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#1786362 - 11/10/11 11:08 AM Linking a DP to several computers with MIDI
Csillag Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 249
Loc: Hungary, Europe
Hi,

Question:

Is it possible to have a DP linked to two separate computers via MIDI, so that
- one computer runs Ivory II, and has an USB audio interface (for example, a Presonus AudioBox USB) connected via USB

- an other computer does other stuff with the midi input (where the sound quality is not so important), and sends the resulting audio to the external audio device's line in?

The DP has old-style MIDI output. (not USB).

Can I just daisy-chain the devices with the MIDI cable? (DP -> Ivory box -> Desktop ?)

Or should I channel the MIDI from one computer to the other via an Ethernet connection?

What kind of delay should I expect in either case?

Thank you for explaining:

Csillag

ps. Some explanation:

I am a software engineer, and I run Linux exclusively, on all my machines. (This has practical and moral reasons, which I would not like to detail here; the conclusion is that I despise and abhor Microsoft Windows.)

However, it seems that if I want to run Ivory (which I would really like), then I can not avoid making an exception and tolerating one instance of Windows.

However, I still plan to run all my other DP-related stuff on Linux, so I consider allocating a separate box just to run Ivory, like a HW synth module.

This is why I consider using two computers for the task.

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#1786383 - 11/10/11 11:41 AM Re: Linking a DP to several computers with MIDI [Re: Csillag]
toddy Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 2100
Loc: Portugal
Hi Csillag.

The way you describe it, your windows computer will only be a receiving device in the MIDI network, whereas the Linux will be a controller, receiving messages from the DP and distributing messages to other (sound generating) devices (as well as its own software sounds?).

I would think you could daisy chain the system as you suggest with no problem. Some musicians report delays when daisy chaining, but it is very very slight and only becomes a problem after several chain links.

However, I use a 'midi patch bay' which has eight inputs and twelve outputs operating in parallel, so there is no daisy chaining delay. It is ancient now - from the 1980's - so I assume there are simpler solutions available now, too.

Regarding ethernet: using that sounds like a very complicated solution if all you are going to be sending is midi data of one sort or another - I think it would be easier to keep it all in the midi domain.


Edited by toddy (11/10/11 11:47 AM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302

DAW: Reaper // VSTs inc: NI Komplete 9 // A/D/A: Audiophile 2496
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g// Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
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#1786386 - 11/10/11 11:46 AM Re: Linking a DP to several computers with MIDI [Re: toddy]
Csillag Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 249
Loc: Hungary, Europe
Originally Posted By: toddy
The way you describe it, your windows computer will only be a receiving device in the MIDI network,

Yes

Quote:
whereas the Linux will be a controller, receiving messages from the DP


Yes

Quote:
and distributing messages to other (sound generating) devices


Yes, it will (occasionally) control the DP and the Ivory (on the windows box)

Quote:
(as well as its own software sounds?).

Probably, yes.

Quote:

I would think you could daisy chain the system as you suggest with no problem. Some musicians report delays when daisy chaining, but it is very very slight and only becomes a problem after several chain links.

However, I use a 'midi patch bay' which has eight inputs and twelve outputs operating in parallel, so there is no daisy chaining delay. It is ancient now - from the 1980's - so I assume there are simpler solutions available now, too.


OK, I will look into this patch bay thing, too.
Thank you for the idea.

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#1786388 - 11/10/11 11:54 AM Re: Linking a DP to several computers with MIDI [Re: Csillag]
Csillag Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 249
Loc: Hungary, Europe
Now I see that I can use Jack to transfer both midi and audio over the network, and that Jack runs on both Linux and Windows.

If I can get this to work, then
a) instead of using the low-quality, built-in sound device on the linux machine, I can get the sound from the Linux machine to the Windows machine (via NetJack), and then digitally send it to the external audio device in perfect quality.
b) I can also send the MIDI events from one computer to the other, making the hardware MIDI connection unnecessary.

That would be really nice; I can't wait to try. (But I must, since the hardware is not yet in place.)

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#1786396 - 11/10/11 12:04 PM Re: Linking a DP to several computers with MIDI [Re: Csillag]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3493
Loc: Pennsylvania
I don't really see the advantage of using a linux computer in your case. I use linux for my personal and work computing, and originally I used it for my DP computer, but eventually I installed windows on that in order to run software pianos. Now I just do all my DP stuff on windows since anything DP related I can do on windows as well as linux so far.

Since you already have a windows computer hooked to your DP, the philosophical objection to using windows doesn't seem to be relevant. What DAW functionality does linux provide that windows does not? Why use two computers when you can use just one?

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#1786402 - 11/10/11 12:27 PM Re: Linking a DP to several computers with MIDI [Re: gvfarns]
Csillag Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 249
Loc: Hungary, Europe
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I don't really see the advantage of using a linux computer in your case.]


I did not expect anyone to see the advantage. I just ask you to accept this as something personal.

Quote:
Since you already have a windows computer hooked to your DP, the philosophical objection to using windows doesn't seem to be relevant.


1. Currently, this is all theory; I have no Windows computer yet.

2. Even if I have to run Windows, I would still feel _much_ better if I can keep it separated, in a quarantine, in a cage. (Ie. no keyboard, no screen, no network connection; just running Ivory II, like a HW module would),

Quote:
What DAW functionality does linux provide that windows does not?


1. I really don't want to connect a Windows computer to my home network, mainly for security reasons.

2. From Linux, besides the DAW functionality, I can access all the other Linux applications available on my home network. (web, email, listening to music, musical scores, music learning software, etc.)

3. Later I can run my (potential) home-brew DP-related applications (which I will develop on Linux, where I do all my development anyway)

Quote:
Why use two computers when you can use just one?


Overall, I would like to limit my (and my kids) exposure to Windows to an absolute minimum, but I still plan to do a lot of fun stuff with the computer and the DP.

Hence the two computers.

But of course I don't want to run two computers.

My first choice would be to run a linux-native virtual piano, but Pianoteq can not convince me (yet), and the rest do not have Linux versions.

My second choice would be running the virtual piano in Wine, but with Ivory II, this is problematic, because of the iLok stuff, among other things.

My third chance would be running a virtualized windows computer (in VirtualBox, or something like that); if will try this, but I am afraid the performance won't be good.

I will only fall back to the "two separate computers" solutions if all other possibilities are exhausted.

But even in this case, the Linux computer will be a very-low consumption, disk-less, fan-less, totally silent thin client, connected to the already existing home server, taking up something like 200 x 200 x 50 mm, running on something like 30W, so that's really no such big deal.


Edited by Csillag (11/10/11 12:33 PM)

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