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Author Topic: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55  (Read 4793 times)

tonygardner

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Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« on: September 17, 2016, 03:37:07 PM »
Hello.

I was wondering if anyone has had success getting BandHelper (or SLM) to talk to a Roland GR-55, specifically in the area of sending Control Change (CC) commands.

I am able to send Program Changes, so at least I know everything is hooked up properly.

The GR-55 will "listen" for up to eight CC commands to take a variety of actions. I just want to learn how to get those working from BH/SLM.

Thanks!
Tony G.


arlo

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 09:52:26 AM »
You would need to get the hex codes for the CC messages you want to send, and put those into the Raw MIDI field of a MIDI Preset in Set List Maker. This post will get you started if you don't know how to do that:

http://forum.arlomedia.com/index.php/topic,656.0.html

Or you can check the GR-55 manual, which might tell you the necessary hex codes.

tonygardner

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 05:11:28 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply, Arlo. I'm afraid Roland isn't very forthcoming about how to send CC commands. The Midi Spec chart does include the string "0,32" before showing the acceptible CC ranges that it can receive. I also learned from the cited Midi article that the channel needs to preceded the CC command. So, I tried sending several variations of "05 20 01" (channel 5, CC #1), but without success. I guess I was hoping someone might come along eventually that has had success communicating with Roland products via BH or SLH.

BTW, I also tried putting "000, 032, 001" in the MSB/LSB area but that didn't work either.

Best Regards,
Tony G.

arlo

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2016, 08:05:41 PM »
Lots of people are using my apps with the GR-55. I've seen posts about that on this and other forums. I don't know about sending program changes versus other kinds of messages. Do you know specifically what message you want to send?

tonygardner

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 11:34:39 AM »
My apologies if I wasn't very clear in my last post, Arlo. It is very encouraging to know that there are other BH/SLM users out there who enjoy the Roland GR-55 as much as I do -- it really is amazing!

O.K. Since the GR-55 is a veritable Black Box when it comes to receiving SysEx commands, the ONLY thing it recognizes is a control change command. So, all I really want to learn is how to send a CC#1 to MIDI Channel 5. Keep in mind that the data value will probably just be '1' since most of the functions are toggles, so there's really no ranges - right?

Beyond that, my wish list is so much more, but I'll be happy with just sending a CC#1.

Thanks Again!

[UPDATE]
Snip from MIDI.org:
Status: 1011nnnn
Data Bytes: 0ccccccc, 0vvvvvvv
Description: Control Change.
This message is sent when a controller value changes. Controllers include devices such as pedals and levers. Controller numbers 120-127 are reserved as "Channel Mode Messages" (below). (ccccccc) is the controller number (0-119). (vvvvvvv) is the controller value (0-127).

Based on the above, I'm not sure anymore if 20 is the right HEX value to trigger a CC# on the GR-55.
If I understand my handy programmer's calculator correctly, Binary 1011 is HEX B, or Decimal 11.
So, when I get home I'll probably try sending '0B 05 01 01' which should send CC#1 with a data value of 1 to MIDI Channel 5. Did I get that right???

BTW, I also have the MIDI Wrench app and will try sending a CC#1 from there and see if it is received on the GR-55.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 12:00:04 PM by tonygardner »

arlo

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2016, 12:13:02 PM »
To send CC 1 on channel 5 with an "on" value:

B4 01 7F

B = control change
4 = channel 5 (counted from 0)
00 = controller number 1 (or maybe 01, depending on whether the GR-55 counts from 0 or 1)
7F = all the way on (the maximum supported MIDI value)

tonygardner

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2016, 07:29:57 PM »
Thanks Arlo. That worked! Any plans on enhancing the MIDI features (such as variable values for CC commands and/or sliders) ???

Of course, if Roland would fork over some SysEx data, I could probably accomplish it that way!

Cheers,
Tony G.

arlo

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2016, 07:39:55 PM »
Creating a set of fields to enter control changes so you don't have to use the Raw MIDI field is on my wish list and I'll add a vote for you.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 07:40:25 PM by arlo »

tonygardner

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2016, 11:16:26 AM »
Just wanted to add a quick final update in case other Roland GR-55 users come along interested in using SysEx commands to control the device from BH / SLM.

There's a good chance if you own a GR-55 that you are already familiar with a freeware application called "GR-55 Floorboard". If not, you can easily find it on SourceForge.net. It is AWESOME.

Within the app you can enable something called DEBUG MODE which literally outputs the SysEx command for whatever function you click on. This is a HUGE win for those of us who relish the idea of remotely controlling the GR-55 from BH / SLM. The app is very well documented on the VGuitarsForum.com site.

Finally, I would like to add one idea for how this could be implemented in BH / SLM. Rather than focusing on creating MIDI Presets that do one thing (such as enabling Delay), create MIDI Presets that GROUP multiple SysEx commands to create a TYPE of sound. For example, you might create one called "Clean" that turns OFF all the various effect types, PCM1/2, etc. Others might be called "Tube", "Crunch", "Chorus", "Pads", "Strat", and "Solo". Each would have all the needed SysEx commands to enable/disable whatever is needed to create that perfect sound. And, since these are not specific to any particular patch, they can pretty much be used for most patches setup on the GR-55. This is especially true for our best attempts at creating an "All In One" patch which usually end up with an impractical number of hardware controller moves to get there.

BTW, in my case, one of the areas that I struggle with is remembering which settings I want enabled/disabled for the various parts of the song. This is especially important if a song called "Beautiful" starts right out of the gate with a sizzling solo! SO, I chose five elements that I will assign to each song. The first position is always the sound I want for the INTRO. Second spot is for the VERSE, 3rd for the CHORUS, 4th for the BRIDGE and 5th for the TAG. So on the song "Beautiful" I add the "Solo" MIDI Preset to the First Position, and it serves as an easy reminder that's how the song starts. Then if I see "Pads" in the 2nd position, I'll know to get ready for that style of fingering, and so on.

I sincerely hope that this will be helpful for someone in the future!

Best Regards,
Tony G.

arlo

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2016, 12:20:38 AM »
Quote
Rather than focusing on creating MIDI Presets that do one thing (such as enabling Delay), create MIDI Presets that GROUP multiple SysEx commands to create a TYPE of sound.

You can put more than one sysex message into the raw MIDI field of a preset; does that address this request?

Alternatively, you could create a MIDI preset with one sysex message for each command you need to send (like "Compression Boost"), then create parent MIDI presets for each overall sound (like "Overdrive Solo") and attach all the individual command presets you need to the parent preset.

The second approach would be better if you want to change one of the elements like Compression Boost and have that change carried over to all the parent presets that use it. The first approach would be better if you don't want that or want to reduce the number of presets.

arlo

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Re: Getting BandHelper to Talk With A Roland GR-55
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 11:55:44 AM »
In the new app version released today, the MIDI preset edit page has fields to enter control change messages with decimal values -- the Raw MIDI field is no longer needed for this. More info about the new version is here:

http://forum.arlomedia.com/index.php/topic,1786.0.html