Better midi sounds

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All MIDI attachments must be one of the following:
  • Your own, original work submitted under some license that permits free private use (I recommend public domain or Creative Commons).
  • Adapted from works created prior to 1923. This goes for both the composition and arrangement. This means you cannot post MIDI versions of recent songs.
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Posts: 25

Post by Montago » 09-16-18 5:58 am


I have a Roland FP30 connected to my computer using USB.

I have found out that i can select all 128 instruments using the instrument picker - these instruments will play on the Piano !!.

so this made me thinking that i might be able to upgrade the soundfonts (or whatever it is) to get better instruments ?

If i can make the PIano play a Trumpet - an instrument that Roland doesn't let me pick - how is this then possible using Synthesia ??
Are these instruments native to my Roland Piano or do they come from the computer ??

if they come from the computer, then i sure should be able to upgrade them with better sounding Soundfonts ??

I've already tried the new SF2 option in Synthesia, but the sounds play from the PC and not the Piano.. unfortunately there is a delay / latency of about 200-500 ms which makes it quite horrible to play with :(

Posts: 12392

Post by Nicholas » 09-17-18 8:50 pm

Montago wrote:Are these instruments native to my Roland Piano or do they come from the computer ??
If they're coming out of your piano's speakers, they are native to your piano. (Roland usually has a way to enable "GM Mode" -- where GM means "General MIDI" -- which will set up the usual instrument map.)

Posts: 12

Post by anthonyme00 » 09-22-18 11:35 am

As nicholas pointed out, those sounds are native to your keyboard. I'd assume they're there to conform to GM standard. For custom soundfonts you might have more luck using VirtualMidiSynth, which, in my experience, got low latency. Just make sure to tweak the settings a bit if it's not quite up to your liking.

Posts: 12392

Post by Nicholas » 09-22-18 11:46 am

(The latest Synthesia 10.5 beta also has the same low-latency synth as VirtualMIDISynth built right into the app!) :)

Posts: 5

Post by ryanbryandyin » 11-16-18 12:11 pm

There are "pianos", there are "MIDI controllers", and there are "synthesizers"

If your instrument has built in speakers, and it lets you play ONLY the sounds it comes built in with, it's a "piano"

If it has speakers AND lets you create sounds of your own, it is a "synthesizer"

If it has NO speakers, it is a "MIDI controller"

To get sounds from a MIDI controller, you need to hook it up with a computer with speakers in it, then fire up a virtual instrument.

I know a lot of people who get confused about this distinction. Especially since essentially every piano or synthesizer can also act as a MIDI controller (if they have MIDI ports, that is)

Posts: 12392

Post by Nicholas » 11-16-18 3:01 pm

I agree with all of that terminology when applied directly to the entire instruments themselves.

But, to muddy the waters a little more: I'd argue anything that takes a discrete input (like a key press) and turns it into a continuous stream of output samples for a speaker could also be described as synthesizing audio. So, a digital piano still contains a synth (even if you aren't allowed to add/create your own sounds with it). Similarly, computers, tablets/phones, and even apps can contain their own synths. Even the most basic, single voice digital piano available today is still dealing with sample memory, ADSR envelopes, and polyphonic mixing under the hood.

Most of the time when I talk about synths (e.g., how Synthesia 10.5 will finally be including its own), I'm referring to that technical, internal component and not a particular keyboard instrument.

Worse: I talk here on this board more than anyone else, so I'm sure it routinely gets confusing. Sorry!

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