Recommended DAW/Midi editor

Forum for Roland FA-06/08

Recommended DAW/Midi editor

Postby diego » 17:13, 30 August 2017

I am trying to play music trough the built in sequencer (and while live gigging I would disable some channels and play them). I am currently using StudioOne which is quite good. I mapped the input and output of the FA06 to StudioOne and when I sequence midi from the DAW I can hear it being played by the FA06.

However - When I export the MIDI from StudioOne - all the notes are on channel 1... which breaks up the song pretty bad.

What software are you using for helping sequencing songs? Free software is better, but gratis is also my aim. If it runs under linux as well - even better.
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Re: Recommended DAW/Midi editor

Postby bennyseven » 20:00, 8 September 2017

Diego, did you try to save the midi file as file format 1? If all tracks are in a single track. See midi file format specification below.

Code: Select all
0-the file contains a single multi-channel track
1-the file contains one or more simultaneous tracks (or MIDI outputs) of a sequence
2-the file contains one or more sequentially independent single-track patterns

Export all tracks in format 1 will enable the FA to import in separate tracks and channels.
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Location: Germany

Re: Recommended DAW/Midi editor

Postby stevel » 21:00, 8 September 2017

Diego, I ran into this problem when I used MIDI files I downloaded from the internet.

Here's what happens:

Usually, when you create a MIDI Sequence yourself in a DAW, each Track is assigned to its own channel.

Track 1 = MIDI Channel 1
Track 2 = MIDI Channel 2
and so on.

When you record a clip it usually also keeps track of which MIDI Channel it was originally created on.

But, for example, if you move a clip from say, Track 1 to Track 2, the clips on Track 2 will still be assigned to MIDI Channel ONE!

They'll play back from the DAW correctly (because it seems to ignore what channel the clip was recorded on and only uses what Channel it's currently on for playback).

I've found files online and needed to delete those parts I was going to play live, so usually I would get rid of what I didn't want and just move the other stuff around so they were on consecutive tracks, just to make it more organized on screen.

But when I exported them, and imported them into the Roland, they'd all be on Channel 1!!!!

Now, this didn't happen when I imported them into a different DAW - they still came out like they should.

So Benny is right - there are different formats you can export in - Type 0 sums all the tracks/channels to ONE channel while Type 1 exports each Channel to the same Channel.

However, it appears some devices must make a distinction between TRACK and CHANNEL - so a DAW will import a file that has all its clips on Channel 1, but on separate TRACKS as a multi-track format.

But the Roland will NOT import them this way.

So essentially, even if you do export as Type 1 as you should, it still sums them together on import into the Roland (but not other DAWs).

What you have to do is go in manually in your DAW and change the MIDI Channel for every clip - you need to go through and make sure everything on Track 2 is actually on MIDI Channel 2 and so on.

So export as Type 1, but if it's still summing channels together when you import it to your FA, it means more than one track (to all of them!) are on the same MIDI Channel, which you need to fix in the DAW before you export.

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Re: Recommended DAW/Midi editor

Postby stevel » 21:15, 8 September 2017

FWIW, regarding the DAW itself:

I used Cubase LE which was the free version that came with devices you'd buy in the old days. You might still be able to download versions of it from various sites. They gave it away in the hopes you'd like it and upgrade to the full version!

But it's pretty full-featured on its own.

The primary reason I use it (besides the fact it was free) is that it uses "patch scripts" to select sounds on your external devices - so I've got a list of all the tones in the FA and I can just pick from that list - selecting the sound for each track. You can also "filter" the list so if I type "gtr" only the patches with "gtr" in the name will show.

I'm not aware of a lot of other DAWs that have this capability. I believe Digital Performer does, and Logic Pro X has it (though LPX is a nightmare to use compared to the simple elegance of many other software I've used). But both of those are rather costly and LPX is Mac only. There is a full version of Cubase as well and it's less expensive than LPX (and better IMHO) but it's definitely not free!

I had a student who had Studio One and he really like it. But I know it doesn't have patch script capability (this is something most DAWs are doing away with becuase they assume people are no longer using external synths...)

If you want to try something else, you can try Reaper.

It's free to try for 60 days and after that you can either "cheat" and keep using it, just closing the "buy me" box, or you can go ahead and buy it - it's only $60.00.

I'm going to bet - because it's more of a "programmer based" kind of software, that it runs on Linux.

So for 60 bucks that might be the cheapest, full-featured thing you can find.

It's actually pretty powerful but I have to say it's very much non-standard compared to other DAWs. It's highly customizable and the first thing everyone seems to do is to try to make it work like it "should", which is make it look and act like Pro Tools or Logic or Cubase, etc.

It does support Patch Scripts, but it does it in a 2nd window so there's an extra step to get to it, which is really annoying. That alone has kept me from using it.

The "non-standard" stuff you can learn - especially if you're too familiar with other DAWs - it won't bother you as much.

But for me, I'm used to DAWs working like they always have and re-inventing the wheel was not something I wanted to spend a lot of time on. Coupled with the fact that there's no "inspector" to select your patches from, I can't use it.

However, it's extremely powerful and flexible and customizable, and for 60 bucks, that's the trade off.

Since it's free to try, it can't hurt. And if the 60 bucks doesn't break the bank, it wouldn't even hurt to buy it just for some of the audio features - many people are mastering with it.
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Re: Recommended DAW/Midi editor

Postby diego » 08:52, 10 September 2017

More info:

I opened the MIDI generated from StudioOne3 with another MIDI editor, and I did see that it exports the MIDI and each track is assigned to channel 0. Which explains why the MIDI is borked.

I did found a way to move the MIDI from StudioOne3 to the FA06:

1- Open the correct studio set
2- Open the sequencer, and clear all data
3- Press start recording
3.a - Disable click
3.b - Count in = "WAIT NOTE"
3.c - Loop off
3.d - "Start"

at this point, the FA06 is waiting for MIDI input, which can be triggered from the keybed or from external MIDI.

4 - From StudioOne3 "Play".

When the song finishes - FA06 has the exact MIDI. As a bonus - this is done digitally without removing physical cables or SDCards.

Problem: To generate an mp3 is a pain... which means another real time play of the song, and then take the SDCard and insert into my PC.

Roland - you have a USB socket - please enable it for export/import as well. Thank you. That is my V2.02 request.
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