Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

The Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Analogue Synthesizer

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nunocardoso83
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Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by nunocardoso83 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:59 am

Hi All,

Does Pro 2 has the ability to function as a midi keyboard for controlling any soft synth?

Cheers,
Nuno

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nielsd
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by nielsd » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:11 am

YES!

you are able to use the keyboard and (if you want) the sequencer / arp for external MIDI over old school MIDI plugs and USB-MIDI.

I often prefer it over my dedicated Axiom 3rd MIDI master keyboard or i drive the poly synth features of my Tempest and/or the Shruti-1 open hardware synth. The wheels as the touch sensible finger fader, expression pedals etc. could be used too.

It just "lacks" keyboard zoning.

You may use it with software instruments and hardware instruments as well. See the global settings for further basic MIDI setup if it does not work out of the box for you and check if you have selected the correct MIDI outputs, clocking and channels etc..

And beside this - it provides analog signals (CV) to if required / helps you...
Niels Dettenbach
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nunocardoso83
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by nunocardoso83 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:42 am

Great!
Im really keen into get one.
Thanks.

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nielsd
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by nielsd » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:51 am

typically a good choice (in my view), if you look for a flexible and nice to tweak mono / para analog...

It's a really nice machine which still "lives" a bit - as most DSI devices...ß)
Niels Dettenbach
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dcdcdcdc
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by dcdcdcdc » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:47 pm

Honestly, I would rate the Pro2 as only ok as a midi controller--

It is certainly capable of playing a soft synth. . .

but there are many less expensive keyboards that are far better as a midi controller.

Aftertouch action is pretty much useless because it's so sensitive, not particularly good key action, smallish keyboard, etc., etc....

Also, not sure if if nielsd above is on a beta OS, but current production OS does NOT send sequencer or arp to midi.

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nielsd
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by nielsd » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:16 am

I'm on 1.1.15 att (as most here i assume) and checked back the "MIDI Arp Notes" [on|off] in "Global" with a MIDI mon which allows to switch over to sending single Arp notes about instead of the presses key (which is what ARP for me).

P2 Sequencer lines just could be send out to CV, but not MIDI - sorry for that confusion (was partly on my tempest OS and another thread here - confused a "bit").

The Pro2 is not a master keyboard and the board is not "high end" (and i'm not a skilled keyboarder / piano player), single sticks may stick first time they got not played after a while of weeks, monthes (see thread about here) - but for many of my reasons it is fully OK and reacted better to my fingers then my dedicated 63 MIDI keyboard from M-Audio / Axiom (which is not a professional MIDI master keyboard, but still costs some bucks...).

The Aftertouch and velocity is typically OK for me with the 4 different curve settings - but i'm more a (e)drummer, so far...

But the best is probably you try to try it byself in practice anywhere - keys are usually still a bit question of taste...
Niels Dettenbach
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Sofine
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by Sofine » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:25 am

I'm not sure if I understand you completely, so...
nielsd wrote:I'm on 1.1.15 att (as most here i assume) and checked back the "MIDI Arp Notes" [on|off] in "Global" with a MIDI mon which allows to switch over to sending single Arp notes about instead of the presses key (which is what ARP for me).
So the arp can send all the midi notes out?
nielsd wrote:P2 Sequencer lines just could be send out to CV, but not MIDI - sorry for that confusion (was partly on my tempest OS and another thread here - confused a "bit").
I thought the sequencer can send midi notes out?

I don't have a Pro 2 yet, but it's the top of my list at the momemt (even over the P6 and OB6!!!)

Thanks!

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nielsd
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by nielsd » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:29 pm

hiho,

just to avoid misunderstandings...
So the arp can send all the midi notes out?
...this is what i get from MIDI with Arp button on and pressing C+D+E (and release after a few seconds - filtered channel pressure):

in "Globals" - "MIDI Arp Note" "Off" mode:

Code: Select all

21:34:36.111	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:34:36.877	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	95
21:34:37.938	From Pro 2	Note On	1	G3	91
21:34:39.097	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	G3	0
21:34:39.099	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:34:39.112	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0

in "Globals" - "MIDI ARP Note" "On" mode:

Code: Select all

21:33:38.931	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:38.994	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:39.057	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:39.119	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:39.182	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:39.244	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:39.307	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:39.369	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:39.432	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:39.494	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:39.557	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:39.619	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:39.682	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:39.744	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:39.807	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:39.869	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:39.932	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:39.995	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:40.057	From Pro 2	Note On	1	G3	89
21:33:40.120	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	G3	0
21:33:40.182	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:40.245	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:40.307	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:40.370	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:40.432	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:40.495	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:40.557	From Pro 2	Note On	1	G3	89
21:33:40.620	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	G3	0
21:33:40.682	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:40.745	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:40.807	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:40.870	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:40.932	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:40.995	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:41.057	From Pro 2	Note On	1	G3	89
21:33:41.120	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	G3	0
21:33:41.182	From Pro 2	Note On	1	E3	100
21:33:41.245	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	E3	0
21:33:41.307	From Pro 2	Note On	1	C3	82
21:33:41.332	From Pro 2	Control	1	All Notes Off	0
21:33:41.332	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0
21:33:41.370	From Pro 2	Note Off	1	C3	0

In both cases the Arp is running (producing arp note chains in audio - sorry for my bad english) - means the synth is playing arp but just in the second case the generated ARP notes seems to "fly out" of the MIDI port(s) while in the standard case (Off) each triggered / held note is send just once.

This is for me sending out Arp notes. Sorry if you have another interpretation of that.

If you need some further such checks feel free to ask further.

Until now i did not get any sequencer data out of the MIDI ports of the Pro 2 (as i e on my tempest) - this seems just possible over CV (at least are in mod matrix targets available for seq tracks as sources - but i did not used the CV personally yet and don't know how useful this is (i.e. how to gate out - will experiment with in the next) - this may know some others guys here better). I was a bit confused by any discussion some time ago here about feature request discussions for the Pro 2 and MIDI out of Pro 2 sequencer data.

hope this helps a bit...

Even if i'm still a bit "fresh" on the Pro 2 and a relatively "youngster" in analog synthesis - i really like some of the DSIs like the Pro 2 and combine it with the poly analog tempest or Desk Evolver. The software is still more or less "complete" depending from your expectations and view onto it, but as far is i "heard" the Pro 2 firmware should still get further improvements. My feeling is that i.e. bugs on the newer Pro 2 are faster solved then i.e. on the Tempest or Evolver (but for me the Evolver is fully OK so far). The Pro 2 still got some MIDI bug fixes and improvements in the last monthes (so some older postings are possibly not up2date). Running the last available firmware(s) seems a good general recommendation for DSI machines.

For me, a P6 or OB6 are not on my list - my zoo of hardware / instruments would grow to large in my studio ß) With my current machines from DSI plus Access Virus and some (open hardware) shrutis (4PM and Ladder) i have a proper "mix" of DCO and wavetable oscillators , filters for my music and the furtherdifferences are (still) to "small"l for me (!).I mainly work on DAWs (Pro 2 and Evolver with sound tower editor / VST / library) / in the studio with external effect chains (software / DSO - i.e. UAD and some older "guitar effects") so i do not need i.e. a hardware spring reverbs and such effects within the box. I've heard some comparations of a P6 with other DSI synths (i.e. P08) where the typical "standard" sounds was very close to my ears. I'm not a vintage synth purist and a synth which "just" offers hundred versions of the standard vintage synth sounds is not my main target.

The OB6 seems to sound (just know the official demo) "different" (assume this is the so called "oberheim sound"). If the OB6 gets a desktop version which will get "a bit" cheaper second hand after some years it may step up on my list in the future, but not actually. This would be more a "nice to have". But i'm still open for a new product development from DSI in the future (when i'm still a bit deeper with the current machines) if it gives at least a sonic flexibility into a class of new sounds like the Pro 2 and/or Evolver together ß)

The pro 2 should be a very good choice if you love tweaking and (technically) more flexible sounds. For me it "substitutes" a modular which would be just overkill for me (time to get results / workflow...).

This all are just my views onto it - but possibly helpful in any way...

good luck and
have fun!


niels.
Niels Dettenbach
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Sofine
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by Sofine » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:20 am

Hi Niels,

Thanks for the detailed reply! Good news re the arp.

Re the sequencer sending midi, I did remember reading in some thread (Gearslutz I think) that it is possible to send midi notes out on any track so I looked into it again. I got a response from DSI support:

"You can already output MIDI note information from the Pro 2's sequencer by setting a track's destination to MIDI Out jack 1 or 2/the desired MIDI channel. These are destinations "Seq Out 1 Ch 1" though "Seq Out 2 Ch 16"."

Now, you might have to have a beta OS installed to do this - I'm not sure about the versions etc. But good news anyway!

I think I will get a Pro 2 soon. While the P6 and OB6 sound beautiful, I think they do those handful of beautiful sounds incredibly well, but that's it. I already have a Juno 106 (with Kiwi mod) which now has an on-board arp and sequencer, 2 syncable LFO's, 2 envelopes, patterns to lock sound elements, sequencer to lock sound elements (e.g. env decay, cutoff etc.) - so, point is, I'm quite sorted on the analogue poly front. In fact, I dare say that my Kiwi106 sounds more vintage than either the P6 / OB6 - but I would sure love either one of those too :lol:

Cheers,

Simon

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nielsd
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by nielsd » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:21 am

"You can already output MIDI note information from the Pro 2's sequencer by setting a track's destination to MIDI Out jack 1 or 2/the desired MIDI channel. These are destinations "Seq Out 1 Ch 1" though "Seq Out 2 Ch 16"."

Now, you might have to have a beta OS installed to do this - I'm not sure about the versions etc. But good news anyway!
Sound's really nice - will try that this evening if this is in 1.1.15 (which is the last (published) version att i can find anywhere. I've seen such named targets in the mod matrix, but partly greyed out and i thought they have other meanings (i.e. "addition" to the seq track value or so...).
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Re: Pro 2 as a Midi Keyboard

Post by Sofine » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:36 am

nielsd wrote:
"You can already output MIDI note information from the Pro 2's sequencer by setting a track's destination to MIDI Out jack 1 or 2/the desired MIDI channel. These are destinations "Seq Out 1 Ch 1" though "Seq Out 2 Ch 16"."

Now, you might have to have a beta OS installed to do this - I'm not sure about the versions etc. But good news anyway!
Sound's really nice - will try that this evening if this is in 1.1.15 (which is the last (published) version att i can find anywhere. I've seen such named targets in the mod matrix, but partly greyed out and i thought they have other meanings (i.e. "addition" to the seq track value or so...).
Cool, let me know. I will also try it out as I ordered a Pro 2 yesterday!!! 8) :D :lol: :mrgreen:

I should have it tomorrow or Thursday.

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