Digitone and MIDI in a live band

I currently play synths in a heavy glam band and mainly use the Digitone with an Alesis Vortex keytar as a controller. We recently lost a a couple of members of the band, a bassist and a guitarist, but are now plugging away as a three piece (guitar/vocals, synth and drums). We may replace the bassist if the right person comes along, but for now we’re without. To fill the bass gap, we are looking for solutions using the existing members. With this in mind, I’m looking at some solutions to get a bit more out of the Digitone. Ideally, I’d like to do the following:

  • Play midi from the keytar over two tracks on the Digitone.
  • Play only the lowest note played from a chord on the first track on a second track.
  • Step through a pattern step by step on the Digitone with a MIDI button press.
  • Tap tempo with a MIDI button (for arpeggiator use with our live drummer).

I don’t want to use a laptop on stage, but from what I can tell, the Digitone can basically do none of the above on its own (please correct me if I’m wrong). I also have a behringer fcb1010 pedal, which I could use to trigger some of the above settings, but need a device that I can program the above functions into as presets so that I can easily change settings between songs. The Blokas Midihub or Bome Box may be options, but if anyone has experience with those, or suggestions for other options, it would be great to hear them. Also, if anyone is a bassist and fancies joining a band in Leeds (UK), just let me know!

My first thought was the Midihub. I have one but would need to check if you can put a patch together. You can have 8 patches loaded on it without needing a computer. You could also do it on a raspberry pi with pure data and midi interface.

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I’ve downloaded the Midihub editor to give it a test and while it looks good for things like generative patching, it doesn’t seem like it can do everything I need. For example separating one midi stream into two channels based on lowest note going to one channel and the rest going to another. Unless I’m missing something! Might need to have a go with midi translator to see if Bomebox might do the trick.

I know there’s a Note Filter but just looked and it’s not as easy to set up. I have added a question on the Blokas community forum. After a little digging and it looks like a feature was asked for last year. At the moment it would be very easier to go from a single note to a chord but not the other way around.

Looked at the Bomebox and looks a little more complex to program.

I am just working with one of the other members on the Blokas forum to try and create a patch that should take the low note of the chord. I am going to set it up with the Midihub driving the Digitone and Minitaur.

I’ll let you know how we get on.