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How to assign NRPN data?

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Right now, MIDI CC is not enough for my work with kyma.
Hence the question of how I can receive data in Kyma with my Hydrasynth, which can send NRPN data, in order to enjoy the high-resolution results. At the moment I can control the controls in the VCS window with the Hydrasynth via MIDI CC's.
If I switch the Hydrasynth to NRPN, it is not possible for me to receive the data in the Kyma using the "learning" function.
But in the Midi messages window you can see incoming data. I would be very thankful for help!

Greetings Martin
asked Feb 21 in Controllers, OSC & MIDI by martin-stehl (Practitioner) (310 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Martin, can the Hydrasynth also send 14-bit MIDI controls?
answered Feb 22 by ssc (Savant) (127,180 points)

Yes, it does and interesting to see that it worked today via the "Learn" function in the VCS! Though when I dial the Hydrasynth's Filter knob, from full CCW to full CW the data received in Kyma is in the range from 0 - 0.5 in parameter fields where 0 - 1 is chosen! I monitored the MIDI data in Cubase and it shows these values: The NRPN data from the filter knob starts from cc99 (value 64), cc98 (40), cc06 (0), cc38 (64) till cc99 (64), cc98 (40), cc06 (64), cc38 (0).
Is there a way to scale the range of that sent MIDI data to a range of 0 - 1?

Many thanks, Martin
Martin, what you are seeing there is the NRPN data sequence for one parameter. The CC98/99 is the parameter number, and the CC06/CC38 is the value for that parameter. CC06/CC38 are also considered a 14-bit MIDI CC pair (fun fact: CC06 was the original DX7 Data Entry slider, which is why MIDI standardize it as the RPN and NRPN parameter MSB value). SSC will have to weigh in on how MIDI Learn treats this 4 MIDI CC sequence but normally you would train MIDI Learn with just a 14-bit MIDI CC sequence, e.g. CC00/CC32, CC01/CC33, etc.
many thanks for your explanation! MIDI Learn recognizes indeed the the 14-bit MIDI CC sequence. Though, I wonder if there is a way to scale the range of that sent MIDI data to a range of 0 - 1, since that filter knob is sending data in a range of 0 - 0.5? Greetings
Yes it looks like the Hydrasynth has limited its value range, perhaps a reflection of the actual internal filter cutoff value instead of a properly scaled value. As far as I know there is no way to have a VCS MIDI learn automatically scaled so you would have to do that with Capytalk in the parameter fields where ever the HotValue is used.

It is also worth pointing out that using NRPN is this manner is kind of a one trick pony. Your Hydrasynth (as would other NRPN devices) will use CC06/CC38 to send the value of any NRPN control. The VCS treats every CC06/CC38 as the same MIDI learn. So you are limited to only one 14-bit MIDI controller from the Hydrasynth, or any other NRPN device used this way.

If you want to assign each Hydrasynth panel controller to a different VCS parameter you will need some type of software translation layer written in something like Max/PD, or maybe some application like Osculator can do this (I haven't checked). If you do go down this path I would recommend translating from NRPN to OSC parameter change (not MIDI over OSC) to avoid some other potential MIDI limitations. Plus the translation could handle any scaling problems. Kyma has a robust OSC learn facility.
Thanks! That's indeed true to have one 14-Bit controller only, which was confusing me, but now that you informed me very understandable! Do have a favorite controller for Koma that works with 14-Bit resolution?
Greetings Martin
I don't have a favorite 14-bit controller. I still use an ancient MotorMix because it is so well integrated in Kyma. Its faders use 14-bit MIDI, but like most physical MIDI controllers the actual resolution is less (if I recall it is 9 or 10 bits). This is a common problem with fader or pot controls due to physical limitations and/or the lower cost analog to digital converters - its challenging to deliver true accuracy of more than 10-bits. The MotorMix is actually one of the better controllers as far as delivering usable resolution.

I also find that a well programmed touch-based control surface on an iPad can be a good controller.

There are programmable MIDI controllers from some of the smaller manufacturers that handle 14-bit MIDI but don't just assume that they are actually that accurate. A lot of those controllers have the same practical limitations that can limit usable resolution to more like 10 bits (or less).

There is a popular open-source hardware fader-based controller called 16n ( A number of smaller manufacturers make standalone version, and there are Eurorack versions that can be used as CV-to-MIDI converters. Once again the actual resolution is usually more like 9 or 10 bits.