VOGONS


First post, by derSammler

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Since I'm currently playing around with my Roland SC-88 Pro and most people probably don't read the 200+ pages manual, I thought I share the most important functions.

Switch modes:

Hold SELECT and press "Part >" = GM mode
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" = CM-64 mode
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument >" = GS mode

(ALL = yes, MUTE = no)

Factory reset:

Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" and "Instrument >" at the same time

(ALL = yes, MUTE = no)

Switching patches:

First of all, since most people don't seem to know that, just pressing "SC-55 Map" or "SC-88 Map" does not change GM patches! It only changes the mapping of the additional instruments in native mode. For GM playback, this is completely irrelevant. The only difference you may hear is due to capital tone fallback, which is affected by this.

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Hold SELECT and press ALL; ALL will be blinking indicating compatibility mode

Now you can use the "SC-55 Map" and "SC-88 Map" buttons to make the SC-88 Pro sound like a SC-55 Mk.II or SC-88.

Reply 1 of 16, by SuperDeadite

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"Hold SELECT and press "Part >" = GM mode
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument >" = GS mode"

Not exactly. Doing this tells the unit to execute a GM or GS reset.
If for example you tell the unit to GS Reset, but then play a MIDI file that contains GM Reset Sysex,
the unit will follow the sysex and execute a GM Reset. Wiping out your GS Reset.

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2, Yucatan FX, BeepBlaster

Reply 3 of 16, by ChrisTOTG

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derSammler wrote on 2017-11-25, 10:32:

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Does it make the sc88pro sound like the original sc55? Or like the mark 2?

Reply 5 of 16, by SuperDeadite

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ChrisTOTG wrote on 2022-10-12, 02:13:
derSammler wrote on 2017-11-25, 10:32:

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Does it make the sc88pro sound like the original sc55? Or like the mark 2?

It uses the mk2 rom versions.

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2, Yucatan FX, BeepBlaster

Reply 6 of 16, by ChrisTOTG

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SuperDeadite wrote on 2022-10-12, 03:56:
ChrisTOTG wrote on 2022-10-12, 02:13:
derSammler wrote on 2017-11-25, 10:32:

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Does it make the sc88pro sound like the original sc55? Or like the mark 2?

It uses the mk2 rom versions.

Understood, thanks.

Reply 8 of 16, by GL1zdA

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I've looked in the manual and I don't get it. Can someone explain to me, what is the difference between choosing a different map and compatibility mode? Looking at the picture from the manual, I don't see differences between the SC-88Pro default mode SC-88 map, SC-88Pro SC-88 compatibility mode default map and the SC-88 map.

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Reply 9 of 16, by Spikey

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They should in theory be the same. There's a lot of duplication and double counting in the way more advanced SC devices consider previous map support.

It'd be much more unlikely that they differ in some ways, because that would require extra waveforms, memory or programming. Chances are it's just multiple roads that lead to Rome. The SC-8850 has even more instances like this.

Reply 10 of 16, by Retroit

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GL1zdA wrote on 2022-12-07, 22:10:

I've looked in the manual and I don't get it. Can someone explain to me, what is the difference between choosing a different map and compatibility mode? Looking at the picture from the manual, I don't see differences between the SC-88Pro default mode SC-88 map, SC-88Pro SC-88 compatibility mode default map and the SC-88 map.

See here :

derSammler wrote on 2017-11-25, 10:32:
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" and "Instrument >" at the same time .... First of all, since most people don't seem to know […]
Show full quote

Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" and "Instrument >" at the same time
....
First of all, since most people don't seem to know that, just pressing "SC-55 Map" or "SC-88 Map" does not change GM patches! It only changes the mapping of the additional instruments in native mode. For GM playback, this is completely irrelevant. The only difference you may hear is due to capital tone fallback, which is affected by this.

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Hold SELECT and press ALL; ALL will be blinking indicating compatibility mode

Now you can use the "SC-55 Map" and "SC-88 Map" buttons to make the SC-88 Pro sound like a SC-55 Mk.II or SC-88.

Changing only a map doesn't give you the same sounds as they should be generated according to the rules as it was in the original SC of which map you selected. You can try this by sending MIDI commands and play the same midi file on different modes and here difference. To here it you have to use original SC or RAW recordings (in WAW format) with hight sampling rate that SC can produce to capture all nuances of sound.

Reply 11 of 16, by tdehan

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derSammler wrote on 2017-11-25, 10:32:
Since I'm currently playing around with my Roland SC-88 Pro and most people probably don't read the 200+ pages manual, I thought […]
Show full quote

Since I'm currently playing around with my Roland SC-88 Pro and most people probably don't read the 200+ pages manual, I thought I share the most important functions.

Switch modes:

Hold SELECT and press "Part >" = GM mode
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" = CM-64 mode
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument >" = GS mode

(ALL = yes, MUTE = no)

Factory reset:

Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" and "Instrument >" at the same time

(ALL = yes, MUTE = no)

Switching patches:

First of all, since most people don't seem to know that, just pressing "SC-55 Map" or "SC-88 Map" does not change GM patches! It only changes the mapping of the additional instruments in native mode. For GM playback, this is completely irrelevant. The only difference you may hear is due to capital tone fallback, which is affected by this.

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Hold SELECT and press ALL; ALL will be blinking indicating compatibility mode

Now you can use the "SC-55 Map" and "SC-88 Map" buttons to make the SC-88 Pro sound like a SC-55 Mk.II or SC-88.

For the life of me I cannot find how to initialize the SC 88 Pro demo songs! How do I play them?

Reply 12 of 16, by MMaximus

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tdehan wrote on 2023-01-29, 16:13:
derSammler wrote on 2017-11-25, 10:32:
Since I'm currently playing around with my Roland SC-88 Pro and most people probably don't read the 200+ pages manual, I thought […]
Show full quote

Since I'm currently playing around with my Roland SC-88 Pro and most people probably don't read the 200+ pages manual, I thought I share the most important functions.

Switch modes:

Hold SELECT and press "Part >" = GM mode
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" = CM-64 mode
Hold SELECT and press "Instrument >" = GS mode

(ALL = yes, MUTE = no)

Factory reset:

Hold SELECT and press "Instrument <" and "Instrument >" at the same time

(ALL = yes, MUTE = no)

Switching patches:

First of all, since most people don't seem to know that, just pressing "SC-55 Map" or "SC-88 Map" does not change GM patches! It only changes the mapping of the additional instruments in native mode. For GM playback, this is completely irrelevant. The only difference you may hear is due to capital tone fallback, which is affected by this.

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Hold SELECT and press ALL; ALL will be blinking indicating compatibility mode

Now you can use the "SC-55 Map" and "SC-88 Map" buttons to make the SC-88 Pro sound like a SC-55 Mk.II or SC-88.

For the life of me I cannot find how to initialize the SC 88 Pro demo songs! How do I play them?

I believe the SC-88Pro doesn't have any demo songs stored in its ROM, contrary to the SC-55 or the regular SC-88 model. There are demo songs made by Roland but you need to play them through MIDI. Googling around should get you some midifiles to download 😀

Hard Disk Sounds

Reply 13 of 16, by jaffa225man

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derSammler wrote on 2017-11-27, 09:30:

Well, of course a MIDI file can do the same and change the mode, but that's not the point. Besides, you can also switch modes while playback is already running.

Doing it during playback after program changes have already occurred, will set every channel to pianos, but that can be fun in its own way. 😀

Reply 14 of 16, by orcish75

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derSammler wrote on 2017-11-25, 10:32:
Switching patches: […]
Show full quote

Switching patches:

First of all, since most people don't seem to know that, just pressing "SC-55 Map" or "SC-88 Map" does not change GM patches! It only changes the mapping of the additional instruments in native mode. For GM playback, this is completely irrelevant. The only difference you may hear is due to capital tone fallback, which is affected by this.

To change GM patches and make the SC-88 Pro sound exactly like the SC-55 or SC-88, you must first enter compatibility mode:

Hold SELECT and press ALL; ALL will be blinking indicating compatibility mode

Now you can use the "SC-55 Map" and "SC-88 Map" buttons to make the SC-88 Pro sound like a SC-55 Mk.II or SC-88.

Thanks @derSammler for the info.

I acquired an SC-88 Pro a couple of months ago. I haven't had a chance to play with much until now. Mine seems to behave slightly differently when it comes to setting SC-55 full compatibility mode. By doing the above steps, it's still only set to SC-55 map mode and not full compatibility mode. To set it to full compatibility mode, I have to do the steps above and a couple of extra steps. I have to do the following:

1) Hold SELECT and press ALL (release both buttons, ALL will start flashing)

2) Press only ALL (ALL will still be flashing)

3) Press SC-55 MAP (ALL will stop flashing and will be solid on, SC-55 MAP will be solid on)

4) Press ALL a final time (ALL and SC-55 MAP will both go off)

It's now in full SC-55 compatibility mode, you will see the inverted commas next to the instrument name to confirm it's in SC-55 mode. eg. "Strings

If you press SC-88 MAP the soundmap will not change, even though the SC-88 MAP light is on, it's still in full SC-55 compatibility mode, you can confirm again by checking the inverted commas next to the instrument name.

If you want full SC-88 compatibility mode, follow the same steps above, but use the SC-88 MAP button instead of the SC-55 MAP button. SC-88 compatibility mode will show an apostrophe next to the instrument name rather than inverted commas. eg. 'Strings

Once SC-55 (or SC-88) full compatibility mode is set, it will remain set until such time that you remove it. Power cycling the unit will not take it out of full SC-55 compatibility mode (unless you've removed the battery or it's flat).

To get out of SC-55 or SC-88 full compatibility mode, do the following:

1) Hold SELECT and press ALL (ALL will start flashing)

2) Hold SELECT and press ALL a second time (ALL will go off)

There will no longer be inverted commas or an apostrophe next to the instrument name. eg. Strings

If you press SC-55 MAP or SC-88 MAP now, the map will change accordingly, but it'll only be in MAP mode, not full compatibility mode.

Reply 15 of 16, by jaffa225man

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Thank you so much for that! Mine operates the same, but I hadn't spent enough time with it to figure that out. The manual doesn't seem too useful in the pertinent pages, because I tried to follow them when it wasn't working as well as the SC-8850 using its remapping all method. The second press of ALL, causing the display to show "ALL - SOUND Canvas -" before pressing the desired MAP button, is certainly the key as that's what the SC-8850 shows when you press both PART arrows at the same time (before using the "INST MAP" button to choose the map).

However, likely more similarly to the SC-8850's all parts map setting method, with the SC-88 Pro, when you press ALL without SELECT it displays the same "ALL - SOUND Canvas -", and sets the MAP for all parts (when you press the desired MAP button, and then ALL again). While I'm not clear about what the difference is, between setting the MAP for all parts and using the emulation mode, there must be differences in certain defaults like reverb that have been updated in each module's iteration. Using bank 0 (CC #32 set to 0, which uses the map selected by the UI) I still get it to display "No INSTRUMENT" after setting the map for all parts using this non-emulation method, when an unavailable variation is specified. And with a working battery, powering it off and back on again still retains the map too. And it's retained through (internal UI, and external SysEx) GS resets also.

I'd love to have more concrete evidence about what changes emulation mode makes, if anyone has studied it enough. Neither method seems to block specified maps through a GS Bank LSB (CC #32) message followed by the required program change, which seems odd because a MIDI file can then still force your emulated SC-55 into a newer model. This is the same for the SC-8850, but I would have thought this is where the emulation mode on the SC-88 Pro could shine. When using emulation mode (and even the all parts mapping method), the quotes (inverted commas) are still shown set to what the emulation mode (or all selected map) first shows, so perhaps the chosen voices (or "partials" in MT-32 language) are still present, even though variations that don't exist on the SC-55 or SC-88 are usable.

Thanks again!

orcish75 wrote on 2023-07-06, 16:53:
Thanks @derSammler for the info. […]
Show full quote

Thanks @derSammler for the info.

I acquired an SC-88 Pro a couple of months ago. I haven't had a chance to play with much until now. Mine seems to behave slightly differently when it comes to setting SC-55 full compatibility mode. By doing the above steps, it's still only set to SC-55 map mode and not full compatibility mode. To set it to full compatibility mode, I have to do the steps above and a couple of extra steps. I have to do the following:

1) Hold SELECT and press ALL (release both buttons, ALL will start flashing)

2) Press only ALL (ALL will still be flashing)

3) Press SC-55 MAP (ALL will stop flashing and will be solid on, SC-55 MAP will be solid on)

4) Press ALL a final time (ALL and SC-55 MAP will both go off)

It's now in full SC-55 compatibility mode, you will see the inverted commas next to the instrument name to confirm it's in SC-55 mode. eg. "Strings

If you press SC-88 MAP the soundmap will not change, even though the SC-88 MAP light is on, it's still in full SC-55 compatibility mode, you can confirm again by checking the inverted commas next to the instrument name.

If you want full SC-88 compatibility mode, follow the same steps above, but use the SC-88 MAP button instead of the SC-55 MAP button. SC-88 compatibility mode will show an apostrophe next to the instrument name rather than inverted commas. eg. 'Strings

Once SC-55 (or SC-88) full compatibility mode is set, it will remain set until such time that you remove it. Power cycling the unit will not take it out of full SC-55 compatibility mode (unless you've removed the battery or it's flat).

To get out of SC-55 or SC-88 full compatibility mode, do the following:

1) Hold SELECT and press ALL (ALL will start flashing)

2) Hold SELECT and press ALL a second time (ALL will go off)

There will no longer be inverted commas or an apostrophe next to the instrument name. eg. Strings

If you press SC-55 MAP or SC-88 MAP now, the map will change accordingly, but it'll only be in MAP mode, not full compatibility mode.

Reply 16 of 16, by orcish75

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Thank you so much for that! Mine operates the same, but I hadn't spent enough time with it to figure that out. The manual doesn't seem too useful in the pertinent pages, because I tried to follow them when it wasn't working as well as the SC-8850 using its remapping all method. The second press of ALL, causing the display to show "ALL - SOUND Canvas -" before pressing the desired MAP button, is certainly the key as that's what the SC-8850 shows when you press both PART arrows at the same time (before using the "INST MAP" button to choose the map).

Only a pleasure! Took me a little while to figure it out. By not pressing ALL the second time, the map definitely changed, but some instruments still sounded off in certain games. I picked it up with the Warcraft 2 midi file (I'll attach it at the end). The french horn sounds quite different between the SC-88 Pro and SC-55, but the SC-88 Pro sample was still used in the SC-55 map mode. It only changed the sample when I selected SC-55 full compatibility mode. The french horn starts at about 00:00:09.50

However, likely more similarly to the SC-8850's all parts map setting method, with the SC-88 Pro, when you press ALL without SELECT it displays the same "ALL - SOUND Canvas -", and sets the MAP for all parts (when you press the desired MAP button, and then ALL again). While I'm not clear about what the difference is, between setting the MAP for all parts and using the emulation mode, there must be differences in certain defaults like reverb that have been updated in each module's iteration. Using bank 0 (CC #32 set to 0, which uses the map selected by the UI) I still get it to display "No INSTRUMENT" after setting the map for all parts using this non-emulation method, when an unavailable variation is specified. And with a working battery, powering it off and back on again still retains the map too. And it's retained through (internal UI, and external SysEx) GS resets also.

I haven't tried that method to set the SC-55 map, I'll give it a bash and see what happens. Sounds like it achieves the same result, especially if it retains the settings when switching the unit off and on again.

I'd love to have more concrete evidence about what changes emulation mode makes, if anyone has studied it enough. Neither method seems to block specified maps through a GS Bank LSB (CC #32) message followed by the required program change, which seems odd because a MIDI file can then still force your emulated SC-55 into a newer model. This is the same for the SC-8850, but I would have thought this is where the emulation mode on the SC-88 Pro could shine. When using emulation mode (and even the all parts mapping method), the quotes (inverted commas) are still shown set to what the emulation mode (or all selected map) first shows, so perhaps the chosen voices (or "partials" in MT-32 language) are still present, even though variations that don't exist on the SC-55 or SC-88 are usable.

Interesting! Also, I haven't tried sending a Sysex command to change maps, I guess Roland assumed that any midi files written for the SC-55 won't have any commands to change the map, so they didn't bother disabling it in the firmware.

Thanks for the extra info, the more undocumented features we can find, the better!

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