MIDI Support in ZerOS

ZerOS consoles (except FLX S) support MIDI Time Code (MTC), MIDI Show Control (MSC), and MIDI Notes protocols (as per ZerOS 7.9.5 and later). This allows your console to be remotely controlled and triggered. A MIDI signal can be connected to your console using 5 pin DIN connectors, inserted into the MIDI Input port. There is also a MIDI Thru port, which can be used for daisy chaining other MIDI devices in your system. ZerOS does not support MIDI over USB protocols, and therefore to connect to software packages you may need a USB to MIDI interface box. 

The Zero 88 team use the MOTU FastLane USB MIDI interface for testing and demonstrations using QLab, and is a good entry-level device.

The Zero 88 team have had reports of cheap USB to MIDI interfaces not working. We do not recommend using these devices with ZerOS consoles. For more information on this, click here.

If your Solution or Leapfrog console doesn't have MIDI connections on the rear panel, click here for more information.

 

MIDI Time Code (MTC)

MIDI Timecode is a clock signal, with time given in Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames. Any cue across any playback can be assigned a Time Code stamp, meaning that when this clock time is received, this cue will be triggered. This can be done by opening the settings of the cue you would like to trigger, and from the Trigger drop down menu choose Time Code. You can then define the time, and click OK.

MIDI Time Code has the option to be streamed in 24 fps (frames per second), 25 fps, and 30 fps. When a MIDI Time Code signal present, ZerOS will automatically detect the frame rate. If you wish to define timings before a clock signal is present, tap SETUP -> Triggers -> Time Code, and choose the frame rate.

To see the incoming MIDI clock signal, view a playback, and along the bottom of the cue list you should see "Realtime" displayed in the status bar. Press this, and this will take you to your MIDI Time Code clock.

 

MIDI Show Control (MSC)

The MIDI Show Control protocol contains commands, that ZerOS listens to to trigger the cues on the Master Playback. Cues on other playbacks cannot be triggered using MIDI Show Control.

Commands supported by ZerOS are:

Go - Go will by default trigger the next cue using its fade time, however the next cue can be defined.

Stop - Stop will Pause the Master Playback.

Load - Allows you to define the next cue.

All_Off - Blackout

Restore - Turn Blackout off (opposite of All_Off).

Reset - Go to cue 0.

To enable MIDI Show Control, go into Setup, and enable MIDI Show Control. You can then define the MIDI Device ID, which allows you to connect mutliple MIDI devices all listening to the same source in the MIDI Daisy Chain - a little bit like a DMX address in a DMX daisy chain (this Device ID can be any value between 0-111).

If you experience any issues getting ZerOS to listen to MIDI Show Control, open System Information, and then tap Event Monitor. This will show you the MIDI commands ZerOS is receiving. System Information can be opened on FLX by tapping Z -> System Information, and on all other console tap Other Windows situated top left of the Output Window, and choose System Information from the drop down. The shortcut is SHIFT + F9 on an external keyboard.

 

MIDI Notes

ZerOS supports MIDI Notes remote input. In the console Setup, you can define whether these commands trigger Channels, Cues or Playbacks.

After choosing Channels, Cues or Playbacks, select the MIDI Notes Channel number. This is essentially your console's MIDI address, so that if you have multiple devices listening to a MIDI Notes source, your console can be unique. From the MIDI Notes Source, you can then configure the Note Number, and that Note's velocity.

 

Channels

MIDI Notes information controls channel levels which are mixed HTP with the channel outputs. Velocity information from the Note-On commands is used to determine the fade up time, and velocity information from the Note-Off commands is used to determine the fade down time. The Note Number controls the console fixture number. A Velocity of 0 will not trigger the channel. A velocity of 1 will give a 5 second fade time to full, and as the velocity is increased, this will shorten the fade time, until you reach a velocity of 127 which will Snap.

 

Cues

A MIDI Note On command, will trigger the same cue number as the note number. For example a MIDI Note On of Note Number 10, will trigger cue 10. The playback used is the currently viewed/selected playback. Programmed Fade times are used, and velocity information is ignored.

MIDI Notes only allows for whole note numbers. Therefore if you have point cues you wish to trigger, you will need to renumber the cues in the playback. To do this hold SETUP and tap the playback's button, and from the settings choose Advanced -> Renumber.

Tip: If you wanted to simply emulate a Go button press with the same MIDI Note command, you can do this through programming a Macro. 

Firstly, program a macro that presses your Go button. You can do this by tapping RECORD MACRO x ENTER (where x is an empty macro number) -> Keys -> Press your Playback's Go button -> MACRO. Now, view an empty playback, and program an empty cue. Go into this cue's settings -> Macros... -> Macro Add -> Choose your Macro -> OK -> OK. Now, whenever you send a MIDI Note 1 command and you are viewing this playback with a single macro trigger, it will emulate a Go button press of your main cue stack.

 

Playbacks

MIDI Notes controls playback levels which are mixed HTP with physical fader positions to control the level of the playback. Velocity information from the Note-On messages is used to determine the fade up time, and velocity information from the Note-Off commands is used to determine the fade down time. The Note Number controls the console playback number. A Velocity of 0 will not trigger the playback. A velocity of 1 will give a 5 second fade time to full, and as the velocity is increased, this will shorten the fade time, until you reach a velocity of 127 which will Snap.