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Thread: MIDI lighting messages!

  1. #1
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    MIDI lighting messages!

    Hi All,

    I've built a midi controller using a teensy 3.6 and adafruit trellis modules. I've gotten everything working up to a point.
    I'm using the controller to interface with the DJ software Serato. The setup is pretty simple, and mapping controls to buttons has been a breeze, however getting messages back the other way not so much.

    It's pretty important as a visual feedback. For example, if I used a button to start a 4-bar loop, I'd expect the button to stay lit for as long as that loop was active - until I pressed it again to remove it, started another loop, ejected the track etc.
    If I was using another midi controller that I'd bought - such as one I've got, this behavior happens automatically when I enable output lighting in the software.
    For a number of reasons, I need this to come back from the software. I can't put logic into the controller to decide which lights to turn on/off.

    What I'm seeing is a series of MIDI messages from the software back to the teensy after I map a new control, or enable the lighting setting. I assume that because this works with pretty much any MIDI controller with lights on straight out the box (or at least mine did) that it's a standard protocol that I'm simply not privy to. I assume that the software sends messages to my controller effectively asking if it's got output lighting and that with the correct response I can begin receiving messages when lights should be turned on / off.

    Hence my main question is has anyone come across this before/know of the interface and how to work with it?
    Failing that can anyone recommend a good USB sniffer for windows? If worst comes to worst I can watch how my other controller communicates and figure it out from there!

    thanks
    Edward.

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ Theremingenieur's Avatar
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    Since you insist on Windows, look here: http://midi-monitor.10appstore.net/win10apps.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    What I'm seeing is a series of MIDI messages from the software back to the teensy after I map a new control, or enable the lighting setting. I assume that because this works with pretty much any MIDI controller with lights on straight out the box (or at least mine did) that it's a standard protocol that I'm simply not privy to.
    I recently looked at the communication used by a Novation Launchpad and a MidiPlus SmartPAD. Turns out they're completely different. Novation actually as a PDF you can download with the protocol spec. The buttons are RGB controllable. Turns out they do nothing without the PC software commanding them to turn on to different colors (or off). Ableton (which I don't have) apparently knows how to use the Launchpad.

    The MidiPlus has an undocumented protocol, but I did manage to find some messages where someone captured the messages and figured most of it out. The SmartPad turns it LEDs on/off when you press the button, and sends a MIDI message. It can receive note on messages to control its LEDs, but you can only turn them 2 different colors (and not turn them off) from the PC side. Pretty lame as a general purpose device, but it is very cheap, and for the default case of using it only to generate MIDI input to a PC and it turns the LEDs on/off without the PC having the ability to meaningfully control its LEDs, it can work pretty well.

    Anyway, the main point is these 2 products which look almost identical and are both USB MIDI turned out to use drastically different MIDI messages. One never turns its LEDs on/off itself, but requires PC-side software to make all the decisions. The other works pretty much the opposite way.

    Failing that can anyone recommend a good USB sniffer for windows?
    If you're working only with MIDI, perhaps something like MIDI-OX and maybe a program to route to/from another virtual MIDI device might be quite a bit simpler than dealing with the complexity of USB?

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