LiPI's pages / ROLAND FA 06/07/08

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Tips, tricks, tones, studio sets for ROLAND FA-06/07/08

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ROLAND FA SN-S editor v1.15

There are a few SN-S editor on the net, but usually they are for MAC/iPAD, they are don't handle the MFX section and don't give to us any way to export individual tones.

My editor's goals:
- run on all platform (MAC OS, Windows, Linux, x86 and x64 too);
- can save a tone to sysex file (none of other editor can do that);
- can load sysex files with tones and/or studio set (none of other editor can do that);
- can handle the MFX section (none of other editor can do that);
- can handle favourite MFX presets (none of other editor can do that);
- can randomize parameters by partials and sections (OSC, LFO, etc..) (none of other editor can do that);
- can run paralell with any DAW although it's a standalone editor (none of other editor can do that);
- can select and get any of the Preset and User bank tones;
- can work on any part of the 1~16;

Known issues:
- none;

Please read the ROLAND FA Editor/Randomizer v1.1 User Manual before buy it!

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Tip 1: How to share own tones separately and one studio set instead of a whole SVD file

As you already know, there is no librarian for FA.
As you know there is no possible to export one tone or one studio set separately from FA for sharing. Or yet? ;)

If you don't want to be use my sns editor (above), or you may want to share pcms tone, so there is a trick... ;)
If you ever seen how the demo song "Pythagoras" is started, you now know how to do that :)
There is no studio set for that song in the FA studio set memory. The studio set is creating "on the fly" by system exclusive messages when you play the song!
Fortunately these sysex messages are containing the tones itself (all parameters, tweaks, etc.) not just the bank/program numbers!
And of course You can make songs like that!

You can record your FA's MIDI dump, then you can export it as smf.
Then you send this smf to your friend, group, etc...
In a new song if this smf is imported and played, your own tones and studio set settings there will be in the temporary memory. It's happening in the first demo song for eg.
You can use/save any tone from this temporary memory while you don't change the actual studio set.
If you accidentally though change the studio set, just play again the song with sysex messages, and you get the data back in to your FA's temporary memory. ;)

The know-how:
0. Make a studio set with the tones what you want to share. (Single, Dual, Multipart mode is doesn't matter)
1. Make a MIDI loop. Connect the FA MIDI OUT port to the FA MIDI IN port with a MIDI cable.
2. Go to Menu, Utility, Bulkdump. Execute it... (It's just necessary for the quick access the function later...)
3. Go to Sequencer, open a new song...
4. Switch the loop to OFF
5. Start the recording, and meanwhile your sequencer tick the precount
6. Press Menu, Utility, Bulkdump
7. When you are in RECORDING phase (after precount), execute the dump
8. When its done, stop the sequencer.
9. Export the song to SMF
10. Share this smf as you want...

If you get a smf like that:
1. Open a new song
2. Import that smf
3. Let's play it
4. Save the tones what you want ;)

For example here is one of my own tone.
One of my favourite song is the "To the unknown men" by Vangelis.
Vangelis use a "guitar like" CS-80 sounf for the main theme. I tried to make some similar...(Right click, Save as...)The FA's synth engine is not a komplex VA so you will never can make "authentic" CS-80 sounds on it, but I think it's a pretty close tone...

I hope it will help you to sharing your own tones, studio sets without the unnecessary data and you'll easier collaborate with other FA users! :)

Anyway this method is also good to archiving your songs with your own/tweaked tones and studio set. If you lose the user memory in the future (by system, reset, preset overwrite, file losting, etc) all the tones and studio set settings are in the smf what you can import any time ;)

There is a more simple way to share individual SN-S tones: use my SN-S editor (above)! :)

Tip 2: partially using of the TFX

I just found this small trick to using the TFX for several parts instead of "total". :)

You need an audio cable like this:

and a converter:

Then wiring the SUB OUT in to the AUDIO IN.

In your Studio Set Effect settings set the TFX location to Input. Set the Audio Input level about 20.

Now the tracks and only these what are you set to SUB output are run across the TFX, the others are not.

In some cases it maybe usable when you want to use a "Carbon Based Lifeforms" like filtered drum track, or any different master FX upwards the Chorus and Reverb.

Here is an own example how it's work:

The track10 are across the TFX (Filter+Drive) and continously changing during the song. It's saved as sysex on the track01.

- now you can use TFX as IFX for the parts what are send to SUB;
- now you can use TFX as IFX on Sample pads (they can send to SUB);

Disadvantages in this case:
- you can't use the AUDIO IN for other external source;
- you can' t use the SUB for external FX/AMP;
- the tracks what are send to SUB->TFX route are will not exported as WAV...