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Square One

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:34 pm
by SalSoghoian
Wow. A bit overwhelming to say the least. My previous experience with a MIDI interface to my computer is a Roland GI20. It was fairly easy to setup and use. Plugged in the USB, left the first setting as is, and opened up GarageBand and was able to start controlling the software instruments with my Godin.

The StringPort is a totally different animal. I really appreciate the depth of what it offers and how it can be used, as shown in the videos. But it is really daunting for someone without a very thorough understanding of MIDI technology and terminology to use. I'm looking for a basic setup tutorial that will guide me through the process of using the StringPort as my MIDI interface to Logic MainStage. At this point, I'm not interested in altering or effecting the notes, or using plugins, etc., I just want to take advantage of StringPort's excellent ability to convert sound to MIDI. Any ideas or tips on links to such a tutorial?

Thanks! -- Sal

Re: Square One

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:43 pm
by SalSoghoian
Wow -- PART II. Just received the SoftStep. Just like the StringPort, an amazing device but again very daunting for someone without a thorough knowledge of MIDI. It's definitely not a "plug and play" device. After watching the introductory setup video, I still don't know where to begin.

I did find Sarah's video on StringPort- MIDI to Logic <> and am looking forward to following it later to see if I can get MIDI to MainStage. Fingers crossed.

Re: Square One

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:24 am
by SalSoghoian
Wow -- PART III. I followed Sarah's instructions in the video and able to send a MIDI single to GarageBand. However, the MIDI interpretation of my Godin was very poor. Notes were missed, delayed, omitted, and incorrectly identified. If I played a chord, the StringPort was fine, however, as soon as I played a single-line phrase, the accuracy went right out the window. So frustrating. I'm switching back to the Roland GI20 to compare.

Re: Square One

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:44 am
by SalSoghoian
Wow. PART IV. No comparison. The accuracy of the Roland GI20 is very good. I'm sticking with it for now, as I don't have the time or knowledge to be able to make the StringPort work correctly.

The StringPort is probably a superior product, but if I can't make it work, it doesn't matter how good it is. With the Roland, I just plugged it in, set the controls on the default preset (number 1) and started playing.

I'm sure that the problem here is the user (me). With my limited technical knowledge of MIDI, I'm probably not the target customer for StringPort.

Cheers, and good luck.


P.S. Next, I'll try to get the SoftStep to work. Here's hoping I have more success with it.

Re: Square One

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:09 am
by SalSoghoian
Wow. PART V. I was able to get the SoftStep to work with my setup in MainStage. It's a simple concept but apparently difficult to accomplish: I want each switch in SoftStep to summon a specific patch in MainStage. That's it. I want to use the SoftStep as my patch switcher.

The solution was to set every switch in SoftStep to foot down and map them to 10 buttons added to the MainStage layout. Each MainStage button, when triggered, switches to a specified patch. 10 SoftStep controls mapped to 10 MainStage patches. Simple, right? LOL! At least it'll work for my gig at Macworld in January. Some day, I'll figure out how to make the SoftStep do banks of 10, but for now at least it works in this limited way. I know I'm barely using the potential of the SoftStep, but until my MIDI knowledge grows, it'll do fine as is.

I must admit though that I'm disappointed in the StringPort. I thought it would be a better MIDI interpreter than it is. I think it's more for dealing with analog and traditional guitar sounds than for being an accurate MIDI interface. With my setup, I don't actually play "guitar sounds" but instead use the bottom strings set to upright bass and the top strings set to piano. Add occasional vibes, organ, soprano, and harmonica, and that's my current audio palette. For now, I'll continue to use the Roland GI20 and wil look into purchasing another unit as a backup should my current one break.

Well, this will probably be my last posting. Looks like this board is not monitored very much as I got no responses. Anyway. Good luck to all. Caio! --- SAL

Re: Square One

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:01 pm
by Macciza
There are other SP users out here . . .
It does need settning up for best operation - Can probably help you sort out a few of your issues . . ..
Not always on the forum regularly

Re: Square One

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:33 pm
by SalSoghoian

Thanks for the reply! I love visiting Sydney, but don't get there often enough. Fortunately for me, I'll be visiting again in November when I join a cruise up the eastern coast and out to sea. Great place Australia. You're lucky to live there ;-)

Regarding the StringPort, my issues with its MIDI tracking are the following:

1) notes are inaccurately translated. For example, if I play a C it sometimes is interpreted as a B.
2) notes continue to ring after they are played, similar to a piano with the pedal down.
3) notes are delayed, sometimes by seconds. I can hit a note and sometimes it takes a second or two to play.

As I stated before, I have none of these problems with the Roland GI 20. It's accuracy is very good. So I've switched back to using it instead of the StringPort.

I am using the SoftPedal for switching between patches in MainStage (see image).

Re: Square One

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:31 pm
by SalSoghoian
Nothing new to add other than to comment that I've had very helpful emails from tech support. Thanks Carson!

Re: Square One

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:46 pm
by violindan
I also am not able to get this program going, although it seems from the directions I've followed on the quick-start guide that it should work. Anyone want to earn some money showing me how to get sound out of it, (and perhaps after that how to use the Notation app.)?