Total noob, hardware question

Hi all,

I am new to the world of synths. I recently purchased a pyramid and am wondering: can I connect all my synths without buying more hardware (midi merger)? I primarily live jam and want to be able to play my synths and record into the pyramid (loop style) while also controlling the synths with the pyramid.

I have the following:
Roland Tr8
Sequential profit rev 2 (2 separate outs, acts like 2 instruments)
Kong Minilogue xd

Thanks!

Taylor

That amount of hardware shouldn’t introduce very much MIDI latency but you might want to experiment with the connection order and split the hardware between both of the outputs.

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Cool, thanks. What about putting them back into the pyramid for looping? Would I just do a full loop through all three?

Can you clarify the question? Typically one chooses which of their synths they will use to create lines with… You then switch which track you are recording to…

I am less clear on the omni stuff and you might have to provide a setup example for others to troubleshoot if an issue arises… Though… from just a glance I would guess that you would most likely use the minilogue as your input synth.

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Yeah, my lack of knowledge is the barrier to explaining clearly.

Basically, I am wondering if I can do what this guy has set up without buying anything else.

He has all of his synths connected to the pyramid with both midi in and out so he can record live playing into the sequencer, or use the sequencer to play any of the synths when building songs.

Yes, absolutely… Entirely possible… and without the need for any merge/scripting boxes with the amount of hardware you have.

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Welcome to the Squarp Community

@Ezmyrelda posted some excellent info for you to get your started.
If I may chime in with:

  • Remember MIDI is not Audio and Audio is not MIDI. (MIDI is data - as in what keys you press, how hard, etc; Audio is made by your synths from the data)
  • The Pyramid basically (or perhaps more accurately: “conceptually”) replaces a human playing a keyboard

I have been castigated here for stating this, but I’ll reiterate because in reality I am an idiot and most practices I employ are to circumvent stupid my cornucopia of inane mistakes and eye rollingly banal oversights:

  • The only synths you need to connect to data going IN to the Pyramid are ones you want to control or record data. That is, you can set up the Rev2 as your sole controller and use it to record MIDI data that is played on your Minilogue or TR8.

Sometimes it’s easier to have them all routed in.
Sometimes it’s easier to just use one.

And by ‘easy’ I strongly recommend factoring in “makes sense to you and your workflow based on your experience, knowledge, and gear”. (ie “easy” for one person with the same gear is not the same as easy for another)

There are many ways to hook up the gear you have listed.
Start with one or two and get used to how the Pyramid interacts with them and how you might approach your workflow - because there are many ways of approaching it. You get to define your own! (Which is super exciting!)

Also, if you’re not familiar with MIDI, I strongly suggest reviewing some MIDI Tutorials online. There are many. After you get familiar with a few things, it may start to seem daunting, but do not fret. A good place to start is MIDI.org for Tutorials. Random googlizing will help flesh out the rest, I trust.

And finally, you say “without buying more hardware (midi merger)”.
Well, things like mergers, thru boxes, event processors, etc are gear, too. They make things a little bit more…you, IMO. That is: Pyramid + Synths = entree, side dish, etc. More complex routing, event processors, etc = Seasonings!

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@CreepyPants makes all the points I wasn’t sure how to bring up…

For example, I am planning on purchasing a bomebox as soon as possible because it will give me a huge amount of possibilities for using all the other USB/MIDI hardware I have… Control hardware is the bulk of what I have so this will make a lot of sense for me but like in the example you posted he has… a lot of synths so some sort of MIDI merging hardware is somewhat required for his set up… But like CreepyPants alluded to… you can have one keyboard controlling everything or each keyboard controlling itself or a combination of all of those things.

To me it makes sense to have 1 traditional keyboard bed, one drum input controller, and one CC controller and use these in combinations with MTP scripts to tell each synth exactly what I want to do.

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@Ezmyrelda and @CreepyPants Thanks so much for all of this valuable info! I will have to customize things to my liking, I suppose :). I like the idea of using the rev 2 as a control for the minlogue, as it is a much nicer keyboard. I am hoping to use the tr8 on its own. I really like the workflow of that machine. It is limited sounds but is so fun and intuitive to play!

Thanks for the suggestions and giving me food for thought! I will have to play around a bit to see what works

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Excellent idea on using the Rev2 for control.
More Keys, more Modulation options, better action IMO.

One thing you’ll want to get a handle on early (if you haven’t already) is Local Control. On your Rev2, if you turn the Local Contol: Off then it is (for lack of a better analogy) a keyboard controller separate from the synth.

Also the TR8 on its own (ie not controlled via Pyramid) is a classic configuration - you’re basically running parallel sequencers. So you will need to sync one device to the other - decide which one will be Master Clock.

Sorry, one bit I intended to add to my original response: if you’re a visual person in the slightest, draw out your gear and draw lines for the data paths (MIDI cables). This REALLY helps get the visual into your head, but also is an excellent way to communicate to others if/when you have issues.

It doesn’t need to be complex.
But it helps immensely IMO.

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I wanna second @CreepyPants on the drawing out your gear thing. I totally do this for my midi and other cabling layers.

I didn’t read the whole thread (sorry!) but in case someone didn’t already say this. When it comes to connecting midi devices you got a couple options if you’ve got more than two right - you can daisy chain them if they have midi through, or you can get a little multi port box.

I have a ton of gear and I use both. Latency will always be minimized with a shortest path from the sequencer to the gear. That said, the latency introduced may not be that big of a deal. I don’t think I ever go more than three deep, but you can always just try it and see if the latency is annoying af or not. Note that midi throughs have varying latency, as some are implemented in software and so on. Again, I find with a daisy chain of one or two you’re usually fine (that would be six devices on the squarp with no box if you did that).

Anyways, I have two splitters, one on each bus. Then i do some daisy chaining from there if I have one that doesn’t fit on a splitter.

So yea, drawing your shit is helpful. You should be able to take it apart put it together in your sleep - that’s how well I know my gear and configuration anyways. I see working this out for yourself as part of your artistic journey with live gear. So yea, hope some of that helps and i wasn’t redundant due to my laziness in reading the whole thread.

Good luck and merry music making.

-vt

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