Author Topic: X-Touch Color...  (Read 80 times)

Offline BobbyZ

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X-Touch Color...
« on: January 25, 2019, 08:38:33 AM »
Hello AZSlow:
I have noticed that you have done some work with the X-Touch in regards to getting scribble strip LCD to display color.

Could you tell me what was the last findings on the matter as I would love this functionality for my DAW Cubase and X-Touch.

I have done a lot of reading in your forum and have been searching the internet for anyone who could make a breakthrough on this.

It looks like were very close Could you reply to me any things I could try with Cubase?
Thanks for your contribution to this matter!
BobbyZ

Offline azslow3

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Re: X-Touch Color...
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 09:23:15 AM »
Hello BobbyZ,

When X-Touch is connected with Ethernet or MIDI (not USB!) and it is in XCtl mode, X-Touch is "speaking" and responding on a different set of messages compare to Mackie mode.
In this case there are messages to set the color.

So to use the feature there must be some software between the DAW and X-Touch which "speaks" X-Ctl instead of Mackie and the DAW allows that software ask for the strip color.

That definitively can be done for Cakewalk and REAPER. And I am almost sure that can be done for Ableton and Bitwig.

I have no idea how that can be done for Steinberg. They gave the world VST and ASIO (with a bit fancy license agreement, effectively restrictive without a reason). But in other directions there are closed (I have not found Control SDK).

Offline BobbyZ

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Re: X-Touch Color...
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 11:01:48 AM »
Hello again Azslow:
Thank you so much for your reply!
Bear with me for a moment...I ask with all due respect and with a friendly tone , are you unhappy with Steinberg over some of their policies, software or other issues? Or am I reading into your reply a little to seriously?

I ask this question, only to further understand the nature of your reply... But sincerely hope you may be willing to guide me, in seeing if Cubase can send the colors as well? (With your help, I really believe it will) This would excite thousand of X-Touch users around the world, to be sure!

I commend you for what you have accomplished with X-Touch and Sonar!!! And in fact I believe you are the only person in the world that has done so! For this reason, I would like to ask you if you would be willing to help me figure out X-Touch and Cubase Color? I can tell you that Cubase has every known path available, for any type of controller and even a platform to customize your own, using a proprietary programming language all built in! As you may know Cubase is the most used DAW world wide. But the fact that you have figured out how to get the colors on X-Touch working in any DAW, is impressive to me! I have been looking for someone who could do this for 3 years now! Not even Behringer cares to help.

A little about me: I have been in music creation/production all my life, going back to analog tape in the 70's in my own 24 track studio. I've been a professional audio engineer for over 45 years, I just turned 62! I used to be a Sonar User 20 years ago, and still have One of the early versions on CD. Cakewalk products were my first DAW in the mid to late 90's and I loved them,... I also have Pro-Tools 12, as well as Reason... and for a time even used Logic! But far and away, I have never found the same exciting features and sound quality, as with Steinberg Cubase Pro. And it is the one I use every day with X-Touch.  I just recently received Cubase Pro-10, and the features are mind blowing!  Finally, I started with Cubase SX3. I still have a TBYB vers of Cubase SX3, I could send it to you if you like...?

Would you please consider a dialog on this?
Thanks for your time!
BobbyZ

Offline azslow3

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Re: X-Touch Color...
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 07:41:29 PM »
Just to clarify where we are... I am absolute noob in audio processing, I am just a home piano played (half seriously educated when I was a child) and I play for myself some other instruments (drums, guitar, violin, block-flute). But I am (hope can be called) professional software engineer, with 30 years experience and "automated controlling systems" original specialization.
With such background it is no surprise that once I have started using music software I have started to program staff. While no one would like to listed the sound I produce, my programs have some audience.

Details about X-Touch. I do not have the device, so I could not do much. Google for "XCtl pdf" and the first link will be RE results for Behringer XControl protocol, with colors support. It is basically MIDI based. When using network, they just put MIDI codes into network packets (without RtpMIDI, OSC or any other encapsulation). I have written as small utility to prove that is really working and tested it remotely. So I am sure things are working as described in that pdf. The next step had to be adding related part into AZ Controller (in fact I have almost done that) and re-map my Mackie preset to work with that messages. But at that moment Gibson abandoned Cakewalk and I have started to look for a new DAW.

If you remember, there was many threads about different DAWs on Cakewalk forum. I have started with Studio One. I have asked for an API, and they have replied "there is no and will be no". Not accessible. And so "no go".

Cubase is well known. So I have tried to ask them about API. I have got no reply.  Dongles (especially under conditions Steinberg sell them) is far from something I like and Cubase is not accessible. Again "no go". They could reply there is an API and I could be on a different road by now, but that has not happened.

I care about accessibility since I met a friend which has lost his sight while using Sonar before. I have made Sonar accessible throw Control Surface integration, so I could do the same with other DAW. But I need "C" API, at least on the level Cakewalk had it.

The next DAW to check was REAPER. No "bloat" (I am an old school programmer and like that), multi-platform, open API (far above Cakewalk level), top in performance and accessible (OSARA). Final argument was the project format, so I knew I can try to write a converter. So I have started with the converter (the first and up to date the only case where you can open a project from one DAW in another, with all FXes, synths, MIDI and automations), continued with some accessibility improvements (Sibiac and small adds in OSARA) and currently in progress of AZ Controller for REAPER.

PS. Steinberg. "One step forward, two steps backward". ASIO and VST was released as open source and has moved the world. Great! But... have you ever seen related licenses? That is the only reason no DAW support more then one ASIO device. And since several months it is impossible to write any VST2 related program legally. I am going to have some troubles with the last since I need self developed vst host for one specific case and vsts in question do not have VST3 form (not to mention that writing VST3 host is more complicated then VST2).
Cubase probably was the most used DAW for a while. And it is well known pro studios use ProTools. But since "old good times" many other DAWs was written. They are smaller, cheaper, faster and has some features "traditional monsters" do not have. Down to free to use Tracktion and Cakewalk by Bandlab. I seriously doubt you can find more installations of Cubase then these newcomers. Also check "old Cakewalk users", most of them took Studio One or REAPER roads.

PS.PS. If you have some technical questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I will answer if I know the answer, or can even try to find some answers (f.e. running tests remotely on your system). But writing something Cubase specific is not in my current plans, sorry.


 

Offline BobbyZ

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Re: X-Touch Color...
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2019, 11:31:01 AM »
Hello Azslow:
Thanks again for the reply!
If you are truly considering a new DAW, I will always suggest that you seriously look into Cubase... For too many reasons to list here! But I can tell you this... I have tried pretty much all the DAW's and Cubase is the one I always come back to...I will always have the latest version of Cubase loaded on a computer, as long as I am still breathing. The Cubase Channel on YouTube is huge...You Can learn every aspect in there quickly! There are 3 versions starting as low as $99 US. And as far as the Dongle goes it is a good thing! I am not sure why you would have a problem with it, but it has a number reasons why it is needed and some of them are for the benefit of us users as well. I will tell you this last thing about Cubase and then I will need to go and apply for a salesman job at Steinberg LOL... Here in the USA we have a phone in Tech support line that is fabulous, I have used it on a number of occasions and I always get a real person quickly...okay I'm done.

Of course if you did have Cubase, you would quickly fall in love the connectivity functionality--as it is extreme and completely open ended. You can basically do anything with it and I'm sure you would quickly find the colors...Just saying!  What I am saying is, I think if you could get Sonar color working, Then I am willing to bet, you will most likely already have most, of what is needed to get Cubase going as well.

As I have stated, I have a full functioning copy Of Cubase SX3... I will give it to you... maybe I can Upload it some place for you to use, Just send me an upload link and I will put it there for you! You should have my email address?

Anyway I hope we can continue this dialog! Please consider?
Sincerely
BobbyZ

Offline azslow3

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Re: X-Touch Color...
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2019, 07:32:55 PM »
It is nice you are happy with Cubase, different software targets different people and that is ok. As I wrote, I have not tried Cubase before. But I do not feel a need to do this now. I also have found my DAW of choice and I am happy with it.

Dongles. No, that is not a good thing. And there is absolutely no benefits for users. Cubase has a long history of protection solutions and related problems. For example you can find a post from Craig about Cubase presentation he has seen long time ago. Steinberg manager was using cracked version of Cubase, he was afraid CD based protection will fail at unfortunate moment.
When I pay for a software, I do not really understand why I should pay for some extra hardware. And in case there is a problem with that hardware, I loose the possibility to use the software. So effectively I buy a hardware which has nothing to do with what I want. That make no sense for me.

I have chosen Sonar because I could install it at 3 different computers. I had no possibility to put all my gear into one room, so my e-drums and e-piano way away from my primary computer. Reconnecting some dongle when I move from room to room? No, thanks.

There is only one (!) still developed DAW which trust me as a customer. I prefer to support that DAW. I have my DAW on an USB stick (together with Linux live boot loader) and I know I can start it everywhere. And I can put it on 10 USB sticks or simply re-download, it is 10MB in size. And I can use it even when for some reason do not have access to my license!
There is no official support. But when someone has a real problem, one from 2 developers react the same day. And release a solution the next day at most. You are happy when you get "a real person" (arbitrary, with unknown experience and salary) for support. I get the owner aka developer as support, which is well known (world wide) as a good programmer (he has published tons of source code, so that is not a matter of believe. Since I am a programmer myself, I can see that. The source never lie).

For how easy to find something for Cubase. Do you think I have not tried to find Surface API for Steinberg? There are several posts in different forums indicating that "something" exists. Where is this "something"? If you have a link I can have a look. And then may be give concrete advise (or even write an example) about colors.
Cakewalk and Cockos have open APIs which was easy to find (Cakewalk under MIT, Cockos under special free license). Steinberg still has ASIO and VST only on the dev site, both with restrictive licenses (in the source code the "license" is written completely absurd way).