Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby gerwin » 2018-11-22 @ 00:32

Falcosoft wrote:Here's a SysEx file that does just the above:

Neat! it works.
I will try to understand what exactly you did there later...

Falcosoft wrote:@Edit: For proper CM-64 instrument display on SC-VA you have to set SC-55 mode before sending the CM-64 mode SysEx. In other modes the mapping is set correctly but you will get '-----' as instrument name on all channels.

I noticed you have to set SC-55 in Options->System->Map-Mode in this case. I found the GS Reset on the start of your SysEx file prevents the chaining with my earlier files, I replaced the Reset with the SC55Mode SysEx commands. Then it works regardless of what the option screen says. :) (Attached)

I am wondering whether I should edit the files I attached, to add a GS Reset in front. I don't like midi-songs doing a Reset by themselves, but these are not songs...
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Falcosoft » 2018-11-22 @ 03:09

gerwin wrote:I found the GS Reset on the start of your SysEx file prevents the chaining with my earlier files, I replaced the Reset with the SC55Mode SysEx commands..
I am wondering whether I should edit the files I attached, to add a GS Reset in front. I don't like midi-songs doing a Reset by themselves, but these are not songs...


I think removing the GS Reset was a mistake. You should have put your messages between the GS Reset and CM-64 mode messages. GS Reset is necessary at the beginning of the sequence since without it you cannot be sure that the rest of the SysEx messages can do their job.
E.g. if SC-VA is in GM mode because of an earlier played midi file that contains explicit GM ON (or GM is set manually by user) Bank Select receiving is disabled so only the GM map programs are set by the SysEx messages that results in wrong instruments (not just on display)...
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Solanacean » 2019-1-10 @ 18:38

Falco, is there any possibility of a macOS port of Midi Player? As a mac user I currently have two options: either run the player in a virtual machine or use WINE. Unfortunately, both are lacking, sound quality wise.
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Falcosoft » 2019-1-10 @ 19:34

Solanacean wrote:Falco, is there any possibility of a macOS port of Midi Player? As a mac user I currently have two options: either run the player in a virtual machine or use WINE. Unfortunately, both are lacking, sound quality wise.


Unfortunately no. The problem is that FSMP is written at a rather low level. It uses Win32 services/subsystems/system calls directly (such as WinMM, Directsound, ACM, Virtual memory handling etc.) This approach has the advantage of lower memory footprint/faster execution/finer tuning and best Win32 compatibility (from Win9x to Win10) but has a disadvantage of the lack of portability. Also the GUI framework it uses (VCL) has not been ported to MacOS.
I suspect that using it under a virtual machine does not result in the best experience but in case of Wine there should not be sound quality problems (at least in case of Linux + Wine user feedbacks are quite positive).
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Solanacean » 2019-1-15 @ 17:51

Falcosoft wrote:Unfortunately no. The problem is that FSMP is written at a rather low level. It uses Win32 services/subsystems/system calls directly (such as WinMM, Directsound, ACM, Virtual memory handling etc.) This approach has the advantage of lower memory footprint/faster execution/finer tuning and best Win32 compatibility (from Win9x to Win10) but has a disadvantage of the lack of portability. Also the GUI framework it uses (VCL) has not been ported to MacOS.
I suspect that using it under a virtual machine does not result in the best experience but in case of Wine there should not be sound quality problems (at least in case of Linux + Wine user feedbacks are quite positive).

Thank you for such a detailed answer. I have to admit that Wine's sound quality is not THAT bad, but there are performance problems with this combo which make it completely useless for the purpose of recording audio (unless one wants a record full of skipped and/or stretched notes which stutters here and there).
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Solanacean » 2019-1-15 @ 18:18

Falco, I was listening to my collection of midi files and stumbled upon one file which didn't sound right in MidiPlayer when using built-in VSTi + SCVA, compared to three DAWs I tried and as well as VanBasco’s Player + VSTi Host + SCVA combo. Could you take a look into it? I think it can be a bug.
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Falcosoft » 2019-1-15 @ 18:24

Of course, compress your midi file to zip and then attach it to your post in this thread. I will check it out. And please write a little description about what kind of problem I should hear.
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Solanacean » 2019-1-15 @ 18:31

Okay then. Switch to SC-8820 + GM2 and listen to the drums starting at 1:30 - they sound completely wrong.
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Falcosoft » 2019-1-15 @ 19:36

OK, first of all this is not a GM2 midi file. It contains no SysEx messages at all so it's a simple GM compatible midi. Notice that GM2 is a special beast since GM2 uses Bank MSB 120 to designate a channel as a drum channel!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_MIDI_Level_2
But this file simply sets program 0 on channel 10 and does not set any Bank MSB value explicitly. So this file is compatible with GM and GS standards but not so with XG and GM2. In case of XG/GM2 some implementations treat channel 10 as drum channel by default but some require Bank MSB to be set to 127/120 respectively.
(e.g. viewtopic.php?f=62&t=64041#p719875)
So this is the theory.
However I have made a video about my FSMP+SCVA GM2 test and as you can hear it plays your midi perfectly:
https://youtu.be/NK5tZK2b5_o

It's because SC-VA seems to handle channel 10 as drum channel by default, but also has a weird behavior demonstrated at the and of the video. Namely if you ever change Bank MSB to 121 then it will only handle channels 10 as drum channel when you set Bank MSB to 120 explicitly. Restoring Bank MSB to default 0 does not help anymore.
I do not know if it has anything to do with your experienced problem since as I have written I could not reproduce it with a normal playback.
So to confirm you should try to set Bank MSB to 120 on channel 10 when you experience the missing drum sound to see if it fix it.

Regardless of this current issue do not expect non-GM2 midis to sound right in GM2 mode. E.g. if you try your attached GM midi file with SF2 Soundfont + Bassmidi (or with S-YXG50 VSTi) in GM2 mode you will always hear Piano instead of drums on channel 10 since Bassmidi (and S-YXG50) consequently applies the GM2 specification and only uses drums on channels where Bank MSB is set to 120. In case of SC-VA the behavior of GM2 mode can even be different with different versions so that may explain why you experience problems with drums in GM2 mode when playing GM midi files(that would be normal according to GM2 specification) but I do not. What version of SC-VA are you using?

Also if you can please make a video about your problem where each of your settings is shown.
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