Playing Roland RP401 Digital Piano .MID files on Windows 10?


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Hi Folks,

I have been frustrated and defeated by what seems like such a trivial task. If any kind soul could help me I would be eternally grateful.

I have made a recording on my RP401 digital piano and saved it to a USB stick. The RP401 literature says its midi sound generator conforms to GM2/GS/XGlite. Obviously, I can play these back on the RP401 so I know the recording/playback is ok on the memory stick itself. However, I want to be able to use my recording on a Windows PC and specifically in Windows Movie Maker which doesn't except midi files.

I have tried using various midi players and converters but none of them produce any sounds when 'playing' the USB file (no errors either!). 'Switch/Wavepad' doesn't show any info in the midi file when I play it or after I convert it. I have downloaded a random midi file off the internet which looks 'normal' in Wavepad and also sounds fine so I know I haven't got the sound turned off or speakers disabled.

Is there someone out there who can advise me what I need to do to playback these .MID files in Windows 10 and what midi to mp3 converter I need to convert from .MID to mp3?

I just tried uploading a very small .MID file with just a few notes in it using the forum 'Upload a File' option but the file uploader says .MID is unsupported.
 
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happyrat1

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What you have to do is a two stage process.

1) Make a wav recording of the MIDI using whatever tone generator you prefer or preferably the original keyboard.

2) Convert the WAV to MP3. There's are dozens of free utilities that will accomplish this.

Then you'll have a proper MP3 audio file to import into your movie.

Gary ;)
 
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Gary,

There isn't an option to create a wav recording on the RP401.

The .MID file created by the RP401 doesn't appear to be recognised by all the different software packages I have tried so I can neither play the original or use a converter on it.
 

happyrat1

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Wait a sec.

I just reread the thread.

What's stopping you from plugging your Roland into your computer and recordinig a WAV file?

That's all you have to do to accomplish phase 1.

Gary ;)
 
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Hi Gary,

Appreciate your help and please forgive my ignorance... I'v never done this before. What would you recommend in terms of PC software to make the recording and to be able to create the WAV file?

David
 
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The simplest method is to feed your keyboards line out into the PC audio input and use the free ware Audacity to record the audio.

If the keyboard does not have audio out then you can use the headphone socket but turn the volume down to zero when connecting, then slowly turn it up until the Windows audio mixer shows the right levels. Overdriving the PC audio input could damage the adio card hence be careful.

For a MIDI system you will need an interface unit (I will leave it to Gary to advise what, he is the most knowledgeable on systems) the interface unit feeds into the PC where you can use DAW software to record individual instruments (look at Garage Band on your iPad as this is DAW software it will show you want is what) a light version of DAW software is about 100 bucks, Ableton, Cubase are but two DAW systems.

Audacity that I quoted earlier is very good audio recording software and well worth having on any PC.
 

happyrat1

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All that he needs to hook up MIDI to the computer is a standard USB AB Printer Cable.

https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Hi-Speed-Cable-Type-Type-B/dp/B00004Z5M1/

As for the audio, a straight thru 3.5 mm TRS to 3.5 mm TRS cable would do.

https://www.amazon.com/MyCableMart-EXTRA-Mini-Stereo-Plated-Cable/dp/B00U1SZ95M/

In this particular case, however, he wasn't asking about using a Computer for MIDI, simply as an audio recorder to transfer a tune to MP3.

As for software? Audacity is a good choice, but seeing as I haven't used Windows in decades I'm wondering if Soundrec is still bundled with the OS? That would do the job just fine as well.

Gary ;)
 
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Biggles/Gary, thanks for that. As always, potentially more to these things than meets the eye, at least for a novice.

You'll be pleased to know that I have now connected the USB port on the RP401 to a laptop USB port and successfully used Audacity to record some notes, so that part of the exercise is solved. Many thanks for helping me with that.

However, this leads on to another related question which is to do with the quality of the recording. The RP401 sounds pretty nice, to my ear, when played live but the Audacity recorded playback sounds quite different, more like an organ sound. I recognise that the quality of the PC playback is not going to be great coming from a cheap laptop speaker but it still sounds quite robotic and organ'y.

Presumably this is because the digital interface can't convey a more realistic or actual sound of the piano? Is this where the DAW software or a dedicated midi interface module comes in? Are USB to USB type recordings like I have made always going to sound unrealistic compared to the device being recorded? Should I be attempting to record from a mic to get a more realistic recording or do I need to encourage Audacity to make better recordings?

David
 

happyrat1

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The recording you made via audio over USB from your Roland should be CD Quality.

The crap you are hearing is coming from the $2 laptop speaker in your computer.

Try hooking up the computer's audio output to a proper set of 2.1 speakers and you will hear a world of difference.

It has nothing to do with requiring an interface.

Gary ;)
 
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I'm hoping someone is still available to provide some more advice on this. I attempted to attach two wav files to this post to explain my problem but even relatively short wav clips appear to be too large. One clip was recorded via USB directly into Audacity and the other was recorded via a dirt cheap USB microphone also into Audacity. Both are just a few notes from the RP401 digital Piano and the recordings are from an identical playback from the piano's memory.

The Mic USB recording is my benchmark, even given that it was a cheap USB Mic held close the piano speaker. As naff as it is, I can hear it is a piano and it has a melodic tonal range. This is my benchmark.

However, when I repeat the exercise with a direct Piano USB to Laptop USB it makes the first example look far, far superior. Irrespective of headphone or speaker quality, something isn't right and there is no way this USB to USB recording is CD quality as suggested.

The Mic version demonstrates some of the tonal quality of the piano whereas the USB recording sounds toneless and machine made. I have tried USB recording with different options in Audacity but I have yet to make a significant improvement on the USB version. If we rule out speaker quality, because its the same for both, is there any other reason why the USB recording should be of such poor quality?

David
 
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happyrat1

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First convert the WAV clips to MP3 to save on space and download time, then post them on Google Drive and link them here so we know what you are talking about.

Gary ;)
 
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Apologies Gary, I don't use Google Drive so I need to look into that. I'v also found something on the Roland site that implies I need to install a specific Roland driver before I can use the data output from the Roland piano. The driver setup doesn't want to play ball at the moment so I'll get back to you when I'v done some more investigation.
 
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Dc, are you sure you are recording audio and not Midi. Midi files sound bad when played back as they are on the pc, and even when played back within the DAW if not having a good sound selected therein. When playingthe midi back within software it dddepends on which tone generator is used and which sound/vst (or so). I think that is why Gary asked you to convert tthe midi into wav, on yyour keyboard itself in order to preserve the original kb sound.

Just to make sure you are recording the audio, not the midi file(you talked about recording notes: Did you mean notes like on a music sheet, because that would imply you are recording midi?

Well I still need to do it myself, still awaiting the last pieces for my setup and then I will get into recording with a pc in realtime through usb.
 
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Dc, are you sure you are recording audio and not Midi. Midi files sound bad when played back as they are on the pc, and even when played back within the DAW if not having a good sound selected therein. When playingthe midi back within software it dddepends on which tone generator is used and which sound/vst (or so). I think that is why Gary asked you to convert tthe midi into wav, on yyour keyboard itself in order to preserve the original kb sound.

Just to make sure you are recording the audio, not the midi file(you talked about recording notes: Did you mean notes like on a music sheet, because that would imply you are recording midi?

Well I still need to do it myself, still awaiting the last pieces for my setup and then I will get into recording with a pc in realtime through usb.

Thanks Dino, you hit it on the head there. I was recommended to use Audacity but it doesn't handle MIDI data which is all that comes out of the USB on the piano. It was presumably treating the input as audio, hence the weird recordings. I'll experiment with some different software for the MIDI side and as soon as my cables turn up, I'll record audio through the headphone socket or Line out.

Gary/Biggles et al, Thanks for all the advice. I had wrongly assumed that I was going to be able to record audio through what I now know is a pure MIDI USB connection, hence the rubbish recording you never did get to hear. I have since ordered cables that will allow me to record audio through the headphone socket or line out.

So, I think and hope I am pretty much sorted for now. Cheers, dc
 
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