Is the midi chain truly serial?

I’m using my Zynthian as a string pad to accompany my bass guitar, it’s triggered using a Sonuus G2M. It works pretty well, but I ran into this problem:
In the song I’m working on, I play the same low note a couple of times, hit the note corresponding to the chord in the progression and return to droning the base note. I added the monophonic legato midi filter, followed by the midi chord filter, but it will turn off and on the entire pad at every subsequent note. Not very useful. So I started off the midi chain with an midi event filter to block all note-offs. I expected the monophonic legato to do a note off for the current note as soon as a different note is played, but instead, it just keeps holding the first chord and then adds the next one. No legato, but a big mess and a quick scroll to the Panic button instead.

The solution for now is to filter out the drone note and start the strings by playing the first note one octave up.

Long story short:
Is the x42 midi event filter truly serial? Or does it interact directly with Jack to get its magic done? I expected it to not interfere with the filters downchain.

Edit, different question, somewhat related:
Can the Panic button be mapped to one of the Sx buttons on the Zynthian for quick access?

Yes you can map panic to a button within webconf HARDWARE->Wiring under Customized Switches. You select action “UI Action” and then for the short/ bold / long press (depending on which you want to use) you select All Notes Off / All Sounds Off / All Off (depending on what panic function you want).

Sorry - I haven’t considered your first point. Maybe someone will have time to review it.

I don’t know how the midi plugins work and it sounds jolly complicated. But a simpler solution might be to have a second instance of the synth on a different MIDI channel for the drone.

Hi Riban, thanks for the quick reply!

Of course, I hadn’t given webconf any thought, thanks for solving that!


Hi Baggypants, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I guess it would be a great solution in other situations, but for an insanely loud thrash-metal band it would involve playing along a click track live, I don’t think that’ll work. Apart from that, we like to deviate from 4/4 time measures and the droning part involves a heavily distorted bass-guitar through an Ampeg stack. There are some things a Zynthian just can’t emulate.

I’m afraid I’ll have to dive in the mono legato plugin’s code to make it ignore external midi note-offs and add sustain-pedal functionality as an on/off switch. I was hoping there would be an easier way.


Well now I’m entirely unclear what you’re trying to achive. How would a drone triggered on a different MIDI channel be any different to one triggered on the same one? Why would you need a click track?

The drone is me playing a low D on bass guitar over and over again. That’s it. No synth involved. That single D should trigger a string pad on the Zynthian on the first note and keep holding a single D instead of doing a note-on every time I hit the string. After a while I’ll move to G, that should trigger a single G on the pad and keep holding that one for as long as I’m hammering out G’s. I hope I made myself clear this time.

Ah gotcha, so you want it to work as a single note polyphony. And monophonic legato works by:

“Hold a note until the next note arrives. – Play the same note again to switch it off.” MIDI Monophonic Legato [LV2 Plugin Doc]

And you’ve filtered the note off so it never stops. But it seems that it’s removing ALL note offs, including the ones from MIDI Monophonic Legato because it should be sending a note off on note change because… Monophonic, hence the title.

How are you constructing the chain and what modules are you using? Mod-ui or zynthian-ui?

Nerdalert: A repeating note would be called a ‘Pedal’, the chord synth thing is a ‘drone’. This is what I learned in A-Level music 100 years ago.

Hey, thanks for explaining that, I’ve been a singer / guitar player for years, but coming from the guitar dominated world of punk and metal, I’m pretty much oblivious when it comes to anything synth related.

I work from the zynthian ui. The Sonuus feeds midi notes through the regular midi in. First off, it’s fed through the midi event filter to filter out all note off events, next in chain there is the midi monophonic legato, but it won’t send a note off for the currently playing note at the moment it changes to another.

So we want a pedal to drone plugin? How would it know to stop the drone?

Maybe a synth with no amplitude envelope so it always drones, fed into a gate that is opened by note-on might work.

I guess I confused the issue by my misunderstanding of what a drone is in synth lingo. I want to filter out all notes that are equal to the previously played note, that’s all. When a new (differently pitched) note is played, I want it to pass and hold until a different note is played and so on.

One practical use could be to have a glockenspiel play only the first note of the chord progression that’s played by a bassline. Instant Christmas.

Thanks Riban, I’ll give it a try. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try to do it the hard way and alter the code of the midi monophonic legato filter to accept CC #66 to ignore consecutive tones. It’s been years since I tried to compile anything. Fingers crossed.

I think the question is ‘Is the MIDI filter plugin filtering note off messages that are being generated further down the chain’

Monophonic Legato a) should be called monophonic latching note send. b) should be sending a note off for the original note when the new note on is pressed. Otherwise it’s not monophonic, it’s gradual sustained cacophony.

Sounds like the name of my next composition!


I’d still like to know how you create the chain so I can reproduce it when I have some time next week.

Ah ! Great:

But, is “Drone” the new punk ? :thinking:

Lucky guy …

:innocent: :hugs: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

It’s easy to replicate:

  • make a new channel with a synth (in stage mode)
  • add the midi events filter and make it filter out all noteoff events
  • add the midi monophonic legato (in serial)

No noteoffs are produced by the last filter in chain.

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@wyleu mentioned the Moony LV2 plugin in another post. I think that’s exactly what I need to try and roll my own. :crossed_fingers: