Re: Hooking the QS-8 to Cakewalk, Questions...

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Posted by f3 on March 14, 2001 at 14:33:19:

In Reply to: Hooking the QS-8 to Cakewalk, Questions... posted by Burc on March 14, 2001 at 11:34:50:

Burc --

A little info for you -- see below.

: 1-If I install cakewalk and connect the QS-8 with the serial cable, will I be able to record and edit MIDI using the QS-8 samples? Is this possible or will the QS-8 be just a generic keyboard that maps to cakewalks general MIDI instruments?

Cakewalk doesn't have 'instruments' itself, it has tracks that are used to record audio (kind of like any old tape recorder) or midi sequences which are basically strings of computer code used to run devices like the QS8 (think 'player piano'). You will use cakewalk tracks to send sequence info in midi format via your serial port to your QS8 to play there. You'll use cakewalk midi tracks to both tell the QS what program (patch) to use and what notes to play, etc. Understand that QS programs are built up from the internal QS samples. You don't interact directly with those underlying samples from cakewalk, but rather indirectly through the selected programs that use those samples to make the noises you want to hear.

You are not limited to the GM instruments (programs) provided by the QS. You can have cakewalk access any of the programs (or mixes) in the Preset or User banks. Most people who use the QSs in this way use the "Multitimbral Mix" patch to get at programs on some or all of the 16 channels available -- many earlier postings here about that. My general advice is to use GM only to initially audition midi files you get from elsewhere, and then get out of it to use more of the QS capabilities.

: 2-If I can map the QS-8 samples to the cakewalk instruments, I will normally hear audio from the PC speakers right, so I should be investing in a good set of PC speakers. Will I still require monitors for the QS-8?

Don't invest in the good PC speakers (you may need that money for other things discussed below). Again, as noted above there are no cakewalk 'instruments' to be mapped to the QS samples. Rather, cakewalk tracks are used to record and send midi (computer code) info to the QS to play notes using the QS patches that are built up from the samples inside the QS. Again, think of an old player piano. Same deal with the QS, just ones and zeros instead of paper and holes. So, hearing the noises from the QS is the same as if you were playing it yourself -- namely the audio out options of headphones, analog or the adat digital from the QS. There are certainly ways to route the audio signal back to your soundcard to play from the computer speakers if you want to, but if you already have a setup to hear your QS when you play it, you're done. If you get to the stage of recording audio in cakewalk along with the midi sequences being played by your QS, you'll need a mixer and an amp and monitors to bring all that together.

: 3-Is it possible to create samples with cakewalk and load them onto the QS-8, better pianos and such?

While you can certainly record a basic audio sample in cakewalk that can eventually become a QS sample, you need more than just cakewalk to do this (which is of course more $). You'll almost certainly need another piece of software that allows you to create 'loops' in your samples; otherwise you won't be able to sustain sounds and you will run into sample size problems quickly. There are several software packages that do this, such as the more complete 'wave' editors that have looping functions as one component (I use Steinberg's WaveLab 3.0 -- a little pricey but I didn't buy it just for looping). For a less expensive but pretty cool option try Awave at You'll also need a PCMCIA card to put the samples on for your QS to access (and if you're serious about creating your own samples, you'll probably need the 8 meg flash ram version - $125 or so). You'll also need Soundbridge to do the the transfer of the samples from your computer to the PCMCIA card. Mercifully, Soundbridge is provided free by Alesis.

: Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hope this helps. Make good sounds.


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