A Guide to Multiple MIDI Devices (Mac OS with Midi Pipe)

live control with midi devices

A Guide to Multiple MIDI Devices (Mac OS with Midi Pipe)

Postby AmpdEntmt » 19 January 2016, 20:47

*Beware, this is a very lengthy and in depth post*

The following guide will allow you to merge midi signals from up to 16 devices into a single output for use with ShowXpress. This method supports led feedback for all 16 controllers, and did not have any noticeable delay or latency issues with 4 devices.

The setup I utilize consists of the ShowXpress software, Xpress 512 DMX interface, Novation Launchpad S, Novation Launch Control XL, USB 3.0 hub, Midi Pipe software, and an Apple MacBook Pro. This will work with any midi device, not only the Novation controllers I use in my setup. I have been using this system for the past few years and have never had any issues with it. Also please note that I am not affiliated with Midi Pipe in any way, it is simply the only program which worked for me, and I would like to share my findings.

1. Download and install the Midi Pipe software.

• Visit the Midi Pipe download website: http://midipipe.en.softonic.com/mac
• Click the “Free Download” button.
• Sign in with Facebook to download (I’m not a fan of this either, but you can delete it in your Facebook App settings once the download begins. I did not have a problem with spam/viruses.)
• Open the downloaded file and drag the Midi Pipe application to your applications folder.
• Open the program.

2. Connect your midi devices to the computer.

• Plug in up to 16 midi devices directly to your computer’s USB ports or through a USB hub.
• If the devices are not USB bus powered, ensure the power supply is plugged in and the device is switched on.

3. Configure Midi Pipe

a) Create a Virtual Midi Input and Output
• Under the ‘tools’ section on the left hand side (LHS) of the screen, click the ‘Midi In’ option.
• At the bottom of the screen, select the drop down menu under ‘MIDI Input’.
• Click the ‘Edit Virtual Inputs…’ option.
• In the popup, click the words ‘MidiPipe Input 1’ and hit your enter key to rename.
• Set the new name as ‘From showXpress’ and hit the enter key.

• At the top of the popup, now click on the ‘Virtual Outputs’ tab
• Click the words ‘MidiPipe Output 1’ and hit your enter key to rename.
• Set the new name as ‘To showXpress’ and hit the enter key.
• Press the ‘Done” button in the bottom of the popup window.

b) Create an Input ‘Pipe’ for each of your devices

• Under the ‘pipes’ section on the right hand side (RHS) of the screen, click the words ‘unnamed pipe’ and hit your enter key to rename.
• Set the new name as ‘_____ IN’ and hit the enter key. Letting _____ be your first midi device’s name. Example: Rename ‘unnamed pipe’ to ‘Launchpad IN’ (We will use this name for the remainder if the guide)
• Now, in this specific order, drag and drop the following items from the ‘tools’ list on the LHS of the screen to the white box under your ‘Launchpad IN’ pipe on the RHS of the screen.
• - Midi In
- Channel Router
- Channel Filter
- Midi out
• Click the ‘Midi In’ tool you just added to the RHS of the screen.
• At the bottom of the screen, select the drop down menu under ‘MIDI Input’.
• Find the name of your first midi device and select it. (In my case, I select ‘Novation Launchpad S’)
• Move on to the ‘Channel Router’ tool you added.
• For your first midi device you do not need to change any settings in this tool.
• Next, click the ‘Channel Filter’ tool.
• Since this is your first midi device, you will click the box numbered ‘1’ at the bottom of the screen so it is lighter than all of the others.
• Now, move on to the ‘Midi Out’ tool.
• From the drop down menu at the bottom of the screen, find the ‘To showXpress’ output you made earlier and select it.

You have now successfully routed your first midi device through the software. To add more devices, use the following procedure up to 16 times:

• At the very top left of your screen, click the word ‘Edit’
• In the drop down menu, select the ‘duplicate pipe’ option.
• Rename the duplicate ‘pipe’ appropriately for your second (or third, fourth, etc.) midi device. (In my case, I named it ‘LaunchControl IN’ for my second device.)
• In the ‘Midi In’ section, find your second (or third, fourth, etc.) device from the drop down menu and select it. (In my case, I select ‘Novation LaunchControl XL’)
• In the ‘Channel Router’ section, at the bottom of the screen you will see the words ‘Channel 1 to’ and a drop down menu next to it. By default, it says ‘1’ in the drop down menu. Change the number from the drop down menu to ‘2’ for your second device (or ‘3’ for your third device, ‘4’ for your fourth device, etc.). Do not change any of the other routings in this tool.
• In the ‘Channel Filter’ section, deselect the previously highlighted box ‘1’, and select the box that says ‘2’ for your second device (or ‘3’ for your third device, ‘4’ for your fourth device, etc.) You can only have one box highlighted at a time.
Do not change any settings in the ‘Midi Out’ section.

c) Create an Output ‘Pipe’ for each of your devices (ONLY if you require LED feedback!)

• At the very top left of your screen, click the word ‘Edit’
• In the drop down menu, select the ‘add pipe’ option.
• Under the ‘pipes’ section on the right hand side (RHS) of the screen, click the words ‘unnamed pipe’ and hit your enter key to rename.
• Set the new name as ‘_____ OUT’ and hit the enter key. Letting _____ be your first midi device’s name. Example: Rename ‘unnamed pipe’ to ‘Launchpad OUT’ (We will use this name for the remainder if the guide)
• Now, in this specific order, drag and drop the following items from the ‘tools’ list on the LHS of the screen to the white box under your ‘Launchpad OUT’ pipe on the RHS of the screen.
• - Midi In
- Channel Router
- Channel Filter
- Midi out
• Click the ‘Midi In’ tool you just added to the RHS of the screen.
• From the drop down menu at the bottom of the screen, find the ‘From showXpress’ input and select it.
• Move on to the ‘Channel Router’ tool.
• For your first midi device you do not need to change any settings in this tool.
• Next, click the ‘Channel Filter’ tool.
• Click the box numbered ‘1’ at the bottom of the screen so it is lighter than all of the others.
• Now, move on to the ‘Midi Out’ tool.
• At the bottom of the screen, select the drop down menu under ‘MIDI Output’.
• Find the name of your first midi device and select it. (In my case, I select ‘Novation Launchpad S’)

You have now routed a signal from showXpress through Midi Pipe and back to your first device for LED feedback. To add feedback for more devices, use the following procedure up to 16 times:

• At the very top left of your screen, click the word ‘Edit’
• In the drop down menu, select the ‘duplicate pipe’ option.
• Rename the duplicate ‘pipe’ appropriately for your second (or third, fourth, etc.) midi device. (In my case, I named it ‘LaunchControl OUT’ for my second device.)
• In the ‘Midi In’ section, do not change any settings.
• In the ‘Channel Router’ section, follow these instructions for your second midi device. At the bottom of the screen you will see the words ‘Channel 2 to’ and a drop down menu next to it. By default, it says ‘2’ in the drop down menu, change this number from the drop down menu to ‘1’. It should now say ‘Channel 2 to 1’. (For subsequent devices, the process is very similar. For the third device, change the drop box next to the words ‘Channel 3 to’ to the number ‘1’ so it reads ‘Channel 3 to 1’, and for your fourth device change the drop box next to the words ‘Channel 4 to’ to the number ‘1’ so it reads ‘Channel 4 to 1’, etc. Only one channel (from 2-16) at a time to be routed back to channel 1, All others should say ‘Channel 2 to 2’, ‘Channel 3 to 3’, ‘Channel 5 to 5’, etc. I hope this makes sense.)
• Next, in the ‘Channel Filter’ tool, ensure the previously highlighted box ‘1’ is still selected. You do not need to change any settings.
• In the ‘Midi Out’ section, find your second (or third, fourth, etc.) device from the drop down menu and select it. (In my case, I select ‘Novation LaunchControl XL’)

d) Save your Midi Pipe Configuration

• Save your Midi Pipe configuration with an appropriate name and in a place you will easily remember.
• Minimize Midi Pipe and allow it to run in the background to merge your midi signals.

4. Setup your Midi Input/Outputs in showXpress

• Open showXpress and open the preferences window.
• In the ‘Main’ tab, select the checkbox next to the words ‘MIDI In enable’.
• In the drop down menu to the right, select ‘To showXpress’
• Next, select the checkbox next to the words ‘MIDI Out enable’.
• Now, select ‘From showXpress’ in the second drop down menu to the right.
• Click ‘Apply’ at the bottom of the window.
• Restart showXpress.
• Program your midi button triggers as normal, now with up to 16 devices!

5. Final Notes

• Midi Pipe must be opened and have your saved configuration running before showXpress is started.
• Midi Pipe must remain running in the background while you are using the midi controllers.

I hope this can help someone out! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a reply or message me.
If you believe you have found an error, please let me know so I can amend it.

Matthew Wheeler
Amp'd Entertainment
AmpdEntmt
 
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Re: A Guide to Multiple MIDI Devices (Mac OS with Midi Pipe)

Postby support » 20 January 2016, 10:19

Thank you for this report.
The Lighting Controller
support
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Re: A Guide to Multiple MIDI Devices (Mac OS with Midi Pipe)

Postby jjurisch » 25 February 2016, 03:05

Awesome - thanks for sharing! this solved my problem of multiple devices showing up in ShowXpress with the same port name as well... which I think was confusing it. Sucks that we have to have yet another app running in the dock, but I can get over that.
jjurisch
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 25 February 2016, 03:02


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