The MIDI Forum

  1. Graham
  2. Getting Started with MIDI
  3. Thursday, 19 May 2016
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I'm a gigging keyboardist and have been playing VSTs at live gigs for a number of years, even though my knowledge of MIDI is fairly basic. I've recently acquired a new GSi Gemini sound module that is controlled by MIDI, either via a wi-fi editor running on a web browser of a tablet or phone etc (very 21st century), or by assigning control changes to a hard midi controller. I'm using one M-Audio midi keyboard controller (which controls the Gemini just fine) and one keyboard, a Roland VR-09 (which does not). The VR-09 has a separate 21 page 'MIDI Implementation' manual that can be downloaded, but I have to say it doesn't mean that much to me because i don't really understand MIDI that well (although I want to understand it better). In particular, the VR-09 has a nice set of 9 drawbars which are currently sitting there doing nothing, when I want to use them to to control an organ synth on the Gemini. Looking at section 4 of the VR-09 MIDI Implementation manual (Transmit Data) I get the impression that very little CC information can be transmitted by the Roland VR-09, so maybe I'm expecting too much, but I could be wrong. Can anybody advise me where and how I can educate myself to understand this better?
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unfortunately, the Roland VR-09 is a very bad master keyboard: the 9 sliders do not transmit CC, only SysEx data using a proprietary format which is difficult to parse from other midi instruments. the VR-09 is a fine instrument, organ sounds are perfect and the synth section hides quite a lot of power, but roland made it a pain to work with: ugly display, parameters hidden unless you use the ipad application, difficult to control from external gear and very complex midi implementation.

anyway, the midi implementation chart at the end of the user's manual is quite accurate, and once you get the way it works (parameters are located at specific memory addresses that you can read or write using a sysex message) you can greatly enhance the "usability" of this keyboard as part of a bigger midi setup. unfortunately, this midi implementation requires quite a bit of computing.
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