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Welcome to the support section.

MOX6/MOX8 Local Control

There are two fundamental types of record scenarios when using MOX via USB connection with Cubase: MIDI recording and Audio recording. It always comes down to these two categories of recording. MIDI, as we all know, is a series of coded messages that represent music and musical performance gestures. It cannot be heard. A MIDI tone generator must interpret MIDI data. The tone generator will convert the messages into audible sound. We will start our discussion with an explanation of the MIDI function “Local Control”. It will be important to understand why this parameter is necessary, and then we will get into a discussion of the audio equivalent, if you will.

The MIDI scenario – Local Control

It is fairly standard operating procedure when recording MIDI to an external sequencer (like Cubase) to operate with the LOCAL CONTROL of the MOX in the OFF position. LOCAL CONTROL is what sends your key presses directly to the MOX tone generator, or not, thus the term “local”. In normal operation you will press a MOX key and the MOX tone generator responds. However, when recording OUT via MIDI, you turn LOCAL CONTROL = OFF, this means that the key press information goes OUT via MIDI first, traveling via USB in this case, to Cubase, where it is received by an active MIDI track which will echo, (also called “Thru") the signal back OUT on a specific MIDI PORT and MIDI channel to the appropriate tone generator.

This allows the controller keyboard to be used to trigger virtually any tone engine or module, internal or external, that you have in your system. It separates, in this instance the MOX key bed from the MOX tone generator. The keys become just a “controller” and the rest becomes just a tone module.

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In the diagram above the top figure (MIDI IN/OUT = MIDI) shows what happens when you have selected “MIDI” as your communication method. When LOCAL is OFF (the LOCAL CONTROL switch would swing open preventing signal from traveling to the TG, Tone Generator) signal travels from the KBD (Keyboard) to the regular 5-pin MIDI OUT. Signal coming in the MIDI IN can trigger the tone generator.

In the bottom figure (MIDI IN/OUT = USB) shows how the regular 5-pin MIDI IN and OUT are re-tasked. Signal coming in the MIDI IN can only be routed directly through to the USB/MIDI OUT (it does not have access to the MOX tone engine… unless that signal is ‘echoed back’ to the MOX via the USB/MIDI IN.  (This is possible via the multiple port configuration of the USB connection). When Local Control is OFF (the LOCAL switch is broken open) notice that signal goes from the KBD (Keyboard) to the USB MIDI/OUT where the computer program re-routes it to the proper destination(s).

The MOX6/MOX8 has a multiple Port MIDI communication with your computer. Actually there are 5 PORTS of communication. For our discussion here we will deal with PORTS 1 and 3. Port 1 is for the internal MOX sound engine - input/output; and Port 3 is for any device connected to the 5-pin MIDI IN/OUT jacks on the back panel of the MOX.

_ If you select PORT 1 (MOX-1) and MIDI Channel 1, for example, the key press information will trigger the sound in PART 1 of the MOX
_ If you select PORT 3 (MOX-3) and MIDI Channel 1, the key press information will trigger the device connected to the MIDI OUT jack of the MOX – say you have a Rack module connected via MIDI to the MIDI OUT jack.

If you select an output PORT that feeds a VST Instrument, then the key press information that comes in from the MOX on PORT 1, will trigger the VST Instrument you have selected in your computer. 

Local Control being OFF turns your MOX keyboard into just a controller. Its MIDI messages arrive in the computer on Port 1. It can trigger any device in your setup, on any port, on any channel. All this is determined by the currently active track in Cubase. When you select a Channel number, 1-16, on the track’s Track Inspector, it will not matter what MIDI channel you are actually sending from the MOX. your DAW receives all incoming MIDI data. All “re-channel-ization” of the MIDI signal is done in Cubase by the currently active track’s Track Inspector.

If you do not turn Local Control to OFF, when recording MIDI to an external sequencer, you will create a situation where you will have “double” signal. You will hear the MOX (directly) being triggered (normally), and you will hear whatever the Track Inspector is set to trigger.

If this happens to be back to the MOX you run a real risk of a MIDI loop (stuck notes, strange behavior, even system crashes…)

The Audio scenario

It is fairly standard operating procedure when recording Audio to an external sequencer (like Cubase) to operate with LOCAL CONTROL = ON. This is because you want the key presses to trigger the tone generator of the MOX and you are interested in capturing the actual audio that is generated by this action.

There are exceptions to the above two situations and there are many variations as well. But that is as simple and as basic an explanation of the Local Control parameter as we need so far.

As you can imagine it can get more complex:
What if you are doing MIDI and Audio simultaneously? What about if you are sending MIDI to the MOX from Cubase, and at the same time returning audio from the MOX to Cubase? Are you going to be “playing” during the operation? Or are you just playing back data and printing audio tracks? How does this impact the setup? You are provided parameters to allow you the utmost flexibility in “how” you work.

What we will discuss now is that when you are using the MOX via USB, it is handling both MIDI and audio in both directions simultaneously. Sometimes it is easier to wrap your head around analog cabling because you can physically follow the signal flow. But in the digital world, there are virtual connections that carry signal to and fro. These virtual connections do, in fact, follow the same exact rules as the analog cabling – so understanding “signal flow” is very important.

The basic theory is this: The signal moves from one device to another and then back again in a specific flow - following a specific route. “Where” in this route are you going to be monitoring (listening) the audio, is what we will be determining. This signal flow theory is very important because at different places along the path, what you hear can be quite different. If the signal is monitorer “pre” an effect, for example, you will not hear it. If the signal is sent to the monitors “post” an effect, then you can expect to hear that effect’s influence. If you think about signal flow as a similar thing to water traversing a series of pipelines, knowing about signal flow will allow you to open and close certain valves (connections) and get different results… and you’ll never get all wet because you opened the wrong valve.

SUMMARY

_ Local Control is simply an ON/OFF switch for the connection between the MOX’s keybed and the MOX’s own tone engine.
_ You need it because when working with MIDI in an external sequencer, you want to be able to choose which sound engine you are playing from your single set of keys (knobs, sliders, pedals).
_ Local Control is OFF when working with MIDI and a DAW.
_ If Local Control is OFF and no DAW is there to complete the circuit, the signal does not trigger the MOX tone engine.
_ If Local Control is ON the MOX keybed will trigger the MOX tone engine (as normal).



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