Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

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Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:23 pm

I reported an issue with FR4x before.

I did more tests on two different FR4x instruments. Also, I did a test on an FR3x and FR7x. Both FR4x instruments have the same issue. When in accordion mode, the treble sends a very weak velocity level on midi out. Internally the accordion plays fine. Once again, the velocity of the treble side on midi out in accordion mode. You have to strike the keys extremely hard to send the higher velocity numbers. On the other hand, the bass and chord in accordion mode send very strong velocity on midi out, which makes the issue even worse; the treble too soft, while the chord and bass too loud once again in terms of velocity on midi out in accordion mode.

The FR 3x and FR7x do not have the same issue. If there is another parameter "Touch" like the one for the orchestra mode it would address the issue.

Roland V accordions are self-contained instruments, but they also make great midi controllers thanks to a good midi implementation, but this one issue with the 4x makes it difficult to use it as a controller. I hope that the next OS update will address this issue.

I talked to Roland a few times. A Roland manager told me that he would add his comment and forward it to the Japanese engineering team.

Chris

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by JerryPH » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:58 pm

That is too bad... and surprising that this issue never came out earlier. I kind of doubt that there will be updates for the older units, and a new update just came out for the 8X that amongst other advantages, permits a much quicker boot time and to function with their new editor, which of itself already has some fairly serious limitations.

The 4X being the most recent release from Roland will most likely get an update... however, judging by how slow they are to make releases/updates, it is going to sadly likely be a long time.
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:02 am

Using the 4x as midi controller is important for some. In my future, maybe layer additional sounds with my Korg arranger.
A GOOD OBSERVATION! I will try this out.
Do you get the same results on fixed bellows?
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:54 pm

Jerry,
I pointed this out early on on other forum, too, but nobody seemed to care about it. Maybe many play the 4x just as a standalone. I'd like to agree with you that Roland will release a new OS in the end. I think one of the main reasons Roland came out with the 8x PC editor was because of all the squeaky wheels.

Keymn,
Let me how it works out with your Korg arranger. Turning off the bellows doesn't make any difference, but I can tell you that certain modules such as my V3 Sound Desktop arranger and the Ketron SD4 seem to translate the bellow dynamics to velocity. So it works in that fashion. I didn't mention this to Roland, because still they need to fix the velocity curves.

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:38 am

torch wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:54 pm
Jerry,
I pointed this out early on on other forum, too, but nobody seemed to care about it. Maybe many play the 4x just as a standalone. I'd like to agree with you that Roland will release a new OS in the end. I think one of the main reasons Roland came out with the 8x PC editor was because of all the squeaky wheels.

Keymn,
Let me how it works out with your Korg arranger. Turning off the bellows doesn't make any difference, but I can tell you that certain modules such as my V3 Sound Desktop arranger and the Ketron SD4 seem to translate the bellow dynamics to velocity. So it works in that fashion. I didn't mention this to Roland, because still they need to fix the velocity curves.
I care! I just wasn't using the treble side midi transmit on my 4x. Somewhat Satisfied with the orchestra sounds. I will let you know my results.
I wonder why some of the newer bank of sounds have the touch on the editor grayed out as fixed low? Example 171-(A)BLK Vln?
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:31 pm

Keymn wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:38 am
I care! I just wasn't using the treble side midi transmit on my 4x. Somewhat Satisfied with the orchestra sounds. I will let you know my results.
I wonder why some of the newer bank of sounds have the touch on the editor grayed out as fixed low? Example 171-(A)BLK Vln?
I would suspect that those are in accordion mode as there is no touch setting for it.

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:00 pm

torch wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Keymn wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:38 am
I care! I just wasn't using the treble side midi transmit on my 4x. Somewhat Satisfied with the orchestra sounds. I will let you know my results.
I wonder why some of the newer bank of sounds have the touch on the editor grayed out as fixed low? Example 171-(A)BLK Vln?
I would suspect that those are in accordion mode as there is no touch setting for it.
Not the case...I even see 54-pedal steel no touch setting?
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:10 pm

I checked out 171-(A)BLK Vln just now. My, it is an awful sound, isn't it? You are right that the touch setting is grayed out. I understand it is the violin which doesn't need touch, but other guitar-like instruments do no have touch, either as you mentioned. Some others in the Balkan expansion do, though, Well, at least the bellow dynamics kick in and deliver the velocity very well. Actually, I find the same is true when I play piano sounds in external sources that the a combination of dynamic bellows plus a fixed touch work better than just using touch.

By the way, the rich sax in the 1x/3x/7x is not the in the 4x. Roland did away with a few good sound from the previous models.....

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:29 am

torch wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:10 pm
I checked out 171-(A)BLK Vln just now. My, it is an awful sound, isn't it? You are right that the touch setting is grayed out. I understand it is the violin which doesn't need touch, but other guitar-like instruments do no have touch, either as you mentioned. Some others in the Balkan expansion do, though, Well, at least the bellow dynamics kick in and deliver the velocity very well. Actually, I find the same is true when I play piano sounds in external sources that the a combination of dynamic bellows plus a fixed touch work better than just using touch.

By the way, the rich sax in the 1x/3x/7x is not the in the 4x. Roland did away with a few good sound from the previous models.....
Maybe I am missing something on this midi velocity transmit? In the editor software, the orchestra edit section of a particular bank/register there is a midi section. It has velocity settings on that page? As well as channel, prg, c00...etc. not sure we use that? I though midi was set up in the global. I am lost! :ugeek:
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:50 am

torch wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:10 pm
I checked out 171-(A)BLK Vln just now. My, it is an awful sound, isn't it? You are right that the touch setting is grayed out. I understand it is the violin which doesn't need touch, but other guitar-like instruments do no have touch, either as you mentioned. Some others in the Balkan expansion do, though, Well, at least the bellow dynamics kick in and deliver the velocity very well. Actually, I find the same is true when I play piano sounds in external sources that the a combination of dynamic bellows plus a fixed touch work better than just using touch.

By the way, the rich sax in the 1x/3x/7x is not the in the 4x. Roland did away with a few good sound from the previous models.....
Maybe I am missing something on this midi velocity transmit? In the editor software, the orchestra edit section of a particular bank/register there is a midi section. It has velocity settings on that page? As well as channel, prg, c00...etc. not sure we use that? I though midi was set up in the global. I am lost! :ugeek:
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:46 am

Some MIDI settings are global, but you can assign a different PC message in each register. The way I look at it; I want my registers in any midi accordion completely free from any particular sounds so that I can combine different sounds on the fly. This setup would require a midi foot controller to send program change messages on at least 3 channels. Essentially, that's what the controllers in midi accordions including the Roland V accordion do.

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:15 am

This is what I found:
E4D3B4B1-7267-443D-A58B-FFDDE37D89CA.jpeg
I finally did some tests with midi transmit on the treble side. The velocity is not global. In the midi setting, on a particular accordion register, I set the velocity to about 100-120 to get good results. ‘Bellows on’ for expression ( I use xtralight bellow curve). I have a Korg PA3x. I adjust the accordion midi velocity and compare the keyboard and accordion volume to get it equal volume.
I think there is a purpose to this? You can program a register to either transmit or not transmit by programming the switch on/off in that accordion register.
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:12 pm

Hi Keymn,

The MIDI messages Note On/OFF, though having nothing to do with the velocity issue being discussed, has a purpose as you mentioned. Say that you are playing your 4x and driving the Korg Pa3x. If you want to play only the 4x sound, you use a particular register with Note Off in MIDI transmission. On the other hand, if you want to play only the PA3x while playing the 4x, you can press and hold the register switch on the 4x, then it will mute the 4x internal sounds. To me, that’s too much hassle and you can’t afford a couple of seconds in the middle of a song. I just turn treble/bass knob to turn off the treble sound. Crude but fast and effective…

You are right that velocity in the 4x is not global. Setting the velocity to 100-120??? The MIDI velocity level in the 4x is 0 to 127. Every note you play will be too loud in the external module. However, one can designate some registers with higher velocity level like you are doing and go around the issue. I set the velocity of some registers to 25 to 50. When I play VST sounds, I use a software program to booster the velocity level.

I met with the Roland accordion project manager last year at NAMM. I talked to him about the issue. He said he would add his note to my letter and forward it to the Japanese engineers. Hopefully they will go easy on sake this time and get it right.

In speaking of Korg arrangers, I have a Korg MicroArranger. I paid only $345 for a refurbished one. A toy price, but the sounds are professional. Thanks to a volume slider on the KMA, I can overcome the velocity issue.

Chris

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:54 pm

I had a Korg Microarranger and for weighing 10 pounds is a nice alternative to the bk-7m. Sounds/ styles similarities to the Older Korg PA1x except for the saving of song sets in Songbook.

Until recently, I started using midi transmit on the right hand. I think the velocity number depends on how hard you pump bellows. Not yet used that on a live performance which may determine a lower velocity number (as we tend to play more vigorous). Not sure of velocity curve settings, as I set it up to what sounds good to my ear in balance. Yes, to add the Roland Accordion sounds is to turn up the volume knob on Fr4x. A volume pedal for accordion would work, I think. But, I am not a fan of additional hardware.

My performances consist of selecting a Song on Ipad app and Bluetooth/midi transmit sets up the arranger. Use an average 3-7 registers settings on the accordion. Have all the instrumentation I need without being boring. More hardware will complicate my setup.

I never was a fan of Roland orchestration sounds. I think the accordion sounds on the Korg have a much warmer sound. The Yamaha Genos and Korg PA4x seems to be the tops in the industry today. Roland E-A7 may be a good one to try?
Thanks for your interest in this. Hope this will open some more discussion. I will do further testing.
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Geronimo » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:23 am

Keymn wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:54 pm
I had a Korg Microarranger and for weighing 10 pounds is a nice alternative to the bk-7m. Sounds/ styles similarities to the Older Korg PA1x except for the saving of song sets in Songbook.

Until recently, I started using midi transmit on the right hand. I think the velocity number depends on how hard you pump bellows.
Nope, velocity is how hard you strike (and release) the keys. Bellows pressure is sent independently as some control message, I forgot whether it was volume or expression. I haven't had much luck making it work convincingly with my MS40 arranger/expander and so have told my Roland to not bother sending it. The downside of that approach is that you can forget about bellows shakes, at least on the FR-1b. But they don't work great on the expander anyway.

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:13 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:23 am
Keymn wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:54 pm
I had a Korg Microarranger and for weighing 10 pounds is a nice alternative to the bk-7m. Sounds/ styles similarities to the Older Korg PA1x except for the saving of song sets in Songbook.

Until recently, I started using midi transmit on the right hand. I think the velocity number depends on how hard you pump bellows.
Nope, velocity is how hard you strike (and release) the keys. Bellows pressure is sent independently as some control message, I forgot whether it was volume or expression. I haven't had much luck making it work convincingly with my MS40 arranger/expander and so have told my Roland to not bother sending it. The downside of that approach is that you can forget about bellows shakes, at least on the FR-1b. But they don't work great on the expander anyway.
I understand velocity. But at the beginning of this thread, there was a concern how soft the strength of the velocity send.
Is this resolved? I have good results on the velocity settings.
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:45 pm

Bellow dynamics = CC#11. Volume CC#7. Though bellow dynamics and velocity are two different things, your observation, Keymn, about the end results of combined dynamics and velocity is right depending on the module or software instrument you use. Many modules “listen” for bellow dynamics cc#11, the expression messages will be used along with the velocity messages. That’s why you said that setting the velocity close to 100 in your case seemed to work well. However, if you connect your 4x to a device or a VST plug-in that doesn’t respond to cc#11, the listening device will play way too loud with the bellows closed!!!

What makes the velocity issue even worse is that the bass/chord velocity in the 4x is too sensitive – the opposite of the weak treble side especially in accordion mode. I even thought about getting an FR3x. I had sold mine a few years ago. My 7x works flawlessly when it comes to velocity in MIDI Out. The 3x midi out doesn’t power my Bluetooth midi transmitter. The FR8x does. I was told that another wire (ground?) has to be connected inside the accordion for that to happen.

Once again, going back to MIDI cc#11, say you connected your 4x to your arranger keyboard. When you put down the 4x and start playing the keyboard, it is likely that you won’t hear any sound. What happened? As the bellows is closed, the CC311 is at O !!!! It drives me crazy when I connect Roland accordion and other midi controllers to a module. You have to use another controller to raise up the cc#11. Once Uwe asked me how I do it. Well, when the master hasn’t figured it out yet, I have no clue.

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Keymn » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:03 am

torch wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:45 pm
Bellow dynamics = CC#11. Volume CC#7. Though bellow dynamics and velocity are two different things, your observation, Keymn, about the end results of combined dynamics and velocity is right depending on the module or software instrument you use. Many modules “listen” for bellow dynamics cc#11, the expression messages will be used along with the velocity messages. That’s why you said that setting the velocity close to 100 in your case seemed to work well. However, if you connect your 4x to a device or a VST plug-in that doesn’t respond to cc#11, the listening device will play way too loud with the bellows closed!!!

What makes the velocity issue even worse is that the bass/chord velocity in the 4x is too sensitive – the opposite of the weak treble side especially in accordion mode. I even thought about getting an FR3x. I had sold mine a few years ago. My 7x works flawlessly when it comes to velocity in MIDI Out. The 3x midi out doesn’t power my Bluetooth midi transmitter. The FR8x does. I was told that another wire (ground?) has to be connected inside the accordion for that to happen.

Once again, going back to MIDI cc#11, say you connected your 4x to your arranger keyboard. When you put down the 4x and start playing the keyboard, it is likely that you won’t hear any sound. What happened? As the bellows is closed, the CC311 is at O !!!! It drives me crazy when I connect Roland accordion and other midi controllers to a module. You have to use another controller to raise up the cc#11. Once Uwe asked me how I do it. Well, when the master hasn’t figured it out yet, I have no clue.
I see your pain with the midi xmit, velocity, etc.
I presently use the accordion sounds and just transmit the left hand chords to Control the arrangers chords and styles. It is interesting on using the accordion treble side to transmit midi. You can get some interesting layers on the arranger. Not sure if the VAccordion was meant to be a specific controller? So probably all the features were not included.
Unfortunately, the gigs are starting to come in so more time is spent on learning more songs and practice for shows.
The good thing is trying this on live gigs, which is the best test for the feel of it.
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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by torch » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:31 pm

Keymn wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:03 am
It is interesting on using the accordion treble side to transmit midi. You can get some interesting layers on the arranger. Not sure if the VAccordion was meant to be a specific controller? So probably all the features were not included.
As you know, the real magic happens when layering two or more orchestra voices. In this case, 1 plus 1 is not 2, but 11! There's not much you can do with an orchestra voice and the virtual reeds. Unfortunately, you can't layer two orchestra sounds in the 4x. That's the reason I use VST plug-ins or hardware modules.

I think all V accordion models make an excellent midi controller. As far as I know, their MIDI implementation is more flexible than any other MIDI/reedless accordions that I know of except that they screwed up on the velocity in the FR4x.

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Re: Waiting for an OS Update for the FR4x

Post by Geronimo » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:28 pm

torch wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:31 pm
Keymn wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:03 am
It is interesting on using the accordion treble side to transmit midi. You can get some interesting layers on the arranger. Not sure if the VAccordion was meant to be a specific controller? So probably all the features were not included.
As you know, the real magic happens when layering two or more orchestra voices. In this case, 1 plus 1 is not 2, but 11! There's not much you can do with an orchestra voice and the virtual reeds.
Really? With real reeds, it was hip to use a bellows-internal mic to top off the sound of the main voice from an arranger (or even analog organ synth) without using a bellows pressure sensor: bellows dynamics were only for the real reeds. Works well for stuff like harmonica, brass, most reed instruments, many organ patches.

So I'm surprised that this kind of setup would not work with the Roland. Or does the layering not permit applying bellows dynamics only to the orchestra voice?

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