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Thread: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

  1. #1
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    Default Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    I'm building a drumset prop this year that will play along to the songs. That involves basically transcribing the drum notes to the sequencer. Using the spacebar method, it hasn't felt accurate enough and I swear there is noticeable lag between the time I hit the spacebar and where the mark is placed. For disclosure, I actually AM a drummer in real life, so this isn't a case of delayed reaction. And that should explain why I would ask about this. It's actually faster and more natural for me to actually play as I would if I was on a kit than to tap a keyboard. I have a variety of pedals, including piezo sensor pedals from rock band and guitar hero video games, along with with an actual electronic drum kit pedal. I know the kits are able to be connected to a pc and there was even some drivers and applications that allowed you to play freestyle on the pc. The point being, they are able to send signals when connected to a pc. I think they can output midi, but also may just output an on/off signal. Can anyone think of a way I could take the playback of the input either directly into vixen or via recording the marks elsewhere and converting them/importing to vixen?

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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    The last couple years, I’ve really gotten to love using a midi-file for my sequence.

    For example, the globes (on top of the trees) are all sequenced off a midi (in xLights):


    https://youtu.be/eXRoVgieP_A

    Here, the icicles are midi-driven:


    https://youtu.be/GQ-8ukUpQ6c

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    Or play with a “black” midi file:


    https://youtu.be/bbZqhPaqgn8

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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    I have looked at times about being able to import some aspect of MIDI files as beat marks, but I am not sure the best way to do that. I have access to libraries that can read midi files and extract notes and other aspect with time offsets. Marks are just a collection of time offsets specifying where the mark should be in the timeline. I would be willing to work with you to see if we could come up with some form of midi import to marks that might be useful. If you want to send me a midi track and what you might expect to get out of it, I can see if we can come up with something. It may take some time, to work through it, so it may not be an immediate solution.

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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffu231 View Post
    I have looked at times about being able to import some aspect of MIDI files as beat marks, but I am not sure the best way to do that. I have access to libraries that can read midi files and extract notes and other aspect with time offsets. Marks are just a collection of time offsets specifying where the mark should be in the timeline. I would be willing to work with you to see if we could come up with some form of midi import to marks that might be useful. If you want to send me a midi track and what you might expect to get out of it, I can see if we can come up with something. It may take some time, to work through it, so it may not be an immediate solution.
    I'm grateful for anything. I know the that the drum kit has the ability to output midi, but also just trigger a simple piezo sensor without having to worry about velocity and all that. Off/on gate. I'm trying to figure out how I would get that playback to output. Here's another thought that may or may not end up being harder.....Any thoughts or ideas on a way to have an input binded to a key? For example, when a signal is detected, it would bind to spacebar or shift+spacebar? Effectively achieving the goal live in vixen without a bunch of precious time? I realize that is more of a pc/windows idea, but I'm open to suggestions. I will also look into getting that midi track for you

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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    There is the notion of an input plugin in Vixen, but it has never been developed aside from the initial provision for it. There is a lot of support for importing marks from various sources, so the simplest may be if we can find a way to map the information in a midi file to marks in some useful way, that might be a start. I know longer term it would be nice to do more robust things. The marks support start time and duration. Those are in seconds and fractional seconds offset from the start of the sequence. Each mark can have some text associated with it and they belong to a group of marks which is the mark collection. My initial thought was if you had a midi file, the note information could be used to generate marks in the timeline. The marks could be grouped into collections that match the tracks. Then the marks could be used to place effects. I have very minimal knowledge of midi so I may be off with that concept or it's usefulness.

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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    Here you go Jeff (and anyone else who wants it). The link has a zip file with a whole bunch of different midi samples in different genres. Hoping that this should be enough data and variety for your testing purposes. For playback as audio and general readability, I've also included a folder call GENERALUSER. This is basically a codec that takes midi data and synthesizes it into audio. The easiest way to listen to it would be to use VLC player. All you have to do is point to the file in the general user folder under vlc preferences-->ALL-->input codecs-->audio codecs-->Fluidsynth.

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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    Here's another thought that may or may not end up being harder.....Any thoughts or ideas on a way to have an input binded to a key? For example, when a signal is detected, it would bind to spacebar or shift+spacebar?
    You mean something like this? https://xkeys.com/xkeys/footpedals.html

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    Here you go Jeff (and anyone else who wants it). The link has a zip file with a whole bunch of different midi samples in different genres. Hoping that this should be enough data and variety for your testing purposes. For playback as audio and general readability, I've also included a folder call GENERALUSER. This is basically a codec that takes midi data and synthesizes it into audio. The easiest way to listen to it would be to use VLC player. All you have to do is point to the file in the general user folder under vlc preferences-->ALL-->input codecs-->audio codecs-->Fluidsynth.
    I think you forgot the link

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Using electronic drum kit pedal for marks input

    xKeys has been around for a long time and makes highly customizable options. But as with all other ideas, There's now cheap copies out there. A quick check on amazon finds several inexpensive USB foot pedals with varying degrees of key binding customizability. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=PC+pedal&...f=nb_sb_noss_2

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