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SynthManDan

Xpand!2 in Cakewalk with pad controller?

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Trying to get my Akai MPX8 to trigger Xpand!2’s drum kits.  It works in all my other VST’s (including the SI Drums).

Anyone using Xpand!2 in Cakewalk with a pad controller?

SMD

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Xpand!2's drum kits respond to keyboard notes. The kits are mapped across the keyboard, so it's not really Cakewalk specific.

I don't have an Akai controller to test with, but if you can set those pads to send MIDI notes you should be all set.

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It does send midi notes, and I’ve already adjusted the settings to work with SI Drums.  Maybe Xpand!2 doesn’t have this ability.  

Thx

SMD

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Everything should work as long as you can  custom map the correct notes to the kit pieces in the kit that you have selected in Xpand!2. For example to trigger the kick with a selected pad, you probably need to have that pad send a C1 (at least that works on my system with middle C for reference  as octave 3). Xpand!2 shows the kick mapped to C1 in the plugin GUI.

You may have to try several different octave ranges, as Cakewalk does not always display notes in the octave where you might expect it to be. It might turn up at C0, C1, or C2 , or elsewhere depending on the Cakewalk preferences. I found it helps if I set Cakewalk Preferences > Customization > Display > Base Octave for Pitches [-2].

The easiest way to find the kick is usually to plug in a MIDI keyboard and hit every C note until you find the kick drum. Or use a MIDI analyzer like MIDI-OX to determine the exact note that you are sending from your MIDI controller. http://www.midiox.com/

As far as setting up Xpand!2, maybe this video will help. It uses Pro Tools as the host in this example, but setting up the Xpand!2 drums is not Pro Tools specific, except at the 3:15 min mark in the video, you will actually find the big instrument preset menu is at the bottom of the Xpand!2 VST interface, not at the top of the plugin window as shown in Pro Tools in the video.

The Xpand!2 smart knobs for each layer A-B-C-D will let you see the mappings for the pieces and do some minor adjustments to the kit.

Creating a drumbeat using Xpand!2

https://www.lynda.com/Pro-Tools-tutorials/Creating-drumbeat-using-Xpand2/383573/413476-4.html

 

Edited by abacab
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I know about the mapping.  I can scroll through all the mapping assignments on any pad, and still doesn’t trigger Xpand!2.  At least it’s consistent though because I can’t get it to work in my other DAW either.  I can trigger other drum VST’s using it, but not with Xpand.

SMD

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It works, and get the same results with several other DAWs that I've tried. Have you tried with the keys on a plain MIDI keyboard yet?

It also works with the pads on my keyboard. MIDI notes are MIDI notes, regardless of the source.

 

Edited by abacab

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Another thing you may want to check is if you are sending the drum hits over MIDI channel 10, or some other? That was the traditional channel for GM drums in multitimbral MIDI setups.

Xpand!2 can only receive data on your choice of MIDI channels 1-4, per part.

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1 hour ago, fogle622 said:

In the distant past, MIDI channel 16 also was an assigned midi drum channel.

You can put drums on any MIDI channel. The point here is that Xpand!2 can only respond to channels 1-4, drums or not.

My suggestion was to check the pad controller to see what MIDI channel was being transmitted on.

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. . . and it is an excellent suggestion.  I agree with you.

Some people adapt midi files they find purchased or find on the internet.  They'll think to look for drums on midi channel 10 but forget the drums might lie on midi channel 16.  This is an easy mistake to make when starting with a midi 0 file.

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It’s very strange.  My primary controller is an M-Audio Hammer-88.  No issues at all.  The interesting thing is I can press C2 on my Hammer-88, the virtual key in the screen within my DAW shows C2 is being pressed, and it triggers Xpand.

I can then tap a pad on my Akai, which is assigned to C2, it too shows midi data being received, and C2 on the virtual keyboard shows its being triggered, but it will not trigger Xpand.  

I’ll have a go at it tomorrow, and double check the midi output chan.

SMD

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Record a little using both the M-Audio Hammer-88 and Akai MPX8

Then open the Event List View and compare the data

This may help show the difference between the MIDI sent by the two controllers

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