Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 15:36 #2219

  • rbdeli
  • rbdeli's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
It's been a while since I've stopped by to comment on the BK-7M that I purchased back in February. I have absolutely no regrets over the purchase. The sounds and backing styles quality and quantity are very impressive, professional, and it is very enjoyable to play on my grand piano. However, I have to be honest about the user interface: It is the absolute worst I've ever seen in any product, musical or non-musical. My outdated, 1996 Baldwin GPS-2500 piano has a far superior interface in every way. The technology seems 18 years ahead of the BK-7M rather than 18 years behind as it really is.

I have given up on spending much of my time customizing styles and performances because it is so tedious and time-consuming. Even though, I have a pretty good understanding of the file systems and where things are stored, etc., I still inevitably find myself storing a performance or style in the wrong location or several different locations. My USB drive is full of duplicates in various locations. I'm sure with some diligent practice, I could get better at this, but why does it have to be so much work? The whole concept of how performances and styles are called into action really needed to be re-thought from the ground-up, so one doesn't have to navigate through so many menus to make simple changes and storage of things.

A better way of doing it:
On my piano's interface, I have 32 user banks where complete style and performances are stored. When I have a style and performance set that I like I simply click save to name it and save it to any of the 32 user banks. From there I can copy and save to disk. Additionally, I have 64 sound performance banks to store performances independently of the user styles. I can pull up any style and select a performance with it very quickly. Sure, there is some redundancy going on between sounds and styles, but who cares? Memory is cheap and abundant. I can store everything that is on my current piano: 64 Performances, 32 User Styles, and 128 User Styles and all of its sounds to a 3.5" Floppy Disk with a special name for it. Of course, the advancement of BK-7M sounds and styles takes oodles of more memory, but that's no problem with a 128GB USB drive versus a 1.44MB Floppy Drive.

This Roland BK-7M could be 10-times better with a complete redesign of the user - or perhaps someone could do a complete redesign of the interface on an iPad app.. Meanwhile, I'm spending most of my time playing things the way they are, using the One-Touch Settings for variety. I have also started wondering if there are some additional high-quality styles with custom One-Touch Settings I could buy that don't require a bunch of tweeking. The BK-LB01 USB styles disk has some pretty good sounding styles, but it has no custom performances or OTS.
Rob Delisa
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Wolf

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 19:27 #2221

  • Wolf
  • Wolf's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 74
  • Thank you received: 5
  • Karma: 2
I faced the same situation with my BK-7m. THe tiny display is a nightmare. Every single modification of a parameter is a problem. And even if you want to change a sound and select a new one (not in an OTS), you have to navigate through menues and submenues..... unbelievable.

But now I am working with the PC tool GESINI (from www.gesini.com).. This is a convenient graphical user interface to the BK-7m (and in the next releases to further models of the BK series).For me it is noow very easy to work with the B_7m and I can use the full potential of this wonderful little box.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 19:43 #2222

  • rbdeli
  • rbdeli's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Thanks, Wolf:

This looks like a promising piece of software. Does it have to be connected to the instrument to use or can files be loaded via USB drive? I am not crazy about attaching another piece of equipment like a laptop to my piano. Plus, I would need to get a USB-Midi Adapter. Would love to see this work with the iPad.
Rob Delisa
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 20:16 #2223

  • Wolf
  • Wolf's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 74
  • Thank you received: 5
  • Karma: 2
Yes, the software is great.
The connection cable between BK and PC can be either MIDI or USB. MIDI will work always and USB should be tested. So perhaps you could avoid to buy an USB-MIDI adapter.
The team behind GESINI is pretty open to discuss the further evolution of the tool. I think after they have released the final Windows version they would perhaps be open to adapt the tool to other OS (e.g. iPad).
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 20:26 #2224

  • rbdeli
  • rbdeli's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Of course! I don't know why I didn't think of the fact the interface would work in much the same way the iPad BK Partner App works via cable connected to the box itself. That might be worth giving a try. I cannot seem to find the price on this. Can you show me a link?

This would be an ideal reason to upgrade to a better mobile unit like Surface Pro or something similar that has a good screen and is small enough to sit on the piano stand.
Rob Delisa
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 21:50 #2225

  • Wolf
  • Wolf's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 74
  • Thank you received: 5
  • Karma: 2
As far as I remember, the price was something around 45 EUR....

I do not know if it worls with Surface Pro. I tested it with two notebooks (one with Win 8.1 and one with Vista).
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 22:07 #2226

  • dilletant
  • dilletant's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 79
  • Thank you received: 7
  • Karma: 2
On their website I found only demo with no midi communication. Where did you buy fully functional version?
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 07 Jun 2015 23:02 #2227

  • rbdeli
  • rbdeli's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
I was wondering the same thing. I see no option to get pricing or purchase the product.
Rob Delisa
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 08 Jun 2015 15:45 #2231

  • rbdeli
  • rbdeli's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Just took another look at the BK-Partner App for iPad and it is actually quite useful. I haven't used it as much lately because I've been using the iPad as my Fakebook Source. The iPad app is very clean and seems far less complicated than this "Gesini" which is hard to analyze without midi enabled. If they could just add a few things to the BK Partner such as changing instrument styles, banks for saving styles, performances, etc., it would be everything one needs. It CAN be done.

I might have to look into a cheap iPad substitute for viewing my fakebooks.
Rob Delisa
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 09 Jun 2015 20:21 #2235

  • Diki
  • Diki's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 1862
  • Thank you received: 389
  • Karma: 29
The benchmark so far (although there's much that needs adding and improving) for BK editing is the BK-9 Performance Editor for the iPad. It is tactile, easy navigation, and fairly comprehensive (with a few exceptions).

BUT... it is currently BK-9 only. That is, I haven't yet had the opportunity to try it on my BK-7m, but as a lot of the commands are sys-ex, I can imagine that few of them (if any) won't work on the other BK's. Have any of you with other BK's tried using this app on lesser BK's yet?

Rather than hope that some other company gets it right AND ports it to iPad, I strongly suggest you ALL contact Roland directly, and demand the BK-9 Performance Editor is ported to work with the other BK's. After all, how do they know what to do if we don't TELL them? :evil: With sufficient demand, there's always a possibility, no? :unsure:

Being a Mac user, sadly, this PC app doesn't help me much! And it is the tactile aspects of the iPad apps that make them so useful, live. So, a Surface or other touch pad alternative needs to be offered. I do however agree that it should be a paid for app. I think this is where Roland have made a big mistake... Offering the BK iPad apps for free doesn't really give them much incentive to improve and expand them. Personally, I'd be happy to pay $50 for a good, comprehensive tactile control app for the BK series. The hell with free apps! Money gets things DONE! :whistle:

Perhaps you might mention this when you contact Roland? B)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 11 Jun 2015 00:51 #2241

  • rbdeli
  • rbdeli's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
Diki,

That is a great suggestion. I will write Roland a letter this evening. I have tried BK-9 App on my iPad and it comes up with a "Device not Found"... It would sure be nice to have those features on the BK-7M Partner App.
Rob Delisa
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 18 Jun 2015 03:27 #2277

  • Vladimir B
  • Vladimir B's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 88
  • Thank you received: 9
  • Karma: 0
rbdeli wrote:
I was wondering the same thing. I see no option to get pricing or purchase the product.
I've found it:
www.gesini.com/Software/Platforms.html
Sent them email request, we'll see...
I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 18 Jun 2015 07:28 #2278

  • Diki
  • Diki's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 1862
  • Thank you received: 389
  • Karma: 29
BTW, if you want more proof that Roland are absolutely CLUELESS about arrangers, and don't have the faintest idea of what their customers or arranger players want in an arranger, you need look no further than the difference between the G/E series' user interface and the BK's.

They went, in one fell swoop, from quite possibly the best, most intuitive, most responsive user interface of just about any keyboard I have ever played, to the worst, most unintuitive horrible joke of an interface in ONE GENERATION... :woohoo: :ohmy:

Most companies take years to destroy something. These idiots did it overnight.

Roland, if any of you are reading this, take your arranger design division AND FIRE EVERYBODY! :evil:

Now go and find whoever designed the G/E series, and hire them back :kiss:
The administrator has disabled public write access.

BK-7M: Worth every penny, despite having a horrible user interface. 19 Jun 2015 16:52 #2279

  • loshk
  • loshk's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 323
  • Thank you received: 72
  • Karma: 3
I had various musical instruments over the past 20 years. When I bought the Roland E-50 (then Roland E-80), I thought - it was the first arranger, whose interface is developed by the musician, but not the electronic engineer. All menus and functions is very conveniently and logically!
Roland E-80 v.2.01 (SRX-01, 02, 10), Roland M-GS64, Roland XV-5050, Ketron SD-2, Edirol PCR-500, Edirol M-16-DX, Kawai MAV-8
Last Edit: 19 Jun 2015 17:01 by loshk.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Moderators: Admin, Diki
Powered by Kunena Forum