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Belcanto Part 2

Video Part One

  • Explanation of keygroup outputs.
  • Explanation of how kgroup 99 connects to all the instrument keygroups in Alpha setup 3.
  • Creating a new keygroup output on kgroup 99 to create a new 'split 6'.

Video Part Two

  • Creating new keygroups.
  • Connecting the new keygroups to the new split.
  • Giving the keygroups a mode key
  • Creating outputs on the new keygroups to connect to instruments

Video Part Three

  • Connecting the keygroups to instruments.

You can find diagrams for this seminar here


This seminar covers splits, keygroups and some details of instruments. Dave is using EigenD version 1.1.24, and has loaded Alpha setup 3.

Keygroup Outputs

Each keygroup contains a number of outputs. These can be connected to:

  • instruments
  • further controls
  • other keygroups

When you press a keygroups mode key, the red lights that appear on the keygroup are its outputs. The example given in the seminar are the outputs for kgroup 1, shown on this diagram. The number of the output corresponds with the position of the key within the keygroup, so kgroup 1 output 19 is the output connected to the drummer talker, since it appears on the 19th key of kgroup 1.


When the main mode key is depressed, the lights that appear allow you to choose 'splits' which are the different arrangements of keygroups on the Alpha. These red lights are the keygroup outputs of an invisible keygroup which has number 99. To create a new split, a new output must be added to keygroup 99. To do this in belcanto, use the following commands in the eigencommander:

error 21 21 5
Error 9 9 hey
125 11 18 111
output 1 8 create

In the seminar, the number used for the new output is 18, since this will add a new 'split 6' into the row of available splits that are shown when the main mode key is depressed.

If you select this output (i.e. select split 6) then the Alpha shows a blank keyboard, since the split is currently empty.


We want to connect this split to a new keygroup. To create a new keygroup:

error 111
Error create

The keygroup is created, but to refer to it later we must give it a name:

66 23 error 17 22 123 74
it to Error 7 0 name ify

Here, 'it' refers to the newly created keygroup. In belcanto, 'it' refers to the most recently created agent, so if we create something new 'it' will refer to that instead.

'name ify' reads as one word 'nameify', but is typed into belcanto as two separate words.

The number 70 is a number that is not in use as a keygroup number, and can be any number not already in use.

This can then be repeated to make a second, new keygroup:

error 111
Error create
66 23 error 17 11 123 74
it to Error 7 1 name ify

The new keygroups must then be connected to the new split. This is done with the keygroup output we created earlier.

error 21 21 125 11 18 23 error 17 22 61
Error 9 9 output 1 8 to Error 7 0 connect
error 21 21 125 11 18 23 error 17 11 61
Error 9 9 output 1 8 to Error 7 1 connect

The keygroups currently have no keys in them, so to choose which keys are part of the two new keygroups, we use:

error 17 22 5
Error 7 0 hey
error 122
Error choose

Now, if you select split 6 using the main mode key and the new output 18, the keyboard will light up red. The red lights are keys that it is possible to use for keygroup 70. By pressing keys in the order you want them to appear in the keygroup, the keys turn to show that they are now part of the keygroup. When finished, press the last key again, and the keyboard will go blank again to show that choosing is over.

In the seminar, Dave creates an 8x5 keygroup at the top of the keyboard. To do this, enter choose mode as described above, and then starting from the very top left key on the keyboard, press the first 8 keys in the left hand column of the keyboard. They should turn green when pressed. Repeat this for the other 5 columns, and then press the last key (8th key in the 5th column) a second time.

This is then repeated for keygroup 71:

error 17 11 5
Error 7 1 hey
error 122
Error choose

Keygroup 71 is 14x5, starting underneath keygroup 70, so we start from the 9th key in the left column, and go downwards until there are 2 keys left over at the bottom. Then we repeat for the other 4 columns and press the last key a second time to finish.

Mode keys

To use the two new keygroups, they need mode keys. In the seminar, the mode key for keygroup 70 is key 23 (1 up from the bottom in the 1st column), and the key immediately to its right. Because we are inside keygroup 99, and it is only 23 keys long, this is key 46.

In belcanto this is:

error 21 21 125 11 18 error 12 13 23
Error 9 9 output 1 8 Error 2 3 to
error 17 22 2318 116 61
Error 7 0 mode input connect

error 21 21 125 11 18 error 14 16 23
Error 9 9 output 1 8 Error 4 6 to
error 17 11 2318 116 61
Error 7 1 mode input connect

At this point, pressing either of the new mode keys should cause its corresponding keygroup to flash orange.

Connecting some instruments

To add instruments to our new keygroups, we need to add new keygroup outputs to them. This is exactly the same as adding a split to kgroup 99 - the result is another red light on the keyboard that can be selected with a mode key, and that connects to something, in this case an instrument.

Dave creates 2 new outputs on kgroup 70:

error 17 22 5
Error 7 0 hey
125 21 111
output 9 create
error 17 22 5
Error 7 0 hey
125 11 22 111
output 1 0 create

These new outputs appear in the top two keys in course 2, since kgroup 70 is 8 keys deep. They appear when the mode key for keygroup 70, which is key 23 in our example.

To connect instruments to these outputs is similar to other connections, but has to use the belcanto word 'using'. This allows each keygroup to have separate channels for the control information sent to it by the strip/breath controller and the axes of the keys, and by recorded control information when you are making loops.

The connection from our new output is made to the recorder agent in the instrument we want, since the recorder is usually the first agent in a 'rig'. A rig is a group of agents connected together that form an instrument. To connect our new output 9 to the piano, which is sampler 1:

error 17 22 125 21 23 2135 11 768 8633 11 12 61
Error 7 0 output 9 to sampler 1 recorder using 1 2 connect

Here, the number 12 is just an unused channel number.

Lastly, we connect audio unit 1 (Alchemy by default) to output 10:

error 17 22 125 11 22
Error 7 0 output 1 0
23 1118 8728 1214 11 768 8633 11 12 61
to audio unit rig 1 recorder using 1 2 connect

Note: the keygroups created so far do not have courses set up. Choosing courses and setting their offsets is covered in the seminar Creating your own key layouts