How do I setup my Roland A-33 and use its own bank sounds?


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Honestly I don't know much of this Midi setups and whatnot. I have here an old Roland A-33 but still definitely functions well. I'd be happy if you guys can help me with a little background. I've read the manual and I wouldn't be going here in forums if I'm not having a hard time understanding it. I just need to know what are the connections should be and what are your suggestions playing live. It has its own sounds but I don't know how to use them if I would connect it to any audio interface. And if I would be using a DAW, how should I setup it because this keyboard might be old and softwares like FL Studio doesn't have its controller type in Midi settings. Thanks!
roland_a-33.jpg
 
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I'm having trouble understanding whether you're wanting to use the keyboard's internal sounds, or you want to use it as a MIDI controller, or both? I think if you could clarify this it would be easier for one of us to give you good advice.

Edit - I just had a look at the manual. This keyboard DOESN'T have internal sounds so I guess that answers that!

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I'm having trouble understanding whether you're wanting to use the keyboard's internal sounds, or you want to use it as a MIDI controller, or both? I think if you could clarify this it would be easier for one of us to give you good advice.

Edit - I just had a look at the manual. This keyboard DOESN'T have internal sounds so I guess that answers that!

View attachment 1999
What I mean is how do I use the keyboard's own patch/tone.
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Read that manual again. There are no built in sounds. If you connect a GS sound module, those buttons will call up the sounds that are printed on the front panel. (Since GS was a superset of the much more common GM, it's possible that a GM module would work as well.) For it to call up those sounds on a non-GM/GS sound source (or for the buttons to call up whatever other sounds you might prefer), you'd have to program the appropriate patch numbers into the A33. But regardless, unless it is connected to some external sound source, it produces no sound at all. Possible external sound sources that would work would be a sound module, another keyboard, a computer, or an iPhone/iPad.
 
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The first thing is you need to decide what is going to be your sound source. You have 3 choices - a laptop, an iPhone/iPad or a hardware module/other keyboard. From what I can see with the picture of the A-33 it appears to have 5 pin DIN midi and no USB midi so you will probably need an audio interface. I'd be inclined to go with one that is both PC and iOS compatible (like a Steinberg UR22mkii).
If you go down the iOS route (iPad/iPhone) you will also need the Apple CCK USB3 connector.
 
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The first thing is you need to decide what is going to be your sound source. You have 3 choices - a laptop, an iPhone/iPad or a hardware module/other keyboard. From what I can see with the picture of the A-33 it appears to have 5 pin DIN midi and no USB midi so you will probably need an audio interface.
Requiring an audio interface is not based on whether a board has USB or 5-pin MIDI (though there are a small number of boards with USB that include their own interface, so that might be the connection you're making). At any rate, in this particular situation, if he uses a PC laptop, he will probably need an audio interface; if he uses a Mac laptop, iPad, or iPhone, very possibly not; and if he uses a hardware module/other keyboard, definitely not.
 
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Yes a simple midi cable converter (5pin to USB) should work for PC but for iOS an interface is pretty much mandatory these days because of the lack of a headphone jack. The one connector you get is taken up by the CCK so to hear any audio you need a class compliant interface.
An alternative approach on iOS is to use bluetooth wireless midi input but it does add a little latency and you need a bluetooth midi adaptor.
 
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for iOS an interface is pretty much mandatory these days because of the lack of a headphone jack.
The current iPad and iPad Mini (but not Air or Pro) still have headphone jacks (as do the majority of iOS devices currently in use, in case the OP already has one). But yes, the move to USB-C changes things, I haven't looked at it in detail. Do you actually need an audio interface? I mean, is there no USB-C adapter that gives you a standard USB connection (or two) AND a headphone out? Or do such adapters exist but not work well?
 
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The current iPad and iPad Mini (but not Air or Pro) still have headphone jacks (as do the majority of iOS devices currently in use, in case the OP already has one). But yes, the move to USB-C changes things, I haven't looked at it in detail. Do you actually need an audio interface? I mean, is there no USB-C adapter that gives you a standard USB connection (or two) AND a headphone out? Or do such adapters exist but not work well?
Scott, I assume that you are talking about one of these?

link and then connect to the usb-c with one of these? link
 
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Honestly I don't know much of this Midi setups and whatnot. I have here an old Roland A-33 but still definitely functions well. I'd be happy if you guys can help me with a little background. I've read the manual and I wouldn't be going here in forums if I'm not having a hard time understanding it. I just need to know what are the connections should be and what are your suggestions playing live. It has its own sounds but I don't know how to use them if I would connect it to any audio interface. And if I would be using a DAW, how should I setup it because this keyboard might be old and softwares like FL Studio doesn't have its controller type in Midi settings. Thanks!
View attachment 1998

I just picked up an A-33 really cheap, as I’d been looking for a 76 key controller. I’ve had many midi controllers over the years from m-audio, Arturia and Novation and I use Logic as my DAW and MainStage for live. Since all those preset buttons only work with “GS” enabled sound modules, I’ve been wondering if I can re-map them to VSTs in Mainstage… but I can’t find anybody who has tried. Do you still have your A-33?
 
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happyrat1

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It's an interesting thought.

You should try remapping GM first and then see if you can create a bank of GM voices in Mainstage.

If that works, then try it with GS, since it's an extension of GM to begin with.

Come back to us with your progress.

MIDI scripting is a fine academic pursuit :)

Gary ;)
 
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