Practical hints and tips for the modern recording musician. Martin Russ shares some of his hi-tech pearls of wisdom.
When you buy the excellent second ROM of sounds for the Kawai R50 or R100, you find that the new sounds no longer match up with the abbreviations used in the LCD display. Also, patterns which sounded perfectly OK on one set can sound very silly when the busy shaker line turns into a bass guitar! To help you cope with both these problems you need a chart showing which sounds correspond in the two ROMS. You can photocopy the chart below and stick it on the top panel for quick reference. The three columns list what you see in the LCD (left), ROM 1 sounds (middle) and ROM 2 sounds (right).
|BD1||Bass Drum 1||Atomic Kick|
|BD2||Bass Drum 2||Room Kick|
|BD3||Bass Drum 3||Acoustic Kick|
|SD1||Snare 1||Atomic Snare|
|SD2||Snare 2||Room Snare|
|SD3||Snare 3 (Rim Shot)||Acoustic Snare|
|TOMH||Tom High||Electronic Tom High|
|TOMM||Tom Mid||Electronic Tom Mid|
|TOML||Tom Low||Electronic Tom Low|
|HHCL||HH Closed||HH Closed|
|HHOP||HH Open||HH Open|
|RID1||Ride 1||Orchestra Hit|
|RID2||Ride 2||Room Tom High|
|CRS2||Crash 2||Room Tom Low|
|SHAK||Shaker||Mellow Bass Guitar|
|CONG||Conga||Funk Bass Guitar|
I have seen several cases recently where problems have arisen because of advances in technology - namely the way that most synthesizers can also be used as master keyboards. More specifically, many people buy DX7IIs or D50s as a master keyboard and use it to input notes to a computer-based sequencer, which then drives a synth expander. The problems occur when you try to use the sequencer to drive the master keyboard and the expander, as well as try out sounds and ideas on the expander using the same master keyboard. You will find that you need either to have the computer on and acting as a Thru box, or you need to switch the expander input between the master keyboard Out and Thru sockets.
The solution is very simple. Take a MIDI switching unit and connect it so that it selects between the Out and the Thru of the master keyboard. You can now use the same set-up for auditioning sounds on the expander by playing the master keyboard, and for playing back sequences on both the expander and the master keyboard.
Other solutions are possible using master keyboards which have a Local Control Off function, but they have none of the immediacy or simplicity of this system. The accompanying diagram shows the necessary connections.