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#504180 - 10/30/21 01:17 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 744
Loc: North Texas, USA
Wow, a lot of questions. I'll try...
How many songs? Right now about 20-30, plus a handful more that I only practice and play during the Christmas season.

I know that the OTS are contained within the styles, which means at least one custom style per song, stored on the USB stick.

If I intended to use "next performance"-type functionality exclusively (instead of OTS) to change voicing, style variations, etc., most likely there would be more than two performances per song.

To obtain a momentary change of the performance, I'm using a MIDI Solutions Dual Footswitch Controller module. A "black box" between the Boss FS-6 and MIDI in. It's programmed to call a specific performance number on pedal press, and returns to the base performance on release. One limitation is that a limited selection of MIDI messages can be sent on release; one of them is Program Change. I set this up with a base performance and two alternates. One of the alternates has Bass Inversion enabled, the other has 'Standard' chord recognition (instead of Intelligent) to permit the playing of "open" chords. Releasing either pedal on the dual footswitch immediately returns to Intelligent mode.

The FP-50/FP-80 has Bass Inversion programmed as a momentary function using the pedals. This is very useful in real time play (much faster and more reliable than pressing the pedal once to turn Bass Inv on and again to turn it off.) Also, most Roland arrangers going back to the G-series have had built-in footswitch functions to "toggle" chord recognition between Piano Style and Standard, or Piano Style and Intelligent. What I'm doing is toggling between Intelligent and Standard. I probably could have taken a different approach if Roland recognized [1+5] as an open Fifth in Intelligent mode. But it doesn't. And the songs that call for power chords just don't sound right without them!

The easiest way to gain the above functionality and not have to embed these changes in successive performances several times during a song, is to embed Bass Inv and Arranger Type in top-level performances so the foot switches ALWAYS do the same thing. (This also facilitates learning and practicing new songs that include these types of chords.) Once the song becomes part of my "gig list," the rest of the song-specific changes will be stored as a customized user style and complementary OTS.

So... is it possible on a BK to call a specific style number from the USB stick with a MIDI message? Even if the style has to be stored in the root folder? If so, there might be iPad apps or an outboard sequencer that would allow direct selection and reduce the "scrolling and pressing?" Just thinking aloud here.

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#504182 - 10/30/21 03:29 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13454
Loc: NW Florida
Not user styles. The ROM styles can be called up.

I see where you’re coming from, excuse me for confusing that you had achieved a momentary Perf latch using the control pedal input.

You are still massively limited by this system though, because your MIDI Solutions box will only toggle between two Performances, leaving you to hand select everything else.

There is a solution if you are willing to give up on the momentary aspect and use the dual f/s into the FC7 input… one for Perf up, one for Perf down. You go Perf Up when you want Bass Inv selected, and then tap Perf Down to go back. As they are so close together, you might be able to do it with very little foot movement. I’ve run keyboards with separate sustain pedals for UPR and LWR before and it didn’t take long for me to easily use one or the other or both without looking.

Another thing to look into using the FC7 input is, is there such a thing as a pedal that sends a contact on the down-press, and another one on the release? Rather than do it with MIDI, get a single pedal to send different signals on pressing and releasing? That seems something that might be worth investigating…

If either of these workarounds are doable, this frees you up to use the Performance List’s full power rather than just two entries and hand select everything else. Actually, I DO use multiple Performances for the same song when I need larger changes between section than I can get with say just going from UPR1 to UPR2, etc.. I just put them in the order I need them in the Perf List and call them SONG, SONG SOLO, SONG BRIDGE etc.. Then I can step through them either by pressing the panel up/down buttons (which is what I do currently), or use switches into the FC7 input if I end up having to do it hands free.

Personally, I think you are so hell bent on doing the slash chords with a momentary that you have saddled yourself with an absolute nightmare of other things you are forced to do because you can’t use the Performance List. I would seriously suggest you try to get used to doing Perf up/down with a pair of footswitches and all your other issues vanish…
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#504184 - 10/30/21 07:27 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 744
Loc: North Texas, USA
MIDI Solutions actually makes an F8 version of their footswitch controller, which could instantly access any of EIGHT preset performances, and still return to a default one upon release. With more footswitches it could be tricky to step on the correct one in the "heat of battle." Plus, all I'm looking to do is to create two momentary "shift registers" which enable slash chords or alternately, open chords. That requires two footswitches for the BK-9 (or just one for a top-end Casio which natively recognizes open fifths, or the FP-80.)

A system based on Perf Up-Down could work with three performances in the list. Performance 002 would be the default. But an accidental double-tap could be disaster! Does the performance list "wrap?" i.e., If I have three performances in the list and I try to go "down" from Performance 001, does it just stay on 001, or does it go to Performance 003?

I've scoured the web for years, and unfortunately NO, the pedal you describe doesn't exist. But it could, and it should!! It would have to have some customizable delays, debounce interval, etc., to work for a variety of users and keyboards. I'm a very thorough person and I followed that bread crumb trail to its end. The consensus is that I need to take my requirements to the engineering department of a local college. I came very close to achieving the same "toggle to momentary" functionality by marrying the MIDI Solutions Footswitch Controller to the MIDI Solutions Relay (I got it working for Bass Inv.) But- this still only gives me ONE momentary function, and I need two. Also, Arranger Type (Intelligent / Standard) is NOT selectable via footswitch. It HAS to be embedded in a Performance or OTS.

Even if I were to use Perf Up-Down, that really just puts me back to where I am now. If the I allow the Performances to change anything other than Bass Inv or Arranger Type, they would have to be strategically arranged in the proper sequence for every song. I would lose the ability to practice/play a brand-new song containing any type of chord on sight, using a consistent interface. That's what my custom performance "masks" will allow me to do.

Other than the scrolling and selecting a styles when I want to play the next song, I'm not sure that setting up custom styles/OTS is really more effort than custom Performances. I'm determined to try it for a few songs and see how it goes!


Edited by TedS (10/30/21 07:31 PM)

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#504187 - 10/31/21 03:36 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13454
Loc: NW Florida
I’ve used an FC7 for Perf up/down before, and I had virtually no problem. And a quick double tap can take you through a ‘center’ performance from one below to one above with the same degree of precision.

Think about it for a second… your right foot executes sustain presses with millisecond accuracy. Your left foot is equally capable, and as long as the switches are tactile enough that you can feel them at all (I used to have a bit of a problem with those ultra cheap plastic tablet style ones… too light to feel, too easy to kick around), you should have no problem.

After all, most organists can work up to two octaves of bass pedals and play intricate lines without looking or clamming. Took a bit of practice, but we’re talking about just three switches and the odd occasional press or two.

Worth a try, if you ask me. Remember, the Performance can also call up layers, effects, Part volumes, mutes, assign switch layouts, d-beam assignments, changes to velocity sensitivity, expression pedal assignments and a host of other things the OTS can’t. You lose so much restricting yourself to just two or three Performances.

You’ll never know until you try, at least! 😎🎹
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#504189 - 10/31/21 10:44 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 744
Loc: North Texas, USA
I definitely agree with you regarding the switches being tactile and high-quality.

I started with a Yamaha footswitch (which was pretty decent quality.) But the travel was vague, and it was light enough to skate across my hardwood floor. I tried a long sustain pedal next. It was better than the Yamaha footswitch but had too much travel for a quick press. Then I found the Boss FS-6 dual footswitch. Two switches in a metal housing that weighs more the a pound. ​The switches have a positive 'clicky' feel, and most importantly they press straight DOWN, rather than forward and down. There are even channels milled into the side of the unit so you can group multiple FS-6's together.

The FC7 is no longer made by Roland. But if you wanted to make your own "counterfeit" FC7 with the appropriate DIN connector, the FS-6 is a good choice for the footswitches, if a bit expensive.

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#504191 - 11/01/21 09:57 AM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13454
Loc: NW Florida
I believe that the FS-6 uses the exact same mechanism as the FC7, they look identical and feel pretty similar.

The main difference is that on the FC7 the switches are closer together, which for your intended purpose is far better. The FS-6’s switches are just a bit too far separated for one foot to quickly press both one straight after the other for a quick up/down without quite a bit of motion. The FC7 allowed far faster transition.

The FC7 input accepts any simple switches of the correct polarity, so the world’s your oyster if you want to try to build something custom. But before you start, it’s worth starting with your feet! What’s a comfortable distance between them to quickly go from one to another? And what’s a good geometry? Personally, I think that something laid out a bit more radially, a bit less linear than the FC7 would allow you to pivot your foot on your heel to go without looking from one switch to the next. The FS-6 looks like it needs the whole foot moved to go from one to the other.

If I remember rightly, the FS-6 switch mechanisms screw into the case, it might be worth investigating fabricating a different case for them to get them MUCH closer together.

By the way, on a different note, have you explored using the D-Beam to turn Parts on and off? I find that incredibly useful (probably the only non-gimmicky use for the D-Beam!) to strip away the backing and go to just bass and drums for a section, or to drop out the drums for an interlude, etc..

Combine it with the Track Mute button, and you can get some quite complex remixing. The Track Mute assignments are global, but what the D-Beam does is per Performance. If you aren’t already hip to it, give it a try!
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#504197 - 11/02/21 10:45 AM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13454
Loc: NW Florida
Just a quick thought, but have you tried looking at a single foot switch that has dual contacts ganged together, but one wired normally open, and the other wired normally closed?

Essentially, one of them should not register as a contact until the pedal is released, the other one will register as a contact as the pedal is pressed. Two separate outputs (one from each contact) going to two separate FC7 inputs.

That ought to at least give you a toggle between two adjacent performances.

Or have you actually tried this?
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#504203 - 11/03/21 10:22 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 744
Loc: North Texas, USA
Diki I did buy something like this on eBay and wired it to dual 1/4" jacks. After a lot of experimentation I concluded that what I really need (and the rest of the world could probably use, but doesn't know it yet) is a logic circuit that transforms a prolonged pedal depression into a brief "open" period; and also the pedal RELEASE into a similarly brief "open" period. The circuit has to continuously monitor the pedal state, and generate an "open pulse" of specified duration whenever it detects a change.

I've been assured that someone with more programming skill than I possess could easily do this with something like an Arduino and perhaps a couple of relays. I just haven't made it a priority to sit down with the head of the engineering dep't at my local community college and explain my requirements. With sufficient adjustability it would be a staple money-making accessory for keyboardists and guitarists.

Meanwhile, the system I have cobbled together appears to meet my needs. I just have to put the time in to set up the OTS's and see if that will meet my needs. Right now I'm dealing with my house reconstruction and other priorities.


Edited by TedS (11/03/21 10:39 PM)

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#504206 - 11/04/21 08:07 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13454
Loc: NW Florida
I’ve accidentally used a footswitch of the incorrect polarity before, and the behavior was exactly what you seem to want, the action didn’t happen until the release of the pedal. You say you tried this before, but on what function?

Can you elaborate?

To be honest a pair of tablet style footswitches strapped together so pressing one would press the other sounds like it would work if wired to the FC7 input’s Perf. Up/Down functions. It’s not a binary function (unlike sustain with an on/off state) so pressing the contact immediately triggers the function and releasing it does nothing. I don’t see how not releasing the on state for a long time (which would be the reversed polarity switch’s normal condition) would interfere with the reception of the on state from the normal polarity switch… they are two different functions, not the on/off state of a single function.

Before you go your far more elaborate and complicated route, I’d give this potential solution another try.
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#504213 - 11/05/21 02:10 PM Re: Step-by-step guide to performances and perf lists? [Re: TedS]
TedS Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 744
Loc: North Texas, USA
Several months ago I bought an industrial switch that would be used to operate something like a commercial sewing machine. It's mounted in a heavy metal body that rests on the floor and the pedal is set at an ergonomic angle. It has two sets of contacts. When you step on the spring-loaded switch, it breaks the first set of contacts and makes the second set. When you release the switch, it restores the first circuit. The generic type is a make-break-make, or single pole, double throw switch that's momentary in one direction.

I'm pretty sure that Roland pedals are normally closed, i.e., the circuit is conductive ("closed") by default. When you press a Roland pedal, it opens the circuit. When you release, it closes the circuit. So a switch like the one I bought with two circuits, opens and then closes the circuit potentially very quickly, with one pedal press.

By connecting both sets of contacts together, I thought that this switch would emulate a quick press-and-release when I stepped down on it, and again when I let up. However... it turns out that there is a minimum interval needed to activate built in functions like Bass Inv. I discovered that you can actually press the pedal so quickly that the keyboard doesn't reliably detect the change. Through experimentation I learned that the BK-9 was faster processing and more sensitive than my old E-50. The BK-7m was slightly faster still. But none of them reacted consistently enough to use this approach practicing or playing.

If I have something custom built with an Arduino, it will have to continuously compare the present state of the footswitch with what's in memory to reliably detect a change of state. It would also need to have programmable delays that could be set from "real time" to a few hundred milliseconds. This customizability would ensure that it would function consistently with any vintage of equipment. Discussion boards suggest that I'm not the only one searching for a "toggle to momentary pulse" trigger device. But as of last year, I didn't find any that were mass-produced commercially.

The MIDI solutions Footswitch controller with its capability for "on release" messaging must also have built-in logic for analyzing the state of the pedal. Since it uses MIDI and can be merged into the MIDI stream, it leaves the FC7 port, hold, and footswitch available for other functions.

I've only messed with the D-Beam a little. The lighting in my dining room is tricky. Keyboard is by a large window, so it actually varies by time of day. Other than the harp, chimes, etc., I think I would rather trigger the other functions with footswitch or the assignable switches.


Edited by TedS (11/05/21 02:14 PM)

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