The MIDI Forum

  1. David Wilson
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. Friday, 22 July 2016
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Okay, so I'm only a veteran of MIDI as far as setting up 90's computer games and tinkering with the occasional sf2 file in VirtualMIDI on my Win10 machine, and I recently reacquired my Casio CTK-631 keyboard from childhood, ca. 1999, so I think it's only GM1. I got it back from my mother simply to use the keyboard as an input device, and I have a friend who has expressed interest in MIDI. Anyway, I discovered I can save "SysEx Bulk Data" on my PC. Neat. What does this do for me?

What little I can find online says something about using it to transfer sound data between MIDI devices, so naturally I'm thinking, Better sounds? Obviously, there would be some sampling limitations or something, but I think I'm getting ahead of myself. Now that I have an idea of what bulk data is, my main question is, quite simply, what can I do with Bulk Data?
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Bulk data is just a large amount of data. This could be sample data for new sounds, but also just a list of all settings.

What exactly is supported depends on the specific device. (Your keyboard is unlikely to support changing sound samples.)
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
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Okay. My manual says the following regarding bulk data:
"This keyboard stores a variety of internal data, including data recorded to memory and synthesizer data. This data can be sent and received in bulk as MIDI exclusive data through the MIDI terminals. This capability makes it possible for you to use a computer or other MIDI machine as an external storage device for your data."

Am I correct to assume that this only supports backing up any "custom sounds" (really just fusing pre-existing sounds, tweaking amp and pitch envelopes, etc)? From what I've heard, Casio was notorious for not being clear and concise with their manuals and covering everything their keyboards supported. All I know is I have a ~56KB SysEx dump, with about 45KB blank data, and I've never made any custom sounds or anything, it's all kosher.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
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"Data recorded to memory" probably is a list of MIDI events, i.e., the equivalent of a .mid file.

"Synthesizer data" probably is a list of all configuration settings.

If you don't know what's in there, make some changes, make a bulk dump, reset the keyboard, load the bulk dump, and check it the settings are restored.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
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Interesting discussion. I'm curious to know if a bulk dump will also include the sequencer data, if a song is in the sequencer at the time of the dump.

That would be a great alternative to saving song files, as the floppy drive in my Roland Fantom is not working like it used to.

Thanks.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
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As a follow up to this, I'm trying to figure out how to set up my Roland to receive data from my computer. I can send files from the keyboard to the computer, but I am having difficulty moving them back to the keyboard.

I have a Roland FA 76, and I use a Mio iConnectivity 1 to 1 interface with my Mac, which is running Sysex Librarian.

I would certainly welcome any tips.

Thanks.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Specifications
  3. # 5
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