Frequently Asked Questions

Does Electra One work with software synthesizers, VSTs, and DAWs?

Yes, it does. Any software synth that supports MIDI CC or MIDI SysEx messages will work with Elecra controller. Electra does not only send MIDI messages to standard DIN5 MIDI ports, it can also send them to computers as MIDI USB computers.

Does it read control values from VSTs and soft synths?

You can control any soft synth that support MIDI CC or SysEx messages. Reading of current control change values or patch parameters is a bit tricky with most soft synths. We are currently trying to find ways to do that.

Does it work even for return SysEx?

Electra is designed not only to send parameter changes, but also to read them. The firmware implements calls to retrieve current patch, fetch a status of one parameter. These calls can be modified to match SysEx format of specific synthesisers. At this moment these calls are implemented only by us - Electra developers. We want, however, to offer an API / SDK that would allow anybody to add SysEx support for other instruments.

Reading SysEx data is used to set correct values of controls whenever they are changed by Program change or actions on the instrument panel.

What is a Control, Preset, and a Patch?

Control is a representation of a sound parameter (or any other parameter). It has a value that can be changed by MIDI messages, twisting knobs, or swiping on a touch screen. Controls are shown on the display.

Preset is a collection of Controls that a user put to certain locations on the screen and pages. Preset also keeps information about devices connected to Electra and their channel assignments. You can see preset as something you prepare for your gig or studio or as a layout to program sound on one synthesiser.

Each control within a Preset have a value. Patch is a collection of values of all controls of a Preset. If you have a preset that you use for programming your MKS70, patch will be the actual sounds you can hear.

Can presets be saved? Where?

Presets are stored in Electra. You can export them as files for loading them later. You can also dump them as SysEx messages and store in SysEx librarians.

Is it possible to name the different pages?

Yes, definitely. There are 6 pages per preset and you can assign them your own names. You can change page names in the Electra editor or with a SysEx call.

Does Electra need Internet to run?

No, it does not. We designed Electra so that it may eliminate use of computers. You need internet only to configure Electra, because the editor is currently running in the Chrome browser.

I only have computers with Windows 7. How does this limit me in accessing all Electra’s power?

Electra is fully supported on all operating systems when Chrome browser can be run.

How many Electras can I daisy chain?

On USB 2.0 port you can have two Electra’s daisy chained. On USB C it can go up to four. We do recommend, however, to use a power USB HUB connected to USB Host port of one (master) Electra and connect other Electras to that hub. This is not only improves the power distribution, it also provides better latency. Generally speaking, we think that daisy chaining more than two Electras is not a good idea.

Where does electra get power?

Electra is USB powered device. It does not mean it needs to be connected to a computer. Any USB power adaptor or charger that delivers at least 250mA will do the job. USB cable is included in the package.

How long will it work with a power bank?

An Electra will run for more than 10 hours with standard 10.000mAh Power banks that you can by these days. We will test this properly and we will update the figures accordingly. Our estimate is very conservative, we expect much higher values.

How many synths could a single electra control?

Theoretically 32 on standard MIDI ports, 32 on MIDI USB, and 32 on the USB Host interface. We do, however, limit USB Host to 2 devices on purpose. This is a software limit only and we might increase it later on. However, if you want to read return SysEx messages for more than two hardware synths, you will need a MIDI merger.

Does electra support 14-bit MIDI controllers?

Yes, the 14-bit control changes are supported.

Is it possible to connect a foot pedal to Electra?

Yes, any USB foot pedal will do the job.

Are there plans for some Video-Tutorials?

Yes, there will be whole series of video tutorials explaining how Electra works and it can be used efficiently. We prefer to showcase that with hands-on videos rather then lengthy manuals.

Where can I test this thing?

We will be attending number of trade shows. Berlin Superbooth20 for sure, we will provide list of events where Electra will be present soon.

Is there any documentation for MIDI implementation, API, or SDK?

Not yet, there will be! We are already preparing a GitHub repository where you will find all you need to start playing with Electra if you are a software developer.

Keep me informed

Keep me informed about progress of the Electra One project.