BLE midi problem

Questions and Discussions about the G-Stomper VA-Beast Synthesizer
URM
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:31 pm

BLE midi problem

Postby URM » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:07 pm

Great synth, been having lots of fun with it on my Figo Virtue III phone - android 6.0.

Unfortunately the phone doesn't have OTG midi so tried connecting via bluetooth midi from my Roland A-01 K-25m keyboard which is found and paired just fine by the phone, but the midi device isn't showing up as a connected midi device in the VA Beast midi settings.

Unfortunately I don't have any other synth or DAW apps that recognize BLE midi so to troubleshoot and to see if midi was coming in and out from the phone, I downloaded the BleMidiSample app from the Play store and it recognizes the Roland A-01 as a midi device I can see midi clock, notes and CCs coming into BleMidiSample and can also send notes out from BleMidiSample which plays the internal synth in the A-01. That seems to indicate that the A-01 and its BLE midi is working fine with the phone, but sadly no midi device is showing up in VA-Beast.

Maybe I'm missing something in order to get VA Beast to recognize the Roland A-01 as a Ble midi device?

Hope there's a solution to this as I'm new to the Droid world and am not sure how to root the phone in order add OTG support so was hoping the bluetooth midi would work as an alternative. Let me know if there's anything else I can add to help you troubleshoot why it isn't showing up in VA-Beast.

Thanks for the update today and for making a great synth.

Jamie
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planet-h
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Re: BLE midi problem

Postby planet-h » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:32 am

Welcome to the forum, Jamie
and thanks for your message.

The BLE MIDI sample application is using an old NON-Android-M based driver, written by Kaoru Soshi.

All G-Stomper apps use a newer, Android M based driver, as it has a way better timing than the old solution.
As a test you can try the MIDI BLE Connect app by Mobileer Inc.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobileer.example.midibtlepairing
It uses the same Android M backing as G-Stomper.

The Android M MIDI backing is provided by the Android OS since v.6.0. The BLE internal hookup is completely done by this backend.
G-Stomper can just only what it gets from the operating system. To be 100% sure I gave it a quick check on two different devices (both worked without problems).

Why your Roland A-01 doesn't show up can have different reasons:
Even if unlikely, it might be that it's not supported by the Android MIDI backend. But as the A01 and the K-25m both are modern hardware parts, I'm almost 100% sure that these devices should work well.
What is also possible (I heard about such cases), is that the Android M MIDI backing is just not working in Figo's customized Android OS, especially since it uses 6.0 (not 6.0.1).
But that's just guessing, and it'll be difficult to get a prove of it, as I don't have a A01 or a K-25m to test with. I use the Yamaha UD-BT01 and MD-BT01 for the tests. If you would get the chance to test one of these two (UD-BT01 and MD-BT01), then we could say for sure, as if these are not working, then the Android M backend in the OS is not working.

What I find very surprising is that the Figo Virtue does not come with USB OTG support. To be honest, I haven't heard about such (non-USB-OTG) devices since more than 4 years. It's just a guess, but I'd rather say this is an OS bug, as it's almost unbelievable that companies still ship devices with "officially" no USB-OTG support. This makes it even more difficult to test the MIDI hookup, as you cannot cross-check with a simple and always working USB-OTG connection.

I'm sorry that I cannot give you a better answer.
Hope it's still helpful
URM
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:31 pm

Re: BLE midi problem

Postby URM » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:51 pm

Thanks for the welcome and quick response.

Thanks for double checking things on your end as it pretty much confirms what we both suspect, that the phone is the culprit and likely needs updating and rooting and I'm likely going to have to learn all about rooting and updating it to get midi working. I plugged a few midi and audio devices in with a OTG cable and got nothing so did some digging and the phone seems to be missing the USB midi host files. Cheap phone so wasn't expecting much, but was surprised that it handles synths quite well and is very playable from the screen.

I'll try the app you recommended and report back, but that will have to wait until tomorrow as I'm using the phone tonight as a sound source for a drone performance, mostly running mixtikl to create ambient synth drones while playing VA Beast or EHX overtop of the drones. Like I said I was pleasantly surprised that this cheap phone is handling all that without any clicks or audio interupts.

BTW I was one of the lucky winners of a promo code for Rhythm from your promo through Musical Android so wanted to thank you for that too, but again I won't have time to download and play with it until tomorrow. I'm guessing I just download the demo and insert the promo code somewhere.

Thanks for all the Droid version info too as again it really helps as I learn another OS.
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planet-h
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Re: BLE midi problem

Postby planet-h » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:16 pm

URM wrote:Thanks for double checking things on your end as it pretty much confirms what we both suspect, that the phone is the culprit and likely needs updating and rooting and I'm likely going to have to learn all about rooting and updating it to get midi working. I plugged a few midi and audio devices in with a OTG cable and got nothing so did some digging and the phone seems to be missing the USB midi host files. Cheap phone so wasn't expecting much, but was surprised that it handles synths quite well and is very playable from the screen.

OK, that sounds indeed like the phone is the culprit. For USB OTG G-Stomper provides both drivers, the Android M driver, and if that won't find the device (happens with non usb-class-compliant hardware), it uses the traditional (kaoru based) driver as fallback. If both won't work, then there must be something with the OS, as the fallback driver can connect with almost everything.

URM wrote:I'll try the app you recommended and report back, but that will have to wait until tomorrow as I'm using the phone tonight as a sound source for a drone performance, mostly running mixtikl to create ambient synth drones while playing VA Beast or EHX overtop of the drones. Like I said I was pleasantly surprised that this cheap phone is handling all that without any clicks or audio interupts.

Wow, that sounds nice. If you get the chance to capture a short video of the performance, I'd love to check it out;).

URM wrote:BTW I was one of the lucky winners of a promo code for Rhythm from your promo through Musical Android so wanted to thank you for that too, but again I won't have time to download and play with it until tomorrow. I'm guessing I just download the demo and insert the promo code somewhere.

You're welcome:)
The promo code is for the G-Stomper Rhythm premium key. The key removes the ads from G-Stomper Rhythm, the drum machine app.
Do you have G-Stomper Rhythm installed already?
If not, first install G-Stomper Rhythm:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.planeth.rhythm
It's a free app that normally includes ads.

Then install the G-Stomper Rhythm premium key to remove the ads:

Here's how to use the promo code:
1. Show up the G-Stomper Rhythm premium key on Google Play.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.planeth.rhythmkey
2. Press the green button (showing the price) to BUY.
3. Press ACCEPT (on Android 6 it might be slightly different)
4. Press the little down arrow at the right side of the price
5. Select "Redeem" as payment method
6. Enter the promotional code (ideally copy and paste from the mail you got from musical android)
7. Press REDEEM (once you did that, the price will change to zero)

Once installed, just close google play, then start the regular G-Stomper Rhythm app and it'll come up without any ads.

URM wrote:Thanks for all the Droid version info too as again it really helps as I learn another OS.

No problem, you're very welcome. If you have further questions, always feel free to ask.

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