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RD-2000 w/secondary controller (MIDI IN) & Zones

PostPosted: 03:14, 3 May 2017
by HSFlik
I just got my RD-2000 today, and I've been toying with various ways to use a secondary controller simultaneously, for a dual keyboard setup, but using only the RD-2000's sound engine.

My ideal setup would be to set some zones (say 1-4) to be controlled by the RD-2000, while other zones (5-8) would be controlled by the Roland A-49 MIDI controller that I've connected. I've KIND OF pulled this off.

In toying with this, I've discovered so far that:
- Zones 1-8 correspond to MIDI channels 1-8. That is, if you have a controller hooked up via MIDI IN, if the controller transmitting on channel 1, zone 1 plays back. Transmitting on channel 2, zone 2 plays back. etc.
- The INT/EXT buttons that correspond to the zones only affect MIDI input from the RD-2000. That is, if you have a connected MIDI controller transmitting on channel 2, but Zone 2 is disabled, the sound will still be triggered.
- I have not tested exhaustively yet, but it appears that MIDI channels 9-16 are present and can be set independently. Channel 10 is of course, percussion. It does not seem possible to be able to save the tones assigned to MIDI channels 9-16, at least not yet. They might be some generic GM bank and not SuperNATURAL sounds, however. When inputting program numbers, the values seemed to correspond with a 0-based GM map.

If there is a way to actually save / write settings for channels/zones 9-16, that would be fantastic.

Re: RD-2000 w/secondary controller (MIDI IN) & Zones

PostPosted: 19:10, 11 September 2017
by Ian90XS
Hi. I have not even bought my RD2000 yet (very very soon) - but your question is exactly the FIRST that came to me as well. Did you get any further than your first (possibly good enough) solution? What you want to do is totally understandable and in this day and age one might expect it would be pretty standard stuff. It all depends on your expectations though. IS any given keyboard a "good" midi controller as well as whatever its supposed to be mainly for? These are stage pianos primarily.... I have recently looked at Kawai MP11 and Yamaha models of course as possible purchases. But they offer even less in this respect for sure...

I presently have old old gear - I am old myself now! Back in the day gigging I used Cheetah 88 note midi controller circa 1989 with KorgM1R and added Korg01R and used an old Yamaha PF50 as an expansion keyboard exactly as you wish to use the RD. Yes TWO 88 note boards - various sounds from the two rack synths set over various ranges of notes on either or both of them. Load one performance number on the controller and the whole setup has all the sounds you want all ready to play for each song.... great...

After retiring the Cheetah I added a GEM Equinox88 pro and a Yamaha PF80. I still have all these units... Just. The Equinox sounds are rather jaded and the sequencer is - well lets just say the last firmware update was year 2000! Enough said. But do you know what? As a Midi master controller even today this machine has great power in this regard. The performance patch (combination (Korg speak) or Program(Roland speak)) allows SIXTEEN zones... Each of those has its own configurable midi in channel and midi in port (of 2) - AND each can output on any channel 1-16 or play an internal sound or BOTH) and be sent to either midi out port.... There are also extensive midi controller filters as well.... Now remember this was supposed to be a workstation not a controller - so at 17 years ago this was pretty cool I reckon.

So how come I see moans about how the Montage has shortcomings in these areas - or for that matter the RD2000? What's the Kronos like here? Surely full midi controller functions as per these old boards of mine should be pretty much standard fare these days - even if we only have say eight zones worth instead of 16? But not it would seem. Not all is progress then....

For my limited needs I expect that using the RD2000 as the primary keyboard with a secondary one plugged into midi in will be enough to put some workaround (like yours) together to do what I want - but for me the full featuring of the midi side is the right toolbox for these things and clearly there are loads of things just plain missing. Another is midi clock in I gather....

I am going to get rid of the Equinox (I think) and keep the PF80 as the secondary midi board. Play the RD2000 most of the time with a few extras allocated to the PF80 keys - as like as not in the way you describe - unless of course you have found any better ideas since your post. If not maybe Roland will improve some of these things with firmware updates as time goes on.

To go back to the start - I repeat that your question is/was essentially my first and I am surprised that full in/out midi powers are not granted as a matter of course to any keyboard these days that costs more than a grand. Don't reinvent these wheels - just use the same ones!