Propellerhead Software
Old 2012-11-15, 15:39
plauda2 plauda2 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Using Combinator live


I've been using a demo version of 6.5 because I want to make sure it can do what I want before I plunk down the $'s. My needs are:

Using the Combinator (I've seen some great tutorials on youtube - but no answer yet to my issue) I want to create a set of patches that I can control using two different keyboards. I can get all the way to defining the split points on the patches in the Combinator Programmer, but I can't yet find the right way to assign a specific keyboard to a synth in the 'combi'. I thought there must be some way to set the synths to respond on a given midi channel so that only the keyboard sending on that channel would activate it but I can't find a way to set that up.

I can 'lock' a controller to a device but then I can't switch to another combi and do the same thing without re-locking to the keyboards/controllers. I'm sure there has to be an easy way to accomplish this but I am not able to find it.

So bottom line, I want to create, say, 10 combinators with multiple synths in them and assign keyboard 1 to 'some' of the synths and keyboard 2 to the others. How is this done? Can it be done?

Any help greatly appreciated.
Old 2012-11-15, 21:27
stevenha stevenha is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 83
I tried Reason->Preferences->Advanced and set Bus A to accept MIDI from my USB port, then I went to the top of the Reason Rack, to HardWare Interface, chose Advanced MIDI, and set Bus A, and set Channel 1 to be a a Maelstrom and channel 2 to be a Thor. Sadly for me, it had some problems related to some notes that should only be on channel 2 going to channel 1 sometimes, and some notes never got a note "off" message, so they kept on sounding and sounding. But that may be due to a deficiency of my own keyboard's MIDI abilities. Try it with your keyboards.. it might work perfectly.
Old 2012-11-16, 16:25
plauda2 plauda2 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Hey, thanks for that! It actually got me a bit closer. I am able to use a combinator in this way and get the two keyboards to work separately IF I use two Thor's for eg;. When I try to use one Thor and One NN-XT the controller on midi bus A always seems to send note-on to the Thor as well. The keyboard on midi bus B always works as expected. Just another spot of weirdness.

I'll keep hacking on this method and let you know what I am able to find. I would have thought that I could get pre-sales support to answer these questions since I won't actually buy the product if this doesn't work. I already own protools and will stick with that for recording. The live application of Reason, if it will do what I'm after, makes it worth the bucks imho.

Old 2012-11-16, 17:12
hollownation's Avatar
hollownation hollownation is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 569
ok I think I have a solution but it depends on your midi keyboards capabilitys first forget about advanced midi I had a look at that and didnt get anywhere I was about to give up completly then this popped into my head take your first midi keyboard and move it's octave range right down to it's lowest notes then move the other keyboard to its highest then open the combinator programmer and select your first instrument and change the note range from the lowest point to somewhere in the middle so your doing a keyboard split in the combinator then do the opposit with your other instrument. you should now have both insrtuments playing on different keyboard but 1 will be really low and 1 really high so you need to retune them this can be done on each individual insrtument but if you change the patch you will need to retune so another way to do it would be via the transpose in the comb programmer this should do it.

hope this works for you
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Old 2012-11-16, 17:41
plauda2 plauda2 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
That's an interesting approach Hollow.. I will give it a try when I get back to the studio later today. On the other hand, while thinking more about the advanced midi path today, it occurred to me that my second controller, the one 'always' playing both instruments, may have been set to midi global rather than midi channel 1. I'll first have to confirm that.

Going further down that path, it occurs to me that there might be a problem with using multiple combinators all using say, thor units for arguments sake. I'm wondering if all of the thors will respond to the midi signal or if only in the 'selected' combinator.

So many questions, so little time.

Thanks again!
Old 2012-11-16, 18:50
gwoo gwoo is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 12
The way I do it is by using global channels on my midi controller and setting them to separate buses. If one of your controllers is incapable of changing channels, then you will be stuck because it will always be on channel 1 and it will always trigger something linked to that channel. Also, make sure in the sequencer window you have the "active" midi triggering channel on the transport channel so it doesn't trigger any notes accidentally. Then I set up a separate global channel for each instrument I use.
The way I generally use this is I have my keyboard on bus A that I play keys and rhodes with and then use an SPD-S on bus B that controls either one or more kongs or combinators for the drummer. This will work for triggering notes, but if you are turning knobs or moving faders you need to have enough for each one to be individually remotely assigned. That's obviously a chore with hardware, but if you have an iPad, just get TouchOSC or some other freely customizable controller and make as many buttons, faders, knobs as you need.
Hope that helps.
Old 2012-11-16, 20:26
kylelee's Avatar
kylelee kylelee is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 298
make sure in the sequencer window you have the transport channel selected and not one of the instruments, otherwise the selected instrument will always receive notes.

also you can set midi channels of the advanced bus to the devices inside the combinator.

if midi channel 1 is set to the combinator all the devices inside receive midi
so instead set the channels to each device in the combinator then you can change instruments by changing midi channels on your controller.
Old 2012-11-16, 21:34
hollownation's Avatar
hollownation hollownation is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 569
the problem with using the advanced midi comes when he wants to change between combinators not as easy to map instrument change where as if he uses my method he can just use chanel select up down as normal to go to the next comb
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Old 2012-11-18, 16:14
plauda2 plauda2 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
This turned out to be the best solution. The issue I was having, where things were being triggered that I didn't expect, was due to a self inflicted situation of not setting the global midi channel on the Oxygen 61. Once I figured that out and found the _right_ way to change that parameter, things started working properly and as expected. So far I have been able to create 4 combinators with various instruments and configure them to be triggered on incremental midi channels and busses. I believe that at this point I have gotten through the proof of concept part of this and feel comfortable laying down the $ for the software license.

I never could get the split and octaves thing to work. Perhaps it is my controllers. But thanks Hollow for trying to help me.

Thanks to gwoo for providing the working solution and I can't wait to get this 'thing' out on a stage and take a test drive.



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