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Questions & Answers
If your keyboard has the capability to send MIDI Messages to the MIDIplus sound module then it will work.
By Paul DiMaggio on January 11, 2018
based on 8 Customer Reviews
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By H B
December 28, 2017
Comes with: - User manual - GM patch list card - MIDI to jack cable (to receive midi cable data) - MicroUSB to USB (to charge device) - Device itself. To work with a popular Yamaha YPG-535 keyboard, you need to buy an old fashioned USB cable (not mini or micro, just regular male to female USB cable, like a USB1.0 cable). As you may be aware the YPG-535 does not have MIDI connectors, but it can be sent over USB. Connect the included microUSB cable to the device, and to the 'to device' connection on the keyboard. This is for charging purposes. The keyboard will keep the MidiEngine charged. Connect the second (USB1.0) cable to the device, and connect it to the keyboard's "To Host" connection. This is to transfer the midi notes to the device. Now either use a mini headphones jack, or a mini-jack to jack cable to connect your device to an amplifier, mixer or monitors. From the keyboard setting, go into settings, and find 'keyboard out'. Select 'yes'. You are now able to hear your keys through the device. You can also go further in the keyboard settings, and select 'style out' or 'song out'. This will allow you to not only play the keys, but also play back backing tracks and backing instruments through the device. The MidiEngine has more voices (64) than the YPG-535 (32). So from time to time, the keyboard may cut out on voices that the MidiEngine continues. The Yamaha does not play back the built in demos through the USB connection. Also make sure that the host clock is the keyboard. Putting host clock to the MidiEngine, will freeze host clock, and you won't be able to play back any rhythm or tempo or metronome. The soundbank on the MiniEngine is very basic. It is very comparable to a 2 to 4MB soundfont on a PC, mostly FM synthesis. The music instruments are basic, and a nice addition to layer the instruments on top of the beautifully sounding Yamaha YPG-535's Grand Piano. This is why I bought this device! To layer instruments on top of the built in sounds. It's probably the cheapest midi sound module out there. Ever since my beloved Korg midi sound module got lost, I only found very expensive replacements. I just bought this on a whim, to see how it functions. It doesn't have many good sounds in there, but can be used to somewhat enhance the standard samples on the Yamaha keyboard (by adding some elements to the original samples). I don't think it's a solution a professional would use, but it's nice to experiment with. In the future I probably will seek a more professional solution. It works well with midi controller keyboards that have no internal sounds. You could use it as a cheap sound generator. But sound quality wise, it's well below a Casio budget keyboard. My only real con, in combination with the Yamaha 535 keyboard, is that whenever I change patches or instruments on the keyboard, the module goes haywire, and changes instruments as well. This includes manually changing the primary instrument on the keyboard, the layered instrument, or the split keyboard instrument. Transpose seems to work just fine! The device plays back in mono, and the samples can't be layered. However, if your source keyboard can send multiple samples at once, they can be layered through a keyboard that can (eg: you can run drums and backing chords on top of your instrument, if your keyboard allows you to play it). I personally think some instruments aren't very well calibrated. They are just regular, generic instruments. Sometimes the device flips, and changing instruments result in error. When that happens, just change the instrument back and forth again. Sometimes the device appears to be dead. Just reset, by pressing the power button for more than 4 seconds.
By Dad of 2
December 26, 2017
We got it to work with our Novation Impulse 61, after we figured out that the USB out on the MiniEngine is enough to light up the keyboard LEDs but not enough to fully power it. Plugging the keyboard into its own USB power source and connecting it with a 5-pin MIDI cable got it working. Works fine for my son's practice setup.
By johney boy
December 25, 2017
December 25, 2017
I like it. It would be perfect for $30. Keep in mind that it is just the basic MIDI samples that can be had for free on the web. I wanted the ability to ditch my computer and this helps me in that process. The MIDI out to their proprietary MIDI in (an 1/8th inch plug???!!!) actually works great to my surprise.
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