Roland D50 Automation

Now that I am able to program the MKS-80 with the Bitstream 3X I am attempting to do the same for other electronic instruments that lack tactile controls. This involves digging into the MIDI implementation of these instruments and then programming the BS3X to send the appropriate values. The first instrument I’m trying this with is the Roland D-50. So far I have had no success in getting the Roland D-50 to respond to the values I’m sending it, but hopefully I get it figured out soon. Here’s an example of what I’d like to accomplish. To create the sound below I used the D-50’s joystick to change the cutoff frequency on the first upper partial while sending it notes via MIDI.

Roland D50 Automation

7 thoughts on “Roland D50 Automation

  1. D-50 sysex parameters are already defined in the Bitstream configuration software, did you try those?

    Also did you share any of your Bitstream configuration setting files anywhere?

  2. @Tony I have been trying them. For example in the BS3X configuration software I can choose “Roland D50 Upper Partial 1” and “TVF Cutoff Frequency” to get the MIDI string “F04100141200000D00F7” with the “control value position 1” set to “8” and “control value position 2” set to “0”, but the D-50 doesn’t to respond. I’ve been reading through the MIDI implementation and I’m guessing that the numbers in “control value position 1” and “control value position 2” are incorrect. However, I’m not sure what the correct values should be. Tried running the gamut through those numbers, but nothing seems to work. Any ideas?

  3. I fiddled a bit with a digital synth from this era (Yamaha V50) and the sysex manager in my Cubase seq.
    IIRC, most problems I faced then came from checksum calculation methods and/or LSB/MSB permutations, which wasn’t, obviously, standardized amongst manufacturers. Maybe that’s a separate menu in the BS3X ?

  4. Pingback: Audio Cookbook » Blog Archive » Evolving Roland D-50 Arpeggio

  5. Hello John,

    I know this is a pretty old post, but as i’m currently working on a ctrlr panel for the D50, and have been using the Bitstream software for the sysex reference (the D50 advanced manual midi chart is indeed a bit too obscure for me). Unfortunately I’m encountering the same issues you are mentioning. Did you manage to get the Bitstream 3X to control your D50 in the end? If so how did you do it?

  6. @Opuswerk. Unfortunately I did not solve the problem with the BS3X and the D50. This is something I would like to revisit at some point. Please let me know if you make any breakthroughs. Would love to checkout your ctrlr panel as well. Cheers!

  7. Hi John,
    I haven’t managed to get the Bitstream nor the CTRLR panel working. Which makes me come to the same conclusion as you about the preset in the BS3X. Although I have found the D50 advanced manual, I don’t really get the whole sysex section where it’s talked bits and bytes instead of the Hex values i was hoping to see.
    CTRLR does provide a translator, but i must say i’m a bit at a loss there. If you’re interested in trying to solve this mystery with me you can head to this thread: ctrlr.org/forums/topic/roland-d50-pg-1000-panel/
    Out of curiosity, did you try the sysex that are sent with the MIDIQuest D50 thing?

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