midi-out, so I would be able to plug OP-1 + Keystep and send clock from OP-1 to Keystep’s Midi Out using laptop (obvious midi host functionality). I might record a video explaining and reviewing how it works, if anyone is interested.

It does not give me a lot of Midi functionality, but at least basic sync, which is enough to use on-board sequencers. I will always be able to add midi-thru splitter from keystep, to sync all devices or get USB-Midi Hub like iConnect Midi

#127

@Konst Your setup will already be painful when you plug your PO or OP1 sync signal into the Keystep. Keystep does not pick it up. I tried all 3 settings in the control center. If you sync another device to PO and chain that to the Keystep it works.


#128
@LyingDalai

The Hobbytronics USB/DIN comes with realtime message set (default) to on.

I've used Coolterm to connect to it to double check and mine was set on as delivered.

For me it works sending midi clock from OP1 but not to the OP1 (it crashes) Cheers, paul
Website states default is OFF, and I believe it's how my device is set. How do you connect exactly ? Mind sharing details ?

#129

hi,

I thought that to start with also but the default is off for the small modules but on for the USB to DIN convertor (which I think you have)…

REALTIME Turn ON/OFF MIDI REALTIME messages [0-OFF|1-ON] - Default is ON

I used Coolterm for Mac (which is a terminal emulator) to connect and double check. it’s freeware, if you want to try you need to add a custom baud rate to the Coolterm.ini file to match the converter (there are instructions on how to do this in the help/reader file)

Cheers Paul


#130

@LyingDalai I suppose you’re on the latest Firmware? The release notes mention a fix to Realtime Messages in 2015. http://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/downloads/usb-host-midi


#131

@chuck

Well, gotta test that one. It is kind of strange, because OP-1’s PO-sync seems to work with Volcas and should work with modulars too (it is said on official TE guide page). I saw in one video, that there are some controlls for the Keystep from software, which allow to configure those inputs outputs. e.g. you are able to set CV volt range, etc. So I think it all comes down to configuring those parameters correctly. As I said, I’ll get Keystep soon and test it all out and report here.

#132
Hmm, new question, does anyone have experience with the OP1 sometimes randomly latching notes or not responding to an external keyboard?


What is your setup like? I had issues with a Sub Phatty while using iConnectMIDI4+ and Ableton Live with some notes latching. But I think that may have been due to some MIDI signals getting looped back to the Phatty from the Phatty, causing it to latch.

Ah yeah, in the sub’s you have to turn local controls off or else they go nuts when you feed them MIDI back to themselves.


My setup is: Roland FP4 digital piano > MIDI merge box > Future Retro MIDI Looper > MIDI thru box > Kenton USB > OP1 (latest firmware)

However, even removing all the MIDI merging stuff and just going FP4 > Kenton USB > OP1 it sometimes still gets pretty confused and outputs a very high note or just skips notes etc… I guess it could be what is coming out of the FP4, btu i never had a problem for the last 10 years with regular MIDI to MIDI




#133

Anyone try it with a raspberry pi zero yet?


#134
Anyone try it with a raspberry pi zero yet?

Tried connecting USB MIDI devices? Yeah, I think a few people have done that. For a lot of people that don’t want to use a laptop for the task of connecting the OP-1 and other USB MIDI devices, using a RPi isn’t much of an advantage. Still need a screen and keyboard at minimum unless you are savvy enough to write the script to do it automatically.


#135
Anyone try it with a raspberry pi zero yet?

Tried connecting USB MIDI devices? Yeah, I think a few people have done that. For a lot of people that don’t want to use a laptop for the task of connecting the OP-1 and other USB MIDI devices, using a RPi isn’t much of an advantage. Still need a screen and keyboard at minimum unless you are savvy enough to write the script to do it automatically.

I gotcha. I been using the Axoloti for this since it is friendly to being used headless. I thought the pi zero would be perfect for the price but yea, one would need some linux-fu to make the headless script.


#136

@flybry That being said, my current job is as a Linux Customer Applications Engineer. Soooo, if anyone needs something like this they should chime in. I don’t think it would be difficult. I have no current use for it, since I run the iCM4+ and if I needed a Linux system to do more with, I have the PocketCHIP.


#137

I recommend implementing this into Systemd :wink:


#138

@GCF I’m interested.


What do you think would make the easiest/cheapest board that can host a usb midi cable and run headless? Pi Zero only has one usb but maybe a small hub would let it do the usb midi + op.

#139

@flybry Yeah I imagine something simple – RPi Zero + USB Hub + script that connects every MIDI input. No filtering, nothing special. Pretty much what the iConnect4MIDI+ does without configuring it. As @crudeoperator mentions, just a Systemd script that runs as soon as it is powered up.


A further implementation could add a small LCD screen that allows you to do backups and Snapshot dumps/renaming. But let’s just focus on one thing at a time :slight_smile:

#140

I did something with a Raspberry pi model B a few years ago. Used a boot up script with aconnect to do the mapping. Mine wasn’t dynamic, so it was fixed to my device configuration, but it probably isn’t too difficult to do that with a script.


Then I got an ICM4+, then I got an ICA4+. So I never bothered again.

Now, for me to find it worthwhile, it must be tiny and battery powered, otherwise I’ll just remain tied to my studio and ICA4+.

I think I’ll hold out for an OP-Z in case it helps :slight_smile: