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#502123 - 01/30/21 08:13 AM Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques?
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
I'm attempting to learn how to prepare and modify styles on the BK-9. The instructions in the manual are fairly straight-forward. But I'd like to know if anyone has found a particular approach that is helpful in these edits. One of the primary goals I have in editing is to simplify endings, which are often too complex or extended for my use and taste. Also, I have not found any way to use the iPad apps for this kind of editing. Am I missing something, or is the performance editor strictly for that purpose...performances. It would be wonderful to address the sequencer and style editor via the iPad, but I'm guessing that there has not been an app for that purpose. I'll welcome any input.

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#502128 - 01/30/21 10:20 AM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 725
Loc: North Texas, USA
My understanding is that the iPad app is only for editing performances (registrations.) The BK-9's built-in Style Composer is a little clunky but workable. I know there is a menu command that allows you to delete a whole range of measures. It's also possible to remove content from, or mute individual tracks. Take your time, experiment, and don't forget that there are actually three sub-variations within each style section (used for Major, Minor, and Seventh chords.)

If you really, really prefer to work on a PC sequencer... With the BK-7m, Roland released a software called "Style Converter 4." This allows you to import a MIDI in a prescribed format, and re-encode it as a Roland style. That would be about your only option. You would still have to add Alteration Mode messages in the BK-9 because the Style Converter and some other Roland arrangers circa 2009-2010 lacked that feature.

Good luck and please share what you learn!

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#502136 - 01/30/21 12:50 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
I’m a big fan of the Ending1, usually just an ending chord. This way I can PLAY what I want, at whatever variation intensity I feel like, and vary it each performance as desired.

But if you want to simplify an existing Ending, it’s fairly easy to mute out whole Parts, or erase notes inside a range.
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#502137 - 01/30/21 01:54 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks.

Is there a way to go from, say variation 3 to ending 1 from the front panel? Or do you do that via performances? I was actually thinking of revising several of the styles to overwrite ending #1 to the other endings. Is that feasible? Or is there another option that you've had success with?

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#502138 - 01/30/21 02:09 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: TedS]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
TedS, I missed your response earlier. Thanks so much. The input is helpful. I wasn't aware of the style converter 4. Do you know if that is still available.

Yes, my Roland E96 had those variants with major, minor and 7th chords too. A helpful option for a bit more variety.

I'm clearly not in a place to try to craft styles from scratch. But there are some that I would certainly consider simplifying. The muting option gives quite a bit of flexibility as well, as you've noted. I'll have to look into that.

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#502139 - 01/30/21 06:23 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 725
Loc: North Texas, USA
Well, the best way to obtain the software would be to buy a BK-7m, BK-5, or Prelude (version 1) complete with the original disk. I'm not sure that Roland ever offered it for separate download.

However... it was a very "bare bones" software and not at all user friendly. While it's true that you could edit a MIDI in any sequencer program or DAW, you had to prepare it very carefully in the prescribed format, to convert the MIDI to a Roland style.

Really your best option, especially for editing factory styles, is to use the built-in Style Composer. It's not that hard to use and really not that bad. My $.02.

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#502140 - 01/30/21 06:36 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: TedS]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks. That seems to be a reasonable approach.

I did look around, but only found a version 3.0 for download (I think for the GW-8).

In any case, I'll take your advice and work with the built-in feature. Lots to learn there!

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#502141 - 01/30/21 10:08 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 725
Loc: North Texas, USA
I'm not sure what the differences were from version 3.0 to version 4.0. You could certainly install that version, or review the .pdf manual to get a feel for it. I think you'll find that the documentation is pretty sparse.

You asked about modifying factory styles. That's MUCH easier in Style Composer. To edit them in a DAW, you would first have to convert the factory styles to MIDI, and I'm not sure whether any version of the Style Converter program is capable of that.

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#502148 - 02/01/21 10:46 AM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
Originally Posted By Delkeen
Thanks.

Is there a way to go from, say variation 3 to ending 1 from the front panel? Or do you do that via performances? I was actually thinking of revising several of the styles to overwrite ending #1 to the other endings. Is that feasible? Or is there another option that you've had success with?


There is a way to go from any variation to any ending, but not with one button press. If you simply press Ending you get the Ending of whatever Variation you are in. But if you hit the Ending button then IMMEDIATELY afterwards hit the Variation button for whatever Ending you want, it will go to that Ending. You will see a confirmation of this in the lights... the Variation you are in will be on solidly, and the Ending you are going to go to will flash.

Likewise for Intros. Before you press Start, you select the Variation you want to be in after the Intro. Then hit the Intro button and select which one you want. The light for the Intro you selected will shine solid, and the Variation it is going to will flash.
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502150 - 02/01/21 03:47 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks for that clarification,Diki. That should work fine for my current purposes.

I thought there should be a way, but didn't have the sequence sorted out. Much appreciated! Did I miss that in the manual, or is it one of those "hidden" features?

Del

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#502154 - 02/02/21 09:18 AM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
It’s probably in there somewhere, but it’s been the Roland Way for quite a while.

In truth, I expect it’s the same procedure on all arrangers that don’t have dedicated buttons for each Intro and Ending.

There’s also another way to get direct access to all the Divisions with just one button.... All Divisions can be selected by MIDI, so this gives you the option of using MIDI pedals or tablets to select an Intro or Ending with just one press. Sadly, the Roland BK Partner app only duplicates the front panel, it’s a shame they didn’t design it to offer greater choice by having all Intros and Endings freely selectable.

And if you have an FC-7 you could do the whole thing (but back to the two press process) hands free!
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502160 - 02/03/21 09:17 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thank you! Some more options to consider!

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#502164 - 02/05/21 11:24 AM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
BTW, FC-7’s are getting harder and harder to find, but all they are in essence is dumb momentary switches, so constructing your own custom switch setup is relatively easy, from as small as a simple dual switch that you can buy anywhere, to a repurposed Korg EC5 five switch pedal, to any combination up to seven pedals placed anywhere you want...

Think about what you need, how you are best going to use your feet to do what you want, and a solution will present itself.

Personally, I find being able to change Variations without moving away from playing to be wonderful (I like to use Pianist Mode a lot), and when playing with SMF’s and MP3’s being able to change Performances hands free (using Perf Up/Down) is great too...

About the only thing I wouldn’t recommend you use an FC-7 for if you find one is for sustain. The switches, although very reliable in normal use, aren’t really up to the task as sustain, which you use hundreds of times per song. Use a proper sustain pedal for that!


Edited by Diki (02/05/21 11:28 AM)
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502180 - 02/07/21 02:18 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks, Diki.

I think I had mentioned to you privately, but years ago I constructed an FC-7 equivalent for my E-96. I have it set up on the BK-9, though will probably construct a new one with better construction than the "mock-up) I did back then. I used fairly cheap (and small) switches on a plywood panel. It still works, though switch 1 and 7 are doing the same thing. You likely already have this on this site, but I was able to track down an email print-out from Hans Neggers from Holland (around 1999) that showed the lay-out of the contacts for the G800. Just in case anyone is interested, I'm glad to share. I don't think that the G800 had the ability to modify the settings for the switches as we can on the BK series.

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#502182 - 02/07/21 02:27 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
Are switches 1 and 7 wired incorrectly, or you just have them set up that way?


Edited by Diki (02/07/21 02:27 PM)
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502187 - 02/07/21 07:08 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
I haven't gotten to check yet. I think that it was wired correctly initially, so I may have a switch that is "shorting". Hopefully I'll get a peek at it this week.

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#502221 - 02/10/21 01:31 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
Diki,

I was able to disassemble the homegrown FC-7 unit earlier this week, and found that one of my solder joints on the midi connector had worked loose. Cleaned and resoldered, and now switches 1 through 7 work with discrete assignments as before.

So, I'm up and running, but would still like to make another with upgraded switches. Something more like guitar box switch quality, unless I get lucky and find a non-functional FC7 that needs repair!

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#502231 - 02/11/21 11:16 AM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
I have often thought that I split pedal system might work better. One thing about using the FC7 is that you can get switches that can accidentally ruin a performance (start/stop, break, stuff like that) right next to switches you use constantly (variations, Leslie on/off etc).

Perhaps a system with four switches on your left for the variations, and three on the right for mission critical stuff that you don’t accidentally want to hit could work well…
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502239 - 02/12/21 07:25 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
That's an intriguing approach, Diki. I often thought that my switches were simply too close together (never had spacing measurements from a real FC-7). But you're suggesting that even on that board, it is a challenge to avoid those critical switches. I'll give that "hybrid" design some more thought.

Thanks.

Del

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#502250 - 02/14/21 12:24 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
To be honest, I just avoid the whole issue... I simply don’t put show stopping functions on the pedalboard just in case!

I use1-4 as Variation changes with auto-fill on, 5 as Leslie fast/slow, 6&7 as Perf. Up/Down. That way the showstopper stuff is well separated from the variation switches.

I really wish Roland had made FC7 assignments per performance, or at least 8 of them, like MIDI Sets (linkable to Performances). I find what I need at my feet radically different when using styles than when using MP3’s or SMF’s. Tried for years to get them into improving this to no avail. Roland were always the brand with the least official discourse with their customers! 😢🙄
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502295 - 02/20/21 10:08 AM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Diki]
Delkeen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/21
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
What you've described (no start/stop on FC-7) makes a lot of sense for performance settings, and frankly, may be just as useful at home as well.

I am curious how you do make adjustments to the FC-7 on a gig if you can't attach the settings to performances. Do you just avoid using it when you are doing midi playback, or have you found a quick way to go in and adjust the settings?

I do recall (back in the day) how hopeful some of the group was that Roland would take our input seriously for suggestions and modifications. The point is now moot, but it is interesting that those offers were not picked up.

Again, thanks for the feedback and insights.

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#502303 - 02/21/21 03:29 PM Re: Modifying styles on a BK-9...special techniques? [Re: Delkeen]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
I pretty much only use the FC7 when I’m doing much arranger stuff, which is pretty rare these days. I can do what I need in a song using the Assign SW’s and panel buttons for SMF/MP3’s most of the time.

Tbh, it’s just one more bit of gear to lug around for little reason these days. I used it a lot more back when I did styles a lot more, but of little use nowadays.

However, I do use the FC7 every time I use my BK-7m because of the need for hands free control while playing my keytar..!
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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