MATRIXSYNTH: Access Matrix 1000 Programmer

Monday, October 23, 2006

Access Matrix 1000 Programmer

You don't see these too often. Before the Virus A, Access used to make hardware knob boxes for the Oberheim Matrix 1000 and the Waldorf Microwave. Guess which one this is? : ) Title link takes you to more shots pulled via this auction. If anyone gets this thing, post back in the comments with how it works as a real time controller.

via brian comnes.

Update via Till "Qwave" Kopper in the comments:
"The Matrix Controller did also work for the Matrix 6 and the Matrix 6 rack version. I used to own a Matrix 6 and this controller. It was working as fine as editing is possible on non rotary encoders. So be prepared for some parameter jumps when moving a knob.
I remember the filter cutoff knob was transmitted somehow by SysEx. And it took a while for the synth to act to it. So it was impossible to use the controller for real time filter sweeps.
I can't remember what you had to do to tell the Programmer if you are working on a Matrix 6 (keyb. or rack version) or a Matrix 1000. There was a certain bottom combination needed.
You could lock the knobs in order not to change (=jump) a sound into nirvana while playing. This lock modus was also the default when turing the unit on.
I own now the MicroWave version for my MicroWave plus WaveSlave. Works fine !
But it is not better then good new controller boxes. But it does look way better then those plastic ones of today."

"The modulation matrix is not handled at all.

Back in time the company was named Access Midi Tools, they even showed a prototype at Frankfurt of the PG-X in 1996, a universal hardware programmer, at the TSI/Waldorf booth. This never made it into production, to much units to support, look what happened to Polyframe/SoundDiver.

Have a look here for more info (German only).

There is a Review at SOS about both Programmers:

I have them both, just for the cool look ;-) There are some little issues with the Matrix one (not just on mine, it is a generic issue) on the sustain of the filter envelope, I allways planned to check if the programmer is sending stupid data or if the M1000 is causing the fault.

As Till pointed out, there is some steppyness with the Matrix, but this is just the slow reception in the synth.

It is quite fine with the MicroWave, which is able to eat lots of SysEx without any problem.

Georg."

Update via cornutt in the comments:
"I am the author of M1000X, the Matrix 6/6R/1000 patch editor for OSX. So I'm pretty familiar with the MIDI implementations of these boxes. Here's what I have found out about them:

The Matrix-6/6R MIDI implementation was only about half finished, and it has a critical bug. The two biggest problems with it are:

1. Some of the parameters allow both positive and negative numbers, but the M6 won't accept a negative value in a MIDI single parameter message. So, if any paraemter needs to be set to a negative value, the entire patch has to be sent to the box. And the M6 doesn't allow the patch-load message to write to the edit buffer; it has to be written directly to the patch memory. Not only is this slow, but it also means that the edit can't be undone (unless the external editor remembers it).

2. The M6 has no MIDI mesages for updating the routing matrix. As in the case above, the only way to do it is to write the entire patch to patch memory.

They fixed a lot of the MIDI problems on the Matrix-1000. It supports all legal values in MIDI single parameter messages. There is no reason why an M1000 can't do a real-time filter sweep if the external editor handles it properly. The only thing that was botched on the M1000 is that it does not remember patch names. That was probably done because the M1000 itself can't display them, but IHMO it still should have stored them in order to support external editors, and also patch interchange with the M6.

The other thing that strikes me abou the Access box is that it doesn't appear to have nearly enough controls to edit all of the parameters that a Matrix-6 or 1000 patch supports, even leaving out the routing matrix. Where, for example, are the knobs for adjusting the tracking generator break points, or the buttons for setting the zillions of possible envelope modes? Anyway, thanks for publishing this; it was an interesting look back into history. And I hope my comments were helpful."

10 comments:

  1. The Matrix Controller did also work for the Matrix 6 and the Matrix 6 rack version. I used to own a Matrix 6 and this controller. It was working as fine as editing is possible on non rotary encoders. So be prepared for some parameter jumps when moving a knob.
    I remember the filter cutoff knob was transmitted somehow by SysEx. And it took a while for the synth to act to it. So it was impossible to use the controller for real time filter sweeps.
    I can't remember what you had to do to tell the Programmer if you are working on a Matrix 6 (keyb. or rack version) or a Matrix 1000. There was a certain bottom combination needed.
    You could lock the knobs in order not to change (=jump) a sound into nirvana while playing. This lock modus was also the default when turing the unit on.
    I own now the MicroWave version for my MicroWave plus WaveSlave. Works fine !
    But it is not better then good new controller boxes. But it does look way better then those plastic ones of today.

    keep on turning these knobs

    Till "Qwave" Kopper

    ReplyDelete
  2. So how did this thing handle the modulation matrix?

    Access gear always looks nice but seems to always be missing a few knobs one could really use.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It would have been cool to have a pin matrix for the matrix patching.

    ReplyDelete
  4. about lack of knobs. i noticed that with my fizmo. the inclusion of a few more knobs and switches would've made everything accesable from the front panel, but the lack of those knobs makes all the knobs that are on the front panel kinda useless

    ReplyDelete
  5. The modulation matrix is not handled at all.

    Back in time the company was named Access Midi Tools, they even showed a prototype at Frankfurt of the PG-X in 1996, a universal hardware programmer, at the TSI/Waldorf booth. This never made it into production, to much units to support, look what happened to Polyframe/SoundDiver.

    Have a look here for more info (German only):
    http://www.synrise.de/docs/types/a/access.htm

    There is a Review at SOS about both Programmers:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/sep96/accessprogramers.html

    I have them both, just for the cool look ;-) There are some little issues with the Matrix one (not just on mine, it is a generic issue) on the sustain of the filter envelope, I allways planned to check if the programmer is sending stupid data or if the M1000 is causing the fault.

    As Till pointed out, there is some steppyness with the Matrix, but this is just the slow reception in the synth.

    It is quite fine with the MicroWave, which is able to eat lots of SysEx without any problem.

    Georg.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Till. I always wondered about how it would work with the Matrix-6 as I know the performance wasn't too great with the software editors. I updated the post with your comments.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am the author of M1000X, the Matrix 6/6R/1000 patch editor for OSX. So I'm pretty familiar with the MIDI implementations of these boxes. Here's what I have found out about them:

    The Matrix-6/6R MIDI implementation was only about half finished, and it has a critical bug. The two biggest problems with it are:

    1. Some of the parameters allow both positive and negative numbers, but the M6 won't accept a negative value in a MIDI single parameter message. So, if any paraemter needs to be set to a negative value, the entire patch has to be sent to the box. And the M6 doesn't allow the patch-load message to write to the edit buffer; it has to be written directly to the patch memory. Not only is this slow, but it also means that the edit can't be undone (unless the external editor remembers it).

    2. The M6 has no MIDI mesages for updating the routing matrix. As in the case above, the only way to do it is to write the entire patch to patch memory.

    They fixed a lot of the MIDI problems on the Matrix-1000. It supports all legal values in MIDI single parameter messages. There is no reason why an M1000 can't do a real-time filter sweep if the external editor handles it properly. The only thing that was botched on the M1000 is that it does not remember patch names. That was probably done because the M1000 itself can't display them, but IHMO it still should have stored them in order to support external editors, and also patch interchange with the M6.

    The other thing that strikes me abou the Access box is that it doesn't appear to have nearly enough controls to edit all of the parameters that a Matrix-6 or 1000 patch supports, even leaving out the routing matrix. Where, for example, are the knobs for adjusting the tracking generator break points, or the buttons for setting the zillions of possible envelope modes? Anyway, thanks for publishing this; it was an interesting look back into history. And I hope my comments were helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Cornutt, definitely helpful. I updated the post with your comments and what I beleive is a link to your editor. Take a look and post back if it's wrong and I'll correct it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's the right link! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dave ... I am about to rediscover my matrix 1000. Had put it away some years back. Wonder if your editor will work under new Mac OS. I guess I will see. Thanks for the work. If you happen to get this feel free to contact me at paulpop@comcast.net

    Paul

    ReplyDelete

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