Please help me figure out how integrate E1 into my setup

I’m on a mac and am mainly looking to edit my hardware synths here at the studio.

This is what my setup looks like.

I’m using Reason as my DAW.

So far I can only make it communicate with both my master keyboard and the synth I’m currently editing when I directly connect one of its MIDI out/in pairs (MIDI 1) to the synth that I’m editing. Then I set the MIDI port of the Reason MIDI out device to the Electra One Electra Port 1 and select the track (which makes it connected / active with my master keyboard) then I can have both my master keyboard and the E1 control the synth in question.

That is of course a work around and not really feasible in the long run. Ideally I would like the setup to be that I don’t need to replug anything, but can just select the device I want to edit and play in Reason. What am I missing or doing wrong?

Any hints?

Thank you!

Nice equipment you have there !

Questions: do you plan always to activate the pc with the daw when making music? If yes, that makes things a lot simpler.

The screenshot provides a logical set up, can you provide an overview of the physical cabling as well, or does this (from a midi perspective) correspond well with the physical cabling? In other words the current set up uses almost exclusively din-midi, not usb midi?

Next, the Expresses 128, can you give a bit more detail? Brand? Model? Manual? How are they connected to the pc?

At first glance:

  • connect din midi port 1 of the E1 to the remaining port of the second express (assuming you can easily route traffic on these expressses)
  • simultaneously connect the usb port of the e1 to the pc
  • if you don’t have sufficient usb ports, add an elektron overbridge usb hub to your set up. It is not expensive, adds power to the usb devices and is one of the few mtt hubs out there, i.e. it doesn’t slow down high speed usb when merged with slower devices.
  • check what synths can be hooked onto usb instead of midi, and verify if that adds noise loops or not. Keep track of these noise loops, and connect those synths primarily over din-midi
  • check what synths or effects only have midi in, and no midi out, and daisy chain those via the midi thru of another synth that is directly connected to an express.
  • if with all that you do not reach a desired set up, consider adding an iconnectivity MioXL to your setup for midi distribution and routing purposes. (There are others that can do similar jobs, but I have no or only bad experience with those others though…)


Thank you! I think apart from the upcoming Behringer Linn Drum clone, it’s getting to a point where I’m really happy with what I have. Just in the process how to really make it work together.

Yes. The Mac being on is no issue.

Yes, indeed. The only USB midi is to the Pro-1 as I found the Roland Boutique USB midi and audio not really working for me. The USB goes to a powered USB hub into the E1, Pro-1 and the two Motu Midi Express 128 interfaces.

Motu Midi Express 128, Manual,USB to the Mac via powered USB hub.

Will try these suggestions tonight. Thank you! The electron overbridge is actually the USB hub I’m using. I am using the one midi in / one midi out per item so I can use Midiquest as well… Although so far I’m still refiguring that one out again… Hadn’t used in many years… Thinking of maybe putting the Midiverb two behind the Akai VX-600 as that one is not remotely editable anyways…

Thank you for helping me out, @NewIgnis !!!

@NewIgnis : Ok.
Update: When I connect E1’s midi 1 out / in through cables with the MOTU Midi Express 128 #2’s midi 8 in / out ports I get the E1 and my master keyboard to both control in this case the MKS-70 in Logic.
Not in Reason though… Will need to investigate that further. And as well, the just newly tweaked sysex patch editing doesn’t work any longer… (Edit: Got it working, needed to set File/Project Settings/MIDI/General/check mark on SysEx with MIDI Thru Function)

Right now my main questions are:
Why is a second (din) midi connection necessary? Shouldn’t one connection be enough to connect the E1 to the computer and set up?
I’m sure I can figure out the Reason issue eventually…

Ok. I decided that the Roland EF-303 doesn’t really need to be on it’s own midi channel… There is no Midiquest editor for it and all is pretty much available from the front panel… (I could have sworn there was one though…) So that allows me to use Midi Express #1’s in / out ports for the E1 din connection.

Thank you!

You’re right about the double connection on the E1. It’s not needed. The reason I did it, is because I also use my setup in a DAW less mode, in which case the USB only serves for apology.

Now test the following setup: all signals from the keyboard flow into the E1 only (on two logical ports, so you’ll have 32 channels) in parallel of the signal from keyboard to synth.
Any signal traveling from synth midi out to Mac/PC should also be offered to the E1.
Any signal from the E1 should travel to the synths and into the DAW.

Make sure none of the synths is in Thru mode on its Midi out port, or you will get a midi message loop.

That’s what we all say… there is something always coming!

I know, I know!!! “I’m eusti and I’m a gear addict…” :stuck_out_tongue:

No apologies necessary. You helped me to get things working. Thank you!

Interesting. I don’t quite get how I would achieve that… Maybe it’s just me waking up slowly, but I’ll think about that more as the day goes on… Thank you! Midi Routing in both Reason and the Midi Expresses seems to me quite minimal.

I do not know a lot of the MOTU’s, so you are a bit on your own here, I’m afraid. I just hope you get what I’m aiming for and try to do something similar.

My master keyboard is my Korg DSS-1 that needs to be treated (in my mind) the same as the other synths / effect in that they need the same level of access to my computer as them. I’m not sure what the 32 midi channels are going to do as now all synth / effects that can be edited by the computer and E1 have their own midi port now and are set to channel 1.

So, I guess I’m not sure what you are trying to achieve. Sorry!

I’m actually good with how it is right now, even if the E1 is double connected. The only thing that needs resolving for me is how to make the E1 play nicely with Reason. As it works with Logic right now it seems my midi set up is correct.

Thank you!

Then it’s okay :grin:

Since you have 16 sound sources in physical synths, and some are multitimbral, I was expecting you to consume more than 16 midi channels at once, which would mean you’d need both ports 1 and 2 on the E1 to control all of them separately when needed :nerd_face:

Wow! I hadn’t even thought about those abilities… I think it’s fine to just address then main midi channel of all the instruments and if I need another sound out of any of them to multi track…

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