EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

The EX5 features a unique Extended Synthesis system which incorporates a number of advanced tone generator technologies. AWM2, AN, FDSP and VL. The EX5 is one of the best keyboard Yamaha ever produced.

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brightonbob
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EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

Unread post by brightonbob » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:45 pm

Hi

I have an EX5 that I haven't used for a while. I have a PC with Reaper (DAW) and use many VSTis. I want to use the EX5 as a Master Keyboard to control features on various VSTi. I can enter note data and use Pitch and Modulation but I cannot see how to use all the other knobs, sliders and buttons to send Midi.

I have looked at manual(s) and searched online but cannot see how to use the EX5 in this way. I the know that the EX5 is 20 years old and has some foibles / limitations but I am sure someone else has been able to do more/better than me.

Please can someone point me to any resource that will help me setup the EX5 to do this?

Thanks
BB
Last edited by brightonbob on Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi

Unread post by Saul » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:31 pm

Hi BB, welcome to yamahamusicians.com :)

Is that user name anything to do with where you live? I'm just 12 miles from Brighton :)

The thing about older keyboards is they are often not initially designed as "controllers" but as workstations in their own right so when you come to use them with a DAW it's not impossible but does require a bit of work.

There may well be a template out there already for the EX5 when used with Reaper or you may have to manually map the controls yourself...which is where we get into the nitty gritty of midi control messages and that little gem I will have to leave to someone else. Midi is not my strong point. I'm more your "plug and play" sort of guy ;)

We have plenty of EX5 expertise on the forum though so hang in there. Someone will come along with an answer soon.
Saul
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi

Unread post by brightonbob » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:35 pm

Hi Saul

Yes, lived in Brighton, Hove actually, for 15 years, then abroad, now live near Brighton.

Not sure it requires a "template" as such....just want to allow as many of the available EX5 controls to transmit midi. Reaper has a midi learn function that will recognise and remember what control does what etc.

Thanks
BB
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi

Unread post by Derek » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:38 pm

Hi,

Take a look at P272 of the owner's manual. Under Utility/F8 CTRL you can set the MIDI CC numbers for the different controllers, and scale them to taste as well. So that allows you to set the controllers to specific CC numbers if you want to match to an existing scheme you use across your VSTs - e.g. a specific CC for filter cutoff.

Or you can just go into your VSTis and there is usually a MIDI Learn function. Select a VST control. select learn, move the EX5 knob of choice and the VSTI has learnt which CC to respond to.

HTH.
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi

Unread post by brightonbob » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:36 pm

Hi Derek

Thank you, that answered my question - all now working as described. Always feel lazy/idiot for not finding answer by myself.

For completeness here is the answer (from the manual page 272) in detail.

Each of the parameters below can be set for (just) the 13 types of devices (controllers):
  • PB (Pitch Bend Wheel)
    RC (Ribbon Controller)
    MW1 (Modulation Wheel 1)
    MW2 (Modulation Wheel 2)
    KN1 (Knobs 1)
    KN2 (Knobs 2)
    KN3 (Knobs 3)
    KN4 (Knobs 4)
    KN5 (Knobs 5)
    KN6 (Knobs 6)
    AT (After Touch)
    FC (Foot Controller)
    BC (Breath Controller)
Some of the controllers such as Pitch Bend Wheel are fixed with a specific control function and therefore cannot be changed to another (but are still usable for VSTi control).

Thanks again
BB
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

Unread post by RollTideRicky » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:54 am

Hi, I'm bran new to this forum. I also have an EX5 keyboard and was wanting to do the same thing in my DAW " Cubase", to control my vst's. I will try this. One Question, don't I have to a have a midi to USB cable in order for this to work? If so can someone recommend a good one. I saw one at Sweetwater but not sure if that's the one I need.
Thanks!
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

Unread post by Miks » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:19 am

RollTideRicky wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:54 am
One Question, don't I have to a have a midi to USB cable in order for this to work? If so can someone recommend a good one.
Hi RollTideRicky, a warm welcome to the forum (Y)
An USB to MIDI cable which I can recommend is the iConnectivity mio. I'm using this one by myself without any flaws so far. But there are other good cables out there of course...

But be carefull NOT to buy any of those (so-called) 'El Cheapos' - the very most of them have no or only a small amount of internal memory which causes corrupt MIDI data transfers! 8O Hope this helps.

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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

Unread post by parametric » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:45 pm

Good advice as ever from <Miks>

Avoid anything that looks like this:
cheap midi interface.JPG
cheap midi interface.JPG (17.97 KiB) Viewed 369 times
Don't get me wrong. They WILL work in a rudimentary manner, i.e. Playing notes IN from a board or receiving notes OUT to a board,

But forget doing anything involving LARGER amounts of data, like midi DUMPS . . . Errors will result, leaving you chasing your tail . . .

(you will NOT want to believe that this device you just bought, brand new is responsible) :doh:

This is based on experience. I HAVE one of these and it does work the way I describe above.

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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

Unread post by puremusic » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:17 pm

That little device looks familiar Chris!
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

Unread post by Macke » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:28 pm

parametric wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:45 pm
Good advice as ever from <Miks>

Avoid anything that looks like this:

cheap midi interface.JPG

Don't get me wrong. They WILL work in a rudimentary manner, i.e. Playing notes IN from a board or receiving notes OUT to a board,

But forget doing anything involving LARGER amounts of data, like midi DUMPS . . . Errors will result, leaving you chasing your tail . . .

(you will NOT want to believe that this device you just bought, brand new is responsible) :doh:

This is based on experience. I HAVE one of these and it does work the way I describe above.

parametric
Yeah, Miks knows his stuff.

I also bought one of those cheap cables at one point and found the same limitations. Total waste of resources.
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Re: EX5 as a keyboard Controller for PC/DAW/VSTi [SOLVED]

Unread post by RollTideRicky » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:26 pm

Thanks Miks! Yes, I want buy cheapo stuff, don't mind paying extra for better quality. I bought this keyboard new back in the 90's. I'll never get rid of it, but now I can put it to use as a controller.
I'm sure I'll have more questions here about this keyboard in the future. I also want to change out the floppy to a USB in the front.
Thanks again for the advice!!

Ricky
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