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  #1  
Old 10-06-2011, 08:20 PM
Ed Garner Ed Garner is offline
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Default MSA-T turning on small DC motors from a Soundtrack

I want to use a soundtrack MIDI file, To turn on some DC motors. I have a Maudio UNO, Axiom keyboard controller and a MacBook running Logic. I downloaded the SQWERL software. How should I configure the MIDI File so it can talk to the MSA_T. Should I run the MIDI file out of the computer, or is easier to use a keyboard controller. I not sure about what the settings should be in the Sqwerl file.
Ed Garner
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2011, 07:24 AM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Garner View Post
I want to use a soundtrack MIDI file, To turn on some DC motors. I have a Maudio UNO, Axiom keyboard controller and a MacBook running Logic. I downloaded the SQWERL software. How should I configure the MIDI File so it can talk to the MSA_T. Should I run the MIDI file out of the computer, or is easier to use a keyboard controller. I not sure about what the settings should be in the Sqwerl file.
Ed Garner
You should be able to simply "Play" the MIDI track out through a MIDI interface connected to your MacBook. On the MSA-T, you'd use the NOTE commands to trigger the motors since the MIDI track is a song...

If you're using GarageBand to play the MIDI track, you'll probably have to use something like "MidiO" because GB doesn't output MIDI. Although it's been a while since I used GB, so maybe that's changed.

Higher end software like Logic Pro, Digital Performer, etc, can "play" the MIDI file via a connected MIDI interface. In addition, if those NOTEs don't exactly do what you want at the time you want it, you can insert CC#'s at specific points in the MIDI song to trigger an MSA-T.

The higher end software will let you select a note so you can see its value then use that value in SQWERL as the note trigger. Having CC#'s inserted gets away from that.

Actually, and this is just me thinking (happens but rarely), I'd use something like Logic or Digital Performer. I'd import the MIDI song that's going to play. We'll call that TRACK 1. Next, I'd create a NEW BLANK MIDI track, we'll call that TRACK 2.

Let Track 1 play through the Mac's built in synth which is not as good as an external voice unit but it'll do the job.

On track 2, I'd insert MIDI CC's at the points where you want the motors to do something. In other words, this is your timeline controller track. It's output would be directed to the connected MIDI interface that has the MSA-T connected to it.

As the song plays on the first track, the second track runs the motors, beeps the horn, and flashes the "Eat At Joes" sign...

A poor mans DMX controller...

Mel
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:54 PM
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John John is offline
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Ed wrote in email:

Quote:
I keep getting a NILOBJECTEXCEPTION error SQWERL seem to identify the midi input what else should i be looking for?
Mel, any thoughts? Ed, if you can provide more details (operating system you're using, etc) it might help.

Ed,

In the meantime--the "factory" configuration of the MSA is to respond to MIDI notes 60-67 on channel 1. That's middle C and the next 7 notes after that. If you send the correct notes, the MSA activity LED will blink even if you have nothing connected to the transistor outputs.

If you are unable to trigger the MSA, you should try an MSA signal test as described here:

http://forum.highlyliquid.com/showthread.php?t=241

The MIDI and power wiring diagrams can be found in the MSA hardware user manual.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:53 AM
Ed Garner Ed Garner is offline
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Default Macbook running OS 10.6.8

I have a Macbook running OS 10.6.8
I use logic for my MIDI.
I plan to run USB to my M Audio MIDI controller then use the MIDI in and Out to connect to the MSA-T.

I thought I would write the soundtrack and create a Track with some low notes and just mute that track

Does the MSA-T Reset to default or how do I get it back to the default setting.
let me know if this set up makes sense I also have a USB to MIDI cable
Ed Garner
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:50 AM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Ed wrote in email:

I keep getting a NILOBJECTEXCEPTION error SQWERL seem to identify the midi input what else should i be looking for?
NILObjects are usually associated with the MIDI driver. Part of the MIDI description that SQWERL asks for can't be found for that driver. Either because a driver was never installed (some are plug and play), while other companies simply don't have a clue how to write a driver that contains all the correct information.

I've experienced it with M-Audio products, but not across their entire line. Seems to be hit and miss. I hate having to write software to correct for sloppy drivers, but it seems that's the way it is now. Slop is acceptable and sells...

If Ed wants to contact me off the list(PM me to start), I'll see if I can track down the problem with him and see if I can do a work around.

Mel
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:14 AM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Garner View Post
I have a Macbook running OS 10.6.8
I use logic for my MIDI.
I plan to run USB to my M Audio MIDI controller then use the MIDI in and Out to connect to the MSA-T.

I thought I would write the soundtrack and create a Track with some low notes and just mute that track

Does the MSA-T Reset to default or how do I get it back to the default setting.
let me know if this set up makes sense I also have a USB to MIDI cable
Ed Garner
The only way to reset the MSA is to unplug it.

A few of us have nudged John for a "combo" mode in the MSA that allows us to use it in both individual and preset mode at the same time (some rules would apply for this)...but that's probably harder to do than we think it is...

So failing that, you have to keep track of what you're switching on and what you're switching off and you have to balance the ON's with the OFF's in that MIDI control track. And at the end of the song, you have to reset them to the same condition you have at the start.

Not exactly a pretty way to do it, but it will work.

I noticed that MIDI interface you're using for programming the MSA is a M-Audio MIDI controller. While those are good for simple MIDI messages (3 byte codes) they generally fail in a heartbeat when it comes to SYSEX. So if the MSA is plugged into that and you try to program it, I'd be really surprised if it worked. Now maybe the SYSEX for the MSA is small enough to make it through unscathed but my experience is that MIDI controllers make lousy MIDI interfaces when it comes to SYSEX (they delete, corrupt or simply ignore any SYSEX that isn't for them). I'd strongly suggest a dedicated MIDI interface like the M-Audio UNO.

So your MIDI to USB cable is probably a better option, again, providing it supports SYSEX. Many don't... On my web site, there is a list of known MIDI interfaces that work:

Snow Leopard SYSEX capable MIDI Interfaces

Mel
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2011, 04:23 AM
Ed Garner Ed Garner is offline
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Default thank you for your help

I got the switches to turn on thru Sqwerl. I replaced the Maudio interface with a MOTU micro lite USB 5in 5out MIDI interface. I am going to try a Midi file with embedded notes. I eventually will try using my sampler to link movement and sound. If I am not mistaken I should be able to use the MSA output to trigger an arduino routine.
Couple of things could you clarify for me about the mode settings. I understand how to use the individual set up mode, could you tell me how I would use the Matrix mode (preset mode)
Ed Garner
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:55 AM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Garner View Post
I got the switches to turn on thru Sqwerl. I replaced the Maudio interface with a MOTU micro lite USB 5in 5out MIDI interface. I am going to try a Midi file with embedded notes. I eventually will try using my sampler to link movement and sound. If I am not mistaken I should be able to use the MSA output to trigger an arduino routine.
Couple of things could you clarify for me about the mode settings. I understand how to use the individual set up mode, could you tell me how I would use the Matrix mode (preset mode)
Ed Garner
The preset mode is pretty easy. You have 128 locations (0-127). Each location can store the relay settings (1-8). So you could use Preset 1, all ON, Preset 2, all OFF or any combination really.

In SQWERL you start by selecting the preset line. Then you click in the cells representing the relays 0-7). They'll light up on the graphic (and you get a green swatch in the grid list).

Then you select how you want that preset to be triggered. The presets are numbered from 0-127, so if you select PC as the trigger, PC 1 will recall preset 1. Selecting CC will mean that CC#1, 127 will recall preset 1. Note works the same way. Note "1" will recall preset 1. Note#, 127 recall preset 127.

Send that to the MSA, use the TEST button and watch the "relay show"...

The Arduino can accept input switch triggers for input so the MSA would be able to trigger it.

Mel
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2011, 09:34 PM
Ed Garner Ed Garner is offline
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Okay a step at a time. I got My MIDI controller to trigger the MSA now how do I get my Logic software to trigger the MSA. I feel good about getting the this far. I have my keystation midi out to the MSA in; MSA out to the MOTU midi in; MOTU usb to the computer.
Ed
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2011, 09:47 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Garner View Post
Okay a step at a time. I got My MIDI controller to trigger the MSA now how do I get my Logic software to trigger the MSA. I feel good about getting the this far. I have my keystation midi out to the MSA in; MSA out to the MOTU midi in; MOTU usb to the computer.
Ed
I can only help with generalizations because I've only used Logic for a couple of hours. It's all Digital Performer here...

Essentially, you'd use the same values in Logic that you do in the Keystation. So assume you send a CC#1, 127 to enable relay 0, you'd create a MIDI track in Logic, and then INSERT a CC#1, 127 at the point you want relay 0 to work.

In the "environment" in Logic, that's where you'd set the output to recognize the MIDI interface you're using (one that is connected to the MSA). Then in the channel strip of the MIDI track itself, you'd set the destination to that MIDI interface.

Or something along those lines.

if you're using a "song" then you'd have to use the same notes that you set up in your MIDI controller. But again, route the output of the track to the MIDI interface that's connected to the MSA.


Like I said, I don't use Logic. Tried it once but never got passed getting the environment setup with my multiple MIDI and audio interfaces. Too confusing for me. I still have Logic 8 floating around the studio here so if you're really stuck, I could maybe look through the manual and see if I could shed some more light on it.

Mel
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2011, 01:48 PM
Ed Garner Ed Garner is offline
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I will look it up Now I see why using the preset mode might be the way to go I can't wait to show my students the set up so far.
thank you for your help.
Ed Garner
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