Confused about midi tracks outputs

Hello there!

I’ve been grappling with the MIDI out workflow on the Polyend Play, and despite scouring online resources, including this forum, I’ve yet to find the solution I’m seeking.

After multiple attempts, I suspect I may be overlooking a crucial detail. Your assistance in helping me unravel this mystery would be immensely appreciated.

Here’s my objective: I aim to “set and forget” a configuration to sequence the Vermona DRM IV. Specifically, I want each track of my Polyend Play to trigger a different drum sound module on the Vermona. Given that the Vermona has 8 sound modules and the Play has 8 tracks, it seems like a perfect match. For instance, line 1 would trigger the kick, line 2 the snare, line 3 the clap, and so forth.

However, my main issue arises from the fact that the Polyend Play doesn’t seem to retain the MIDI output setting of each track once I add or remove a step.

Here’s my setup process: In MIDI mode, I program random steps on one line, then select all, press the Sample/Folder button, and set the MIDI output jack to the desired number. I repeat this process for each of the 8 lines. Following the instructions in the Vermona booklet, I manage to get it to work—each line triggers its corresponding sound module on the Vermona. However, as soon as I remove or add a step, it reverts back to MIDI output jack 1.

This behavior baffles me and seems illogical. It essentially means I have to reset it every time I alter the pattern of a track, leading me to believe I might be overlooking something crucial. I’m confident it’s not an issue with the Vermona, as my BeatStep Pro functions flawlessly using the same approach. I’m sincerely hoping you can assist me in resolving this matter.

I apologize If this was already answered or if my question seems stupid, I’m honestly not able to find a solution so far.

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I personally don’t own a Vermona, but based on the manual, you can assign a different note for each percussive element correct? So everything could be sent from the same MIDI Channel?

If so, the easiest way would be to use one MIDI Channel, assign each instrument to a note.
Then select all 8 tracks on the Play and go into the Piano Roll so you can sequence the Vermona that way.


Hi timbo, welcome to Backstage!

As you’re new here, and reading your post, I assume you’re also sort of new to the Play. Please forgive me if I’m wrong and you already know the things I’m explaining below :slight_smile:

There’s one fundamental things about the Play – which might seem unintuitive at first, especially if you’re familiar with other machines that do it differently – that you need to know:

A track does not have a specific/default instrument associated with it.

I, myself, came from a Digitakt. That one has a default sample per track (or default MIDI channel for the MIDI tracks). And when you punch in steps, this sample/MIDI channel is used for those steps. But you have the possibility to explicitly choose another sample/MIDI channel for specific steps if you want to.

That is not the case for the Play.

Instead it’s based on a concept called “pick and place”. You pick your sample or MIDI note parameters by tweaking the knobs, and when they are set up the way you want, you place it on a step. And this can be a step on any track.

It also took a while for me to wrap my head around this approach, but after getting used to it, I really like it. While you, in most cases, probably want to organise things with 1 instrument per track, having the flexibility of being able to place everything everywhere is really nice.

And moving on, after you’ve started out making your sequence, there’s an even easier way to “pick” something than tweaking the knobs: You can press and hold an existing step until it flashes. Now all the settings from this step is “picked” (and copied over to the values of the knobs) and you can place identical steps somewhere else. I find this a very fast and easy way of sequencing.

You should see it as if the values of the knobs always hold the parameters of a “working instrument”, which you can then place on steps. You can tweak the knobs before placing the instrument on a step. And you can copy the values from a step back on to the “working instrument”.

So, in short: It doesn’t necessarily revert to MIDI channel 1. It will be whatever your working instrument was set to be.


Thanks for the advice. I’ll test it tonight ! Hopefully this is flexible enough.

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Indeed, I’m a newbie :slight_smile:

I totally get the intended usage now, especially after your explanation—it’s much clearer. I believe it could work well for what i need, and it’s quite flexible if all settings attached to a step are copied over to its pasted step. However, when it comes to the auto fills and generative options, I may still encounter a hurdle. My concern is that everything generated per lane will likely be set to default. I could be mistaken, so I’ll need to delve into that further as well. I’ll definitely test all of that tonight. Thanks for your time.

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The fill function willl put in steps with the parameters that the knobs have at the time you do the fill. Remember to set the correct MIDI channel on the Sample knob before you do the fill.

In general, I highly recommend reading the manual. The concepts I have tried explaining are explained even better in there, along with a ton of other useful things.

So I managed to do a quick test, and so far, it works great and is versatile enough for my needs. Thanks to both of you for your suggestions.

Here’s what I’ve done based on your advice:

1. I set the Play to Vermona in learn mode (automatic assignment) by holding the TRIG buttons of CLAP and KICK simultaneously.
2. On the Play, for each track, I added just one step with its own MIDI note, while everything is sent through the default midi jack channel 1. Here’s the layout I used: for track 1, step 1, I set the note to C0. For track 2, step 2, I set the note to C#0. For track 3, step 3, I set the note to D0. I repeated this step with the same logic until I reached the 8th track.
3. I pressed play on the Play. You’ll hear a quick and awful-sounding sequence that basically confirms that it’s set up correctly.
4. From there, it’s a matter of copying and pasting the steps that are set up and laying the beat.
5. As mentioned above, you have complete freedom to copy-paste any step anywhere on the grid. However, for the sake of clarity, I prefer to have each step of a specific drum module on its own track. But maybe there’s a way to color code the steps? I’ll dive into the manual for the rest—it’s quite detailed indeed. Here’s the correct link (as I have the Play, and not the Play+) (Play downloads • Polyend)

Again thanks a lot guys !


Awesome, glad to see you are up and running :partying_face:

I’ll just add this once more: Check out the Piano Roll and how it works.
The rest will click from there :wink:

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