Kyub: Connecting to a Computer Based Synthesizer v1.0



Intro
The Kyub should work with any computer-based synthesizer that accepts a USB keyboard. This document describes connecting the Kyub to the free demo version of Propellerhead's Reason for Windows PCs available here: http://www.propellerheads.se/download/. This procedure will be similar although not identical order of procedure you will follow with other synthesizers and with Reason for the Macintosh.

Why the Reason Synthesizer?
This synthesizer has, what I believe, are great sound files and is pretty inexpensive if you want to buy a copy (less than 100 dollars). You don't need to buy a copy, however, to use it as a synthesizer, only if you want to start recording and editing the music you played in MIDI format.

The interface for Reason is wonderfully complex which is seen as a downside by some. But it's a good place to start if you want to hear the full capabilities of the Kyub.

Once You Have It Downloaded
After you've downloaded the Reason Demo and opened it in demo mode you should see a screen that looks something like this. It's intended to portray an equipment rack and I'm not sure what sort of equipment will be in it when you open this. You can delete equipment by right clicking on the mouse.

You will need a synthesizer in your rack and can do this by right clicking the mouse in the blank rack space and selecting the menu item called "Create Instrument...




This action should open a file window that allows you to select among hundreds of instruments. Use the menu box that in this example is labeled "Acoustic Piano" and the little button to it's right to move around. I recommend you start with the Concert Grand Piano.



When you click on "OK" you should return to the depiction of an equipment rack and see a synthesizer called the Combinator. If you ever want to change the instrument pressed the little file symbol that is circled with a red spiral below.



Press the F4 function button on your keyboard to open an on-screen piano keyboard shown below. You can also open this piano keyboard using the Window menu item in the menu bar. Play a few notes on the on-screen piano keyboard using your mouse and confirm that you can hear sound. If not, struggle with the documentation and your computer until you can hear the sound. For me it worked the first time, but I am a realist.


Okay, so now you know that you have a synthesizer installed and working. Close the on-screen piano keyboard and plug in the Kyub.

Go to the menu bar and select the Edit menu item and scroll down through the drop-down menu to Preference and select that. A Preference window should open as shown below. In the Advanced window select the Teensy Midi as your external control as shown below. Don't see this option? Skip down to the paragraph and then return here


In the Edit/Preferences Window (that you got to above) press the Control surfaces tab and then select the Add Button you should see the following control surfaces window: make it look like this:


Then press okay. Go back to the Advanced Tab in this window (Edit/Preferences) and select the Teensy MIDI option if that didn't work before. Close this window

You should now be able to play the Kyub but if not go back to the depiction of the rack and scroll to the top of the rack and press the button on the HARDWARE INTERFACE equipment that says ADVANCED MIDI. You should see Teensy Midi when you press one of the bus buttons A-D. That's the right bus button to select.

Play the Kyub see if you see a green light flashing next to any of the channels for that bus. Press the little down arrow next to that channel light (to the right) and select the Combinator. You should now here music when you play the Kyub and see the little VU meter on the Combinator move. Hopefully you're in business now. If not drop us a line at hi.kyubmusic.com and give us as much information as you can and will try to help.


Even More Information (LATENCY!)

This gets you started but you may have a fair amount of "latency" which is the delay between pressing the cube pads and hearing sound. Especially if you are a starting musician and notice any latency, you could probably do better.

The first thing you need is a fast audio driver. Open the Edit/Preferences window again and this time press the Audio tab. Under "Audio card driver:" see if you have an ASIO option. If so take it. If not, and you think that your audio card might support ASIO but you just don't have the driver, try downloading ASIO4ALL from http://www.asio4all.com/ I've had good success with this driver and it substantially decreases latency to the point where I can't detect it and excellent musicians can probably tolerate it (see the white paper on latency in our documents page)



If ASIO4ALL can be installed you will have access to a control panel shown below. Make sure you select the desired audio output at the left and experiment with dragging the ASI Buffer Size Slider at the bottom of the window to the left (you can do the same thing in the Audio window) until the sound you're playing starts to break up or stutter. Then you've gone too far and need to go a little bit to the right. This process should get your latency pretty low.

If not, and this bothers you, you may need to look into getting a low latency soundcard. As you can see I'm using the Sound Blaster Audigy card.