Appsys - MIDI remote control kit for preamps. Compatible with Yamaha DM2000 ???

Hello.

I’m very excited to see a product like this come out. It’s basically a DIY kit where you solder mount a few components in already existing preamp units - like the Behringer ADA 8000. These components are controlled via a MIDI controller in the preamp rack on stage. The idea is to use a ADAT-to-CAT5 transport system to get the audio to FOH and a MIDI line to control the preamps. The Manufacturer, Appsys, makes a CAT5-extender for ADAT that also transports MIDI. The manufacturer claims that the MIDI controller can accept commands from virtually any device, hardware or software.

Can any of you good folks help me decypher the manual and help me to understand whether it is possible to control the MIDI controller from a Yamaha DM 2000? The ideal solution for me would be to control it using the encoders set to gain mode, but I have no idea whether these encoder vaules can be translated to MIDI commands. I guess another option could be to program a user assignable layer to be in “DAW-mode” and use the faders to control headamp gains?

Any advice much appreciated!

http://www.appsys.ch/downloads/remotegain/RGC-24A-M_en.pdf

Best regards,

Kristian Johnsen

It probably can be done, but would take some fiddling with settings. Best to e-mail the company and ask them as I’m sure that they would know the proper settings for both the console and the DIY box.

Interesting product.

Hello Andy.

Thank you for your time.

I hope all is well! :slight_smile:

I have been in touch with the very helpful designer, Rolf Eichenseher, at Appsys.

Here is what he tells me:

I don’t know the DM 2000 in “hardware”, but from reading the manual I think what you plan to do is possible.
(I used the online version of the manual:
[u][SIZE=2]http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/pa/english/mixers/dm2000v2_en_om_g0.pdf[/SIZE][/u])
The functions for generating the appropriate MIDI messages are called “Remote Control” and are discussed in chapter 20, from p. 253 of the manual, and on the first page in chapter 21 (p. 269). There, it says “User Defined targets allow you to specify the MIDI data that will be transmitted when the 24 channel strip faders, Encoders, and [ON] buttons are operated” - this is exactly what you need.
The MIDI messages you need to generate are “Control Change” (CC) messages. The format is:
<Channel> <Control> <Value>
<Channel> selects the ADA8000 you want to control (ch2 = first ADA, ch3 = second … ch7 = sixth ADA) <Control> selects the input you want to set the gain on (24=input #1, 31=input #8) <Value> sets the gain (0 = minimum, 127=maximum)
I think the setup is done according to the screenshot on page 254.
Assuming you want to map the gains to the encoders, you would enter:

  1. For the encoder 1 (controlling input #1 on the first ADA):
    DATA -> [B1] [24] [ENC] [END]
  2. For the encoder 24 (controlling input #8 on the third ADA):
    DATA -> [B3] [31] [ENC] [END]
  3. For the encoder 48 (controlling input #8 on the sixth ADA):
    DATA -> [B7] [31] [ENC] [END]

My question is this: Is it correct that the DAW-control layer (which I gather is what needs to be programmed to control the gains?) can only occupy one user assignable layer, hence limiting me to 24 channels? If I can open an user-assignable layer, tweak gain via encoder or fader, and flip back to normal fader mode - this will certainly work, but 24 channels is a bit limiting… getting the encoders to just work in remote gain mode would be stellar. Do you know if the gain controls actually “do something” if the mixer hasn’t detacted a Yamaha (or other approved preamp system) at the remote control port?

Rolf certainly is service-minded, he goes on to explain:

The second chance if we don’t get it to work is to adjust the commands in the RGC to another format (by means of a custom firmware).

I guess this means that if one can just get the gain controls to output “something unique” on the MIDI port, the Appsys RGC can be custom programmed to register it as gain commands.

Thanks again for all and any help on this :slight_smile:

Best regards,

Kristian

Thank you. All is well! :slight_smile:

I have been in touch with the very helpful designer, Rolf Eichenseher, at Appsys.

Here is what he tells me:

I don’t know the DM 2000 in “hardware”, but from reading the manual I think what you plan to do is possible.
(I used the online version of the manual:
[u][SIZE=2]http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/pa/english/mixers/dm2000v2_en_om_g0.pdf[/SIZE][/u])
The functions for generating the appropriate MIDI messages are called “Remote Control” and are discussed in chapter 20, from p. 253 of the manual, and on the first page in chapter 21 (p. 269). There, it says “User Defined targets allow you to specify the MIDI data that will be transmitted when the 24 channel strip faders, Encoders, and [ON] buttons are operated” - this is exactly what you need.
The MIDI messages you need to generate are “Control Change” (CC) messages. The format is:
<Channel> <Control> <Value>
<Channel> selects the ADA8000 you want to control (ch2 = first ADA, ch3 = second … ch7 = sixth ADA) <Control> selects the input you want to set the gain on (24=input #1, 31=input #8) <Value> sets the gain (0 = minimum, 127=maximum)
I think the setup is done according to the screenshot on page 254.
Assuming you want to map the gains to the encoders, you would enter:

  1. For the encoder 1 (controlling input #1 on the first ADA):
    DATA -> [B1] [24] [ENC] [END]
  2. For the encoder 24 (controlling input #8 on the third ADA):
    DATA -> [B3] [31] [ENC] [END]
  3. For the encoder 48 (controlling input #8 on the sixth ADA):
    DATA -> [B7] [31] [ENC] [END]

My question is this: Is it correct that the DAW-control layer (which I gather is what needs to be programmed to control the gains?) can only occupy one user assignable layer, hence limiting me to 24 channels? If I can open an user-assignable layer, tweak gain via encoder or fader, and flip back to normal fader mode - this will certainly work, but 24 channels is a bit limiting… getting the encoders to just work in remote gain mode would be stellar.
Sounds like a PITA.

Do you know if the gain controls actually “do something” if the mixer hasn’t detacted a Yamaha (or other approved preamp system) at the remote control port?
The gain controls on the surface do not put out any MIDI information. What I would think would be easiest in terms of operation is using the AD824 control page for the remote gains.

From the MIDI protocol for the DM2000, the adjusting the AD824 gains on the appropriate page on the DM2000 produces the following MIDI message:
F0 43 1n 3E 7F 01 5A uu cc dd dd dd dd F7
Where n is the MIDI channel number (0-F hex)
uu is the AD824 unit # (09 - 0F hex for units 1-8)
cc is the channel number of each AD824 (00 - 07) for channels 1-8
and dd dd dd dd will be
00 00 00 00 for +10db up to
00 00 00 48 (hex) for -62db (1db steps)

That’s the theory, anyway. Yamaha has been known to mess up the unit and channel numbers (at least on the PM5D they sure did) I don’t have a DM2000 to check though.

I would say if the company is willing to make the product respond to the above Sysex messages, you’d be golden.

The DM2000 MIDI protocol is available here: http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/downloads/documents/index.html

-Andy.

Hi,
I’m the designer of theRemote Gain Control Modkit. I stumbled across this discussion on felt like it’s a good time to join in.

Regarding Solution #1 (user definable layer): The english manual is not very clear about how many user definable layers are possible. However, the german manual says quite clearly that you can define up to 4 layers with 24 channels each. Each layer can be set to one of “NO ASSIGN”, „USER DEFINED”, „Pro Tools”, „Nuendo”, „Cubase SX”, „General DAW”, oder „User Assignable", and the limitation is that „Pro Tools”, „Nuendo”, „Cubase SX”, „General DAW” may occupy only one layer. That means, that “User defined” or “User Assignable” (whatever the difference is) may be used on more than one layer -> you can effectively control up to 4*24 = 96 channels

Regarding Solution #2 (AD824 compatibility mode): The RGCs’f firmware can be modified to match the AD824’s protocol as described above. However, since the AD824 is controlled via a special 9pin D-SUB link, one need to make sure that:
a) The AD824 functions are active within the DM2000 even with no AD824 attached
b) The appropriate control data is sent in real-time also over the MIDI port.

Personally, I would first try solution #1 (I can provide demo units for testing free of charge).

Regards,
Rolf

Hello again Andy.

I just reread your post and realized we have slightly misunderstood eachother: I understand that the gain pots on the top of the control surface are strictly associated with only the internal analog preamp circuits.

However, on the DM2000V2 one can make the channel encoders over each fader act as gain controls when using Yamaha (+ some others, like Rocknet, I believe) remote preamps. This is acheived by selecting “remote gain” in the menu associated with the “encoder mode select buttons” on the left side of the control surface.

Does anyone know whether the operation of the encoders in this mode translates to operating vitrual headamp gain controls in the “ad824 control page” menu? Operating the encoders to set remote gain would be super-smooth sailing!

Thanks again for any advice!

Hello Rolf. Great that you could join in! I’m really hoping to be able to use your RGC kit with the Yamaha DM2000.

I’ll try to shed some light on how the “user assignable layers” on the DM2000 are laid out:
You get four buttons that are “remote layer” 1,2,3 and 4 and when you push them the channel faders, encoders and channel strip displays become associated with whatever you have “programmed” that “remote layer” to see them as. You can in other words select a mix of input and output channels from many “layers” and have them in front of you at the same time. This is what Yamaha calls “user assignable”.

Now as to the difference between this and “user defined” - I’m guessing “user defined” is what one would use for a special application - like controlling the RGC, or a DAW on a computer, etc. I’m not convinced that each of the four “remote layers” actually can be a “user defined layer” even if they all can be a “user assignable” layer. I will look at the menus tomorrow, but I seem to recall that only the first out of the 4 “remote layers” can be set to “user defined”. If this is the case, the limit is 24 channels.

I’m really hoping someone on this forum can shed some light on these two questions!

Thank you, that is a very generous offer, one that I may very well accept.

However, I think we should start by trying to figure out what is the best strategy for controlling the AGC unit from the board, as I understand that this determines what it is the AGC unit needs to be programmed to be “listening” for?

Best regards,

Kristian

Easy enough to test. Assign the gain to the encoders, make a change and then look at the ad824 control page and see if the settings changed.
There’s no control over these in SM otherwise it would be possible to check this without the console.

Do you not have a DM2000 to test this yourself?

Hello again Andy.

I own a DM2000v2 and will look at the menus today. However, I don’t have any Yamaha external preamps so I can’t simulate the mixer “seeing” one of those on the 9-pin port.

I also don’t have any device which can tell me what the MIDI port is outputting (that I know of).

All I can do is move the encoders and see if the images on the mixer desplay move, and I will do that today. Hoping someone “just knows” how the “invisible” parts of the equation pan out with nothing connected to the 9-pin Dsub :slight_smile:

Hello again.

Did some button-pushing on the DM2000 today.

Unfortunately, there is no way to access the controls on the headamp menu page. They are there, but all “greyed” out so there is no way to access them.

Also, when set to HA-mode, the encoders don’t seem to do anything: There is no image in the channel strip display, like there is when the encoder is in, let’s say, pan mode.

I tried fiddeling around a little with the remote layers, As it turns out, one can set up three “user layers”. There is a menu for each for assigning MIDI commands associated with the on/off button, faders and encoders, When I turn a channel encoder the display changes numbers from 0 to 127, and the middle position is 64. Does this sound about right?

Where I’m really confused is what the channels are “named” when I look at the three user layers: There seems to be no logical “system” (like channels numbered from 1 to 72, etc).

Any chane I can “fool” the mixer into giving me access to the HA manu by just shorting two pins on the remote 9-pin D-sub port, or something similar? Dreaming is allowed, right? :smiley:

What do you guys think? Just go for a Behringer BCD2000 for gains? Rolf has kindly written a template for it…

I assume that they’re only available after the DM2000 has detected a remote headamp over its D-Sub link.

Great! That’s how it should work with the RGC. 0 = minimum gain, 64 = middle gain, 127 = maximum gain.

Well, you have 3 layers with 24 channels each. Thats 3*24 = 72 channels total. Since they are intended to control arbitrary external MIDI devices, it makes sense not to have real names in the preset.

Don’t think this is possible. Usually detection of external devices is done by some handshaking (e.g. determining which type of HA is connected etc… I assume that the DM2000 tries to find an HA by sending a message like “Hello HA”, and the HA then responds “Hello DM2000, I’m HA type XYZ”. You’d have to mock this communication … I don’t think this is possible with reasonable effort.

The remote layer page looks promising. I assume it should work, and if it doesn’t in the long run, you can still go and get yourself a BCR2000.