Home Forums Products Stompboxes H9 and USB MIDI

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    • #114138

      ok I am getting real now. Who wants in?

      jb4674 got me thinking about things.. and I did some coding yesterday, and I got my Beatstep hooked up to the H9 using USB connections only, and a little linux box as a USB host. It works perfectly to control the H9… BUT I actually have bidirectional communication now… but it turns out it isnt any improvement.. except less cables 🙂

      The H9 is not really sending much in the way of MIDI, I am finding. I am pretty sure I am running onto this problem:



      My goal, as well, was to have good knob-control!

      I have a bank of infinite rotary encoders assigned to all the knobs on the H9’s presets.. but they dont match up well. If I turn one one click.. I cannot get them to consistently just increase the value by one! Not with absolute OR relative modes.


      What do you think, guys?

      Am I missing anything here? Or is it impossible? 

      Because you know what would be awesome? Using a Berry X-touch Mini to control the H9. With 16 quick preset-recall buttons… flip banks and have Looper control buttons… and have all the knobs mapped out. But we need the INFO for those LED rings.. or else the elegance is lost. Even better? Have the ‘play’ LED toggle with looper playback status. But I am afraid we don’t have that level of midi OUPUT from the H9…..yet?


      I feel like it MUST be possible.. cuz H9 control gets that data! How does it recieve it? MIDI?

      Im gonna try some more.

    • #146278

      I’m also very interested in this. The folks who made the EvenMidi may be able to help.

    • #146281

      Ive talked to Poppy in passing (he makes the EvenMidi pedals) and he uses absolute position for his knobs.  They are 0-100s anyway.. though he mentined that if Eventide could make the midi into “Catchup” mode that would be better.


      I hooked the H9 up to Midi-OX last night, and i was dismayed to find that it hardly sends ANYTHING out the USB bus. 

      Which makes me want to know- how does it communicate with the H9 app? And can I translate that information into MIDI in a linux environment? I feel like this can happen. 

    • #146282

      Actually- Just getting USB controller –> USB H9 functionality was pretty awesome. 

      Im going to put a tutorial here.:


      Cost? Probaably $40-50


      I had an old ‘BananaPi’ sitting around:

      But any small board with more than one USB should do. Probably ANY of these: https://www.armbian.com/download/ Or any Raspberry Pi…which is very popular and well supported.

      $37: https://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-Model-A1-2GHz-64-bit-quad-core/dp/B01CD5VC92/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1493774679&sr=1-3&keywords=orange+pi

      I put on a distribution of UBUNTU.  Note- a lot of bananaPI kernels were not setup for MIDI- it took me some looking.. but ARMBIAN (https://www.armbian.com/) distros are generally full featured. ANY distribution should work- the core MIDI element is called ALSA and is universal. But it needs to be ENABLED in the kernel’s compilation. 


      I used : Armbian_5.25_Bananapi_Ubuntu_xenial_default_3.4.113_desktop



      Standard installation as documented many places- print the iso to a 4GB SD card using win32diskimager

      I plugged the PI into my network for headless setup- used putty to log in. The default user/pass was root/1234.. which is force-changed on first boot.

      I then pressed ctrl-C and cancelled desktop-user setup. This disables the GUI, saving clock cycles anyway.

      I then plugged in my H9 and my Beatstep via USB. NO MIDI CABLES NEEDED. It SHOULD work with ANY class compliant MIDI controller!

      Then, enbling the MIDI was easy. Most of this is creditied to THIS GUY (https://stimresp.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/using-a-raspberry-pi-as-usb-midi-host/)

      First I made sure I had all the ALSA  I needed:

      sudo apt-get install alsa alsa-utils

      Then, the command we are using is aconnect. type this to show all your possible connections:

      sudo aconnect -i -o

      If you get a weird folder-not-found error here.. your kernel has MIDI disabled. Use a different one.. or compile yourself. 

      If it WORKS.. you should see your connected devices in plain language.. with the PORT numbers attached. My H9 was port 20, and the BeatStep 24.

      To create UNIDIRECTIONAL connection.. just type:

      sudo aconnect 24:0 20:0

      Obviously you replace your port numbers with mine.

      You can fully have bi-directional communication.. but like I mentioned it didn’t help. If you want it.. just reverse your ports.

      Test it out- you should be passing MIDI to the H9! Setting up the H9 to behave is all covered in the H9 manual.  Which you should have done before starting this project 😉


      One last step- to get your connection to start on cold boot. I used a cron job too. type this:

      sudo su

      crontab -e

      then at the bottom, add your command (s). Mine were this:

      @reboot aconnect 24:0 20:0

      @reboot aconnect 20:0 24:0


      Now you should have bilateral communication between devices on reboot, with no need for interaction from your side. Just make sure your devices are attached when you turn it on.


      BOOM. Use anything you want. The Beatstep is great.. but there are ALL of those controllers that just have USB! 

      I havent used any others.. but the controller would need to be programmable to send PC and/or CC messages not just notes. The x-touch mini should totally work- I have dug around its App. I have an MPD18 that works too… again using its windows app to program it’s output.




       –$60  https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-X-TOUCH-MINI-BEHRINGER/dp/B013JLZCLS

      I havent tried this one.. but looking at it’s control software- it sends the right stuff. The H9, however.. does NOT, as far as I know. So the LED rings will NOT accurately represent what your preset is doing 🙁

      –$99 https://www.amazon.com/Arturia-BeatStep-MIDI-Controller-Sequencer/dp/B00I88HPUO

      I use this myself. ALL arturia controlelrs should work. They have a robust programming app. I have a MINILAB.. and the knobs and PADS are programmable.. (but not the keys).

      Again- the knob function is limited here.. but a work in progress.


      –$130 https://www.amazon.com/Akai-Professional-MPD18-Compact-Controller/dp/B002LNBG1Q

      I also have an older MPD16- it does NOT work.. It only sends notes.. not PC/CC. But any NEWER MPDs should work, including this one, which I have, and works.


      OK! That is that- for posterity. 

      Now- if I can just work out the kinks.




    • #146327

      So – I am stymied, I think.

      I have done some testing, and it looks like all of the info that the H9 sends to the H9 Control app (especially KNOB POSITION!) is sent via some non-MIDI communication protocol. 

      I can capture it via USB.. but I am unsure if I will be able/willing to translate it into actual midi, short of total brute force.. which I dont wanna 🙂

      I will now look into relative knob position data:


      Eventide Guys- Maybe you can help?

      I, as noted, am using an arturia Beatstep with infinite knobs.

      I have 4 options of how to set up these knobs. 1 Absolute, and 3 “Relative”.

      My goal? To use the “relative” setting to make the thing simply +1 or -1 whatever parameter it is set to.

      My plan?– use a Linux utility to TRANSLATE whatever signal I am sending into something that will make it happen.

      My question: Is there a midi value that will increment and decrement a parameter value? I can’t use cc 96/97. I think it has to happen on the H9 side. Possible? Impossible? Maybe allready cooked in? Like.. if I send a 128 what happens? (I dont know how to do that.)




      • #146331
        camn wrote:

        I have done some testing, and it looks like all of the info that the H9 sends to the H9 Control app (especially KNOB POSITION!) is sent via some non-MIDI communication protocol. 

        Yes, this is true.  But you can also control the H9 via normal MIDI CC messages.  You're trying to figure out what the H9 sends H9 Control so you know what the current knob position is for each knob?

        camn wrote:

        My question: Is there a midi value that will increment and decrement a parameter value? I can't use cc 96/97. I think it has to happen on the H9 side. Possible? Impossible? Maybe allready cooked in? Like.. if I send a 128 what happens? (I dont know how to do that.)

        No, we don't have a mechanism for relative value changes; you can send a MIDI CC to control a parameter but that will cause an absolute value change.

    • #152524

      Hi there!
      I created a tutorial on how to control the H9 with a external midi controller (Arturia Beatstep) with the help of Ableton Live, H9_remote (a max4live device by Daniel Collins) and Control Surface Studio (for creating a custom remote script).
      With the tutorial we’ll SEE always the 10 knob values of the current preset in the pedal, and SEND RELATIVE midi info in order to have smoothy changes in that values. Also we will have the ability to fast change to the desired presets with only pressing pads, and automatically send again relative midi info to the new values. Here is the link:

      Eventide h9 advanced control with arturia beatstep

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