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  • Midi and recording. Ugh!

    I am new to recording. I am using Cubase LE 4 (upgrading to 6 soon), iTrack Solo for my interface, Shure SM58 microphone of vocals and a Shure SM57 for guitars, Akai Pro MPC25 midi keyboard. I am finally getting the hang of doing audio tracks. The problem I am having/understanding is how to use my midi keyboard. From what I am reading in the documentation, the midi only provides note information to be played on the keyboard. Do I also need a second track for recording the keyboard? I dont quite have my head wrapped the whole concept. Cant I just record the sound directly from the keyboard into Cubase. How do I get the keyboard to connect to my laptop and into Cubase. I am using the USB cable. Any help would be appreciated. Thx, Don
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mesa Boogie Road King II
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    Fender FSR Standard Black
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    Musket > Morley Bad Horsie > DynaComp > FullDrive 2 > BBE Green Screamer > EH POG2 > Ernie Ball Volume > Amp
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  • #2
    Your Akai is a MIDI keyboard (and drum pad) controller - it doesn't generate any sounds - there is no sampler or synth built-in. Instead, it is designed as a hardware "user interface" for a software or hardware synth, drum machine, etc.



    There are many softsynths available. Many programs come with a few bundled with the main DAW program - I'm not sure if Cubase LE 4 does or not, but there are tons of free VST synths out there.



    What sort of sounds are you wanting to make?
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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    • #3
      Don, here's the basics. You connect the Akai to the computer with a USB cable. In Cubase, you'll need to assign that to trigger a VST synth plugin - commonly called a VI (virtual instrument) or "softsynth." This could be a plugin that simulates an organ, piano, synth, drum machine, etc. The Akai sends out MIDI information, which isn't "audio" data, it's performance-related data. Don pressed down this key, pressed it this hard, held it down for this long, etc. That kind of stuff. The softsynth then uses that to trigger and control its sounds.



      I rarely use Cubase, so I'm not the ideal person to give you the step-by-step setup instructions for that specific program, but it should all be there in the manual, and hopefully someone else will come along and offer you a more detailed reply. You'll need to insert a virtual instrument VST plugin on one of your tracks (MIDI Instrument track) and then set the Akai as the MIDI input / controller for that track. There's also the issue of MIDI channels too - you'll need to make sure you have those matched up. When it's set up right, the Akai will trigger the softsynth, and create sound when you play on the Akai. You can then do whatever you want with the track - leave it "virtual", and have the computer and MIDI trigger the softsynth that way, or you can route the output of the softsynth to an audio track and record it there.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #4
        like phil said.

        in detail, in cubase (4 and 4le which i also use) you need to add an instrument track to your project. adding a midi track is the wrong road, where i got stuck myself for a long time, cause the plain midi track is not mapped to any instrument.



        when added the instrument track you need to select which instrument it should play. by default installation of cubase 4le there are no or only one instrument available. if you installed also the halion suite (i hope its spelled like this) you can use halion as instrument for your ttrack. and in halion you can select if it should play drums organs etc what it offers.

        once you are familiar with halion, you gain the knowledge of the concepts behind this.



        you can search for free vst instruments to get anything what you want and work with them in the same way as with halion, (insert instrument track, select instrument, play/record, edit the midi stuff if needed)



        for your keyboard to work, you need to go to the device menu -> device setup and you should select a new input device for midi, normaly cubase should recognize your keyboard automatically.



        for the instrument track you than select your new midi device as input and you can start to play

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        • #5
          Thank you for the added details t_e_l_e!
          **********

          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

          - George Carlin

          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you Phil and t_e_l_e. It is slowly starting to sink into my aged brain. I got it working but the sounds dont match with the titles of the patches. No big deal since I am looking for a particular sound. I have been a big fan of the music from Cirque du Soleil and I was trying to recreate some of the synth sounds. The Synthstation25 has the ability to do soft synths also. I got a RCA to 1/4" patch cord and that seems to work pretty well too. There is a lot less latency. Probably because I am working on an older laptop. Anyway, thank for the help and info.
            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Mesa Boogie Road King II
            Carvin 2x12 cab
            Egnater Rebel 30 Combo
            Fender FSR Standard Black
            Schecter Hellraiser Black Cherry
            Ibanez RG570 Blue
            Ibanez AR200 Red Wine
            Gretsch G5120 Orange
            Hofner Shorty White
            Musket > Morley Bad Horsie > DynaComp > FullDrive 2 > BBE Green Screamer > EH POG2 > Ernie Ball Volume > Amp
            Loop EFX: Line 6 M9

            Comment

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