Questions & Answers

Officially support chaining of multiple MIDI devices from a single interface/port

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asked Nov 17 in Hardware Integration / Remote Control by ben67 (2,030 points)
edited Dec 5 by ben67

As of Studio One 5.4, the chaining of multiple MIDI devices isn't officially supported - even if you use a thru box. Persons support said 'it can cause multiple issues'.

FATURE REQUEST

Please support the chaining of MIDI devices. Chaining devices and using MIDI channels to direct data is MIDI 101.

Cheers

10 Answers

0 votes
answered Nov 18 by matthewritenburg (16,070 points)
Daisy chaining of external MIDI devices still works.  I have 3 external MIDI synths daisy chained on a single MIDI OUT port on my audio interface:

1. MIDI OUT from audio interface to MIDI IN on Oberheim M1000, M1000 set to MIDI CH 1

2. MIDI THRU from M1000 to MIDI IN on Roland D550, D550 set to MIDI CH 2

3. MIDI THRU from D550 to MIDI IN on Yamaha TX7, TX7 set to MIDI CH 3

I then have 3 external devices configured in Studio One that correspond to each of those synths with the correct MIDI channels set in each of the external device configurations.

I could daisy chain up to 16 external devices if I wanted with each device on its own MIDI channel.
0 votes
answered Nov 18 by ben67 (2,030 points)
edited Nov 18 by ben67

Thanks matthewritenburg, Presonus support said that while these setups may work, they aren't officially supported. When asked why, the agent said that support doesn't write the software - fair enough!

For example, may setup has problems. I have a Clarett 8pre connected to a MIDI Solutions thru box, and the thru box is connected to:

  1. DSI Tempest (CH10)
  2. Hologram Dream Sequence (CH3)
  3. Meris Ottobit Jnr (CH4)
  4. Boss SY-200 (CH5)

Everything gets sync from S1 and works great but when I send CCs to the Dream Sequence from S1, the Tempest plays double time. Hence, the 'double-up' warning in device manager when setting-up multiple devices via the same interface (using different MIDI channels of course). 

I tried the Tempest before the thru box incase the box was messing with data but no joy. I've also had the Tempest in a variety of slave/thru setups over the years (with/without thru boxes) but haven't experienced this before. However, it could be the Tempest, not sure.

But based on Presonus's response, I think we'd both agree that basic MIDI chaining via MIDI channels should be supported officially - right? It's literally MIDI 101.

If you have any suggestions for testing the Tempest, I'm all ears!

I hope that makes more sense. Cheers, Ben

0 votes
answered Nov 19 by matthewritenburg (16,070 points)
With all due respect to Presonus support, it sounds like that particular support person doesn’t completely understand how MIDI works.

MIDI is essentially a musical instrument networking protocol.  If all of your devices have a unique MIDI receive ID, and they are not set to global receive or Omni, and they are cabled correctly, then channelized notes and CC should be received correctly.  

Based on that, here are some trouble shooting tips:

1.  Make sure everything is cabled correctly and there are no MIDI routing loops (OUT from one device connected to IN on another device creates problems, THRU from one device connected to IN on another is usually fine)

2. Make sure Tempest MIDI is only connected via one option: USB or 5pin DIN cable, not both.

3. Verify that Tempest is only receiving on one MIDI channel and that it is not receiving clock or sync globally or via Omni.

4. In Studio One, make sure your output devices match the configurations of your external devices (MIDI channel, port, etc.) and that your instrument tracks are assigned correctly to your external devices.  If all of this is correct, then channelized CC data should only be received by the device that is set to receive on that MIDI channel.

It sounds like all of your external device configurations in Studio One should be on unique MIDI channels through the Clarett MIDI out port.  Your MIDI THRU Box should be invisible to your computer and Studio One.

You might also check your device manuals to see if they support MIDI THRU.  Sometimes the MIDI OUT port is actually an OUT/THRU.  If 3 of your 4 devices support MIDI THRU, then you can just daisy chain them off the Clarett MIDI OUT port, putting the device that doesn’t support THRU at the end of the chain.

Ultimately, I’m sure you can get this working how you like.  I actually don’t think it is a shortcoming of Studio One.
0 votes
answered Nov 21 by ben67 (2,030 points)
edited Nov 21 by ben67

Thanks matthewritenburg but I felt the agent did understand MIDI but made it clear S1 doesn't officially support daisy chaining - YMMV. That's why S1 gives you a warning when you try to create a device on the same interface. You may have unticked the 'Don't show again' tick box so you might not see it - otherwise why code it?

Regarding your helpful suggestions...

1. Make sure everything is cabled correctly and there are no MIDI routing loops

Because I'm using a thru box, the routing is super simple. Out from the interface and into the thru box, then out from the thru box to the ins of all the devices.

2. Make sure Tempest MIDI is only connected via one option: USB or 5pin DIN cable, not both

Correct, I use always use DIN because there's way less USB noise. I do have USB set for Sysex so will try with it off.

3. Verify that Tempest is only receiving on one MIDI channel and that it is not receiving clock or sync globally or via Omni.

Tempest has separate channels for remote pad in and synth in but neither is set to a conflicting channel. Both clock in/out are set to DIN MIDI

4. In Studio One, make sure your output devices match the configurations of your external devices (MIDI channel, port, etc.) and that your instrument tracks are assigned correctly to your external devices.  If all of this is correct, then channelized CC data should only be received by the device that is set to receive on that MIDI channel.

All devices have are on the same interface with separate channels and I only have one track in S1 which is for the Dream Sequence pedal and all it does is send CC 21, 22, 23. Everything else is simply receiving clock - no other sequencing.

It sounds like all of your external device configurations in Studio One should be on unique MIDI channels through the Clarett MIDI out port.  Your MIDI THRU Box should be invisible to your computer and Studio One.

Correct.

You might also check your device manuals to see if they support MIDI THRU.  Sometimes the MIDI OUT port is actually an OUT/THRU.  If 3 of your 4 devices support MIDI THRU, then you can just daisy chain them off the Clarett MIDI OUT port, putting the device that doesn’t support THRU at the end of the chain.

So this is why I use Thru boxes - no other device can mess with the data and there's nothing to configure besides MIDI channels - right? I've had the Quadra Thru for about 5 years and haven't had an issue with it. They have a good rep as far as I know.

Ultimately, I’m sure you can get this working how you like.  I actually don’t think it is a shortcoming of Studio One.

I wouldn't have thought so but I've seen nothing in the manual which confirms that daisy chaining is supported and even tech articles say to set devices to all 16 channels. It's kind of a 'don't ask, don't tell' situation and the advice seems weird if you're daisy chaining devices. For example, see point 3 here: https://www.presonus.com/learn/technical-articles/How-To-Configure-Midi-Devices-In-Studio-One

Also, long-time forum members said that what I was asking for was 'old school' and there are better ways of doing it now and said that S1 is evolving MIDI? See here: https://forums.presonus.com/viewtopic.php?p=274800&sid=fc65d0fa69f7473d8853a3e4e0d62dee#p274800

Not to mention the support agent confirmed it. The whole thing is frankly weird - you know?

Cheers and thanks for your suggestions, will set sysex USB to none and re-test.

Ben

0 votes
answered Nov 21 by matthewritenburg (16,070 points)

Maybe we are getting our terminology mixed up.  It's nonsense to say that Studio One does not support MIDI chaining.  Studio One supports MIDI, so if the MIDI enabled devices you are using support chaining, then Studio One supports chaining.  It doesn't need to be explicitly stated in the manual that chaining is supported.  Because Studio One supports MIDI, chaining is supported, period.  My MIDI keyboard and MIDI rack synths are configured in a classic MIDI daisy chain and work perfectly with Studio One.  MIDI devices are supposed to work this way.    Here's a diagram of my MIDI chain.  It works perfectly.  There isn't a better way to do this with MIDI enabled devices.  This is the optimal configuration.

0 votes
answered Nov 23 by ben67 (2,030 points)
edited Nov 23 by ben67
Mate, I fully understand what your saying. I’ve used MPC, Octatrack, Synths, Effects etc (since 1988) so thought it laughable that S1 displays a warning when you add multiple devices using the same interface. You’ve seen that warning - right?

Logic doesn’t display a warning so if chaining is fully supported in S1, why display a warning?

But also, forum users and Presonus told me that MIDI chaining can cause problems in S1 - hence this request. I’m glad you’ve had no issues but I just want to make music so have purchased a 3-port MIDI interface to get around it.

The whole situation is crazy/stupid/ridiculous IMHO so if you have inside info or know people at Presonus who can set the record straight, then I’m all ears!
0 votes
answered Nov 23 by matthewritenburg (16,070 points)
Studio One displays the warning because in Studio One, by default, when you create a new external device configuration on the same MIDI output port, every MIDI channel is enabled in that external device configuration.  You can safely ignore that warning in Studio One if you are taking the time to customize each external device configuration so that each one is only configured to transmit on a single MIDI channel.

So, for your Clarett MIDI output port, you can create 16 external device configurations and they can all be on a unique MIDI transmit channel (1-16).  You will, however, get that warning message every time you create an external device configure that uses the Clarett MIDI output port.  If you are setting the transmit channels correctly, you can just ignore that warning.
0 votes
answered Nov 26 by ben67 (2,030 points)
edited Nov 26 by ben67

Hey matthewritenburgwe're going round in circles but Presonus themselves have told me this setup isn't officially supported. Specific comments...

Studio One displays the warning because in Studio One, by default, when you create a new external device configuration on the same MIDI output port, every MIDI channel is enabled in that external device configuration.

Not true. I've just set-up a new 3-port interface. Before I selecting the port, I chose the channel.

See attached, I have two mono Vocoders. The first is on channel 16. But when setting-up the second, I chose CH15 before choosing the interface. As soon as I chose the interface, I saw this error...

Vocoder 2 on channel 15

You can safely ignore that warning in Studio One if you are taking the time to customize each external device configuration so that each one is only configured to transmit on a single MIDI channel.

For the Vocoders, I'm sure it won't be a problem. But when sending CCs to other devices, Tempest plays double-time - like their's a double-up somewhere which is similar to the warning. 

Remember, Tempest is on DIN MIDI CH10 and only receiving clock. It's also semi-isolated via a thru box. Again, I'm happy to accept it's a Tempest problem and are happy everything works for you. 

But each time you reply, you make it seem like S1 officially supports this setup when Presonus have told me it's NOT officially supported. 

I agree, that's ridiculous! So why not support this feature request? 

Just because it works for you, doesn't mean it's officially supported - right?

0 votes
answered Nov 26 by matthewritenburg (16,070 points)

Read that warning message again.  Also understand that it is only a warning, it doesn't say that anything will not work. It says that the port, meaning the port on the MIDI device, is already in use.  It's just a warning message.  It only states that you MAY have problems due to copied events.  It doesn't say you actually will have problems due to copied events.  You will only get copied events if you have misconfigured Studio One and misconfigured your MIDI cabling.   This means you will only get copied events if a) you have not set the transmission channel correctly and you have to external device configurations transmitting on the sale channel, or b) if you have connected a MIDI OUT to a MIDI IN in your device chain instead of connecting MIDI THRU to MIDI IN.   Again, you can safely ignore this message if you have set your MIDI transmit channels correct and cabled everything correctly.

So if all of this is understood, then there is no feature to add.  You are claiming that there is a missing feature, but there is no new feature to add because Studio One already supports MIDI chaining.  As long as you understand how MIDI is supposed to work, you understand how to configure Studio One correctly, and you cable your MIDI devices correctly,  there is no problem.  

0 votes
answered Nov 27 by ben67 (2,030 points)
edited Dec 5 by ben67

matthewritenburg Tired of going 'round in circles so I give up. 

Presonus have told me it's not officially supported and I've encountered double-ups as the S1 warning suggests. 

If anyone from Presonus can set the record straight, please do.

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