Questions regarding workflow with a DAW for TI2

  • Hey all,


    I've never really bothered with a DAW or sequencing in the past, but I'm trying to figure this out now, and have some questions about the best way to handle certain aspects of this so far as the Virus Control is concerned.


    I imagine the DAW I am using will be relevant to at least some of these questions and their answers, so I'm using Reaper. I know it's not supported, but my friends are all using it, and for that reason it is convenient. I'm also not necessarily asking how to do things for a specific DAW, but rather general advice on how these issues are generally dealt with, and which have DAW specific answers and which do not. This way, I have an idea what questions to ask on the Reaper forums, rather than ask them questions specific to the Virus. Though naturally, if anybody here is familiar with Reaper and could provide specific answers to any of these questions, that would certainly be appreciated.


    I have some MIDI tracks from a friend, and I have them playing on the Virus through the DAW. I've noticed that every time I play a track, any patch choices I made within the Virus Control reverts to the original choices; I assume that is due to each track having a patch choice embedded within it somewhere at the start of the MIDI, and the DAW is sending that to the Virus Control along with the notes.


    That being the case, I expect I could edit that within the MIDI tracks themselves; however, I would think there is probably a way to be able to pick which patches I want to use through the Virus Control, and have that remain applied to the track; otherwise, it seems to me (maybe wrongly) that there isn't much advantage to being able to pick patches within the Virus Control. So that's the first question - is there a way to setup such behavior through the Virus Control, or is it something that I would have to do via the DAW? Or is it necessary to modify the MIDI data?


    Also, if I understand correctly, Multi mode basically stores single patches by value, rather than reference; so if you change them in Multi mode, they don't change in Single mode, and vice versa. The Sequencer mode, which is what is used within the DAW, is the opposite (though I'm not sure it actually stores patch selections, I'm assuming that's the responsibility of the DAW or sequencer rather than the Virus). My question is, say I have a song, and set up patches for the tracks on that song. Then I go off and design sounds a bit, or maybe rearrange them into a different bank or something. When I try to play the song again, it'll have all the wrong sounds, right? So are there any suggestions on dealing with /avoiding such issues? I'd hate to be stuck having to keep certain patches always present in specific locations on the Virus only to avoid this issue.


    Another workflow-related question, completely unrelated to DAW/sequencer usage - my previous synths have all had number pads for patch selection, allowing fairly quick switching between patches. They also had far fewer patches than the Virus. Is there a good way to handle switching between patches quickly on the Virus itself, or is it best to use your controller for that purpose?


    Many thanks,
    noct

  • Ok, I think I've answered one of my questions, at least.


    It seems like selecting patches via the Virus Control is fine if I'm recording a new track, but if I want to change the patch for a pre-existing track, I would want to modify the program change events for the track to match whatever patches I want to use. While it's slightly less convenient than changing patches via Virus Control, I suppose it could be worse. To be honest, I don't see how there could be any better way of handling this other than, perhaps, having some kind of mapping function between the MIDI track and the Virus, that would convert e.g. program change 30 to whatever I wanted it to be. The main reason that would be convenient would be to avoid having to modify program change events in multiple locations for the same program, or if e.g. I received a revised MIDI track, I wouldn't have to make the change again. I'll have to look into a way to do that, I think.


    Regarding my question on preserving the patches and their locations in the Virus' banks, would it be feasible to setup a new bank for each song and back it up on the computer somewhere, then load that in when editing that song again? I'm not sure if that is a good solution, and there's also the concern that certain types of memory can only handle being rewritten so many times; does anybody know if there are such limitations for the Virus, with its RAM or ROM banks? I wouldn't expect any problems with this in normal usage, because what are the odds of the same patch/bank being saved thousands of times, but if one had a workflow like what I'm describing, I could potentially see that happening.

  • you need to edit your midi files within your daw and remove the bank/sub bank/program change info because the files your playing are loading that info.
    as for the rest.. are you not using VC in your project? because if you are then you have 16 slots to store patches for that project which will automatically be loaded up in whatever condition you left them last. Also.. you can make a blank bank for that track and store it on your computer and have it load from there each time just as easily. kind of handy if you want to store it in the folder with the project for safe keeping.

  • Ok, that's what I was thinking, regarding the MIDI files; thanks for confirming that. I'll have to see if I can find a way, though, to map program/bank/sub-bank changes in a MIDI file to different program/bank/sub-banks to be used by the Virus; otherwise, I'll be stuck changing these events every time I get an updated MIDI file. Hopefully somebody on the Reaper forums will have a suggestion for that.


    I am using VC, and I am doing as you suggested. I still wonder, though, if there is a limited number of writes available to the Virus RAM and/or ROM banks, though that is a question I suspect only Access could answer. If they don't respond here, perhaps I should contact support with that question.
    Thanks for your advice!

  • You can also disable midi program changes in the virus which might be a better solution for you if you keep getting given midi files and don't want to have to edit them every time. I just let VC load up the correct patches for the project. Don't worry about the RAM. I don't know what the true number of times it can be written is but you're not going to exceed it!

  • You can also disable midi program changes in the virus which might be a better solution for you if you keep getting given midi files and don't want to have to edit them every time. I just let VC load up the correct patches for the project. Don't worry about the RAM. I don't know what the true number of times it can be written is but you're not going to exceed it!


    don't you worry - it is real buffered RAM and not flash ram with limited write cycles. ROM is limited but we didn't have a problem with that so far. even with our developer units.
    marc

  • Thanks for the suggestion, nms. It might not be a bad route to take if I never need to change patches during a track - I'll have to see how things work out. Could be a good way to handle this though.


    Marc, thank you for the information on the RAM - I think I'll be swapping those four banks a lot, now that I don't have to worry about that issue.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, nms. It might not be a bad route to take if I never need to change patches during a track - I'll have to see how things work out. Could be a good way to handle this though.


    Marc, thank you for the information on the RAM - I think I'll be swapping those four banks a lot, now that I don't have to worry about that issue.

    You can change patches all you want during a track. The only thing that will affect is that midi files from somewhere else that contain patch change info won't go changing patches for you.

  • That is true; I meant if I were lazy and wanted the MIDI to handle changing the track for me. I guess there's no such thing as a free lunch; either I have to tell the MIDI what patches to change to, or I'll have to manually change the patches. Not really that big an issue, and maybe I can come up with a way around it later on; I think Reaper is supposed to be somewhat programmable, so perhaps I can find a way to provide some degree of automation for this.


    Thanks for all your help, nms.

  • Quote

    either I have to tell the MIDI what patches to change to, or I'll have to manually change the patches.


    if you're using VC it will automatically load all patches back where you left them when you open your project. I'd say enjoy your free lunch but you already paid for it when you bought the TI ;)

  • A fairly expensive lunch, but filling. :) Though I meant more like, if there were patch changes throughout a track; if that doesn't happen, then you're right, that would work perfectly.
    So far, I don't really see that being an issue, as my friend is using a different track for each sound he wants. Probably the person most likely to have patch changes in the middle of a track would be me, actually; in which case I can't really complain about having to change patches, since it would be my own fault. :)

  • haha.. if you find yourself using up all 16 slots that VC allows you I'd say you're really getting your money's worth out of your TI! I'm going to guess you haven't been running into that though and suggest you just put diff patches in diff slots and forget about the nuisance of swaping patches via midi messages.

  • Yes, thus far I haven't actually run into that situation; maybe one day it will be an issue - I suppose another solution then would be to get multiple Viruses... (if my wallet had eyes, it'd be glaring at me for that comment). To be honest, I'm still more in the "making weird noises" phase with the Virus, and just throwing a few sounds on tracks at my friend's request. Though that has started pulling me towards maybe actually doing something musical with the Virus, hence some of these thoughts.

  • I purely just go into my midi clips, copy all the notes and paste them into a brand new midi clip, gets rid of the patch changing issue! :)




    not sure if anyone has mentioned this already, i skipped to the bottom :P