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playing off a laptop

Topic Author
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  • Karma:
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playing off a laptop #5331
I am preparing to play my BK9 'frozen' midi files off a laptop through my BK9.
I am (hopefully) in a set of Performances - things such as
~piano left and fiddle right split
~piano and strings layer
~just piano
~just organ
~piano-organ split

When I switch from one performance memory to another it's messing up the MIDI file.
I'm guessing it's sending unwanted patch changes to the laptop.
Question: What MIDI USER # should I be in?
3 months 2 weeks ago

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playing off a laptop #5333
You will need to create a MIDI Set and set all Keyboard Parts to NOT transmit anything. You will also have to set the System to NOT transmit.

Just curious as to why you prefer the laptop to play the SMF's and not the BK? You lose the Mark/Jump stuff, not to mention the flawless playback of Makeup Tooled files without having to freeze them...

I find Mark/Jump one of the most essential SMF features in the BK. Want to extend a solo? Want to jump back to an earlier verse or chorus if the dance floor fills up late in the song? Mark/Jump... B)

EDIT: BTW, you can always avoid having to deal with the MIDI Sets by setting your laptop to NOT 'through' incoming MIDI...
3 months 2 weeks ago Last edit: 3 months 2 weeks ago by Diki.
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Topic Author
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playing off a laptop #5338
The basic reason I would use a Laptop to play midi files is to increase the size of the song list display, and with it the ability to hit letter 'T', to go to the T songs.
The lyrics size is wonderful via TV but the songlist is a problem....so I look like a mad scientist on stage scrolling through folders/songs with the wheel and buttons. (and the issue of I only need glasses for song selection, and don't want them on for looking at lyrics)
Of course, the underying problem is, I don't pre-plan and stick to a list. I admit, most successful acts stick to a list and play the same 28 songs each night, but I seem to want more random access. I even take requests! Wow! The lack of mark-jump is a bummer, for sure. But I rationalize this way...I don't need long songs....I have so many songs, I need to fit more in.
That concept of not allowing the lap top to accept midi changes is certainly the way to go! THANKS!
3 months 2 weeks ago

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playing off a laptop #5339
Given that I am, in fact, using a MacBook and Qmidi, I'm not sure where to avoid 'through' incoming MIDI. Somewhere in the 'Audio Midi setup'?
3 months 2 weeks ago

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playing off a laptop #5341
I believe this is actually a 'non-issue'. I discovered that I was accidentally running LOGIC in the background while playing midi files in Qmidi. As soon as I closed LOGIC all problems disappeared. duh........
3 months 2 weeks ago

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playing off a laptop #5344
And I know in Logic you can definitely disable MIDI thru... Just in case you need to run Logic in the background!

Performances can be called up numerically (3 digit number) so a cheat sheet by your side would allow non-sequential access, and also, when in Performance List, hit 'Favorite' and the zero and nine buttons jump through the List eight entries at a time, so getting from top to bottom fairly quickly can be done.

This is how I usually do it, which saves me hauling any extra gear and still avoiding the 'scrolling like a mad scientist' look. But, getting older myself, I can appreciate the eyesight issue! I use bifocal readers (especially polarized ones outdoors) so I get to see audience AND my songlist.

I also don't use set-lists (unless with a live band as a pickup gig if they have unfamiliar songs which require me to think about what setup to use) and my gig setup is up to about 400 entries... I tend to try and do some pre-scrolling during my song's last chorus or outro to be ready to hit the Performance of my next song. So far, so good!

But, if the laptop is ONLY there to aid song selection, the numeric system and a big cheat sheet next to you, out of sight with songs and numbers could help you not only lighten your load-in, but avoid that dreaded 'reading off the prompter' look so many entertainers have nowadays. Especially if you set up 'in the round' (as I often have to), it is hard to avoid the audience seeing you read lyrics and messing with the laptop, and next thing you know they are asking to sing karaoke with you (the horror! :evil: )...

BTW, big QMIDI fan myself, and highly recommend MIDIKit too. It has saved my butt several times tracking down weird issues with things like sys-ex craziness, lyrics not displaying on commercial files (wrong format) and other things like that. But I tend to only use QMIDI at home to embed lyrics in my custom MP3 and SMF files, then use the BK's display on the gig. Bruno is VERY responsive as a developer, and has added several things I alone suggested, and seems committed to ongoing improvement.

In fact, the BK's ability to display lyrics in MP3's is entirely down to a dialog we had about two years ago. For some reason, the line display of MP3 lyrics was all messed up on the BK, and lines were overlapping and unreadable. After a bit of back and forth, Bruno got it sorted and now it works flawlessly. He also added the ability to convert the lyrics to the SYLT tags that iTunes uses for lyrics display (although iTunes currently is not capable of reading the lyrics in sync, but that's iTune's problem, not QMIDI's) and made a macro to convert your entire library in one go at my request. This man is a saint!
3 months 2 weeks ago Last edit: 3 months 2 weeks ago by Diki.
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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Topic Author
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playing off a laptop #5346
Bless you brother Diki!
I have failed to learn in 3 whatever years, that there is a 'numeric' feature for choosing performances!
I have only ever used that numeric for naming things.
This is a real game changer.
I can, like you, have 400 performances and a list (and start memorizing)
Of course, the first 99 are even 2-digit numbers! ....Easier
I already have a big alphabetic list of about 150. so a 200 list will be fine.
Cancel the laptop idea.
3 months 2 weeks ago

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playing off a laptop #5349
If you are already using the laptop and don't mind some of the downsides, there ARE a couple of upsides...

Primarily, lyrics or sheet music for style play (and sheet music display for SMF's and MP3's). It astounds me that Roland have refused to add this feature that is a staple on most of their competition (linking .txt files to Performances so styles can have lyrics too) despite DECADES of user requests for it.

There are times I shake my head in wonder, amazed that Roland can ignore their base for so long while their competition cleans up.

Text for styles, break/fills, multipads (although Roland added these in the E-A7, they provided next to no content), these are staples of the modern arranger player's needs. Roland's competitors have had them for decades. How long does it take?! :dry: :whistle: :angry:

A laptop also can be quite a powerful secondary sound source, capable of hosting VSTi's like Omnisphere, samplers like Sampletank, or loop players like Ableton Live. This does add quite some complexity to your rig (audio interfaces, wiring, a mixer etc.) but it can take you into musical territory that most arrangers can't approach.

But yes, for your standard restaurant/club gig, it may be overkill!

Lately my gigging rig has been just the BK-9, a VK-Perform (for mic processing and delay, I hate VH!) plugged into the BK's mic in (reverb added there), and one long stereo cord off to my powered QSC K10's. No mixer, no laptop, no iPad, no nothing. One small case to hold the cords and the VK.

Simple, sounds like a million dollars! My back loves it!
3 months 2 weeks ago Last edit: 3 months 2 weeks ago by Diki.
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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playing off a laptop #5350
BTW, pro tip...

Keep your printed manuals on top of the toilet. Make use of those 'private moments'! :lol: B)
3 months 2 weeks ago Last edit: 3 months 2 weeks ago by Diki.
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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playing off a laptop #5390

Diki wrote:
Lately my gigging rig has been just the BK-9, a VK-Perform (for mic processing and delay, I hate VH!)


Diki why not just use the vocal processor in the BK9 for vocals vs the VK-perform if your not a fan of VH...less to carry?

Also how is the bass response with the QSC 10's....?
3 months 2 days ago Last edit: 3 months 2 days ago by KeyPro52.

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playing off a laptop #5391
The BK-9 only has reverb (but a very good one) and the only thing you can change is depth. I like to use tempo tapped delay on quite a lot of stuff, particularly all my reggae, I like a little slapback on Elvis tunes...

But the main reason I use the Perform-VK despite not really liking VH is the front-end adaptive EQ, compressor and de-esser, which I find pretty much perfect for making my vocals sit comfortably in the mix, and makes working the mic less critical a factor.

TBH, I liked the little Mic Mechanic that TC made just as much if not better (XLR in and out made level matching easier, it had two different presets for the mic tone section) but it was set up to be used by your feet, and had a rather clunky way of using the one footswitch for both bypass and setting delay (you had to press and hold the button a bit before it would go to tap tempo mode), so in the end, the Perform-VK worked out better.

I find, at the volume levels I generally need, that the K10's have more than enough low end for restaurant gigs. If I am outdoors at high volume, I bring along a powered sub. I have a rather aging Mackie 15" sub at the moment, but a new smaller Behringer B1200D 12" sub is on my wishlist for next year. It will depend on how many outdoor gigs I land!

I'd call the K10's a pretty big step up in power and range compared to things like the Lucas Nano's (those sound a little 'Bose'-ey, not great mid-range) and small enough and light enough to haul without back issues! Best small PA I have ever had. Love them! B)

Have a Merry Christmas, Donny.
3 months 2 days ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.
The following user(s) said Thank You KeyPro52

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Topic Author
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playing off a laptop #5397
I just watched the 'Perform-VK' demo. (as I had never heard of the product)
I assume the 'VH' feature would not work if you were playing a midi file with drums?
3 months 21 hours ago

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playing off a laptop #5399
Need to turn OFF the midi track of the drums - "Transmit" track #10 set is OFF (and all track but without track, where is Harmony)
3 months 8 hours ago Last edit: 3 months 8 hours ago by loshk.
Roland E-80 v.2.01 (SRX-01, 10), Roland Fantom XR, Yamaha Motif-Rack ES, Roland M-GS64, Ketron SD-2, Edirol PCR-500, Edirol M-16DX, Kawai MAV-8, JBL 4312E

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playing off a laptop #5401
To be honest, if you are using standard midi files, you probably want to dedicate a channel for harmony control, and put the codes in yourself. They will be much more accurate, particularly if the file has a lot of passing notes and other things that will confuse the harmonizer.

For me, the primary reason I hate harmonizers is that all they do is block your own voice around. This isn’t how it works in the real world! Counterpoint, different lines, Harmony singing completely different to what you are singing, 90% of what real harmony singers do is impossible with a harmonizer.

I’m afraid I just don’t want to sound like the Andrews sisters LOL
3 months 9 minutes ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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playing off a laptop #5407
Diki wrote "dedicate a channel for harmony control". I agree - this is the right way.
2 months 3 weeks ago
Roland E-80 v.2.01 (SRX-01, 10), Roland Fantom XR, Yamaha Motif-Rack ES, Roland M-GS64, Ketron SD-2, Edirol PCR-500, Edirol M-16DX, Kawai MAV-8, JBL 4312E

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