MIDI music recording on Qu mixers?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of [XAP]Bob [XAP]Bob 3 years ago.

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  • #62679
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    I am a Qu-Pac owner since mid-January, now with several positive experiences using the Qu-Pac for live group performances and for home recording. The mixer is highly reliable in the stand-alone mixer setting. I do have some grumbles about my iPad workflow, since most of my iOS audio apps (JamUp Pro, Bias FX, Magellan, Animoog, Loopy HD, etc.) don’t appear to handle 48 kHz audio well. Most want audio down-sampled to 44.1 kHz. Animoog offers a 48 kHz setting, but even so it doesn’t seem to play well (yet) with my iOS DAW. This 48/44.1 issue is not an Allen & Heath problem, per se, but it is something A&H customers should be aware of.

    Background info: I have been post-processing our youth strings group’s recordings on my iPad Air2 in Auria Pro v2.10, loading AIFF files manually from my Sandisk Extreme 64 GB flash stick via Mac iTunes. I bought Cubasis 2.1 yesterday, because it appears to support the new Audiobus 3 framework better than Auria Pro. I am still early in the learning process for Cubasis and Audiobus 3, though I’ve been an Audiobus owner since v 1.0. Cubasis seems reasonably intuitive. It appears to lack my favorite Auria Pro feature – Time Warp. I am not sure about the relative plugin quality for Cubasis vs. Auria Pro, nor the challenges of working with 48 kHz audio in Cubasis. I prefer not to lug around a Mac or PC to rehearsals and concerts. The iPad promises to be a convenient and affordable alternative small studio for my Qu-Pac, with some downsides.

    My question regards MIDI recording. Is there any way to record our keyboardist’s Yamaha USB MIDI data to the Sandisk Extreme flash stick as one of the QuDrive’s channels, while the strings musicians record their analogue tracks? The user’s guide isn’t helpful on this subject. I could not locate info about MIDI recording on Qu series here in the forums.

    Two work-arounds I’ve thought about include: (1) Use an iPad or iPhone to record the keyboard’s MIDI data, then try to load audio files from the Sandisk Extreme stick the way I have been doing previously and hope the data lines up correctly in my iOS DAW. (2) Use Cubasis or Auria Pro to do all of the recording (analogue channels plus MIDI) directly via USB-B without the USB stick. The downside to option #2 is almost certainly going to be reduced reliability if the iPad goes to sleep or if the DAW crashes / freezes. This would be very bad in a live performance setting and frustrating in the home studio. I am unsure how to even get MIDI data flowing from the keyboard to the iPad at the same time Qu-Pac USB data is flowing to the iPad. I think I may be stuck with option #1, though I haven’t totally given up on #2.

    Direct recording of analogue strings audio + keyboard MIDI data to the Sandisk Extreme via QuDrive would be our preferred option, but so far I haven’t gotten it to work. MIDI appears only to be useful for DAW control, not as a recordable data stream. I’ve read pages 78-79 of the Qu Mixer Reference Guide too many times and setting channels to USB-B Streaming doesn’t seem to work as I hoped.

    Thanks to anyone who can help this MIDI novice and A&H beginner sort out my workflow.

    #62681
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    QU drive records 24 bit, 48khz wav files only. If you want to record midi notes you are going to need to use a DAW.

    #62683
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    It is as I suspected.

    I will try using a powered USB hub to see if I can get USB data flowing in a “Y” from the Qu-Pac and the keyboard to my iPad using one of the DAWs (Cubasis or Auria Pro). My powered USB hub was a bit squirrely yesterday but perhaps some software settings weren’t correct.

    I will miss being able to sit at the bar and drink beer while running the show. Assuming I can get iPad DAW recording to work my bar-sitting days will be over. I may actually have to say hello to teenage musicians. Ugh!

    #62684
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    Do you have any reason to record the keyboard as midi data? Do you plan on running it through other software instruments in post?

    #62685
    Profile photo of xyz
    xyz
    Participant

    I have seen what you are asking for recording audio and midi into a daw
    and even overdubbing the midi as well.
    That was using a PC with win 7
    They were using Reaper and a ZED16 with Korg M1

    However you should be able to do the same with the QU system?
    Audio through the QU and midi directly in through either roland midi to USB interface. Midi not through the QU but both inputs into the Reaper software.?
    The midi audio was monitored back through the Mixer
    If you get the Auria Pro working in your iPad please let us know!
    However the iPad only has the Lightning connection and using the camera kit you only have one USB input on the iPad so I dont know how you would get QU audio and midi data in at the same time?
    Maybe one of the mulitmedia IK have some devices that might mix both into an iPad?
    Research Research research. all just takes time!

    Hope a skerrick of this helps?

    #62686
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    To Dave – the goal is to give our keyboardist more options with his sound, such as letting him play Moog synth with his right hand and xylophone with his left, on the same KB, in real time or in post-processing. Maximize the possibilities!

    I’ve used the camera connection kit for years with keyboards, guitars, violins, cellos, etc. Now working on adding the Qu-Pac as an input source to Auria Pro and Cubasis. It seems the main challenge is controlling and organizing data flow. iOS apps are truly approaching desktop DAW capabilities, but with better portability, lower cost, and complete silence.

    XYZ – If I can’t get MIDI and analogue audio networked into my iPad via my powered USB hub, the next approach is MIDI over Bluetooth… though I hate dealing with Bluetooth unreliability. Yamaha UD-BT01 is one of several devices that could get it done, along with a $5 iOS app named Apollo MIDI Controller. Devil-in-the-Details stuff.

    #62687
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    It appears Bluetooth MIDI may have been integrated into iOS, obviating the need for a $5 app. Much to learn.

    #62693
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    My suggestion is to run everything into a full fledged DAW, on a computer. You will be able to do everything you are asking relatively easy, while maintaining the iPad strictly for mix control. If you’re doing qu drive recordings, but also planning to sync that up with midi stuff you recorded on your ipad, seems like it would be a whole lot easier just to record everything together at once.

    #62699
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    You are probably right about a fully fledged computer DAW. Sadly the kids lack the $$$ it would take to replace all our iPad software with PC versions and also to purchase a laptop computer. It might add up to $3000 or more… definitely not an option. We will keep experimenting with iOS solutions at a tiny fraction of the Fully Fledged DAW cost. With Cubasis, it appears easy to transition projects over to Mac or PC Cubase Artist if needed.

    I am optimistic about Bluetooth MIDI into my iPad. It seems to work well for most people with newer iPads. Latency is said to be negligible for most users. Although iOS includes CoreMIDI since version 7-8, a free app (either one of the Yamaha apps, such as Digital Piano Controller, or a free third party app named MidiMittr) is recommended to initiate the Bluetooth-dongle-to-iOS linkage. The BT MIDI search feature is buried in Yamaha Digital Piano Controller’s Information menu. This iPhone app runs perfectly well on my iPad, though I don’t have the Yamaha UD-BT01 to test it yet.

    A $55 solution always trumps a $3000 solution if end results are the same – just my opinion. It leaves more $$$ for beer.

    #62702
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    Having spent a couple hours reading this Forums section in recent days….

    Qu DAW integration

    … not all is sugar and cream with Qu-to-desktop-DAW integration. Audio distortion issues come foremost to mind.

    I expect my exploration of Bluetooth MIDI and Qu-to-iPad-DAW may have broad appeal if I can work out the kinks. Fortunately, I have a 128 GB iPad Air2, so filling my iPad’s flash memory isn’t such a big deal as it might be for others with 16-64 GB iPads. External memory expansion sticks for iOS is a thorny subject, though Auria Pro claims to support it. I don’t see any mention of support for external memory expanders in the Cubasis guide. Maybe a Cubasis expert knows how to do it.

    #62710
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    The daw integration part of the forum is for DAW control via midi. As in using the qu-faders on the custom layer to control faders in your daw. Nothing to do with actual audio being passed through and actually i dont think it would apply to a qu-pac at all. I would imagine anyone on here recording midi data is doing it with something other than a qu, as the qu is not a midi interface per se, but it can receive and transmit midi signals.

    #62713
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    I just ordered a Yamaha UD-BT01 off eBay for $35.50. I should have some BT-over-MIDI results by the end of next week.

    Because of the Qu’s solid reliability, I may continue using Qu-Drive for analogue audio recording, and my iPad for MIDI recording wirelessly into Cubasis or Auria Pro. MIDI data should put minimal burden on my iPad, which can also run Qu-Pad or Qu-You simultaneously. I can later import AIFF files into my DAW and align analogue tracks with the MIDI track in post-processing. Hopefully track clocks will match well enough to avoid time warping within a song. This approach is only slightly more complicated than what I described in my top post… workable at least in theory.

    Assuming the UD-TB01 functions reliably at 50 feet, I can still drink at the bar while recording the KB MIDI and running Front of House, all from one iPad! If it works as I hope, this will be a fair use of $35.50 (plus the bar tab and tipping).

    #62716
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    If one of your analogue tracks is the keyboard output then you ought to be able to do a continuous alignment of the MIDI data…

    #62732
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    Bob, thank you. What is a “Continuous alignment of the MIDI data?” Is that a DAW feature, a Qu feature, or some sort of post-process technique? A web search only came up with this article discussing computational analysis of melody contours but it doesn’t seem exactly relevant:

    http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~mohan/papers/slope_ret.pdf

    #62744
    Profile photo of Loose Strings
    Loose Strings
    Participant

    Reading Audiobus Forums this morning, it seems AB3 breaks Bluetooth MIDI. The problem is reportedly scheduled for a maintenance update along with an Audiobus Remote fix. Over 900 iOS music apps have to be supported by AB3 along with evolving CoreMIDI and CoreAudio standards. Keeping everything running smoothly together is a Herculean task for the developers.

    Bottom line for thread readers: Bluetooth MIDI may be crippled in iOS for a while.

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