Using OWL with MIDI Controller

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Martin Klang 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #2602

    neilgoldman305
    Participant

    Hi there, I know the OWL can use MIDI over USB by being plugged into a computer. Is it possible to use a MIDI controller without a computer as the host? And if so, is there a certain term I should be looking for (class compliant or something)?

    Specifically, I’d like to use my Behringer FCB1010 as additional switches for the OWL Pedal, but the FCB1010 only has plain old 5 pin MIDI connectors, so I would need a MIDI to USB interface. Just hoping someone else here has experience with compatible gear.

    Thanks!

    #2603

    Martin Klang
    Keymaster

    Hi neil,

    with the current firmware there’s extensive support for USB MIDI in client mode, meaning you plug it into a host computer, tablet, smartphone or similar. This interface is class-compatible, so any USB MIDI host will be compatible without needing special drivers or software.

    The hardware has actually been designed to support USB Host through the micro AB connector, same as a smartphone, using something called USB OTG. This would allow you to plug another USB device straight into the OWL Pedal, using a simple OTG cable. However we’ve not developed the firmware support for this (yet!).

    Another hardware feature is that the expression pedal pins also expose a UART (serial port) which could be used for DIN MIDI. We did some early experiments with this but it’s not something which has been developed.

    So in short, no, not at the moment – unless you fancy doing some firmware hacking!

    #2607

    jg1331
    Participant

    I havent messed around with the midi stuff too much but I have used a Kenton Midi USB host mkII and it seems to work fine

    #2611

    Martin Klang
    Keymaster

    thanks jg, good to know that works

    #2615

    neilgoldman305
    Participant

    Thanks jg, that looks extremely useful for me, OWL or not!

    Thanks for the info, Martin. Great to know the hardware can support it. And actually, I do fancy some firmware hacking :P. I’ve been messing with the source for it for the past week or so. Nothing will likely come from it, but if I ever do get something working, I’ll make sure to submit a pull request 🙂

    Edit: Also, I didn’t realize it could work with a phone/tablet as the host too. That’s pretty awesome, and much easier for me to fit on a pedalboard than my laptop.

    #2668

    cdbailey
    Participant

    Have you tried using Touch OSC to control the owl?

    #2670

    JoseFuzzNo
    Participant

    @cdbailey, I usually use TouchOSC at home to replace hardware controllers I have in my live rig. It works great but you need something between TouchOSC and the OWL to translate OSC to MIDI. I use puredata.

    If you want to know more take a look at this: https://github.com/JoseFuzzNo/superSaw
    It’s a synthesizer made when the OWL hadn’t MIDI note messages (now is pointless). You can see in the patch how the TouchOSC messages are handled.

    #2671

    Martin Klang
    Keymaster

    Might be worth having a look at Lemur too, which is capable of sending MIDI
    https://liine.net/en/products/lemur/

    #2673

    cdbailey
    Participant

    Touch OSC has made quite a few updates. Touch OSC can output MIDI now too, including Program Change data. And I believe it can transmit MIDI directly over USB, no wireless network necessary. I’m just not not sure it would recognize the Owl as a device or if Touch OSC will function as the host. Guess I’ll buy an Apple Lighting to USB Camera adapter today and give it a shot. Fingers crossed!

    #2675

    cdbailey
    Participant

    holy smokes. it worked!

    #2676

    Martin Klang
    Keymaster

    Cool – a video would be ace!

    ps have you had a look at the possible MIDI mappings?
    https://hoxtonowl.com/mediawiki/index.php/MidiMappings
    Lots of extended parameters to play with 🙂

    #2763

    cdbailey
    Participant

    The more I toyed around with hooking up my phone to the Owl, the more I didn’t like it very much. However, this company right here is doing some pretty amazing things! Any of their gen3 DMC devices will function as a MIDI host.

    DMC-4 Gen3


    #2786

    cdbailey
    Participant

    So I went ahead and bought a DMC-4 from Disaster Area Designs. Unfortunately it doesn’t integrate with the Owl as smoothly as I’d hoped. The DMC is a bit more limited than I expected and mainly just controls MIDI program changes. This works great for all of my other MIDI gear where presets are accessible via program changes. But is there a way to program the Owl so that a CC-26 isn’t necessary for external control? Also, just curious, has there been any interest using MIDI PC messages to change presets, not just patches?

    #2791

    cdbailey
    Participant

    Imho, it would be ideal to be able to store presets on the Owl that are controlled with program changes. This would get a lot more bang for buck out of the patches. Also (I’m sure you’ve heard this before) since there’s no digital label for the knobs, it doesn’t seem very practical for stage use without presets.

    I’m not that great of a programmer but I’m hoping that I can find a way to make this happen. I don’t expect to figure this out anytime soon but I’ve downloaded Owlware from Git and have successfully deployed a compiled version with slightly modified patches. So I guess that’s a start.

    I found a file called MidiHandler.hpp. There’s a case statement in there for PATCH_CONTROL if(value==127)…

    Would it break the firmware if I changed this value to 0? I’m guessing that the knobs would no longer function but that’s fine as long I can get away hard-coding parameter values into the the patches.

    #2797

    Martin Klang
    Keymaster

    If what you want to do is set it to Remote Control by default, then it’d be better to add a couple of lines in Owl.cpp, at the end of setup().

    There’s no convenient way to do this at the moment, but you can fake a MIDI CC with:

    
    extern MidiHandler handler;
    handler.handleControlChange(0xb0, PATCH_CONTROL, 127);
    
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