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#660101 - 10/13/04 05:47 AM MIDI to Computer Help
Marianne_E Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Mountaintop, PA
Good Morning Everyone.
I am new to Piano World Forums and was wondering if someone out there who is "in the know" about MIDI files can help me. I would appreciate any help whatsoever on the subject about to be explained.

I have a Technics SX-PR300, an older model purchased about 1987, that has the optional Digital Disk Recorder (SY-FD3) attached to it and use it for memory storage and play back.

With the advancement of computers since I first purchased this piano and the widespread usage of MIDI files on the computer; is there a way for music recorded onto the floppy disk to be taken from the piano itself and loaded onto my personal computer in order to burn a CD or to use with sheet music generating software? Or is it totally impossible with the digital disk recorder that I own?

I put one of the piano's floppy disks (that has music stored on it) into my computer's floppy drive and used my Windows Explorer to see if I could find files on the disk. I can't but I'm not sure if there is a way for my computer to identify files created by my piano.

What I am trying to do is create a CD of my husband's playing piano to use with our Church Bell Choir practice sessions. Any suggestions to help get this accomplished would be wonderful.

Thank you so much and I hope to hear from someone. Have a wonderful day.

Marianne

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#660102 - 10/13/04 08:49 AM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
fogwall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 160
Loc: Sweden
You can always connect from the midi-out of SY-FD3 to the sound card's midi-in (if you have a sound card with midi-in that is), then let the sequencer perform the files in Cubase, Cakewalk or any other sequencing program. From there you can save it as midi file.

Otherwise, call Technics to find out if they have a midi conversion software. I am myself converting from a Yamaha DOM-30 sequencer with a program from Giebler called Yamaha Disc Manager. Very convenient. I checked their site to see if they have support for Technics but it seems not.
_________________________
www.fogwall.com

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#660103 - 10/15/04 05:38 AM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Marianne,
It's also important to distinguish between "audio" and "MIDI". MIDI is just information. Think of it as a set of instructions for your keyboard. When a MIDI sequence or song is created, no sound is actually stored -- just the set of instructions that tell your keyboard what notes to play, when, and how loud, etc. To create an audio CD, you'll need to capture the MIDI sequence to your computer as audio/sound rather than MIDI. How you do this depends on your software, soundcard or audio interface.

I primarily work with professional software/hardware so I'm not very aware of the entry level market for software/hardware solutions. I know some semi-pro solutions can be had in the $300-450 range. But maybe someone else here can be a better coach for you on this...
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#660104 - 10/15/04 08:27 AM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
Marianne_E Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Mountaintop, PA
Thank you all for your responses. I will explain what I have done as far as research on this goes and what I did that worked for me; mainly so that IF someone else is looking for "quick solution", maybe what I've done will help them.

1)The digital piano I have is OLD compared to the wonderful instruments that are out there now -- however, this has been a great instrument that needed absolutely no work since 1987 and it's gone through 4 kids. I called Technics to inquire about the "midi" recorder that is on the piano and found that, of course, Midi Recorders have come a long way since 1987 and this one is useless when it comes to interfacing with a computer. However, there are Line Out (L&R channel) ports on the back that take a 1/4" RCA Jack. I asked the technician what I could do in order to get the music onto a CD from the piano. He suggested that I buy a CD Recorder (average cost $250-300) and connect it through the line out.

That seemed a little high for me considering all I want to do is make a CD that can be played on CD Players to accompany either myself, playing violin, or our Bell Choir at church for practice.

2) Here's what I did and it works great: I purchased a $79.00 Sony Net MD Walkman Model MZ-S1. I put a Y-cable connector on the back of the piano Line Out and connected the optical cable to the Walkman and used it's Recording feature. Great that put it on the Mini Disk.

3) From the Walkman, I imported it onto my computer using a program called MusicMatch. Saved it to my hard disk.

4) From there, I used my computer's Record Now program to copy these audio files to a CD to use in audio playback units.

Works great! for what I need it for.

Again, thanks for your input. I enjoyed hearing from you.

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#660105 - 10/15/04 10:13 AM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
fogwall Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 160
Loc: Sweden
Good to see you solved it. However, you could have saved $79 and recorded directly to your computer.
_________________________
www.fogwall.com

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#660106 - 10/15/04 12:04 PM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
susan9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Canada
Hi, I'm in a similar, but even less knowledgeable position...I also have an older Technics, but just the piano version (PX201). We kept it when we purchased an acoustic piano with the intent to connect it to the computer, hoping to get some software for composing, or simple recording. It has a midi out/in/thru? at the back, but I too am wondering if there is a compatibility issue with 'older' tech and today's computer.

Can anyone direct me to some really basic info? i.e., What do I need?
The Technics web site doesn't even list this piano, so I couldn't get any help there.

I'm not looking for a top of the line recording studio set up, this is just for fun, home use for my son. He's 13, working on his grade 8 RCM, plays trumpet in a jazz band, and would really love to play around with composing/recording, and this is why we kept the piano! He has a fairly new computer with a great sound and graphics system, so I would also love some recommendations for software.
Thanks to anyone with some advice!

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#660107 - 10/15/04 12:30 PM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
Marianne_E Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Mountaintop, PA
Recording directly to the computer would have been ok, IF the piano and the computer were in the same room let alone the same area of the house. I figured I would need to get a cable probably 50-60 ft in length and I questioned the quality of running that long of a line. Besides, with this little doo-dad from Sony, I can also record the midi files from several very good accompaniment CDs for my Violin music, take it to the music room and plug it into the Technic piano and play right along with it.

To Cabernet: You can try calling Technics at 800-726-8863 and talking to a technician. I had to leave my name and phone number for a call back but they did call back within a few hours. I talked to the Technician and pretty much my SX-PR300 was too old to integrate with modern day technology of the computer. However, the man who wrote above suggested going directly from piano to computer with the Lines if you have a Line Out port on the back of the piano and a Line In on the sound card of the computer. That would put the "music" itself into the computer to a music program (such as Musicmatch) and allow you to download or burn a CD to play elsewhere. No if you are talking about bringing music into the computer to map out notes on a score; I can't help you with that because I don't know anything about that and I hope someone who may be reading may have that knowledge and be able to help you there. There are many very knowledgeable musicians and composers at this site.

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#660108 - 10/15/04 01:21 PM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
To Cabernet. You really don't need to call Technics. MIDI is a generic standard that works similarly no matter what make of keyboard you own. What you're looking to do has little to do with any proprietary technology that Technics has. What you might want to do is invest in a book on basic MIDI technology. You might be able to find some resources on the web as well. It's been awhile since I looked for an entry-level book on MIDI, but I know that Jeff Rona wrote a book called "The MIDI Comapnion" that was pretty good.

To get you started, here are some basics:
You'll need a MIDI interface to get the MIDI information into your computer. Some sound cards have them built-in. Simple USB interfaces can be purchased for around $30-50. You'll need 2 MIDI cables. Connect the MIDI OUT on the keyboard to the MIDI IN on the interface (or sound card). Connect the MIDI OUT of the interface to the MIDI IN on the keyboard. Any MIDI sequencing software should be able to recognize what you play on your keyboard now.
There's a lot more to it than this, but this will get you going...
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#660109 - 10/15/04 01:55 PM Re: MIDI to Computer Help
susan9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Canada
Thank you SteveY!!

I didn't think what I wanted to do was so difficult, but the more I read, the more confused I was getting.It's frustrating when you don't know enough to ask intelligent questions. Your 'starter' advice is exactly what I needed to hear, thank you for bringing it down to my level. I love the idea of an intro to MIDI book, so I can learn a bit at my own techno-challenged pace. :p

And thank you Marianne_E for your comments as well; good luck with your recording projects!

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