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I've been trying to learn about MIDI application for connecting two Korg keyboards and it's amazing that I'm having trouble finding someone (other than Korg on the phone) who knows the subject well even though MIDI was established in the early '80s. This is my problem:

I acquired a Korg X3 in 1994 and used the sequencing capability to put together some music that was stored on the on-board floppy disk drive. I now use a Korg M3 which is quite a step up and wanted to transfer the X3 songs to the M3 sequencer via MIDI or so I thought. I read the M3 manual, called Korg support and I received some guidance there.

I revised the X3 songs to make sure the drums were on track 10 since I understand that's the standard. I realize that even if I can transfer the data I'll have to find matching program sounds to make it sound somewhat similar. I ran a MIDI cable from the 'out' port of the X3 to the 'in' port of the M3. Following instructions from Korg, set the M3 MIDI clock accordingly and used multi-track recording. I recorded the X3 song into the M3 and afterward, it appeared that only tracks 8, 9, and 10 were transferred.

I needed someone to SHOW me what I'm doing wrong but in calling Korg dealership stores, I was amazed that nobody knew how to do what I was asking about. One keyboard salesman even told me that it wasn't possible to transfer the songs the way I wanted. Now, I know I'm fairly ignorant about MIDI but I would think that MIDI was supposed to be a viable communication tool between keyboards. I'm going to get a MIDI basics book and read but I'd like to communicate with someone who might be familiar with my problem other than Korg (who ARE helpful but there's a chance you're gonna be on hold for a while).

Anybody out there know about this? Help!


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MIDI is Deep, Dark and Mysterious. Sold only in The Shadows and understood only by The Few. Rarely works and then, only on The Full Moon.

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As far as I can determine, your question has nothing to do with MIDI. It is completely Korg specific. There is no standard MIDI function to transfer sequences from one device to another, that's not something MIDI was designed for. That's not to say you can't do it, only that what you need isn't knowledge about MIDI, but rather knowledge about your Korg devices.

My guess would be that the easiest way to do it might be to see if there is some way to generate a .mid sequence file on the X3 and export it to your computer, then use your computer or a USB stick to get it from there to your M3. Your idea of "playing" the sequence out of your X3 into your M3 could work too, if the M3 has a function that allows it to record and store an incoming MIDI sequence (and from what you're saying, it sounds like it does). But again, that's a function of the M3 itself, not a function of MIDI. So you need a Korg expert, not a MIDI expert.

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Thanks, anotherscott. I saved the X3 songs into (SMF) Standard Midi Format on the X3 floppy disk drive thinking I'd just find a computer, load the disk data into and then transfer the data onto a USB stick to be loaded via the M3 USB port. However I'm having trouble finding a computer with a floppy drive. Can you believe that? I did find one but when I inserted the disk, it gave a message that indicated the disk needed to be formatted. I declined doing this since most likely my disk would have been wiped clean.

I was thinking that in the event I couldn't ever load the disk data, I could just do a direct transfer of data with the MIDI cables even though I don't really know what I'm doing MIDI-wise. Gotta find some way to save and use the my old X3 songs. Thanks anyway for your reply.


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The Giebler KDM package might be able to read the X3 floppy format. A quick Google search suggests that the X3 is a newer version of the T3. You could call Giebler to check or send them a sample disk to try.

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Thanks, Mark. I emailed them to see if they could help me.


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Midi is a enigma wrapped in a mystery surrounded by a paradox .... why ? Well that's a mystery too wink


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Originally Posted by Ojustaboo


I sure have. I posted my problem earlier this month on April 12 in the Korg M3 area and so far the post has been viewed 49 times. This has been a great and useful site in the past but so far there's been no response.
http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=71270

I also posted the question on the Karmalab forum and the inventor of the Karma software, Stephen Kay was kind enough to respond stating there was no way to transfer SMF format data via sysex/MIDI from an X3 to an M3. I'm not sure what 'sysex' is but is this telling me I can't do what I'm thinking about using MIDI?

This also great site featuring my query is here:

http://www.karma-lab.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18855

It looks I'm going to have to find a way to use the method of going from floppy disk to a computer to a USB stick to the M3 USB input with the song in SMF format.

Thanks anyway for the suggestion.


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Why can't you just play your sequences into a PC via a MIDI cable and record them on Cubase.etc ? Each track should transmit on its own MIDI channel. Even if they didn't, you could send tracks one at a time and assemble them on your PC. I've done this using my Korg T1 and there is practically no difference between that and what you are trying to do.

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Hey, that sounds interesting. I've seen the name Cubase mentioned on the web but I don't know anything about it. I looked it up after your post and there seemed to be a lot of choices so I'm curious; is the application Cubase something you buy or is it a free download? Any guidance toward the Cubase application that would do what we're talking about would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ando.


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Originally Posted by jasperkeys
Stephen Kay was kind enough to respond stating there was no way to transfer SMF format data via sysex/MIDI from an X3 to an M3. I'm not sure what 'sysex' is


Sysex is short for "system exclusive." It is a protocol within MIDI that allows individual manufacturers to extend MIDI for their own purposes. Standard MIDI is something recognized by all devices, but if Korg wants to build in their own extra MIDI functions just for their own units, they are allowed to add their own commands via the Sysex function (and they can add different commands for different models if they want).

So Steve was saying that in addition to there being no such thing as a standard MIDI function that does file transfer (as I mentioned above), Korg did not add any such custom function via sysex, either.


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okay then that's good to know. There's so much to this MIDI subject and I've already ordered a MIDI basics book from our local library to hopefully enlighten me. Thanks.


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I use Powertracks by PG Music (Band-in-the-box) and its pretty cheap and easy to use. you'd just run your midi cable from your keyboard to your PC, playback the recording(s) on the floppy and then record that as Midi instructions on your PC, save as a midi file. you can then either download them to a memory stick from your computer to plug in and play on your new keyboard, or you can just reverse the midi flow by cable and have your computer/ sequencer play the newer keyboard.

i think...

Last edited by bfb; 04/19/12 04:29 PM.

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I only suggested Cubase as an example (because I have it and it's very common). There are any number of free/cheaper programs that will accept MIDI inputs. Even humble GarageBand will do it (if you own a Mac). If you are totally new to this, there will be a steep learning curve and it would be a huge time-saver to find somebody who can work through it with you. You learn more from doing something than from talking about something, IMO.

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Cubase, Reaper, Powertracks. I've looked them up on the internet and I'm not sure which one would fit my need best so I guess I just have to call them to get a feel for all this.

I do have a singer that could be involved in the Korg M3 music so maybe one of these is more applicable for including a singer.

Thanks


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If I were you, I wouldn't be storing my songs on a dang keyboard.
What if, BZZT, you lose em?

Play them from your keyboard out midi and record em on your pc.
My little http://pianocheater.com might be able to do that.
But it's more built for piano practice, not general recording of
midi.

No matter what "midi sequencer" you get (a software app that'll
record, display, play back midi), you're in for a learning curve.
They all behave a liiiiittle differently.

But once the .mid is on your pc, you can back it up, tweak it,
etc.

MIDI itself really refers to the live communication of notes over
the wire. The .MID file format is a little bit extra that
stores all those notes (and controls) in time in a file.
http://pianocheater.com/docs/midi

THEN you have all the device and sequencer specific stuff.
That's where things go crazy.
"General Midi" is only a baseline (bare bones) standard.
And once you start using a particular synth or a particular
sequencer app, things start going NON-standard.

But, eh, that's the way it is till you can get ALL those
synth manufacturers and sequencer app developers to
DO IT ONE WAY.
They all think their way is the best and they're all wrong.

You can email me and I'll see if I can help ya out.
stephen.hazel@gmail.com

Good luck to ya.

Last edited by Stephen Hazel; 04/20/12 04:59 PM.

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Thanks, Stephen. I might just contact you at that. I called Korg this morning and once again tried to transfer an X3 song to the M3 but although it didn't work again, I felt like I made a small amount of progress.

I found an online copy of the Korg X3 manual online as I currently can find only the first half of my book and the MIDI material in Chapter 8 is in the second half (naturally). In reading the online manual there was something called MIDI data dump which allows you to save X3 data to an external MIDI device. It said the data can be in the form of "Program, Conbination, Global Setup, Drum Kit, SEQUENCE, and All Data". This might be what I been looking for.


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I'd try Bruce B's suggestion - Powertracks.

I've been using it for about ten years:

http://www.pgmusic.com/powertracks.htm

$49 for something this useful is a steal, and there is a very large knowledgeable user base at the online forum.

Glenn

PS - my DP has only a 3 1/2" floppy drive. I save my midi files to the floppy, and transfer them with Powertracks to my DAW. Kept a floppy drive or two just in case.

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