Roland FP 10 not playing all synthesia instruments

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Posts: 8

Post by docunagi »


I wonder why my midi keyboard (Roland fp-10) is not playing all of the synthesia instruments trough its speaker.
I choose the output source as the midi Keyboard and disabled all the other sources (synthesia and android).
When I select a specific instruments in my midi file or in the free session most of them are replaced by the default piano.

I tried different configurations and it turns out that piano, hapsichord or organ play ok, but harmonica, for example, sounds like 2 instruments (an harmonica ersatz and a piano, blend together). And I have no luck with most of the other instruments (violin, guitar, pads, etc.) which all are playing as piano through the midi keyboard speakers.

By default the Roland fp-10 can play violins or choirs or guitars in its settings (with the Roland app).
So, is this a limitation of my midi keyboard or a wrong settings in my configuration?
Posts: 10

Post by Bavi_H »

Synthesia uses the 128 instrument sounds of General MIDI Level 1.

The Roland FP-10 only has 15 instrument sounds. In the FP-10 Owner's Manuals, look in the MIDI Implementation PDF file, the FP-10 tone list on page 16. (Also, on the Roland FP-10 product page, in the Specifications section "SOUND GENERATOR", the item "Tones" says "Piano: 4 Tones, E.Piano: 2 Tones, Other: 9 Tones".)
Posts: 8

Post by docunagi »

Not sure to understand it… I am not familiar with midi configurations.
So my next questions will be is it a way of "connecting/reading" the midi level 1 channel with the keyboard?
And also in therory (accoding to the manual) you have acces to 15 intruments with the FP10 but with the Roland app you can acces to all instruments from the FP 30 with the FP10…
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Post by Nicholas »

Hmm, when you play with the Roland app are you saying that those other instrument sounds come out of your FP-10's speakers? I wonder if it's doing something tricky like also using your FP-10 as pair of external speakers and generating the audio in the app itself.

Usually when a keyboard only includes 15 voices, there aren't any hidden/secret ones that can be activated externally.
Posts: 8

Post by docunagi »

Exactly… When I use the configuration keys with the keyboard only I have access to 15 instruments. But if I configure the keyboard with the Roland app I have access to all of the Fp 30 instruments. And all the sounds come out of the keyboard speakers. So maybe there is some sort of emulation between the app and the keyboard speakers as you described it.

The thing is, by default, I can access to the church organ sound on the keyboard. But this #20 in the GM1 list. Just to clarified things, is my keyboard supposed to only read #1 to #15 instruments in the GM1 list if it has only 15 voices?
If I go on the product page it says : Max. Polyphony 96 voices… I don't get it. I am new at this so I am not sure to understand it right…

And, just to be sure, there is no chance of playing the synthesia 128 instruments with my 15 voices only, if I understand you?
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Post by jimhenry »

docunagi wrote: 04-12-21 2:44 pmI am not familiar with midi configurations.
MIDI can do a lot. There probably is some way to do what you want, but it probably isn't just a matter of "flipping a switch". So it is likely that you aren't going to be able to accomplish what you want without a pretty good understanding of how to work with MIDI.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
Posts: 8

Post by docunagi »

OK. I was expecting for a switch button way. So I'll stay with my piano sound, I guess :-)
Posts: 10

Post by Bavi_H »

By the way, I'm not an expert on the Roland FP-10, I was just interpreting what I saw in the manuals and in the website specifications. I could be wrong.

Maximum polyphony

The maximum polyphony number is the number of simultaneous sounds (pitches) the FP-10 can make. It means you could, for example, hold down 96 keys* at once and hear all 96 of those pitches together. As soon as you press one more key, one of the pitches will have to go out, because the FP-10 can only do 96 simultaneous sounds at once.

*Although the Roland FP-10 only has 88 keys, incoming MIDI note messages have possible "key numbers" for 128 keys (key 0 to 127) and can have one of 16 channel numbers (channel 1 to 16). Each channel is assigned its own sound. (In General MIDI, channel 10 is reserved for drums.) The maximum 96 sounds is over all the channels together.

FP-10 to GM1

The Roland FP-10 uses three MIDI numbers to specify the instrument sound: Bank MSB, Bank LSB, and Program Change. (In the MIDI Implementation document page 16 tone list for the FP-10, see the MSB, LSB, and PC columns on the right. The No. column on the left from 1 to 15 is just the order the sounds appear in the keyboard FUNCTION mode, or to help you count that it has 15 sounds in total, it is not part of the MIDI transmission.)

General MIDI Level 1 assignments use only the Program Change number to specify the sound. Any Bank MSB or Bank LSB numbers present are ignored.

Modern devices that only have a small number of sounds sometimes set up their Program Change numbers in a way that if the Bank MSB and Bank LSB numbers are ignored by another device, the remaning Program Change number will select the closest appropriate General MIDI Level 1 instrument sound. The Roland FP-10 does this in fact. This means if you record the MIDI output from the Roland FP-10 into a MIDI file, then later play that MIDI file back to a GM1 synth, you will get a reasonable GM1 sound:

Code: Select all

Roland FP-10                      General MIDI Level 1
==============================    =========================
MSB  LSB  PC  Instrument Sound    PC  Instrument Sound
---  ---  --  ----------------    --  ---------------------
  0   68   1  Grand Piano 1        1  Acoustic Grand Piano
 16   67   1  Grand Piano 2        "  "
  4   64   1  Grand Piano 3        "  "
  8   66   2  Grand Piano 4        2  Bright Acoustic Piano
 16   67   5  E. Piano 1           5  Electric Piano 1
  0   70   6  E. Piano 2           6  Electric Piano 2
  0   66   7  Harpsichord 1        7  Harpsichord
  8   66   7  Harpsichord 2        "  "
  0    0  12  Vibraphone          12  Vibraphone
  0   70  19  Jazz Organ 1        19  Rock Organ
  0   66  20  Church Organ 1      20  Church Organ
  0   71  50  Strings 1           50  String Ensemble 2
  0   64  49  Strings 2           49  String Ensemble 1
  0   64  90  Synth Pad           90  Pad 2 (warm)
  0   65  55  Jazz Scat           55  Synth Voice

GM1 to FP-10?

In the other direction, if you play a General MIDI Level 1 style MIDI file with only Program Change numbers into the Roland FP-10, I don't know what the FP-10 will do when there are no Bank MSB and Bank LSB numbers present. (The MIDI Implementation document doesn't go into detail about what happens in that case.) Maybe the FP-10 will choose the first sound in its list with that Program Change number? If that's the case, the FP-10 could be described as supporting 12 of the General MIDI Level 1 sounds, in a way:

Code: Select all

General MIDI Level 1         Roland FP-10?
=========================    ==================================
PC  Instrument Sound         (MSB)  (LSB)  PC  Instrument Sound
--  ---------------------    -----  -----  --  ----------------
 1  Acoustic Grand Piano     (  0)  ( 68)   1  Grand Piano 1
 2  Bright Acoustic Piano    (  8)  ( 66)   2  Grand Piano 4
 5  Electric Piano 1         ( 16)  ( 67)   5  E. Piano 1
 6  Electric Piano 2         (  0)  ( 70)   6  E. Piano 2
 7  Harpsichord              (  0)  ( 66)   7  Harpsichord 1
12  Vibraphone               (  0)  (  0)  12  Vibraphone
19  Rock Organ               (  0)  ( 70)  19  Jazz Organ 1
20  Church Organ             (  0)  ( 66)  20  Church Organ 1
49  String Ensemble 1        (  0)  ( 64)  49  Strings 2
50  String Ensemble 2        (  0)  ( 71)  50  Strings 1
90  Pad 2 (warm)             (  0)  ( 64)  90  Synth Pad
55  Synth Voice              (  0)  ( 65)  55  Jazz Scat

GM1 On System Exclusive?

The MIDI Implementation document for the Roland FP-10 is also for several other Roland devices too. The document mentions the System Exclusive message to turn on General MIDI Level 1 is supported, but I can't tell if that applies to all the devices mentioned in the document. I was assuming General MIDI compatibility would be mentioned somewhere in the FP-10 specifications if it was supported. Maybe the FP-10 does support GM1, it just isn't documented very clearly in the FP-10 specs or in the MIDI Implementation document? That is, maybe the Roland FP-10 does support a mode that can use all 128 of the General MIDI Level 1 instrument sound numbers but you need to send the appropriate System Exclusive message to turn on the GM1 mode?:

Code: Select all

GM1 System On
[hex] F0 7E 7F 09 01 F7
Posts: 8

Post by JimNYC »

There are a few apps that provide access into some of the "hidden" sounds. They're designed for the FP-30, but some have said they also work for the most part with the FP-10.

You can check out: ... fects.html

which has a link to a web app: ... fects.html

Someone said that also works with the FP-10 (although not all sounds are available).

There is also a few PC apps that might work with the FP-10 - see:
https://synthesizer-explorations.blogsp ... crets.html
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