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Which Software to Send MIDI Messages from Laptop?

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  • Which Software to Send MIDI Messages from Laptop?

    Greetings, denizens. It seems that I have obtained a nice used Roland FA-06 "workstation." While this will keep me busy for quite a while, Roland has a help topic that details what MIDI messages can be sent to control the three or four "pure" tonewheel organ tones (which were previously called "patches" and are annoyingly also called "programs") on the FA. These are in the form paraphrased to "set drawbar x to y" and assumes there are nine drawbars. So I'm wondering what program could I use to send one arbitrary MIDI command set each time I want to set or change a drawbar. Sort of like what MIDI-OX does except in reverse. I used to diddle around in C and Smalltalk and think I could pick up Java or even BASIC to automate this.

    Thanks.
    -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
    -- M-37C, 44HPV2 melodicas, Rodgers W5000, RD300NX, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  • #2
    PC or Mac? You're looking for is a patch editor for your FA-06. Cursory search show that these are available for Mac and IOS.

    MIDI-OX can send SysEx messages, so that might be all you need. It's also likely DAW software might enable you to send these messages out.

    If you want to roll your own, get an Arduino, Teensy, or other controller, along with a compatible MIDI library, and off you go.

    -Admin

    Allen 965
    Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
    Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
    Hauptwerk 4.2

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you, Admin. I'll have to look at MIDI-OX's switches, since I already have it. I've been looking at

      Bandhelper
      http://www.bandhelper.com/tutorials/sending_MIDI.html
      - not very likely since it is a subscription basis

      and

      Sendmidi
      https://github.com/gbevin/SendMIDI
      - which may be just what I'm looking for

      Oh, and I have an i7 ThinkPad 32 GIG RAM Windows 10 64-bit. I'll start MIDI-OX from the command line with /? and see if it exposes a command line interface.

      There are a couple of patch editors, but, alas, there's no librarian software that I can find - factory or otherwise, except on that is online and I'm a little suspicious of. So it's odd to have a patch editor and no great way to drag patches on/off the FA-06, at least as far as I can tell.

      Thanks again!
      -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
      -- M-37C, 44HPV2 melodicas, Rodgers W5000, RD300NX, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3
      -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

      Comment


      • #4
        And it gets better.... Admin, I was reading back pages on RolandClan and looking at all the abandoned products. It's embarrassing, but a search for "patch editor for FA-06" led to this page:

        https://mididesigner.com/qa/3093/rol...l-synth-editor

        Which, um, has a drawbar add-in "for the FA's organ by Candy." HE is a denizen over at RC, too, and I never connected him with MIDIDesigner. Mucho reading and learning ahead of me...
        -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
        -- M-37C, 44HPV2 melodicas, Rodgers W5000, RD300NX, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3
        -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, that was not getting better. It's an iOS app.
          -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
          -- M-37C, 44HPV2 melodicas, Rodgers W5000, RD300NX, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3
          -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

          Comment


          • Admin
            Admin commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, that was one the IOS apps I found in my search.

        • #6
          Sound Quest has a variety of software programs that might meet your needs: https://squest.com/index.html

          Comment


          • Silken Path
            Silken Path commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you. I'll certainly investigate.

            Some other stuff I've discovered - Java has a MIDI class and can send three or four different type statements to a port.

            I have never done anything with Java, but used to have a website I automate with Perl scripts. I also could learn Python.

            There's not as much excitement about Smalltalk these days, it seems. The version ported to OS/2 was pure-dee LOVELY.

            Midi-Ox can send statements to a port, including "UM ONE," which I'm using.

            SendMIDI looks good.

            https://github.com/gbevin/SendMIDI/releases

            Looks like it's not aimed at Windows, but it is available for the platform.

            My mom has totally adopted my 2109 iPad, and I keep spending my other money on Rolands. Off topic, but I am still amazed at how close organs assembled from waveforms come to real organs in Hauptwerk. Hmm. The "trick" seems to be adding in small amounts of vaguely related synth tones. My Juno 61 has a better selection of organ sounds, but the FA-06 has a very "pure" Hammond sound that is very *clean.* I tried putting it through my Ventilator II last night, and I was rather pleased and ended up putting the half-moon switch for the Vent on the FA. I use industrial Velcro so I can move it from organ to organ.

            This topic is actually about that particular tonewheel.

        • #7
          JJ, I entered my request for FA-06/07/08 support in Sound Quest. Thanks again - that's a very cool suite of programs. I also saw one person on their forum asking for Juno DS-61/70/88 support - wonder what's wrong with the Tone Manager *and* Librarian that Roland has for that model. (Maybe that it's a Windows program.)
          -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
          -- M-37C, 44HPV2 melodicas, Rodgers W5000, RD300NX, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3
          -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

          Comment


          • #8
            I use Logic Pro X for all my MIDI out stuff. And MIDI in, and mixing etc.

            Comment


            • Silken Path
              Silken Path commented
              Editing a comment
              Looks like it's another Mac program. Not useful for me. I'm going to check out Ableton, but in the time being I can do some of that type of work on the FA.
              Last edited by Silken Path; 10-03-2020, 07:01 PM.

            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Some use FL Express (Fruity Loops Express or FL Studio) for PC, and Cakewalk and/or Sonar have been used for a few decades, but I wonder if they've stopped keeping up to the standard they've set.

              Of course, they're all sequencers (of sorts), and not necessarily production programs.

              Michael

            • Silken Path
              Silken Path commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks, Michael,

              Well, this is more a learning experience than anything else, but Steinburg "Elements" is attractively priced and has a path upwards. Cakewalk Sonar went through a few hands, including Roland, and is now an Asian-owned freeware in-app purchasing sort of eBay for add-ins. Sort of like gig work for vendors, if I understand correctly. Boy, I don't really need to get involved with this, but the FA is out-of-box set up for Cubase, Sonar, and Logic Pro. Here I've heard about Reaper, which sounds grim to me. I would like to be conversant with the language, however, which is also spoken over at RolandClan forums.

              Hehe - this is still about the custom messages the FA will accept for the drawbars of at least four of the tonewheels. It's nine drawbars with eight choices (or nine if you count zero). Crumar actually makes a compact drawbar appliance that can sit atop a keyboard...

              Meanwhile, I'm still scaring the cat with the melodica.
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