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Roland XP-80 MIDI gone haywire...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by NOVAMATIC, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. NOVAMATIC

    NOVAMATIC Guest

    G'day.

    I recently found a guy selling a used XP-80. He had been using it in a church group and did not use the MIDI functions for anything except a tone generator.

    I had been using my Roland E200 without a hitch a few months ago, but don't have it with me anymore.

    I plugged in to my Tascam US-122 interface and tried controlling the XP-80 from three different DAWs on my laptop, but whenever I try to play back something I record, a bunch of random low notes and feedbackish sounds would come out. When I looked in the key editor, I could see that random low notes were playing really fast, even when I stopped the playback. It only stops when I exit the DAW.

    As this is an older keyboard, I'm thinking there may be an electrical problem, but I'm curious if anyone knows of some setting that may also be causing this weird interference. Or perhaps the problem lies in my interface or the laptop itself?

    However, to try to work around this problem, I bought some floppy disks to try to just use the Roland sequencer and control Cubase or Cakewalk from there, but to no avail, as the drive won't read the disks. I know they are the correct format, so this is one strike against the Roland.

    Can anyone suggest something? The tone of the patches mixed with the weighted keys make this the perfect machine for what I want to do. Well, at least the perfect machine for my price range right now. But I do have the option of trading it in for a Korg Triton, which I bet would have a lot less problems in this department.
     
  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Through my own use of Roland gear I have noticed that MIDI messages are not always recognized.

    My case is this, I have a old Ensoniq EPS and a newer Roland XV-3080 and I have had problems with the Roland XV recognizing MIDI from the Ensoniq EPS. I cannot remember if it was a problem with program change or note data but it was very frustrating.

    If you have another midi synthesizer or module, try plugging it into the Roland XP-80 directly without a computer or interface and use the XP as a controller and see if it works properly. It could be that Roland has implemented the older MIDI 2.0 standard like they did on the XV series, not that I know a whole lot about that but it could be an issue to look at.

    My suspicion is that it Roland's newer MIDI implementation may not communicate its MIDI messages properly to older devices, such as the case with my 1987 EPS.
     
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Not really enough good useful info, but I'll try.

    First of all, experiment, and lessen the possibilities of errors.

    Does the XP play sounds directly from the keyboard to its audio outs? If so, good. The sound works. If not, you may try initializing the XP, and/or making sure "Local On" is set in the XP's settings.

    Are you using MIDI cables, or does that have the "Computer" interface, like my XP30? Which are you using? The "Computer" interface allows bidirectional communication, which could create MIDI feedback. To simplify, use MIDI ports, instead, for now.

    If you have MIDI cables, and you are trying to get the XP to play back from the computer, plug only MIDI OUT from Tascam to MIDI IN of XP. (This will eliminate any MIDI feedback possibilities).

    Using the DAW you are most comfortable dealing with MIDI with, make sure it sees the Tascam. Make sure a track of MIDI information is set to MIDI Channel 1 to play back. (Apparently, you have some MIDI compositions, right?) Make sure that track isn't a drum track. Any other instrument is fine. You may even want to just copy one fairly busy track to a new composition, all by itself, and set it up as before. In this way, when you choose one XP instrument to test, it won't inadvertantly trigger more data from other tracks that may be set to the same MIDI channel.

    Now, choose an instrument on the XP that may correspond with the MIDI track in the composition. (MIDI bass track? Choose an XP bass. Piano, choose a piano. Just to keep it somewhat close to what you expect. It may confuse you to have a piano track playing back slow-attack string sounds).

    Open up your XP manual, and make sure the instrument that is chosen is set to receive MIDI, (Rx) on Channel 1.

    If you still hear nothing, the XP may conatin a GM Sound Module Set that you might want to set it to. Make sure a chosen instrument is set to receive on channel 1.

    If it STILL doesn't sound, you may have to do some tweaks in MIDI settings of your DAW. Those should be in the manual.

    If you finally get that working, and want the keyboard to play INTO the computer...swap the MIDI cable from Tascam out/XP in to XP out/Tascam in, and follow much the same procedures, except you'll be working with transmit (Tx) messages and settings from the XP, and receive (Rx) messages in the DAW.

    If you finally get BOTH working, you can now connect both MIDI cables from the I/O of both the XP and Tascam. Be aware that when you do that, it's possible that things will go haywire again. If so, you'll need to consult the manuals to control things like "MIDI Echo", or similar, because it may be putting itself in a loop, and locking things up.

    Try this stuff, and let us know. If you get so far, and still are stuck, tell us what you've done, and what's happening.

    Good luck,

    Kapt.Krunch
     
  4. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    Just another suggestion for diagnosing MIDI problems like this. Do a search for "MIDI-OX" by Jamie O'Connell on the net. If you install this you will be able to see all the RAW MIDI data to see what problems you might be getting. You can set it up so that you can see both received and sent data if I remember correctly (although you might also need MIDI Yoke to do this - available on the same site). It's a while since I've used it in anger but I have been able to resolve problems in the past with this.
     

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