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seamless integration of Alias 8 ?

edited December 2013 in Hardware

hi everyone using more than one MIDI controller.

I have been considering getting an Alias 8 as a supplement to my existing setup to use with Ableton, Traktor or Reason.
However, I would like to make sure it works well in my environment and doesn't clash with my other controllers when I customize it.

I have here the OhmRGB, Code2 and the APC

Relevant questions therefore are:

1) how STRAIGHT FORWARD is it to permanently customize its messages/mappings?
I have tried using the online editor for the Code but it remains in the limbus of 'fetching the controller settings' so nothing really happens and I can't use it. Editing the Alias' layout could prove crucial though because it's CC assignments will clash with the those of the other controllers. I have already customized my Code banks to send data on channels 1, 2, 3 & 5 while the Ohm sends on channels 1, 8, 9 & 10 to avoid conflicts between them. I have also remapped the Ohm's grid buttons which send notes between C2 and B2 on channel 8 to prevent identical notes to the APC's mapping. This all works fine, but will this work for the Alias too, with the use of an online editor only, which I cannot get to work with the Code at the moment? — Having said that, it is obvious that some mappings will overlap each other when the Alias provides 15 banks/channels, as for its 2x8 buttons are the same as the Ohm's first 16 and the Code's push encoders 1-15 it would be handy though, to map them to notes unused by the two other controllers. If none of this works, then I can effectively use banks 4, 6, 7 & 11-15 freely. When making custom assignments in Ableton, the program ignores the MIDI port, so it doesn't differentiate between the origin of the CC message sent, which is why it is somewhat important to have different mappings for the controllers.
Q again: how easy & straight forward is the customization of MIDI messages for the Alias 8? Will there be an offline hardware editor any time soon?

2a) are the Alias 8's CC/note assignments set globally for the Alias? or can they be different on different banks? If one were to change them while they are the same on every bank then Ableton scripts for the Alias would of course no longer work unless one edits the pythons — which I am afraid I cannot, yet.

2b) can LED-settings/layout, reactions to velocity values and momentary/toggle modes be saved separately for the different banks? Using Reason it is possible with LUA scripting, the Ohm for instance saves my colour settings I have made in the Ohm's Lua file.

3) are the banks of the Alias theoretically controllable from a different device? meaning, is it possible to switch directly to a bank by means of an external MIDI message? or is this function linked to its encoder only? I assume the preset selector doesn't support the Alias for there is no downloadable hardware editor that handles one's presets… that right?

okay, well this post turned out way bigger than I intended — sorry for being so detailed about things, but often discussion take ages because details have been left out initially… 

thanks very much in advance, I am sure this isn't just useful to my humble self.

Comments

    1. Yes editing the settings on the alias is super simple. You can use the online editor and download it as a zip if you want to use it offline http://wiki.lividinstruments.com/wiki/Online_Editor#source_.28offline.29

    2a They can be different on each bank. The only global setting is the Channel per bank.

    2b. Yes toggles can be set per button and bank http://wiki.lividinstruments.com/wiki/Online_Editor#Button_Inspector

    3. Not sure if Reason support sysex, I imagine it does, but you can do this with sysex http://wiki.lividinstruments.com/wiki/Alias8#26_:_Change_Current_Bank

  • hi Jay,

    thank you for the prompt reply!

    1) I have downloaded the editor, yet it isn't obvious to me how it can be opened or used. There is a file named 'how this works' and it's asking me to undertake technical steps I have never even heard of in order to run the editor. What's the trick here?

    2) good!

    3) I have no experience with sysex — how and where are these messages saved, inserted, performed, sent from?
    i.e. F0 00 01 61 0B 1A < BANK > * 1 F7 (Hex)
    I might have to learn about some basics first…

    ...3) is it possible then to store custom presets for the Alias? and perhaps use the preset selector with it after all?

    Thanks for guidance
  • let me try again:

    how exactly do I get the editor to work offline?  ??

    how do I implement the sysex messages? anywhere?

    does the preset selector work for the Alias 8?

    thanks!
  • Regarding the editor - what browser are you using? Strange that it is stuck in "fetch settings" mode. 

    Regarding #1 -  If you want to run it locally, it's easy. Just open the folder, find "index.html" and double click: http://wiki.lividinstruments.com/wiki/Online_Editor#Offline_Version
    I need to get rid of the "How This Works" document in that package - apologies for the confusion.
    Regarding #2, I think Jay misunderstood - it is not possible to have different settings in each bank. Each bank is differentiated only by channel. All banks have the same CC/note and toggle/momentary settings. However, the Alias8 always listens for changes to LED states on all banks, so the LEDs can be updated, even if the current bank is not loaded.
    Regarding changing banks programatically: you can use program change messages, sent on the settings channel (by default, channel 16). Program Change values 0-14 will change the active bank.
  • Regarding the editor - what browser are you using? Strange that it is stuck in "fetch settings" mode. 

    Regarding #1 -  If you want to run it locally, it's easy. Just open the folder, find "index.html" and double click: http://wiki.lividinstruments.com/wiki/Online_Editor#Offline_Version
    I need to get rid of the "How This Works" document in that package - apologies for the confusion.
    Regarding #2, I think Jay misunderstood - it is not possible to have different settings in each bank. Each bank is differentiated only by channel. All banks have the same CC/note and toggle/momentary settings. However, the Alias8 always listens for changes to LED states on all banks, so the LEDs can be updated, even if the current bank is not loaded.
    Regarding changing banks programatically: you can use program change messages, sent on the settings channel (by default, channel 16). Program Change values 0-14 will change the active bank.
  • hi Peter,

    I am using Safari, I've tried it once more yet the problem persist. Having said that, the actual names of the ports (i.e. 'Code' or 'Ohm') don't appear, so I don't know which '(Controls)' I am selecting.

    Opening the index.html file for the offline version ended up loading a blank screen for ages and I had to retype my very message here after Safari got stuck somewhere…

    regarding #2 — thought so! I had, however, chosen a different controller of yours by now anyway… ;)

    the changing of banks via program change messages was entirely new to me — but mega revealing! Playing an Ableton set now allows me to switch to the banks of my controller directly without having to cycle through! I know this info is part of the device's wiki's but I've come across users who would actually love to know about this feature! It works beautifully for the Code when setting up clips in Ableton:
    • MIDI output —> Code (Controls)
    • MIDI Ch. —> 16
    • Bank Ø, Sub Ø, Pgm —> 1/2/3/4 in individual clips

    assigning these clips' play buttons to buttons on the Ohm allows me to switch to the Code's Bank 3 directly, 4, 1, 2 and back to 4 if needed. Now that's brill!

    However, to achieve the same on the OhmRGB one must send the program change messages on Channel 1 as opposed to 16 I was to find out.

    Thank you guys…
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