Korg M3: Recording 101 For MOTU DP6

This article is under construction. Please pardon the dust and if you read early drafts while this notice is still up, be aware that everything written might change drastically before I'm done with the final draft


You're trying to get the M3 to play nice with Digital Perfomer 6 (DP6). What GLOBAL settings on the M3 are needed for recording/playback? How do you record KARMA output or the Drum Track output? How can you use SysEx and Controller commands to initialize a track to the right combi or program and initial settings for that combi/program so that you don't need to create special copies of Korg preload combis/programs just to have the initial starting parameters at values you want for the track? What's a general-purpose workflow for M3 MIDI and Audio recording with DP6?

Closely-related articles

Before you begin

You must have properly (coming soon) set up your M3 audio and midi for use with DP6. Note: recommend Broadcast WAVE (and of course 24-bit Integer) as the preferred file format. The Broadcast Wave Organization Code is only useful for producers working for a company/organization that has been assigned a European Broadcast Union (EBU) "Facility Code". Supporting links for the recommendation beyond the fact that .WAV is the Windows uncompressed PCM format and therefore more applications are likely to support it well are THIS and THIS and THIS.

Also note that this procedure covers just one possible way to handle the initial stages of your songwriting workflow with DP6. It's a good approach and will help newcomers to the DP6 environment to get productive quickly, but you should of course adapt it for your own preferences as you become comfortable using DP6.

M3 GLOBAL settings for recording/playback with DP6

  • Page P0:Basic Setup
    • System Pref. tab
      • Bank Map should be KORG
      • System Clock should be:
        • S/P DIF if the M3 is connected to your computer or audio interface via the S/P DIF OUT on the back of the M3. Note that this forces you to use a Sample Rate of 48000 for all your DP6 projects that utilize audio recordings from the M3. (Misc: Choosing a sample rate and bit depth for recording explains why this might or might not be acceptable.)
        • Internal for every other possible configuration of M3 audio outs to your computer, regardless of whether you're using the EXB-FW interface to send audio, or you're using the analog outs from the M3 to drive the inputs of your audio interface, etc.
        • Note that the System Clock affects only audio recording, not MIDI recording.
    • Audio tab (only applicable if you're recording audio from the analog outs of the M3)
      • Output > L/R Bus Indiv. Out Assign can be either 1/2 or 3/4, and the corresponding Audio Output jacks on the back of the M3 should be hooked up to the audio inputs of your audio interface. You generally don't want to use the L/R Mains to drive your audio interface; they're usually hooked up to your studio monitors. The idea here is to split your MASTER output from the TFX section to both the L/R Mains to drive your studio monitors and also to send the same audio to your DAW (via your audio interface).
      • Note that if you're using S/P DIF or the EXB-FW interface to send audio to your DAW, you don't need to do anything on this tab.
  • Page P1:MIDI
    • MIDI Basic tab
      • MIDI Channel should be 01 unless you know what you're doing and have specific reason to change it. This specifies the "global channel" (Gch) that is used to recognize/process certain types of incoming SysEx and Controller commands.
      • Note Receive should be All
      • Local Control On should be:
        • If you are not actively recording the MIDI output from KARMA modules to DP6 tracks, keep this checkbox cleared (aka LOCAL OFF) to prevent MIDI note-doubling issues when a DP6 track is armed for recording. (Because the M3 sound engine will hear both the notes you play or the KARMA engine plays and those same notes will be echoed back from DP6 to the M3 again, effectively doubling the notes that the M3 sound engine hears and plays. Note that as long as you have any DP6 MIDI track armed for recording on input channel 01 (or the "Any" channel), DP6 will send what you play to the M3 and the M3 will respond accordingly.
        • If you are actively recording the MIDI output from the KARMA modules to DP6 tracks, then this checkbox must be selected and you must be in SEQ mode on the M3 and the P3:Track Param > MIDI 1-8 (9-16) > Status must be set to BTH* and **GLOBAL > P1:MIDI > Midi Routing > Enable KARMA Module to MIDI Out checkbox must be selected and in DP6 all your MIDI tracks' MIDI Output settings must be set to None to prevent MIDI note-doubling issues. Yes, this is a mouthful, and it's explained in more detail in KARMA 2: Recording KARMA output to external sequencers. Fortunately, you only have to go through this hassle when you need to actually record the MIDI output from the KARMA modules, which depending on your workflow preferences might be exactly never. ^.^
      • Convert Position should be PreMIDI
      • MIDI Clock should be Auto, which means when DP6 is sending MIDI clock to the M3, the KARMA engine on the M3 is now responding to the clock from DP6. Otherwise, the KARMA engine is responding to the MIDI clock on the M3 itself. Effectively, what this means is that when you're rehearsing a take and the DP6 isn't actually recording or playing back a track, the notes you play on your keyboard or Pads will trigger KARMA. But when you're playing back a track from DP6 or you're actively recording a track or punch-in section in DP6, then KARMA only responds to the trigger notes being echoed back from DP6 into the M3.
      • Receive Ext. Realtime Commands should be selected
      • Track MIDI Out should be for External Sequencer
      • Param. MIDI Out should be Control Change
      • Drum Track > Prog MIDI Out is your choice: it should be selected if you need to actually record the MIDI output of the drum track and this has pretty much all the same weird restrictions as when you want to record any of the KARMA modules: Local ON, you must be in SEQ mode, Track Outputs in DP6 should be **None to prevent note doubling, etc.
    • MIDI Routing
      • X-Y MIDI Out should generally be X-Y unless you know what you're doing and have a specific need to change it.
      • Pads MIDI Out should generally be Chord Notes unless you know what you're doing and have a specific need to change it.
      • Enable KARMA Module to MIDI Out should usually be cleared unless you are actively recording the MIDI output of the KARMA modules (and all the preceding weirdness applies in this case).
      • Enable MIDI In to KARMA Module should generally be selected unless you know what you're doing and have a specific need to disable this. When on, the control/trigger notes sent from DP6 into channel 01 of the M3 will trigger the KARMA engine just as if Local was ON and you were playing the keyboard and pads yourself.
      • Enable Start/Stop Out in Prog/Combi should be cleared.
      • MIDI Filter - All of the checkboxes in this section should generally be on unless you know what you're doing and have a specific reason to disable some of them.

To be continued

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License