The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Roland System 8
Old 29th September 2020
  #9001
Lives for gear
 

So I've got a little bit of a high pitched whining noise when I connect my System-8 to my pc with a usb cable. This is especially noticable whenever I add a lot of distortion on it externally or in the box. So I usually just leave out the usb cable and use midi DIN instead. But whenever I want to send/get a patch from/to the plugin version, I have to reconnect the USB cable again.

Now I found out that it is possible to control all knobs of the plugin through DIN as well, but I wasn't able to actually send/receive patches or plug-out to the hardware through DIN. This might have to do something with my midi interface, which might be filtering out stuff or something. But I wonder: was anyone able to actually able to use midi DIN to send/receive patches from/to the hardware/software?
Old 29th September 2020 | Show parent
  #9002
Gear Addict
 
Releaux's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
So I've got a little bit of a high pitched whining noise when I connect my System-8 to my pc with a usb cable. This is especially noticable whenever I add a lot of distortion on it externally or in the box. So I usually just leave out the usb cable and use midi DIN instead. But whenever I want to send/get a patch from/to the plugin version, I have to reconnect the USB cable again.

Now I found out that it is possible to control all knobs of the plugin through DIN as well, but I wasn't able to actually send/receive patches or plug-out to the hardware through DIN. This might have to do something with my midi interface, which might be filtering out stuff or something. But I wonder: was anyone able to actually able to use midi DIN to send/receive patches from/to the hardware/software?
There's no SysEx transfer function for patches or banks as far as I've been able to find. There's no command on the unit to initiate a SysEx dump, and it doesn't respond to SysEx requests that I've tried other than an ID request.* The MIDI Implementation Chart document shows that it both sends and receives SysEx, but I've never been able to locate a SysEx specifications document.

The only way I know to load/archive patches other than through the VSTs is via the SD card. Interestingly (and thankfully for those of us who need it), when you save a bank to the SD card, it also spits out a lovely little text file with patch names. That was helpful when I was creating my .midnam files for it.

Sadly, the USB whine thing is pretty common. It's a ground loop issue, iirc, so plugging everything into the same circuit might fix it for you.


*In case anyone knows more or is interested, this is what I get with a standard SysEx request:

Request:
Code:
F0 7E 7F 06  01 F7
Response:
Code:
F0 7E 00 06  02 18 04 04  09 00 32 2E  32 36 F7
Old 29th September 2020 | Show parent
  #9003
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Releaux View Post
There's no SysEx transfer function for patches or banks as far as I've been able to find. There's no command on the unit to initiate a SysEx dump, and it doesn't respond to SysEx requests that I've tried other than an ID request.* The MIDI Implementation Chart document shows that it both sends and receives SysEx, but I've never been able to locate a SysEx specifications document.

The only way I know to load/archive patches other than through the VSTs is via the SD card. Interestingly (and thankfully for those of us who need it), when you save a bank to the SD card, it also spits out a lovely little text file with patch names. That was helpful when I was creating my .midnam files for it.

Sadly, the USB whine thing is pretty common. It's a ground loop issue, iirc, so plugging everything into the same circuit might fix it for you.


*In case anyone knows more or is interested, this is what I get with a standard SysEx request:

Request:
Code:
F0 7E 7F 06  01 F7
Response:
Code:
F0 7E 00 06  02 18 04 04  09 00 32 2E  32 36 F7
Thanks. Yeah I have everything plugged in the same socket already, but still have some whining. Have to admit, I have 3 powerstrips of 8 all connected to 1 powerstrip of 8 and that one is connected to the socket. And I am still in shortage of power connections ><

Would it help to get something like an AC filter or something? Or any other device?
Old 29th September 2020
  #9004
I had the same noise. I just switched power-strips and it disappeared. Oddly, both power-strips were connected to the same outlet. You can also buy one of those USB-noise eliminators from Amazon. I have one but didn't need it so I never tried it. The one I bought was $15.49 and is located here.

Old 1st October 2020 | Show parent
  #9005
Gear Head
 
MocciJ's Avatar
I'm trying to record the S8 into Ableton in Windows.
It is connected via USB, uses the official ASIO driver for in/out.
Headphone attached to the S8, can hear the sounds at normal volume.
I'm recording both channels into an Ableton track, didn't change any gain setting (seems there are none, am I wrong?).
Monitoring is OFF as I am listening directly from the S8.

Now, I would expect that the recorded audio matches whatever I hear when I am recording it.
However, the recorded audio is very quiet compared to what I hear when playing it. I know that this being digital should not affect the audio quality, but it is an inconvenience. Is there any settings that I am not aware of?

EDIT: I found out that the recording volume is governed by the main VOLUME knob. However, the problem is still there, as the recording and playback volume do not match

Last edited by MocciJ; 1st October 2020 at 05:40 PM.. Reason: additional info
Old 1st October 2020 | Show parent
  #9006
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MocciJ View Post
I'm trying to record the S8 into Ableton in Windows.
It is connected via USB, uses the official ASIO driver for in/out.
Headphone attached to the S8, can hear the sounds at normal volume.
I'm recording both channels into an Ableton track, didn't change any gain setting (seems there are none, am I wrong?).
Monitoring is OFF as I am listening directly from the S8.

Now, I would expect that the recorded audio matches whatever I hear when I am recording it.
However, the recorded audio is very quiet compared to what I hear when playing it. I know that this being digital should not affect the audio quality, but it is an inconvenience. Is there any settings that I am not aware of?

EDIT: I found out that the recording volume is governed by the main VOLUME knob. However, the problem is still there, as the recording and playback volume do not match
This has always been the case with me. Wonder if there is a solution.
Old 1st October 2020 | Show parent
  #9007
Gear Head
 
MocciJ's Avatar
So I finally found out that there is more than one issue, and that I am not alone in this...

1. At least in Windows, after having tested every driver (WASAPI, WDM, ASIO4ALL, Roland), I did not have found a way to match the volume of the audio recorded from USB with that of the S8 output. The recorded audio is quieter by roughly 24dB, no matter what. I don't know what to think, are Mac users experiencing the same?

2. The recording level is set by the main VOLUME knob. To me, this is a rather dumb design choice. USB is digital and should output as much signal as it can, while the VOLUME knob should just set the output volume.

3. Since the headphone level is set from the VOLUME knob, headphone monitoring is rather tedious as changing the volume will affect the recording volume. I am using an hardware synth also because of the near zero latency, and I don't want to to add 10+ ms with software monitoring. I don't want to use an external audio interface either since the S8 is an audio interface by itself.

This is NOT ok and should really be addressed by Roland. The simplest solution to this is to detach the gain of the USB recorded output from the main volume, and add a dB switch inside the system menu (-12, 0, +12 or whatever it fits).
Old 1st October 2020 | Show parent
  #9008
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MocciJ View Post
So I finally found out that there is more than one issue, and that I am not alone in this...

1. At least in Windows, after having tested every driver (WASAPI, WDM, ASIO4ALL, Roland), I did not have found a way to match the volume of the audio recorded from USB with that of the S8 output. The recorded audio is quieter by roughly 24dB, no matter what. I don't know what to think, are Mac users experiencing the same?

2. The recording level is set by the main VOLUME knob. To me, this is a rather dumb design choice. USB is digital and should output as much signal as it can, while the VOLUME knob should just set the output volume.

3. Since the headphone level is set from the VOLUME knob, headphone monitoring is rather tedious as changing the volume will affect the recording volume. I am using an hardware synth also because of the near zero latency, and I don't want to to add 10+ ms with software monitoring. I don't want to use an external audio interface either since the S8 is an audio interface by itself.

This is NOT ok and should really be addressed by Roland. The simplest solution to this is to detach the gain of the USB recorded output from the main volume, and add a dB switch inside the system menu (-12, 0, +12 or whatever it fits).
Why not just add some gain in the software you’re recording in? Or just normalize afterwards. Like you said, it’s digital, so that wouldn’t affect sound quality.
Old 2nd October 2020 | Show parent
  #9009
Quote:
Originally Posted by MocciJ View Post
. . . I don't know what to think, are Mac users experiencing the same?
No. But my S8 is connected via USB to an MX-1, and I'm using the MX-1's S/PDIF-OUT which goes into an S/PDIF line-mixer, then into the S/PDIF input on a Komplete Audio MkII USB interface into my iMac/Logic DAW.
Old 2nd October 2020 | Show parent
  #9010
Lives for gear
 
Stormchild's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MocciJ View Post
So I finally found out that there is more than one issue, and that I am not alone in this...

1. At least in Windows, after having tested every driver (WASAPI, WDM, ASIO4ALL, Roland), I did not have found a way to match the volume of the audio recorded from USB with that of the S8 output. The recorded audio is quieter by roughly 24dB, no matter what. I don't know what to think, are Mac users experiencing the same?

2. The recording level is set by the main VOLUME knob. To me, this is a rather dumb design choice. USB is digital and should output as much signal as it can, while the VOLUME knob should just set the output volume.

3. Since the headphone level is set from the VOLUME knob, headphone monitoring is rather tedious as changing the volume will affect the recording volume. I am using an hardware synth also because of the near zero latency, and I don't want to to add 10+ ms with software monitoring. I don't want to use an external audio interface either since the S8 is an audio interface by itself.

This is NOT ok and should really be addressed by Roland. The simplest solution to this is to detach the gain of the USB recorded output from the main volume, and add a dB switch inside the system menu (-12, 0, +12 or whatever it fits).
You're right about all of this. The problem is not Windows-specific. It was a dumb choice to have the USB output level controlled by the volume knob. To make things worse, the output clips if you turn it up too much, so I have my volume at noon instead of max. I compensated for it by turning up the Amp Level in almost every patch, and I regret doing that, because I now have to have the master volume extremely low to use it with headphones.

It's been on my TODO list for months to go through and fix all the patch levels. Ideally I want to leave the master volume at max, like I do on every other synth in my studio. It should also match the level of the System-8 plugin on my computer. Currently I have to turn my (hardware) System-8 down -6 dB to match the plugin. It's a bit of a mess.
Old 2nd October 2020 | Show parent
  #9011
Gear Head
 
MocciJ's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
Why not just add some gain in the software you’re recording in? Or just normalize afterwards. Like you said, it’s digital, so that wouldn’t affect sound quality.
The waveform amplitude matters in the digital domain and is suscettible to digital noise. Recording at a very small gain is like applying a bit crusher effect, as less bits are effectively used to store each sample.

Now, I agree that 24 bits have a lot of headroom for normalization, but the quantization noise is definitely there. It is always preferable to attenuate a digital signal instead of amplify it, as the quantization is destructive.
Old 2nd October 2020 | Show parent
  #9012
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
You're right about all of this. The problem is not Windows-specific. It was a dumb choice to have the USB output level controlled by the volume knob. To make things worse, the output clips if you turn it up too much, so I have my volume at noon instead of max. I compensated for it by turning up the Amp Level in almost every patch, and I regret doing that, because I now have to have the master volume extremely low to use it with headphones.

It's been on my TODO list for months to go through and fix all the patch levels. Ideally I want to leave the master volume at max, like I do on every other synth in my studio. It should also match the level of the System-8 plugin on my computer. Currently I have to turn my (hardware) System-8 down -6 dB to match the plugin. It's a bit of a mess.
I also have to volume at max and matched to the plugin volume i really like that you can start building patches on the hardware and then just port it over to a plugin for further production. This way you get pristine sound without DA/AD conversion, noise or whatever and accurate midi timing and offline rendering etc, because it’s not a hardware instrument anymore. The only downside is the cpu load, but my cpu can handle multiple instances without any problem.
Old 2nd October 2020 | Show parent
  #9013
Gear Head
 
MocciJ's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MocciJ View Post
So I finally found out that there is more than one issue, and that I am not alone in this...

1. At least in Windows, after having tested every driver (WASAPI, WDM, ASIO4ALL, Roland), I did not have found a way to match the volume of the audio recorded from USB with that of the S8 output. The recorded audio is quieter by roughly 24dB, no matter what. I don't know what to think, are Mac users experiencing the same?

2. The recording level is set by the main VOLUME knob. To me, this is a rather dumb design choice. USB is digital and should output as much signal as it can, while the VOLUME knob should just set the output volume.

3. Since the headphone level is set from the VOLUME knob, headphone monitoring is rather tedious as changing the volume will affect the recording volume. I am using an hardware synth also because of the near zero latency, and I don't want to to add 10+ ms with software monitoring. I don't want to use an external audio interface either since the S8 is an audio interface by itself.

This is NOT ok and should really be addressed by Roland. The simplest solution to this is to detach the gain of the USB recorded output from the main volume, and add a dB switch inside the system menu (-12, 0, +12 or whatever it fits).
After further investigation, I understand what it is happening, and the main design issue that causes it.
I tried setting the VOLUME knob to max, recording directly into the computer, and then playing back. Now the recording level is matched to the S8 output level.

The internal audio diagram is wired as follows:
1. The S8 VOLUME knob regulates the main out level;
2. USB audio output (to the computer) is taken from the main out AFTER the level attenuation;
3. USB audio input (from the computer) goes into the main out BEFORE level attenuation.

Suppose to have the VOLUME knob at half its range. Therefore, the S8 is recorded into the computer at half its maximum output. The recording is then played back through the S8, but at half volume because of the VOLUME knob. This results in the output being attenuated twice.

This would not happen if the USB audio output was taken BEFORE level attenuation. So that what you play is what you record, all levels matched. There already is the option to attenuate the main output at -12dB to avoid saturation!
Old 22nd October 2020
  #9014
Lives for gear
 
Musician's Avatar
Is there any drawing or list of what each knob/fader sends and receives as midi CC controller? I cannot find a good one and I dont want to try out each knob and fader just to find out.
Old 22nd October 2020
  #9015
Lives for gear
 
Sebastian N's Avatar
 

I think the midi implementation chart should be the same for both sending and receiving ccs, no?
Old 22nd October 2020 | Show parent
  #9016
Gear Addict
 
Releaux's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musician View Post
Is there any drawing or list of what each knob/fader sends and receives as midi CC controller? I cannot find a good one and I dont want to try out each knob and fader just to find out.
This is the closest I've found. It would be nice to have a front panel graphic with the numbers overlaid on each control, but I've never seen anything like that from Roland.

SYSTEM-8 MIDI Implementation Chart
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9017
Lives for gear
 
Musician's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Releaux View Post
This is the closest I've found. It would be nice to have a front panel graphic with the numbers overlaid on each control, but I've never seen anything like that from Roland.

SYSTEM-8 MIDI Implementation Chart
Thanks that will do it.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9018
Lives for gear
 
greggybud's Avatar
Just checking to see if anyone has created a list of the factory patch names for System 8, (patch and performance) plus Jupiter, Juno and JX3P factory patches including their corresponding factory locations?

Last I checked, I couldn't find anything from Roland.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9019
Gear Addict
 
Releaux's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
Just checking to see if anyone has created a list of the factory patch names for System 8, (patch and performance) plus Jupiter, Juno and JX3P factory patches including their corresponding factory locations?

Last I checked, I couldn't find anything from Roland.
I was similarly vexed last month while trying to create .MIDDEV and .MIDNAM files for the System-8. As it turned out, all I had to do was look on the SD card. After backing up to the SD card, there will be a folder on it named "BACKUP" with a file named "sys8_bak.txt" (or whatever name you gave it) inside.

While I would have preferred the ability to do a standard SYSEX dump for patch archiving, it was nice of them to include this text file in the SD backup procedure.

I've attached a text file with the factory patches to this post.
Attached Files
File Type: txt sys8_bak.txt (11.8 KB, 38 views)

Last edited by Releaux; 4 weeks ago at 07:19 AM.. Reason: Clarity.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9020
Lives for gear
 
hogberto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Releaux View Post
I've attached a text file with the factory patches to this post.
Thanks, that's really helpful.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9021
Lives for gear
 
greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Releaux View Post
all I had to do was look on the SD card. After backing up to the SD card, there will be a folder on it named "BACKUP" with a file named "sys8_bak.txt" (or whatever name you gave it) inside.
Thank you!

I never would have thought to look to my SD card since this is usually included in the manual or an insert.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9022
Lives for gear
Not sure if anyone else would find value in this, but I created my own version of the MIDI CC mapping for the System-8 hardware as a reference for myself. This is more helpful than the table in the manual IMO (which BTW, leaves out CC's for two controls).

In case anyone else wants it...

Roland System 8-system-8-midi-cc-mapping.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Roland System 8-system-8-midi-cc-mapping.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9023
Lives for gear
 
Musician's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkybot View Post
Not sure if anyone else would find value in this, but I created my own version of the MIDI CC mapping for the System-8 hardware as a reference for myself. This is more helpful than the table in the manual IMO (which BTW, leaves out CC's for two controls).

In case anyone else wants it...

Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9024
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkybot View Post
Not sure if anyone else would find value in this, but I created my own version of the MIDI CC mapping for the System-8 hardware as a reference for myself. This is more helpful than the table in the manual IMO (which BTW, leaves out CC's for two controls).

In case anyone else wants it...

Awesome thanks!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9025
Gear Addict
Been a couple years; How are people liking the FM from their System-8? Do y’all find it a practical substitute for traditional FM?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9026
Here for the gear
 

I was thinking of selling mine and getting a Jupiter X, but I would ultimately miss the S8 engine.

I really like the FM sync with the color knob modulated on a slow LFO, and the sideband filter is pure filth too. I don't think the JX can do those sounds.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9027
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogColonic View Post
I was thinking of selling mine and getting a Jupiter X, but I would ultimately miss the S8 engine.

I really like the FM sync with the color knob modulated on a slow LFO, and the sideband filter is pure filth too. I don't think the JX can do those sounds.
I don’t think I know enough about FM synthesis to know what I’m missing out on with the system-8. I know it gives rise to an almost infinte pallete of sounds but how you get there seems mystical to me compared to some detuned square or triangle oscillators. If you like the FM on the system 8 what is it about the Jupiter that pulls you in? Does it have a lot more FM options? My understanding is that zen core does more polyphony and potentially timbrality. I’ve only used a nee Fantom and was seriously disappointed with how the oscillator structure is compared to a regular synth but the ability to layer them up was the overriding factor which says to me it would be better if you were a keyboard player in a band trying to get a richer sound rather than a synth nerd trying to get a particular sound
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9028
Here for the gear
 

Dawsons are currently selling the System 8 for £949, just in case that helps someone who is on the fence


Quote:
Originally Posted by g.reginald View Post
If you like the FM on the system 8 what is it about the Jupiter that pulls you in?
The System 8 is everything I need, I'm just procrastinating looking at new gear rather than working, lol.

I just want one
Old 5 days ago
  #9029
Here for the gear
 

I bought an LED bulb and I like how the pink compliments the green. It's nicer to look at now.

So anyway...

I find I don't use the JX3P plugout and want to replace it with a mono. Any recommendations?

I hear good things about the SH2 as a Duran Duran fan, but want to give the Promars a chance too, and the others. They will be used for spacey synth rock.
Attached Thumbnails
Roland System 8-dsc_0327.jpg  
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #9030
Lives for gear
 
EnochLight's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogColonic View Post
I bought an LED bulb and I like how the pink compliments the green. It's nicer to look at now.

So anyway...

I find I don't use the JX3P plugout and want to replace it with a mono. Any recommendations?

I hear good things about the SH2 as a Duran Duran fan, but want to give the Promars a chance too, and the others. They will be used for spacey synth rock.
Just try them both and see which one you like the most. Using Roland Cloud it's super easy to send the Plug-Out to your System 8 quite fast.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 137 views: 33177
Avatar for AS74
AS74 14th May 2017
replies: 4204 views: 387712
Avatar for Darxxxell
Darxxxell 16th September 2017
replies: 98 views: 5491
Avatar for flat
flat 19th August 2019
replies: 5306 views: 441195
Avatar for Poumtschak
Poumtschak 1 week ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump