Robotic Percussion at Bent Festival 2008

Michael Una will conduct a MIDI robotic percussion workshop on Friday, May 2nd at Bent Festival Minneapolis. Participants will receive free MSA-R kits donated by Highly Liquid. The workshop is free and open to all on a first-come, first-served basis. More details available at the Bent Festival site.

A sampling of Michael’s Ableton Live & MSA-R-based instrumentation can be seen here (Vimeo) or here (YouTube).

MIDI SysEx Tools


Many MIDI-enabled devices can be configured via the MIDI interface. This is typically accomplished via a special type of message called “System Exclusive” or “SysEx.”A device’s SysEx message format is specified by the vendor. For Highly Liquid products, please see each product’s documentation for SysEx message formats.

SysEx Messages as Files

SysEx messages are typically stored in one of two file formats:

  • A plain text file (.txt)
  • A raw hex file (.syx)

Below is a simple 7-byte SysEx message with example file representations.

Message contents (hex): F0 00 01 5D 02 00 F7

Corresponding files:

Text files can be edited using any basic text editor such as Notepad or vi. Raw hex files require the use of a “hex editor.”

Note: text can now be converted to raw hex .syx file here.

Sending SysEx Messages from a Computer

A SysEx message can be sent from any computer with an installed MIDI interface.Many sequencing programs have built-in SysEx functionality. There are also stand-alone SysEx applications available for free download.Recommended stand-alone SysEx programs:

  • SendSX (Windows): Stores & loads SysEx messages as text files. SysEx data can also be manually entered directly into the application.
  • SysEx Librarian (Mac): Stores & loads SysEx messages as raw hex (.syx) files. Use this tool to convert your code to a .syx file. You can also edit the .syx file using a hex editor like HexEdit.