Signed word help needed for Akai Z8

Hi there.

I’m doing some sysex for an Akai Z8 and have run into the buffers for my computer knowledge. In the attached pic I’m looking at item &13 set part level, data 1 is simple but data 2 is where I’m getting lost, it’s a signed word so I’m using the signed bit mode and I have two instances of parameter value and the value is responding in the Z8 but I just can’t get it to move smoothly from -60 to +6, any tips would be appreciated.


2 things:

  • I read - 600 to + 60… or should it be - 60 to +60 ?
  • Do you have a means to make the Akai spew out the Sysex itself? If you , can you capture that SysEx via MIDI-ox or similar, and look at the 2nd byte of &13 ? If so, provide the byte value in case the word is set to: - 60, - 59, -1, 0, +1, + 59 and +60

Then we can check how Akai does its signed words. Each MIDI manufacturer might do a bit their own thing with negative values, so observation is key here.

Hey there.

The display says -60 to +6 and the manual as you can see says -600 to +60. Unfortunately the Akai doesn’t regurgitate the commands, or I haven’t found out how to make it do that yet, it does output ok and error messages but not being that familiar with the sysex syntax ATM I didn’t find them very useful. I’ll go through every page tomorrow and see if I can find some sort of command to switch transmit edits on (it’s one button in the V Synth!).

Thanks for your help on this.

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Unfortunately it appears that there is no way to make the Z8 transmit it’s edits in sysex so I’m a bit stuck at this point.

I’m not familiar with Akai samplers . Have you tried to reach out on forums dedicated to Akai Z4/ Z8?
Anyway below some links. The last one gives you the SysEx guide of the Z8. You should find sufficient material in there to set up a request to the Z8, and have it sent back a response.

Be sure you have a means to intercept MIDI data on your PC such as MIDI-Ox so you can check if indeed the E1 is sending out a request, and the Z8 is responding.

I stumbled across this:

One thing I learned after a lot of pain while trying to control sysex externally… you need to change your MIDI routing for the MIDI in to the SAMPLER, not SEQUENCER (default setting). If you are sending commands from an external device to the MPC to record in the sequencer, you will need to switch the routing back to SEQUENCER. Also, when playing back commands from the MPC’s sequencer, be sure the track is set to INTA or INTB. Sending internally to a program does nothing.

Hey there.

Thanks for those, I’d found most of those myself and they have been very useful, I have stuck some questions up on Gearslutz, I mean GearSPACE, to see if I can get some help. The key question for me about this though is how to sweep from -600 to 60, all I know about all this is what I’ve read in synth manuals over the last month or so and random web pages I’ve stumbled upon. Since it only goes from 0-127 I’m guessing that I have to glue two bytes together somehow…This is where I get lost. I’ve looked through a load of the presets but when I click on sysex value and I get all that ‘byte to send’ stuff…no idea. Is there a good tutorial you know of that will explain all this?


note that it says (x10) somewhere there, so your actual values may only be -60 to 6 and internally it’s getting multiplied