Note Off vs Choke Groups Not Working When BB Connected to DAW via MIDI

I recently connected my BB to my DAW via the BB MIDI cable. My intent with this is to be able to work on drum+bass sequences in the DAW as I have been doing, but then be able to tweak the final result (mix, etc) directly from the DAW by playing through the BB (simulate live use).

Everything seems to work correctly (meaning the same as a production BB song) except Note Off and Choke groups.

If I set the BB to ignore note off events, the drums choke correctly, but the bass notes run together. If I set the BB to use note off events, the drums no longer ring out properly (they get cut short), but the bass notes respect note off events and work correctly.

If I export the drums+bass track from the DAW and put it in a song with BB Manager, then export that to the BB SD card, the track plays correctly (drums ring and choke, bass notes respect note off events).

Am I missing something? I would expect the behaviors to be the same whether playing from the DAW or from the SD card. Any tips?

When the BB is connected to DAW, it is working as a sound module. The internal settings of the BB should not impact the midi coming out of the DAW. Percussion/non-percussion should be expected to respond as within the BB, since a sound module also has percussion sounds, which would ring through, and non-percussion sounds which would work with note offs. I’d be surprised if the choke groups worked just from the BB settings. I would think something would be needed in the DAW to recognize the choke groups.

Looking at your whole issue there, I can’t really say where the problems are.

Agree this is not a DAW thing. The DAW is simply dumping MIDI data to the BB as if it were a proper sound module. It is up to the BB to correctly handle the data stream. Also, it is not a problem with choke groups. I believe they work correctly regardless of whether BB is playing the loop, or BB is “being played” by an external DAW.

My guess is the BB firmware MIDI player correctly deals with the percussion/non-percussion notes based on the settings in the drum kit when playing loops internally from the SD card. Somewhere in the code it is asking itself “is this a percussion or non-percussion note”, and then ignoring or enabling any associated Note Off event accordingly.

However, when the BB is connected to a DAW via MIDI cable as a “sound module”, it seems to skip that step. Interestingly, there is a “global” BB MIDI setting for incoming MIDI data to “Ignore” or “Enable” Note Off events. This is odd to me, since the BB should be ALWAYS ignoring Note Off events for percussion notes, and enabling Note Off events for non-percussion notes (as defined by the drum kit). There should be no need for this “global” setting which is too “heavy handed” in either setting.

I suspect this is an artifact of SS responding to users wanting BB to be better behaved with “mixed” drum kits (e.g. dealing with non-percussion samples correctly). Somewhere in the evolution of this capability in the BB firmware, the automatic handling of Note Off events for percussion vs. non-percussion samples did not get implemented correctly for direct MIDI operation. I suspect also this is why the MIDI setting was added for “Ignore” or “Enable” Note Off events, without considering mixed kits need BOTH behaviors based on the kit settings.

This might be something easily fixed in a firmware update. Until then, I can still do what I wanted to do, which is audition my sequences directly from the DAW to the BB for final mixing. This saves me from going back and forth to accomplish the same thing. However, I have to live with the fact that in DAW->BB mode, either the drum notes will be “cut off” via Note Off events (tolerable), or the non-percussion notes will ring on (not so tolerable). Still works OK for final editing, but it would be nice to hear everything EXACTLY as it would play live.

SS are you listening? Am I missing yet another “hidden” feature that deals with this issue?