MIDI Sprout

Discussion (*ask your questions here!) => Questions => Topic started by: nicoheins on August 10, 2017, 12:21:25 AM

Title: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: nicoheins on August 10, 2017, 12:21:25 AM
Hi – 

The lights blink, the batteries are charged, the midi is connected to IN. I setup the IAC Driver Bus 1, and downloaded the Midi Monitor.   I put my fingers on the sensors and everything is blinking accordingly.   But I get no feedback in the midi monitor.  Help?  I am excited to get this working...
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: sam on August 10, 2017, 04:01:38 PM
It sounds like you are almost there!

What type of USB to MIDI device are you using?  You will need to configure the MIDI monitor to listen to the USB/MIDI input (EMU MIDI Input - or whatnot).  You don't need to use IAC Bus, this is only used to route midi around inside your computer to multiple programs.

What audio software synthesizer are you using?  You should be able to configure the MIDI in your synth software to also accept your USB/MIDI device as Input.

Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: nicoheins on August 13, 2017, 10:10:46 PM
Hey Sam! Looks like the USB cord was halfway disconnected on the back of the computer that I couldn't see. We are singing!   Rubber tree is sounding majestic ... now if I could only get the midi notes recorded in Reason ....... I am able to assign sounds, no problem, but I can't get the notes to be recorded ... !

I notice that some plants have more conductivity than others.  Amazing!

Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: Nicola Alexandra Hajdu on August 14, 2017, 10:16:54 PM
Hi Nico!

In case IF the Focusrite's driver doesn't work for recording, which itself leaves a big mystery, then what are the results showing with 3rd party drivers ? Are they resulting to the same dilemma ? I can't imagine any hardware failure or else MIDI-Sprout couldn't pick up, convert & send any signals to your Audio-interface. In your last email you have shown to me that the THOR Synthesizer has been successfully triggered by the Rubber tree.

Much Love
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: nicoheins on August 14, 2017, 11:50:47 PM
Hi guys, thanks for the help and guidance.

Reason does detect the midi notes and they are playing and triggered. When I press record, I move the mouse over the notes and they will be recorded in the session, no problem there. But strangely none of the midi notes are recording from the sprout itself .... fascinating! It's an interesting conundrum.  :) :)
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: nicoheins on August 15, 2017, 12:14:53 AM
figured it out!

add an <other> midi controller in the Preferences.   Then right-click device and LOCK the controller to the device. 

Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: Nicola Alexandra Hajdu on August 15, 2017, 01:15:05 AM
This sounds to me like the previous midi-controller has been occupying the appropriate MIDI-port that is required for the communication with MIDI-Sprout. ;) Case closed with a happy end. Enjoy the musical glory with Mother Nature!

Much Love
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: nicoheins on August 15, 2017, 10:33:43 PM
here is the first recording with the Rubber tree.


Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: Nicola Alexandra Hajdu on August 15, 2017, 11:24:14 PM
Nico, that's a nice collaboration with your Rubber Tree. You finally made it and i'm sure you will not escape this "healthy" addiction as you start to crave for more. :) Soundwise, i like the flowing & lush impression. Because of my personal struggles with decision-macking in regards EQing i'm fully aware of how tough this challenge can be. Surgerial EQing happens often with me to equal out the tonal characteristics of a sound. And with more delays and reverberation for the sake of atmospheric enhancement i often have to compromise in the lower ends, a bit in the mid's and also in the high's.

I don't want to add too much in order to prevent an ongoing off-topic but let me say at least this, ...my favorite surgerial EQs are Reason's inbuilt SSL Mixer EQ, Synapse GQ-7, Lab:One RQ-131 and depending on situation also Reason's stock EQs. One of my softener/washout tricks are achieved with RV7000 MKII, sometimes the inbuilt chorus from Thor & Synapse Antidote and last but not least Jiggery-Pokery's Chenille BRD Chorus Ensemble. And yes, nothing beats Synapse's Deep Reverb DR-1!

Only Valhalla Shimmer comes very close while i cherish it's own characteristics which the DR-1 can't deliver. U-HE's Uhbik is another option to add coloration. The options are really endless. With the Advent of VST-Support in Reason plus the intriguing Rack Extension format we are spoiled to no end. :) This gives us a vast palate for painting Soundworlds. And thanks to MIDI-Sprout we can bring the creation process to a whole different level. Suddenly every Fruit, Vegetable, Houseplant & Tree can be invited to explore Soundworlds with us.

Much Love
Title: Midi Monitor (also) not responding
Post by: YosoyTao on August 23, 2017, 10:44:46 AM
Hi Sam,

Glad to be a part of this endeavour ...

Try to connect MidiSprout with macBookPro using "bontempi usb midi cable" (http://www.musicplay.cl/tienda/product.php?id_product=116).

Midi Monitor will recognize the existence of the device.
Bontempi cable will recognize the juice coming from the USB port (red led will be "on").
MidiSprout will colorfully react to my fingers touching the connectors.


Bontempi cable will not react to my fingers touching the connectors (in/out leds will stay "off").
Midi Monitor will not list any incoming events.

I should probably check if the cable / the sprout are functioning with other midi devices, but i have not any @ my disposition right now.
Do you know anything about this Bontempi device ?

Tanx for your anntention,
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: sam on August 24, 2017, 10:51:25 AM
Sorry to say, that cable is crap! 

Those very inexpensive (hope you didn't pay more than $10 for it) MIDI devices are NOT wired for standard MIDI compliance.  Those USB cables have a hard connection between the Ground of the Sprout USB and the ground of the USB, this means you are not going to get the 'isolation' needed between the Sprout and your computer.  MIDI requires the MIDI input device to use an opto-coupled input such that the MIDI output device (the Sprout) will drive a tiny LED inside the opto coupler on the MIDI Input device, this method allows total electrical separation of the two devices. 

I have tried to modify those MIDI cables (lifting the Ground) but it appears that the cable requires a ground connection between the two devices.

I utilize an EMU MIDI cable https://www.amazon.com/CREATIVE-EMU-XMIDI-MIDI-Interface/dp/B000JLU26W which is the cheapest and functional USB/MIDI device which i've seen work correctly. 


Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: YosoyTao on September 07, 2017, 03:28:01 AM
Tanx for the information...

Well, i live in Chile, Valparaiso for now, and i found this "piece of crap" after six hours and eight shops, so imagine the frustration (still going on) ... I will try to find the specific piece of equipment you refer to, but if i may ask, do you know other connectors that are functioning for sure ? ... so to widen the probability of my luck ... ? To be precise, i am considering :


As i do not have the technical knowledge that would permit me to recognize by sight the good from the crap, i am in need for some experience acquired by previous users. Is there a certified list of functioning cables that i can refer to, or are we still in the crawling empirical phase of that exploration ? I am sure i am not the first user having spend an undue amount of money in that short-sighted approximation ...

Tanx for your attention & your good will,
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: Nicola Alexandra Hajdu on September 07, 2017, 01:27:18 PM
Hi YosoyTao, did Sam's recommendation really not help you ?!? I always believed Mac Users to dwell in a more convenient paradise. OSX has fancy tools such Metasynth. :) I start to get very curious on this topic. Hope that more Users will chime in to shed a bright light on a full-proof solution. Good luck!

Much Love
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: sam on September 10, 2017, 09:50:37 AM
Sorry that you are having trouble with the MIDI devices, and i know it is very hard to find good items in a store.  I know that this knowledge requires experience with electronic music equipment, and it is challenging that there are so many poor quality products which retailers are willing to sell. 

If the USB/MIDI devices is a simple  cable with a box in the middle, is from a no-name company, or costs less than $40 it probably isn't going to work.  And for everyone playing along at home, this is a link on how to fix/repair these types of USB/MIDI cables (http://www.arvydas.co.uk/2013/07/cheap-usb-midi-cable-some-self-assembly-may-be-required/) and shows what the 'problem' is.

An easy rule of thumb is:  If it comes inside a professional piece of music equipment, midi controller, or from a name brand then the device will be MIDI compliant and will work with the MIDI Sprout.

From your list, the Roland UM1 is a brand name and will certainly work. 

The Qdaily/HiFing looks identical to the unit i use, so i'd say 50% chance it is actually identical on the inside. This is the Emu from your seller (https://articulo.mercadolibre.cl/MLC-447097506-creative-interfaz-midi-usb-de-la-emu-xmidi-1x1-_JM).

The single and double TBox i have doubts about and wasn't able to find much info online (reviews).

And the Puc, ah sweet Puc!  I have had both excellent and sad experiences with the Puc.  It is really cool to be wireless connected, but bluetooth is not a good solution particularly for MIDI Sprout where distance between the plant and the computer are most fun when longer than 15 feet.  The puc works 'right next to' the ipad or receiving device...very short range (in my experience).  This range issue is why i'm skipping bluetooth/ble and am almost finished a Wifi Biodata system.

Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding Wanna be User
Post by: Stacy on December 16, 2017, 05:30:23 PM
Okay, I've seen enough to know I'd LOVE to hear my plants.
I am a Samsung 7 owner. I am not technical-( music/technical wise- health
wise I can fix anything.)

I'm seeing so many people who just aren't able to get this device working- so I
really don't want to experience the frustration, so will cut to the chase (if possible)

IF I purchase the MIDI sprout. What exactly do I need to get it to start working?
I have: Samsung 7 (Android)
and lots of Plants.  PLEASE tell me what else I need to get started.

Thank you!!
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: Stacy on December 16, 2017, 05:32:23 PM
Oh, and I have Windows 10
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: sam on December 20, 2017, 10:34:57 PM
Hello Stacy.  We have lots of videos and posts on the forum which should be able to give you an idea of what it takes to use the MIDI Sprout.  I recommend you go through all the posts (there aren't too many), look at the youtube page, and see what I have said to other users.

In summary, if you have never used MIDI before or do not have any synthesizer experience then that's going to be the hardest part for you.  The sprout itself is easy - attach the trodes, plug it, in turn the knob.  But then you need to know what to do with the 5 note polyphonic MIDI data and have the equipment to generate sounds (http://www.indiana.edu/~emusic/361/midi.htm). 
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: alinta on March 23, 2018, 01:20:00 AM
Sometimes Midi Monitor doesn't work very well for me, there are times where it will not display any events, yet the MIDI will be working perfectly fine in my DAW. I haven't tried using the sprout with anything other than my usual DAW yet so it doesn't really matter, but it does give me a little fright now and then hah!
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: nicoheins on April 14, 2018, 09:56:16 PM
hi guys, i'm back!   I've moved to a new house... and finally got around to installing the midisprout ...

Unfortunately, I only have a red light, does that mean the battery is dead? Ahhh! help!

Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: nicoheins on April 15, 2018, 08:06:25 PM
Fixed! I put in new batteries and we're back in business!

I'm using TENS clips now, but I am finding more response from the regular 'pads' ... any suggestions on that front?

Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: Nicola Alexandra Hajdu on April 16, 2018, 01:57:11 PM
Good that i read your second post prior my response. I was very close to suggest you to change batteries when only one colour lights up. :) In regards more output,...several factors may come into play. One that i can think of is the plant's mood. Sometimes there are periods of silence. This also occurs with plants residing in forests. And the same goes for the amount of the notes. This can vary as well. Think of plants as sentential beings.

Once they are aware of their own music it's still up to them to participate or not. So this can't be always a matter of conductivity. For the sake of certainty i always have a spare of TENS pads with me & once i arrive home i clean it's surfaces, so i can re-use them again the next time. The second factor could be due the size of it's surface. For instance, weed has tiny pieces to clip on. You can't use TENS pads there or else you tear apart a lifeforms part of it's body. The same with small leaves which is why i'm equipped with TENS clips too.

Usually MIDI-Sprout pulls of a great activity. Not infrequently i have to throttle the amount of the notes with the knob. On the DAW's side there are ways to FORCE the note range with Plugins offering Arpeggios or Scale adjustments. Some DAW's such Caustic 3 (https://www.google.at/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiNxJ6BrL_aAhXOblAKHWfkBwsQFggnMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.singlecellsoftware.com%2Fcaustic&usg=AOvVaw1PZHDEBy-CcfMyMRPpHgjb) allow to set the Scale. In Propellerhead Reason you could try Thor's Step sequencer, among other possibilities. 

If you think your TENS pads don't provide enough conductivity then add a few drops of a lubricant gel. Usually you don't need to do that because when you carefully wash it's surface you are good to go again.

Much Love
Title: Re: Midi Monitor not responding
Post by: sam on April 17, 2018, 05:06:43 PM
Yes in low battery condition the sprout turns off the light show. The idea is to conserve power and not interrupt a performance a voltage goes down. Batteries should last many hours, but fresh batteries will help with sensitivity.

For the tens clips, yeah you need something to conduct between the leaf and metal clip pad. I suggest cutting a bit of the clear gel from one of the pads. Carful as some conductive paste contains salt which can rot leaves (ten20 electrode paste). Not to be gross but a bit of gooey spit will work well for an hour or so.