Setup, low latency


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I have an analog piano I can mute and play with headphones, the keys being "read" optically, if I remember correctly. It only comes with a piano sound, but there's a MIDI out. I also have a Windows laptop and an Android tablet. What would be best to make it into an organ (or the like) for my son, without the latency problem and preferably without having to spend a fortune?
 
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tjw

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I have a small setup here, it's a desktop H/P Pavillion running at 3.4 GHz, Presonus AudioBox (USB) interface. With the Garritan JABB 3 and 64-bit Aria player (incuded with JABB or Personal Orchestra) the buffer size is 64 samples. I have never noticed any dropouts while driving the Aria with MIDI from Yamaha CVP-105.

JABB 3 has about 8 or 9 organ sample sets.

The latency is imperceptible.

LATER EDIT: I'm using the ASIO4ALL drivers.
 
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happyrat1

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When you say "analog piano" I presume you mean an acoustic grand or upright that's been outfitted with a set of sensors and a MIDI port?

If so, your simplest and cheapest solution might be to simply hook up a MIDI hardware module like this one

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

And a couple of appropriate cables and an amp and you'll be able to play the full range of MIDI voices from organs to strings to synths to drums without dragging in any computers or laptops or complicated softwares.

Basically you'll need a 6 foot 5 pin MIDI DIN cable, two 1/4" TS to RCA type patch cords, a USB AB printer cable and a 2 AMP USB power wart to power up the module.

https://www.amazon.com/TNP-MIDI-Cable-6FT-Connector/dp/B01M8G32UP/

https://www.amazon.com/SiYear-Convertor-Adapter-Amplifie,Mixer-Amplifi/dp/B0783P9NXD/

https://www.amazon.com/DTOL-Canon-Pixma-Printer-Cable/dp/B0032GTLH2/

https://www.amazon.com/ICV-USB-Wall-Charger-Lightweight/dp/B0119BUJDQ/

For monitors I recommend picking up a cheap set of M-Audio AV42 Monitors that will sound just fine in a medium to small sized room.

https://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-20-Watt-Compact-Monitor-Speakers/dp/B00X741TB0/

Just connect everything up properly and you have a standalone MIDI setup that powers up with the flick of a switch and won't suffer from any latency problems.

Or you could go the sweat equity route of using a USB MIDI Class Compliant Interface and figuring out how to install and configure and route the software on a computer hammering out the latency problems as you go along.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks a lot - some links and googling to do. :)

I realise this is a naive question, but what does the thing in the middle do that a cable doesn't? Process the MIDI data (better, for example with lower latency, than the computer? Amplify?

(EDIT: Yes, an acoustic upright with optical sensors and MIDI out.)
 
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happyrat1

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The doohickey in the middle is a Hardware MIDI Sound Module. :)

ie. It takes a MIDI input, processes it, then outputs any one of 128 MIDI patches as Line Level Audio directly to an amp.

Think of it as dedicated MIDI computer which can output the music as you play without any real lag to speak of.

There are more expensive versions of such modules out there, such as the old Roland Sound Canvas or the old Triton Rack or Motif Rack or the Current Roland Integra 7, but you specified you want to do this on the cheap.

Essentially it's a synth in a box.

Gary ;)
 

tjw

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Back in the day, I had one of these:


Great box. I often wish I hadn't sold it, but I've got plenty of sounds now.

There's a few of these (used) on Ebay this morning.
 

happyrat1

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Personally I picked up one of these from Ebay for $150 CDN about a year ago.



I use it for tinkling in the bedroom with an Arturia Controller when I don't feel like firing up the big rig.

To be sure it sounds better than the S-Engine MIDI Module I linked which is the cheaper option.

But it does have a full set of 256 GS Sounds.

Mine shipped from Japan where the electrical outlets are compatible with North American power outlets. There's a few reconditioned units currently available on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=roland sound canvas sc-88vl&_sacat=0

Gary ;)
 
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As an update, I'm thinking about buying a Pianobox Pro, with 64 E-Mu sounds including, it seems, some very nice B3s. The cheapest would be a Pianobox Mini/ammoon midiplus miniengine, but the sounds seem to be really bad.
 

happyrat1

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Yeah, the Pianobox/S-Engine whatever they label it is probably your better bet. I have no idea what they use for MIDI ports on the Mini. It may be USB only which would be useless to you.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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Still I can't speak for the MINI.

Let the ratings on Amazon be your guide.

Gary ;)
 
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Yes, and some samples on YouTube - awful. But the Pianobox Pro comes with additional E-Mu sounds, and those are more decent.
 

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