E-A7 multipads MIDI out?
The E-A7 was the first Roland Arranger to have this feature. It would be a huge oversight if they didn't allow the musical data from the pads to be output via MIDI. Would someone who actually owns an E-A7 dig around in the menus and see if this is available? Thanks!!
There’s an Owners manual AND a Reference Manual. Both are available here in our manuals section.
While you are at it, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for an update with LOTS of new factory multipad patterns. Compared to Yamaha or Korg, Roland’s multipad content is next to zero. It seems such a shame to finally add the feature, then starve it of content to the point where you can’t use it well!
Expecting arranger users to create their own content for the multipads and sampler is not a great strategy... Imagine if arranger users were expected to create their own styles! Yamaha and Korg both know you sell more arrangers if you provide plenty of content. Roland used to know this.
Yes Diki, and I read through them as thoroughly as possible, even using phrase search (Ctrl-F), etc. There's no explicit mention of whether the multipad data can be transmitted as MIDI.
Do you have both the EA7 manuals?
Roland (and other brands) have a tendency to copy and paste content from previous manuals. The multipads are a BRAND-NEW feature and were probably overlooked in the documentation. Or perhaps the multipad implementation wasn't complete when the manual was written. It shouldn't be a big deal to assign the pads to channels in the MIDI transmit menus. But adding the pads to the selection list could have been overlooked. That's why I'm asking folks who actually have this instrument to check!
Another piece of documentation that's missing from all the manuals, is how to call a specific User Program (UPG) with a MIDI message. I think DonM was asking about this the other day. The E-A7 has a different (10 x 10) system of banks and registrations than previous arrangers. The manual warns that some higher-numbered UPGs cannot be accessed, and once a program set is opened on the E-A7, it's no longer usable by the BK's.
So now I have two questions: (1) Can the musical output of the multipads be transmitted via MIDI; and (2) How do you summon a specific registration (UPG) using MIDI? Thanks!
I do not believe any brand will do this.. There is no need to.. I also checked the midi manual. I tested the out of midi and styles transmit but not the pads..
I have a friend who records his PA4X into a DAW. The pads transmit just fine.
TBH, I am astounded that any arranger based on MIDI Parts has no way to record the MIDI output of the multipads. Are you quite sure that MIDI based multipads cannot output to MIDI on Yamaha’s and the EA7? I understand that audio loop multipads would obviously not transmit MIDI, but surely MIDI multipads should be able to..?
Fran, have you actually tried recording a style using a MIDI multipad to a MIDI DAW? Perhaps you tried one with an audio loop?
TedS wrote: Another piece of documentation that's missing from all the manuals, is how to call a specific User Program (UPG) with a MIDI message. I think DonM was asking about this the other day. The E-A7 has a different (10 x 10) system of banks and registrations than previous arrangers. The manual warns that some higher-numbered UPGs cannot be accessed, and once a program set is opened on the E-A7, it's no longer usable by the BK's.
2) How do you summon a specific registration (UPG) using MIDI? Thanks!
p.62 of the Reference Manual shows a parameter that needs to be enabled to transmit and receive the PC/32/00 codes for Performance change. In lieu of documentation, can I suggest you enable it, then hook up to a sequencer/DAW and record your MIDI output while you select the 100 Performances..? Don't do anything else, just start at Performance #1 and select each Performance one by one.
That should give you a file you can look at with the codes laid out in the List Edit, if all goes well!
Make sure your Basic Channel is set to transmit and receive (also p.62),and while you are recording, switch off the DAW's 'thru' function.
Let us know what you find.
Yes, we may occasionally be able to help, but with the E-A7 in particular we have few knowledgeable users, so Roland themselves may be the definitive answer.
Feel free, while you question them, to let them know how you feel about some of the extremely incomplete nature of things like the multipad implementation! No ability to import SMF's to the multipads is a content killer! Imagine how easy it would be to snag particularly groovy percussion parts, or guitar grooves, etc. from one's MIDI file collection (there's some killer commercial drum libraries in GM/GS format available!) and simply import them to the multipads...
Roland respond to users, if sufficient do it. They sure as hell aren't coming here for ideas and comments! Things would have been fixed long ago were that the case! So, in addition to questioning us here, PLEASE make sure Roland themselves get your questions and comments!
I feel that the E-A7 is something of an odd duck. It was designed and produced during the period where Roland fired basically their entire Italian/European team, and shifted production to China. It is probable that much of the new E-A7 stuff, particularly the multipads, got lost in the shuffle, and the incomplete nature of the feature and the lack of documentation may very well revolve around the shift of design and production teams.
It is such a shame, as the E-A7 finally addresses several of the decades-long wishlist features Roland users have been demanding (but still no Break/Fill!), but in such a half-completed and under-content fashion they remain uncompetitive compared to their competition.
That the E-A7 remains an odd duck, no MOTL or TOTL upgrade, and no serious updates or new model for 4 years seems to show that Roland seem uninterested or incapable of progressing the line. Perhaps firing almost the entire European team wasn't such a good idea?! Roland made potentially a serious Korg/Yamaha competitor, and then abandoned it and the whole arranger line, it seems.
For a couple of years now I've been eyeing both the E-A7 and the BK-9, hence all my recent questions. There are gives and takes; the lower street price of the E-A7 is a factor. IMO both would benefit from further development. I would guess at this point that there won't be any more updates for the BK-9. The E-A7 is also at Version 2 with no updates in almost 2 years. My guess is that Roland will come out with something else, maybe a lower-end version of the E-A7. Or possibly abandon their arranger line altogether, which would be very sad. They're not often seen in stores or well-marketed, so if USA sales are weak they have only themselves to blame.
And yes you're right about contacting Roland, I've done that before. The last time I was referred to a Mr. Wolff. I never received a reply, so I have no idea if my suggestion got through. I've seen third-party content for sale on eBay so even if Roland doesn't release an official update, it's possible that others will develop content for the E-A7's multipads.
As always, thanks for your informative reply!
But the key audio feature works well, easily allowing drum and percussion grooves to be added, plus you get seven of them per Performance!
But the thing that rules out the EA7 for me is the lack of the SN sounds (those guitars are absolutely incredible!), the lack of the B3 sim (IMO the best one in any arranger), the smaller tone list (unless you actually need rare ethnic instruments of little to no value in Western music) and the lack of a high quality 76 action, which Roland still managed to get in a 20lbs keyboard..!
I’m not a fan of the BK5/EA7 spongy action. The BK-9 reminds me a lot of a DX7 or other quality synths from the 80’s and 90’s, crisp but not heavy, a really satisfying action to play for hours. About the closest arranger to it I have played is the Korg PA4X, which is not too shabby considering it is $2000 more! Yes, no aftertouch, but I have adapted to its loss (delayed onset vibrato works well).
Trust me, were there anything in the EA7 that made it a must buy, I’d already have one, but the under-supported, incomplete and little content pads and sampler don’t make up for the things you lose from the BK-9.
If you can find a good condition used BK-9, I think it’s by far the better choice unless microtonal and ethnic music is your thing...
I thought the EA7 might be a totally new direction from Roland, but four years or so later (E-A7 launched Sept 2015), it doesn’t look like it considering we haven’t seen any other models since, building on the concept. It’s looking more and more like a parting gift from a company no longer interested in the arranger market.
I guess all good things come to an end...
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