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Topic: Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

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  1. #1

    Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

    My old Yamaha KX-76 may be giving up the ghost, and I'm considering getting the Roland/Cakewalk A800. Roland uses their fekachta all-in-one bender/modulator rather than separate wheels, and I'm a little concerned about making the jump to their system. For example, with a modulation wheel, I can take my hand off it for a moment to tweek a rotary controller to bring in another effect. With the Roland spring-loaded device, if I take my hand off it, the volume will drop to zero.

    Are there any people here using Roland controllers, and if so, how do you deal with such a situation? Thanks.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Steinway A104030
    Sonar X2 (professional), Finale 2011, JABB 3, GPO

  2. #2

    Re: Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

    Quote Originally Posted by Dean L. Surkin View Post
    My old Yamaha KX-76 may be giving up the ghost, and I'm considering getting the Roland/Cakewalk A800. Roland uses their fekachta all-in-one bender/modulator rather than separate wheels, and I'm a little concerned about making the jump to their system. For example, with a modulation wheel, I can take my hand off it for a moment to tweek a rotary controller to bring in another effect. With the Roland spring-loaded device, if I take my hand off it, the volume will drop to zero.

    Are there any people here using Roland controllers, and if so, how do you deal with such a situation? Thanks.
    I'm your man. I have that very keyboard, as does Forum member Chip "Reberclark."

    I went through the exact same scenario, hesitating over getting the keyboard because of the "mod/pitch-stick."

    No problems - And I'll show you why.

    --First, to underline what you said, you're right that if you relied on the mod stick for controlling volume, you'd have to have your hand constantly on the thing. Bad - unworkable.

    --The A-800 Pro is a fully equipped controller, "bristling with controls" as ads are wont to say.

    --Because of so many controls, you simply do one of these two things:

    --Assign CC1 (mod) to one of the sliders or knobs, and play away as you're accustomed to doing, just adapting to using a slider or knob instead of a wheel.

    --OR, do as I did--I bought an M-Audio Expression pedal at the same time. Plugged that into the APro, and that's my main volume control. CC11 and CC1 or interpreted in ARIA as exactly the same thing.

    --I use my Mod stick in a versatile way. One controller map keeps it at CC1, so I can use on instruments that interpret that as vibrato. But I have an ARIA map which has the stick programmed to AFterTouch - Wonderful. That's what controls vibrato in many Garritan instruments. So I now always have that available, and in a way MUCH more controllable than keeping it tied to key pressure - I have that and volume available at the same time.

    Either way - program a slider, or get a pedal - The spring loaded stick on the Roland is No Problem.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Wink Re: Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

    Or ...
    The one I'm seriously considering, for a bit more, is the Novation Impulse 61.
    Pitch bend and Mod wheels, plus after touch.
    It can be split into up to 4 zones, if required, each to a seperate channel.
    The keyboard is semi weighted and supposed to be quite good (as these kind of keyboards go).
    The Evolution stuff has been getting good reviews too lately.
    Just my 2d.
    SysExJohn.

  4. #4

    Re: Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

    Randy, thanks. I was thinking of mapping the expression pedal to control volume (hey, I learned to do that with my Farfisa Combo Compact back in 1966), and you confirmed it for me.

    John: I looked at the Novation Impulse. I liked the action, a lot, and build quality looks quite good. What I don't like about it is the Automap paradigm--you're supposed to run Automap, which wraps all your VSTs in a shell that interfaces with the Novation's controls. I posted a few questions on the Sonar forum about whether the Novation will work without Automap, because I'd rather let Sonar do the remapping (my thinking being that the fewer layers of software, the more stable the system). Unfortunately, no one has yet replied with an answer.

    Let me give an example about layers: My M-Audio UC-33 worked fine with Windows XP. When I upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit and installed the M-Audio driver, the UC-33 mostly didn't work--move slider 1 = response, move slider 2 through 9 = no response or control something unexpected. After a month or so, I tried removing the driver entirely, and now the UC-33 works fine.

    So if you find out that the Novation Impulse works without Automap, let me know, okay? Because then I'll put it back on my short list.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Steinway A104030
    Sonar X2 (professional), Finale 2011, JABB 3, GPO

  5. #5

    Re: Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

    Quick note about 'Automap' - load of crap. I removed it. I have the Novation Nocturn 49 (not the same but same make) - it works perfectly with automap removed. It finds all the basic controls automatically and maps no problem when I manually assign them. With automap installed, it never worked properly.
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  6. #6

    Re: Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

    Quote Originally Posted by Plowking View Post
    Quick note about 'Automap' - load of crap. I removed it...
    My heart sank for a second - I read that as "Autoharp."

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: Roland controller with spring-loaded bender/modulator

    Thanks PlowKing,

    Good to know it can be used without Automap, although there is a new version out, I'm informed, v4, which the reviewers say works a lot better than v3. It's downloadable from the Novation site.

    Thanks too, Dean, for your comments on the Impulse. That may be just what I need to tip the balance in favour (UK spelling) of getting hold of one. Many other keyboards I've tried have, IMHO, a lousy action. The few reviews I've read of the Impulse have been moderately impressed with it. It will be good to have proper mod and pitch bend wheels again.

    I'm going to refit the joystick spring I removed from my Edirol PCR-M30 and see if I can get a few bob (slang for shillings in old UK currency) for it on ebay. It served it's purpose for a while. Time to retire it gracefully.

    No, Randy, I'm told Autoharp works fine for most. I downloaded it but haven't had the time to try it. Shame!
    Too many commissions for orchestral backing tracks for singers. A pleasant position to be in. Keep up the good work.

    SysExJohn.

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