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Subject: Re: [motm] MIDI sucks (get your attention?)

From: improv@...
Date: 2000-08-11

>In a message dated 8/10/00 9:53:06 PM, elhardt@... writes:
><< I still have a possible future interest in the Kurzweil, so can anybody
>confirm that it can actually pitch bend without glissando? >>
>Yes, I bought a Kurzweil Expressionmate, then sold it a month later. Here's
>the facts about MIDI, folks (and why I don't use it to control analog
>synths): MIDI only outputs NOTE information, not continuous pitch
>information. The Kurzweil Expressionmate can output not information as you
>slide your finger along the ribbon, but it comes out as a glissando. That
>is, individual "key" notes are played. Yes, you can program it for different
>scales, and you can even use part of the ribbon to play notes and another
>part of it for pitch bend. But any MIDI controller like this, including the
>Tactex, will still only play notes, not a everything in between the notes.
>This is the reason that the Big Briar MIDI theremin and the Rosedene theremin
>MIDI converter ( are so expensive.
> They are using MIDI note, pitch bend, and portamento to SIMULATE a real
>continuous controller. To quote the Rosedene info, "The pitch bend
>controller (1-48 semitones definable) is used in conjunction with RPN (54H)
>portamento control to follow the pitch of the Theremin."
Thanks for the info, I've been looking for a more subjective opinion on the
Expression Mate. All the reviews I've read have raved, but didn't really
answer the questions I had about the unit. Of course, there isn't one to
try in my area!

>This is why, in my not so humble opinion, I think that MIDI sucks.

Yeah, Absolutely! I want to keep MIDI as far away from my modular as
possible! It's fine for note-on stuff, and syncing my MAQ to Llogic is
pretty magical, but when it comes to controllers, I want smooth CV's
DAMMIT! And aren't CV's electronically easier to design?

It really
>pisses me off that I can't play continuous pitches on my SidStation, for
>example. I'm contemplating buying a Rosedene unit, but it is a lot of money
>for a specialized piece of equipment (I believe around $600+). It is also
>why I don't think that MIDI has much of a place with analog synths.

I have the same problem with the Nord Modular, because it depends on MIDI
for control.

A whole
>facet to the beauty of analog synths is that they are continuously variable
>instruments. I do use MIDI for its sequencing capabilities but I look
>forward to having a MIDI-syncable analog sequencer (DoMOAS/MOAS).
>Ok, I would guess that I've irritated enough people for one night... back to
>your regularly scheduled programming.

Naw, I totally agree with you, and I bet most of us here do as well!

Dave Trenkel : improv@...
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