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#130425 - 12/09/99 09:25 PM Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
DannyUK Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 729
Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
Hi!

Can anybody help! I seem to be having trouble playing midifiles on the WK8 as they do on the X1. I dont edit or change anything, i just play the same midifile in both keyboards and the results are different even though both keyboards is supposed to me GM compatable. Why is this?

The Solton X1 plays them perfectly but the WK8 has tracks and sounds all over the place and in some cases will not even let you save the changes you make to it!

Danny (UK)
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Tyros4, PSR-S950 & PA-900

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#130426 - 12/09/99 09:55 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
freddynl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 1150
Loc: netherlands
I am in the middle of buying a WK 8..
Keep me posted on this one!
(I still can change for the X1)
thanks fred
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Keyboards/Sound Units: Kurzweil 2600S, Roland VR-760, Acces Virus C, Roland G-800, Akai AX60, Minimoog, Machine Drum, Roland R8-M, mediastation x-76

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#130427 - 12/09/99 10:02 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
DannyUK Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 729
Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
hi fred!

Gosh, you have a choice? Well theres a no contest there. Get the X1.. Its a far better keyboard overall. But that does not say the WK8 is a bad machine because its not. I bought it about a year ago and gave it to my father about 6 months ago so I am still in contact with it. But since I got the Solton X1, i have replayed some of the midi files that would not play well on the WK8 and they played perfectly well on the X1, and I dont know why this happens because both keyboards are GM compatable which although I would expected them to sound according to the keyboards potential, I still would expect a similar result, but a lot of the time the WK8 really messes up the midifile where the X1 plays it perfectly. I just wanted to know if anybody else has seen this problem and what would be the best way around it.

Danny (UK)
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Tyros4, PSR-S950 & PA-900

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#130428 - 12/09/99 11:16 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
freddynl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 1150
Loc: netherlands
Did you have the latest OS installed????
I saw and heard this keyboard working and
it sounded way better as my "old" G 800
with midiplayback!
The guy using it had over 8000 songs stored
on his harddisk by the way.
I loved the display of the WK 8 ( I have
allways had probs with the G 800 with this)
Now I will very often use the keyboard as my band to jam a long with on my guitar, so for me the playback capacities are pretty important!
Further a good PC interface is needed!
The Karaoke system is very handy!
The built in voiceharmoniser as well.
Loading wav forms as well.

So is the solton worth the extra money!
we are talking about +HD+Harmonizer+Karaoke
maybe + Poundsterling 1000,-- more!
fred

(Oh by the way after 30 posts you are a member)
fred
_________________________
Keyboards/Sound Units: Kurzweil 2600S, Roland VR-760, Acces Virus C, Roland G-800, Akai AX60, Minimoog, Machine Drum, Roland R8-M, mediastation x-76

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#130429 - 12/10/99 02:37 AM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
Paul Ip Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/99
Posts: 241
Loc: Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
Freddynl,

How much is a GEM WK8? A loaded Solton X1-HD is about US$2,900+, with harmonizer about $175 - I actually got a quote for X1-HD for about $2,700 but I did not buy from that person, I bought it from George Kaye because he shows excellent attitude and knowledge in supporting his products. X1 plays MIDI files with lyrics well, even *.kar files - you do not have to pay extra for karaoke functionality - its lyrics display is much better than Yamaha PSR-7X0, Roland G1000, Korg I-30 ... etc., also displays guitar chords, with much more lines of lyrics displayed so you will not have a problem of having to wait for the lyrics to show up. DannyUK was very skeptical about X1 and he asked a lot of questions in the old arranger keyboard forum before he finally decided to purchase Solton X1. You are exactly repeating his steps - he also owns a GEM WK8 and he compared WK8 and X1 very thoroughly and made his choice. The new trend in the market seems to be the competition between the soon-to-be-released Yamaha PSR-9000 and the current king Solton X1.

Paul

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#130430 - 12/10/99 02:38 AM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3281
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Danny,
I'll through another one out to you! At my store I have tried certain midifiles in a PSR 8000, then the PSR 740, then the X1, then the WK8, and finally the EM2000, and they all play differently. My only explanation has come from AJ many months ago. If I had a Solton MS 60 and tried playing some of my midifiles from that machine, some of the drums do not line up because Solton was using user drum sets. I think that what you are experiencing is that the producer of the SMF you are playing was really not following the GM specifications. When I play a tune 1000 song in all these keyboards they play fine, but when I try certain SMF's I've downloaded from the net, this is when I experience problems.
This is only a thought, I don't know if I'm right.
George Kaye
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George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#130431 - 12/10/99 09:29 AM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
DannyUK Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 729
Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
George,

You are spot on. Well done. I didnt think of that. I have many tune1000 midi files that I have bought and they all sound OK on all the keyboards I own including my old PSR620 from a moon ago. Its only the downloaded midi files from the net that cause me the headache. It seems like they have a preference on where they get played. But the reason I brought up this subject was not for me but for my father who has wanted to experiment with midi files after all these years of manually playing with styles. So I downloaded a few for him and also gave him some of mine and some sounded so poor that I could not even recognise the song. And when I went to change the sounds of the tracks, it would not let me save it and just reverted back to the original sounds. Very annyoing indeed. One such midi file was 'Black Or White' by M.Jackson. That bass does not want to change to save its life.

But there is a way round this. And thats to delete the first 'bar' or 'step' which aparently controls all the instruments control. But this is only good IF the first bar has nothing or simply those tap tap cymbals otherwise you lose the first bar of the song.

So George tell me, would these midi files from the net would of been created on peoples personal keyboards rather then the proper GM method so that its compatable? That would explain it then.

Danny (UK)
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Tyros4, PSR-S950 & PA-900

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#130432 - 12/10/99 11:03 AM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
Clif Anderson Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/00
Posts: 532
I think this discussion is beginning to point at the wrong culprit. SMF files on the net are made in many different ways. Some are made in real time on a synth, some are made in step time on a synth, some in step time on a computer, and all sorts of hybrids of these approaches. I have downloaded and played thousands of these from websites and from absm. Almost all of these play well whether I use my computer or by PSR-8000 to play them. In addition, so few absm members report problems with the files that they must be conforming to GM standards. Of course, some variation in sound must be expected. But if one a certain keyboard cannot play many Internet GM files it is probably due to a non-standard GM implementation. Then, why do the Tune 1000 files work on these synths. Because, as they have a financial interest in customer satisfaction, they listen to complaints by those people with synths that cannot handle the files. They make their files so that they do not run into problems in nonstandard, or at least unusual, GM implementations.

So, I would point my finger at General Music, absolve the Internet folks, and give credit to Tune1000 for accommodating General Music on General Midi.

But-this is just a FWIW opinion,

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#130433 - 12/10/99 11:21 AM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8134
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Danny, Some sequences use system exclusive messages. The messages are only readable by the same manufactured models. In the early sequencing world, most sequences originated on the Roland Sound Canvas[GS]. We saved the settings as set-ups ,they are actualy system exclusive information, and only read by a GS instrument,[Roland E , EM and G series and SC line]. Many of the net material , I, m Sure are using system exclusive messages from each individual manufacture,. You can add your own program change and levels etc. ,the changes you write will not be affected by the exclusive messages that do not pertain to your instrument[you do not have to delete the system info]......Fran
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www.francarango.com

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#130434 - 12/10/99 11:38 AM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
Paul Ip Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/99
Posts: 241
Loc: Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
Danny and all,

Some of the less seasoned MIDI musicians may have left out the sysex header dump that defines instrument settings of the MIDI files. If you are curious, play some Tune 1000 MIDI files on a PC MIDI sequencer like Calkwalk and the program usually recognizes such sysex message(s) and asks you if you want to download it to the sound card or MIDI interface. That sets up all the instruments correctly according to the musician's definition of instrument per track. Your keyboards automatically download such sysex messages without asking you when they detect the presence of such message(s). That explains why the commercial MIDI files always play right. Try playing the MIDI files that you have problems also on the PC and see if they come with the sysex dumps. I guess they do not. Even if the MIDI file creators specified patches for GM specs, but without the correct sysex dumps your instrument will just play back the MIDI files according to the last MIDI track setup of last song you play on that instrument. Although I also own a Solton X1, I seldom play MIDI files with it. Maybe Solton has a smart program of picking up the patch number specified in each MIDI track to play the GM sound right whereas GEM WK8's designers did not go extra mileage to handle those MIDI files without sysex dump messages.

Paul Ip

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#130435 - 12/10/99 04:38 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
Jer Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/99
Posts: 36
Loc: Delay Beach Florida
Hi;

This is a corrected posting after reading the responses of Fran and Don.

I think this feature of this forum allowing you to correct and\or edit a previous posting is fantastic!

I have been using converted General Midi files on my Technics Kn2000 for several years.

I also own a recent model X1. As far as the quality of General Midi reproduction - with certain GM files the X1 is superb - However perhaps because of my lack of experience in utilizing the keyboard - I am still not able to get the maximum from General Midi files.

1. The X1 has no Midi memory - without the disk in the slot. Remove the disk - it's all over! That is correct in my X1. I get an error message - saying disk removed.

2. My earlier statement that you cannot change the key while a song is playing is incorrect as was pointed out to me - not only can you change the key - but you can change the key of the keyboard - while the General Midi file remains in it's original key - fantastic! - Sorry!

3. Editing a General Midi file in the X1 is not something that I am familiar enough with at this point to comment on.

4. The X1 will definitely read Double Density disks - contrary to my earlier statement. I stand corrected on that point. Another error on my part!

However my X1 will not read type 0 General Midi - and won't convert 0 to 1 in the keyboard.

My Kn2000 - vintage 1994 or so - does not play General Midi files with the same brilliant sound of the X1 - but when you convert them into Technics format - and optimize the sounds - they have great presence and musicality - I invite anyone with a Kn2000 available to listen - to write to me for a sample via E mail.

This is in large effort due to the simplicity of operation - and the ease of editing in the KN2000 - coupled with the fact that it permits rhythm augmentation using the General Midi Drumkit PLUS the automatic drum rhythms of the Kn2000 - in PERFECT synchronization - with all the breaks of the APC parts etc - and even using two totally different drum kits at the same time.

If this is possible in the X1 - I would appreciate some input.

Are they as SHARP and as BRILLIANT as the X1 - of course not -

Can you do the same thing in the Kn6000 - I don't know the answer - since I have not tried it out to that extent.

They however are not played properly in a Kn3000 Kn5000 or Kn6000 - which is why I still have my Kn2000. ( the Kn6000 is as I understand it much improved over the Kn5000 in this respect)

They of course being Technics proprietary format will not play in Solton - Korg - Ensonic - Yamaha and what have you - including the X1.

Don't misunderstand me - I have a lot of fun playing my X1 - I love it -

I obviously have a lot more to learn about working with Midi disks in the X1 - perhaps some of you with experience in that area can give me the benefit of your knoweledge.

Jerry

[This message has been edited by Jer (edited 12-11-1999).]

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#130436 - 12/10/99 05:13 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8134
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Jer, You are incorrect on all 4 of your notations....Fran
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www.francarango.com

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#130437 - 12/10/99 08:37 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
freddynl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 1150
Loc: netherlands
Paul,
Price difference is a lot in Holland (what I found till now though)
If I was in usa I would go to George as well.
I am in Holland so I buy the keyboard at my local dealer (who I know + 20 years) and I even don't mind he is a bit more expensive,
as online stores, because he gives an excellent service.

Solton:
X1+ HD dfl 6995,--
Harmonizer (us 175,--) so +/- " 395,--
(I did'nt ask Harmonizer so +/-)
dfl 7390,--

GEM WK 8-HD dfl 5295,--

In usdlr 970,-- (dfl 2095,--) more for the Solton X-I

But I did not hear the Solton Keyboard yet so I am convinced by all of you I have to hear it, so will go out tomorrow and let you know what I think!
Note:
I do use external gear for amplifying so the quality of internal amp/speakers are no issue for me.
Secondly I want a keyboard which sounds good but totally different as my Roland G 800, not
a keyboard with more of the same!
Thanks to all of you on this bbs, I think it's great!
Fred
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Keyboards/Sound Units: Kurzweil 2600S, Roland VR-760, Acces Virus C, Roland G-800, Akai AX60, Minimoog, Machine Drum, Roland R8-M, mediastation x-76

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#130438 - 12/10/99 09:30 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 13774
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Jerry,
My X1 will read dd disks o.k. And it will read both types midi files.
It will also transpose while the song is playing. I think I misinformed you about this, or at least agreed with you when you mentioned it.
To transpose during playback, you have to turn lyrics (if any) off, then push "exit" to get to the main screen. Activate "transpose" if it is not active. Then you can use the + and - buttons to change keys. You can also elect to change the the key of the keyboard independently so you can play along with the sequence in a key that is comfortable to you.
One note, the next sequence will also be transposed unless you change the transposer back.
As far as taking a floppy out while the song is playing, I haven't tried that, because I copy the few sequences I use to the hard drive and play them from there because it is so much quicker.
Regarding the editing, someone else will have to handle that one. I usually play everything live, and when it starts getting too complicated, I don't do it!
email me if I can help.
Good luck,
Don
Don

[This message has been edited by DonM (edited 12-10-1999).]
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DonM

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#130439 - 12/10/99 09:34 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
DannyUK Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 729
Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
Jer and all,

Interesting post but I agree with Fran on the 4 accounts are incorrect as I can do all 4 things.

However I do agree with what you say with regards to the KN2000 smf playback. I tell you why because I posted a similar thing about a month ago on the old forum about the GEM WX2 still the best ive personally heard for midi file playback. This keyboard (which I still own and have no intention of selling) is around 7 years old and plays songs on it effortessly and very faithfull to the original. It is even better than the X1 on this account, but thats all though. I really cant explain why its like this but its true and I even hate to admit it but the GEM WX2 plays songs exceptionally. I dont know why and what causes it to sound so good, but it just does! I myself have over 2000 quality midifiles/GEM specific songs that are a delight to play and sing along with. They just dont sound the same elsewhere.

I have never heard a KN2000 so I cannot judge. I have owned around 12 keyboards in my lifetime, and I think my first experience of song playback was on the PSR5700 in 1992? i cant remember the exact time that was. That keyboard was excellent.

But i think we are slowly going away from my original issue, and thats why various top keyboards have an incompatability problem with standard GM compatable files on GM keyboards. There have been a lot of explanations from a lot of people and they all make sense. But having played the same midifile in around 6 keyboards of recent times, the Solton X1 sounds like it plays the midifile like its supposed to sound, eg, with all the proper sounds in their relevant tracks. I often find on the PSR8000 and some tracks are 'snoozed' and having a need to go into the mixer and up the volume. Thats OK. The I30 suffers like the WK8 but not as bad where it seems to pick up any old instrument, and thats including drums. For exampled the drums are supposed to be in track 10, what the hell is a drum instrument doing in track 1 on the WK8 and the grandpiano in track 10 I dont know for the life of me!

Anyway, interesting subject and I am seeing a lot of views on this. Great stuff.

Danny (UK)
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Tyros4, PSR-S950 & PA-900

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#130440 - 12/10/99 09:51 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
freddynl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 1150
Loc: netherlands
Danny,
About the main issue! I had simular problems way back with certain midifiles playing back on my G-800 allthough these were GS files so should'nt give these problems. Since then I allways edit all new files In Cakewalk as follows; by loading the CW patch for the G-800, then load the new midifile and save as GS file, including the sysex messages..(and that includes GM files!) No problem since then anymore!
Did you try this??? (I don't know or there is a patch for WK 8 for cakewalk, but I guess there is!)
Fred
_________________________
Keyboards/Sound Units: Kurzweil 2600S, Roland VR-760, Acces Virus C, Roland G-800, Akai AX60, Minimoog, Machine Drum, Roland R8-M, mediastation x-76

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#130441 - 12/11/99 07:11 AM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
DannyUK Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 729
Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
Hi there Fred!

No i aint tried this method yet but I will do because it does really annoy me that a keyboards that cost so much does not even play midifiles properly. Shame really because I still think its got the best karaoake feature out of all the keyboards ive owned.

Thanks,
Danny (UK)
_________________________
Tyros4, PSR-S950 & PA-900

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#130442 - 12/11/99 08:02 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8134
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Guys, Are you sure you are re-saving files in a GS format with Cakewalk, I think only Roland GS instruments will read the format.. Most likely Cake walk probally reads the GS format and converts the program changes, volume levels and effects,to enable GM instruments to read properly, thus it would be a GM file with GS info still intact....Fran
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www.francarango.com

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#130443 - 12/11/99 08:22 PM Re: Playing Midifiles on GEM WK8 & Solton X1
freddynl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 1150
Loc: netherlands
Yes, you are wright Fran, it is ofcourse a GM
file, but with all info of GS or XG intact.
thanks for reminding me,
Fred
_________________________
Keyboards/Sound Units: Kurzweil 2600S, Roland VR-760, Acces Virus C, Roland G-800, Akai AX60, Minimoog, Machine Drum, Roland R8-M, mediastation x-76

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