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#673699 - 03/08/02 12:50 AM MIDI Software for Digital Panios
MichaelSheas Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Chicago, IL.
Does anyone have any suggestions on good MIDI software for Digital Pianos? I am looking for some non-professional MIDI software to connect to my Roland F-90 digital for practice, basic note editing, and fun. Because I have a laptop without a direct sound card connection port, something that allows for a USB connection would be ideal. Thanks!
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#673700 - 03/09/02 09:41 AM Re: MIDI Software for Digital Panios
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
Does anyone have any suggestions on good MIDI software for Digital Pianos? I am looking for some non-professional MIDI software to connect to my Roland F-90 digital for practice, basic note editing, and fun. Because I have a laptop without a direct sound card connection port, something that allows for a USB connection would be ideal. Thanks!


Hi Michael,
I think it would be helpful to know a little more about what you're looking to do with software. You say you'd like to use it for "practice". Does that mean you're looking for educational software? You also reference "note editing". Do you mean MIDI sequencing? Do you mean print notation software? You also mention that you don't have a sound card. Does that mean that you want an audio interface? Or do you just need a MIDI interface?

I'm also intrigued by your request for software that's "non-professional". Is that because of price? Learning curve? I'm curious.
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#673701 - 03/09/02 01:07 PM Re: MIDI Software for Digital Panios
MichaelSheas Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Chicago, IL.
Hi Steve, thanks for the reply.

No, I'm not looking for educational software. By practice, I mean that I'd like to record my playing and then be able to play it back for my own analysis. (the Roland F-90 doesn't have an onboard track recording feature).

I'm not sure what MIDI sequencing is, however, I've seen software that allows you to, for example, lengthen a note, or remove a mistake by highlighting that note on like a piano roll and removing it from the composition. Just something with basic editing functions like that.

Now, I do have a sound card in my laptop, but it's not the variety with a joystick connection port (15 pin) that some of these software programs require for MIDI interface. I have 2 USB ports, and a serial port on the back of my laptop and that's about all. So I guess I need just need software that allows for MIDI interface other than the type that require a direct connection to a 15 pin sound card. I wouldn't mind buying an external MIDI connection device.

What I mean by non-professional is that, I'm not looking for studio quality software/hardware designed for professional recording use. I'm simply looking for something that was designed for use at home, on a PC based Laptop. Price isn't necessarily the deciding factor for me, and neither is the learning curve. I was just attempting to narrow down the type of product I was looking for to something designed for the home market.

I guess I'm curious what type(s) of software people really think work(s) nicely, is intuitively designed etc. I was wondering if anybody bought some MIDI software and thought, "Man, I'm glad I bought that. This is so cool!"

Thanks for your time and help Steve.

[ March 09, 2002: Message edited by: MichaelSheas ]
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#673702 - 03/09/02 10:40 PM Re: MIDI Software for Digital Panios
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Try Sibelius. I use that program at school, and its great. Its the best music notation software that I've ever seen. It does have midi capabilities, so you can record music right into it. However, unless you play flawlessly while recording, it doesn't come out too good. If you want a program for pure recording, get Cakewalk. I also use that at school, and its MUCH better for recording. But it sucks at notation. Whatever you do, stay away from Band in a Box! I also use that at school, and its horrible!
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#673703 - 03/11/02 04:29 PM Re: MIDI Software for Digital Panios
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Hi Michael
What you're looking for seems to be two things:
1. "recording" software that allows for easy note editing.
2. a USB MIDI interface

Regarding the USB interface, they're readily available and should cost around $50+. I really like the Mark of the Unicorn products. Check out the "Fastlane". You can find them at www.motu.com

Regarding the "recording" software, we need to differentiate between actual audio/sound recording and MIDI recording (which is called "sequencing"). Are you looking for a playback mechanism for keyboard-based songs? Or are you looking to record vocals or other acoustic instruments along with your keyboard? I'm not quite sure from reading your post, but I suspect it's the former. If so, you're looking for a MIDI sequencing software package. The software is NOT recording the "sound" of your keyboard. It's essentially just recording your "key strokes" and playing them back through your digital piano. It's very much a like a piano roll on an old player piano (which is why they let you edit notes that way). The piano roll is not sound. It's just a coded method for capturing "what notes" you play as well as "when" you play them. The piano roll still can only be played in a player piano. Similarly, the MIDI sequence can only be played back while connected to your digital keyboard/piano.

Jgoo suggested Sibelius. It's a great program (I own it), but because it is mainly a notation program, it's not what you're looking for. Rather, you need a simple sequencing program. On the inexpensive side, look at the entry-level versions of Cubase or Cakewalk (I'd prefer Cubase). These programs come in several versions. You don't need the expensive versions for what you want to do! If you're willing to spend a little more, take a look at Emagic.

The whole package (USB interface and software) should cost you around $150+.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#673704 - 03/31/02 12:20 PM Re: MIDI Software for Digital Panios
MichaelSheas Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Chicago, IL.
That was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for your help Steve.
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MichaelSheas

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#673705 - 03/31/02 06:14 PM Re: MIDI Software for Digital Panios
Teri Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 23
Loc: Utah
Hi,

Do you know if there is a cable that connects a keyboard to a USB Port? I have seen (and presently have) one that connects from the keyboard to a parallel port/game port.

I am using Encore notation software, and we recently built a new computer with the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum soundcard and Win 98 SE.
On my older computer I was running an upgrade from Win 95 to Win 98 SE, but my driver avaliable from that Crystal Pnp Codec soundcard was an MPU-401 Roland Driver. This is not available on the Audigy, and hence, I can't get sound from the compter speakers and the Yamaha keyboard at the same time. Creative (makes the soundcard) said the Audigy is a "DUMB" MPU, and I'm wondering if that is why I can't set the midi up to send out sound from both sound sorces.

I found a driver on the web that emulated the MPU-401 driver but it says you have to connect to a USB port. Has anyone had any experience with this situation?

I appreciate you advice. I hear in only one ear, and a little like Beethoven, I crave more sound!

Thanks much. Teri ;\)

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