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TOPIC: Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it.

Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it. 29 Jul 2017 17:01 #6166

  • rbdeli
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Thanks to Diki and others for all his time and ending up with the best manual for learning how to use the ever-so complicated BK7-M is right here:

roland-arranger.com/index.php/forum-inde...-couple-of-questions

It's been three years since I bought the BK-7M and despite all of his tutoring, I still really suck at editing and saving styles and performances. The BK-7M has fortunately had enough high quality factory styles and performances to keep me entertained, but every so often I get the itch to do more and then get needlessly frustrated all over again. My USB drive is so full of directories. I can't tell what style is attached to which performance, etc., etc.

My music setup is a 1990's Baldwin General Music Digital Grand Piano with a BK-7M. Since it never leaves my home I am seriously considering getting something that like a Roland Atelier AT900 organ. It's big bucks now, but they depreciate fast. That would be my first choice, but probably out of my price range for a while. Are there some arranger keyboards with superior interfaces? How does the EA7 compare to the BK-7?
Rob Delisa
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Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it. 30 Jul 2017 18:57 #6168

  • Diki
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I've followed your posts, and tried to help out as much as possible, but I'm not really sure how to help further.

In fairness, if you haven't grasped the seriously easy Roland system of creating Performances and collecting them in Performance Lists, or editing styles and storing them on the USB stick, I'm not sure how a move to a keyboard arranger is going to help any. If a Roland, it will still be essentially the same OS. Yes, you will gain a larger screen or two, but the same underlying concepts of editing and storage will still apply.

And, from everything I've done (especially with Korg... I help a friend out who has a PA3X and PA4X to try and understand it) you are already dealing with one of the friendliest OS's there is. Trust me, Korg's are FAR more complicated! Roland is the ONLY arranger of the big three that store ALL data on a stick and everything is read directly in realtime from the stick. Yamaha and Korg insist you load up data into their Internal memory before you can use it.

I'm sorry, but I have posted many times about file structure organization, and how to set up your data so that ALL the data you use in Performances is in one place and ALL the data you are just auditioning and trying out out is in another (and so, easily removed without upsetting your Performances). Part of getting comfortable with an OS is reading and taking the advice of others more familiar with it!

Once again, rather than bemoaning the overall difficulty of an OS, why not break the problem down into manageable chunks, and address each issue one by one until done? You say you suck at editing and saving styles and performances. Well... exactly how? 'I suck' isn't a problem I can help solve! But specify what is still confusing you, perhaps I can be of more use there!

Lastly, if you have a PC or PC tablet/laptop, have you looked at the GESINI BK-7m editor software on its sub-forum here? If you need a graphical front end to controlling your BK-7m, this ought to be worth a look...
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SUCCESS! Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it. 30 Jul 2017 19:09 #6169

  • rbdeli
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Diki,

You went way beyond the call of duty explaining the O.S and file structure to me. The solution is lots of practice and I am pleased to say I finally got over the hurdle. I took your earlier advice about starting with Performances yesterday. I formatted a new USB drive and started over. After I got that down started moving styles around in the Style Makeup Section. I've found the OTS very useful for my needs and a fast way of getting what I need saved on the USB Stick. I got the styles down too. In fact, I think I can do virtually anything I need to do now. I just needed to have patience and take a day of practice to do it all. Repetition is really what I needed. I still think the user interface has a lot to be desired, but I now feel as though I know it as well or better than necessary to use the instrument to my fullest needs. Imagine how much better it could be if Roland could upgrade the iPad BK Partner app to handle advanced editing features! I imagine they won't do that because there is no money it.

I have to say I am still really impressed with the quality of sounds and the rhythms. I have listened to some of the newer instruments that are much more expensive such as Korg and Audya. I think the BK-7M is underrated.

The next thing on my wish list is to find an inexpensive organ with a really good sound system. I think having the two keyboards, volume pedal would provide much better expression and control. Also, would like to find one with aftertouch on the keys which my weighted piano keys don't have.

Thanks again for your help. Practice makes perfect.
Rob Delisa
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Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it. 31 Jul 2017 00:59 #6170

  • Kerry Oki
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I agree, the use of the performace lists is not described in the operating instructions well. Especially external styles are hidden, unfortunatelly. But on the other hand a keyboard of your choice can be combined with the arranger module, I don't like the lightweighted plastic keyboards. Roland probably will not improve this aspect, so that we must do it presumably ourselves. Would it not be a good community project to write an guide?
With the attached file you can find out something about your performance lists, especially the styles and copy the settings to new lists . . if you want and if you accept a command line tool. I am going to maintain the software exactly here.
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Last Edit: 19 Aug 2017 22:10 by Kerry Oki. Reason: Software Update
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Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it. 31 Jul 2017 21:44 #6171

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I still believe that copying ALL needed resources (that aren't ROM) to the root level of each data type's folder is the easiest way of keeping track of everything.

Unless you have an amazing memory, I doubt in a couple of years time you will ever remember where a style you got out of a folder (maybe buried two or three levels down in a folder structure!) is. If you decide to do a little work on the style, the save procedure does NOT point you automatically to the folder the style is in (yes, Roland could do a better job here, but read on, you will see it is still a problem if you get taken automatically to the folder the resource is in).

If, BEFORE you create a Performance, you copy the style or SMF to the root level of its folder, THEN make the Performance using THAT copy, you get two important benefits. Firstly, you can delete or move any other stuff around, knowing confidently you are not moving a resource you need for a Performance! EVERYTHING you use in Performances is all in the one place... You can make small backup sticks copying ONLY those resources (not the GB's of other data you are just trying out, waiting to audition, have already decided you don't like/need, etc., etc) and can be confident you aren't erasing something a Performance points to.

And, the largest benefit IMHO, is that on a gig you can edit a style or SMF, press 'save', and only have to navigate to the root level of each type's folder and you know when you press save, you will get the dialog to 'replace' the one you are working on, rather than first having to remember the convoluted folder structure to where that one resource's (but not many of the others') file is. This one thing, for me, makes all the work worth while. There are many things you can do quite quickly while still performing (for instance the Song/Common/Song Volume parameter, which allows you to balance all your SMF's to the same overall volume), but if you are slowed down by having to remember the location of the original file before you can 'replace', you tend not to do it.

Having them all at the root level assures you really ARE working on the used file...
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Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it. 20 Aug 2017 21:37 #6189

  • Kerry Oki
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I understand, the advantage is the quick and uncomplicated change. Indeed, I fear the big data in a flat directory. Therefore I sort the data in 2 subdirectories, „vintage“ and categories like "Ballad" and try to get the files stable. Experimental files have own directories.
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Best BK-7M Manual Ever Written, yet I still Struggle with it. 22 Aug 2017 18:52 #6193

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I think the important thing to take away from my posts on the subject of file organization is the emphasis on COPYING resources to the root level of the main folders as you use those resources in Performances.

Whatever organizational regimen you use for storing the off-line data, the idea of a flat structure for the resources used in Performances is important to ease file saving of edited Performances

This also makes it easy to create spare USB sticks with only the data that you need for your gig on them. This speeds up copying and loading.
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