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Woolie Wool

Using a REAL Roland Sound Canvas as a PC MIDI device

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I'm really dissatisfied with the soundfont-based software synths freely available to use as MIDI devices, and I want something that actually sounds like a Roland Sound Canvas and not a cheap imitation. So I hit upon the idea of buying an actual bona fide SC-55mkII. Currently I have as my audio setup a Schiit Modi 2 Uber DAC, a Schiit Valhalla headphone amp (the name in the diagram below was a mistake, that's a different model), and a pair of Sennheiser HD 650 headphones, all lined up in a straight shot from my computer's USB port sending raw digital PCM, through the DAC, to my amp spitting out a nicely amplified analog audio signal to my cans.


Blzut3 told me that Windows will immediately recognize an SC-55 as a general midi device if I use a USB to MIDI cable. After that, I can just get a hardware mixer to merge the audio from the SC-55 with the audio from the DAC for a complete line signal to feed to my amp. The complete setup would look like this:




Does anyone have any experience hooking up a Sound Canvas or similar device to a PC so I can get confirmation that this will or will not work? This would cost me close to $200, so I really don't want to fuck it up.

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I use a Roland JV-1010 like that, and in the past have used an old Casio keyboard, an Alesis sound module, and some others in the same way.  Just get any USB->MIDI interface, and hook the MIDI cables up between that and the SoundCanvas.  Windows could care less what kind of thing is hooked up to it - it'll just know it's MIDI and can send MIDI data to it.  Then run the audio out from the SoundCanvas into your mixer.


The way I had mine setup was I used an M-Audio FireWire Solo hooked into two channels on a mixing board, one for the left channel and one for the right.  To make sure they actually sounded that way, I just hard-panned each channel to the correct side.  I then did the same thing with my Roland JV-1010.  I then had headphones hooked into the headphone jack of the mixing board, and my studio monitors hooked into the main output jacks.  The only difference was I mainly used 1/4" jacks instead of RCA, but that's just because most of my equipment used such jacks.  I also had a second output pair coming out of the mixer and going back into my M-Audio box so that I could record my hardware synths.


Only thing I had to do was manually balance the JV-1010 to the audio coming from my computer, but that's easy.

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