Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection

Posted by: ErikonKeys

Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 11:05 AM

This is my first post to this forum (which helped inspire me to choose the Casio PX350). Also, please know that I'm a longtime guitar player just starting to explore the world of digital pianos and keyboards. So, I know very little about this stuff.

My question regards tapping into additional sounds available thru my Mac computer. While there's a lot I love about the PX350, especially the piano sounds and its overall feel, as some have hinted, I've found many of the non-piano sounds to be a little lacking. As a devoted tweaker, I also would appreciate more ability to add/adjust reverb, echo, tremolo etc...

So, I have successfully connected the Casio to my Mac using the rear USB connection. And it does work as a midi board so that playing the Casio produces whatever sound I've selected from GarageBand ON MY COMPUTER. Indeed, the sound I hear from the Casio speakers is still the Casio piano sound I selected.

Here are my questions:

--Is it possible to configure things so that I hear a GarageBand tone coming through the Casio speakers (such as an organ, electric piano...)?

--Can I also configure things so that I can easily and quickly switch back and forth between Casio tones and GarageBand tones, or do I basically need to disconnect the USB cable every time to do this?

Right now I'm on the fence between keeping the PX350 and maybe moving on to the brand new PX5S. Of course, it's tricky, because I've only got a few days left on my 30-day return policy from Musiciansfriend, and the PX5S is not even listed yet on their website.

If I knew I had some decent midi options with the PX350, I might be inclined to keep it. I might buy some better software, for instance, to have even more sounds. I'm still not sure if I'll gig with this keyboard. (I'm in a band where I play guitar, but MAY also play some keyboard, if we can't find someone.)

I will say it would be really cool if Casio would eventually let us update the PX350 with some of the other sounds from the new PX5S, but something tells me that's unlikely.

Sorry to ramble on. Would appreciate any input. And again, just want to say that all in all, especially for the price, the Privia is really nice. Thanks!
Posted by: Mike_Martin

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 11:21 AM

GarageBand does not transmit MIDI to other instruments. The only thing you can do in GarageBand is play it's internal instruments.

If you turn LOCAL CONTROL OFF on the PX-350, the PX-350 will make no sound when you play it. Then simply connect the Audio Output of the computer to the inputs on the back of your PX-350 and you'll hear the Garageband sounds through the PX-350's speakers.

Switching back and forth is a different story. It is partially a limitation of GarageBand and the PX-350. The short answer is mute the sound on the computer and turn the Local Control ON on the PX-350.
Posted by: TrumpetMan

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 11:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike_Martin
to the inputs on the back of your computer


Do you mean inputs on the back of the PX-350?
Posted by: Mike_Martin

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 11:37 AM

Yes, sorry. Edited...
Posted by: ErikonKeys

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 11:49 AM

Thanks for the feedback! Very helpful. Leaving GarageBand aside, is there a way I can use computer-based software with my Mac in an integrated way with the Casio?

Basically, the idea would be to use externally-developed sounds on my Casio, and to be able to do it in a way where I could sometimes play, say, a Casio piano tone, and then maybe press a button and then play an organ sound generated from software.

I understand that the PX350 is more limited in its use of MIDI than some other keyboards, but I'm just wondering if, in effect, it is "all or nothing" in terms of how I use the keyboard on a particular occasion. Would be great if I could somehow integrate it so that I could easily switch back and forth. To be clear, I'm not trying to split sounds simultaneously, with one external and one internal. Just want to know if I can easily switch back and forth much like I might switch internal sounds on the Casio itself.

And again, please recognize that I'm new to keyboard and MIDI technology (though I could ramble on and on about guitar gear, which I know more than I should about!).

Thanks again.!
Posted by: Mike_Martin

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 12:01 PM

Since you're on a Mac, Mainstage would probably be the way to go. Leave the PX-350 in Local OFF mode. Then use the computer for all sound selection. You can setup Mainstage to choose software instrument or hardware instruments or both.
Posted by: ErikonKeys

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 01:12 PM

Great. I had my eye on Mainstage, given that it seems like a low-cost way to give this a try. Much obliged!

All this said, I'm still tempted to maybe return the PX350 and get the PX5. Did I see where that's expected to start shipping late March or early April.

Again, appreciate the personal attention from Casio! That counts a lot with me.
Posted by: ErikonKeys

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 01:42 PM

p.s. One last question, Mike. I think I know the answer, but if I do what you suggest on MainStage, does that mean that I will NOT be able to have the sound come out thru the Casio speakers? And also that I will not be able to run sound from the two line-outs in the back of the Casio to a PA/amplifier?
Posted by: Mike_Martin

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 02:17 PM

If you use mainstage and connect your computers audio to the PX-350's input then the speakers will have all the sounds.
Posted by: ErikonKeys

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/30/13 02:19 PM

Excellent. Thanks again for all the help!
Posted by: Trigg

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/31/13 03:31 PM

Is there a way to turn Local Off/On in a fast way instead of entering menu and turning it off that way ? I've tried to store it in a bank but it doesn't seem to work.
Posted by: Mike_Martin

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/31/13 04:45 PM

Can I ask why?

I don't know of any other way.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/31/13 05:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Trigg
Is there a way to turn Local Off/On in a fast way instead of entering menu and turning it off that way ? I've tried to store it in a bank but it doesn't seem to work.

Alternative - plug in/out a blank headphone plug? Although on some DP's that 'colours' the sound. I assume line out remains active when plugged in?
Posted by: Trigg

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/31/13 05:17 PM

To change between vst and internal sounds while being on one audio in on mixer.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 01/31/13 06:28 PM

If you want to silence the internal sounds, just turn down the volume control. That should not affect the sound coming out of the line-output jacks.

But if you want to feed external sounds into the piano (while silencing the internally-produced sounds), that won't work. I presume that's why you want to turn Local Control to off.

I'm not familiar with the Casio ... but with my Yamaha, turning that off requires a whole series of buttons and menus. Quite ugly.

I solved the problem by setting up a program on the attached computer. It sends the Local Control on (or off) command to the piano. Just by clicking a link I can turn that on or off. Do you have a computer attached to the Casio? If so, this will work.

I went one step further and installed Bome's MIDI Translator on the computer. I configured it to detect piano pedal-and-key combinations, and use that to turn Local Control on and off.
Posted by: Trigg

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 02/01/13 01:43 AM

MacMacMac that's exactly what I want to get! Thank you, I will check if it's doable with Casio.
Posted by: Trigg

Re: Need help with Casio PX350 and computer connection - 02/01/13 03:28 AM

UPDATE: I've tried to use Bome's MIDI translator but no luck so far. It seems Local Control Off sends some Midi message but Local Control On is silent for Midi translator. Anyway I was not able to use that local Off message from my pc (just nothing happens). From the below thread it looks like Casio's do not have Midi for Local control off/on feature:

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2448378/Re_MIDI_advice_needed_please