Where does the Electra One fit in your setup?

Just got my Electra One …
wow, impressive… beautiful screen, encoders… and a really nice size - really looking forward to diving into it :slight_smile:

first thing Im trying to figure out is where to ‘insert’ it into my setup.

I wondered, how others here are using the Electra One, especially when they have routers and sequencers in their setup,.

so my setup is a little complex (though not compared to some ! )

basically,
I have a squarp pyramid as my main sequencer,
a Virus TI which I also use as the ‘master’ keyboard.
a number of things, including eurorack which I send midi.
the above is connected via a iConnectivity mioXM and Blokas Midihub (both midi routers)

generally the flow is:
virus TI (local off) -> midi hub to sequencer only(!) -> squarp pyramid -> midi hub -> instruments

the idea being, the pyramid gets all midi so that it can record it.

fortunately, at the moment, all instruments are assigned their own midi channel.

so where does the Electra One fit in?

my current assumptions are:

  • it needs to get midi data from all instruments (*), so communication is bidirectional
  • it needs to feed data to the sequencer (so I can record automation from E1)

(*) few actually send out midi, so its not that bad.

Im thinking:
route all midi data (excluding clocks, sysex) from to the midi hubs to the Electa One, but to NOT get it to pass data thru.
send its midi data directly to the sequencer (pyramid) which will pass the midi data on to the actual instrument.

also, I think id use midi din for the above,
I’ll use a USB PSU to power E1, but it also leaves it usb device port ‘free’ for connecting to my laptop to update presets etc.

Q. does the ‘preset app’ work through a midi router? or does the E1 have to be connected directly to a computer?

I know E1 protocol is midi sysex… so perhaps as long as i can send/receive sysex from the laptop to E1, via a router, it’ll still be seen?

I run everything through Ableton, including the Elektra (USB only). I have a big template featuring all my external synths with midi (iConnectivity Mio10) and audio (RME UFX+ plus Ferrofish A32) routing pre-mapped. Come to think of it: I need to find out, if I can get Ableton to send out a message to the elektra when switching channels to automatically switch to the corresponding Elektra preset, mmh :thinking:

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generally, my setup is computer-less (well its hybrid, so has to work with and without computer)

I tried to route all midi thru the electra.one but got some kind midi feedback loop going on, which I now have to track down.

it’s got me thinking though… how do you use the Electra One?

Personally, Im not really trying to control ONE instrument, rather I want the E1 to be a kind of central control panel for the whole setup… if I want specific controls, I’ll just go the that instrument.
e.g. I’ve a virus, octatrack and say squarp rample.
I don’t need all the controls of each of these, rather to build a preset which might have, virus (part) volume, reverb level - octatrack tracks volumes & mutes, rample filter.

this is why I like the E1 approach of having instrument files and presets.
since loading up the instrument definition, makes it very quick to build a particular preset that combines many instruments.

however, interestingly, I notice that there seems to be more presets shared, than instrument files so perhaps Im in the minority?!

For me, everything goes in and out of a BomeBox running a bunch of midi translator pro scripts that slice, dice, and route as appropriate. Still figuring out how the electra will play in overall, but when it comes to connectivity, it’ll go in the same way.

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as I’m currently maxing out the mio10, I haven’t even considered taken everything thru the elektra :slight_smile:
I am using the elektra for 2 things:

  1. controlling soft synths (mainly Diva, repro, have built a generic vst preset, wanna do an OPX-Pro one, though hopefully my kickstarter ordered VS1 will be here soon :grin:)
  2. controlling rack synths which have an insufficient amount of knobs: right now that’s the MKS80 and the ATC-X. Haven’t dared to jump into building something for the FS1R because I am still figuring out how I wanna control it (also have a Mackie C4 which can control it). My JV880 needs fixing first. All other synths or drum machines I didn’t bother to build something for the elektra, because I use them directly.
    have a look at the presets I uploaded, will probably tell you more about how I use stuff :slight_smile:
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Mark, nice to see you here… I haven’t messaged you before but I really appreciate your generosity and all your work. I run into your posts a lot because of everything you do and also we have some overlapping gear (soundplane, organelle, Blokas hub, pyramid).

I am also interested in a similar Electra One use as you describe. Mine just arrived so I plan to experiment soon. Among other things, I’m hoping to make some Orac organelle presets :slight_smile:

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Yes, it does. Electra uses sysex for all the preset exchange. If there is a router between the computer and the Electra, you need to select the right IN/OUT port in the app.electra.com - by clicking the connection indicator. Please note, Electra uses Port CTRL (on mac) or MIDIIN3/MIDIOUT3 (on windows) for Electra sysex communication.

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I am lucky to have more Electras at home so I have more setups :slight_smile: They are, however, affected by the fact that I have been more programming than composing for last two years.

Electra only
In this setup I use Electra as a controller and the MIDI USB interface. I have Electra One connected to the USB port on my laptop. I use it to control plugins, whenever needed, I connect hardware synths to the MIDI/IO ports. I usually have KeyControl or LaunchPad connected to Electra’s USB Host port. This setup is very efficient for messing around and programming presets.

MioXL setup
In this setup I use two computers. Electra is connected to a USB port on my MacBook. The rack of gear is connected to MioXL. The MacBook is meant to be the Preset Editor, ElectraOneConsole station, and the place to answer questions on the chat. Electra’s MIDI/IO is connected to MioXL and I use Auracle to do the routing and merging. Novation SL is connected to MioXL as the master keyboard. And again, I usually have the LaunchPad or the KeyControl connected to Electra’s USB host port - either to trigger the notes or switch pages on Electra. MioXL itself is connected to iMac that runs DAW. I use Mio’s channel remapping to be able to control multiple synths from one preset.

In past I really wanted to have Electra One connected to the MioXL with a USB cable. I was able to get to the point where MioXL recongnized Electra’s ports, and could receive messages from MioXL. For some reason, however, MioXL never accepted messages sent by Electra. I think this can be resolved only by talking to iConnectivity people. But then I realized that the setup with two computer gives me an advantage of seeing the logs in the ElectraOneConsole and flashing the firmware without messing with the cables.

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I don’t really know if I drew this exactly correctly but I’ll try to explain.

My setup doesn’t really read MIDI IN at the moment, mostly because my current synths don’t have much useful MIDI OUT data. I plan to change that in the future.

Electra.One outputs MIDI to my audio interface and I use MIDI-OX to reroute my interface MIDI IN thru to MIDI OUT also. This makes it so I merge data sent from E1 and PC to 1 MIDI OUT device.

Audio interface MIDI OUT goes to a splitter which goes to each individual instrument, whose signal returns to the interface.

What’s a bit curly is Play-a-Synth. This is a fairly young idea by a guy named Zoid. With PaS, users can access synths from across the world and exchange MIDI data for audio. You can also host your own synths so that others may use them.

If anyone’s interested in trying out their E1 on a synth in a different part of the world, I made a couple of rough presets for the synths that are hosted there. I think E1 brings a lot of enjoyment whilst controlling hardware that isn’t in your studio.

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@james thanks for sharing!

I often help people to get sysex messages going. PaS could really help here. I was actually thinking about developing some tool for the transfer of MIDI messages over internet by myself, but if there is a solution already, it should be tried first.

Thanks, Martin.
E1 is a really beautiful tool and I can see its brain become smarter and more fun over time.

Touch sensitive pots is a genius idea, I wonder if the sensor could be used as part of a potential sequencer feature in the future (how many semitones are in an octave?) :wink:

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Does rtpmidi work properly over VPN? Might be tricky because of bonjour / broadcast.
It does work without over the internet (just udp), but might leave you vulnerable.

Hi,

waiting for my Electra One and wondering how to set it up. It will replace (and so much improve !!! ) a midi fighter twister. The twister were connected to the USB Host port of my Mio4.
My setup is mostly hardware but I use ableton live as fx unit and to record my master.
I use a launchpad pro mk3 LPP3 (to control Live devices, important parameters of my hardware gear and as master keyboard) which is connected by USB to my computer and midi DIN to the Mio4. As this, LPP is recognized by Live and Novation Components.

My wish is that I could control Electra One (like switch pages) with the LPP3 which will still be recognized by Live and Novation Components (Am I clear ?). How could I figure it out ?

  • LPP3 USB to Electra One USB Host
  • Electra One USB to Computer
  • Electra One Midi DIN (In/Out) to Mio4

Will it work ?

Thanks

I use LaunchPad for switching pages / presets and I have it connected to the USB host port of Electra. I see an issue here though. Currently, a USB device connected to the USB host port (eg. lauchpad) can be now either aiigned to the CTRL port - then you can use it to control Electra but the messages are not forwared further down to the DAW. If you assign it to, say Port 1, it will be forwarded to the DAW but you will not be able to use it for controlling Electra, hmmm… :slight_smile: Will think about it.

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Yes please. It turns in my head and can’t figure it out ^^

I have some other midi setup “thoughts/questions” but I will talk about them in a idea/features thread.

Thanks Martin

I think the answer is probably already in this thread, but I wondered if someone could confirm: I currently have a hybrid setup with a bunch of hardware synths, drum machines, and sequencers connected through a MioXL, which also runs into Ableton for sequencing and recording. I have a FaderFox EC4 which connects through the Mio to all of my hardware gear and to Ableton. This works without a hitch.

The question is, could the Electra sit in exactly the same place as the EC4 currently does? That is, listening and sending to all midi channels and my DAW via the Mio, letting me tweak parameters on my external gear and in Ableton?

Again, it seems like the answer is probably yes, but I’d love to hear that directly before I pull the trigger. Thanks!

Hi @hallucigenia,

I have the same setup you described - only - instead of EC4 I use Electra One. It means I use Electra One in combination with a MioXL, a rack of synths, and Ableton as a DAW.

The only thing I do not like is that I have Electra One connected to MioXL with MIDI IO ports. I would prefer having it connected to one of the MioXL USB Host ports. MioXL does not, however, communicate with Electra on USB. I am planning to talk to iConnectivity about that.

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Hi Martin,

Thanks–exactly what I wanted to know! Yes, the MioX line has been having issues communicating with many devices over USB (there’s been quite a bit of discussion over on Elektronauts about this), so I’m not surprised to hear that it affects the Electra as well.

Thanks again!

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Iconnectivity answer :

"Hi, thanks for contacting us.

Our USB-A host ports only accept USB class compliant MIDI controllers sending only MIDI/SysEx data. It would seem the MIDI fighter was within this spec and the new Electra One might be outside of this.
Many MIDI controllers do have different ports/modes they can go into that might send different information. I would recommend speaking with electra to ask about this. They may have a more generic MIDI mode that will allow the device to be seen in our host port."

Then, I precised that Electra One is an USB class compliant midi controller which sends midi/SysEx data. See their answer bellow :

“Interesting. Do you know if they might be using a Teensy Arduino in it?
Have you tried connecting our interface into the host port on the ONE?
Does the One recognize our interface properly?”

I don’t know about the arduino and didn’t test what they’re asking for yet.

Happy new year !

I was playing around with the MioXL recently and I got it working. The problem is caused by the fact that Electra does not use the USB port only for MIDI but also for sending the messages to Electra One console and for the firmware updates withouth need to switch it a special “update mode”. MioXL recongnized Electra’s ports 1 ,2, and CTRL as soon as I reorganized the order of USB interfaces so that MIDI interface is the first one. I think iConnectivity could do a better job here and ignore all non MIDI USB interfaces. But I fully understand that, nothing is perfect and features need time to be implemented.

I do not think that the fix will be part of the next release. It could go out some time in January. I just have to make sure it will not make any harm to the way it works now.

By the way, I really wanted to have Electra connected to iConnectivity gear with the USB, but there are also some cons: No info in ElectraOne console and no way to run updates. I understand that many of you do not use these all the time.

Ad Teensy - we use the excellent Paul Stoffregen’s bootloader for the firmware updates. It is one of the USB ports that might be confusing iConnectivity gear.

@Enthalpi thanks for your research! I will get in touch with them too - if you want, feel free to add me to the communication you started with them already.

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