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using Fatar keyboards

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Re: using Fatar keyboards

Postby engrssc » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:59 pm

Hi Terry,

Where are you located?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: using Fatar keyboards

Postby engrssc » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:47 pm

Another thought which Graham will no doubt look into - You MUST power up your keyboard(s) and possibly pedal board BEFORE firing up Hauptwerk or any other MIDI software!!! If you don't, you're likely to run into device not present errors, and the software may almost INSIST that you change port configurations..Windows USB port assignments can be tricky.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: using Fatar keyboards

Postby GrahamH » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:07 pm

Following a visit to Terry I am posting the following for information and in the hope that somebody wiser than me might be able to provide further insight.

As regards hardware, Terry has four Fatar keyboards, each connected to a Doepfer MKE (MIDI Keyboard Electronics) version 2 unit.
These units have Micro-Match sockets for connection via flat cable to the Fatar keyboard sockets, and standard 5-pin DIN MIDI-out sockets plus 5 pin DIN MIDI-in sockets which allows them to be daisy-chained.
He also has a pedal board fitted with reed switches and an un-branded MIDI encoder fitted with a standard 5-pin DIN MIDI-out socket.

His computer runs Windows XP Professional x64, SP2 and has 8 GB of RAM. I'm not sure what make - it was probably custom-built, but it was clearly a top-of-the-range machine when it was new.
It is fitted with an EMU E-DSP Audio Processor, and has Hauptwerk and Midi-Ox installed.

The MIDI-in and -out ports of the EMU unit are decidedly non-standard but Terry has the short adapter cables that supposedly convert these non-standard mini-DIN sockets to standard 5-pin DIN sockets:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Pin-Mini-DIN- ... 1358888827

According to the Windows XP Control Panel, the EMU Audio interface is "working correctly" with all the drivers in place, and indeed Hauptwerk recognises the EMU MIDI-in port.
However, when you connect one of the keyboards with its Doepfer encoder to the EMU MIDI-in port (via the short adapter cable) Hauptwerk does not receive any MIDI messages. In other words, you can't auto-detect the keyboard. And on testing with Midi-Ox, there is no MIDI input!

I confirmed that the Fatar keyboard+Doepfer unit was actually sending MIDI note-on/off messages by connecting to my laptop (with Hauptwerk and Midi-Ox loaded) using an M-audio Midisport 1x1 interface, and the MIDI messages were indeed being generated.
Why they were not reaching Hauptwerk or Midi-Ox via the EMU interface is a mystery to me - but I confess to being incapable of getting my head round the mysteries of an EMU audio interface - I've encountered them a couple of times in the past and been unable to get any sense out of them - but fortunately the audio aspects of this unit were functioning OK, so I didn't waste much time trying to solve the MIDI problem.
(It has subsequently occurred to me that the fault might lie with the short adapter cable... but any other suggestions are welcome!)

Another reason I didn't persist with the EMU interface is because, at this juncture Terry produced an M-Audio Midiman 4x4 Anniversary Edition MIDI interface that he had bought some time ago but never used! So I decided to try this instead of the EMU MIDI port.
Unfortunately, Terry couldn't find the original installation disk and the drivers that I downloaded from the Internet were too recent to support Windows XP.
However, just as I was about to give up in despair, I remembered I'd brought my 2005-vintage "utility CD's" - and on one of these were some ancient Windows 2000 drivers for the Midisport units! These drivers did support Windows XP, and we were in business - Fatar keyboards connected through the Midiman 4x4 unit were talking to Hauptwerk, and with an organ loaded we were able to auto-detect the keyboards and get sound out of the loudspeakers!

So now we come to the second issue - the Doepfer MKE units ... (Those of us who use Midiboutique HWce2x encoders just don't know how lucky we are!!! Since I can't find anything good to say about these Doepfer units, I'd best not say anything for fear of being prosecuted for libel.)
These units carry a row of switches with indicator LED's and an alpha-numeric LED display. I guess these are for the purpose of configuring or programming the units to work with the keyboards or expression pedals or whatever. (They also carry some components that get hot enough to burn you if you are not careful. I am singularly unimpressed.)
Two of Terry's Doepfer MKE's are working to a degree, in that keys 048-C to 091-G (or thereabouts) actually play notes, but keys 036-C to 047-B and keys 092-G# to 096-C are silent.
The alpha-numeric displays on these two partially-working units are reading 051.
The alpha-numeric display on the third Doepfer MKE unit was reading 091 but now reads 000, and none of the keys play sounds.
The alpha-numeric display on the fourth Doepfer MKE unit goes crazy, and none of the keys play sounds.

In the hope of being able to configure the Doepfer units to the Fatar keyboards, I downloaded the instruction manual from the Doepfer website, but it may as well have been written in Chinese for all the help it was.
So, unless somebody can help Terry (or me) with configuring/programming these dreadful units I think the only way forward will be for Terry to throw them in the bin and buy a compact, comprehensive, user-friendly encoder with comprehensible instructions and helpful support from the maker - like the Midiboutique HWce2x unit.

As for the pedal board, apart from a few reed switches that need replacing, this seems to be working OK when connected via the Midiman 4x4 interface.
A good reason for using the Midiman 4x4 interface rather than trying to make the EMU MIDI port work is that it provides an independent MIDI input for the pedal board.

Finally - if you are still reading - sorry for the length of this post!

Regards
Graham
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Re: using Fatar keyboards

Postby organtechnology » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:06 am

Hi Graham,
Wow that is a lot of progress in one visit!

My thoughts are:
1) The EMU MIDI circuits are probably damaged and non functional. How this happened I do not know.
If it functions as an audio module with XP as the OS then use it that way and ignore the MIDI.

2.) I think the Doepfer encoders are either damaged or their programs and memory have been corrupted.
As they can be set up for various compass lengths of Fatar keyboards, I recommend resetting their
programs and reprogramming them completely for the current keyboards to see if that will fix any issues.

Then get a good MIDI to USB cable such as Roland and test each keyboard+MKE one at a time with MIDI-OX or use a Merge Box such as the MOTU microlite 5x5 to go from the keyboards/encoders to the computer directly.

***** DO NOT DAISY CHAIN THE ENCODERS ******

3. Upgrade to Win7 Pro 64bit, If possible to use the latest drivers for the EMU and HW 4.2

Best regards,

Thomas
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Re: using Fatar keyboards

Postby mdyde » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:36 am

Hello Graham,

Thanks very much for all your efforts in helping Terry. I have no experience with Doepfer's MIDI encoders, I'm afraid, so I'll have to leave others to comment on that.

(Using obsolete hardware, and platforms, that are no longer supported by manufacturers, such as the EMU E-DSP series and Windows XP, don't make things easy, of course, but I do appreciate that it might not always be easy for people to upgrade.)

organtechnology wrote:Merge Box such as the MOTU microlite 5x5


Just to clarify, the MOTU Microlite (and MIDISport 4x4 that Terry/Graham are currently using) are 'multi-port MIDI interfaces', rather than 'MIDI merge boxes' as such. (True MIDI merge boxes merge multiple 5-pin DIN MIDI ports into a single 5-pin DIN MIDI port, which can stress MIDI's limited bandwidth even more, so they definitely wouldn't be recommended, but multi-port MIDI interfaces are definitely good.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: using Fatar keyboards

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:21 am

Hi Thomas & Martin
My thoughts are:
1) The EMU MIDI circuits are probably damaged and non functional. How this happened I do not know.
If it functions as an audio module with XP as the OS then use it that way and ignore the MIDI.


Yes - that's what I more or less decided to do.

2.) I think the Doepfer encoders are either damaged or their programs and memory have been corrupted.
As they can be set up for various compass lengths of Fatar keyboards, I recommend resetting their
programs and reprogramming them completely for the current keyboards to see if that will fix any issues.


Hopefully they are not damaged and simply need reprogramming. This is what I was hoping to do yesterday, but a quick scan-read of the User's Guide was not sufficient to enable me to do it. Having read the Guide more slowly and thoroughly this morning, and without the (self-imposed) pressure to get a result, I think I might be able to tackle this after all. I'll discuss it with Terry.

***** DO NOT DAISY CHAIN THE ENCODERS ******


Using the M-Audio 4x4 interface (which has four MIDI input ports) we shall have to compromise here, since Terry has four keyboards and a pedal board. I don't think daisy-chaining a couple of items will be a problem.

3. Upgrade to Win7 Pro 64bit, If possible to use the latest drivers for the EMU and HW 4.2


(Using obsolete hardware, and platforms, that are no longer supported by manufacturers, such as the EMU E-DSP series and Windows XP, don't make things easy, of course, but I do appreciate that it might not always be easy for people to upgrade.)


I'd need a closer look at the computer before deciding whether simply upgrading the OS would be a worthwhile exercise. It also depends on what sample sets Terry might like to acquire. A new computer at a later date might be a more sensible option.

Regards
Graham
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Re: using Fatar keyboards

Postby Organorak » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:26 pm

Interesting. I have four Fatar TP60 keyboards and four MKEs (being in the UK that seems to be the only MIDI encoder available for TP60s). My experience was ;largely the opposite, using a PC running Win 7 and a 1010LT MIDI PC card. I have NO problem daisy chaining them together into the single MIDI input on my 1010LT. Moreover for my pedalboard and all pistons I use a PTM1 MIDI encoder (JW Electornics of Warwick, England) which has 128 key inputs but no MIDI in, only a MIDI out so I daisychain that into the first of the four MKEs!

Regarding the "hot" electronics, I did once manage to burn a fingertip (!) when I inadvertently touched one of the components on one of my circuitboards. Clearly that raises potential issues about their safety, but despite gingerly touching of them on a number of subsequent occasions I've never since experienced a hot electronic component on any of my cards. At the time I burnt myself I had disconnected the expression input (as I was faffing about with a non-functioning swell pedal) and had also removed the jump key that is supposed to be in place if the expression cable is removed, so I don't know if that was somehow leading to something overheating, Anyway, it hasn't recurred but suggests a possible design problem somewhere.

As for configuring, I'll admit they are a bit of a nightmare to start with as they don't seem at first to retain memory when you press the buttons, and the settings buttons themselves are quite stiff. What I found was that by hitting one of the other "function" buttons other than MIDI channel and transpose (ie the 3rd or 4th button, can't remember which) after you have adjusted the MIDI channel and transposer octave using the up and down buttons (buttons 5 and 6) it seemed to "lock" the MIDI channel and octave. Powering off or disconnecting the DC electric input then reconnecting doesn't then lose the setting, which is just as well since my MKEs are buried inside my console and it takes several hours and a few screwdrivers to reach them. In fact I've only had to adjust one once since building the organ, and I managed to reach it from behind the music desk and I had to use a pocket mirror to see which buttons I was pressing!

Not sure how helpful that is other than to reassure you that they can and do work, and if you get really stuck, the guys in Germany who make them will give you advice (in English) over the phone.
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