Kybd & emulation – 2004

MIDI environment from the 1990’s


Roland RD600 midi keyboard & Alesis QSR 1997

These two pieces use software-generated piano.  Although, in search of a decent sound the only real solution was, and is, a real piano – the sound, the attack, the touch, the feeling (our choice Yamaha – no recordings). DSC02919
However putting several instruments together without creating a band or disturbing the neighbors, then a keyboard controlling snyths and VST* instruments can serve well.  *VST = ‘Virtual Studio Technology’

Our keyboard is a Roland RD600 with an Alesis QSR synthesizer – both dating from the late 1990’s. Piano is from Steinberg while Native Instruments provide the B-3 emulator, named “B-4”!  CuBase holds everything together via MOTU’s MIDI controller and audio mixing unit.

In the photos you can see how this is all handled physically within a custom-built housing incorporating twin screens, computer keyboard, and a Dell tower computer.


‘The Grand’ by Steinberg and ‘B-4’ by Native Instruments  (VST instrument) 2004


Technique behind the above 3 sets of audio tracks:

Top set: RD-600 rhythm and keyboard, Steinberg Grand VST piano within CuBase.

Middle set: MIDI tracks recorded in 1999 using the Roland keyboard and Logic MIDI software. The audio tracks were made about 10 years later from the original MIDI files – CuBase with Steinberg piano, VST bass sounds and Alesis QSR strings.

Lower set: Audio created from demo MIDI tracks by Native Instruments ‘B4’ and Steinberg piano. First track prioritizes ‘B4’ organ, second track prioritizes Steinberg piano.

2018 update:
With the risk of changing keyboard and VSTs in 2019, it is useful to recall the original RD-600 on-board sounds – through the 3 demo pieces programmed into it:
1. Piano Prologue: 2. Take Me There: 3. Moving Waves:

The Alesis QSR synthesizer has five demo songs (haven’t said much about that device, it is a rack version built in just above the keyboard).

Follow our updates – progress on the 2019 conversion . . (0) — (1) — (2) — (3) — (4)