TenCrazy.com MFX Plugins
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MFX (or MIDI FX) is a part of the DirectX music
specification that allows for the processing of MIDI data.
All Cakewalk products (SONAR, Project5, Home Studio,
etc) can use MFX plugins, and past Cubase (SX/SL)
offerings could use them through a wrapper provided by
Steinberg. Mind, I don't have a copy of Cubase, so you'll
have to tell me if something doesn't work in it!
I've only recently started porting these to 64-bit systems,
so please give me some feedback on whether you've met with
any success in using them. NOTE: Some people need to install
this redistributable from Microsoft
if they get an error when running the .bat file!
They're all free for now, but you can also
Some keyboards (like my old Kawai K1)
send out an "All Notes Off" CC message when you lift your
hands off the keyboard. Some software synths take this
message as a command to turn all sound off, even if
you're holding down the sustain pedal! Also, some
keyboards send out CC values for the Hold Pedal other
than 0 (off) and 127 (on). Now, that's allowed as part of
the MIDI spec, but some lazy soft synths think otherwise
and might cause your notes to hang forever, or simply
ignore your pedal altogether. This MFX plug-in fixes
these problems and many more (e.g. hold pedal polarity,
continuous value thinning) in SONAR or other MFX capable
As of v4.0 also supports Fake Hold Pedal Functionality
to operate on synths that don't normal respond to your
I've had a need for it. Others have asked
me for it. So I made an MFX plugin to do it. You'll get
the knack of fiddling with the Low/High values in no
time. Be aware that you can flip the low/high output
values to invert the direction of the CC. Combine this
with the "Pass Along Input CC" option (aka
"play-through"), and you'll have instant cross-fading
action! As of v1.3, you can also manipulate Channel
Pressure/Mono-Aftertouch messages. v1.4 fixes some Cubase
project load failure oddness.
Javan asked on www.kvraudio.com: "Anyone
know of a tool I could use to generate random midi
patterns, (specifically for acid lines!!)?" So I coded
this. Point it at your favorite bass synth (I use Muon
Tau, followed by Ohm Force PredatOhm). AcidSpew will
generate a random 16th note sequence in a rough blues
scale (with flat-2nd) based on the tonic note you provide
(new in v1.0!). Don't complain: it's free!
In the course of developing MFX plugs,
and in helping people on various newsgroups, I often have
a need to peek at an incoming MIDI stream to see what's
being generated by the keyboard (or other plugs!). This
little plugin help a lot in that department.
Now with clipboard copy support!
Mario Bianchi wanted something like
PortDiag, but that works on in-track MIDI data instead.
TrackDiag can reveal what data is being output from a
MIDI track and all the MFX before it.
This MFX plugin allows you to use your
hold pedal (or other switch controller) as a kick drum
trigger. Yes, some people are just crrraaazzzzyyy enough
to do this!
So you wanna jam with your buddy, but you
only have one keyboard? Well, with this here plug-in, you
can split it down the middle and send notes to two
different MIDI channels on one multi-timbral sound
source! It will even allow you to shift the key ranges
into something natural (so you can play bass on the
right-hand side, for instance).
Oyvind Strandem asked on the SONAR/MFX
forum: "I tried using the CakewalkFx Midi Event filter to
single out the keyranges i wanted the synth to respond
to, but it wouldnt work on realtime input[...] Does
anyone know about some kind of keyrangefilter that
responds to realtime midi input?" Introducing MFX Track
Doorman: he's one tough cookie! He only lets notes into
his club if they meet strict requirements!
Greg Smith wrote to me with this request:
"We GPO users need a midi plug that can detect that we're
playing overlapped notes on our keyboard and can set the
sustain pedal to 127 whenever we are." I'd been planning
something like this for a while, so this was finally the
kick in the pants I needed to make it happen! Version 1.1
adds legato capability for wind controllers such as the
Yamaha WX5 that don't have a strict note overlap on a
trill (thanks to Jeff Lee).
Do you want to have your sequencer select
a note in order or random when playing a target note? Do
you want to fake up a round-robin or alternation scenario
on a sound module or sampler that has no such feature?
Then TenCrazy.com MFX Note Rotator is for you!
Velocity to CC
There is an outboard utility included
with Garritan Personal Orchestra called "GPO Standard
MIDI File Translator". Essentially, it translates the
traditional volume control for notes, namely note
velocity, and substitutes it with CC#1 messages, as GPO
uses the Mod Wheel (for most instruments) to control
volume contour. MFX Velocity to CC does the same sort of
thing, but as an in-host plugin (including real-time
play!). Also, you could map other controllers (like Var1
and Var2 in the GPO player) to certain velocity ranges
for other expression techniques you may dream up. Also
works in any other synths you might find a use for!
Though SONAR doesn't record Release
Velocity information, it does pass it along through its
event chain. As such, we're able to generate it
artificially by tracking a Continuous Controller. Note,
however, that I don't have a synth that appropriately
responds to release velocity, so I'm not sure if this
actually works under SONAR! Maybe it does in Cubase...
Sean Dunn wanted a way to switch between
instrument articulations in Garritan Personal Orchestra
while keeping it all on one MIDI track. In this manner,
he didn't have to deal with the extra memory overhead of
loading a KeySwitch program if he didn't need more than
two articulations, as well as avoiding the extra notes in
his score if he decided to print it. He had the idea to
use MIDI Continuous Controller messages to specify the
new channel, and I agreed it was for the best!
Once upon a time, Dave Schreier said, "I
purchased an Alesis ControlPad USB/Midi Percussion
Controller, and am a bit surprised (and disappointed)
that the hi-hat footswitch input does not switch a pad's
note output between alternate notes when the switch is
opened and closed..." And having bought two ControlPads
recently, I wholeheartedly agreed! So here's an MFX
helper to do the translation.
Aftertouch vs Mod Wheel for volume
control in GPO: which is better? Bill Pearson (billp)
proposed on the GPO forum, "Sounds to me like the
solution is to have aftertouch generate incremental MOD
values, but never to cause the MOD level to drop below
the value set by the MOD wheel itself." MFX Control
Cascade allows you to have one CC (or channel
pressure/aftertouch) modify another: upwards, downwards,
or relative to a detente value.
AutoAlternator allows you to do automatic
bow-direction alternations in the ALT patches of Garritan
Orchestral Strings. Of course, it can also be applied to
other systems: for example, you can alternate left and
right-hand hits on the Timpani patch in Garritan Personal
Orchestra. Anything with two sets of alternate samples
mapped across the keyboard is game.
But wait: there's more!
I've added a feature that
will allow you to alternate sound instances across two
separate MIDI channels. As such, you can create
hand-tweaked sample sets by loading in two of the same
patch and altering the pitch and timbre parameters of
only one of them.
Tweak by Duration
In GPO, the VAR 1 knob (cc#22) will
introduce random tuning variations from note to note.
Typically, one makes these adjustments for fast passages,
where players don't have time to adjust tuning by ear. So
I figured, why not create something to do this
automatically? It also works with other synths and just
about any other CC data.
Mike Kelley was in a jam: "Here's my
problem -- my midi keyboard doesn't have a mod wheel
(ugh) and I need a mod wheel to control volume (no other
way around it with GPO)." Now with MFX PW-Map, Mike can
remap his Pitch Wheel to send any CC information he
wants, even partitioned bi-directionally! Set up for
Garritan Personal Orchestra by default, but usable with
other systems that need creative controls as well.
Sanjay asked me, "Would it be possible to
reverse a midi keyboard so that treble notes are played
by your left hand and bass by your right? You would have
to move middle C to E and so on. Odd maybe but I'd like
to try it as in my mind I think it would be easier to
play." I'd played with rescaling and inverting guitar
synth notes before, so this seemed like a fun experiment
Drago wrote to me asking if I could solve
a problem for all those users out there without "Patch
Change +/-" buttons on their controller keyboards (like
his M-Audio Radium 61) for, as he put it, "what makes
'sound browsing' fast and easy." Y'know, that's a pretty
good idea, one that I can use myself! So how 'bout we map
some of the MIDI notes on your keyboard to these
John Cain wrote to me asking if I could
do an MFX that would give a drum-roll like functionality,
as found on MPC units and drum machines of yore. Seeing
as how this is a potentially dodgy proposition in SONAR
as a real-time plug (thanks to an internal clock pulse
that's far too long to be usable), I proposed that I
could do something to this effect as a track insert
effect. Moreover, I figured "why not allow the user to
set any time interval to be usable on basslines and
such?" Why not indeed!
After I released MFX PW-Map on the
Garritan forum, it still wasn't enough! "What about those
of us that don't have a Mod Wheel *or* a Pitch Wheel? How
can *we* send modulation information to GPO?" So I
invented yet *another* way! MFX Key Tweaker allows you to
use a range of keys on your keyboard to act in place of a
Mod Wheel in order to let you play instrument-level
volume changes without a physical controller knob. Useful
for other synths and any CC data, too!
Neole asked on the Garritan forum: "What
can be mapped to the sustain pedal to allow legato
playing? [If I] could map the first C key to act as [the
Hold Pedal], it would be good. Any way?" Now you can! MFX
Key Peddler allows you to use any key on your keyboard to
act in place of a Hold Pedal in order to let you play
legato lines in GPO without a physical sustain pedal.
Useful for other synths, too!
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