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How to use a Korg ElecTribe ER-1 drum machine as a MIDI controller

korg er-1 drum machineThe Korg Electribe ER1 was released in 1999 as a dedicated electronic drum machine to complement the Korg bass synths. It features a 64-bit sequencer and has midi functionality. It’s easy to program and was affordable. The overall sound character can be described as synthetic, similar to classic Roland TR drum machines.

It is controllable using a MIDI input on the rear of the unit.  It also sends a limited set of MIDI signals out, however you’d be foolish to assume that all the knobs and buttons send basic  MIDI signals.  They send NRPN messages,  NRPN stands for “Non-Registered Parameter Number” and is part of the MIDI specification for control of electronic musical instruments.  Most digital audio workstations do not recognize NRPN messages. NRPNs allow for manufacturer-specific or instrument-specific MIDI controllers that are not part of the basic MIDI standard.

I’m going to show you steps to convert the NRPN messages from the Korg ER-1 into standard MIDI messages utilizing some free software and a message mapping file that I have created.

USB MIDI converterIf you use a computer with no MIDI ports you’ll need a USB to MIDI converter, similar to the one in the photo to the left. You can easily pick one up on ebay for a few Euros.

If you’re running Windows you’ll need Midi-OX and it can be downloaded here. It will be used to convert the incoming NRPN messages into MIDI messages. This tutorial is based on Windows because I use Reaper64 on a laptop running Windows. If you’re running Linux or you’re a Mac user, get in touch and I’ll try to assist you.

Converting NRPN to MIDI using Midi-OX mapping

Connect the ER-1 to you computer, ensure it’s powered on. Install MIDI-OX and run it.

Goto Options -> MIDI Devices. Ensure you have your MIDI device (USB to MIDI converter) selected as an input

MIDI input monitor MIDI-OX



Goto View -> Input Monitor. Play a pattern on the ER-1. You should see clocking signals and when you will see CC data on the input.

When you move a knob or select one of the ‘part’ / percussions buttons you will see NRPN message on the input. These will need to be converted to Midi messages so that your DAW recognizes them.

I made a note of the NRPN number for every button and knob on the ER-1. I then used this to create a map file. You need to know what’s coming in and from where before you convert it. You can easily view the NRPN value by going to View -> Midi Status.

When you move a knob or a button that produces an NRPN message you will see it’s value on the Midi Status window.  By experimenting I discovered that each ‘part’ or the percussion, hit-hat, crash, and H.Clap buttons all have unique NRPN values and the oscillator and delay knobs can be used for each.

Here are the NRPN values the Korg ER- 1 outputs. There are 8 knobs (1st column) that can be utilized for each of the 8 parts.

You can create a map to convert specific NRPN messages and outputs MIDI.  I have meticulously created a map for you. You can download it here. Feel free to alter it to meet your requirements.  To edit, load or save a map, select Options -> Data Mapping.



If you wish to create a new mapping file, click on ‘Insert’ or if you have loaded my translation map, choose a map entry, then click on ‘Edit’.



Input matching
Event type : select NRPN
NRPN # : NRPN number corresponding to a knob or button. Enter the same number in MIN and MAX.
Value : enter its min and max values. I used zero and 16256.
Set output
channel :  match input
event type : Ctrl. Now you will need to set the Ctrl# values, choose a controller value between 0 and 127.  Although for the ER-1 you will need to avoid using 0,1,6,98, and 99.

Save the map and click OK.

You’ll need to create 90+ mapping, this is somewhat laborious and tedious. You can download my map here. You’ll now be able to utilize the part buttons and 8 of the knobs as standard Midi inputs in your favorite DAW. If you have any questions  please write a comment below.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 11th November 2013 13 Comments


WASH – Triptych

WASH features music by Warren Daly (Invisible Agent), Alex Leonard (Ebauche) and Hal Fx (Audio Mainline). A hybrid soundscape of rhythm, synthesis, live instrumentation and location recordings, guided by the poetry and spoken word of Scott Bywater.

Part One leads us through the sublime heat of Cambodia’s capital city.
Part Two finds us drifting across Europe.
Part Three is a more reflective piece on the Art of Living.

The WASH collaboration is a blending of spoken poetry and music in a way you’ve never heard before. A voice walks through a series of evocative and ever-evolving soundscapes, a mixture of the organic with the electronic: loops and beats, found sounds, liquid guitar lines, squeaks and moans.

Buy the limited edition colour booklet now (includes album download)

Triptych is a three part work arranged thematically. Part one captures the slow-moving heat of Phnom Penh, Cambodia; part two propulsively celebrates the art of travel; part three drifts through an examination of the art of living.
Google Play

The soundscape was augmented by three paintings by Chhan Dina and Adriana Snochowska, one each individually and one collaboratively, that were created while listening to rehearsals.

the art of living/water by Chhan Dina and Adrianna Snochowska

the art of living/water by Chhan Dina and Adrianna Snochowska

The sound of WASH is created by three music producers and one poet, interacting piece by piece to weave ideas in and out and around, maintaining high degree of improvisation and flexibility within a disciplined structure. Never the same twice.

the art of travel/fire through air by Adrianna Snochowska

the art of travel/fire through air by Adrianna Snochowska

It always begins with silence, a blank page. Then follows a spark. Four minds combined, and the silence was slowly filled. Two further minds expanded the space into colour. What were they building, and how? They didn’t know. And yet by doing they made.

Buy the limited edition colour booklet now (includes album download)

Google Play

WASHAdded by: WASH | 11th November 2013 3 Comments

Phnom Penh Underground: Swagger at Meta House

Live Art, 5 DJs, Visuals, Chillout zone

Invisible Agent Records monthly gig at Meta House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia goes from strength to strength. Warren Daly will be playing the chillout area, with live painting by Chhan Dina. The main dance area is being looked after by The Phatt Controller, Salmon Allstar, and Chris Bradbury. Free Entry, come and party.

Phnom Penh Underground - Swagger at Meta House

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 22nd October 2013 Leave a comment!

Trip Hop Mix | Netlabelism Cast 20

Original post from Netlabelism Magazine

Netlabelism Cast 20 by Netlabelism on Mixcloud

Trip Hop, Electronica, Bass Music

Cast 20 is full of beats and bass. Here’s an overview of most of the tracks featured in my mix:

Lush layers of glittering guitars interwoven with reversed loops, piano, synth lines, simple yet very effective. Nisei23′s album entitled elevenandtweleve was improvised entirely on an iPhone. Impressive creations on a single hand-held device and another quality release on the Rec72 Netlabel. A moodier affair by The Get entitled The Darkness comprises of heavy bass swells and luminous highs. IDMf forums netlabel is a treasure trove of excellent music. Curating compilations is a serious endeavour and the crew at IDMf Netlabel have it sorted.

Mr.WoodsThe Chase begins with brass and breakbeats, Avalanches style, with stabs of turntabelism and surging brass, featuring Mononome, Jenova 7 & Mr. Moods all from the Dusted Wax Kingdom record label., execution is the key and they certainly nail it.

Bright by Teishi-1 is influenced by old school eletro, chiptunes, grime, and dubstep. The sounds of the legendary Roland TR series drum machines and the feel of old school Akai samplers are interwoven with melodic keys. I’m looking forward to more releases from Teishi-1 and Boy Scout Audio Netlabel.

Falling Fog by Zygadenus indulges in low frequency debauchery. Progressing into a wave of pads and spaced out stabs. Entropeia – Hors La Loi is a bouncier number with eastern strings and a generous helping of guitar and vocals, it’s followed by minimal dub techno reverberations by Mekha. A fine lesson in bass that stays firm to the Cut Records mantra. Black Chamber – Difference Engine is somewhat melancholic, the accent to the horn solo, interspersed with glitchy drums is great. Northcape’s album Exploration and Ascent will be one of my Top 10 picks from 2013. Folk who get excited about BOC releases will appreciated and love Exploration and Ascent on the SunSeaSky Netlabel

I hope you enjoy the mix, please leave comments or contact me by email warren [at]


Cast 20 is mixed by Warren Daly, Free download on


Artist – Track – Label

  1. nisei23 – levenandtwelve – Rec72
  2. The Get – The Darkness – IDMf
  3. Mr Woods – The Chase – Mr Woods
  4. Teishi-1 – Bright – Boy Scout Audio
  5. Zygadenus – Falling Fog – IDMf
  6. Mr.Woods – Spirit Flower feat Hal McMillen – Mr Woods
  7. Entropeia – Hors La Loi – Entropeia
  8. Dub-I – Lion Dub
  9. Mekha – Coma (Emmerichk Remix Featuring Snowflake) – Cut Records
  10. Fire Salad – Plantation (bonus)
  11. Black Chamber – Difference Engine – Cult Classic Records
  12. Mekha – Ekoladen (Plug Remix Featuring MegaZimze) – Cut
  13. Northcape – The First Crossing Of The Watershed - SunSeaSky
  14. Black Chamber – Red Dawn – Cult Classic Records

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 9th October 2013 Leave a comment!

Netlabelism Cast 20 – Mixed by Warren Daly

Electronica fused with bass, guitar licks, and some worldly instrumentals

Netlabelism Cast 20 by Netlabelism on Mixcloud

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 2nd October 2013 Leave a comment!

WASH: Organic grooves & multi-textured smoothies

A bicycle bell tinkles high above muffled chatter and the distant swoosh of street noise. A single note rings out, slowly reverberating into silence. A second note, lower this time. The pitch drops again, followed by… the rush of wind? The splash of waves, perhaps? A lone voice with sing-song lilt echoes the same tonal arc: ‘Heat… Light… Weight… I am woken by the amber chants of bald men… and ecstatic squeals of children… and the mysterious banging and grinding that will miraculously turn into a new storey on a house across the street… or a new building on the next street down the block… once I have the energy to walk past it…’

An eclectic quartet of sound wizards who between them span spoken word, electronica and live instrumentation.

Warren Daly, Alex Leonard, Scott Bywater, Hal Fx

So begins Triptych, the first album poised for release by WASH – an eclectic quartet of sound wizards who between them span spoken word, electronica and live instrumentation. Triptych is no ordinary album, but then WASH is no ordinary group. Flyers promoting WASH’s new live performance, The Next Horizon, frame it thus: ‘Electronic music meets poetry and they get along pretty well.’ Confused? They’re braced for that. ‘Or, if you prefer, beats, bass lines, melodies and blank verse are thrown into a blender to make a multi-textured smoothie.’

That’s that cleared up then. Or is it? “We find it very difficult to explain what it is that we do,” says Scott Bywater, spoken word artist, singer and the ‘S’ in ‘WASH’. The ‘A’ is Dublin-born sound engineer Alex Leonard: “We do! People say: ‘So, what is this?’ It’s, errrr, electronics and… spoken word and… soundscapes and guitar. But I’m just listing what everyone does in the band!” He laughs raucously.
Let us turn for a moment, then, to the custodian of said guitar, Hal FX (the ‘H’): “WASH is basically comprised of one poet and three music producers, so our attitude to putting the music together is probably quite different from most groups. It’s more about considering the overall sound, thinking about what we can introduce to the vibe and how the audience is going to find the experience. Maybe I drew the short straw with playing the actual instruments: I don’t really consider myself a guitarist or keyboard player. First and foremost I’m a music producer, so this gives me quite a different approach to playing those instruments live. For me it’s about adding tones and textures to the rhythms and sounds that Warren and Alex put together. The guitar and piano melodies form a counterpoint to Scott’s voice and join the electronic world with the more natural.”

Phnom Penh/earth by Chhan Dina

Phnom Penh/earth by Chhan Dina

Anyone who has ever sat through a ‘traditional’ poetry reading, sans live instruments and electronic soundscapes, might find their fists starting to twitch. The experience can, on occasion, be uncomfortable. At worst it’s like watching the shifting of tectonic plates – something Scott is all too aware of. “I’ve always had this difficulty with reading poetry aloud. I’ve not felt comfortable with it; it seems bare. Then I got involved with a reading at Java and there were two guys jamming while I read. Having that base was a revelation for reading; having something to work with that really brought out the singing in it all. At another launch, where there wasn’t going to be any music, my buddy came in and said: ‘Gee, if I had a couple of brushes, I could play a cardboard box.’ I said: ‘I’ve got some brushes.’ He said: ‘Well, I’ll go and find a cardboard box!’ That started a wonderful collaboration at Rubies every Sunday, where he’d come in and play the cardboard box. After that I really wanted to do something extended: more electronic, more of a soundscape.”

Enter Warren Daly (the ‘W’), intrigued by Scott’s first book of poems, A Certain Flow. In the process of recording different bits and pieces, he asked Scott to read aloud some of his work and upload it to SoundCloud. The four human elements of what became WASH came together over lunch, passing the book back and forth. “Everyone knew instinctively what we were going to do, even though we didn’t know how we were going to do it,” says Scott. “There was no sense of general bewilderment and everyone had something to bring to it. It was easy for me: ‘Well, I’ll read. You guys can sit around and do… stuff.’ To this day, that’s pretty much what it is.”

the art of travel/fire through air by Adrianna Snochowska

the art of travel/fire through air by Adrianna Snochowska

The poems fell naturally into three suites: the first about Cambodia, the second about travel, the third about what Scott calls “The art of living.” It was the ephemeral nature of the latter that prompted Alex, Warren and Hal to do something Alex describes as “a bit out there”. “The first musical composition that occurred with me was sitting down with Warren and going: ‘OK, let’s have a look at these poems. He’s saying these words. Let’s think about sounds that we can put behind them,’” says Alex. “Warren and I sat down and jammed one night with laptops connected to a speaker. We got lost in it. Suddenly it was 3am, which was great because it had organically started to happen. Warren would play some drum beats then I’d start layering a sort of drone sound on and we’d bring in some recordings from the street: background layers.

“One of the first pieces of electronic music I really got into was an album by The Orb, called Orbus Terrarum. It’s still one of my favourite electronic albums. As a complete piece, the whole album sounds like you’re in a bio dome with a jungle and animals everywhere and water trickling. It has this very organic feel, but there are so many layers in it and it’s just wonderful to listen to. I’ve always enjoyed making sounds and trying that immersive thing, where you step into it and you get transported away from where you are now.”

Yet with Triptych, at least initially, the journey is a local one suffused with the sounds of life on the streets of the Cambodian capital. “A lot of the stuff I’ve done here was to capture the sounds of Cambodia, putting a recorder out on the balcony or wherever just to get an ambience. Some of the recordings you capture are happy coincidences. For instance, there’s one sound in the first piece and it’s the sound of a child going: ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!’ [Fades to silence then laughs]. He’s just making a noise and it was perfect! It fades off into the distance and it’s beautiful, because it’s a sound you do hear every day. Random clanks and bangs: all of the things that mean that I don’t sleep very well! At the moment I’m waking up at 5am going: ‘Yep, there are the dogs and oh, there’s the baby crying, SCREAMING, for half an hour…’ One of the things you get here is, at dawn, the bird song, which is interesting. There’s this cacophony of noise all around and it’s a gorgeous sound. Some morning, when I’m lying in bed going ‘Bleuurrgggh!’, I must get up and do something constructive, like record it!”

the art of living/water by Chhan Dina and Adrianna Snochowska

the art of living/water by Chhan Dina and Adrianna Snochowska

In Kirirom National Park, on the hunt for more ambient sound bites, Alex and Warren rode dirt bikes deep into the forest and did precisely that: they left a recorder on the forest floor for half an hour, capturing the gentle swish of swaying trees. “I also try to make a few sounds: going through the undergrowth, that sort of thing,” says Alex. “That’s something I’ve always incorporated into my music. One of the things about electronic music is to generate a truly organic sound, which is very difficult. I’ve experimented with synthesisers, trying to get this truly random sound of something you might, for example, say sounds like rain, but it’s actually a synth and I’ve tried to create a rain sound, or I’ve taken a recording of rain and turned it into something else. Most of the sounds have effects on them. I don’t just play them straight. In the second section of Triptych, which is about travel, there’s a sound in there that’s a train, but I didn’t just want a train sound so I put it through a variety of different effects to create something that had a rhythm and had this sort of… I don’t think you’d listen to it and go ‘That’s a train.’ It’s a different effect. That rhythmic feeling is what I was looking for. In terms of where the WASH sound comes from, it’s very much an organic process: ideas play off each other. It’s a very slow, changing, morphing sort of thing.”

In the lofty rehearsal space in Tuol Tom Pong, which doubles as Warren and Alex’s home, a large coffee table is piled high with banks of electronic equipment. Laptops, midi controllers, keyboards and sound cards compete for space among the discarded coffee cups and empty beer cans. Warren and Alex sit hunched over their monitors, each screen an endlessly scrolling dashboard of flashing lights, knobs and sliders. Both men rock in time with the ambient soundscapes spooling out of the speakers, Scott draped over a chair opposite them, microphone cradled in hand.

“I write a text, give the boys a copy and make a recording of it straight into Garage Band and send them an MP3,” he notes. “They then scratch their heads a bit and say: ‘Hmmm. One hundred and ten beats per minute; A minor.’ It’s a very long process. They’ll say: ‘I think we need a bass line in here, or something else there.’ Each part is now a song on its own. There’s a certain melody or atmosphere around each poem then we move onto the next one and there’s a new atmosphere. It’s quite staggering. It’s like working with a constantly shifting plane, but everyone’s always feeding off what everybody else is doing. It never sounds the same twice.”

But back for a moment to being hunched over a laptop, a visual crime many electronic artists stand accused of committing against audiences. Warren: “With bands, you have your guitars, your drums, your vocals. People can see what you’re playing. With electronica, there’s the layering: it’s a mesh of the two. There’s a certain amount of production involved in the live set, but there is a band element to it as well. One thing that intrigued me was after one show, two people I know really well said: ‘What are you DOING on your laptop? What are you looking at?’ I’m sending Tweets: come to our gig! [Laughs] Someone else said: ‘You’re in a band. What do you play?’ About five instruments, but you’ll never really see me play them live. You can key in melodies, work on chord progressions. Alex, Hal and I work on them on the keyboard, but people who see us on stage think we’re just triggering a single track.”

It’s an electronic version of an orchestra

Alex nods vigorously. “Presenting electronic music has always been a problem. People would come up to me and say: ‘Could you just look up every once in a while, to see what’s going on?’ I used to spend the entire show with my head down; this look of serious concentration. ‘You look like you’re constipated, you knob twiddler!’ But you don’t actually have any time, because it’s like you’re conducting a whole orchestra. We know there are certain sounds we want to bring in at certain points: in Wild Horses Of Namibia, we know we want tribal drums. Hal on guitar plays on top of what me and Warren are doing. We’ll have certain loops and certain instruments we can trigger and keys that we hit play melodies over specific bits. ‘OK, Wild Horses Of Namibia is coming in so I’m going to start bringing in a tambourine, change that rhythm around, start layering up a set of congas…’”

“It’s an electronic version of an orchestra,” says Warren. “We’re introducing more equipment that allows us to do different things so that you can see movement and if artists want to come in and paint or play the didgeridoo, they can.”

WHAT: The Next Horizon performance plus Triptych album release
WHERE: Meta House, #56 Sothearos Boulevard
WHEN: 7pm September 14
WHY: “I surf on what they’re serving up. There are times when I’m thinking: ‘How does this start?’ Then the sound rises and I know where I am. I get to walk through this jungle they’ve created. It’s wonderful.” – Scott Bywater

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 13th September 2013 Leave a comment!

WASH: Live at Meta House, Phnom Penh

WASH: The Next Horizon

The WASH collaboration comes to Meta House at last. Electronic music meets poetry and they get along pretty well. Show starts at 7pm, Saturday the 14th of September. Free Entry. Our new album entitled ‘Triptych’ will be launched soon.

Less head banging and more mind-blowing at Metahouse on Saturday, when the WASH collaboration debut their new work: The Next Horizon. Some explanation is required, as this multimedia performance group cannot be slotted neatly into a genre. At a WASH gig, the frontman reads poetry while the other guys create music and visuals around the poetry. Or perhaps the poetry is recited over the top of the music. No wait, maybe… well its not easy to describe, but I know that Warren Daly, Alex Leonard, Scott Bywater and Hal FX together create something that is musically, visually and intellectually very powerful and very interesting. Note that this is an early show on Saturday from 7pm to 9pm –
WASH is a collaborative project fusing poetry and electronic music: taking melodies, riffs, rhythms, basslines and spoken word, throwing them in a blender, and coming up with some kind of funny coloured creative smoothie.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 13th September 2013 Leave a comment!

Swagger @ Meta House – 2 Areas, Live Art, 5 DJs, Visuals

Our monthly showdown in Meta House

This Saturday, the 31st of August, we have our usual setup of 2 areas, live painting, visuals, a whole range of DJs, and we have a special guest artist performing live artwork. Come on down, it’s free entry, beer and shots are a dollar. It’s on….

Swagger at Meta House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 30th August 2013 Leave a comment!

WASH Live at Doors, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

WASH is a collaborative project fusing poetry and electronic music: taking melodies, riffs, rhythms, basslines and spoken word, throwing them in a blender, and coming up with some kind of funny coloured creative smoothie.

We recently played live at Doors, Phnom Penh, Cambodia as part of the VIBE music festival. We’re playing again next month in Equinox, and Meta House. It would be great to see you, come say hello.



Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 23rd August 2013 Leave a comment!

Live Music: Vibe Music Festival Phnom Penh Cambodia

WASH play live at Vibe Music Festival

Electronica fuses with guitars and spoken word, WASH features Warren Daly (Invisible Agent) Alex Leonard (Ebauche) Scott Bywater (Author) Hal Fx (Audio Mainline). We will be playing live on the 20th of August at Doors, Phnom Penh.

Check out the WASH Facebook page for more updates



Vibe Music Festival @ Doors, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Vibe Music Festival kicks off on the 16th of August and runs for 10 days. A selection of reggae, jazz, acoustic, pop, and electronica from Cambodia’s finest artists. All events are taking place at Doors, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 6th August 2013 1 Comment

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