Alesis HR-16 and Octatrack? First-time MIDI user :/

Yo guys, so I’m finally trying to actually learn how to sync other peices of hardware via MIDI on my octatrack. This may sound strange/foreign/impossible, but up to this point, I’ve managed to avoid needing/using MIDI up until now, hence I know quite literally nothing about how it works - except the general concept. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but whatever - sampling has been all I’ve ever needed. :slight_smile:

BUT - I’ve just now undetaken a project that would be SO much easier if I could control my HR-16b with the OT. Now, like I said before, I know literally nothing about how this works, so I’m wondering:

For those of you who’e done this, is it possible to control/sequence/generally utilize the HR-16 through MIDI on the OT? I’m kind of laughing that I’m starting my MIDI education with the OT, given how powerful I’ve heard it can be - I’m at a complete loss. It seems like it should work, but I’ve read a bit about the HR-16, which to my unknowing mind, is pre-MTC? It sounds like it might be a little older than most MIDI pieces of hardware. Does that make sense?

Anyone have success using the OT as a controller for the HR-16 through MIDI?

Any help is much appreciated! Thanks

I’ve never seen or used an HR-16b, but according to its manual it can be controlled by the Octatrack in two ways:

  1. Synchronization of the HR drum patterns with the OT patterns, by using MIDI clock,
  2. Sequencing of the HR drum sounds by the OT MIDI sequencer.

The first method means that you program the HR beats on the HR itself. The second method means that you program the drum patterns on the OT.

You need to read the manuals for both instruments

You need to read the HR manual’s section about MIDI/Util and, for the first method, especially about MIDI clock source. For the second method you need to read especially about Receive MIDI drums and MIDI note assignment.

Thanks for the info. I actually got rather frustrated with the OT + HR16 last week, so I decided to try my ESX as a controller. For some reason, I had no problem getting it to control the pads. I’m assuming that it’s just the complexity of the MIDI function of the OT that initially got in the way of my ability to use it. Each pad on the ESX had a preset drum note already assigned to it (for instance, 1 = D2, 2 = E2, etc), so it was a matter of trial and error of assigning the pads on the HR16 to correspond. I tried to do this with the OT, having the HR16’s channel send set to OMNI, which I’m sure could have been set to 1 if I knew what that meant at the time. ha.

So there must be some way to assign the individual notes in the OT to correspond with the HR16 that I can’t figure out - or I just didn’t get when I hooked it up the first time. What I’m looking for is really simple; I’m not trying to control my entire studio, just an old machine which velocity problems. It could easily be achieved by simply sampling it’s sounds, theoretically, but there’s just something great about it’s outputs… probably in my head.

The ESX is working, but I’m assuming I’ll have a lot more control with the OT if I can get it up and running properly. Thanks for the help, I’ll report back when I get back in and try hooking up the OT + HR16.

Should be simple - the Hr16 pads should map to midi notes.
Sometimes drum machines default to midi channel 10, but you can likely change this or set it to Omni.
Then you can send midi notes out of the ot into the hr and trigger the notes.

Or you can do it the other way around (I’m not really following which one you want to control which).

For what it’s worth, ‘SEND’ is not usually Omni, it is receive that is omni. So if you set the HR16 to omni - then it would respond on all 16 channels. Which channel it is sending on, still up in the air…but like I said, could easily be channel 10.

So the key is setting the HR to transmit on the right channel and then have the OT receive it properly, or vice versa.

MIDI clock is just a way of locking tempos and keeping the start triggers timed together.

HR16’s are great.

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