Martzician

Creating chains

16 posts in this topic

OK-the "chain" function is at the highest level of putting together all your smaller sections of a sequence, patterns and tracks. Sort of like putting a frame around yer jigsaw puzzle. :P 

 

Each section of a "chain" is made up of separate "sequences" or entire groups of your looped musical creations that become a sequence that you create in "sequencer' mode. Each "sequence" is subdivided into "tracks" or traditionally called midi "channels"-1-16. And each collection of sounds you use to create a 'sequence" and that you record in one sequence only makes up only one "pattern' of that sequence-of which there can be 8 entirely different collections of sounds, rhythms etc. in each separate pattern. So one sequence can actually be a very "evolved" arrangement made up of 1 to 8 entirely different "patterns" all in that one sequence. I'm getting to answering your question soon, I promise.

 

Sorry if I'm being ridiculously long-winded but I always assume nothing when it comes to questions and the XW is pretty complex. and i have no idea if you've figured any of this out yet-I apologize if I'm being redundant to your experience and knowledge-base (whew).

 

Now all this info is to clarify one thing-you can record as many chords as you can fit into your sequence in one measure using the "chord track" but you must create that in "sequence" mode first-and in one pattern at a time within the same sequence. I recall chord track is track (or channel) 16 when you are in mixer/sequencer mode. Here is where you also can edit each "pattern' within the mixer to be as short as one beat or step or as many as 16 steps or beats. And you can create 8 different "patterns" within one sequence all of different lengths-1-16 beats or steps, and with different chords for each pattern-as long as you record chords in the chord track. In other words-each pattern you create can be as short as one step with one chord-or as many as 16 steps with 16 different chords-a different chord for each step-not easy to do by the way but would sound pretty wild (I haven't done that yet)! and each "pattern' can be programmed with a different tone for the chord track but obviously you can't use a solo synth tone. You could even use a drum tone (an entire drum set collection) and make up a "chord" using only drum/percussion sounds-one chord can become a "hit" made of several different sounds from that drum set, as long as you use the chord track and select a drumkit for that track. The other tracks available in sequence mode are permanently "locked' to be used monophonically (no chords) for drum/percussion parts or solo synth parts-that is tracks 9-15. The other tracks 1-8 are used for CC, live playing and hex mode. 

 

So (finally!) "chain" mode-gives you the ability to make even longer more "evolved" arrangements by programming entire collections of sequences, including all their parts and patterns together. You are actually automating the process of switching from one "sequence' to another as you would do manually in sequence mode to go from one sequence to another.

 

But as if you needed more choices-you can also use chain mode to chain specific patterns from within specific sequences to each other-in other words automatically skip around completely different "sequences" and play individual patterns from within each of these separate sequences. for instance, if you have programmed pattern 6 in user sequence you've created and  labelled 'techno", you can chain this one pattern from that sequence to a totally different pattern in a totally different sequence, and it will play that. And remember, you can program each "pattern" in any sequence to be as short as one step or beat or up to 16 steps or beats-and if you use the chord track-each step or beat can be a full chord-how cool is that! 

 

One other thing as if this isn't confusing enough I'm sure-the Casio manual describes "parts'. a "part" is simply the channel or track. The tracks used for drum "parts" for example are always the same-and each of those "parts" or channels or tracks (!) can only record one type of drum "tone" per part (or track or channel). Just in case you didn't know. So repeating-you can only record "chords" on the dedicated "chord" track, not on the tracks dedicated to "solo synth" or drum parts.

 

I figured this all out because I have way too much free time lately and I'm a little insane. :o  :o:wacko::P

 

But seriously, I hope this helps.

XW-Addict likes this

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Hi, in a word HELP!

The sequencing and midi files is driving me nuts. I have watched every video, read the manuals and trawled forums and, although I understand bits of it, it isn't connecting.

I am trying to create standard midid files in reaper with just the basic drum, bass, chords as a backing and transfer that into the step sequencer on my Casio. I have both the G and P. My aim is to use the G as a live sequencer, if this is possible, with the P as backup.

So far I have created basic drum patterns, bass and chords sequences and chains on the synth, but it is too fiddly and long winded. So I am hoping it will be possible to create the midi files and copy them done to the synth for the sequencer to play them ok.

Can anyone offer

1. A yes or no if this is possible or do I need to buy a separate hardware sequencer?

2. I can not find how to put the midi file in the data editor file transfer software package so can someone do a step by step to copy an existing smf .mid into a .zpk package file as I can't figure it out and can't find options to create the package in the dark editor

Hope someone can help as the manuals don't help and I have spent so much time getting nowhere!

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1. No.  You will need another type of keyboard for traditional midi sequencing.  WK-7600/CTK-7200 would fit this requirement.  

 

2. The XW's can only play SMF (midi) midi files directly from the SD card.  They cannot be loaded into keyboard memory.  

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hi,

 

Thanks for the reply, it really helps framing what is possible.

 

I finally managed to copy a midi file using the data editor software. I guess s saves it on the sd card. I think I played it using the phrase editor but it is really hard to tell so I am leaving that for another day. phrases are useful but not as much as the step sequencer side of things.

 

another question, has anybody got either a file specification for the .ZSS or .ZSC files as they look like basic text files? Does anyone know of software to read and write to them in a way that the synth will read ok?

 

I think if this is made available, a clunky but useable sequence editor could be put together.

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Casio does not make file specs public.  Software for creating ZSS files does not exist. 

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Actually or maybe there is a possibility to convert midi files to step sequence there is a but however, 

According to the midi manual page 10, first of the XW are multi-timbral so it should receive on all 

16 midi channels. 

 

http://support.casio.com/storage/nl/manual/pdf/NL/008/XW_G1_midi_NL.pdf

 

But...the manual defines the usage as assignable with step-sequence / Smf play / Midi in.

If each channel can receive midi input, then assigning channels 8 to 16 for step sequence

could make them to be programmed with external midi information. I'm not sure what assignable

actually means?.

 

This pique my interest cause if a midi file can be convert for each of its parts to step sequence

would solve this. Using a DAW could do the trick setting up a recording file and I've read that

Sonar (Which I use) can convert midi files to step sequence. But (again) the step sequence of

the DAW doesn't send out midi information.

 

If there is any DAW that can send midi out through the step sequence would do the trick then its

only setting up the steps parameters of the daw to match the pattern "somehow?".

 

I'm looking into it as of now. But am unsure if this will work. I'll come back at it if it doesn't.

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Not sure how the XW records external midi data-some keyboard workstations allow all sequencer tracks to be recorded in one pass as one midi file, which I think becomes midi file (0) such as my old Ensoniq warhorses will do. if a computer sequencer sends out the midi data for a pre-recorded multi-track midi sequence all at once (midi file (0), or even one track at a time (tedious) I do not think the XW has any way to record even its limited 16 steps to the sequencer from an external DAW, but I haven't tried this and am not sure even after studying the manual if this can be done.

 

It's easy enough to create sequencer tracks directly from the XW, but it might be nice to be able to create say one-measure loops to the XW sequencer from midi files playing from for example Cakewalk or any midi file player. I have a ton of drum tracks, basslines, etc. Playing complete midi arrangements from a DAW using the XW as a tone module works well (it is GM standard).  Something to try when I get a little more time (holidays are tough, I barely get a chance to do any woodshedding on anything!)

 

Then again, between the phrases, arpeggios and factory sequences there is certainly a huge amount of pre-constructed material in there already.

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I don't know of any Casio that can record sequences from midi in, XW's included. 

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jokeyman that was a amazing answer. i was just fooloing around last night with the sequencer and looked at that chain button and i went hmmmm?

 

im going to have to try that.

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I just realized something about the chain function that I never noticed until recently-there is no explanation in the XW-P1 manual about how to create a chain! It describes how to create one "step" of the chain, but there is no direct description for how to create discrete steps when creating a chain, a very important detail, ouch!

 

Now if you are intuitive about these things (many here are and I'm probably repeating the obvious)-you may have already figured out that the "step" buttons are used to create each "step" in a chain-this seems simple even with the huge amount of options (buttons) available for switching around to different functions-however-this critical "step" (no pun intended) is not described in the manual at all, unless it is hidden only to be displayed with the special Casio glasses. :banghead: The manual describes (pages 60-63) how to get around functions for creating one step in the chain with the cursor buttons, but nowhere is mention made of using the "step" buttons to add another "step" in the chain. Matter of fact, I have not seen this critical function mentioned anywhere, in this forum or anywhere else. I haven't watched all of Mike Martin's video tutorials, but I seem to recall back a year or two ago that the chain function and saving one was a bit of a confusion, this may be why. Also, for posters who have asked about the XW-P1 and smf (.mid) files, this is one of the few functions where music created with the XW can be saved as a midi file for editing on a computer. Whatever you save as a "chain" whether it is one step or 99 steps of sequences, this can be saved as an smf .mid file. Just passing it on.   :blah:     :boring:

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5 hours ago, Jokeyman123 said:

I just realized something about the chain function that I never noticed until recently-there is no explanation in the XW-P1 manual about how to create a chain! It describes how to create one "step" of the chain, but there is no direct description for how to create discrete steps when creating a chain, a very important detail, ouch!

 

Now if you are intuitive about these things (many here are and I'm probably repeating the obvious)-you may have already figured out that the "step" buttons are used to create each "step" in a chain-this seems simple even with the huge amount of options (buttons) available for switching around to different functions-however-this critical "step" (no pun intended) is not described in the manual at all, unless it is hidden only to be displayed with the special Casio glasses. :banghead: The manual describes (pages 60-63) how to get around functions for creating one step in the chain with the cursor buttons, but nowhere is mention made of using the "step" buttons to add another "step" in the chain. Matter of fact, I have not seen this critical function mentioned anywhere, in this forum or anywhere else. I haven't watched all of Mike Martin's video tutorials, but I seem to recall back a year or two ago that the chain function and saving one was a bit of a confusion, this may be why. Also, for posters who have asked about the XW-P1 and smf (.mid) files, this is one of the few functions where music created with the XW can be saved as a midi file for editing on a computer. Whatever you save as a "chain" whether it is one step or 99 steps of sequences, this can be saved as an smf .mid file. Just passing it on.   :blah:     :boring:

Me thinks you just forgot about using the step buttons to add another chain it happens the fact list is you're reminder friend.

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Hey guys, I'd like to add a little something to this thread. Either I looked over this step in the manual or it isn't there.

 

If you hold the chain button, it brings up the menu to select which chain to use. Press edit and I could select a pattern, part, number of measures, and then the key. This pretty simple, but I couldn't figure out how to use more than one pattern for a chain. This made it seem completely pointless.

 

If you press the Step+ it adds a second "link" in the chain. It might seem dumb or obvious to some people here. This is my first non-VST synth and this took me something like two weeks to figure out so I'm passing the info along.

 

 

 

 

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As I said, this part about adding subsequent "steps" to actually create a chain by using the "obvious" choice-the "steps" button-instead of creating only one step of the chain-is not in the manual, and I do not see it in any of the faqs either. So made of star, this was my original idea of posting this here, to make sure others who haven't gotten there yet will not have to guess as to how to do this, as I described, and now you also noticed. Good! Don't forget to hit the "write" button to store your chain once it's done.

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