Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

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Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby Myrk- » 08:42, 15 October 2016

Hey G users. I have an FA-06, and recently I've been really bummed out by its really poor midi control for external instruments. I've had a good gander through the manual to try and work out if the G does exactly what I want (because I can't test one in person before buying), but have a few queries. I'll start by explaining my setup so my questions aren't so broad. I have a JD-XA (RX:1-8), TR-8 drum machine (RX:10), 3 boutiques (RX:11,12,13), and a few other synths I sometimes plug in to other free channels. I run the whole thing through a MX-1 (RX:15 for it's effects). I'm looking for a master keyboard that allows me to record music, but also have live functionality with the sequencer (patterns, bookmarks, yada yada). To be clear I do not use a computer in my setup (I'm aware a PC could do everything I want but they ruin my musical workflow). My questions:

1.
Can I split the keyboard between multiple external midi hardware and shift the octaves of individual midi outputs? For example I want to be able to put 3 boutiques across the keyboard, but I want to be able to drop the octave of the boutique assigned at the high end of the keyboard so I'm not just stuck with high notes, and equally the very low end I want to raise an octave. The FA-06 looked like it could do this, but in reality the midi sendout was simplified from what the internal system could do.

2.
I noticed on the pad modes theres a bookmark function - does this allow 16 different bookmarks to be placed across a song on the sequencer to jump to at any time, without stopping the track? Can the bookmark positions be changed during playback of the sequencer? The same question goes for the loop function as well (on FA-06 it cannot be altered during playback, so for live play its useless).

3.
When controlling external gear, or even internal, does the hold button stay active when I depart that channel? For instance if I am on channel 12 and play a chord, press the hold button, then change the keybed to work on channel 11 does the hold command and chord played on channel 12 stop?

4.
How many arpeggiators does the G have? Is it just 1 that you can use at a time (fine for layering in a recording environment, but less functional for live if controlling multiple synths)?

5.
Does anyone know of anything other than a G that has a good sequencer or pattern system, and all the features above for controlling external midi hardware, that does not need a PC to function? (Finding a G is hard nowadays, especially a G7!)
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby Myrk- » 10:07, 19 October 2016

Anyone able to chime in on any of the above points (does anyone use the G as a hardware control sequencer for external gear)? Really relying on all you users for this info! :)
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby middle c » 09:46, 25 October 2016

I use the Fantom G8 to to control 4 synths in "studio mode external" (An1x, MS 2000B, V synth ,XP 30) in a midi chain to trigger audio to a DAW. The Fantom G is the master clock to sync arpeggio, loops etc...(Fantom G has 1 arpeggiator.). I think you can do this in "live mode" also, which is where you can set your key zones, and external gear. I mostly use the Fantom G's sequencer to record loops, phrases and tracks then send to DAW for refinement. I use the pads to trigger Fantom G drum patterns via midi to DAW using the DAW plug in. So much you can do here. The FA 06 is geared for the DAW, The Fantom G does both better. Hope this helps you.
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby Myrk- » 14:15, 25 October 2016

Awesome thanks for the reply middle c - I have the same situation of midi chaining everything, but aiming to be able to play 3 across the keyboard at the same time. Do you do this with your 4 synths (and if so can you change the octaves of each midi output separately on the split so it's useful) or do you just use the G for flicking between 1 at a time? I think I read recently that you have to use the software to do that feature (no on-board feature to control it), but maybe it was an old post? As I don't want to be integrating a computer in my setup it's quite vital all the major controlability is on-board, though I don't mind plugging in a computer once every so often to change some settings.
I suppose 1 arp is manageable - I can use LFO cutoffs and pitch changes time sync'd to get a few other arp esque sequences out of 1 note press.
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby middle c » 19:08, 25 October 2016

I do not split the keyboard and just use one channel for each synth, I do this in "studio mode", sometimes I layer the synths by turning on keyboard switch for whatever channel I want to layer, but mostly use individually. This should work in "live mode" as it has room for external use and live mode has the keyboard zones.You should be able to do this without a computer and use system exclusive to save the setup. Do you use a mixer? What are you using for an interface?
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby Myrk- » 11:37, 27 October 2016

Hey middlec, I use a Roland MX-1 mixer with all my devices plugged in, great device. The FA-06 can also split keybed etc, which is fine, but the issue is that you can't assign octave shifts to certain channels that will also effect external control, so you're left with sounds trapped in C9 or C0 at the top/bottom of the range of keys (there's a menu on FA06 where you can do it, but as mentioned its only for internal sounds... wtf right?!)

Would it be possible for you to check if the G does this (legend if so!)? The FA-06 looked like it could do it from the manual, and there was no mention that the capability didn't work for external midi instruments - I found out from support after asking them why the function didn't work, so I made a very expensive mistake (the G is even more pricey so I'd like to make sure it can do what I'd call a basic feature for a midi controller)!
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby Myrk- » 05:44, 29 October 2016

Ah I found the answer... it can't. Apparently no Roland workstations can pitch shift external midi instruments! Woah... thats a massive functionality gap. The only Roland keyboards which support external midi control (properly) are RD-800, RD-300NX, Jupiter-50, and Jupiter-80... though non of those have a decent sequencer. Arg... Motif might be the way.
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby Leh173 » 23:44, 30 October 2016

Yes, it's a silly oversight, but it can be programmed in using the Fantom G Editor, just not on the machine itself.
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Re: Thinking of getting a G... some technical questions

Postby Mystic38 » 12:41, 4 November 2016

No, it can't directly...(octave shift)

But that does not mean it cannot be done..
A. Program an rps Phrase to send the data to the synth and put it onto a pad, or
B. Put it into the sequencer at the beginning of the song

It's a trivial negative vs what it can do for external instruments imo, and much more usable than a motif for this purpose.. Personally I think the fantom g excels as a master controller, ...it's the pads.

Myrk- wrote:Ah I found the answer... it can't. Apparently no Roland workstations can pitch shift external midi instruments! Woah... thats a massive functionality gap. The only Roland keyboards which support external midi control (properly) are RD-800, RD-300NX, Jupiter-50, and Jupiter-80... though non of those have a decent sequencer. Arg... Motif might be the way.
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