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Roland MIDI middle C question

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I have a question about the MIDI keyboard notes on my two MIDI-capable instruments. I have a Titano acoustic accordion with a simple MIDI system that transmits treble, bass, and chords (no bellows dynamics). Using the MIDI Wrench app on my iPad, I found that pressing the middle C key on the keyboard triggers C3. On my Roland FR7, the same key triggers C4 an octave higher. This has been problematic, since many of the instruments sound too low when I use my acoustic accordion with MIDI. I have been able to overcome this problem on some sound modules that allow transposition, but I wonder why these instruments aren't sending signals in the same octave? Is there a way to correct the problem with my acoustic MIDI system without having to purchase new hardware?
 

Ventura

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yes, the "error" is with your older MIDI system

some simple midi controllers have few or no physical switches, and
no sophisticated informational display. They used arcane press and holds
and then keys acted temporarily as switches to select parameters

first, i suggest you look closer in any instructions that you have for that MIDI
and see if it has a global transpose function for the treble hidden in some corner of
it's programming..

other than that, there are devices that can intercept MIDI data and change
some settings or flter certain messages... i use one to strip program changes and
midi Volume from the FR3 on it's way to a (physical) set of Drawbars

good luck
 

Glenn

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This is a age old problem.
ISO defines C0 as octave -1 which means C4 is middle C.
However keyboard manufacturers have their own systems.
Yamaha start from octave 0 which means C3 is middle C.
I always make the same mistake when I map a Kontakt sample instrument to my Yamaha keyboard. At least there it is easy to correct.
 
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Thank you gentlemen. It is interesting that this wouldn't be a little more standard. Ventura, I don't have a manual for my MIDI on the Titano, so I don't know how I could make any adjustments. I don't even know what brand this old system is. It has the spring-type contacts. I wonder if the MIDI event processor you told me about before is the solution?
 

Alan Sharkis

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I have a question about the MIDI keyboard notes on my two MIDI-capable instruments. I have a Titano acoustic accordion with a simple MIDI system that transmits treble, bass, and chords (no bellows dynamics). Using the MIDI Wrench app on my iPad, I found that pressing the middle C key on the keyboard triggers C3. On my Roland FR7, the same key triggers C4 an octave higher. This has been problematic, since many of the instruments sound too low when I use my acoustic accordion with MIDI. I have been able to overcome this problem on some sound modules that allow transposition, but I wonder why these instruments aren't sending signals in the same octave? Is there a way to correct the problem with my acoustic MIDI system without having to purchase new hardware?
You say you want to bring the acoustic’s midi up an octave. Ventura’s suggestion is a good one. Check any documentation you have with the system to see if that can be done. Contact the manufacturer, if possible.

If you’re using your setup to record, your DAW should be able to do this task.

If you’re working live, there are some relatively inexpensive hardware solutions that can be programmed to reassign midi messages so that they’re in the correct octave.
 

Ventura

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"I don't even know what brand this old system is. It has the spring-type contacts."

there were not that many "hidden" brands/models of MIDI that were made,
most were aftermarket add-ons or add ons at the factory
(but not designed by the factory)
ORLA did have their own, however, that they installed in acoustic boxes
made for them in the old SEM factory

perhaps someone who also has a hidden system would post the control sequence
of key-presses for you to try

Other than that, you could open the box up carefully
(beware of stressing wires)
and see if the main circuit board has any identifying printing on it

(~~~~~~~~~waves hello to Alan~~~~~~~~~~)
 

Ventura

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" It is interesting that this wouldn't be a little more standard."

in Italy, standards are like traffic signals... mere suggestions

for example, ELKA refused to adhere to the original MIDI specs agreed
on through Mr Kakehashi and Dave Smith and adopted by the universe

as a result, the original Excelsior MIDIVOX had a solder trace you either left
intact (for MIDI standard) or cut for ELKA MIDI as the default system, and all
manufacturers who wanted their products to "interface" with ELKA products
also had to make similar choices

eventually this stubborn shortsighted position from ELKA would in large part
lead to their demise, though serious problems in quality control in their Organ
division also cost them millions

and as for the traffic, well there is a stoplight on the road from Ancona, near
the old rotting Farfisa factory, and if you are in the line of cars crowding the
access feeds to the ONE LANE heading South during morning rush hour...

well, let's just say when the light changes, this is NOT for the faint of heart
 
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Haha! I would like to visit there some day. Maybe I should take a bus. I took your advice and opened up my grille cover and the PCB is marked "Elka 1712 F.202" . While I was in there I polished up my springs to improve contact. Being an Elka product, your statements about their demise leads me to believe there is little hope of finding a manual. Given the price of the event processor, I guess I will live with this little quirk. I will consider it the charm of my now-historic MIDI system!
 

Ventura

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we can just be glad that antique still works reliably and performs the basic
functions in a useful way !

you can download the instructions and program for the event processor to
get familiar before buying one, and make sure it will do the specific thing
you want

it is powered from the MIDI cable, so one end or other it plugs into
needs to have that residual power patched in, and if not you make
an adapter (kind of like sending power over ethernet) i mention that so you
don't get caught unaware in case the old Elka midi doesn't have that feature

good luck and glad we could help you figure this out
 

Alan Sharkis

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we can just be glad that antique still works reliably and performs the basic
functions in a useful way !

you can download the instructions and program for the event processor to
get familiar before buying one, and make sure it will do the specific thing
you want

it is powered from the MIDI cable, so one end or other it plugs into
needs to have that residual power patched in, and if not you make
an adapter (kind of like sending power over ethernet) i mention that so you
don't get caught unaware in case the old Elka midi doesn't have that feature

good luck and glad we could help you figure this out
The Event Processor has helped me out of several jams. I’ll give just two examples:

Back in the day when computers and/or midi sequencer software (the forerunner of today’s DAWs) were too slow to keep up with the stream of volume change messages coming from the bellows pressure sensor on my then reedless accordion, I programmed the device to filter out those messages.

There is a setting in the FR-4x that lets you send a note-on message for just the root note when a chord button is pressed. However, that message will appear in one of four different octaves, depending on whether rhe chord button pressed is M, m, 7, or dim. That’s not good if you’re playing into a notation program. So, I set up the Event Processor to get all those messages remapped into the one octave appropriate for AAA notation. I still have to enter the text (M, m, 7, or dim manually, but at least the notated chords come out as single notes in the proper position on the bass staff. (I know, Europeans either notate Stradella bass with solfeggio or learn to read and recognize the entire chord.)
 

Alan Sharkis

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The Event Processor has helped me out of several jams. I’ll give just two examples:

Back in the day when computers and/or midi sequencer software (the forerunner of today’s DAWs) were too slow to keep up with the stream of volume change messages coming from the bellows pressure sensor on my then reedless accordion, I programmed the device to filter out those messages.

There is a setting in the FR-4x that lets you send a note-on message for just the root note when a chord button is pressed. However, that message will appear in one of four different octaves, depending on whether rhe chord button pressed is M, m, 7, or dim. That’s not good if you’re playing into a notation program. So, I set up the Event Processor to get all those messages remapped into the one octave appropriate for AAA notation. I still have to enter the text (M, m, 7, or dim manually, but at least the notated chords come out as single notes in the proper position on the bass staff. (I know, Europeans either notate Stradella bass with solfeggio or learn to read and recognize the entire chord.)
Oh, and one thing more about the Event Processor and also the Event Processor Plus: Whatever program you give it will stay in its non-volatile memory for many years, even if it’s disconnected, until you delete or change that program. The editor you can use to program the device is a free download from the MIDI Solutions website. You can also download it before you buy the Event Processor to see how easy it is to use.
 
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Well, I couldn't stand listening to my MIDI tones an octave too low on my Elka MIDI system any more. I received my MIDI Soluions Event Processor Plus today. The software download came with sample program files which included the octave transposition I needed. The programming took thirty seconds and worked perfectly. I see that this amazing little box can do so much more that I might never use, but I am pleased that it will make my MIDI accordion more fun to play. My thanks to Alan Sharkis and Ventura for your suggestion to give it a try!
 

Ventura

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very glad to hear this worked out well for you

personally i still prefer a simple MIDI Accordion for
everyday just having fun... the idea of a Touch Sensitive
Accordion keyboard was once a "holy grail" sort of quest
but for practical purposes having to sacrifice Reeds to get it
is a trade-off that is better for some things and worse for others

and i have never heard a fatter Bass than a Cordovox which is
what i tried to emulate with MIDI, and have enjoyed my
solution for that for 3 decades now, while the Digital Accordions
still have not come close with the built in Orchestral Bass they offer

in my humble opinion, of course

keep enjoying your antique !
 

Alan Sharkis

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Well, I couldn't stand listening to my MIDI tones an octave too low on my Elka MIDI system any more. I received my MIDI Soluions Event Processor Plus today. The software download came with sample program files which included the octave transposition I needed. The programming took thirty seconds and worked perfectly. I see that this amazing little box can do so much more that I might never use, but I am pleased that it will make my MIDI accordion more fun to play. My thanks to Alan Sharkis and Ventura for your suggestion to give it a try!
Glad you’re enjoing it!
 

accrevolution

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One pleasure of the the Streb Melodeon is that it is set up to be a melodeon. Simple. I does have MIDI connections if you want them, but if you are just wanting to play "accordion music" your notes are true and easily adjustable around the A440.
 
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