Posts Tagged ‘SC-88Pro’
Here’s the Roland SC-88Pro synth being pushed quite hard by the power of moe (ending theme of the anime Moetan, “Skip!”, originally sung by Nomico, to my surprise). MIDITrail’s fancy 3D view is good for notes, but doesn’t show any control changes, so I included a scrolling view of those, too, next to the synth’s display. And hey, why not 60FPS for those who can view that? =)
This MIDI took me about 5 days to make, plus a few hours of tweaking at the end. It sounded like it was nearly finished after 2 days, but the hardest stuff was still left to do at that point (I do hate struggling to transcribe barely-audible parts, but they really fill in the gaps and make it sound complete).
Firsts for me include the fast arpeggio effect (surprisingly, the 88P never complained about this), wah effect on the quiet guitar (on the right), and gratuitous use of “All Sound Off” whenever possible, to try to keep things running quickly enough. Also, 4 sound effects I’ve never used before!
3 channels get re-used for different instruments (16 channels has never been so insufficient), but more annoyingly, the synth’s update speed drops really low during the chorus because of all the playing voices, making pitch-bends sound jumpy, and it took a lot of tweaking and quite some luck to get a clean recording. I kind of wonder if it’s just my 88P which slows down so much when many notes are playing (even if there are not many MIDI messsages), or if it’s simply a limitation of its CPU speed. It might just be a coincidence, but it seemed to handle it better immediately after power-up, so perhaps it becomes worse as it gets hotter. In that case, maybe I could attach a heat sink to the CPU, or just put a fan in there (I don’t really want to drill holes, though). The case doesn’t really get very hot, though. I kind of wish I could limit it to playing only 32 voices at once, instead of letting it struggle with 64. Lowering release times only gets you so far.
Somehow, the fact that an anime of Moetan had been made eluded me for 8 years and I only recently discovered it. “YOU MAGGOTS ARE HUFFING AND PUFFING–” oh wait, wrong English-teaching mahou shoujo.
Something a little different this time. I had a burst of nostalgia and got this theme stuck in my head, so I decided to try to remake it for the SC-88Pro synth. It’s the first MIDI I’ve made in less than 18 hours (including sleep)! It’s also the first I’ve made for the 88P which doesn’t use all the sound channels (4 are untouched), despite using 3 just for trying to emulate the FM snare. And the first that messes around with time signatures to keep in-sync with the original while still having the notes align sensibly in my MIDI editor…
This is a remake of the music from the DOS version of the game “Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk”. It was released on many different platforms, and I’m sure the instruments vary a lot on the different versions, but I’ve only ever played the DOS version. It used AdLib music (technically, the Yamaha OPL2 FM synth).
I’ve seen some remixes of this, but I tried to stay faithful to the original (including overlapping notes, monophonic channels and notes that get cut because of the limitations of the AdLib hardware). Originally, I was going to use a synth trumpet sound to really match the original, but I couldn’t find a suitable FM-style harpsichord to go along with it, and synth trumpets sounded stupidly out-of-place when paired with the realistic harpsichord, so I had to go for modern-sounding brass instruments.
Yamaha music on a Roland synth… heresy!
I tried to remake my favourite liquid dubstep song for the ever-aging Roland SC-88Pro synth (18 this year!), complete with fancy percussion and a reversed piano effect, because I wanted a challenge. I actually started this in August 2014, got it about 40% done and then lost motivation, and finished it off in the last week. If you like it, please check their other stuff.
The top-left is the 88P’s display, the text below it is every MIDI message (displayed by Bawami, my own MIDI soft-synth), and the background is a view of most of the notes (top part – unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the view of all 128 MIDI notes) and all control changes (bottom part). I’m trying something a little different this time – a smoothly-scrolling piano roll made possible by Sekaiju (the MIDI editor program)’s ability to print the pianoroll view. I used a virtual printer driver (PDFCreator) to print the pianoroll to a series of images, batch-crop (FSViewer) and stitch them together (IrfanView), and then simply pan it at the right speed on the video editor.
This is my new biggest MIDI yet, both in duration and file size (138 KB) thanks to those thousands of expression changes to get the reversed piano effect (simply changing the piano’s attack time did not sound good).
I am working on a dedicated page on my web site for hosting all MIDIs I’ve made for the SC-88 Pro synth and any modified, “general-purpose” versions which I made to make it sound at least acceptable on other synths. Please be aware that it is often very tedious (and sometimes, downright impossible) for me to make simplified versions which sound good, so I don’t intend to make them often. The page will also show the various features of the synth used by each MIDI, for any curious people like myself who find that stuff interesting. It’ll also act as a warning for how bad the MIDI will sound if played on a different synth, since some of my MIDIs are basically built around the 88P.
I have a lot of MIDIs started but very little motivation to finish them recently. Among them are “Verge” (Shimamiya Eiko), “Borderland” (Kawada Mami), “Planeptune’s Theme ver. Re;Birth” (Neptunia), “I’m Not Okay” (My Chemical Romance), “You Are Alive” (Fragma), fragments of various hardstyle songs, and the first one I ever started making for the 88P in 2012: “AirFort-JP Hardcore mix” (Minamotoya). I really have to finish at least some of these some time.
I finally finished this MIDI for the Roland SC-88Pro synth (I abandoned it a few months ago). Gotta love those electro toms. This is the opening theme (originally performed by YURIA) to the VN 「処女はお姉さまに恋してる」.
The original song has some heavy dynamic range compression so it sounds like this MIDI is lacking somewhat if you compare them, but I couldn’t actually make out any more parts than this in the original. The 88Pro has a compressor effect available, but it can only use one effect at a time, and I was already using distortion. The high-pitched sound effects on the right speaker should be faster, but the synth can’t reliably update the pitch much faster than this. There was an unexpectedly tricky selection of percussive sounds and panning needed for the toms, so I ended up using 4 separate percussion channels…
I made this to quickly explain to a friend what “cutoff” and “resonance” of a low-pass filter mean. The top view is a spectrogram of the sound (loud sounds are dark, high-frequency sounds appear near the top). Thought I might as well upload it here in case anyone can benefit from it.
Putting sound through a low-pass filter and modifying the filter’s cutoff and resonance has these basic effects.
The sound is a simple MIDI played on the Roland SC-88Pro synthesizer (which only has a low-pass filter, rather than high-pass, band-pass or comb).
This sure was a fun one to make! And more trying to make the Sound Canvas synth sound like it’s speaking, yay! But unfortunately, I was pushing it so close to its limit that I actually had to cut notes at those points so that it could keep running smoothly. It’s also extremely tedious to do, so I don’t think I’ll be making a whole song like that any time soon.
This is a MIDI I made for the Roland SC-88Pro of the opening theme to Kiss×sis OAD, originally sung by Taketatsu Ayana and Tatsumi Yuiko, written/arranged by Takahashi Nana. Despite being pretty complex and having a part that was incredibly hard to decipher beneath all the other instruments (I could only clearly make out half of one bar, and had to estimate what the rest was), this one only took me 5-6 days.
I decided to screenshot my MIDI player BaWaMI, chop it in half and re-arrange it into one long row of 16 MIDI channels at the bottom. I think this makes better use of the 16:9 video frame. Fun fact: Early versions of Bawami had the channels arranged like that, when they were narrower and didn’t have those blue bars.
I wonder if this synth is older than Ako or Riko.
This avoids a crash if the clipboard can’t be opened for reading from / writing to. It also now tries 10 times (with a small wait (15ms) between each attempt) before displaying an error.
You can download the less-crashy version from here (1.01 MB).
After I recently released the video of my Kill Me Baby MIDI, someone was interested in how I controlled the Sound Canvas’s LCD. It’s actually possible to draw using the buttons on the front of the synth itself, but that’d be tedious and would wear out the buttons, so I made this program… along with this cheap video to quickly show what it does!
This program generates System-Exclusive MIDI messages to control the LCD on the Roland SC-88Pro MIDI synth (it may work with other Roland Sound Canvas models, too). The SysEx message text can then be pasted onto any MIDI editor that lets you insert SysEx messages. The program replicates the SC-88Pro’s own FrameDraw functions, allowing you to draw graphics on the 10 pages, as well as display text at the top of the LCD.
(Click it to see full-size image)
- Create SysEx to store graphics, display graphics, or display text.
- Easily shift/drag the graphic up/down/left/right, invert colours and duplicate it
- Can also decode LCD SysEx messages back to graphics or plain text
- Can recalculate the checksum bytes of GS SysEx messages
- Can automatically copy SysEx to clipboard for quick editing
- SysEx updates as soon as you change anything (e.g. draw a pixel)
- Remembers the 10 graphic pages between runs, like how the SC-88Pro keeps pages stored while powered off.
Please see the included “info.txt” for full details and tips/advice. The Microsoft Visual Basic Runtime installer is included in the download for convenience. You only need to install it if the program fails to run – newer Windows operating systems come with it pre-installed.
You can download it from here (1.01 MB).
I couldn’t resist trying to recreate the amusing dance at the end of the anime “Kill Me Baby” on this Sound Canvas’s LCD, so that meant I had to make a MIDI of the music, too! This is the ending theme, “Futari no Kimochi no Honto no Himitsu”, originally sung by Tamura Mutsumi and Akasaki Chinatsu.
Never call a song simple until you’ve tried to make a MIDI of it. And trying to remake the inaccurate timings of the toms took a silly amount of effort. That said, this MIDI only took 2 days to make, and a third of that was spent on the animations. I ended up making a program to draw on which spits out the SysEx messages to control the synth’s LCD, because I didn’t fancy wearing out half of the buttons on the synth by drawing pictures on it (yes, the synth has a drawing mode – I guess Roland had some spare ROM to play with). Maybe I’ll release the program one day. Manually putting the commands to buffer and display every frame at the right time (there are 48 different frames) into the MIDI file was tedious.
I tried to remake this thrash metal track originally made by my brother, as a MIDI for the Roland Sound Canvas synth! …Then, I realised that he still hasn’t uploaded it himself yet. Maybe I’ll have to poke him to do that so you can hear what my sucky attempt at recreating the guitar solo was supposed to sound like. It also has screaming vocals, but yeah, that’s not going to happen in a MIDI file.
I got to try something I’ve never done before – a “compressed” effect on the percussion to make it sound more powerful, by turning down the cymbals when the kick and other bassy percussion plays. Because all those curves spam up the view of control changes at the bottom of the screen, I hid those ones at times in this video.
My brother’s music channel is here. He was kind enough to give me access to the individual layers in his track, so I didn’t have to struggle to hear notes hidden underneath other notes, which is what I normally have to struggle with when making MIDIs. He even gave me the original drum MIDI track, but that meant I had to set up my own user drum kit for the SC-88Pro that was compatible with the drums software he uses. The fact that the synth only has 2 discrete overdrive channels means that it sounds a little awkward during the transitions to/from the guitar solo. Plus, solos are always hard to transcribe anyway.
All in all, it was a fun challenge! I ended up only using 8 MIDI channels (3 for percussion), which is the least ever in a MIDI I’ve made for this synth. I usually end up using at least 15 out of 16. As for the video itself, there are several fails because my old laptop died and I’ve clearly not got stuff set up correctly on my new one yet.
(Thanks very much for the project files, bro! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have even attempted the solo without them.)