* For adjustment tuning
offset during MIDIJACK II installation and instrument service. For
more information, see the MIDIJACK II Quick
MIDIJACK II advantages
All user selections of MIDI channel, MIDI Off, MIDI On, single note triggering, and multiple note triggering are stored in nonvolatile flash memory, so your preferences will be remembered even with the power off! The Synhouse MIDIJACK II requires no batteries for this. Incorporating the latest advances in MCM (Multi-Chip Module) and VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) technology, the MIDIJACK II matches the MIDIJACK Original as the world's smallest MIDI device. The MIDIJACK II and MIDIJACK Original utilize RISC processors and proprietary data processing architecture to make them the world's fastest MIDI processors.
Since the introduction
of MIDI, users have suffered from slow response time and "MIDI lag".
For this reason, Synhouse has developed Accelerated MIDI for use
in professional music applications. Accelerated MIDI utilizes a combination
of digital sampling techniques and computerized numerical data filtering
processes to separate critical MIDI data from unusable redundant MIDI data,
process it, and implement it instantaneously. This creates
a new type of MIDI processor that is dedicated to the specific applications
of the Analog User, without ever allowing the CPU (Central Processing
Unit) to be interrupted by useless data such as MIDI clocks and commands
sent to other MIDI slave instruments on other MIDI channels. With
the MIDIJACK II and MIDIJACK Original, the analog note sounds while
the slow-moving MIDI message is still in the MIDI cable! This allows
the analog synthesizer to instantly respond to the players note action,
preserving the finest rhythmic nuances. No other brand of products
has ever achieved this level of timing accuracy.
Setting up a MIDIJACK II-equipped synthesizer for performance
Setting up for
performance with a MIDIJACK II-equipped synthesizer is simple. No
analog patch cables are needed. All that is required is a standard
MIDI cable. One end of the cable should be connected to the MIDI
output of the desired controller, which may be a personal computer sequencer,
MIDI keyboard, or other MIDI controller. The other end of the MIDI
cable should be plugged into the MIDIJACK II installed on the analog synthesizer.
The MIDIJACK II is for MIDI input only. MIDI notes should be sent
to the MIDIJACK II one note at a time. The MIDIJACK II is for analog
monosynths and groups of notes sent as chords may be misinterpreted,
causing a malfunction of the analog synthesizer. The MIDIJACK II
does not have a MIDI output and Synhouse does not condone MIDI through.
The MIDIJACK II-equipped instrument is now ready for performance.
All functions are arranged in a Function Ladder on a single MIDI function button. The advantage of having a single button is that it requires drilling only one hole on the analog synthesizer to make the entire MIDI control panel. The Function Ladder concept is quite intuitive and has been implemented for use without any visual indicators during setup or playing. This permits use under poor lighting conditions, while reading music, or while looking at a computer or video monitor. For this reason, the button may be mounted out of sight, such as at the back of the instrument or even on the bottom side. Most importantly, the Synhouse Function Ladder allows a non-sighted user to access all MIDI functions without assistance. No other brand of products has this capability.
The MIDI Function
Ladder is like a physical ladder but with the mode of MIDI Off at the base
of the ladder, MIDI On/channel 1 on the first rung up, MIDI
On/channel 2 on the second rung, MIDI On/channel 3 on the third rung,
and so forth up to the top rung of the ladder, MIDI On/channel 16.
A short push of the button advances the MIDI channel by climbing up to
the next rung.
When the user pushes the button many times to advance the MIDIJACK II all the way up the Function Ladder to MIDI On/channel 16, it will go no further and does not wrap around. To go to a higher MIDI channel, simply press the button as many times as necessary to reach the desired channel. For example, to go from MIDI channel 4 to channel 6, press the button two times. While on the Function Ladder, the MIDI channel selection will only increment and will not decrement. To set to a MIDI channel of a lower number, the MIDIJACK II must be reset to turn MIDI off and the new channel must be selected starting at the base of the ladder. For example, to go from MIDI channel 6 to channel 4, reset and start over, advancing up the ladder to MIDI channel 4. See the section entitled "MIDI Off Mode".
While set to MIDI
On/channel 16, a push of the button mutes the machine and clears
the buffer, however, the MIDIJACK II remains in the mode of
MIDI On/channel 16. This is the only setting where a push of the
button does not change the MIDI channel, making the button act as
a dedicated MIDI Panic Button to silence stuck notes. For this reason,
channel 16 is the best channel for live performance with a MIDIJACK II-equipped
instrument. The MIDI channel selection will be stored in nonvolatile
MIDI Off Mode
If you forget your MIDI channel selection, need to set to a lower MIDI channel, or would like to turn MIDI reception off, the MIDIJACK II must be reset to the base of the Function Ladder. To return to the base of the Function Ladder and to turn MIDI reception off, press the button and hold it for at least a half of a second (>.5 seconds), then release. The machine will be set to MIDI Off Mode and no MIDI information will be received. The new MIDI Off setting will now be stored in nonvolatile flash memory. At this time, all MIDIJACK II MIDI functions are inactive and the analog synthesizer returns to its original state, allowing local analog keyboard control with original factory performance controls and external CV/Gate control if the unit was originally so equipped. While the MIDI On Mode is active, the MIDIJACK II provides a MIDI input to the analog synthesizer and temporarily interrupts the original local keyboard and CV/Gate inputs control over the synthesizer but does not interfere with the CV/Gate outputs at any time, allowing the original keyboard to output its own control voltages even while the analog voice is sounding incoming notes from a computer sequencer or other MIDI controller plugged into the MIDIJACK II MIDI input.
An example of a useful application of the MIDI in/analog out capability of the Synhouse MIDIJACK II would be a simple 3-piece setup using a PC running MIDI sequencer software, a MIDIJACK II-equipped Yamaha CS15 analog monophonic keyboard synthesizer, and an unmodified Korg MS-50 analog monophonic synthesizer module without keyboard. The PC plays a MIDI sequence and is plugged into the MIDIJACK II on the CS15. The CS15's CV/Gate outputs are patched through the appropriate adapter cables into the CV/Gate inputs on the MS-50. This way, the Analog User's hands are on the CS15 keyboard controlling the MS-50 in real time to accompany the sound of the sequenced CS15 live onstage.
over this setup that would eliminate the need for special adapter cables
and free the Analog User's hands to tweak the knobs on both synthesizers
in real time while the music plays would be to put a MIDIJACK II on the
MS-50 as well, putting the entire analog synthesizer setup under
MIDI On Mode
If MIDI is off
(in MIDI Off mode) and you would like to receive MIDI, activate the
MIDI On mode by pressing the button the number of times equal to
the desired MIDI channel number. For example, if MIDI is off
and you want to set it to receive MIDI on channel 6, press the button
6 times. The MIDIJACK II is now ready to play on the selected MIDI
channel, channel 6. The MIDI channel selection will be stored
in nonvolatile flash memory.
The Synhouse MIDIJACK II utilizes a unique software algorithm that causes a RAM (Random Access Memory) buffer to store the 4 most recently played MIDI notes that have not yet been released. This allows musical trill effects to be performed by letting newer notes revert to older notes by holding the oldest notes and releasing the newer ones.
The MIDIJACK II
always gives the monophonic analog synthesizer voice latest note priority.
When combined with the 4-Note Buffer, this provides a certain degree
of automatic error correction. Most analog synthesists playing around
the time of the turn of the century actually became familiar with playing
music in the 1980s and 1990s by using newer digital computer-based,
proper multiple note triggering, truly polyphonic synthesizers and
samplers. The playing habits that resulted from using this superior
technology made using low-note rule, single-triggering analog synthesizers
a very difficult and unpredictable task. The use of the primitive
monophonic analog instruments that came from the eastern United States
in the 1970s required the skilled player to hold his or her wrists high
above the keyboard and to quickly strike and release the keys in a staccato
style: This avoided bass lines with missing note attacks. With
the application of newer Synhouse technology, even older instruments
such as these may be controlled reliably. The combination of 4-Note
Buffering, multiple note triggering, and latest note priority
implemented in the MIDIJACK II ensures that the correct note is always
Single Note Triggering and Multiple Note Triggering
If a keyboard player plays a musical passage with several notes that have no pauses between them, it may be intelligently interpreted by the MIDIJACK II in two different ways. The type of analog synthesizers controlled by the MIDIJACK II have analog envelope generators that would ordinarily see this passage of several notes as a single note event and would not retrigger the envelope generators several times for a fresh attack for each new note. This type of response may be selected on the MIDIJACK II and is called single note triggering, giving a legato sound to all notes that are performed without a pause or a rest between them. If the analog synthesizer is set to have a filter envelope with the sustain stage set to a fairly low cutoff frequency on the lowpass filter, playing a continuous passage of notes without pauses will give the mellow sound of lounge music. If an Analog User accustomed to modern polyphonic keyboard instruments plays with this type of single triggering, the results will be very unpredictable and it may be impossible to play a properly articulated bass line because some notes will fail to have a strong attack. For this, multiple note triggering may be used. Multiple note triggering causes the analog gate output to intelligently retrigger with every new note, whether or not there are time spaces or rests between notes.
There are two
note triggering modes, single and multiple. The most recent
selection of single or multiple note triggering is stored in nonvolatile
flash memory. To toggle from the current triggering mode to the other,
power-up the MIDIJACK II-equipped synthesizer while holding the MIDI function
button down, then release. The new setting will now be stored
in nonvolatile flash memory. Some synthesizers which do not have
multiple note triggering as a standard function will be able to utilize
this MIDIJACK-II function, but some will not due to their slow envelope
triggering characteristics. If the latter is the case, single
note triggering will result from either setting on the MIDIJACK II,
so this portion of the manual does not apply.
The MIDIJACK II has a tuning offset adjustment trimmer that affects the tuning of the analog synthesizer while it is under MIDI control in the same manner as the master tuning control. It is less than one inch away from the MIDI function button and may be adjusted by inserting a small flatblade screwdriver into the control panel opening. A Synhouse Pocket Screwdriver fits perfectly.
The tuning offset adjustment trimmer may be set by ear if the Analog User has a decent sense of pitch and a reference tone source to compare it to, such as another MIDI keyboard, preferably a newer MIDI synthesizer or digital sample playback keyboard with known good tuning. This can be used as the MIDI controller and the user can listen to its sound output as a reference tone to match the analog synthesizer's pitch while adjustments are being made. The MIDI controller keyboard should be connected with a MIDI cable to the MIDIJACK II for control of the analog synth and the audio outputs of both instruments should be connected to a sound system for monitoring. The MIDIJACK II should be in MIDI On Mode and set to the same MIDI channel as the MIDI controller keyboard. Set the master tuning controls on both instruments to their center positions. This should provide A440 on the newer instrument as a good reference. While playing a note on the MIDI controller keyboard, the user can turn the tuning offset adjustment trimmer very slowly until the correct pitch is heard and the two instruments play in tune with each other. It may be easiest to hear the tones clearly by adjusting the analog synthesizer so that the filter is open with the frequency set to maximum, the resonance (also known as "Q", or emphasis) set to minimum, and the envelope generators set to sustain, without any vibrato on the oscillators. This adjustment has already been made at the factory, so if it has shifted during transport, it will still be very close to the perfect setting, perhaps only 1 or 2 degress off. This setting will also allow you to tune the synthesizer to a lower note, for example, to set a MIDI C note to become a B note on the analog synthesizer.
Analog calibration should only be performed occasionally, as overuse of the tuning offset adjustment trimmer may cause excessive wear and premature failure of the part.
At times, the MIDIJACK II may not work as desired. This is likely due to incorrect connections or settings.
Question 1: The MIDI control of my
analog synthesizer is great but the keyboard on my analog synthesizer doesn't
work anymore. What's wrong?
Answer: MIDI On mode has probably been selected. If the synthesizer is receiving MIDI, the MIDIJACK II bypasses the local (built-in) analog keyboard. To turn MIDI off, hold the MIDI function button down for at least a half a second (>.5 seconds) and the MIDI will be off. In this MIDI Off mode, the built-in keyboard on the analog synthesizer will work, as well as all normal factory performance controls such as pitch bend, portamento, etc.. Since the MIDIJACK II provides proper multiple note triggering and last note priority with a 4-note buffer, it is often best to use MIDI control even if playing live without a computer sequencer. Old analog synthesizers often have dirty electrical contacts in the keyboard, or even worse, completely rotten rubber and metal mechanisms, which causes missed notes or double-triggers. Use of such a primitive keyboard is no longer necessary when the analog synthesizer is equipped with a MIDIJACK II.
Question 2: My analog synthesizer
has a MIDIJACK II but it won't receive MIDI. What's wrong?
Answer: The MIDI may be connected or selected incorrectly. Make sure the MIDI output of the controlling computer sequencer or MIDI keyboard is connected to the MIDIJACK II with a known good MIDI cable. Do not use the MIDI through function on any MIDI device, ever. Make sure the MIDI channel is correctly selected to be the same as the channel on the MIDI controller. Review the earlier chapter entitled "MIDI Channel Selection and MIDI Panic Button".
Question 3: My analog synthesizer
plays in tune with MIDI, but with the MIDI off, it no longer
plays in tune. What's wrong?
Answer: The old analog synthesizer needs calibration but the MIDIJACK II may play it in tune perfectly due to it's infinite analog scaling. It should really be calibrated by a service center specializing in the repair of older analog equipment, but if it plays in tune with the MIDIJACK II, you may be able to use it as it is with MIDI and never use the built-in keyboard at all.
Question 4: My analog synthesizer
plays in tune with it's own built-in keyboard when the MIDI is turned off,
but when the MIDI is turned on, it's out of tune. What's wrong?
Answer: The MIDIJACK II needs a tuning adjustment. This can be done by the Analog User with a keen sense of pitch. Review the earlier chapter entitled "Analog Calibration Mode".
Question 5: My analog synthesizer
has a MIDIJACK II and sometimes plays the wrong note or has a note stuck
on after the music has stopped playing. What's wrong?
Answer: The MIDIJACK II is a MIDI interface for analog monosynths. These synthesizers have only one voice and should be sent monophonic MIDI notes only. This means that only one note at a time should be sent to a MIDIJACK II-equipped analog synthesizer, and computer sequences should be recorded with this specific requirement in mind. Many previously recorded computer sequences contain chords instead of single notes. Since MIDI is a serial interface, these notes cannot be sent simultaneously. The notes will be sent one at a time in no particular order, as a string of note on commands without any note offs, while the monosynth is playing one note at a time. There is no way of knowing which note of the chord will sound at any one time. Making matters worse, the MIDIJACK II puts all of these incoming notes into the 4-note buffer, then matches them up with note off commands when they start arriving. When the MIDI note on/note off data no longer makes sense, various active notes may linger in the buffer. When this occurs causing a stuck MIDI note, the user may push the MIDI function button to stop the stuck note, or briefly hold and release four notes simultaneously to clear the 4-note buffer. One considerable defect of the MIDI specification is that it supposedly has 16 channels, when it really has only one. Compared to multichannel audio mixing consoles and television sets, the MIDI spec has really misappropriated the word "channel". All MIDI data is sent on a single wire regardless of the "channel". One channel of MIDI data is sent on one wire. Sixteen "channels" are also sent on one wire, but at a greatly reduced speed due to the reduction of usable bandwidth. The result: All MIDI devices set up in a standard "star" configuration have to read and understand the MIDI data of all 15 irrelevant channels while set to only one "channel". Not only does this drastically reduce the bandwidth of the datastream, but it also increases the data processing chores required by all MIDI devices in the setup, in some cases by thousands of times. For a good modern-day example, imagine a MIDI-automated studio final mixdown with all faders and effects under MIDI control. An audio signal processor set to receive a single a MIDI program change once during the middle of the song only (after doing nothing for two minutes), instead has to read 3,750,000 bits of data while waiting for the one command it will get during the song being played. The result may be poor, slow DSP (Digital Signal Processor) performance damaging the audio, and different results entirely when some MIDI tracks are muted, due to suddenly increased bandwidth of the datastream. If the MIDI setup is configured in the "daisy chain" configuration where the MIDI through function is used, the results are bound to be a hundred times worse due to added MIDI delays and distortion of the MIDI signal by pointlessly optoisolating the MIDI signal several times turning a sharp, clean digital string of zeroes and ones into a sleepy analog sinewave that may be interpreted incorrectly and differently by the MIDI slave devices. In such a situation, synchronization between MIDI tracks is lost, and the feeling of the music wanders as it plays. To maximize performance in a MIDI setup with multiple instruments, the MIDI data should be channelized by any means available so that one instrument receives only the channel data sent on the channel to which it is assigned. It will still receive potentially unnecessary MIDI clocks and system exclusive data, but for now, this is as good as it gets.
The MIDIJACK II
is warranted against defects in parts and manufacture for a period of 90
days from the date of purchase. Warranty becomes void if in the opinion
of Synhouse Multimedia Corporation the MIDIJACK II has been subjected to
unauthorized service, modification, or unintended usage.
No liability is assumed by Synhouse Multimedia Corporation for any loss
or damage, direct or indirect, resulting from the use of or
inability to use the MIDIJACK II.
Copyright © 1/2/2002 Synhouse Multimedia Corporation