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

Postby Solanacean » 2019-1-21 @ 15:48

Terribly sorry for disappearing like this (unexpected health problems) and thank you very much for investigating the suspected problem and coming up with such a thorough explanation. I'm pretty much using the default settings - just firing up the synth (I'm using the latest version which is 1.13), switching to GM2 mode and pushing the Reset button. Also, the drums aren't missing at all (sorry for not being clear on that) - they are there alright, just sounding different in Midi Player compared to vanBasco's player and the DAWs I experimented with (Studio One 4, MuLab and Logic Pro X). I'll try to make a recording tomorrow, but (assuming I understood your explanation correctly - I have to admit that some of it is way over my head) if it is as you say implementation dependent, then this is to be expected I guess. Thank you again for the detailed answer, I really appreciate it.
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Falcosoft » 2019-1-21 @ 19:15

Hi,
Ok, now I understand your problem better. It's an implementation quirk of SC-VA that even the front-end of SC-VA does not display correctly. Namely SC-VA in GM2 mode only applies the GM2 drumset when you explicitly set drum channel's Bank MSB to 120 (it's right according to specification as I said before) OR when drum channel's Bank MSB is not set at all. If you set Bank MSB to default 0 it applies the GS drumset instead (this is weird). FSMP by default always resets the the channels to default values (including Programs and Banks MSB/LSB values) to prevent unwanted effects of previously played Midi files. If your Midi file was a real GM2 midi this would not be a problem since then the file would set Bank MSB to 120 on drum channel.
But you can prevent FSMP to set default values of programs/banks by selecting/using a custom Reset SysEx message (in this case FSMP assumes the custom Reset will explicitly set what the user wants, and does not try to alter this in any way).
So you should right click on the first aid like Reset button of FSMP and click 'Select/Send Custom SysEx'. Then in the dialog select 'GM2_ON.syx'. Then make sure GM2_ON is selected in the right click context menu of the Reset button (custom SysEx is alwasy the last one). Also you should disable Main menu -> Compatibility Settings -> Set Missing Default Patches. Now you do not even have to set GM2 mode in SC-VA since FSMP sends the GM2_ON SysEx message (and only that) before playing back your midi file that sets SC-VA into GM2 mode automatically. This way GM2 drums will be active the same way as in other players since no default Bank MSB 0 is sent.
Nevertheless the above said still holds, your Midi file is not a GM2 midi file so it depends on player settings, synth implementations etc. how 'proper play' is interpreted in GM2 mode.

Here's a modified GM2 compatible version of your midi that sounds right on all GM2 compatible synth (and also does not require custom SysEx settings).
NOMAD_GM2.zip
(7.82 KiB) Downloaded 19 times


@Edit:
I have changed GM2 mode defaults so you do not have to set custom SysEx and compatibility settings for GM2 mode of SC-VA to use GM2 drumset in case of non-GM2 midi files. New test version can be downloaded from here:
http://falcosoft.hu/midiplayer_56_test.zip
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Solanacean » 2019-1-23 @ 15:02

Fantastic explanation as always and yes indeed, it works beautifully now. Thanks a ton, Falco!
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Roland User » 2019-2-02 @ 10:16

As about reverb on drum channel if select SC-88 and latter ? This parameter all work with error ?
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby franky52 » 2019-3-06 @ 11:41

What is the latest version for Win XP?? 1.07?
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Staticblast » 2019-3-11 @ 07:53

So I got a bit tired of trying to figure out the versions thing, and i asked Roland themselves for an explanation. My email, and their response, below:

My Email:
Currently (09 March 2019), when I go to the downloads section to download my purchased copy of the Sound Canvas VA, I am presented with version 1.06. Other people have mentioned that the version available on Roland Cloud is at 1.13 already. I would like to enquire whether this is accurate, and whether there are any significant updates or bugfixes included in this newer version aside from the integration of Roland cloud support.



Their Response (from g-webshop@roland.co.jp):
Dear Mr. <my name>,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Sound Canvas VA (SC-VA) of Roland Content Store version (latest: version 1.06) and Roland Cloud version (latest: version 1.13) are identically same from the functions/bug fixs point of view, except one point that Roland Cloud version does not support 32-bit code but Content Store version does.
Because their activation/authentication methods are different, their versions are managed each, and they cannot install into the same computer at once.
This is why their version numbers are different.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best Regards,
Roland account Service Team


So, in summary, the latest version for XP* is, from a functional point of view, 1.06, and the same goes for Windows 10. Anything beyond that is Roland Cloud integration changes.


*probably, haven't tested compatibility of 1.06 with XP myself
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby franky52 » 2019-3-13 @ 18:24

Thank you! That´s a clear explanation
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby realnc » 2019-3-19 @ 08:27

Staticblast wrote:So I got a bit tired of trying to figure out the versions thing, and i asked Roland themselves for an explanation.
...
So, in summary, the latest version for XP* is, from a functional point of view, 1.06, and the same goes for Windows 10. Anything beyond that is Roland Cloud integration changes.

Thanks for posting this! I didn't use the non-cloud 1.06 because I thought it was old and probably discontinued.
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby MAN-biker » 2019-3-19 @ 09:24

realnc wrote:I didn't use the non-cloud 1.06 because I thought it was old and probably discontinued.

I'm using 1.0.3 and it's fine.
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby K-rnivoro » 2019-3-27 @ 21:19

I'm sorry I'm a bit confused. Is the 1.0.3 version bug-free? At least with the "Reset" function? If not, which is the bug-free version? 1.0.6? None of these?
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Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

Postby Staticblast » 2019-3-29 @ 11:24

K-rnivoro wrote:I'm sorry I'm a bit confused. Is the 1.0.3 version bug-free? At least with the "Reset" function? If not, which is the bug-free version? 1.0.6? None of these?

1.06, which is the version Roland currently provides for download, is the least buggy version, as it is newest. (As a developer, I must stand by the opinion that there is no such thing as "bug-free" software once you write anything more complex than a "Hello World" program :lol: )

I managed to dig up a changelog (from here), showing some of the stuff fixed after 1.02. It doesn't specify what was fixed in which version after 1.02, though, as I'm fairly certain that some of the items listed under 1.05 were fixed in 1.03:
Ver.1.02
– Fixed the bug of not able to save the sound when in a DAW.
– Fixed the bug of not able to playback with correct sound map with certain data.

Ver.1.05
– Fixed the bug of some EFX going abnormal.
– Fixed the bug of System Effect “Delay”.
– Fixed the bug of EFX screen value displaying.
– Fixed the bug of GM/GM2 mode screen displaying and also the behavior
– Fixed the bug of Drum2 Part setting.
– Fixed the bug of display going scrambled on some DAWs.
– Fixed other minor bugs.
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