Author Topic: Need advice on free Midi studio programs  (Read 566 times)

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Offline Preset

Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« on: August 29, 2018, 07:20:34 AM »
I have been using LMMS for several months.  I need to test my PSR E 443 against another program that is similar.  I have an issue with midi output to keyboard sound dropping an octave.  I want to check if it is an LMMS thing.  Or perhaps either the keyboard or Windows.

I use Windows 10.

Preset

Current Keyboard: Yamaha PSR E443
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 08:58:13 AM »
There are a number of free MIDI programs you can use with your PSR-E443:

- Anvil Studio by Willow Software
- Cakewalk by BandLab
- Magix Music Maker
- PreSonus Studio One 4 Prime
- SynthFont1 by Kenneth Rundt
- Tracktion T7
- Zynewave Podium Free

There are others, and the inclusion or omission of any particular program in the preceding list is not intended as an endorsement or lack of endorsement for any particular program. I didn't include free trials that expire, or free trials that never expire even though a license is required to use the program legally.

I don't know if it's pertinent to your issue or not, but one thing you should be aware of is that Yamaha uses a note-labeling nomenclature that looks like Scientific Pitch Notation (also known as American Standard Pitch Notation and International Pitch Notation) but is actually different. In particular, Scientific Pitch Notation refers to Middle C as "C4," whereas Yamaha refers to Middle C as "C3."

The MIDI Note value of Middle C is always 60, regardless of how Middle C is notated, so if you're using MIDI Note values there shouldn't be any discrepancies between your DAW and your keyboard-- unless you've got something going on with the MIDI Coarse Tuning event in the DAW (which is equivalent to Transpose since "coarse tuning" means tuning notes up or down in semitone intervals), the Transpose setting on the keyboard, or the Octave parameter of the keyboard's voices (i.e., Main Octave, Dual Octave, or Split Octave).

But if you're using a virtual keyboard or the piano roll in the DAW and Middle C is notated other than "C3" as Yamaha calls it, then it's possible that you might be inadvertently choosing notes which are an octave different than what you think they are. For instance, if the DAW's piano roll labels Middle C as "C4" but you are seeing "C3" on the keyboard, and are therefore selecting "C3" in the DAW thinking that it will give you "C3" on the keyboard, then you'll actually be selecting the C which is an octave below Middle C.

On the other hand, if you're trying to sequence percussion beats to your keyboard rather than musical notes, another possibility is that you're being misled about which notes to use for which percussion sounds. Yamaha shifts the notes in the Drum Kits by an octave, as indicated in the voice lists for the Drum Kits. So it's possible that you might be selecting a particular note in the DAW-- for instance, the C below Middle C-- thinking that it will give you the same percussion sound as if you were to play that note on the keyboard, but instead the sound you're getting is for the C note that's an octave different. If this is what's going on, then you should double-check the Drum Kit voice lists and make sure you're sending the correct MIDI Note values for the percussion sounds you're trying to trigger.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
 

Offline Preset

Re: Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2018, 10:39:33 PM »
There are a number of free MIDI programs you can use with your PSR-E443:

- Anvil Studio by Willow Software
- Cakewalk by BandLab
- Magix Music Maker
- PreSonus Studio One 4 Prime
- SynthFont1 by Kenneth Rundt
- Tracktion T7
- Zynewave Podium Free

But if you're using a virtual keyboard or the piano roll in the DAW and Middle C is notated other than "C3" as Yamaha calls it, then it's possible that you might be inadvertently choosing notes which are an octave different than what you think they are. For instance, if the DAW's piano roll labels Middle C as "C4" but you are seeing "C3" on the keyboard, and are therefore selecting "C3" in the DAW thinking that it will give you "C3" on the keyboard, then you'll actually be selecting the C which is an octave below Middle C.


Thank you SeaGtGruff.  I've been looking into those.  One or two said I had to sign up.  So I decided not to go any further.  I got Avil Studio going.  I went through the settings and couldn't really tell.  I'm thinking I might actually get Fruity Loops.  I'll read more into that.  It's in the Microsoft Store, which is good for me.  It doesn't cost all that much and seems to get mentioned quite a bit in the DAW world. 

In the mean time, I have tested a few Midi apps from the Microsoft Store. I thought something like Midi Connector might have been my answer.  Play my live channels 1, 2 and 3 via that and the rest of the recorded stuff from LMMS.  I can only have the MIDI connection to and from the keyboard, to one program at a time.  Midi connector does play the notes to the right key on my keyboard.  I've also tried Pocket Midi and Midi Relink.  Both didn't do any fix to my issue.


It's like I play middle C on the keyboard.  I have the dual voices playing.  The voice from midi sounds out of wack.  I have even done a comparison with both midi to keyboard and mouse hitting a note on the piano roll.  Any way.  When playing. The sound is OK. But I think it would be better if every thing was in sync.  Would save some of my Poly as well probably. 

Like I said.  I will probably give Fruity Loops a go.  Hopefully that will adapt to different keyboard sizes better. 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 10:42:17 PM by Preset »
Preset

Current Keyboard: Yamaha PSR E443
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 01:50:28 AM »
A while back I installed the free trial or demo (I forget which it is) of Fruity Loops, or FL Studio, to see if I could help someone who was having a problem doing something in it. I don't remember what they were trying to do, but as I recall it was something that I considered to be a fairly basic operation for a DAW, such as use an external MIDI keyboard to play a virtual instrument using FL Studio as the MIDI router and VI host, or something like that. Whatever it was, it wasn't merely a question of recording audio or MIDI tracks, but it was still something that I regularly use DAWs for.

In any case, for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to do it in FL Studio. It may have just been me, because many DAWs have their own unique style of user interface, and FL Studio is certainly no exception-- and it wouldn't be the first DAW that stymied me because it did things differently than what I was used to.

But if you're thinking about FL Studio, you might want to try the free demo or free trial version before you outright purchase it, just to be sure it will be able to do what you're wanting to do, and that you can figure out how to use it without too much angst on your part. Of course, that also goes for any other DAW you're thinking of purchasing.

As far as having to sign up or register or whatever, it may seem strange and intrusive to have to register to use some software that's supposed to be free, but even though it's free the companies that do this still require that you have a registered license to use their free software. You don't have to pay for anything, but you do need to agree to their licensing agreement.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
 

Offline Preset

Re: Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 10:28:58 AM »
I downloaded Fruity Loops, and am running the trial.  I believe it's now called FL Studio.  For a start, my midi voice output to keyboard, is not dropping an octave.  It will take me a bit to get used to it.  I'm getting the basic hang of the program.  I just worked out how to split tracks on different channels.  It took me a while to work out why multiple channels would only go into one track.  I found the split option. 


I've started with an example of where I take a download of Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac.  I ditch the Harpsicord and Recorder (melody) tracks.  I like to change the drums to power drums.  I get rid a synth track and change a couple of the guitars.  I'll record a backing keyboard with an organ sound.  Then when I use as a backing track.  I have a present on my keyboard with both; Main - Grand Piano, Dual - Layer CP1 and Split - Grand Piano.  From the midi - channel rack - I use the bright piano. 


When I use both or any combination of channels 1, 2 and 3.  That should be main, dual and split.  That should work pretty well, depending on what on the keyboard.  It takes a bit more work than LMMS to get this to work properly in Fruity Loops.  Otherwise, for example.  The left hand is playing the same sound as the dual sound. 
Preset

Current Keyboard: Yamaha PSR E443
 

Offline Preset

Re: Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 01:29:22 AM »
The FL Studio program is a bit more expensive than what I thought.  I was confused between the prices showing up on the web and the Microsoft Store.  The store price of $27 AUD being the mobile app.  However the Fruity version of $99 USD ($137 AUD) is good for me.  A one off payment and seems to cover what I want.

I just managed to find in the trial version of FL Studio.  How to get all (except dual) voices from my keyboard.  Having looked at the Data list plenty of times.  I could never for the life of me, work out how to adjust the LSB numbers to get more than just the blunt xGlite sounds.  For example, I  was having an issue with overdrive guitar patch 30, when played back from MIDI.  I always wanted it to sound like the one in the main voices - my keyboard is voice 50. 

I've been using the Dashboard and Midi Out Master to do all of this.  When using LMMS.  I tried desperatly to find this feature and did a lot of Googling and found nothing. 
Preset

Current Keyboard: Yamaha PSR E443
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 02:55:25 AM »
What you probably need to do is adjust the Program number shown in the PSR-E443 Data List, because Yamaha adds 1 to it. The MIDI Program Change message uses Program numbers of 0 through 127, but unfortunately it's common for companies to add 1 so that the Program numbers are listed as 1 through 128. And the bad thing is that this isn't always the case; some companies use the true values of 0 through 127! And it can also vary from DAW to DAW.

So first you need to figure out if FL Studio uses Program numbers of 0 through 127 or 1 through 128. You can usually tell by looking at the Program number it uses for the Acoustic Grand Piano, because if it's 0 then the Program numbers are given as 0 through 127, but if it's 1 then the Program numbers are given as 1 through 128. Anyway, the PSR-E443 shows a Program number of 30 for the Overdriven Guitar, so you need to enter it as a Program number of 29 if the DAW uses values of 0 through 127.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
 

Offline Preset

Re: Need advice on free Midi studio programs
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 05:08:12 AM »
Yes that was a bit  confusing to me at the start.  With LMMS, I always took the patch number and added 1 for the voice.  For example Patch 4 in that program being Electric Piano1 and number 5 in midi. I did find the MSB and LSB features in the FL Studio dashboard.  I have since found it in the Midi Out feature I had been using.  Just select the Patch from the drop down.  Then there are two bank boxes to the right.  I have been finding some sounds pop up also when adjusting the LSB box.  On the Yamaha data list.  This empty for most voices. 


I was a bit concerned for a moment I did something to my keyboard.  One particular key stopped making sound with Midi but not normal keyboard sound.  It turns out, in one particular midi dashboard.  I started playing with a control knob.  I tried to link it to the one on the keyboard that can do chorus.  I must have accidently pressed a key on the keyboard.  I can't seem to reset it in the particular FL Studio dashboard.  However, when using the Midi out feature.  All is good.  I also had tested with LMMS to make sure it wasn't the keyboard playing up. 
Preset

Current Keyboard: Yamaha PSR E443