Getting my first analog synth – what to try with H9?

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    • #114452
      joegrant413
      Participant

      I’m getting an Arturia MiniBrute today. My first real synth.

      What should I try with it using my H9 Max? I typically only use the H9 with my guitar.

      Thanks

    • #147616
      brock
      Participant

      First off, congratulations.  Good choice.  Don’t let anyone kid you that you can’t do some amazing … er, stuff with a 25-key mono.  Practice the octave switches & wheels, just like you would any other keyboard technique.

      Now, coupled with an H9, or two?  Where do I begin?  The sky is the limit, but here’s a start:

      MIDI Sync the two units together.  One cable.  Probably with the ‘Brute as the ‘master’, and the H9 as ‘slave’.  You’ll thank me later.  The arpeggiator, all rates on any algo, LFOs on both ends … synchronized together.  MIDI control is another giant ‘rabbit hole’ to dive into, but sync is the barest essential.

      Synths usually skimp on standard post-processing effects, if they’re there at all.  So the obvious fattening choices, like delay, or reverb, make good starting points.  Here’s a rule of thumb that helps with clarity:

      • Complex synth patch = simpler H9 patch
      • Simpler synth patch = complex H9 preset.

      You have a ton of waveform processing & motion available in that synth.  Too much post-processing can mask that out.  For example, a flute-like triangle wav could use BlackHole, but a Metalizer or supersaw-based patch might be better off in a Room.  “Rules” are made to be broken, but sometimes … you just need to increase an H9 MIX parameter until you barely hear the added effect, then back it off a tad.

      As for the H9 multi-effect algorithms (like SpaceTime), you really have to treat them like an extension of the synth itself.  Another ‘module’ that you plugged into the synth.  Myself, I’m rather partial to the PitchFactor algorithms with synths.  Those algorithms either add something that most synths won’t do, or enhance a similar parameter, or feature, found in both units.

      Here are a couple links on how I’ve been using the PitchFactor, long before I acquired my H9s:

      https://www.eventideaudio.com/comment/30802#comment-30802

      https://www.eventideaudio.com/comment/22696#comment-22696

      • #147677
        Bodde
        Participant
        brock wrote:

        MIDI Sync the two units together.  One cable.  Probably with the ‘Brute as the ‘master’, and the H9 as ‘slave’.  You’ll thank me later.  The arpeggiator, all rates on any algo, LFOs on both ends … synchronized together.  MIDI control is another giant ‘rabbit hole’ to dive into, but sync is the barest essential.

        Thanks for this tip Brock. Never thought of syncing my MiniBrute with the H9. Can work nicely for syncing up the H9 delays to the arpeggator ot the MiniBrute. I will do so in the next few days. Any special settings to be made on the H9? Or will just plugin in the midi out to the midi in of the H9 do the job?

        As for effects. All analog synths sound great with delay and reverb, maybe also try some chorus. Spacetime will be nice for sure. And don’t forget the pitch shifters for mono synths. Lots of options. Just received an MFB Dominion 1 synth today. Probably a step up from the MiniBrute. But I still love love the MiniBrute because it is so user friendly and simple and it sounds good and is inspiring.

    • #147619
      joegrant413
      Participant

      Sweet… thanks for the detailed reply!

      – Joe

    • #147622
      brock
      Participant

      I didn’t realize that there’s an external audio input.  You should try out your (pre-amplified) guitar through that Steiner-Parker filter.  I used to run through my Alesis Ion processing, along with an ADR III.  Now, I’m tempted to add a pedalboard riser for my Evolver Desktop.  Something about those analog filters … magical.

      Too bad that the H9 doesn’t respond to (key / mono) aftertouch.  That’s a killer control parameter to have on a keyboard.  But the Eventides do support double-precision MIDI Pitch Bend.  That should be on your list for synchronized FX on the H9.  Let us know how the whole process develops for you.

    • #147623
      brock
      Participant

      I didn’t realize that there’s an external audio input.  You should try out your (pre-amplified) guitar through that Steiner-Parker filter.  I used to run through my Alesis Ion processing, along with an ADR III.  Now, I’m tempted to add a pedalboard riser for my Evolver Desktop.  Something about those analog filters … magical.

      Too bad that the H9 doesn’t respond to (key / mono) aftertouch.  That’s a killer control parameter to have on a keyboard.  But the Eventides do support double-precision MIDI Pitch Bend.  That should be on your list for synchronized FX on the H9.  Let us know how the whole process develops for you.

    • #147627
      joegrant413
      Participant

      I will definitely be trying my guitar through the MiniBrute, putting a Boss BD-2 pedal there first to boost the signal.

      The other thing I’ll be messing with dusting off my old iPad apps, and at least see if I can do simple sequences from iPad > camera connection > MiniBrute.

      I’m really trying to keep it simple, though. Pretty easy for it NOT to be simple once we add an iPad, or MIDI, to the setup.

      Cheers

    • #147679
      Bodde
      Participant

      Tried to sync the delay times through midi. Tried both with my MiniBrute and Roland TB-03 but I can’t get it to work. Hooked up the midi ouf the synths to the midi in of the H9. I have both devices set to the same midi channel. Also set Midi receive on H9 input to on.

      Also tried the reverse, having the H9 as the master and the Minibrute as tempo slave. Also no response.

      What am I doing wrong? do I miss some setting on the H9?

      • #147696
        brock
        Participant
        Bodde wrote:
        … What am I doing wrong? do I miss some setting on the H9?

        My first thought was the MIDI  ->  OUTPUT setting  With the H9 as the slave, OUTPUT = THRU, and with the H9 as the master, OUTPUT = XMT.  Matching the MIDI Channels is good practice for Programs Changes, CCs, PitchBend, … But MIDI Clock (when properly configured) transmits across all 16 MIDI Channels, by design.

        Now, some synths send out MIDI Clock continuously, while others may need something ‘started’ (arpeggiator; step sequencer) to begin transmitting clock pulses.  There’s a cool little feature-ette in the PitchFactor that didn’t make it to the H9:  If you attempt to select MIDI  ->  CLK IN  ->  ON – and there’s no MIDI Clock signal detected – the PF display begins to flash.  It’ll keep flashing until it’s sync’ed to a MIDI Clock.  A troubleshooting technique that’s much faster than hooking up to a MIDI / Sysex monitor.

        Unfortunately, Arturia isn’t very complete with MIDI documentation.  I understand the analogue focus, and the manual is a great beginner primer on subtractive synthesis & patch building.  The Connection Software manual has MIDI listings for global parameter tweaks, but not much else.  The bad news is … the MiniBrute doesn’t send or receive much (MIDI).  I don’t think the MiniBrute sends out MIDI Clock, but it will receive MIDI Clock (from the H9) on its MIDI Input:

        https://www.arturia.com/faq/microbrute/microbrute-midi-parameters

        It’s a ‘polyphonic controller’ with extensive onboard controls, and that’s where your hands will be.  Logically, my thought was [MiniBrute master out to H9 slave].  But apparently, it will have to go [H9 master transmitting to MiniBrute slave].   There are a couple of tempo tricks on the MiniBrute that might be useful in that MIDI routing.

    • #147701
      Bodde
      Participant

      Thanks a lot. I will have another look. Primary want to use the H9 as a slave.

    • #147704
      Bodde
      Participant

      Tried it again with three synths and still not able to have the H9 as a tempo slave. I have enable midi input clock. Midi out of the synth to midi in of the H9. Started an arpeggio on the synth ans nothing happens.

      Can someone post step by step what settings I have to make in the H9 to make this work?

      Should I see some sign on the H9 that the tempo is locked when it receives midi clock from another device?

      • #147708
        brock
        Participant
        Bodde wrote:
        Tried it again with three synths and still not able to have the H9 as a tempo slave.

        1.  Arturia MiniBrute:  Cannot be configured as master, according to online documentation.
        2.  Roland TB-03:  Can be configured as master, according to online documentation.
        3.  I don’t know what the 3rd synth is ???

        Bodde wrote:
        I have enable midi input clock. Midi out of the synth to midi in of the H9. Started an arpeggio on the synth ans nothing happens.

        TB-03 as master – System Settings:

        • CH  –  Match MIDI Channels TB-03 & H9 (optional for sync)
        • SYnC  –  Int  (AUtO is the default)
        • d. Snc  –  SYnC  (optional, to sync onboard delays with external FX)

        Optional:  Clock / Start / Continue / Stop across all MIDI Channels (useful for Looper / HarPeggiator sync).

        (You may have to PLAY a pattern before MIDI Clock starts generating – unclear from the documentation.)

        Optional:  Ten fixed CCs are available for transmission from the TB-03 onboard parameters.

        (Those same 10 CC Numbers must be matched to the H9 virtual ‘knobs’, expression pedal mapping, etc.)

        Bodde wrote:
        Can someone post step by step what settings I have to make in the H9 to make this work?

        Unplug the USB connector.  Reboot the H9, if necessary.

        H9 as slave – System Settings

        MIDI

        • RCV CH  – Match MIDI Channels TB-03 & H9 (optional for sync).
        • XMT CH – Not used here.
        • RCV.CTL – Optional.  Match 10 fixed CCs in the TB-03 here.
        • XMT CC – Not  used here.
        • RCV.MAP – Not used here.
        • XMT.MAP – Not used here.
        • CTL-XMT – Not used here.
        • PGM.XMT – Not used here.
        • SYS ID – Not used here.
        • OUTPUT  – THRU
        • DUMP – Not used here.
        • CLK IN ON
        • CLK OUTOFF
        • CLK FLT – Optional.

        GLOBAL

        • TEMPO – ON (useful as a fail-safe preset override).
        • Check the currently loaded H9 preset for Tempo Sync enabled.

        Bodde wrote:
        Should I see some sign on the H9 that the tempo is locked when it receives midi clock from another device?

        Once everything is configured correctly – on both sides of the equation – then adjusting the tempo on the TB-03 master should update the — BPM display on the H9.  If it’s being stubborn, hit the H9 TAP switch once to light up the — BPM display, then adjust the TB-03 tempo immediately.

        MIDI is a one-way serial language, but both ends must be ‘speaking & listening’ to the exact same dialect.  The master device can be ‘speaking many dialects’ at the same time.  The slave device will ‘understand’ just one.

        If all else fails, hook up the TB-03 to a MIDI Monitor.  For Windows, I use something simple, like Bome’s Send SX. Options -> Enable MIDI Time Clock.  If a device is transmitting MIDI Clock, you’ll see a burst of F8 messages (24 per second) that will stream & scroll continuously.

    • #147709
      Bodde
      Participant

      Thanks again Brock. Finally got it working using the TB-03 as a master. Problem was that I had the USB hooked up to use the H9 control on my computer. I always connect it to USB when I use it at home. But the midi sync doesn’t work when hooked up to USB. Not sure why that is? But I think that was the problem.

      I think you can still use the H9 control and still have tempo sync when you connect it to bluetooth though.

      Too bad it doesn’t work on the Minibrute. I also tried it on my other synth (MFB Dominion 1) and that also doesn’t work. The midi implementation says System Realtime Clock T/R: x  Does this means it doesn’t tranmit or receive midi clock? Although I have read somewhere that it can be synced to a DAWs tempo. Just got this synth so I don’t know it all yet.

      • #147716
        brock
        Participant
        Bodde wrote:
        Thanks again Brock. Finally got it working using the TB-03 as a master. Problem was that I had the USB hooked up to use the H9 control on my computer. I always connect it to USB when I use it at home. But the midi sync doesn’t work when hooked up to USB. Not sure why that is? But I think that was the problem.

        It’s either / or.  USB, or MIDI DIN plug.  It was an Eventide design decision.  People are using these boxes in ways that weren’t anticipated, early on.  That’s how I understand it, from what I’ve read here.

        Bodde wrote:
        I think you can still use the H9 control and still have tempo sync when you connect it to bluetooth though.

        I have three H9s over Bluetooth to H9 Control.  Those (and everything else) slave to a master MIDI Clock.  I can control all 3 H9s from H9 Control, and any master tempo changes are reflected back through the app.  My PitchFactor does have to ‘stay blind’ until I’m ready for it, though.  USB disconnected.

        Bodde wrote:
        Too bad it doesn’t work on the Minibrute.

        You still can … just with the H9 as master MIDI Clock.  It’s nearly the same result, but hands-on control will be in another location.  You’d have to switch everything around … OUTPUT – XMT; CLK IN – OFF; CLK OUT – ON; …

        And – of course – swap the MIDI cable:  H9 MIDI OUT to MiniBrute MIDI IN.  Once you start getting to 3-4 MIDI devices, it’s best to start thinking about MIDI thru splitters / mergers, or a MIDI matrix.  It saves on a lot of re-cabling, and it’s cleaner MIDI (versus serial daisy chains).  Entire system re-configuration, by software.

        Bodde wrote:
        I also tried it on my other synth (MFB Dominion 1) and that also doesn’t work. The midi implementation says System Realtime Clock T/R: x  Does this means it doesn’t tranmit or receive midi clock? Although I have read somewhere that it can be synced to a DAWs tempo. Just got this synth so I don’t know it all yet.
        Show More...

        I’m not familiar with that synth, but that does indicate no MIDI Clock Transmit or Receive.  Odd.

        The MIDI implementation Chart is your best friend.  Once you’ve looked at a few, and deciphered what they are saying, you can see exactly what each device will / will not do.  Standard format, so it’s easy to compare synth-to-synth.  That is, if a manufacturer even bothers to include one.  A lot of them don’t, or have their own take on presentation (Roland).  It’s becoming more difficult to see what they dumbed down, or left out to cut costs.

        Show Less...
    • #147721
      Bodde
      Participant

      Thanks again for all your help Brock. Really appreciate it!!!

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