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#503354 - 07/24/21 12:14 PM Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another?
Dengizich Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/21
Posts: 50
My goal is to control one arranger with another arranger.

Example: I would like to use the BK-9 as a controller, to control the arranger and the other parts on a Korg Ek-50 that has 61 keys.

You might ask what's the reason?

Well the reason is, that the Korg EK-50 has 5 tracks where you can record plus an accompaniment track, and you can go back and overdub which ever track you want, while the BK-9, is more difficult.

You might ask: why don't you just use the Korg's key bed?

Well the thing is, it has only 61 keys, and some of the songs that I play require a 76 key instrument like the BK-9.

Problem is BK-9 has an old type Midi OUT connection, and also USB to Host, while the Korg EK-50 has only USB to Host MIDI connection.

Question 1: Can I control the arranger and the parts on the EK-50 with the BK-9 used as a controller?

Question 2: What do I need (like cables, or any other gizmos) to connect the two?

Question 3: Or I should just forget about it?

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#503356 - 07/24/21 03:51 PM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 725
Loc: North Texas, USA
The short answer is YES! Two arrangers MIDI'd together can do more than even the most advanced arranger can, alone.

You will probably need a USB MIDI "host" (hardware interface) because the cables / connections are different.

I don't have time for a more detailed reply right now, but maybe others will chime in. The best thing to do is to start experimenting!

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#503361 - 07/25/21 10:42 AM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
If you want to do this at home, a computer or laptop can easily be the hub for all usb connections. On the gig, there are hardware solutions like the Kenton https://kentonuk.com/product/midi-usb-host-mk3/ that can convert from usb to MIDI.

However a one controller overall volume command is much harder to program, usually involving a sysex command that doesn’t work across all brands. But I’m guessing you want individual channel control, and that’s easily doable by matching Part MIDI channels and using MIDI CC7 & CC11 (expression) commands that the BK-9 sends.

Read the manual chapters on the MIDI Sets carefully. You can create up to eight different MIDI Sets, which are linkable to individual Performances, so most usual combinations of Part control of either internal or external MIDI channels can be set up in advance. But not enough for all 16 channels individually. You will have to make some decisions as to what you are least likely to want to control externally.

If you want FULL control of the Korg though, for stuff like Variation selection, Fills, Endings, etc., life gets much, MUCH harder. Probably hard enough it’s not worth bothering with, it would be easier to use a computer as a DAW and do the separate style stuff individually and combine later. Codes for style control vary wildly from brand to brand, you’ll definitely need some sort of live code conversion utility to convert whatever codes the master keyboard sends (if it even sends any for certain functions like transpose, Bass Inv etc.). All in all, unless you want to go down a rabbit hole that will decimate your available time to actually PLAY, I’d stick to just simple Part control…
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#503371 - 07/26/21 07:30 AM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
Dengizich Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/21
Posts: 50
Thank you TeDs and Diki for your reply.

Actually what I really want is to use the keybed on the BK-9 , and play the sounds and style on the Korg Ek-50.

I would be using the panel on the Korg to control variations, sound changes, performance changes.

So technically the BK-9 would be used only to substitute the keybed on the Korg.

I'll have to experiment with this a little, but yeah I would need that Kenton midi usb host.

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#503386 - 07/27/21 12:51 PM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
I’d look into whether the Korg has a ‘MIDI mirror’ function, that duplicates all splits and layers but in response to just one MIDI input channel. It is often included to allow simple home pianos (that likely only have one MIDI channel across the keyboard) to control the arranger despite it being split and layered.

I don’t know what Korg would call this mode, but I know quite a lot of upper end arrangers have it. Sadly, not the BK-9, but it did make an appearance with the BK-7m…
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#503392 - 07/28/21 03:39 PM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
Dengizich Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/21
Posts: 50
I don't think that this Korg Ek-50 has a "Midi Mirror" function, it's an entry level keyboard, but a pretty decent one. I like the fact that you can run it off of 8 AA batteries.

(little off topic)
Can't make a decision which keyboard I would want, the Korg EK-50 or the Yamaha EW-410 (also battery powered). I wouldn't mind to have a keyboard that I could take camping with friends, or to play it on the corner of the street.

Yamaha Ew-410 has 750 sounds, 250 Styles, 10 user styles, plays/records Midi and Audio .wav on a USB flash drive, it has 76 keys, but No Bass Inversion, also has a USB type A (for storing songs), it also has USB type B to host, that sends out Audio signals besides Midi to a computer.

Korg Ek-50 has 700 sounds, 280 styles, plus you can upload 90 user styles, it also records Midi and Audio files .wav, it plays back .wav,mp3 and MIDI, not sure if it records MP3 directly, but it plays them. Ek-50 also has a real nice control panel and Bass Inversion.

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#503396 - 07/28/21 08:34 PM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13349
Loc: NW Florida
For me, it boils down to what sounds better to YOU. Features are one thing, but have a bass inversion capability on a keyboard that doesn’t inspire you isn’t going to help…

And as inexpensive as lithium ion battery inverters are becoming, saddling yourself with a less than satisfactory keyboard just because you can run it off of batteries isn’t that important any more.

You are likely to get the most value out of something that blows you away sonically AND has the features you want. You are likely to use it for years, which is unlikely if you get something lesser. You’ll be selling that (at a considerable loss) the first chance you get to overcome its problems.. The cheapest solution in the long run is to pay a bit more in the short run!
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#503397 - 07/28/21 09:51 PM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
Dengizich Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/21
Posts: 50
True, every single word you said Diki.

I would prefer a 76 key keyboard, but there are not too many 76 keys arrangers out there, and the ones that you can find it's either cheap, or very expensive. There is no 76 key portable arrangers in between, I don't understand why? How can people get by on 5 octaves? I mean I used do it myself back in the late 90's, with an old Roland E-68 (it had 61 keys), but once you get used to a 76, you wouldn't want to go back to a 61.

But what are my options? I'll probably stick with the BK-9, although it would be nice to try something new.

Let me ask you this Diki, what will be your next arranger in the future?

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#503399 - 07/29/21 12:56 PM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 725
Loc: North Texas, USA
Honestly you can run the BK-9 on batteries, at least for a few hours. Total current draw is well within the range of an external power bank for a laptop computer. Add a battery-powered amp (Roland makes several) and your busking career is off to a good start! If you don't have an amp, a bluetooth stereo speaker like the JBL Charge Extreme might even be an option.

I can't personally endorse the EK-50 nor the EW-410. There are a lot of Middle-of-the-Line advanced arrangers which have low draw and could be run from batteries: BK-5, BK-7m + controller, PSR-SX600, etc. If you are determined to stay in the low price range, the Casio CT-X3000 or even the new CT-S400 would be my pick over the EW-410. The ability to control the bassline (Bass Inversion) is HUGE! And the chord recognition system on the Casios is better than an entry-level Korg or Yamaha. My $.02.


Edited by TedS (07/29/21 12:56 PM)

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#503401 - 07/29/21 07:52 PM Re: Can you control via MIDI one arranger w/ another? [Re: Dengizich]
Dengizich Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/21
Posts: 50
I have a KC-110 as a battery amp. Never thought that I could run the BK-9 off of a battery.

I'm surprised you wouldn't endorse the EK-50, the EW-410 I can understand. I'm wondering if I could run my old Roland E-68 off of batteries? I would rather take that on a camping trip than the BK-9.

I was eyeballing the Yamaha PSR-SX600, that seems to be a nice board, around $1000.

Casio CT-X3000 and CT-S400? are they built with quality?

What is your opinion about the Casio WK-7600? do you know anything about that? They put a lot features into it, including a 17 track sequencer, but I'm not sure about the quality of the keys and the overall craftsmanship, and most importantly, is it going to be user friendly?

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