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Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

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Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby Dynahoe Dave » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:15 am

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this...

But here is the story -
I am helping a friend. She has a Roland JV-1000 with thousands of recorded songs in it's sequencer format, and would like to move to a newer keyboard. I have been keeping her JV-1000s alive by swapping parts from spares, and repairs with new parts I managed to find online. I repair a LOT of older electronics.

Anyway, I can get the songs out of the JV-1000 as general MIDI, and load them into a DAW -specifically, I am experimenting with Reaper. I can get the songs in, but as I expected, the voices are not right, since MIDI from the days of the JV-1000 and now has gone through a few updates.

The question is, where / how do I change the voices to get the piano track to play the piano sound, the strings to the strings, etc.? For now, at least on the Reaper / Windows PC for playback.

The next step will be how can I get the reaper file / data / MIDI stream loaded onto the new keyboard's sequencer? The new keyboard is a Roland DS-76.
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby BJG145 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:28 pm

What are you using to play tracks back in Reaper...? The JV, or a VST...? It's basically a case of directing the output of a given MIDI track to the relevant plugin or hardware MIDI channel.

Info on loading MIDI files into the DS76 can be found on P15 of the owner's manual available on the Roland website. (Apparently a case of loading "SMF 0" from a USB stick; see eg here for a definition of SMF 0.)
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby Dynahoe Dave » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:43 am

For now, I have been playing back through reaper / windows, no via external MIDI.

I will look up that manual. I need to know that I can get help figuring out how to do it, so I can say "yes, go ahead and buy the keyboard, it can be done".

I am a little lost as far as some of the terminology, as it has been a long time since I did anything in this realm. Like back in the days the JV-1000 Windows 3.1 were current technology.

Outside of the MIDI / Music specific stuff, I do know loads of electronics design from that time.
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby James Perrett » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:16 pm

There's a neat little virtual synth that is very handy for playing pack general MIDI or XG format files called S-YXG50 which was originally available from Yamaha but can now been downloaded from various places on the internet. It would probably be good for checking that you are sending the right program change messages in the MIDI files. It works best with the 32 bit version of Reaper as the 64 bit version suffers from the odd stuck note.
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:37 pm

Dynahoe Dave wrote:Anyway, I can get the songs out of the JV-1000 as general MIDI, and load them into a DAW -specifically, I am experimenting with Reaper. I can get the songs in, but as I expected, the voices are not right, since MIDI from the days of the JV-1000 and now has gone through a few updates.

I don't think this is due to MIDI going through a few updates. General MIDI was intended to transfer songs between different systems and have it sound "broadly correct" on all of them so long as the music was created using a GM soundbank and they have a standard GM soundbank of their own, but there will still be variations in the timbres of the sounds (a 'Grand Piano' patch on one device may sound quite different to a patch of the same name on another).

If your friend's songs use any voices of the JV-1000 that are not in a GM soundbank then there may be no equivalent voice on the system you're playing that MIDI file on, so the results could be quite random and you (or she) will have to experiment with various softsynths or other sound sources to determine the best match you can find.

That said, getting the MIDI data out of the JV and into a DAW is a good move because at least you then have the compositions and performance thereof safe, even if the sounds need some work to recreate outside of the Roland. You can also use multiple softsynths/devices for the sounds, as each track can be assigned a different sound source (or even multiple layered sources) for playback.
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby Dynahoe Dave » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:35 am

As far as the sounds differences goes, it's not just timbre, or type of piano, it's completely different instrument sounds. The really early MIDI code numbers used to choose the type of instrument sound [sorry, I don't know the current term for this] were changed a long way back, in part, to add lots more of them. And, to make ti more troublesome, Roland didn't follow the standard even then.

I downloaded the Roland Juno DS 76 manual, and page 15 talks about the pattern sequencer, which I noticed only imports up to 8 measures of SMF 0? If that's the maximum length of the song, that's almost useless.

I also see that SMF 0 is one track? VS type 1 which is multi track. As an example, say I have a MIDI song in Reaper, that has 3 tracks, Piano, strings and Bass. If I make it 1 track, do I lose the different sounds? Do I have to import each one separately?

It also says only the tracks used by the Juno-Ds are imported - This can be fixed with the DAW before importing, no?
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby BJG145 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:49 am

Dynahoe Dave wrote:I also see that SMF 0 is one track? VS type 1 which is multi track. As an example, say I have a MIDI song in Reaper, that has 3 tracks, Piano, strings and Bass. If I make it 1 track, do I lose the different sounds? Do I have to import each one separately?

I think the idea of SMF 0 is that the different instrument sounds are preserved even though they're combined in a single track. I expect that bringing an SMF 0 track into Reaper would present as separate tracks but I'd have thought it would be possible to export as either SMF 0/1. (Don't know, but you get the choice in other DAWs.)
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby Dynahoe Dave » Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:52 am

I got more information- The sequencer in the Juno DS-xx keyboards only holds 8 measures of music, which is useless for they way we have been using the old JV-1000.

Anyone have any ideas of other keyboards that have bigger sequencers, or stand alone sequencers? Or has the world moved away from doing music this way?

We have entire multi track songs, minutes long recorded in the JV-1000 sequencer.
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Re: Transfering keyboard sequencer MIDI data

Postby Logarhythm » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:40 pm

The sequencer in the Juno DS range is a "pattern sequencer" - really only designed for building up tracks using shorter parts/phrase of up to eight bars each.
There are still various options, both new and second hand, that offer "full" sequencer facilities, and various price points.
If Roland is the preference then have a look at the Fantom range (various - original Fantom, Fantom S, Fantom X, Fantom G, and the new one called... Fantom), and it's slightly less well-spec'd sibling the FA.
From Yamaha there are various generations of Motif, or the newer Montage, or the EX5/7 going back further.
Korg has the Kronos, M3, Krome, probably some other iterations that I've forgotten, or if age isn't too important then there is the Triton prior to these.
Kurzweil has the PC3/PC4 range.
Broadly if you want some type of proper sequencer in the synth then you're probably looking for what's generally described as a "workstation".
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