MIDI Triggering With High Scene Counts

  • Project Background: The project is a music based art/concept performance piece. On stage is a 10 piece band including a spoken word narrator who are accompanied by three projection screens and lights.

    Machines: MBP Retina, 10.8.4, running Pro Tools HD for backing tracks, VIs, and sync; MP, 10.9.4, running Izzy 1.3.1f06, TripleHead2Go
    What I Tried First: I tried creating a scene for each look (each 'song' will have 30-50 looks) and triggering them with PC messages. This worked great, except for there being only 128 PC values. I was drawn to this method because no matter where I started in the PT timeline it immediately selected the correct scene.
    Second: Due to the limitation on PC messages, I added a PC watcher and Jump Actor to each scene. Then, for each 'song' I created a separate MIDI track in PT, each one assigned to the same MIDI Out but a different channel. The Jump Actors for each 'song' were then assigned to look for a certain channel. This works fine if played back in order, but if I jump around the timeline at all it (obviously) doesn't follow. Also, I now have 12+ MIDI tracks cluttering up my PT timeline.
    Question: Is there a better way to do this? 

  • I would use Duration for timeline setup and sending MIDI to Isadore to do its thing.


  • You can use midi cc or conditionals to get more into a single track. For conditionals you can make a note on that changes a set of commands this way you can increase your commands, or alternately use midi cc, you get 128 values per cc and you can have a lot of them in one midi track.

    For the jump, use absolute, not relative scene positions and create a single logic actor that you can duplicate in every scene, it can take the midi input and go directly to a specific scene, then you will be able to jump anywhere in your timeline
    I would guess you can do all this with a single midi track but it could get messy and having a track for each song (use your show hide groups in PT to make it neat if you like) can make management and editing easier. 
    Alternately you can also use the velocity of notes as specific data, you can give each song a note and then use different velocities to get through different parts of the song. It is a little dangerous for editing as it is hard to see what you are doing in PT with the velocity (and it is finicky to edit this precisely as well).
    There are many many ways to do this. I would definitely spend the time to make an absolute not relative scene jump.
    Although I would not suggest duration as a first option in this case, it could be ok as well, you could have a timeline for each song in duration and just trigger each timeline from PT- messy but clears up your PT timeline.
    Alternately you can output midi timecode and read incoming timecode from PT and create a master scene that is always active and activates and deactivates your other scenes based on timecode.
    Many ways of solving this, not sure exactly how the looks transition or what they are.