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Roland VR-09 impossible to use with MIDI ?


Dextroze

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Hello guys,

 

I bought my VR-09 very recently (10 days ago).

I really like it but in the meantime, my PC crashed and I found a good occasion in France for a Macbook Pro. Now I have Mainstage etc, and I feel that I'd like to use my Mac !

I heard the midi implementation on the VR is really bad... To what point ? I'm a beggining in the midi world, I'm coming from acoustic piano (jazz mostly >>> See my video in signature).

Should I send it back and get a good midi controller ?

Or should I add a controller to the VR in order to have faders and nobs that are easy to program ? Can we do that ? I don't even know.

 

Thanks guys

 

PS: My post is also in the big VR-09 topic, maybe it's not alloyed to have 2 "posts" ?

Nord Electro 6D / Prophet Rev2/ Digitakt / Minilogue / Keyscape -

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PS: My post is also in the big VR-09 topic, maybe it's not alloyed to have 2 "posts" ?

4 posts if you count https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2818006 and

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2818075/ ;-)

 

I think the answers to these questions were covered pretty well in those two threads. What specific questions remain?

 

It may also be worth looking at the thread at https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2818526 for an idea about another way to go.

 

re: "I heard the midi implementation on the VR is really bad... To what point ?"

 

How weak the VR09 is as a controller is answered in my earlier posts that explain the kinds of things it doesn't do that other boards do. Whether you need those things is something only you can answer.

 

For some people, all a controller needs is keys, leaving the concerns largely about action, size, and travel weight. Other people also need some other things... wheels (or whatever style pitch/mod control you like... joystick, ribbon, whatever), pedals, knobs/sliders that send MIDI CC commands, aftertouch, trigger pads, definable zones, buttons that can send MIDI Program Change or do MIDI channel select. If needed, some of these things can be accomplished with add-ons so they don't necessarily need to be in the board itself (i.e. knobs/sliders, pads, pedals, patch selection); some things can be accomplished either in the board or on the software side depending on how you like to work (i.e. zoning, patch selection); some of them simply must be in the board (i.e. aftertouch, and for all practical purposes, most pitch/mod controls).

 

re: "Or should I add a controller to the VR in order to have faders and nobs that are easy to program ? Can we do that ? I don't even know."

 

Yes, as also mentioned earlier, you can add a separate control surface (the Korg NanoKontrol was mentioned as a possibility), but one issue with the VR-09 is where you would put such a thing for ergonomically convenient access, as there is basically no free panel space.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Yeah you're right, I've got trouble finding the essentials in all these threads, and that's my fault !

Even if I get an external controller, the modwheel will still be unassignable...

It's just I don't want to give back my VR-09...

It's a good keyboard, but a bad MIDI controller, and since I want to go to the midi road... I guess I have to say goodbye to it :(

Exept.... ?

Nord Electro 6D / Prophet Rev2/ Digitakt / Minilogue / Keyscape -

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I also was in at least one of those threads. My recommendation would be to pick up a small midi controller like the Korg one if they are available. Mine has 10 or so faders and tons knobs and buttons. Any of them can be assigned within Mainstage to do anything you like (I used mine to control organ drawbars in eVB3, now called Vintage organs I think). I got my unit new for 30 bucks or so. Looks like they are more expensive now, perhaps with improvements (?)

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/korg-nanokontrol2-usb-control-surface?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CNm37J331dACFcJAhgodYXgGIg&kwid=productads-adid^156403583515-device^c-plaid^137046636762-sku^H85835000001000@ADL4MF-adType^PLA

 

The VR09 could play the keys while the small unit could do anything else...and keeping the VR09 means you have a backup sound source in case the computer has an issue.

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Even if I get an external controller, the modwheel will still be unassignable...

I'm not sure what you mean there, but the mod wheel (lever, whatever) is one of the few things that are pretty much universal. Whatever you use (some new controller, or your existing VR-09), you should have no issues sending mod wheel info to Mainstage and whatever other VSTs you may want to use, and on that end you should be able to make the wheel basically do whatever you want.

 

To reiterate some of what I said in the XW-P1 comparison in the earlier thread, the places the VR-09 will fall short as a controller will be in zoning (though you can also do that on the computer side), limited front panel patch selection (may not be an issue depending on how many different Mainstage setups you need to be able to recall, or if you will set up some other way to recall them), having knobs and drawbars/sliders that send MIDI CC commands to soft instruments (that's where something a separate control surface comes in handy, if you can find a good place to put it). Or you may want aftertouch or some other controller-specific feature. But as you said, there are also things you like the about the VR-09, presumably specifically for the times you just want to plug in a board and play and not bother with the computer. There is no perfect board, even if there were no budget or weight constraints, there will always be trade-offs, and you need to think about what's really important to you.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I also was in at least one of those threads. My recommendation would be to pick up a small midi controller like the Korg one if they are available. Mine has 10 or so faders and tons knobs and buttons. Any of them can be assigned within Mainstage to do anything you like (I used mine to control organ drawbars in eVB3, now called Vintage organs I think). I got my unit new for 30 bucks or so. Looks like they are more expensive now, perhaps with improvements (?)

The original is better, in that it had 9 faders, and the new one has 8, big difference for controlling organ.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Yeah, you guys are right. The other thing is that, one day or another, I'll have my liscence and a car, so I'll be able to take the RD-800, and then, the VR-09 will become more or less useless.

Thanks a lot for all the answers you guys provide :(

Nord Electro 6D / Prophet Rev2/ Digitakt / Minilogue / Keyscape -

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one day or another, I'll have my liscence and a car, so I'll be able to take the RD-800, and then, the VR-09 will become more or less useless.

It would still be nice to bring the VR-09 (or whatever you get) even along with the RD-800, as it is preferable to not have to use a weighted action to play organ.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I'm think (not sure) some of the knobs on the VR-09 transmit MIDI CC values. I know for a fact the Tap tempo button transmits on the MIDI out, as does external volume control pedal signals, as I've used these functions. But definitely the organ drawbar/sliders do not, which is a pity.

 

Anyway, I agree with Stokely and Scott above -VR-09 can be used as a MIDI controller, but there are better options for that function alone. HOWEVER, it also is a pretty good, lightweight synth with very good organ implementation, so you could simply use it at a gig if you ran into computer problems.

 

That was my logic as well when I bought my VR-09 about 1.5-2 years ago or so. I've liked it so much that I just use it as a keyboard, and have a different controller for iPad sounds.

 

By the way Dextrose - since you are a jazz piano player, and have to use public transportation to get around in Paris, you should look into the Roland RD64 - great basic piano sounds, plus electric piano, clav and organ, shorter keyboard, relatively lightweight (~ 26 lbs), might be easier to transport than a full-length digital piano.

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Thank you guys.

Should be easier to transport for sure... But what do I do with my RD-800 ?

If I want to think in the future, I will be able to add external drawbars to the RD-800 and so get a good midi controller, since the VR-09 is not great for that.

The problem with the RD64 is that it is very close to the RD800 and still a bit heavy (it's ok of course!), but I'll never find such a good keybed in lightweight midi controller isn't it ?

 

You think it's "ok" to bring to a gig the RD-800, the VR09 and a midi controller ? Or maybe I didn't understand :D

 

Things as I see it (so from a newbie point of view), I want to bring less things as possible : For now and to experiment, waiting for a car etc, a very good and lightweight midi controller, and then when I will have a car, the midi controller and the RD800.

Nord Electro 6D / Prophet Rev2/ Digitakt / Minilogue / Keyscape -

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I'm think (not sure) some of the knobs on the VR-09 transmit MIDI CC values.

Could be. Though even then, they are not definable, so you'd have to determine what they do on the receiving side. As opposed to a typical controller, or the XW-P1 I was talking about, where you can also program the knobs to send out different CCs on different recallable patches. But depending on what you're trying to accomplish, it's possible that it's no issue at all.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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You think it's "ok" to bring to a gig the RD-800, the VR09 and a midi controller ? Or maybe I didn't understand :D

 

Looking at your question, it's unclear as to whether the midi controller you're talking about is a whole other keyboard, or just a little accessory (like the Korg NanoKontrol).

 

Regardless, lots of people bring that much gear (or more) to gigs... I do most of my gigs with two boards, but it depends on the band and the repertoire... this year I've also done gigs with 6 keyboards! But 2 boards cover most common scenarios.

 

I would think an RD800 and EITHER (a) MIDI controller keyboard OR (b) VR-09 plus MIDI controller accessory if need be would cover most of what most people would need. Also, I think the RD800 has some decent MIDI controller functionality of its own, doesn't it? That could make the possible additional MIDI controller accessory even less of an issue.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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We didn't speak about the Casio PX-5s, which has both good sound, keybed, weight, 88 keys and good midi environement :)

...but not the organ capability (or easy real-time operational interface) of the VR09. Also, while it's light and small for a weighted 88, if you're taking public transport, it's still a lot bigger and maybe twice the weight of the VR-09. Again, always trade-offs...

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Yeah so I guess I really should give back the VR09, especially since I'm not a organ player yet at all. It's only for a reggae band (I want to do it well of course).

Nord Electro 6D / Prophet Rev2/ Digitakt / Minilogue / Keyscape -

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We didn't speak about the Casio PX-5s, which has both good sound, keybed, weight, 88 keys and good midi environement :)

...but not the organ capability (or easy real-time operational interface) of the VR09. Also, while it's light and small for a weighted 88, if you're taking public transport, it's still a lot bigger and maybe twice the weight of the VR-09. Again, always trade-offs...

 

Yeah... It's really a tough call :'(

I really thought about your other Casio, but in France, it is not sold... Anywhere !

Nord Electro 6D / Prophet Rev2/ Digitakt / Minilogue / Keyscape -

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Even if I get an external controller, the modwheel will still be unassignable...

I'm not sure what you mean there, but the mod wheel (lever, whatever) is one of the few things that are pretty much universal.

I have to amend this... based on a thread I saw elsewhere, the VR-09 mod lever does not transmit MIDI. Another real head-scratcher from Roland.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Does the VR09 receive Midi CCs for drawbars? I know it doesn't SEND Midi CC. But I can't find any answer on the question if it does RECEIVE Midi CC for drawbars? Thanks.

I believe the VK7 would transmit and receive CC, while the VK8 recognized CC but would not transmit it. So there is precedent for what you're talking about.

But the VR09 appears to do neither, based in its MIDI implementation chart.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Can someone help me with the sysex programming for the VR09 drawbar commands? I want to control the VR09 from my Kurzweil PC3 going through MidiOx Data Mapping. Here is what I found out so far:

 

Put VR09 16' drawbar to zero: F0 41 10 62 12 02 00 03 00 7B F7

Put VR09 16' drawbar to full: F0 41 10 62 12 02 00 03 08 73 F7

 

But I don't find out what I need to enter instead of the bytes no. 9 and no. 10 to MOVE the drawbar? So which 4 letters dummy do I need to enter in the first sysex command above instead of "00 7B" if this value is controlled by an external midi fader?

 

I am a sysex illiterate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Tom

 

 

LIFE IS SHORT, GO GET THE GEAR YOU WANT ;-)

 

 

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Please let me reiterate my question: in those two sysex command lines only the last four digits before F7 are different, "00 7B" for a drawbar value of zero and "08 73" for a drawbar value of 128.

 

I know that these four digits need to be replaced with some place holder characters to make the command adjustable with a slider or potentiometer. But I have no idea which characters must be used for this purpose.

 

Any sysex experts around? Thanks again!

LIFE IS SHORT, GO GET THE GEAR YOU WANT ;-)

 

 

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Can someone help me with the sysex programming for the VR09 drawbar commands? I want to control the VR09 from my Kurzweil PC3 going through MidiOx Data Mapping. Here is what I found out so far:

 

Put VR09 16' drawbar to zero: F0 41 10 62 12 02 00 03 00 7B F7

Put VR09 16' drawbar to full: F0 41 10 62 12 02 00 03 08 73 F7

 

But I don't find out what I need to enter instead of the bytes no. 9 and no. 10 to MOVE the drawbar? So which 4 letters dummy do I need to enter in the first sysex command above instead of "00 7B" if this value is controlled by an external midi fader?

 

I am a sysex illiterate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Tom

 

 

I have not studied VR-09 sys.ex. But I know Roland well. The 1st number is the drawbar value. The 2nd number is a checksum. So as the 1st one counts up, the 2nd counts down. Try these pairs for the drawbar values from 0 to 8:

00 7B

01 7A

02 79

03 78

04 77

05 76

06 75

07 74

08 73

Mike Kent

- Chairman of MIDI 2.0 Working Group

- Co-Author of USB Device Class Definition for MIDI Devices 1.0 and 2.0

- Member of MIDI Association Technical Standards Board

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based on a thread I saw elsewhere, the VR-09 mod lever does not transmit MIDI. Another real head-scratcher from Roland.

Correct. According to the midi implementation chart, the VR09 transmits only three CCs: bank select, expression, and sustain. I'm guessing Roland saw this as a "do everything" board for those without the need or inclination to control other sound sources.

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based on a thread I saw elsewhere, the VR-09 mod lever does not transmit MIDI. Another real head-scratcher from Roland.

Correct. According to the midi implementation chart, the VR09 transmits only three CCs: bank select, expression, and sustain. I'm guessing Roland saw this as a "do everything" board for those without the need or inclination to control other sound sources.

 

:facepalm:

 

You guys really need to be penalized for spreading absolute bullshit. Or perhaps "correct" means something different that when I was growing up?

 

Common sense alone would give most people pause to say "I should probably fact-check this before I sully my good name by posting something that is both so simple to check and so stupid to say without checking."

 

Sad times indeed.

 

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Where exactly are they wrong?

 

The system exclusive implementation is pretty good, but without going to Sysex, while it does RECEIVE quite a few CC's, it only transmits 0, 32, 11, and 64 (bank, expression, and sustain).

 

I got that by going online and looking at the MIDI implementation manual.

 

https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/VR-09_MI.pdf

 

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Where exactly are they wrong?

 

The statement that the MOD lever doesn't transmit over MIDI. Which is why I quoted that in my post.

 

I got that by going online and looking at the MIDI implementation manual.

 

I got the correct answer by plugging a MIDI cable into the MIDI Out of a Roland VR-09 and plugging it into another keyboard and actually testing it out.

 

Scientific method ftw. :2thu:

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Where exactly are they wrong?

 

The statement that the MOD lever doesn't transmit over MIDI. Which is why I quoted that in my post.

 

I got that by going online and looking at the MIDI implementation manual.

 

I got the correct answer by plugging a MIDI cable into the MIDI Out of a Roland VR-09 and plugging it into another keyboard and actually testing it out.

 

Scientific method ftw. :2thu:

 

Then the Roland MIDI implementation chart is wrong. It does not show CC#1 as something that is transmitted...unless you're saying the mod wheel transmits CC#11, expression. I don't own one to test.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Can someone help me with the sysex programming for the VR09 drawbar commands? I want to control the VR09 from my Kurzweil PC3 going through MidiOx Data Mapping. Here is what I found out so far:

 

Put VR09 16' drawbar to zero: F0 41 10 62 12 02 00 03 00 7B F7

Put VR09 16' drawbar to full: F0 41 10 62 12 02 00 03 08 73 F7

 

But I don't find out what I need to enter instead of the bytes no. 9 and no. 10 to MOVE the drawbar? So which 4 letters dummy do I need to enter in the first sysex command above instead of "00 7B" if this value is controlled by an external midi fader?

 

I am a sysex illiterate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Tom

 

 

I have not studied VR-09 sys.ex. But I know Roland well. The 1st number is the drawbar value. The 2nd number is a checksum. So as the 1st one counts up, the 2nd counts down. Try these pairs for the drawbar values from 0 to 8:

00 7B

01 7A

02 79

03 78

04 77

05 76

06 75

07 74

08 73

 

@SynMike: Thanks. I am still trying to map a CC to the drawbar sysex command. I am using MidiSolutions Event PP or Midi OX for that. The MS Event Processor instruction reads "Use XX for value X, use YY for value Y". So I replaced the first number with XX and the second number with YY. Doesn't work. How must the whole sysex command be set in oder to map a CC to it?

LIFE IS SHORT, GO GET THE GEAR YOU WANT ;-)

 

 

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