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Noise on iPAD

Hi, I am a Windows guy considering buying an iPad 5th or 6th gen to use with Noise and my Seaboard Block for live performance,, I also play a digital accordion which you should consider a hardware synth.


What is a good way to connect the accordion as a midi controller to the iPad AND use the Bluetooth from Roli for noise?


It would be really great if I could use midi output of the accordion to run Noise as well as the ROLI  at the same time. Does anyone know of a way to do this yet?If impossible other VSTs would suffice.


Finally, on all of my Win computers I have always used an audio interface out to PA systems. Is the audio output of the iPad just as good as using a USB audio output?

My Bose PA has an input designed for it.

Thanks, LooseBruce


Best Answer

Nice! OK, now I understand a bit better. I've done some digging in the Roland FR-7X's user manual, and I'm sorry to say it's not good news. The FR-7X's USB port is there exclusively for USB storage, it doesn't output MIDI. The FR-7X itself also doesn't seem to have a MIDI out port (5 pin din), that's only available on the corresponding FBC-7 pedal board. If you do have the pedal board, you'd need to convert that 5 pin MIDI cable to a lightning connector for your iPad (which is doable, but it requires an iOS lightning MIDI interface), at which point the MIDI is into your iPad!


Once you get that far though, you reach the next issue, which is that the MIDI being sent is spread out across channels in a way that only other wind controllers can sensibly understand. NOISE won't respond to the Accordion's MIDI because NOISE is made for very specific interfaces (eg. Seaboard, Lightpad, Control Blocks) so it won't pay any attention to a non-ROLI instrument's MIDI input. 


To achieve what you're aiming for, your best option would be to find a specific wind controller application for the Accordion, and use the Seaboard with NOISE as normal. 


Now to mounting! That's a tricky area, because I can't recommend that you attach anything physically to the Seaboard because that might void your warranty. Some people have made special mounts that the Seaboard can slot into. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful here. You have quite a unique goal in mind, and in this instance it doesn't look like we can give you the answers.




Hi Bruce, 


A MIDI Accordion, awesome! From the sounds of it, the ROLI end of things is already answered here: you can connect the Seaboard to the iPad as normal, and it will control NOISE. The other side of your plan (connecting the Accordion to the iPad) is a question I probably can't answer since it isn't about ROLI products. Your best port of call for that would be the manufacturers of the Accordion. It might connect by Bluetooth, or you might need to get an adaptor of some kind, depending on the connections that it has available. NOISE will usually respond to other MIDI inputs, though I can't promise that the result will always be great since the presets are designed for the continuous input of the Seaboard or Lightpad, which modulate the sound from it's starting point.


It's difficult to compare the iPad's audio against an audio interface since there's such a variety of audio interfaces out there, but it's worth knowing that many performers use the iPad's output directly into a PA, although I'm sure some sound guys would have something to say about it! Your best option is to give it a go and see what your ears tell you.


I hope that helps! If you have any other questions (or pics of the Accordion!) feel free to post them here and we'll see what we can do to help. 


Dave

Hi Dave,

Thank you so much for your reply. I am using my Roli connected to  win 10 computer via USB cord(perfect) or via Widi bug bluetooth  which gives about 3 notes polyphony before choking.


I regularly use my Roland FR-7X accordion with wireless audio as well as wireless midi. Believe me when I tell you that you are a better source than the manufacturer. Most digital accordion players think midi is only for controlling arranger modules for backing tracks. They do not know they are playing synthesizers and that tact seems to be working well for sales and audiences.


This accordion midi is quite sophisticated though unusual.It sends out midi info on 13 separate channels simultaneously.The keys and buttons are velocity sensitive. The bellows provide a pressure signal which can be assigned. The register switches of which there are 18 can send program changes each with 3 banks.

6 of the 120 bass buttons can be programmed to send specific control function. I use them for a rudimentary pitch bend as well as Leslie switching. Also with a little creative programming the register tabs can send specific midi messages.


I know I have to find out for myself but I am basically dumb about ipad. My thought is that I might be able to use the roli as MPE Bluetooth for the 2 octaves normally available at a time AS WEll as on at least one midi channel of the accordion for instance to extend the range of the same sound.


EG. Use roli for a piano sound (2 octaves)but use usb midi in for the bass end of the piano. This would be way cool but in no way is a deal breaker if it cannot be done. It looks like there may be several obstacles.


I am trying to send 2 pics of my accordion. One as normally used. Another showing where I want to mount my seaboard. Any suggestion as how to mount the Seaboar?Gravity is against me here. I am a sport pilot and we say, "Gravity Always WIns".


Thanks so much for your interest and a groundbreaking product,

LooseBruce Gerow

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Answer

Nice! OK, now I understand a bit better. I've done some digging in the Roland FR-7X's user manual, and I'm sorry to say it's not good news. The FR-7X's USB port is there exclusively for USB storage, it doesn't output MIDI. The FR-7X itself also doesn't seem to have a MIDI out port (5 pin din), that's only available on the corresponding FBC-7 pedal board. If you do have the pedal board, you'd need to convert that 5 pin MIDI cable to a lightning connector for your iPad (which is doable, but it requires an iOS lightning MIDI interface), at which point the MIDI is into your iPad!


Once you get that far though, you reach the next issue, which is that the MIDI being sent is spread out across channels in a way that only other wind controllers can sensibly understand. NOISE won't respond to the Accordion's MIDI because NOISE is made for very specific interfaces (eg. Seaboard, Lightpad, Control Blocks) so it won't pay any attention to a non-ROLI instrument's MIDI input. 


To achieve what you're aiming for, your best option would be to find a specific wind controller application for the Accordion, and use the Seaboard with NOISE as normal. 


Now to mounting! That's a tricky area, because I can't recommend that you attach anything physically to the Seaboard because that might void your warranty. Some people have made special mounts that the Seaboard can slot into. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful here. You have quite a unique goal in mind, and in this instance it doesn't look like we can give you the answers.



Dave, thank you very much for your input. You have gone way beyond what would be considered excellent support. I mistakenly typed 7X. I actually have the FR_3X which has a midi out . Please dont feel obliged to research it. My bad. If I could stream any one channel into noise with the Noise it would be desired. If not, que sera. Can 2 instances of Noise run together? Can noise run as a VST ?I understand the complexity of Noise and Seaboard to the point that it cannot do everything. I greatly appreciate your input. One last question. Do you think the snap case might be a starting point for mounting? Thanks, Bruce Gerow

Hi Dave, Just wanted to let you know I have made some progress toward my unique goal.

I still don"t have my ipad or Noise. However....

This is on a Win 10 asus Notebook.

I  ran the demo mode of Equator VST tonight in my DAW (Cantabile original version).

I was going to attempt 2 instances of it. However it was not necessary.


 My FR-3X digital accordion transmitted bass buttons on channel 2 (incuding pitch and velocity)and chord buttons on channel 6 (including pressure and pitch)over wireless midi (widi-X8).


The Seaboard block transmitted wireless blue tooth (via my widibud). I can only get 3 note polyphony with this method because the widi bud chokes but is stable up to 3 notes.


However, everything worked together on a single Equator patch. Full 5D from the Seaboard. Velocity, pressure, pitch and pitchbend from the accordion. All together quite a performance capability.


I can only guess the incoming signals may use different ports. No interaction between them!

I am amazed. For instance, I could hold a note played on the bass buttons, play and bend the same note from the Seaboard and the bass note remained unbendt.


Hard for me to believe but I did it repeatedly.

Just thought you might find this interesting.


Thankyou for all o f your help. I am hoping to repeat something like this with noise.

Thanks, LooseBruce Gerow

Hi LooseBruce,


That's fantastic! You're certainly onto a better option by trying this setup on a computer rather than the iPad, you have more options to customise things there. OK, let me answer some of your earlier questions and then dig into some more info that will help you with the ultimate goal!


Running two instances of NOISE: unfortunately not. NOISE is an app so can only be run once. As you've already found, the better option here is to move to the desktop computer.


NOISE as a VST: NOISE isn't available on OSX or Windows but it does run as an AUv3 plugin so it can be loaded into iOS DAWs like Garageband. I think you've already found my next suggestion, which is using Equator!


Snapcase as a mount: the snapcase is great for general protection, though I wouldn't expect it to hold the Seaboard in place like a mount without some tweaks. You could certainly use it as the starting point for a mount but you'd need to drill some holes and add some fixings to make it secure.


Now, to your successful set up!


Using the Equator plugin is definitely the best option here. Your first instinct is actually right though: it would be better to use two instances of Equator, one for each MIDI input. If you use just one, you'll get away with it most of the time, but at some point the Seaboard and Accordion will fire a note on the same channel, and you'll bend a note on the Seaboard which will take the Accordion note with it! Please excuse the hastily drawn diagrams below, which I think should be helpful to illustrate what's going on:



Here's some useful info on how MPE uses MIDI to optimise your setup and avoid channel-clashes. If you use the default settings (MPE), your Seaboard and Equator will behave like this:


    Channel 1: Called the global channel, it transmits no notes. Equator won't respond to notes sent on this channel. The Seaboard will send messages that would normally apply to all notes, like sustain pedal.


    Channel 2–16: only notes and their note-specific data. When you hit a note, the Seaboard will use whichever channel hasn't been used for the longest (bypassing channels currently in use by sustained notes wherever possible). It will send the note on/off, velocity, and also channel pressure and CC74, which apply uniquely to that note. 


Once final thing to consider is that you can change these settings in each instance of your Equator plugin. For example, by default if your Accordion ever sends a note on Ch.1, Equator won't make a sound and you'll see the 'MIDI out of range' warning. But that's not set in stone! If you use one plugin instance for each MIDI input, you can go into the settings of the plugin being used for the Accordion, and switch MPE off, allowing it to respond to notes sent on all channels. And voila! Your Accordion will sound a note no matter which channel it sends on.


If you ever have a video of this setup in action, I'd love to see it!


Thank you Dave for your enlightening information. I will be doing more experimentation today with Equator.

I am still interested in Noise and iPad for the 6 months I am in Florida in a Motor home where space is at a premium.


I will let you know what happens with it.

thanks so much for taking the time to explain and making the drawings. Each one saved a thousand words.


The snap case is a good start I also believe. What do you think about Velcro on the BACK of the Seaboard block?

LooseBruce

Hello Creators,

I hope the iPads go back on sale soon because I am becoming addicted to Equator!


In my Cantabile host I am now running 4 instances of Equator!! Each with a different patch.

One s controlled by my Seaboard block via Widi Bud Bluetooth and is full MPE.

Another controlled by my accordion treble keys. Another controlled by my accordion bass buttons and yet another controlled by my accordion bass buttons. The instances of Equator controlled by the accordion are via Widi-X8 wireless midi. The seaboard controll is Bluetooth.


There have been VERY few interactions between the instances.

The only limitation seems to be the Widi Bud which will hang noted if more than three at a time are pressed on the Seaboard block, I can live with that but it would be nice if there was a more robust Blue tooth for Win 10. I am not complaining by any means.If I connect the Seaboard block via its USB cord this problem goes away.


One reason I may have such good control is this is all live. I am limited by my fingers to 10 inputs at a time. Actually it is more because the chord buttons send 3 or 4 notes each. In any case it is working way past my expectations.


My next mission should I choose to accept it is to send control signals to change sounds or modes.

This has been major fun so far!! I like to play my instrument without preprogrammed sequences or backing tracks. This is working out great,

Thanks for all your help,

LooseBruce

Thank you so much for your support. I am having a great time with my Seaboard block. Back to the question of mounting it . The magnets in the keyboard are quite strong. I am picturing a frame made out of light duty angle iron on which the block would sit. The sides of the angle iron would not reach up past the white line which surrounds the keyboard. What are the ramifications of using the internal magnets to help hold it in position on a steel tray or frame? Are the pins which extend beyond the block in any way affected if they touch metal? Is it possible to use external magnets on a frame to make a stronger grip than just a steel frame? I hope this may be a solution for mounting the block. Thanks, Bruce
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