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  • Hi everybody! Setup Questions

    First of all - it’s my first post here so hello everybody! I’ve just gotten the Blackbox about 3 weeks ago and for what I’m planning on doing with it initially it’s been great! The layout of the Blackbox is actually quite intuitive when you spend a little time with it, bravo to 1010music on that.
    I’m planning kind of a specific setup though so I need to wrack your collective minds here and hopefully somebody sees something very obvious that I’m missing, or an easier way to do this.

    My idea is to use Polyend Play as a master clock/sequencer and send MIDI transport/clock to the Blackbox. In this setup I would also like to send MIDI arp notes from the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 and record them into the Polyend Play, passing the notes to the Majella Implexus (a synthesizer).

    Launchkey can send MIDI via TRS A or USB (the USB is for bus power too).
    The Implexus is DIN.
    Blackbox is also TRS B like Play (also USB bus powered) and I’ve had success sending transport but I feel like I’m running out of ports here. Do you have any suggestions to get all these things happily playing in sync and passing notes from the controller to the synth?

    This setup is *extremely* powerful if I can figure out how to make it work (lol). Today I will spend my entire day trying to get this working.

    Is it as simple as just making the Blackbox the master clock, and bus powering the Launchkey and passing those notes to the Implexus? I’m confusing myself here.
    Thanks to anybody who read this far and has any advice!
    -Alex / DG

  • #2
    If you want to sequence and clock everything from the Play, Blackbox can't be the master/transport sync controller (AFAIK).

    Comment


    • #3
      digitalgeist, my instinct would be to connect your Play to the Blackbox Host port and see if the Play can draw enough current to be powered that way. If so, you’ll get bidirectional midi on the same cable. I’d then connect the Launchkey to the Play midi in and connect the synth to the Play midi out. Both those devices would need their own power.

      This is very similar to my setup except in place of the Play I have a Squarp Pyramid sequencer that provides clock and transport to the Blackbox.

      Hope this helps!

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey thanks guys! With some hard work today I managed to figure out a few things and thankfully, got the transport controls and clock working reliably from the Play -> Blackbox. Thanks for the idea on using the host port -thus-
        Man, I love the Blackbox so far. It's so cool.
        It does appear that something is going on with the USB MIDI for the Implexus at this point, but DIN MIDI is working just fine.
        The Launchkey Mini is passing notes to the Implexus through the Play as well...it took a bit of simian-like head scratching today but things seem to be talking to each other nicely! Novation's literature isn't that great but a chat with their support through the website helped a lot.

        On a side note, I think I might have dove into the deep end a little too eagerly here. Learning Play, Blackbox and this Novation controller all at once is a bit daunting but a fun experience all the same with those little "eureka" moments.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would not expect this to work. At least not long-term. The Play requires 5v 1A but blackbox does not provide that to the Device port. Consider a MIDI interface (RK-oo6) or similar device to bring them together.

          I would recommend making sure your devices are properly powered. Underpowering the blackbox creates all kinds of (well-documented) mayhem. I have read similar accounts with Polyend devices.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Steve View Post
            I would not expect this to work. At least not long-term. The Play requires 5v 1A but blackbox does not provide that to the Device port. Consider a MIDI interface (RK-oo6) or similar device to bring them together.

            I would recommend making sure your devices are properly powered. Underpowering the blackbox creates all kinds of (well-documented) mayhem. I have read similar accounts with Polyend devices.
            Yes, you are correct and I did in the end wind up using an iConnectivity mioXM to get everything working properly (should have mentioned that, but was hoping to avoid/see if I could avoid using it as the Implexus' USB MIDI freaks it out and freezes it somehow - something power related I bet).
            No host port from the Blackbox use for me; though I do think it would probably work for the Launchkey, not the Play. Unfortunately the Blackbox won't boot with the mioXM using the USB host power but not a huge deal. I think it only supplies a certain amount of juice and the Blackbox gets stuck in a boot loop looking for it. Wall wart is fine; I'm trying hard to make sure concurrent USB powered devices aren't drawing from the same source to avoid audio noise/ground issues. That RK006 does look like it ticks a ton of boxes Steve !
            What got this setup working properly:

            iConnectivity mioXM
            Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 on USB host 1
            Play on DIN 1 - oddly enough the USB MIDI Transport doesn't seem to send, but DIN works fine. Not sure if it's the mioXM, me, or the Play yet. Sends clock/transport via DIN
            Implexus on DIN 2 Receives via DIN
            Blackbox on DIN 3 Receives via DIN
            ........and we're off!

            Comment


            • Steve
              Steve commented
              Editing a comment
              blackbox requires at least 2A @ 5V. Anything less will be a mess, eventually. The RK-006 is an essential piece in my setup. I don't know what I would do without it. I believe the issue with the launchkey is that it sends clock but not start/stop (or something similar). I have a mio2 and love it. I recently purchased a BOME box and can't say enough good things about it.

          • #7
            I would like to do something similar:
            Polyend Play, Arturia keystep sending notes throught Play's Midi channel to a sound on the Blackbox. I am planning on this setup, but have none yet. Would this as simple as:
            keystep - midi in - Play - midi out - Blackbox?

            Comment


            • shankiphonic
              shankiphonic commented
              Editing a comment
              do a little reading on the difference between midi out and midi thru, and you'll have your answer.
              That said, I do not have a polyend play, so I cannot comment on how it behaves and whether or not there's a work around.
              As @Steve pointed out earlier - the RK-006 is an amazing little device.
              they keystep is designed to allow you to very easily change midi channel.
              if you're headed down this gear rabbit hole, a powerful splitter like the RK-006 will make your life a heck of a lot easier.
              Just plug the KS into the RK-006 and send the signal out to all the different stuff. You can still create weird midi feedback loops if you get too clever... but with the RK-006, I find it's usually just a matter of the right settings...
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