Roland Bluetooth

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Posts: 105

Post by revilo2 » 05-16-19 5:21 am


I'm interested with the Roland FP 30 which had a Bluetooth function.

Can the new (Bluetooth) Roland pianos can communicate well with Synthesia ? especially with Android....


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Post by Nicholas » 05-16-19 11:17 pm

The state of Bluetooth MIDI on Android is a complete mess. I wouldn't recommend it. Across a half-dozen Bluetooth-enabled devices that I've tested myself, the story was the same: the average latency for a note isn't too terrible, but the every-once-in-a-while (maybe a couple times a minute?) spikes up to a half-second latency are infuriating. There was even the occasional missing message.

The story is mostly the same on Windows 10, if a little better.

I'm not sure how Apple has managed to pull it off, but during all of my testing on iPad and Mac, Bluetooth MIDI is silky smooth and essentially the same as being wired. (This was with the same handful of Bluetooth MIDI devices across all platforms!)

All of that said, if you still wanted to try it out, you'll need an Android M device where the manufacturer has enabled the Android M MIDI feature. You'll know if they have if you see a "Music Device Connection Method" choice at the top of the Settings --> Music Devices screen. Choose "Android M MIDI" from the list, then restart the app. (If that choice doesn't appear and you've got Android M or later, your manufacturer decided they didn't want to support Android M MIDI for... some reason. At least one of our test devices are in that situation.)

After that, you can use something like this app to do the Bluetooth pairing for you. Switch back over to Synthesia and the device should appear in the list.

Roland FP-30 specific: out of all the "I'm having trouble with my Bluetooth MIDI keyboard" questions we receive via email, I want to say 90% of them are from FP-30 users... but I can't tell if that's because it's particularly prone to causing trouble, or if it happens to just be the most popular Bluetooth MIDI keyboard. For what it's worth, most of the users we hear back from a second time do seem to be able to get it up and running wirelessly, eventually.

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