Sound Expantion



Sound Expantion

Postby Boaccordio » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:30 pm

Hi Guys Can Anyone Tell Me Where I Can Buy Sound Expantion For The Roland FR-3x, Been In Touch With Roland And Are Currently Unavailable.Any Feed Back Would Be good Am in Scotland.

Thanks Robert
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Re: Sound Expantion

Postby maugein96 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:33 pm

Hi Robert,

Only Roland dealer I know in Scotland is Red Dog Music in Edinburgh. There is also a firm called Promenade Music in Morecambe who will maybe do mail order. You could maybe try them, but to be honest I don't know what a Sound Expansion is. I've never even seen a Roland accordion in the flesh.

Welcome to the forum by the way. I'm across in Hawick, but I mainly play French musette type music on French chromatic boxes, and these days I do more listening than playing. I had to teach myself and never made that great a job of it. A bad hand injury nearly put me out of playing altogether, and I gave up for a long time. I've never really got into clubs or the Scottish accordion scene, although there are a few guys on here, mostly older than me and I'm retired, who are into Scottish music.

For any problems you get with your Roland there is an Italian/American guy called Jim D who is probably the most knowledgeable Roland buff on the forum.

Good luck with your quest, and I wish I could have been more helpful.
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Re: Sound Expansion

Postby TW » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:05 am

The Roland Group on Yahoo is probably your best source of information for Roland Sound Expansions world-wide.
At one point some were available for download from the Russian Roland site.

The External expander of choice for midi accordions in my view is the Austrian V3 Desktop available from Roy Hendrie Music, in Troon.
http://www.royhendriemusic.co.uk
This site has many demonstrations of the available sounds.
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Re: Sound Expantion

Postby JerryPH » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:07 am

All the sound expansions that are available for the Roland are free, no need to buy, however, not all the expansions available will work on the 3x.

Here is the trick... go to the Roland site and search in the FR-4x download section:
https://www.roland.com/global/products/fr-4x/downloads/

What you do is download the 3 specific expansions, extract them and if there is a folder there for the 3x, it is good to go for your accordion. If it is not there, you cannot use it.

For example, you can use the APLINE, DALLAPE and ACCORCHESTRA expansion sets, but not use the BALKAN set (which only works on a 4X and 8X).

Enjoy!

Jerry
Last edited by JerryPH on Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sound Expansion

Postby JerryPH » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:35 am

TW wrote:The External expander of choice for midi accordions in my view is the Austrian V3 Desktop available from Roy Hendrie Music, in Troon.
http://www.royhendriemusic.co.uk
This site has many demonstrations of the available sounds.


Sound Expansions and Expanders are 2 very different things it the Roland world. Expansions are added sounds that one can load on a Roland accordion via a USB stick. It makes it go from something like 12 accordions and 50 orchestral instruments to 35+ accordions and 250 orchestral instruments, adds about another 300 sounds to the drums section, including things as fun as applause, gunshots, birds and steel drums and on and on.

Expanders are basically bass/drum rhythm units and also have some integrated instruments, but nowhere near the quality or quantities that expansions do.

That said, when talking Expanders/Arrangers, I know the V3's to be quite good and they have rhythms and patches for some forms of dance that most other arrangers do not (IE: Scottish, Irish, etc...), however, if you don't need those specifically, it's *really* hard to beat the Roland BK-7m for several reasons:

1. It's a Roland product and works really well with Roland V-accordions (even has a wizard to set it up... just a few clicks and you are ready). You then don't just control the chords for the key changes, but it follows along on all 4 MIDI channels that the V-accordion uses, not just the 1 or 2 channels that all other MIDI arrangers use.

2. It has a TON of possibilities. I think it has something like 400+ rhythms, 1,000+ sounds. If you search on the net, you can find a couple thousand more rhythms and patches out there for it, just plug in a USB key and you are done.

3. It makes an excellent "recorder"

4. The Performance Next feature is awesome, lets you create some really complex setups and you move from on setup to the next with the press of a foot pedal. It can remember up to like 1,000 songs and your preferences/instrument changes and what not... then all you do is press start/stop, when to go to the next performance set and more... basically you play... it does all the rest.

I am sure there are a ton more good reasons, but I myself have only recently bought one and have only used it perhaps 2-3 times total!

That said, I also own a Ketron X4, and though it's not as advanced as the BK-7m, I love that arranger, and would not give it up anytime in the near future. Indeed, in my setup, I will use both arrangers (one at a time, of course), because each has sounds and styles that the other does not.
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Re: Sound Expansion

Postby TW » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:25 am

I have to take issue with:
but nowhere near the quality or quantities that expansions do

I find that the V3 provides very high quality sounds and a considerably more programmable and controllable interface than the BK7.
It provides a specialist expander for European and Celtic sounds, amongst others, none of which are adequately catered by the BK7.
It's a 'horses for courses' situation.
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Re: Sound Expansion

Postby JerryPH » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:29 am

TW wrote:I have to take issue with:
but nowhere near the quality or quantities that expansions do

I find that the V3 provides very high quality sounds and a considerably more programmable and controllable interface than the BK7. It provides a specialist expander for European and Celtic sounds, amongst others, none of which are adequately catered by the BK7. It's a 'horses for courses' situation.


I never said that the V3 is a bad arranger in any manner and I don't take issue with opinions. "Better" really depends on the specific needs, of the user, and I did mention that from the factory the BK does not have the selection for Irish/Scottish music. More properly said, I should have used the term Celtic "styles". In terms of European rhythms, no, the V3 cannot come close to the factory installed ones in the BK. There is a greater selection and the quality is as good if not better. And if the accordion being used is a Roland, there are several more undisputed advantages to choosing the Roland BK over the V3.

However, let's look at a few traits of both models:

Manual PDF size. Now, this might mean little, except that if one manual has a significantly more pages, it means it has greater options or choices.
V3 - 71 pages.
BK - 128 pages.

Ok, perhaps it's not important.

Let's look at the number of instruments available to your right hand that you have from the factory:
V3 - (as per page 65 of the manual) 30.
BK - (as per page 93, 94 and 95 of the manual) a touch over 1,000.

Let's look at the number of drum kits/ sets available from the factory:
V3 - Unspecified.
BK over 90 completely different drum ensembles (pages 96-103)

Can it record your performance?
V3 - No.
BK - Yes.

Wizard connection tp make setup simple?:
V3 - No.
BK- Yes.

Drum solo and/or variations?
V3 - 4.
BK - 4.
However, on the V3, you have 2 pedals for 4 functions. On the BK you have a switch per variation and function. Where to get from one variation to another on the V3 sometimes takes 2 presses. On the BK you can go anywhere between 1,2,3,4 with a single press. There are also pedal switches for Start/Stop, Intro and End. On the V3, start/stop, but not for Intro nor End. Also, the V3 cannot use for example, Intro variation 4, and automatically move to variation 1. BK does this easily.

Maximum # of foot pedal switches and functions supported:
V2 - 3 pedals with 5 functions.
BK - 2 pedals with 8 functions

On a Roland V-accordion, it uses MIDI channels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Can the arranger map to these specifics?
V3 - No.
BK - Yes.
Midi ch: Function:
1 - Treble > UP1
2 - 2 -Bass > MBS + Note to Arranger
3 - Chords - LWR + Note to Arranger
4 - Orchestra > UP2
5 - Orchestra Bass - Note to Arranger
6 - Orchestra Chords - Note to Arranger
7 - Orchestra Free Bass - Note to Arranger

Integrated Music styles:
V3 - 300 (page 14).
BK - Over 400 (pages 88-90) However, there are literally thousands of free styles available off the internet and on ebay one can purchase literally a USB key with over 10,000 styles for the BK for a relatively small sum (under $75US). You cannot fund more styles for the V3 than come with the unit.

Audio outputs:
V3 - 4
BK - 2
That said, the BK and adjust the setting of ANY sound from full left to full right and anywhere in between in 64 steps per side.

Audio inputs:
V3 - 0
BK - 2
This means that when playing in a band, you can plug in your BK in to the mixer using only 2 channels and plug your V-accordion in to the BK and not use any additional channels on the mixer. One can adjust the balance between your V-accordion and backing module via rotary dial. In a similar setup, one needs a minimum of 4 mixer inputs for a stereo signal from the V-accordion and arranger.

Tempo adjust:
V3 - Preset or adjustable via buttons
BK - Preset or adjustable via buttons OR rotary dial OR tap button.

Storage medium:
V3 - Two SD cards, only one can be used at a time
BK - Internal SSD or external USB key, maximum 128gb.
Now, I am not sure, but what happens if your SD cards drop out in transit or are stolen? No arranger. The BK uses solid state internal storage and cannot be removed. The USB is not mandatory for the functionality of the BK, but I *believe* that the SD cards are for the V3.

Performance List: A Performance List is a list of up to 999 Performance memories. Each Performance memory contains a reference to the desired Music Style or song and all settings you want to load along with that Music Style or song, including
settings like INTRO/ENDING status, selected VARIATION, different instruments, etc.
V3 - No.
BK - Yes.

Can the Arranger record your backing tracks to a USB drive to be later simply inserted into a V-accordion so that the musician can play along without needing the arranger?
V3 - No.
BK - Yes.
As a matter of fact, one has the choice of capturing both the V-accordion AND the arranger at once or just the arranger alone to a USB stick as you play. This means you can literally pre-record your backing tracks, plug them in to your accordion and "stroll" around, using only the V-accordion's internal speakers and file player and not need to plug in to any arranger, yet still play along with the BK's backing tracks.

Can the arranger receive data from a computer via MIDI?
V3 - Well it does have a MIDI in port, however, no mention of it can receive/understand data from a computer/DAW.
BK - Yes, it even comes with SONAR, and indeed, you do not need to purchase a computer MIDI interface, you can use the USB port of the BK to connect to your computer, saving you money.

The V3 refers to it's "processors" as plug-ins. The BK refers to it as MFX parameters.
V3 - 29 parameters, of which only 21 are defined. (page 37)
BK - 83 defined parameters (page 106 - 122)

-----------------------------------------------------

Ok, my fingers are getting tired, and I am only about 3/4 way through the manuals... lol

There is one last thing that I want to mention, though... and that's the actual user interface that the owner touches. On the V3, it uses old fashioned plastic covered buttons, the kind we know that over time the plastic will harden and crack, exposing the switches. The BK uses large firm buttons and a textured dial, controls that have been proven to last way longer than the plastic covered styles that were used in the 70's on (for example) remote controls.

Now, I am not even experienced with either arranger and just by reading quickly through the manuals, I am finding it hard to see where anyone could find issue with my statement that the BK-7m isn't pretty much more of EVERYTHING that the V3 is except for the existence of one set of Celtic rhythms (though the BK does contain Celtic presets, reference page 48).

If only ONE style is the only place the V3 is superior, then the fact is, it would only be the better choice of arranger if your style depended on these Celtic styles. However, the BK is better in so many other areas, but again, to be fair, if you don't need or use any of those other areas, they aren't important. :)

Basically... it would be good to look at both before making a choice, if you were looking at backing modules, but in terms of options, features and functionality, the winner is easy to point to by looking no further than the manuals. :)
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Re: Sound Expantion

Postby dunlustin » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:44 am

I used this - (for FR1XB)
https://www.roland.com/us/support/by_pr ... s_drivers/
as above, you need to download, unzip then look in the folders for your model..
I haven't bothered to mention this before as the last time I posted (re FR8X) there didn't seem a lot of interest and some scepticism.
I've only used the Dallape Liturgica so far, which works.
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Re: Sound Expantion

Postby JerryPH » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:35 pm

Hey, as long as it works. :)

I have all 4 expansion sets installed on my 8x and still haven't had the time to go through all the sounds, especially all the drum sets... but with everything that I have tried so far, it is incredible and I am still amazed at all the things that the 8x does!

As far as the skepticism, that's all good and in a way, even healthy.

I respect everyone's opinion and right to choose and when people feel the need to put down my choices, I either initiate a conversation to try to understand their reasoning and also explain my reasoning as to why I think something. I love conversations, but if it gets too heated, I smile and thank them or just walk away. The V-accordion is not the answer for everyone nor everything, but it just makes sense to me on many levels, even with all it's faults. That's all the reasoning I needed. :)
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Re: Sound Expantion

Postby PAE61775 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:26 pm

Hello Folks,
This is my first post, which is sent with a cheery wave and a friendly smile !!
I retired recently and have taken up the accordion after a short break of 40 years.
My old instruments are more or less "worn out" and i chose the Roland Fr8x because it was flexible and offered a wide range of sounds. The BK7m was part of the package. I play at home, and have no interest in returning to the gigging of my youth.
My favourite genre is UK Traditional folk music. i particularly love Playford and Cotswold Morris, though i will try my hand at most genres.
I'm based in Helensburgh, just north of Glasgow, and would be interested in hearing from anyone in this area.
WRT the BK7, I'd like to thank Jerry for taking the time to compare the V3 with the BK, which I found very interesting. I had considered the V3, because of my interest in Folk Music, but the price was outwith my budget.
I've also tried to download the Dallape set from the Roland web page. Loaded onto a USB stick, and totally ignored by the Roland. If anyone can advise me on the procedure, I'd be very grateful.
best regards
Phillip
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