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Thread: Alesis DM5 - midi velocity control

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    Alesis DM5 - midi velocity control

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    Hi forum

    I'm planning to use Cakewalk to provide backing for a live performance, driving a number of synth racks.

    My Alesis DM5 is providing the drum sounds, but does not appear to respond to the volume (i.e. velocity) control on the Cakewalk mixer. This seems to be the case for every song which seems to suggest that the DM5 is simply ignoring any velocity command send by MIDI from Calkwalk.

    I'm not trying to do anything sophisticated like change the volume of different drum sounds within the patch, simply to change the overall volume of the output of the DM5 on a song-by-song basis, without having to manually change it on the module itself.

    Advice welcome. I acknowledge that it may be a silly question...

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    Are you sure that you're changing the velocity of all the outgoing notes, or are you just sending CC7 volume messages? They are different things entirely, and it wouldn't surprise me too much if the DM5 just ignores CC7. I don't know the DM5, but my D4 doesn't have a "kit volume" that could even be changed by that controller. If that holds true for your module, then you will have to change the actual velocity of each note sent to it. I thought that CW/Sonar had a track-level velocity adjustment which adds (or subtracts) a certain amount to the velocity of anything it sends, but it's been a while since I used that DAW. In Reaper we'd have to use a plugin. You might also, or it might just be easiest to edit the actual MIDI to send the right velocity to begin with.

    But you have to remember a few things when changing velocity:

    1) I think some of the sounds in the DM5 are multisampled with velocity layers so that softer hits actually sound different from louder ones rather than just being the same sound at different volumes. Whether that's a problem or not depends on which sounds you're using and what you're trying to do. Then again, if everything's just bashing away at 127, you might find it sounds better or more interesting at lower velocities.

    B) There are real limits to the top and bottom of possible velocity numbers. You can't make a velocity 127 note any louder, and if you've got real quiet notes (ghost snare hits or whatever), turning them down could push them to 0. If there's actual dynamics in the MIDI, some of all of it could be lost if you're not careful. Again that's only a problem if it's a problem.

    If you aren't sure what the control you're trying to tweak is actually sending, either run a MIDI monitor program (like midiox) that can tell you what the DAW is putting out or patch the hardware MIDI out to a MIDI in (being careful not to create a feedback loop) and record it on a new track that you can look at in event list.

    Now...In most cases where you're really just playing back prerecorded material, it's a lot easier and better in a lot of ways to just use audio. Record the audio coming out of the DM5, adjust as necessary, then preferably render all of that, then save yourself having to carry all that extra gear.

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