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MIDI Designer with a Roland Octapad? - MIDI Designer Q&A

MIDI Designer with a Roland Octapad?

0 votes
asked Feb 26, 2021 in Community Requests by audiophiliacuk (190 points)
Basically, I'm trying to create something like this video...(around the 6 min mark is probably where it's best demonstrated)

2 Answers

+2 votes


Since there is a complete Midi implementation provided by Roland, should be straight forward to do it.  

Toughtest part is just getting started and getting a few controls working.  After that, mostly just rinse and repeat until you have everything.

Easiest approach is to just recreate the Roland menus on a larger screen.  More useful is to create a more useful interface.  I will read through the documents this weekend and can provide assistance if needed.
answered Feb 26, 2021 by jkhiser (16,080 points)
That would be great... I was thinking that the fact that each pad has access to all of those menus, setting up a useable interface on screen would be a nightmare as ideally, everything could be done on screen (including auditioning sounds).

Thanks :)

Did you get a chance to look through the Roland .pdf? Any tips or tricks I might use to get started?

sorry, email notifications were broken so we've been flakey on support. @JK bump!
0 votes

Sorry, as Dan said, we lost our e-mail.

Some stream of consciousness thoughts on getting started.

Unlike the roland synths I am familiar with, this does not have a "scratchpad" that you can edit - looks like you are directly editing the kits.

Recommendation 1 - focus on making the editor work only on kit 1.  Once it is working there - use streambyter to target the edited kit.

Kit 1 is at memory location 04 00 00 00.  

Start by trying to edit the primary instrument assigned to pad 1.

This will be memory location 04 00 40 00, and is a four byte value.  See how this is built up from the memory map entries for Kit 1 and Kit Unit Main 1.  Learning how to use the sysex memory map is the key to building the editor.

Many times Roland uses only four bits of the seven bits available in midi, and looks like that is true of this field.  So you will need a spreadsheet that does "roland" midi counting.  

You will need all the instrument names in a spreadsheet.  

I have attached a sample spreadsheet that does the four bit calculation, and has the first set of drums loaded.

So we need to make a picker control, type sysex.

Enter the following sysex command: 41 10 00 00 00 79 12 04 00 40 00 V (mdp2 automatically provides the leading F0 and trailing F7), select four byte V, roland four bit checksum.  (This is the Roland DT1)

For the control, select named ticks, do not convert current ticks.  Then edit the named ticks text, clear out everything, then paste in the "load this column" (minus the header) into the named ticks field.  (Note - while we enter the sysex command in HEX, the named ticks midi values load in DECIMAL.  Just something to get used to.)

Save, and test.  Hopefully, we have a control that selects the the primary instrument for kit 1, pad 1.

Hopefully that will get you started.

The sample spreadsheet is numbers.  If you are on a PC, I will have to figure out how to reconfigure the calculations so they translate properly to Excel - which they are not currently doing.  But that may be a few days.

Downloads: 144
Beginning of SPD-20 spreadsheet
Downloads: 144
answered Apr 26, 2021 by jkhiser (16,080 points)