PLEASE UPDATE ME ON MIDI SEQUENCERS


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I used to work with 3 more guys 18 yrs ago using a Roland MC-50 MKII with a convenient start/stop pedal, and a drum machine.
Usually we sequence some strings, piano and sometimes bass.

I'm planning to go back on gigging, I understand they have digital recorders and computers today.

My question is, are those reliable to play alive with the start/stop pedal ?

also I can score the same sequencer for $100 on ebay. is it worth it and convenient to go digital $$$$ ?

Please give me some advice, thanksRoland_MC50mkII_main.jpg
 

The Y_man

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Hi there,

Many sequencers from yesteryear have the old DIN 5 MIDI plugs - and most modern keyboards only have a USB port - which is a pain because you end up lugging a laptop anyway :oops:

The Y-man
 
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shakiroin

You are really cutting across social, cultural, and economic lines with this one. The biggest dichotomy here is one of age. Older musicians, particularly the non-keyboard players of the band have much less trust (faith ?) in computers than younger musicians, while many younger musicians can't even conceive of going to a gig without their laptop, but there are cultural overtones as well. There are a lot of bars and bistros where your laptop will draw sidelong glances, not only from the other band members, but from the clientele as well, but just as many dance clubs where showing up without a laptop will get you thrown out on your ear as being ill-equipped. So when you ask about the reliability of the equipment involved, the answers you get are going to depend mostly on who you ask. I gave up gigging many years ago. What I do here in the studio today, I could not do without my PC, but if I WERE to go out on a gig, I would be hard pressed to consider hauling my laptop along. Oddly enough, I would probably be more likely to set up something on the iPad and take it with.

Now, as for the equipment, and using hardware out of yesteryear - let's look at what is available (new) on the market right now. Roland's entire "New Era" line of sequencerless synths - the Jupiter-50 and its monster brother, the Jupiter-80, and the MOTL Juno-Gi, and even the loveable little cuddly Di - ALL still have 5-pin-DIN MIDI connections. The Jup-80 even still includes a discrete 5-pin-DIN MIDI THRU. Even though Casio would love to have their upgraded 5-pin-DINless CTK/WK-6XXX/7XXX workstation line viewed as entry-level pro, the two they had to absolutely have considered pro-level for survival - the XW-P1 and the XW-G1 - are equipped with 5-pin-DIN MIDI IN/OUT jacks. In a couple of other threads in these forums, you have expressed interest in the Yamaha MOX6. The MOX's, being part of the pro Motif line come equipped with the full house 5-pin-DIN MIDI IN/OUT/THRU. I can not say for Korg, because I have never been a Korg user, but I have to assume that their line follows suit. I am a firm believer that these manufacturers are doing this for one reason, and one reason only - for market perception rather than customer need. They appear to realize that even in this day and age, a drop of the 5-pin-DIN MIDI jacks is a drop from pro level to fringe level, at best, as far as their target market is concerned. Roland appears to be taking an obvious hit just from dropping their sequencers. I never ceased to be amazed at the number of younger musicians on these forums that express no interest in a particular unit because it has "no MIDI', meaning it has USB-MIDI, which they equate to "no MIDI".

So, back to your original question. The core or main equipment you choose will determine your flexibility in choice of peripheral gear, but if you like discrete hardware like sequencers and sound modules, etc I think you will be safe considering those as long as you stay with MOTL keyboards and above. I think the 5-pin-DIN market will still be here for a while. Is it more reliable ? WELL - that still all depends on who you ask ! BTW - Even though I don't gig anymore, there are still a bunch of us that get together from time to time for jam sessions. I don't dare take one of my arrangers, as the guys feel it upstages them, but we do need some help once in a while with some backing tracks, so I haul along some MIDI files to play with the MC50-Mk-II through the Gi. As a matter of fact, I still have a battery powered Yamaha MIDI Data Filer that I use from time to time. All I can say is that none of this equipment has ever "crashed" on me.
 
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shakiroin

You are really cutting across social, cultural, and economic lines with this one. The biggest dichotomy here is one of age. Older musicians, particularly the non-keyboard players of the band have much less trust (faith ?) in computers than younger musicians, while many younger musicians can't even conceive of going to a gig without their laptop, but there are cultural overtones as well. There are a lot of bars and bistros where your laptop will draw sidelong glances, not only from the other band members, but from the clientele as well, but just as many dance clubs where showing up without a laptop will get you thrown out on your ear as being ill-equipped. So when you ask about the reliability of the equipment involved, the answers you get are going to depend mostly on who you ask. I gave up gigging many years ago. What I do here in the studio today, I could not do without my PC, but if I WERE to go out on a gig, I would be hard pressed to consider hauling my laptop along. Oddly enough, I would probably be more likely to set up something on the iPad and take it with.

Now, as for the equipment, and using hardware out of yesteryear - let's look at what is available (new) on the market right now. Roland's entire "New Era" line of sequencerless synths - the Jupiter-50 and its monster brother, the Jupiter-80, and the MOTL Juno-Gi, and even the loveable little cuddly Di - ALL still have 5-pin-DIN MIDI connections. The Jup-80 even still includes a discrete 5-pin-DIN MIDI THRU. Even though Casio would love to have their upgraded 5-pin-DINless CTK/WK-6XXX/7XXX workstation line viewed as entry-level pro, the two they had to absolutely have considered pro-level for survival - the XW-P1 and the XW-G1 - are equipped with 5-pin-DIN MIDI IN/OUT jacks. In a couple of other threads in these forums, you have expressed interest in the Yamaha MOX6. The MOX's, being part of the pro Motif line come equipped with the full house 5-pin-DIN MIDI IN/OUT/THRU. I can not say for Korg, because I have never been a Korg user, but I have to assume that their line follows suit. I am a firm believer that these manufacturers are doing this for one reason, and one reason only - for market perception rather than customer need. They appear to realize that even in this day and age, a drop of the 5-pin-DIN MIDI jacks is a drop from pro level to fringe level, at best, as far as their target market is concerned. Roland appears to be taking an obvious hit just from dropping their sequencers. I never ceased to be amazed at the number of younger musicians on these forums that express no interest in a particular unit because it has "no MIDI', meaning it has USB-MIDI, which they equate to "no MIDI".

So, back to your original question. The core or main equipment you choose will determine your flexibility in choice of peripheral gear, but if you like discrete hardware like sequencers and sound modules, etc I think you will be safe considering those as long as you stay with MOTL keyboards and above. I think the 5-pin-DIN market will still be here for a while. Is it more reliable ? WELL - that still all depends on who you ask ! BTW - Even though I don't gig anymore, there are still a bunch of us that get together from time to time for jam sessions. I don't dare take one of my arrangers, as the guys feel it upstages them, but we do need some help once in a while with some backing tracks, so I haul along some MIDI files to play with the MC50-Mk-II through the Gi. As a matter of fact, I still have a battery powered Yamaha MIDI Data Filer that I use from time to time. All I can say is that none of this equipment has ever "crashed" on me.
" Crashing " is the main concern. I won't feel very pro on a stage where my audience can hear the windows start wav file between songs after a crash (not an apple user).... MC-50 used to reboot in 5 secs and will load a song on about 4 secs if I remember correctly. I guess i may trust a Touchscreen laptop with a Solid State hard drive to gig, and I definitely will need that start/stop pedal.
 
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happyrat1

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It may sound facetious but you can always turn off system sounds in your windows control panel :)

Seriously though, the industry standard for studio and performance PCs for the past 30 years has pretty much always been Apple.

Personally I run Linux on my machines at home and for the most part my setup is pretty stable, but if I were counting on my computer to bring home a paycheck in a performance environment, I'd spend the money and get an iPad or an iBook.

What it really boils down to is how seriously do you need a stable platform and will it pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time?

Then again, a lot of the workstations out there have built in sequencers as well, easily programmable to start and stop with a footpedal and usable to control all of your MIDI gear.

I think the question you really have to ask yourself here is how ready are you to learn a new paradigm and start using computers for sequencing?

The Roland antique is functional enough and your learning curve with it is effectively zero and the price is a hell of a lot cheaper than an iPad or even a Mac Mini, so my advice would be to buy the Roland on eBay for $100, use it in the meantime, and slowly learn to wean yourself off of the hardware over the long run while you take more time to learn about Fruit Flavoured Computers and their quirks and eccentricities.

I mean it's not like you'd be able to buy a Mac Mini or iPad and master the software overnight anyway, so in the meantime work with what you're comfortable with until you're confident enough in your own technical ability to use a computer in a live performance.

That's my $0.02... ;)

Gary
 

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