M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Marc Bro » Mon, 10 Mar 2003 15:44:23



I think I've decided that this may be the keyboard controller for me.
I just want to be 100% certain about some things before I start finding
a reseller.  Chief among those is my concern over the knobs and sliders.
This may be a dumb question, but I've been told it's a good idea to make
certain before plunking down cash.  I just need to know if the 8 knobs
and 8 sliders on the M-Audio Radium transmit "MIDI continuous controller"
messages.

I'd also love to hear from anyone who's actually used the keyboard, even
if it was only in the local audio shop.  There's absolutely zero chance
I'll find one locally, so I don't have a better way to determine its
overall quality.

Thanks in advance!

Marc Brown

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Paul War » Mon, 10 Mar 2003 18:54:44


You seemed to have dropped your sights considerably!!

There would be no point putting sliders on a dumb MIDI keyboard if they
didn't transmit MIDI controller messages.

I really do think you should do more homework and understand your subject
more before leaping in with cash in your hand. You were very specific about
the quality and ability of gear you were specifying and this keyboard and
copy of Reason just don't seem to tie up with your aspirations.

Still, I wish you luck with it.

P.


Quote:> I think I've decided that this may be the keyboard controller for me.
> I just want to be 100% certain about some things before I start finding
> a reseller.  Chief among those is my concern over the knobs and sliders.
> This may be a dumb question, but I've been told it's a good idea to make
> certain before plunking down cash.  I just need to know if the 8 knobs
> and 8 sliders on the M-Audio Radium transmit "MIDI continuous controller"
> messages.

> I'd also love to hear from anyone who's actually used the keyboard, even
> if it was only in the local audio shop.  There's absolutely zero chance
> I'll find one locally, so I don't have a better way to determine its
> overall quality.

> Thanks in advance!

> Marc Brown


 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Laurence Payn » Mon, 10 Mar 2003 19:47:18


Quote:>I think I've decided that this may be the keyboard controller for me.
>I just want to be 100% certain about some things before I start finding
>a reseller.  Chief among those is my concern over the knobs and sliders.
>This may be a dumb question, but I've been told it's a good idea to make
>certain before plunking down cash.  I just need to know if the 8 knobs
>and 8 sliders on the M-Audio Radium transmit "MIDI continuous controller"
>messages.

Yes, they do.

Quote:>I'd also love to hear from anyone who's actually used the keyboard, even
>if it was only in the local audio shop.  There's absolutely zero chance
>I'll find one locally, so I don't have a better way to determine its
>overall quality.

Read about it at:
http://www.midiman.net/

It's a far cry from the 88 keys you were so keen on yesterday!

It'll do for someone who isn't primarily a keyboard player.  The feel
isn't wonderful.
My CubaseFAQ page www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by JBSeattl » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 00:33:08


Yes they do.
The board is specifically designed to work in systems using softsynth
DXi/VST technology and zero or nearly zero latency.  If you are not there
with your PC or Mac, this controller is a waste of money for you.
JB

Quote:> I think I've decided that this may be the keyboard controller for me.
> I just want to be 100% certain about some things before I start finding
> a reseller.  Chief among those is my concern over the knobs and sliders.
> This may be a dumb question, but I've been told it's a good idea to make
> certain before plunking down cash.  I just need to know if the 8 knobs
> and 8 sliders on the M-Audio Radium transmit "MIDI continuous controller"
> messages.

> I'd also love to hear from anyone who's actually used the keyboard, even
> if it was only in the local audio shop.  There's absolutely zero chance
> I'll find one locally, so I don't have a better way to determine its
> overall quality.

> Thanks in advance!

> Marc Brown

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by JBSeattl » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 00:37:56


In addition, I don/t like sending CC's by slider or knob much.  Like someone
once said, anyone can play the notes, it is the pauses in between that is
art.
A controller really just gets the notes in, what you do after that is what
makes the difference which is why I still prefer the Roland Sound Canvases
with the 64 insertion effects.
Of course, the nitwits at Roland are changing that-boggles the mind.
JB

Quote:> I think I've decided that this may be the keyboard controller for me.
> I just want to be 100% certain about some things before I start finding
> a reseller.  Chief among those is my concern over the knobs and sliders.
> This may be a dumb question, but I've been told it's a good idea to make
> certain before plunking down cash.  I just need to know if the 8 knobs
> and 8 sliders on the M-Audio Radium transmit "MIDI continuous controller"
> messages.

> I'd also love to hear from anyone who's actually used the keyboard, even
> if it was only in the local audio shop.  There's absolutely zero chance
> I'll find one locally, so I don't have a better way to determine its
> overall quality.

> Thanks in advance!

> Marc Brown

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Marc Bro » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 04:17:20



> Yes, they do.

> >I'd also love to hear from anyone who's actually used the keyboard, even
> >if it was only in the local audio shop.  There's absolutely zero chance
> >I'll find one locally, so I don't have a better way to determine its
> >overall quality.

> Read about it at:
> http://www.midiman.net/

> It's a far cry from the 88 keys you were so keen on yesterday!

Yep.  And it's not because I suddenly decided I couldn't use 88 keys. :)
Like I said, price would factor significantly.  On one side of the
spectrum we've got the Radium 61 at $240ish, and on the other side...
Basically, the first keyboard controllers with knobs and sliders that start
having 76+ keys are full-blown synths with a billion things and a $1200+
pricetag.  As a matter of fact, the Radium 61 is the only controller I've
found AT ALL which has knobs, sliders and wheels.  The rest are synths.

Quote:> It'll do for someone who isn't primarily a keyboard player.  The feel
> isn't wonderful.

Thanks for all the great help.


> You seemed to have dropped your sights considerably!!

Shrug, not really.  Did I ever indicate that I was hunting for anything
other than the most minimal approach possible?

Quote:> There would be no point putting sliders on a dumb MIDI keyboard if they
> didn't transmit MIDI controller messages.

I think "continuous" was the key qualifier I was trying to determine.  I
read two different FAQs which recommended ensuring that the messages from
knobs and faders were "continuous" before buying, as, according to said
FAQs, some controllers / synths can't do it.

Quote:> I really do think you should do more homework and understand your subject
> more before leaping in with cash in your hand.

I've seen a couple of people saying this.  It's like reading a hotkey.
Maybe it would save some time if I were to point out that I'm here asking
questions rather than spending cash.  It's been pretty good homework so far.

On second thought, if you're saying I should have been able to find out
the continuous / non-continuous status of the Radium 61 keyboard through
means other than asking forums, I can only submit in my defense that the
spec sheets are not specific on this point, plus I got an answer from
Usenet faster than I did from Midiman (no reply so far), and this is,
frankly, not surprising.

Quote:> You were very specific about
> the quality and ability of gear you were specifying and this keyboard and
> copy of Reason just don't seem to tie up with your aspirations.

Well, again, if I ever said I was after a $3000 synth and the latest Pro
Tools, it must have been my evil twin. :)  No indeed, I'm pretty sure
what I actually said was closer to "I hope I can get pretty much everything
running from the PC" (paraphrase).
 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Marc Bro » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 05:22:24


Well, crap.

I just read that this keyboard does not retain the midi parameter
assignments for its knobs and sliders.  Is this true?  Sort of ruins the
whole point behind having them, doesn't it?  Sigh.  I hope I am totally
mistaken.  I think I'm just about out of options now.

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Paul War » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 05:58:27


Most decent software should let you map the conrtollers, so there's no need
to store the settings in the keyboard itself - in fact that would be
counter-productive, because it wouldn't get saved with your song. Reason is
one such piece of software - but you are going to be hard pushed to make
heavy use of Reason with so few controllers.

P.


Quote:> Well, crap.

> I just read that this keyboard does not retain the midi parameter
> assignments for its knobs and sliders.  Is this true?  Sort of ruins the
> whole point behind having them, doesn't it?  Sigh.  I hope I am totally
> mistaken.  I think I'm just about out of options now.

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Laurence Payn » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 08:32:15


Quote:>Well, crap.

>I just read that this keyboard does not retain the midi parameter
>assignments for its knobs and sliders.  Is this true?  Sort of ruins the
>whole point behind having them, doesn't it?  Sigh.  I hope I am totally
>mistaken.  I think I'm just about out of options now.

So the keyboard sends default controllers?  Probably the ones you
need.  But if they aren't, any competent sequencer will let you map
them.

What continuous controllers do you feel you need?   While
live-inputting, you'll have a job to cope with more than keyboard
velocity, maybe keyboard after-touch (though it's usually a nuisance
and best turned off), pitch bend and modulation.  If you want to input
any other controllers afterwards, you can either assign them to
something or draw them in the sequencer.

Purely synthesised sounds may benefit from lots of controllers.
Sample-based sources less so.
My CubaseFAQ page www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Jeffery S. Jone » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 11:37:39


On Sun, 09 Mar 2003 23:32:15 +0000, Laurence Payne


>>Well, crap.

>>I just read that this keyboard does not retain the midi parameter
>>assignments for its knobs and sliders.  Is this true?  Sort of ruins the
>>whole point behind having them, doesn't it?  Sigh.  I hope I am totally
>>mistaken.  I think I'm just about out of options now.

>So the keyboard sends default controllers?  Probably the ones you
>need.  But if they aren't, any competent sequencer will let you map
>them.

  If by retain, you mean you can assign default values for the
controllers, it looks to me like it can do that.  You just save them
in a user preset.

  The power-on defaults are fixed, it looks like, but you simply need
to load whatever preset you want to use.  It looks to me like it has
presets for some Reason synths, among others.

Quote:>What continuous controllers do you feel you need?   While
>live-inputting, you'll have a job to cope with more than keyboard
>velocity, maybe keyboard after-touch (though it's usually a nuisance
>and best turned off), pitch bend and modulation.  If you want to input
>any other controllers afterwards, you can either assign them to
>something or draw them in the sequencer.

  Actually, this is a matter of technique.  Playing lead parts for
synths, including acoustic instrument sounds, really can benefit from
tweaking the expressive controllers as you play live.  Radium doesn't
have aftertouch, but then, most lower cost keyboards do not.

  But this is a bit much to learn in one go.  Where all those sliders
and knobs *can* really come into their own is when using a synth with
a lot of sonic controllers.  Any analog (or analog modeller), Native
Instrument's B4 Hammond simulator, any acoustic modeller, etc.

  If you can't handle adjusting all those things in real time, then
the knobs and controllers aren't quite so necessary.  Still, it can be
nice to have them all in hardware, for those unused to using a mouse
and menus to get at the synth/mixer controllers.  Some people honestly
like the hands-on feel, even if it isn't necessary to work the system.

  Some sorts of instruments really need more than just pitch bend and
modulation handy.  A good violin solo, for example, needs modulation
to drive the vibrato, but it would be nice to adust the envelope for
slow attack and pizzicato, to adjust the filter for bow pressure
changes, change the vibrato rate, etc.  Something like an electric
guitar needs controllers for all the effects units applied to the
sound.

  And of course, any lead electronic synth sound definitely needs all
of the controllers used to give it the right sound -- like real
keyboard players use.

Quote:>Purely synthesised sounds may benefit from lots of controllers.
>Sample-based sources less so.
>My CubaseFAQ page www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm

--
*-__Jeffery Jones__________|  *Starfire*   |____________________-*
** Muskego WI Access Channel 14/25 <http://www.execpc.com/~jeffsj/mach7/>
*Starfire Design Studio* <http://www.starfiredesign.com/>
*Graphic Reflections and Websites* <http://www.execpc.com/~jeffsj/>
 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Marc Bro » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 17:06:05



Quote:

> Playing lead parts for
> synths, including acoustic instrument sounds, really can benefit from
> tweaking the expressive controllers as you play live.

Absolutely.  In fact, having only eight sliders may prove to be somewhat
limiting, based on the few softsynths I've played around with.

Quote:> Radium doesn't
> have aftertouch, but then, most lower cost keyboards do not.

According to what I've read, it does have aftertouch.  Here's a German
spec page:

http://www.midiman.de/radium.htm

Quote:> Still, it can be
> nice to have them all in hardware, for those unused to using a mouse
> and menus to get at the synth/mixer controllers.

I don't even want to think about trying to adjust eight or more synth
modifiers with just a mouse.  How would that work.. Do 'em one at a time
until they're all covered?  I'd end up sacrificing detail in exchange for
some big time savings, heh.

I do suddenly wonder about the resolution of the knobs and sliders on the
Radium.

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Blix » Tue, 11 Mar 2003 23:22:20




Quote:

> > Yes, they do.

> > >I'd also love to hear from anyone who's actually used the keyboard,
even
> > >if it was only in the local audio shop.  There's absolutely zero chance
> > >I'll find one locally, so I don't have a better way to determine its
> > >overall quality.

> > Read about it at:
> > http://www.midiman.net/

> > It's a far cry from the 88 keys you were so keen on yesterday!

> Yep.  And it's not because I suddenly decided I couldn't use 88 keys. :)
> Like I said, price would factor significantly.  On one side of the
> spectrum we've got the Radium 61 at $240ish, and on the other side...
> Basically, the first keyboard controllers with knobs and sliders that
start
> having 76+ keys are full-blown synths with a billion things and a $1200+
> pricetag.  As a matter of fact, the Radium 61 is the only controller I've
> found AT ALL which has knobs, sliders and wheels.  The rest are synths.

Wrong. Roland/Edirol has a new one, and there are more lurking in the
sheds...

If you can live with knobs only, check out the keyboards and controllers
from www.evolution.co.uk

Maybe a combination plain keyboard with great touch and a knob/slider
controller will do? Like a Roland A-33/A-37 and a UC-16 or a UC-33?

Best,

Blix

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Paul War » Wed, 12 Mar 2003 01:41:14


Quote:> I do suddenly wonder about the resolution of the knobs and sliders on the
> Radium.

MIDI itself only has a maximum resolution of 128 values. If the slider can
generate those you've got it covered.

P.

 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Jeffery S. Jone » Wed, 12 Mar 2003 02:03:09




>> Playing lead parts for
>> synths, including acoustic instrument sounds, really can benefit from
>> tweaking the expressive controllers as you play live.

>Absolutely.  In fact, having only eight sliders may prove to be somewhat
>limiting, based on the few softsynths I've played around with.

  You have the knobs.  And you only need parameter controls for things
which you'll adjust as part of the performance.  Others can be
configured using the program interface.

Quote:>> Radium doesn't
>> have aftertouch, but then, most lower cost keyboards do not.

>According to what I've read, it does have aftertouch.  Here's a German
>spec page:

>http://www.midiman.de/radium.htm

  No, it isn't quite the same thing.  You can make the sliders or
knobs transmit channel aftertouch as a controller, but you can't
actually do so directly from the keyboard itself.  Aftertouch on a
slider is the right signal, but the inability to make it happen by
keyboard control cuts into its performance utility.  It becomes just
another slider/knob controller then.

  Also, it won't do polyphonic (per note) aftertouch at all.  Still,
you need a synth which responds to aftertouch in order to do this.

  Aftertouch as a keyboard feature is cool, but it is one of those
options best disabled (or skipped) if you aren't going to use it.  The
keyboard will send out continuous aftertouch messages as the key
pressure changes.  But being able to do a vibrato-modulation with just
your key finger pressure is nice, and fading off a chord by slowly
releasing it is also rather cool.

  But it really is more of a performance tool than an editing tool.
You can do the same sort of things non-realtime easily using sliders.

Quote:>> Still, it can be
>> nice to have them all in hardware, for those unused to using a mouse
>> and menus to get at the synth/mixer controllers.

>I don't even want to think about trying to adjust eight or more synth
>modifiers with just a mouse.  How would that work.. Do 'em one at a time
>until they're all covered?  I'd end up sacrificing detail in exchange for
>some big time savings, heh.

  Yes, you do that.  The interface screen has piles of virtual sliders
and knobs, and you twist them one at a time.  You can't actually, in
general, handle more than two knobs/sliders at once anyway for most
synths.  Having them all at hand for performances help.

  For editing, the mouse is just fine.  You adjust one parameter, see
how it sounds, then do another, until you get the sound you want.
Thereafter, if you want to change things in a performance you pick
which controllers need real time changes, and assign them someplace.

  Many keyboards have one or two assignable controllers, and you can
do a lot within that limitation.  More are nice, but not always
necessary, especially for non-realtime recording.  You can always
layer additional controllers on after doing a track, rather than
trying to play with them all at once.

  Learning how to drive all those knobs and sliders is a skill, just
like playing the keyboard itself.  

Quote:>I do suddenly wonder about the resolution of the knobs and sliders on the
>Radium.

  Should be standard MIDI, one byte resolution (0-127), as all
continuous controllers are.
--
*-__Jeffery Jones__________|  *Starfire*   |____________________-*
** Muskego WI Access Channel 14/25 <http://www.execpc.com/~jeffsj/mach7/>
*Starfire Design Studio* <http://www.starfiredesign.com/>
*Graphic Reflections and Websites* <http://www.execpc.com/~jeffsj/>
 
 
 

M-Audio Radium keyboard : MIDI continuous controller messages?

Post by Marc Bro » Wed, 12 Mar 2003 13:12:19




> >According to what I've read, it does have aftertouch.

>   No, it isn't quite the same thing.  You can make the sliders or
> knobs transmit channel aftertouch as a controller, but you can't
> actually do so directly from the keyboard itself.

Okay, hmm.  I guess I need to read between the lines a little better.
Aftertouch, if I understand its function correctly (effectively turns all
the keys into analog keys of a certain resolution?), is something I will
absolutely not be able to do without.  This was another prospective model:

http://www.edirol.com/products/info/pcr50.html

I discounted it because of the total absence of pitch / mod wheels, and I
don't see "aftertouch" mentioned anywhere.  I have simply not been able to
find any keyboard controllers, besides these two, that come even close to
fulfilling my various needs, without them being actual synths with a $1000+
pricetag.  If you know of any models I might have missed, please enlighten
me. :)

(To recap, the biggies are: knobs (4+), sliders (8+), velocity sensitivity,
aftertouch.. I'm willing to sacrifice the pitch / mod wheels as long as
they can be assigned to knobs or sliders.  I don't need any synth
capabilities, of course.  Not too picky anymore on keys, though 49+ would
be nice.)

Quote:> Aftertouch on a
> slider is the right signal, but the inability to make it happen by
> keyboard control cuts into its performance utility.  It becomes just
> another slider/knob controller then.

Yeah.  That would be of little use to me.  Crud.
 
 
 

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