Receiving MIDI from Alesis electronic drum kit

Jun 14, 2008 at 4:47am

Receiving MIDI from Alesis electronic drum kit

I purchased the Alesis DM5 Pro Kit-to learn how to play drums and also to *hopefully* have a big HI control surface I could use with Max/MSP. However, upon reading the manual for the DM5 there are some curious things about its MIDI in/out:

*It uses pitch values to transmit and receive triggering information-(works great for input-you can easily use a keyboard to control the drumset. Not ideal output.)

*Apparently note velocity, according to the manual, is “0″ for both on AND off. Big problem.
When used as input in Max/MSP the only thing I can get to show up when I hit different drum pads is a change in pitch values-Velocity always stays at 0.

I would have given up since not having a changing velocity would render the drums rather lifeless BUT when recording the MIDI signals of the drums into Reason the velocity of the drums change according to how hard I hit them!

Please forum, I NEED YOUR HELP to be able to use this drum set with Max/MSP.

Thanks for any replies.

#38401
Jun 14, 2008 at 10:11pm

Eli, I am quite certain that the Alesis DM5 doesn’t know which software
it’s sending midi to.
Everything is fine.
What does happen with midi triggers is that the note-on velocity appears
for a very short time, and then goes back to zero – I reckon you have
hooked a numberbox up directly to the input and are monitoring with your
eyes?

Try it with print, and you should see the on-velocity for a very short
time followed by the off-velocity of 0.

When looking at the midi implementation chart in the manual you’ll also
see that things that are supported are marked with a “0″, while things
that are NOT supported are marked with an X. This may have been the
confusing bit reg. the note-on/off thing?

Andreas.

Eli Stine skrev:
> I purchased the Alesis DM5 Pro Kit-to learn how to play drums and also to *hopefully* have a big HI control surface I could use with Max/MSP. However, upon reading the manual for the DM5 there are some curious things about its MIDI in/out:
>
> *It uses pitch values to transmit and receive triggering information-(works great for input-you can easily use a keyboard to control the drumset. Not ideal output.)
>
> *Apparently note velocity, according to the manual, is “0″ for both on AND off. Big problem.
> When used as input in Max/MSP the only thing I can get to show up when I hit different drum pads is a change in pitch values-Velocity always stays at 0.
>
> I would have given up since not having a changing velocity would render the drums rather lifeless BUT when recording the MIDI signals of the drums into Reason the velocity of the drums change according to how hard I hit them!
>
> Please forum, I NEED YOUR HELP to be able to use this drum set with Max/MSP.
>
> Thanks for any replies.
>
>
>
>
> .
>
>

#133915
Jun 14, 2008 at 10:12pm

I haven’t played with this model of drum kit. If it’s hooked up via MIDI, however, it shouldn’t be difficult to get it working with Max. If the manual isn’t giving you the necessary information, I think you’d be best off to do a little investigating on your own, either via Max or other software. The first thing I’d do in Max would be to use something like this simple patch to see what’s coming in:

max v2;
#N vpatcher 152 177 871 547;
#P window linecount 1;
#P newex 529 135 73 983236620 print midich;
#P newex 442 135 84 983236620 print pitchbnd;
#P newex 364 135 75 983236620 print aftertch;
#P newex 260 135 102 983236620 print programchg;
#P newex 171 135 87 983236620 print controller;
#P newex 89 135 78 983236620 print polykey;
#P newex 20 135 65 983236620 print notes;
#P newex 76 88 92 983236620 midiparse;
#P newex 76 50 43 983236620 midiin;
#P fasten 1 0 2 0 81 121 25 121;
#P connect 0 0 1 0;
#P fasten 1 1 3 0 94 121 94 121;
#P fasten 1 2 4 0 107 121 176 121;
#P fasten 1 3 5 0 120 121 265 121;
#P fasten 1 4 6 0 133 121 369 121;
#P fasten 1 5 7 0 146 121 447 121;
#P fasten 1 6 8 0 159 121 534 121;
#P pop;

As you hit a pad, you should see some messages show up in the Max window, preceded by labels. It’s usually pretty easy from there to figure out what info is coming in from the physical MIDI controller.

Hope that helps,
EH

#133916
Jul 7, 2008 at 2:14am

I’ve got it working.

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –
#133917
Dec 2, 2009 at 5:09am

Hey man, I tried your patch, but i am getting no effect.
I hooked a print up to the second output of notein and keep receiving number 127.
The electronic pads are home made, piezo triggers inside of practice pads.
Do you have any idea why they wouldn’t have any velocity?

thanks

#133918

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