Station Point

Crafting Tune Artifacts

MiniCommand, Machinedrum, and OS X

Posted on | May 11, 2011 | No Comments

So I’ve had a Ruin & Wesen Mini­Com­mand for a lit­tle under a year, but haven’t been using it as much as I would like because it did­n’t inte­grate well with my set­up — until last night.

The stan­dard way to use the Mini­Com­mand is to con­nect it in a closed MIDI loop with the device in ques­tion — which makes it hard use in a com­put­er-based MIDI set­up with a sequencer. There are ways around this, eg. daisy-chain­ing the Mini­Com­mand between the com­put­er’s MIDI inter­face and the device you want to con­trol, but I have found that this intro­duces some small tim­ing delays (enough to dri­ve me crazy).

Stan­dard way to use the Mini­Com­mand with a Machine­drum. Where’s the computer?

The trick to get this inte­grat­ed with your com­put­er is to use a soft­ware patch­bay to route the Mini­Com­mand to/from what­ev­er device you want to con­trol.  I’d tried a few ways of doing this (Log­ic’s envi­ron­ment almost worked, for­get about Able­ton, MidiP­ipe did­n’t work either), and final­ly found the ele­gant free pro­gram Midi Patch­bay.

Sure enough, I was able to cre­ate a patch from the Mini­Com­mand to the Machine­drum, and anoth­er going back the oth­er direc­tion.  All of the crazy low-lev­el SYSEX MIDI infor­ma­tion trans­fers worked again, so things like kit names and machine assign­ments were trans­fer­ring correctly.

Fur­ther­more, as far as I can tell this works fine in par­al­lel with Log­ic, you don’t have to rewire any­thing to send the Mini­Com­mand new firmwares, and it does­n’t do a thing to the MIDI Clock tim­ing (since it’s no longer daisy-chained).

I might even get a chance to start learn­ing to cre­ate firmwares now!

(Images from Ruin & Wesen site)


Leave a Reply