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#571081 - 12/18/19 06:30 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
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Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
Hopefully I can phrase this question properly. Sorry if I get some of the terminology wrong.

My question is this: I have BiaB running on a Dell laptop and I also have a Roland digital piano (RD-800). Is there a way I can utilize my digital piano to improve the sounds (MIDI?) being produced by BiaB.

Here is the OLD way I had things configured in the MIDI/Audio Driver settings before trying to use the Roland (underlined items are my old choices):

MIDI Input Driver: No Midi/Sound input
MIDI Output Driver: Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth
Synthesizer / Sound Card: General MIDI Instrument Misc
Use VSTi/DXi Synth [checked]
Route MIDI Thru to MIDI driver [checked]
DXi Synth Settings [VSTSynthFont64] is selected
GM2 Support (128 Extra Patches) [No GM2 Support - 128 patches only] is selected
Audio Settings...[WAS always] is selected

Those settings seemed to work OK, but now I'm trying to see if I can somehow use the RD-800 to improve the quality. I have enabled USB on my keyboard and it is connected to the computer. The Roland drivers were automatically installed. Here are the new items that appear as choices in the MIDI/Audio Driver Setup dialog box.

Under MIDI Input Driver I have:
Roland RD
Roland RD MIDI IN

Under MIDI Output Driver I have:
Roland RD
Roland RD MIDI OUT 1
Roland RD MIDI OUT 2

I'm not sure why there are multiple Roland driver choices, but that's another question.

Anyway, given what I've described above is it possible to configure BiaB to use the sounds on my RD-800, which I'm thinking might sound better than what I'm getting with my current setup? Hope this isn't a totally stupid question. If it is possible, then what choices should be made in the MIDI/Audio Setup? I've tried various combinations of selections to no avail. I even uninstalled and reinstalled the Roland drivers, but so far nothing has seemed to work. I'm thinking that if I have things setup correctly the output of BiaB would be routed into my RD-800 and I'd be hearing it through the Studio monitors to which the piano is connected. Or at the very least the MIDI sounds would be improved. So far regardless of my choices BiaB continues to play through my laptop speakers and as far as I can tell sounds the same as it did with my old settings. Selecting various combinations of the Roland drivers doesn't seem to make any difference. Occasionally, depending on my choices, I may get no sound, but so far nothing has worked as I was expecting.

If you've come this far thanks for reading this lengthy post. It may be a dumb question, but thanks in advance for any insight.






Edited by KLB (12/18/19 06:36 AM)

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#571101 - 12/18/19 07:23 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
HI
Yes that sounds fine.

The reason you have 2 sets of Roland shown is likely to be because there are 2 sets of midi in and out ports on the keyboard it could be that one set comes via usb and the other by normal 5 pin midi skts in and out. Or you may have 2 sets of din plus usb.
I suspect that the usb one is the one simply marked Roland RD
Midi output driver,
If you want to use the keyboard to play midi into & thru BIAB you will need to select the midi in.
Midi out put driver
If as well you want to play BIAB and hear the good midi voices from your keyboard coming from your keyboards sound system then you need to select midiout

In all cases of course in goes to out and out goes to in.
A pat file would alow you to use the higher bank Roland voices
I am assuming that the roland has a full set of midi voice and not just a few pianos.
I will look it up and get back if there is a problem.

Mike

Ps
Just had a look at the spec and although it says it has 1000 or so tones it does not mention a full Gm SET just pianos tone wheel organs and classic synths.
In which case it will not improve you Biab midi voices.


Edited by Mike Head (12/18/19 07:58 AM)
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#571120 - 12/18/19 08:40 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: Mike Head]
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
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Posts: 21
One thing I've just discovered is that the type of style I pick for my tracks is important. Previously I've always picked styles "R", but I just noticed that if I choose "RM" or "M" I do get the some or all of the sound coming out of the Studio monitors connected to the piano. (Stupidly I probably should have thought about this before). At least the sounds out of the monitors seem to be better. Maybe it's just the higher quality of the speakers. If I pick an "R" style then everything continues to be played through my laptop speakers and of course does not sound as good.

I mentioned in my previous thread about audio interfaces and mixers that I have ordered a Yamaha MG 10Xu so when that mixer arrives maybe I'll be able to at least get everything going through the studio monitors. That way even the "R" and "RM" styles might benefit from the better speakers.

So right now I've got:
MIDI Input Driver = Roland RD
MIDI Output Driver = Roland RD
Synthesizer / Sound Card = Coyote Wave Table DXi (I just picked this because I hadn't tried it before. Don't know if it's an appropriate choice or if it even matters.)
Use VSTi/DXi Synth = unchecked
General MIDI 2 (GM2) support is selected
Audio Settings...[WAS always] is selected

Any thoughts or suggestions on better settings?

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#571134 - 12/18/19 10:02 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Loc: Cornwall UK
HI
The coyote wave table is only heard if you check the use vst dxi box
This gives you an improved version of the Microsoft wave table but lets it work as a dxi.
If you scroll all he way to the bottom of your style or filter for midi only you will get styles where all parts are midi these come up yellow in the mixer whereas realtracks and styles come up green.
There are also some styles that are a mixture of both, again you can see this in the mixer
The problem is unless you have a full set of gm compatible voices on your piano you wont hear all the parts you will need strings brass trumpets guitars etc all in the midi
Set as required by the midi style parts.
Mike


Edited by Mike Head (12/18/19 10:03 AM)
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#571305 - 12/19/19 07:21 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: Mike Head]
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
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Posts: 21
Hi Mike,
I ran across this PDF which lists the sounds on the RD-800.

https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/RD-800_Sound_List_e01_W.pdf

It includes things like woodwinds, brass, strings, etc. Is this closer to what you were talking about regarding a full GM set?

Thanks for your help.

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#571315 - 12/19/19 08:30 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/27/03
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MarioD Offline
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No, here is a complete GM listing:

https://www.midi.org/specifications-old/item/gm-level-1-sound-set

All GM synths will have the exact instrument lists, it is just the instrument will be slightly different. For example GM 57 is a trumpet and every GM synth will have a trumpet at number 57. But each trumpet may sound a little different depending on the trumpet patch used in each GM synth. The same thing happens on every other GM patch.

GM is simple to use in BiaB as BiaB is set up to use a GM synth. But generally speaking GM sounds are very poor compared to good non-GM synths. I'll bet that every sound on your Roland sounds better than most if not all GM equivalent sounds.

Using your Roland in BiaB requires a little more work. You have to assign each Roland instrument to the corresponding BiaB track. For example you must assign a Roland string sound/patch to BiaB's string track. Note I do not do this in BiaB so others will have to help you with this. But I do this with every BiaB MIDI track in my DAW as I find it easier to work this way. YMMV

IMHO to get superior sounds learn to use your Roland.

To get the most out of them, after you learn how to do the above, learn how to manipulate MIDI via CCs (continuous control), the mod wheel and the pitch wheel. MIDI can come alive with a little work.

We are all here to help you so don't be afraid to ask questions.

I hope this helps.
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#571332 - 12/19/19 11:50 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
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HI
I have looked at the voice list, and unfortunately the LSB & MSB do not conform to the GM numbering system

The basic GM set always has a MSB 000 LSB 000 then the voice/ patch number say 1 for Grand piano..

I note most of your voices have a MSB of 84 and a LSB that can vary depending on group.
The BIAB midi parts expect to find and call up midi voices by GM terms.
sorry,

Mike
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#571341 - 12/19/19 12:41 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: Mike Head]
Registered: 12/27/03
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MarioD Offline
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Posts: 13955
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: Mike Head
HI
I have looked at the voice list, and unfortunately the LSB & MSB do not conform to the GM numbering system

The basic GM set always has a MSB 000 LSB 000 then the voice/ patch number say 1 for Grand piano..

I note most of your voices have a MSB of 84 and a LSB that can vary depending on group.
The BIAB midi parts expect to find and call up midi voices by GM terms.
sorry,

Mike


Hi Mike,

That is true of all non-GM sound sources. In the world of MIDI GM is a has been. AFAIK BiaB, Internet MIDI files, and notation programs are those left that use GM. Most all people working in MIDI have dumped GM. As far as the Internet goes most have dumped GM MIDI songs and have gone to MP3s. This gives them much better sounds and they are not confined to the GM rules.

In my previous message I explained how KLB could use his Roland in BiaB.
_________________________
It has been a joy being quarantined with my wife. We've caught up on all the things I have done wrong in our 53 years of marriage!

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#571379 - 12/19/19 04:14 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
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Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
OK Mike, MarioD,
I get the broad strokes of what you guys are saying, but as far as me implementing the details at this point I'm not so sure.

I probably have a few questions, but I'll take it a step at a time:

With what I currently have (i.e. BiaB running on a Dell laptop with Realtek audio, and a Roland RD-800), what would be your recommended Midi/Audio settings for BiaB. I'm just talking about the basic settings in BiaB under MIDI/Audio Driver Setup.

Right now I've got:
MIDI Input Driver = Roland RD
MIDI Output Driver = Roland RD
Synthesizer / Sound Card = Coyote Wave Table DXi
Use VSTi/DXi Synth = unchecked
General MIDI 2 (GM2) support is selected
Audio Settings...[WAS always] is selected

I know Mike said the Coyote Wave Table DXi isn't doing anything if Use VSTi/DXi Synth is unchecked. What seems to be happening is when I have Use VSTi/DXi Synth "unchecked" I get the Real Tracks out of my laptop speakers and the MIDI sounds out of my studio monitors (which are connected to the piano). In other words, if the style is "R" it all comes out of the laptop speakers. "RM" I get a combination of laptop and monitors. "M" monitors only. I suppose this seems logical.

On the other hand when Use VSTi/DXi Synth is set to "checked" then everything always comes out of the laptop. The MIDI sounds incredibly cheesy. Much worse than when it's coming out of the RD-800 even though the RD-800 might not be mapped correctly for GM. I guess as MarioD hypothesized, it's still better than the MIDI coming out of the PC.

So maybe my current settings are the best I can do right now. I'm not sure what is producing the Real Track sounds that are coming out of the PC if the Coyote Wave Table isn't coming into play. I guess just my default Windows settings.

I'm thinking when I get the Yamaha mixer I can send all of the piano sounds (which would be my live piano playing as well as any MIDI sounds produced by BiaB) into one channel on the mixer. Then send the output of the computer (which would be the Real Tracks sounds) into another channel on the mixer. I could then send the combined results (my live playing and the BiaB MIDI from the piano) and BiaB Real Tracks (from the PC) into my studio monitor and have all of the combined sounds coming out of the montors. Hope this doesn't sound totally goofy. Keep in mind I'm ignorant about all of this stuff. confused

Anyway, do you think I have the MIDI/Audio settings right? Also, is there anywhere else in BiaB where I need to be looking to optimize my sounds?

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#571455 - 12/20/19 05:27 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi
Ok first the dxi coyote wave table is only for playing midi as are other vst and dxi.
The realtracks and realstyle parts (the green ones) use and play thru your audio from your pc sound card or audio interface if you have one, plus its connected speakers.
As you know the Midi (yellow in the mixer) can be sent to an external midi sound module or midi keyboard .

Any midi you send to the external device will play thru that device and its associated speakers providing the device has the midi voice required.
As I said midi voices are addressed by first sending an MSB then a LSB followed by the patch/voice no.
Some devices default to playing just the patch no if they do not understand the incoming msb/lsb

You will find some articles on my web site technical articles page that may give you an insight into all this link in my sig below.
For now here is a copy of one on msb lsb bank select and gm.although written by me for Yamaha the basic idea is the same for Roland but see your voice list for numbers.


From my web site
How To Calculate The MSB Bank Change Value for Yamaha / Cakewalk

I thought that this might be of interest to any one that uses external sequencing software to drive Yamaha keyboards.

Many seq progs only have a single box for entering bank changes in their track viewSo this should help your when you need both
MSB & LSB values.
In a midi file or style, a Voice / program change number without any prior Bank Select events, will default to GM voices. These are
the most general voices, and will be recognized by all sound cards and midi players.
Yamaha needed more voices than GM, so they created them by preceding a program change number event by two additional
commands: MSB Bank Select and LSB Bank Select. These bank select events can be anywhere in the midi as long as they occur
before the program change event. Yamaha use, MSB =0 and LSB=0 as their GM voices.
You will find the LSB, MSB and program change numbers in the manual’s Voice List or in a sequencer program. To see them in the
PSR/Tyros voice display box, set Display Voice Numbers to On in Function/Utility/Config2.

Any voices with the same LSB setting belong to the same voice Bank and often share specific characteristics EG XG bank 40 (dark)
XG bank 20 resonant. Bank 112 is the most general Preset/Panel voice bank and generally includes one voice for each of the
program change numbers. Therefore the easiest way to change GM/XG voices to panel voices ( without looking up voice numbers
in the manual) is to change the MSB to 112.
IMPORTANT NOTE !
Unlike XG, and the imbedded GM voices, Panel /Preset voices also set up effects, but only when selected from the panel on the
instrument! Panel voices selected by a sequencer or other PC program will select the voice but not the associate DSP effects.
Yamaha voices are in banks that require both MSB and LSB to be sent.
The LSB is no problem its just a decimal number. The MSB has to be calculated from the MSB number in the manual. Those of
you that understand binary will be able to see this. those that don’t just take my word for it and calculate as below. In the later
versions of Cakewalk and Sona changing the MSB is no prob.if you have an inst def file loaded, as all the calcs are done for you
when you select a bank by name in track view.
But if you don’t have an inst def, or your seq. doesn't, you can work it out as below

128 X MSB + LSB = Value (normal maths applies you must work in this order)

Some Yamaha Bank Changes


DRUMS = MSB 127 LSB 000 to find the val to enter in the Bank box of the Track view In your seq. program.
Take 128 x MSB + LSB = 128 x 127 + 0 = 16256 this is the val for the bank change box

For Sfx kits MSB 126 LSB 000
take 128 x MSB+LSB = 128 x 126 + 0 =16128

Some Mega voices MSB 8 = 128 x 8 + 0 -1024 ( part of Tyros 2 mega voice bank)

Snd. effects bank MSB 64 LSB 000 =128 x 64 +0 = 8192

and so on for any other banks that req. a MSB Val. OR MSB + LSB val

Many of the BANKS FOR TYROS req. MSB + LSB val so don’t forget the last part it will not always be 0 as above.

Check your manual. for details.

Bits And Bobs

I’m sure that most of you already know this but some may find it helpful.
The Yamaha keyboard sends and receives its Bank change data by
Midi Controller 0 for MSB followed by Controller 32 for LSB then the voice no/program change no, of the chosen voice in that bank
EG. Drums Msb 127 Lsb 000 Voice no 0 for Standard kit, or1 for Standard kit 2, or
16 for Rock kit etc. NOTE Voice numbering may start 0 or 1 . Normal midi practice is 0-127 based but most Yamaha keyboard
manuals are 1-128 Check your manual, and deduct 1 from the voice no if applicable .Again a good inst def file will take care of
this for you.
Mike Head
05/02/08 Rev 20/04/16


Have fun
Mike
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#571685 - 12/21/19 05:22 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: Mike Head]
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
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Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
Hi Mike,
Thanks for all the info on the MIDI spec.

Right now I'm primarily trying to confirm if I have the most appropriate settings in my BiaB MIDI/Audio Driver setup. (You can see my settings above.) With my current settings I get the MIDI sounds coming out of my RD-800 and the Real Tracks coming out of the PC.

It seems like the only way to get the MIDI sounds from my RD-800 is to uncheck Use VSTi/DXi Synth. If it's true that I must uncheck Use VSTi/DXi Synth then does it matter what I select under Synthesizer / Sound Card, or what is selected under GM2 support (128 extra patches). If those 2 settings are irrelevant when Use VSTi/DXi Synth is unchecked, then why are they even selectable? If those 2 settings DO make a difference, then what would be good choices? Also, what makes the most sense under Driver Type (WAS, MME, ASIO)?

Hope this question makes sense. Thanks again for humoring a newbie.

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#571690 - 12/21/19 06:20 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
THE settings you mention are set according to the midi synth or dxi/vst that you are using if for instance your vst or external synth supports gm2 etc.

The synth sound card setting when available for your device sets the voice list offered you when you select midi voices in the mixer to match your keyboard names more closely, rather than generic names.
If your device is not in the list choose the nearest one or use a generic gm or something like.

A good pat file for your keyboard will allow you to choose all the voices, by your keyboards voice names even the higher bank ones.
I have not seen one for your stage piano but if you can find a Cakewalk instrument definition on line for it, BIAB can covert it to a pat file in an instant but I wont go into all that at the moment.

The settings you seem to be using are probably as near as you can get at the moment.
But I am curious what you get when you use an all midi style, (yellow) do you get the
All Style parts playing the right voices piano, bass, guitar, and strings, choirs, trombones, sax, if present etc.
Best regards
Mike
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#571751 - 12/21/19 10:49 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 06/08/05
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jazzmammal Offline
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KLB, I can see you're gradually getting there but you don't really understand it. This is normal because midi is very confusing, it's computer code and it has it's own language and terms. I'll try to decipher some of it for you.

First, Bob's Mantra: MIdi is not audio. Audio is not midi, oommmm. What that means is midi is computer code that tells a synth what to play. Midi has no sound of it's own, it's nothing but zero's and 1's as computer code. It's the synth that produces the sound, in this case either your Roland, called a hardware synth or a VST/Dxi called software synths. If you're using software synths, those are installed on your computer and you need to use a driver for them. Hardware is external to your computer so a driver is still required but it's a different kind of driver. In your case it's your Roland's USB driver. If you're using the Roland you're bypassing the software driver so it doesn't matter which one is listed in Biab's config window as long as that Use VST box is unchecked. If you want to use use a software synth, then you have to check that box to use an internal software driver. The only reason the internal software midi sounds cheesy is because it is. It's a freebie given to you by PG to at least be able to hear something from midi when you first use Biab. After that if you want better sounds you need to pay for a good synth either software or hardware.

Now, to explain midi and audio inside Biab. The Real Tracks/Drums are studio recorded audio files, no midi. Therefore any RT's you have selected in a style is coming out of your computer in your case your headphone out to whatever studio sound system you're using. All midi parts are sent to your synth. If it's an internal software synth then those sounds are combined by Biab, synced up for timing and you hear both the RT's and midi parts through your computer sound. If it's a hardware synth then the midi is going through that as you've discovered. In order to hear both through the same sound system your Roland's sound must be routed back into your computer if you want to record it or to an external mixer if you want to just hear both.

Now to the real interesting part. I just went through the Manual for your Roland. Typical Roland, it's not very clear but it says it will play SMF's. That stands for Standard Midi File which means General MIdi. Yet it doesn't have a GM soundset. What that tells me is internally it's doing an automatic conversion of some of the patches so those get called up if it received GM patch numbers from a midi source such as Biab. Try this test. Create a song using an all midi Biab style. Right click on the Drums instrument tab and check the box to use midi drums then play the file and solo each instrument to see if the instruments match what you're hearing from the Roland. If they match then you're good, it is converting it's internal non GM patches to respond to GM program changes. You can still manually change those patches if you want which brings me to:

Pat files. Pat stands for patch. An Ini file that Mike referred to was invented by Cakewalk and stands for Instrument Definition file. It's a text files that lists all the patches in a given synth. Here's a link to the Roland Clan forum that says it's available for your RD800:

http://forums.rolandclan.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=51366

I can't remember how to do it but that .ini file can be converted to a Pat file that Biab can use. NOW with a pat file, you can select any patch in your Roland regardless of if it's GM or not by simply scrolling a list of all your patches and you don't have to mess with all the midi LSB/MSB crap manually. The GM selection for jazz guitar for example may only give you one choice but your Roland may have 10 different guitars available so using the Pat file list you can easily audition each one and choose the one you like best for the guitar track.

Finally, using a mixer. I have a Roland Sonic Cell and was using it exactly as you want to use your RD800 as a midi sound source with Biab and it worked great. My problem was when I upgraded to Win 10 64 bit the driver for the SC didn't work. It's for Win 7 only and Roland hasn't come out with an updated driver. That's OK because I've moved on to better sounding softsynths anyway. How I used it was I took the L and R outputs from the SC to my audio/midi interface L and R inputs and took the L and R outs from my interface to the mixer. Btw, an interface is a separate device that has audio and midi inputs that plugs into your computer by USB. They can have from 2 audio inputs to record an instrument of vocal up to multiple inputs so you can record a band into your computer. My studio system uses a power amp to passive speakers. If you're using powered studio monitors then you don't need the mixer, just plug the L into one monitor and the R into the other.

You don't have to use an interface it's just that one, it allow you to plug in an instrument or mic to record and two, it usually has better input preamps and better digital to audio conversion outputs than your laptop does. If you don't have an interface then you take the audio outs from your Roland to a mixer along with the audio outs using a stereo splitter from the headphone out of your laptop to the mixer and then run the mixer outs to your studio monitor system.

Hopefully this clears some of this up for you. There's still more to this but this should get you started with some understanding of how this works.

Bob


Edited by jazzmammal (12/21/19 10:58 AM)
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#571810 - 12/21/19 03:03 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 6179
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 6179
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
KLB,

You may find +++ THIS +++ 11 minutes 42 seconds midi video tutorial very enlightening. It is one of the best midi tutorials I've seen.

PG Music has written several tutorials explaining midi and the midi standard. Take a look at +++ MIDI Basics +++ and +++ MIDI In A Nutshell +++ . Finally +++ HERE +++ is a list of the 128 instruments (called patches in the MIDI world) listed in the General MIDI Level 1 or GM specification. General MIDI Level 2 or GM2 is an expanded set of 256 instrument patches. An overview is available +++ HERE +++.
_________________________
Jim Fogle - 2020 BiaB (724) RB (Build 4) Ultra+ PAK
Cakewalk - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
Desktop: i7 Win 10 build 2004, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
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#571927 - 12/22/19 06:33 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: Jim Fogle]
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
Thanks a lot Mike, jazzmammal, Jim,
I'll try to check out the resources you guys have mentioned to increase my understanding. I think I'm gradually getting a slightly better handle on things. I must be because my profile on BiaB says I'm now an Enthusiast. wink

jazzmammal, I'll try this test you mention:

Quote:
Try this test. Create a song using an all midi Biab style. Right click on the Drums instrument tab and check the box to use midi drums then play the file and solo each instrument to see if the instruments match what you're hearing from the Roland. If they match then you're good, it is converting it's internal non GM patches to respond to GM program changes.


I tried this with several different MIDI Styles. A lot of the sounds going through the Roland are pretty good, especially the more pop oriented sounds, but the brass, saxes, fiddle, etc. are marginal at best. Some sounds are unidentifiable as the actual instruments. Maybe that's just the way those GM instruments always sound, and the Roland is doing appropriate conversion. I would have to compare them to another set of MIDI sounds to tell. The good news is I probably won't be using a lot of the less common sounds, but I do want the jazz, pop, and rock sounds to be decent. If I really needed to improve the MIDI sounds I guess I could try to mess with the pat file you mentioned, or look into a soft or hardware synth.

But here's the million dollar question:
As far as BiaB is concerned why use MIDI at all? Why not just stick with Real Tracks and call it a day? That's what I've been doing since I got BiaB. Not because I knew anything about the technology, but the Real Tracks just sounded so much better on my system. Up till now I've been avoiding most styles the weren't indicated as "R". I only started looking into the MIDI sounds after I realized I might be able to use my Roland with the BiaB MIDI.

Thanks again.



Edited by KLB (12/22/19 07:02 AM)

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#571944 - 12/22/19 08:00 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 13955
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 13955
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: KLB


I tried this with several different MIDI Styles. A lot of the sounds going through the Roland are pretty good, especially the more pop oriented sounds, but the brass, saxes, fiddle, etc. are marginal at best. Some sounds are unidentifiable as the actual instruments. Maybe that's just the way those GM instruments always sound, and the Roland is doing appropriate conversion. I would have to compare them to another set of MIDI sounds to tell. The good news is I probably won't be using a lot of the less common sounds, but I do want the jazz, pop, and rock sounds to be decent. If I really needed to improve the MIDI sounds I guess I could try to mess with the pat file you mentioned, or look into a soft or hardware synth.


GM packs 128 sounds into one file. The largest GM file I have seen is 2.5 GB. I have one grand piano that is 5.8 GB. Naturally it sound a lot better then the GM grand piano. This is usually true will all individual patches. I say usually because some are better than others. The better the MIDI sound source, unfortunately the most costly, the better the sound, period.

If you are thinking about getting better MIDI sounds then get the free Kontakt Player. You can find a lot of great sounds for it, but carefully read the sound requirements as some are only for the full version of Kontakt.


Originally Posted By: KLB

But here's the million dollar question:
As far as BiaB is concerned why use MIDI at all? Why not just stick with Real Tracks and call it a day? That's what I've been doing since I got BiaB. Not because I knew anything about the technology, but the Real Tracks just sounded so much better on my system. Up till now I've been avoiding most styles the weren't indicated as "R". I only started looking into the MIDI sounds after I realized I might be able to use my Roland with the BiaB MIDI.

Thanks again.



MIDI is a lot more editable then RTs. For instance say you have a MIDI track grand piano but it doesn't fit in the mix. You can change it to an EP, vibes, or any other sound. You can also easily change notes, add vibrato, slurs via the pitch wheel, etc. In other words you can have it play when you want and what you want and that is something that RTs can't do. Note that I am not knocking RTs, I use them myself, I'm just showing you some of the differences between them and MIDI.

I hope this helps.
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It has been a joy being quarantined with my wife. We've caught up on all the things I have done wrong in our 53 years of marriage!

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#571957 - 12/22/19 08:43 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7455
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7455
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Originally Posted By: KLB
But here's the million dollar question:
[b]As far as BiaB is concerned why use MIDI at all? Why not just stick with Real Tracks and call it a day?


This is totally up to you. When the RT's first came out in 2008 they caused a sensation around here for this exact reason. Nobody understands midi, didn't want to learn it, didn't want to spend the money for a high end synth so for a large portion of users it's all RT's.

However as you go along on your Biab journey and find some songs lacking because you can't find an RT that gives you what you want for a certain part that's where a good midi part comes in. You can find midi files online, some are pro level, some are total amateur. They're free so you get what you pay for. Still, if you wanted a certain guitar part you may find it online as a midi file and you can use it with Biab or your DAW.

Before you give up on your Roland convert that .ini file I posted the link for to a .pat file. I looked it up and it's very easy, in Biab go to Help>Index and type in Patches.ini. It first talks about using Power Tracks (same as Real Band) but at the bottom it says if you have a Cakewalk.ini use the same procedure. I remember doing that with my Sonic Cell about 5 years ago and it just took a few mouse clicks. Then you can use any brass sound for your Roland has for example and see if that's any better than the GM one you tried. Then at least you know what the Roland is capable of. It could be that Roland isn't really designed to be a good external sound module anyway. I know it's a great performance keyboard and that's now it's marketed. I almost bought but decided to get my Kurzweil. If you're still not impressed then use the RT's.

Bob
_________________________
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#571961 - 12/22/19 08:51 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: MarioD]
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
Thanks for the reply Mario. Good info all around. I'll keep Kontakt in mind. Also hadn't really though about the configurability of MIDI v.s. Real Tracks.

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#571963 - 12/22/19 08:57 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
KLB Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/25/19
Posts: 21
Thanks jazzmammal,
The .pat file sounds like it would be an enlightening experiment. I will include that on my list of things to try before giving up on MIDI. So many options..... but that's what keeps it interesting.

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#571986 - 12/22/19 11:52 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and external keyboard [Re: KLB]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 954
Loc: Cornwall UK
HI
Well we have come a long way great stuff.
Yes indeed the beauty of midi is it is editable right down to individual note s in pitch , volume, note length etc, at any point in the song.
Have a go with the ins file conversion if you get a problem I will do it for you, but you will still have to get it in biab and learn how to select voices /patches from it but we can help.
You may well still use your mixer as well at the end of the day so that you can combine a mix of audio realtracks and mid and feed the mix to your studio monitors from the mixer.
Have fun
Mike
_________________________
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