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Dynamic continuous real-time MIDI control

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C16 post-sales support — includes free downloads
Will the C16 work with such-and-such?
C16 Target Sliders book - in Adobe Acrobat format

Philip Rees MIDI slider control centreC16 MIDI Slider Control Unit

Phillip Reece midi control center

The music-making equipment that most of us can afford gets ever more powerful. Unfortunately, this gear still tends to lack any genuinely accessible User interface. Consequently, a cost-effective hardware MIDI control box could be a very handy device.

Hardware MIDI controller/editor

C16 sliders select MIDI targetThe Philip Rees C16 MIDI Control Unit has sixteen 60mm slider controls. The sliders may be assigned to a wide variety of MIDI parameter and variable change functions. The assignments are held as one hundred preset Target templates, built-in to the C16. The preset Target templates are selected by number, using two of the sliders, while holding down the TARGET SELECT pushbutton. The currently-active TARGET NUMBER is shown on a two-digit seven-segment numeric LED display. The use of lots of presets means you won't freak out trying to program this MIDI control box.

You can use the sliders on the C16 to control volume, pan, effects sends, and many other parameters of many popular electronic musical devices (old and new). The C16 is pre-programmed with the MIDI Control Change, MIDI Parameter and MIDI System Exclusive codes for manipulating the sound on a wide range of popular synths, sound modules, sound cards and software. Therefore, this versatile MIDI control surface can act as a hardware front panel for a synthesiser or as a compact MIDI mixer. Every good boy deserves faders.

MIDI sliders for computer musician

In a typical MIDI set-up, you might place the C16 between the MIDI OUT of your master keyboard and the MIDI IN of your sequencer (hardware or computer). In this way, your sequencer can record the movements of the sliders. This feature gives the User easy access to expressive effects such as trendy filter sweeps.

MIDI control panel for synth

The C16 automatically merges the MIDI data from the keyboard with that generated by moving the sliders. This means that you don't have to swap around MIDI cables, and you don't require an external merge unit. The diagram on the right indicates where you might place C16 in a simpler set-up, without a sequencer.

Preset templates

The unit is easy to use: select a preset Target and wiggle the sliders. Information about Targets, including a chart of the latest TARGET LIST complete with slider assignments is included on this website as a separate html file. You can also download the C16 Target Sliders book in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format. An abridged list of Targets and slider assignments can be found on the base of the product itself. Below is a table of Target names and numbers (v1.0 through 1.3):

0 GM Edit:   28 Alesis QS/Nano: Osc 1     Roland:       Korg:  
1 GS Edit:   29 Alesis QS/Nano: Osc 2   38 JV80/880: Tone 1   69 X2; X3: Osc1 & VDA1
2 XG Edit:   30 Alesis QS/Nano: Osc 3   39 JV80/880: Tone 2   70 X2; X3: FX & VDF1
3 GS Effects:   31 Alesis QS/Nano: Osc 4   40 JV80/880: Tone 3   71 X2; X3: Osc2 & VDA2
4 XG Effects:   32 Matrix1000: Waves & VCF   41 JV80/880: Tone 4   72 X2; X3: FX & VDF2
5 XG EQ:   33 Matrix1000: Envelopes   42 JX8P: Osc & VCA   73 05r/W: Osc1 & VDA1
      34 Emu Proteus: Primary   43 JX8P: Filter & LFO   74 05r/W: FX & VDF1
  generic MIDI:   35 Emu Proteus: Secondary   44 JV1080: Tone 1   75 05r/W: Osc2 & VDA2
6 Timbre Edit:   36 Emu Orbit, Phat: Primary   45 JV1080: Tone 2   76 05r/W: FX & VDF2
7 Quick Mixer:   37 Emu Orbit, Phat: Secondary   46 JV1080: Tone 3   77 NS5R: Osc1 & VDA1
  Expression           47 JV1080: Tone 4   78 NS5R: VDF1
  Balance           48 Alpha Juno 1 2:   79 NS5R: Osc2& VDA2
  Volume           49 MKS80(U): LFO & Osc   80 NS5R: VDF2
  Pan           50 MKS80(U): VCF & Env   81 N1; N5: Osc1 & VDA1
  Reverb           51 MKS80(L): LFO & Osc   82 N1; N5: VDF1
  Chorus           52 MKS80(L): VCF & Env   83 N1; N5: Osc2 & VDA2
  Vari FX                   84 N1; N5: VDF2
8 Master Vol:             Yamaha:     85 DW8000: Osc & VCF
9 Mod Wheel:           53 DX11/27/100: Op 1 & 2   86 DW8000: Envelopes
10 Chan Aftertouch:           54 DX11/27/100: Op 3 & 4        
11 Pitch Bend:           55 SY85/TG500: Multi   87 GM Drums: Cut Off
12 Genrl Purp Contrl1:           56 SY85/TG500: LFO & Amp   88 GM Drums: Resonance
13 Genrl Purp Contrl2:           57 SY85/TG500: Filter   89 GM Drums: Attack
14 Genrl Purp Contrl3:           58 6op DX/TX: Op 1 & 2   90 GM Drums: Decay
15 Genrl Purp Contrl4:           59 6op DX/TX: Op 3 & 4   91 GM Drums: Pitch
16 Genrl Purp Contrl5:           60 6op DX/TX: Op 5 & 6   92 GM Drums: Fine Tune
17 Genrl Purp Contrl6:           61 6op DX/TX: Ops & LFO   93 GM Drums: Level
18 Genrl Purp Contrl7:           62 TG100:     94 GM Drums: Pan
19 Genrl Purp Contrl8:                   95 GM Drums: Reverb
20 Contrl 00 ~ 15:           63 Pulse: Osc   96 GM Drums: Chorus
21 Contrl 16 ~ 31:           64 Pulse: VCF   97 GM Drums: Vari FX
22 Contrl 32 ~ 47:           65 Microwave: Osc        
23 Contrl 48 ~ 63:           66 Microwave: VCF   98 User 1: Reloadable
24 Contrl 64 ~ 79:           67 AWE32: LFO & Env   99 User 2: Reloadable
25 Contrl 80 ~ 95:           68 AWE32: Filter        
26 Contrl 96 ~ 111:                        
27 Contrl 112 ~ 127:                        

Reloadable User Targets

There is also the option of user-programming two Target templates (Target numbers 98 and 99), each consisting of sixteen sliders. You can transfer the settings for these thirty-two sliders to the C16 via System Exclusive messages. These settings are held in non volatile-memory, so the information is retained when power is removed from the C16. This feature means that, when used in conjunction with a computer, the C16 becomes a fully programmable MIDI control center. It also means that, new Target sets can be provided for existing users, for example, via this website. To help with generating and editing User Targets (and transmitting them to the C16), we provide free C16 Editor programs for the Macintosh® and PCs running Windows®.

boy turns switchA sixteen-position rotary switch is provided; it is usually used for selecting the MIDI channel, or sometimes the device number.

Target number 7 is called Quick Mixer, it provides easy access to volume, pan, reverb send, chorus send, variation effect send, balance and expression across sixteen MIDI channels simultaneously. The channel numbers correspond to the slider numbers. When this Target is selected, the sixteen-position rotary switch is used to change functions, so you can simply and rapidly switch between them.

Send All button

There is a SEND ALL pushbutton, which updates the target device with all the slider positions. A lamp in the display window flashes to clearly indicate when MIDI data is transmitted by the C16. The lamp flashes for data being transferred from the MIDI in port, as well as that generated as a result of movement on the front panel controls of C16 itself.

Space is provided on the hardy polyester front panel to name the slider assignments; a permanent overhead projector pen is a suitable marker.

The C16 features a built-in power supply and is supplied with a detachable mains lead (ac power cord). As with all our mains (ac) powered products versions are available for 110 V ac as well as 230 V ac. Plugs for various international standards are also available.

Robust and reliable

The sturdy ABS enclosure is compact at 210mm x 135mm x 55mm, so it doesn't take up too much space on a crowded work-surface. It has one MIDI IN and one MIDI OUT port with an automatic merge function. The unit alone weighs 550g, and complete with enclosures and packaging the gross weight is about 1.2 kg.

With an outstandingly good service record, the C16 has firmly established a reputation as a very robust and reliable product.

get pdf readerYou may need to download the Acrobat Reader free from the Adobe site in order to view or print .pdf documents.
acrobat .pdfThe C16 information on this page (plus a Target & sliders chart) is available as an Acrobat .pdf file - size: 1058K bytes.

MIDI control center MIDI control box reviewIndependent product review by Sound on Sound, the world's best music recording magazine.

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to C16 post-sales support — includes free downloads

All trademarks acknowledged.
Proprietary names are used to indicate intended compatibility of MIDI messages.
They do not imply the approval of the nameholder, which has not been sought.
The C16 provides a hardware MIDI control surface with 16 sliders.