Help on sound module

Discussion in 'MIDI' started by Joe03, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Joe03

    Joe03

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    I have an Alesis keyboard midi controller and I am looking for a sound mod. Looking for the common voices. Now, the problem. I am NOT using a computer, I have no way of powering it by way of USB.
    I want to be able to hook my powered keyboard controller into a powered sound mod.
    Do they still make them, I for sure can't find one. Any help to point me in a direction would be greatly appreciated. Not all of us want a PC involved. Thanks, joe.
     
    Joe03, Aug 16, 2018
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  2. Joe03

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    I ordered a Roland SC-88VL Sound Canvas from Ebay a couple of months ago for the same reason. It came from Japan with the proper adapter for Canada for $150 CDN shipping included. Paid another $25 duty and it works like a charm.

    No USB ports on it, it's that old but it was fully refurbished and should work like a charm for another decade at least. It does have two MIDI IN ports and one MIDI OUT/THRU for connecting to my Alesis Controller.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=roland sound canvas&_sacat=0

    It uses the Roland GS sound set and has all the voices you could possibly need for general fiddling on the keyboard. They sound quite decent and better than modern day Casio CTK and WK units.

    Otherwise the modern day pickings for inexpensive sound modules are pretty slim to none unless you want to spend an arm and a leg on a Waldorf Blofeld Desktop or a Ketron SD2.

    http://www.ketronmusic.co.uk/Products/Ketron/micro_modules/index.html

    There are also sub $100 MIDI modules on Amazon but they sound pretty lame by comparison.

    https://www.amazon.com/S-Engine-USB-MIDI-Sound-Module/dp/B01E5GGKE4/

    https://www.amazon.com/ammoon-Midiplus-MiniEngine-General-Generator/dp/B01DGAN3N6/

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Aug 16, 2018
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  3. Joe03

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Yes, you can still buy standalone sound modules of various types, although as far as specific sound modules go if they're no longer in active production then you might need to buy them used. Note that when you're searching online to see the models that were produced, you might want to search for "tone generator."

    Anyway, there are basic and inexpensive GM sound modules-- although as Gary/happyrat1 indicated, the quality of their sounds can leave a lot to be desired-- and there are more feature-packed XG or GS sound modules, as well as rack-style analog or digital synthesizers. As far as XG and GS sound modules, the later models tend to be rather expensive, but you can often find some earlier models in the used marketplace for a lot less money.

    EDIT: But keep in mind that a sound module won't have built-in speakers, so you're going to need to use headphones or monitors or loudspeakers with it.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Aug 16, 2018
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  4. Joe03

    Joe03

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    Thanks gents. Yes, I have monitors or a KB amp.
    I guess just about everything has a pc involved nowadays.

    Maybe I should be looking for a laptop instead of a sound mod/ tone generator.
     
    Joe03, Aug 16, 2018
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  5. Joe03

    Joe03

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    Another question, if I decide to use a pc to hook my controller to, how do you hook the pc to either my powered monitors or better yet a amplifier?
     
    Joe03, Aug 17, 2018
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  6. Joe03

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Well, if you go the computer/laptop/tablet route, you'll generally have a wider (practically infinite) choice of soundfonts, samples, soft synths, and other types of virtual instruments to choose from.

    But a standalone sound module or tone generator is definitely more portable, which might be an important consideration if you're a gigging musician.

    As for hooking up external speakers to a computer, you should be able to use the jacks for the computer's own external speakers, or if you go with a laptop that has fewer audio jacks, the jack for plugging in a pair of headphones. Depending on what type of plug(s) you need for the speakers' jacks, you might need some sort of adapter for the audio cable.

    And if you have a USB audio interface with a better sound card than your computer or laptop has (and you should be forewarned that laptops usually have sound cards that are mediocre at best), then you could go from the computer to the audio interface via USB, then from there to the speakers via whatever cables or wires are appropriate.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Aug 17, 2018
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  7. Joe03

    Biggles

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    As Michael has stated about laptop soundcards being mediocre, well my own laptop is one of these.

    I feed my MIDI into a Behringer UMC204 to which I can connect my powered speakers, this unit has multiple input and output options. Do not that other units of better quality are available at a substantial increase in cost
     
    Biggles, Aug 17, 2018
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  8. Joe03

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    I myself have a small Behringer audio interface-- UCA222-- that cost just $30. I don't know how its sound card compares to the one in my desktop computer, but it's certainly better than the one in my laptop. :)

    You don't need to spend a lot of money to get an audio interface-- but the amount of money you do spend is going to determine what types of input and output ports are included, as well as how many. So you'll want to consider what your needs are, such as whether you need MIDI DIN ports for MIDI IN and MIDI OUT, whether you need ports for plugging in an electric guitar or microphone, etc. You want to get something that will meet your needs, rather than choosing an inexpensive audio interface and congratulating yourself on how much money you saved, only to realize that it doesn't have half of the number and types of ports that you need. :eek:
     
    SeaGtGruff, Aug 17, 2018
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  9. Joe03

    Joe03

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    Thanks gents for the help. I have decided to go with a audio interface (tascam us 2x2), usb to my PC or at times my ipad ( with ipad I got as recommended the power adapter for the interface ), monitors out of the interface and keyboard controller in to the interface with midi cables.
    I just didn't want to run it through my DS61,,,,, which is supposed to be delivered Sat.
     
    Joe03, Aug 17, 2018
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  10. Joe03

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Ooh, it sounds like you're going to have a fun weekend! :)
     
    SeaGtGruff, Aug 17, 2018
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  11. Joe03

    Joe03

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    I'll be sitting at the window watching for that Fedex truck....LOL
    I hope they are true to their delivery stats. If not, its home delivery and they don't deliver on Mondays...:eek:
     
    Joe03, Aug 17, 2018
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  12. Joe03

    Joe03

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    Tuesday:mad:
     
    Joe03, Aug 18, 2018
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  13. Joe03

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    The delivery guy saw your ferocious avatar and has to steel up his nerves to make the delivery :D

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Aug 18, 2018
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  14. Joe03

    Joe03

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    Lucy,,, nah. She's a big marshmallow.
    Well fedex said I could pick it up at the ground terminal, so sure, took the 15min ride over, sat in the waiting area for 20 mins, they could not find it in the bin/warehouse. Granted our local warehouse it the size of 5 or 6 foot ball fields but, after the 20 mins they said,,, hmm. Maybe it's on the truck with out them knowing it. So they sent me home...they said they will call the delivery driver and call me. We'll see.
     
    Joe03, Aug 18, 2018
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  15. Joe03

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Wow that's weird. Usually FedEx has one of the better tracking systems for their deliveries.

    If it doesn't show up at your door or at least a pickup card I'd tear them a new one on the phone.

    If they did leave a card today then that means they attempted delivery and and it's still on the truck heading back to the depot.

    In that case give them at least 24 hours to receive it before you attempt a personal pickup from the warehouse.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Aug 18, 2018
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  16. Joe03

    Joe03

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    :D
    Da da. Dada da dada da..:D fedex paid me a VISIT !!!!!!!! She's all hooked up to my little practice amp, will hook up the monitors later...... I LIKE IT...
    Now to learn what all those buttons are..
     
    Joe03, Aug 18, 2018
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  17. Joe03

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    The buttons are meant to be randomly pushed while the little black and white key thingies are mashed with both thumbs in order to play I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy while the family pet jumps thru hoops of fire :D :D :D

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Aug 18, 2018
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  18. Joe03

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    I'm glad you got your new play toy work tool today! :D We'd love to read your review of it, and hear the fruits of your labor on it! :)
     
    SeaGtGruff, Aug 18, 2018
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  19. Joe03

    Biggles

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    A guy cannot have enough toys

    Have a great weekend playing
     
    Biggles, Aug 19, 2018
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  20. Joe03

    Joe03

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    Absolutely, once I figure this out a bit, I'll post up.
     
    Joe03, Aug 19, 2018
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