#1
So I've got a Roland JV-1010 synth module that a customer wants to consign at my store. I have no idea how MIDI works, though, and have tried to understand it dozens of times with dozens of devices, and have never been able to make anything work even close to the way it's supposed to. It's insanely frustrating. This thing seems simple enough, but alas, I can't figure it out. Hopefully someone can help.

I have it plugged in through a MIDI cable with one of the Yamaha digital pianos I have here in the store. The connection is fine, the little "MIDI" light on the Roland's display lights up when I hit keys, and I can play the simple piano sound patch just fine. But that's it. I can't get it to change sounds. I've read the manual word for word, cover to cover, twice. It details how to change the sound in "patch" mode, which appears to work. I can select different sound patches, and play the demos of those sounds. But the connected MIDI controller keyboard doesn't seem to do anything in patch mode. I switch to "performance" mode, and the controller works again, but the sound reverts back to the default piano patch.

The manual does not address this at all. As far as I can tell, the manual thinks the controller should work in "patch" mode. But I can't be sure. It doesn't specify. It's very vague, and moves on from one subject to the next without making the previous subject clear. This is another issue I've always run into with my experience with MIDI. Owners manuals for MIDI devices always seem to assume you have a certain level of understanding already. There is no "beginner mode". I don't understand how people are supposed to ever figure out how to use this stuff.

Does anyone have any ideas? Is this thing broken? Is it supposed to play from "patch" mode? Or do I have to find some way to save the patch choice into "performance" mode (which is not mentioned in the manual. I don't even know if that is something that makes sense)?

Update: Upon messing with it further, I've noticed something odd, that I can't imagine is the way it's supposed to work. When on "performance" mode, I can turn the patch selection dials to whatever setting, but the sound does not change. Then, I turn the box off and turn it back on. The displayed patch number reverts back to 1, but the sound is the one I selected before turning it off. So, I have managed to use the keyboard controller to play notes, while using something besides the default piano sound, but only through this method, which can't possibly be the way it's supposed to work. Any ideas? Is this thing broken?

Also, I realize this isn't really a synthesizer-player forum, so if anyone has any suggestions of somewhere else to ask these questions, where I may be more likely to get answers from experienced people, throw em out.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
Last edited by the_bi99man at May 16, 2015,
#2
Your keyboard likely only offer the possibility of sending note info via midi.

To understand your problem exactly you might wanna describe your exact setup - it's not really clear when you say you're connecting a yamy digital piano to something and then something on "the roland" lights up.
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#3
It's a Yamaha P-155 digital piano, being used to control the Roland JV-1010 synth. MIDI cable going from the "MIDI out" of the Yamaha to the "MIDI in" of the Roland, as the manuals for both said they should be connected. The thing lighting up on the roland is the "MIDI" light, which is just there to indicate that it's receiving a signal. That seems to be working fine. It lights up when I press keys on the keyboard. I'm not trying to do anything besides play notes from the controller, which seems to work fine. I'm using the controls on the Roland synth itself to try to change its patch sounds, and it's not working without resetting the whole device after every change. There is a section in the Roland's manual about setting it up to change sounds and other things from the MIDI controller, but I'm not even getting into that yet, because I can't get the Roland's own controls to work right.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
Last edited by the_bi99man at May 16, 2015,
#4
I'd say test the Roland patch presets and see if those go up and down. You might need dedicated midi controller that is made to work with a "brain" to do proper patch changes (Fatar comes to mind), or use a DAW to program to send patch changes.
#5
Again, I'm not trying to change patches with a different controller. I'm trying to change them with the knobs that are right on the Roland unit. Which the manual describes in detail, obviously implying that's the way it's supposed to be done. Problem is, when I use the knobs to change to another patch, it's like it just doesn't take. The display shows the newly selected patch number, but the sound doesn't change. Then, if I turn off the unit and turn it back on, the display reverts back to patch number 1, but the sound will change to the one I selected before turning it off. That's the only way I've managed to change the sounds. By selecting a new sound, and then resetting the device. Seems to me that there's no way that's the way it's supposed to work, because that would be ridiculous.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#6
That module kinda looks like about the age of mine and I think it probably operates similar, you dial in value and push down to activate. Look at the manual and see if there's not a way to reset everything to factory condition, Roland usually have some kinda combo key command that does that. Might fix the issue.



Does the "demo" push command work?
#7
Yeah, that's the exact one. Pushing the Value knob just moves it to the next mode (patch, perform, rhythm, gm). I was thinking that it might need some kind "apply" function to make the change actually take, but there doesn't appear to be any button for that, and the manual doesn't say anything about it. Just says that you select a new patch with the knobs and it's good to go. And yes, the demo push command works, and plays the demo of the proper sound. But then the sound just doesn't actually change for the player. I can actually select a new sound with the value knob, hold down the demo button to get the demo tune with the new sound, and play along with it, using the previous sound, which shouldn't be selected anymore.

And yeah, I did the factory reset. Nothing changed. What's really making me think that there's something wrong, not just something I'm not understanding, is that the newly selected patch will apply after turning the unit off and back on, but the displayed patch number reverts back to 1, no matter what was selected. Also, I don't get any sound at all in "patch" mode. Have to be in "perform" mode to get any sound.

Thanks for the help, Diabolical. I was really hoping to find someone who has some experience with this unit, or something similar.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#8
the_bi99man, sounds like the unit is faulty. Roland's stuff is weird though so I might say there's 2% chance that it's not
You might want to check on Yahoo user groups - there used to be an all Roland synth forum, some serious Roland geeks on there that might know this better than us here.