Midi Drum Trigger - Not being consistently recognised

  • Hello,


    I have been trying to use a Midi Drum trigger to cause certain lights to flash. My hope is that the velocity of the note will correspond to the brightness of the fixture (i.e. the fader option in Remote Inputs).


    Here is a rundown of my setup for troubleshooting purposes:
    There is a Midi keyboard connected to a Roland Drum SPD (https://www.rolandcorp.com.au/products/spd-sx/) using the 'soft' Midi through. There are two drum triggers connected to this SPD, one on the kick and one on the snare. For testing purposes, all of the pads and both triggers are set to send Midi note 100 on Channel 10. The Midi out goes to a USB interface on a Macbook on stage, which routes the signal using the inbuilt Apple Midi control to the network (connected via Wi-Fi) on Port 6000. This sends the signal to our Mac Mini at Front-of-House which is connected to the stage Macbook via the Apple Midi software. The Mac Midi at Front-of-House is connected to a Roland USD to Midi interface, with both the In and Out Midi cables connected to our Midas Pro 3 sound desk. Our Dot 2 is connected to our sound desk via the Midi through connection.


    Now, the actual signal is getting to our Dot 2 just fine. I have looked at the MIDI monitor (under tools) and we are consistently receiving the Midi signal from the drum triggers with no visible latency (the Apple Macs are reporting latency in the milliseconds, so nothing to worry about). However, this is where my success ends. I have setup the Remote Inputs on the desk to Type 'Exec' on Page 'Current' on Executor 14 (which corresponds to six MAC 350 Encores in the roof) on Function 'Fader'. I have made sure to set the Fade In and Fade Out of Executor 14 to 0. Again, my hope is that the lights will flash when the Midi note is received.


    At first it simply appeared to not work, but we observed that occasionally the lights would flash as I had intended (this occurred on maybe 1 out of a 20-50 signals sent and didn't appear to follow any pattern). I have also noted that the green indicated light on the Remote Inputs screen would only light up for maybe 1 out of 5 signals sent, and the note 100 indicator light would appear for maybe 1 out of 10. I changed the Fader option in Remote Inputs to both button 1 and 2 (wasn't sure which one was the flash option, but didn't resolve the issue).


    We tested our setup by sending note 100 from the Midi keyboard which goes through the SPD, so therefore uses the exact signal chain and it worked exactly how I wanted it to, with velocity corresponding to fader level and no visible latency.


    My theory is that the signal sent from the Drum SPD is simply too short for either the Dot 2 or Mac 350 to consistently react to it. Is this the case? If so, is there any way I can work around this, either to extend the length of the Midi signal or to trigger another note which is longer? We have both Ableton Live and Logic Pro along the signal path if that helps. If I used a command to trigger a cue with intensity 100, then had a follow cue with intensity 0 delayed by 0.1 seconds, would this be more reliable? (I just had that idea then, but won't be able to test for a while unfortunately).


    I appreciate any input you can give me as I would love to get this feature working in the future. I think it would be an awesome effect to use, so I'm hoping the desk allows me to take advantage of the Midi capability we have here. Thanks in advance!

  • Hey @The Forthcomer,


    this is really difficult to say without beeing in front of your system. It feels to me that your signal path is quite complex!


    I've tested something similar here with our good old Midi keyboard and it works very well. But this is a direct connection from the keyboard to the dot2 console. I can't see either latencies or any ignored notes.


    My theory is that the signal sent from the Drum SPD is simply too short for either the Dot 2 or Mac 350 to consistently react to it. Is this the case?

    You could easily double check this in the Midi monitor which you already mentioned. If the note is not recognized correctly you should not see it in the monitor. If the note is recognized you should take a look at the DMX view. Here you should see that the DMX signal for the Dimmer of the Fixtures was send. If the signal was send out fine you can assume that the Fixtures are too slow.



    Quote from The Forthcomer

    If so, is there any way I can work around this, either to extend the length of the Midi signal or to trigger another note which is longer?



    On some Midi devices you can adjust the release timing of a note, but I don't think that this makes sense on a drum kit. So I'm not sure if this function would exist on you device. Furthermore you should be aware of the fact that the Dimmer of your Fixtures will then also be delayed.



    If I used a command to trigger a cue with intensity 100, then had a follow cue with intensity 0 delayed by 0.1 seconds, would this be more reliable?


    I don't think that this will be more reliable because, if the note is not received correctly/regularly your command will also be executed incorrectly.


    To test all this I would reduce the setup as much as possible. Maybe you can connect just your drum kit to the console (maybe with the MAC mini inbetween)!?


    Hopefully my comments will help to figure out what the reason could be! :)


    Cheers,
    Lars