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The MIDI Forum

  Tuesday, 21 June 2022
  6 Replies
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Hello everybody.
I am new here, but I'll try my best to explain it as clear as I can.

I have a keyboard - Casio LK300-TV. A simple one, capable of lessons for piano, karaoke, and many other features. But what I am mostly interested in - the sound bank. It could be called also the Soundblaster for a pretty clear reason too. On the keyboard itself it is entitled as "tones". It has 513 of em, 13 of them which are drum sets, and all other - midi instruments of course, pianos, percussions, organs, synths etc. It works really well when you playing songs all by yourself. By the way, there is one instrument you're not capable playing by yourself - timpani but you can hear it the other way.

What I really was exited about - it can play midis from a SD card. How did it work? It worked well and I liked it first times through. Before doing so you have to convert the midis through special soft, not really a problem. But with changing midis I have spotted the problem with the midi playback. Instruments reacted very differently than they supposed to be in terms of how loud they were. No matter - just opened the editor, pulled a few volume states up and down and it became way more balanced.

Then I realized that the midis themselves sound a bit off. Very flat. In original case there are around 200 presets to choose and they have perfect combination between each other whatever it is supposed to be played on but not here. Here we have 500 of them. Some categories like pianos has as double variations while the original has less. Before playing it picks the patch that the more close to the one picked in the midi itself. My theory that among those 500 patched there are secondary numbers that attached to the patches that match the 200 instruments from the vanilla midi one. I think that is the reason why that soft is need to be used making the midis compatible to play. But in this case it does not sound as impressive as it could be. But those other patches has so much depth, they could be used to remaster music from old games - it is still in demand and will be in a next decade.

So, I actually thought of two possibilities to solve the problem. The first one, to translate the chip into the sound bank to be compatible, for example, with Fruity LSD so I will not need to use the keyboard itself. Reading the internet, specifications, technical info I have come to logical conclusion that it is not possible. And the second, to find a way to configure an existing midi yourself, so you can attach the exact instrument from the 500 patches of the keyboard so the music from the midi will have more depth and will not be as flat anymore.

If you want to look on a keyboard itself I will attach a link containing the official page of it.
1 week ago
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#14893
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I've had a look at the basic spec, and this says that this keyboard is GM (General Midi). This uses a standard set of 128 tounds/tones, and allows compatibility with GM midi files.

However, as you say, the keyboard actually supports 512 tones, so there's nearly another 400 available.

May be set up more like GS - in this, many of the 128 GM sounds have 'alternates', selected using a Bank Select as well as the usual Program Change midi command. You may be hearing some of these alternate sounds - they would usually be better sounds, they might have a better sample, they might have more effects used (reverb, chorus, etc).

It would be possible to change a midi file to select alternates, but there would be quite a lot of editing to the midi file, incl adding Bank Selects into the file, which would involve some special processes.

I'll look into the sounds of this keyboard some more.

Geoff
1 week ago
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#14895
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So, I've downloaded the manual, and looked at the full tones listing, and yes, although it's stated as being GM, it's very close to GS, in that each (most ?) of the standard GM sounds have alternatives which are selected via the same PC number (Program Change) but with a Bank Select number as well (which is not required for the basic sound, as the data is in fact 0 (zero) which is the default anyway). For example, the Harp sound is selected as PC 46 (decimal), but the extra sounds Harp 2 needs a BS of 1 as well as the PC, and the sound Chorus Harp needs a BS of 9. The lists are just not arranged to make that clear.

The BIG problem though is just what the SMF Converter software does? Seems you need to 'convert' any SMF using this software before you can play it. How will this process react if a file has been modified already - i.e. to add bank select commands in.

BUT, should not cause any problem to experiment and see what happens.

Note that some of the extra (banked) sounds may use more of your keyboard's polyphony than the basic GM sound, just have to see how that goes if you try to play a more complex file?

Geoff
1 week ago
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#14896
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Can you provide an original midi file plus the version saved after running it through the converter? If it is just adding bank selects, my instrument changer may be of assistance. But I'd like to see what's happening first.
1 week ago
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#14897
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Jason,

If you follow the link in the first message, but go to Downloads rather than Manuals, the SMF Converter system is there to download. Says it applies to a number of different keyboards, incl the LK300. Then you could check it to your heart's content! I might do that myself yet, just out of interest???

Geoff
1 week ago
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#14898
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Gabriel, it sounds like you want to create MIDI files that can use any of the 514 tones of your Casio LK-300TV keyboard. After reading the manual, I think you can create a Format 0 MIDI file with appropriate Bank MSB and Program Change messages to select the tones you want.

Casio LK-300TV manual
SMF Converter

The Tone List in the manual, PDF pages 63 to 66 (printed pages A-1 to A-4), lists the Program Change and Bank MSB values used to select any of the keyboard's 514 tones.

If you want to play a MIDI file from an SD card the MIDI file has to be in Format 0 and you have to put it in the MUSICDAT folder on the SD card. Alternatively, you can use the SMF Converter to convert a MIDI file into a CM2 file, then put that on the SD card. In the manual, see PDF pages 54 to 58 (printed pages E-52 to E-56).

If you want to transfer a song to the keyboard's internal Song Bank, then you have to use the SMF Converter to convert a MIDI file and transfer it into the keyboard. For the transfer process, the SMF Converter connects to the keyboard over its USB MIDI port. You connect a USB cable between the keyboard and your computer, then select the appropriate MIDI IN and MIDI OUT ports in the SMF Converter program. In the manual, see PDF page 51 (printed page E-49).
1 week ago
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#14919
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...it's stated as being GM, it's very close to GS, in that each (most ?) of the standard GM sounds have alternatives which are selected via the same PC number (Program Change) but with a Bank Select number as well (which is not required for the basic sound, as the data is in fact 0 (zero) which is the default anyway). For example, the Harp sound is selected as PC 46 (decimal), but the extra sounds Harp 2 needs a BS of 1 as well as the PC, and the sound Chorus Harp needs a BS of 9. The lists are just not arranged to make that clear.


I do think that will help me a lot. Thanks, Geoff.


Can you provide an original midi file plus the version saved after running it through the converter? If it is just adding bank selects, my instrument changer may be of assistance. But I'd like to see what's happening first.


Not yet, but I look towards that as a good idea.

I think you can create a Format 0 MIDI file with appropriate Bank MSB and Program Change messages to select the tones you want.

The Tone List in the manual, PDF pages 63 to 66 (printed pages A-1 to A-4), lists the Program Change and Bank MSB values used to select any of the keyboard's 514 tones.

If you want to play a MIDI file from an SD card the MIDI file has to be in Format 0 and you have to put it in the MUSICDAT folder on the SD card. Alternatively, you can use the SMF Converter to convert a MIDI file into a CM2 file, then put that on the SD card. In the manual, see PDF pages 54 to 58 (printed pages E-52 to E-56).

If you want to transfer a song to the keyboard's internal Song Bank, then you have to use the SMF Converter to convert a MIDI file and transfer it into the keyboard. For the transfer process, the SMF Converter connects to the keyboard over its USB MIDI port. You connect a USB cable between the keyboard and your computer, then select the appropriate MIDI IN and MIDI OUT ports in the SMF Converter program. In the manual, see PDF page 51 (printed page E-49).


Thanks, Bavi. That is really comprehensive information out there, I will look what I can do with that. If worked or not - I will be in touch here.
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