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Re: Sending Sysx from a Foot Controller

At 12:36 PM -0800 2/20/02, Kim Flint wrote:
>The point of sysex is really for librarian editors and custom 
>control over configuration parameters, usually from a computer but 
>also from other midi controllers. This is a pretty normal thing for 
>most midi controlled devices to use sysex, unless you are talking 
>about dirt simple effects processors. Sysex allows you to have very 
>detailed control over a device that is customized to what that 
>device really does, as opposed to trying to force the device to fit 
>under what MIDI thinks are control commands. That's why sysex was 
>included in the midi spec. But sysex isn't really there for things 
>that are performance controls, those things are all generally 
>controllable by continuous controller and/or note messages.

This is a good point in general terms, but it should be added that 
not everyone agrees on what constitutes a "performance control," and 
that applies especially to the designers of some equipment.  I've 
been repeatedly frustrated by what a manufacturer considers 
"musically useful" and have on many occasions had to resort to sysex 
in order to do the sorts of things in performance that were musically 
useful to me.

In some cases the sysex has been designed so that even though you can 
tweak a parameter in real time, the result is glitchy (cf. the 
Eventide H3000, where there can three ways to change a parameter, but 
the sysex method glitches). Other designs are friendlier and allow 
uniformly useful parameter tweaks (cf. Yamaha TX816, E-mu Proteus, 
Roland SDE-330).

Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202