Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

You need one or moreMIDI keyboards to really play the Miditzer
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morabito
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Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by morabito » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:38 am

I've got two casio keyboards with on/off switches hooked into my USB ports to play the two manual Miditzer. Sometimes I start the program accidentally with one keyboard switched off, or a keyboard might get switched off or unplugged at sometime while the program is running in the background (I've got 3 kids who like buttons). When this happens, the manual doesn't play.

I have to do two possible fixes:

(A) I usually have to go back into settings to get it to recognize the keyboard again, click some error boxes, or sometimes restart the program.

(B) sometimes if a keyboard is unplugged the program forgets that I ever had the keyboard, and I have to set it up again. This isn't so bad yet, but might be really irritating after I've programmed in stops.

My goal is to leave this program running, with a dedicated computer tucked away somewhere, so we can switch on the keyboards and stereo and start playing, without getting out the mouse and keyboard and going through menus. I want it to run like a regular electric organ that a 5-year old could turn on and use.

1) Is there a setting to make Miditzer stop overwriting the setup when something is unplugged?

2) Is there a feature that auto-detects and resets when the computer detects a USB device is plugged in? If this existed, then I could leave Miditzer running indefinitely and the kids could just switch the keyboards on and start playing, without me clicking through the setup.

3) Is there a way to add a physical button to the console that restarts the program (I got home today and one note was just playing continuously) until I turned on the monitor, and went back into the setup.

4) If not miditzer, is it possible to accomplish this automation more directly with something like Fluidsynth, which Miditzer uses?

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Jim Henry
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Re: Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by Jim Henry » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:13 am

Can you give us the model number(s) for your Casio keyboards?

Are you using a direct USB connection from the keyboards to USB ports on the computer? Or a MIDI Out on the keyboards through a MIDI to USB interface? If you are using a MIDI interface, what kind?
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Re: Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by morabito » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:17 pm

Manuals:
Casio CTK-2100
Yamaha PSR E343

Pedalboard:
Arduino Due with native MIDI usb capabilities

Connections:
All three are directly connected to the PC using USB midi cables. All three come in under channel 1, but with three different device names.

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Re: Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by Jim Henry » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:46 pm

morabito wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:38 am
3) Is there a way to add a physical button to the console that restarts the program (I got home today and one note was just playing continuously) until I turned on the monitor, and went back into the setup.
If you send a MIDI All Notes Off message, 0x Bn 7B 00 I believe, you can silence a stuck note. You may need to check the Enable MIDI Panic on the Pistons settings page.
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Re: Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by morabito » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:54 pm

So I believe the technical term for this is "headless mode" -- I still have the situation where if I turn on the program with one of the keyboards disconnected, it automatically removes that keyboard. Then, the next time I start the program up, and I've got to go back into settings to add it back in. Is there a way to make the keyboard settings permanent, so they don't get rewritten each time the program runs and closes?

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Re: Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by Jim Henry » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:30 am

The Miditzer accepts a command line parameter of -set followed by the name of an xml file containing settings to use instead of the default. The default settings are stored in Miditzer.xml in the same directory as the Miditzer program. So I think you could copy and rename Miditzer.xml after exiting the Miditzer with the desired setup and then create a shortcut that runs something like

Miditzer.exe -set MySettings.xml

to start the Miditzer with the desired settings. I have not tried this to do what you are trying to do. I realize that this involves mucking about with capabilities of Windows that are unfamiliar to most people. Let me know if this is enough to allow you to try this. And if you do try it, let me know if this does the job. I am not able to test what I am suggesting. If it doesn't work, I might be able to troubleshoot based on what your results are.

Good luck!
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Re: Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by morabito » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:48 pm

Jim,

That's fantastic. I think that might solve the issue if I can have Miditzer start with that when the computer starts up. Does Miditzer have a command to make the computer restart completely like Hauptwerk does?

I'm beginning to set up stops. I have three ways of doing it. (1) I've got stop tabs from another organ, which I can connect through an Arduino Due to make a midi device (I did this for the pedalboard) (2) I have seen in Hauptwerk an ability to set the computer keyboard keys to actuate the stops -- I'm not sure if Miditzer does this, or if I need to use a program like Loopmidi (3) I have seen people using Jorgan use a Novation Launchpad. I believe I need to combine a program like MidiOX to route the messages back to the launchpad to turn the lights on the buttons. What's the recommended method for doing this?

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Re: Problem with settings when keyboard is turned off or unplugged

Post by Jim Henry » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:36 am

No, the Miditzer cannot cause the computer to restart. If you want to get into using the Windows command line and command scripting you probably can do something from there. The concept is to write a script that controls the computer and the script starts and stops the Miditzer and, if desired, restarts the computer. In effect, the script becomes the environment of the computer. I haven't done anything like this so this is just a seat of the pants guess at a solution. You might investigate "kiosk mode" for Windows because I think you are trying to set up a kiosk, which is a tightly controlled environment that runs a single program that interacts with the user and hides the operating system.

As for setting up stops, my usual advice is don't. At least not at first. Pistons are more useful and easier. There is a series of videos, slightly dated but I think you'll be able to make the necessary adjustments to use the information with the current Miditzer, on the main website that explain the intricacies of the combination action. This is one area where I went way beyond what was provided on original Wurlitzer pipe organs. I realized that most users would not have physical stops. So I added a very powerful combination action controlled by pistons that makes the need for stops much less. The pistons do react to the computer keyboard, although that is a fixed configuration. Somewhere there is a keyboard diagram showing where the pistons are. But I know it is the 1 to 0 keys for sure and I think F1 to F10 and other keys up in that area.

A touch sensitive screen is worth considering for stop control.

Once you digest all this, if you still want physical stops, plan (1) is what I'd recommend. But let's discuss it if you want to go that route. Adding physical stops is probably the most challenging part of adding physical controls.
Jim Henry

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