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Jazzman

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Everything posted by Jazzman

  1. Next Generation MZ-X wish list

    Fix the bugs and publish tutorials that not only show how to take advantage of all the features but also explain why you would use them. As much as I like the MZ-X500 I am frustrated that the support is so lacking. My expectation for support is one of the reasons I purchased this arranger but it seems like we have been abandoned. Perhaps Casio is working on a great new arranger but no matter how good the next generation may seem on paper, our experience with the MZ-X500 will be hard to overcome. I have set my Casio aside and returned to my Roland BK-9.
  2. Priority

    Probably did 10 or so before the first lock up during this session. After that it would lock up each time a power reset with just one recording.
  3. Priority

    I have two Silicon Power 16gig flash drives, they both have this problem. I recently purchased a third with 32gig and I am starting to use it. I didn't format the 16gig drives on the MZ-X500 but I did for the 32gig drive. Could this be the issue? I'll let you know how it goes.
  4. Priority

    Here is a video showing the keyboard locking up when trying to play an audio recording after it has been successfully created. Most of the time it is necessary to physically unplug the keyboard to clear the fault. Rarely, on occasion, if the power button is depressed for an extended period that will clear the fault. I should also say that I have installed the latest OS Update. Here is a link to Youtube video:
  5. Pad fade-in / out

    Agree, a fade for pads would be very useful. Sometimes I will have 3 pads looping and at the end of the performance I have to remember the best sequence for turning them off as the volume fades. Usually this is acceptable if I start turning them off sequentially just before the downbeat when the volume reaches about 50%. Another option is to just manually fade using the volume control if you don't have to play a repeating outro. Look forward to your results from experimenting with an external controller
  6. Closest thing to MZ-X500 ??

    If you are comparing arrangers then the Roland EA-07 is what you should compare to the MZ-X500. The FA-07 is not an arranger. Both Casio and Roland have their advantages.
  7. new Korg Pa700

    The songbook feature is really nice, I wish Casio would implement this. Keeping track of song locations by registration numbers is a real pain. Besides having to keep a cross-reference chart handy, one mistake in saving to a used registration and you wipe out another song. Can't tell you how many times this has happened to me when I'm in a rush. I know it isn't fair to compare the PA-1000 but with the built in TC Helicon vocal processor AND a guitar input with FX it could eliminate two pieces of gear that I now hook up when I have a guitar accompany me (the vocal processor and a mixer). Worth thinking about.
  8. Priority

    I found a couple other quirks. I haven't spent time trying to figure out what causes them. Occasionally the accompaniment rhythm locks up with just the drum set and no keys will play. There is no recovery other than a power cycle. This hasn't happened to me during a performance yet but when it does I'll be retiring the MZ-X500. When using the midi recorder and trying to save the performance to a USB memory stick I sometimes get a "no attached media" message which cannot be fixed by simply removing and replugging the usb stick. This is after successfully saving a few prior midi recordings to the same memory stick! Power cycle is required to recognize the memory stick.
  9. Keys Getting Very Noisy

    After two months or so of play my keys are starting to make annoyingly loud mechanical noises. Not all keys are the same. It almost seems like if there were a damping material at the end of travel that it is failing because at the end of travel on the downstroke there is more of a plastic on plastic sound rather than a softened thud. I am also finding that there is a squeak on some of the keys in addition to the other sound. The noise is definitely not coming from the speakers but is strictly mechanical in nature. It is loud enough that it overpowers the softer moments in a performance and is making it unsuitable for public play. Another symptom is that if i slide off a fully depressed key and let it rise of its own accord some make a rattle type sound when reaching their natural position. It seems like some damping material has failed on the upstroke as well. These issues are getting progressively worse as I use the board. Is anyone else having this issue? What can be done to fix it? Do I have a lemon?
  10. Microphone Volume

    Is anyone else having issues with the volume of the microphone? When I plug my Shure SM58 or PG58 in via a Hosa MIT-176 XLR3F to 1/4" impedance matched adapter the volume is so muted that it doesn't cut through the rhythm and melody I am playing. I have to severely mute the volume of the accompaniment parts with the balance controls in order to have enough mic volume. Do I need to get an external mic preamp or another connection method? Any suggestions?
  11. Microphone Volume

    Hi Rick, Of course you realize that the MZ-X500 doesn't work directly with a TRS mic plug such as the output of the Berlinger mixer?? I presently have a Yamaha mixer that I use when I play with another person but I'm trying to find a way to have an acceptable minimum setup for solo performances. If I connect the Shure SM-58 via the preamp of the mixer it works great. It also works OK when connected via a vocal processor. I'm now awaiting specs on the Berlinger XM8500 mic used by Ralph Marten which advertises "high output". For $20 USD I may just get one to try it out but I'm skeptical that it will work without a preamp. There must be something in the path of Ralph's setup that changes the color of the mic cable :-) if I want to try Ralph's settings via his ".zal" file, how can I clone his mic settings and use them with the "zal" backup of my own performances? I very much appreciate your help.
  12. Comparison

    I had that same impression of the Roland EA-7 in this comparison. I found it curious that the recording of the Roland sounds was, for the most part, at a lower volume than the Casio and Korg boards. If you increase the volume of the Roland board during playback it sounds much better. For some reason Roland did not include their "SuperNatural" sounds in the EA-7. It was a big mistake because us BK-9 players love those sounds. As much as we would like to have a board with internal speakers that would use them, the EA-7 will not. Practically speaking it means that the work we put into our performances on the BK-9 will not "port" directly to the EA-7 and we would have to recreate the performances with the sounds provided. My apologies to Roland, but they have lost sensitivity to their user base. This is at least part of the reason I ended up with the Casio MZ-X500. I really hope that Casio is listening and will bring out a 76 key version of the MZ-X500 with internal speakers that is fully compatible with our performances, with a real xlr mic input having front panel volume and reverb and an improved keybed. I would buy it in a heartbeat.
  13. FINALLY! The day's Arrived!

    Congrats, and happy birthday. I especially like that lightbulb, lol. You are going to have a great time with the MZ-X500.
  14. Comparison

    Interesting comparison between similar cost arrangers. I like them all. Clearly the MZ-X500 holds its own.
  15. Microphone Volume

    I really don't see an advantage to a condenser microphone, to each his own. I'm personally not interested in having gear with batteries that I have to worry about during a performance. I only express disappointment with the MZ-X500 mic input because, in my opinion, it is pretty useless without ancillary equipment. They could have had a great feature if it had a preamp with enough gain for the most popular professional dynamic mics in use today. Unfortunately Casio chose to save cost and provided a very anemic feature. Using the same mic with my Roland equipment is an entirely different experience. Plenty of gain to cut through the keys. This is a feature that I would suggest that Casio enhance for their target market. My ideal would be a combo XLR/TRS jack, balanced input, high enough gain for a 1.5mV dynamic mic output, volume control moved to the front panel AND a companion reverb control. Now that would be exciting!! Good luck with the microphone, keep us posted on how it works out for you.
  16. I gots me one!

    Ha, great point Leonh. It really is the musician. A more fair comparison would be to the Roland EA-7 or the Yamaha PSR-S770. They each have there advantages.
  17. Microphone Volume

    Hi Leonh, A condenser mic requires "phantom power", something the MZ-X500 does not provide, so you would need an additional piece of gear to use one. A condenser mic would not necessarily have a higher output than a dynamic mic. From what I can tell, you will need a mic output signal with about 6mV to 10mV to play well with the keyboard. To me that means that a mic preamp is going to be required with most professional mics of either type. Let us know how you find the vocal levels.
  18. I gots me one!

    I generally like my MZ-X500 BUT that being said the clacking keyboard and key feel drives me crazy and the mic input is useless when using a professional mic like the Shure SM58 without a mic preamp. The sounds are good, some even great, plenty of speaker volume for small room gigs, the pads are very useful and the touch screen is user friendly. Overall the pluses outweigh the minuses but there is lots of room for improvement. I'm sure you will enjoy it, congrats.
  19. Microphone Volume

    Hi Lobbard, Got a response to my inquiry from Shure, a great mic company with super support. They pretty much confirm what we are seeing so I suspect that most professional mics will not have adequate volume with the MZ-X500. This may explain why Casio is not helping us out here, they probably don't want this broadly known. I am attaching a copy of my inquiry and response from Shure. Boss/Roland usually takes a few days to respond to inquiries so I will post their comments about interfacing to the VE-5 when I get them. I have also asked Sweetwater if they could test the Berhinger 8500 mic with the MZ-X500. Berhinger advertises that this mic has "high output" so maybe it could work without a pre-amp.
  20. What you use it for MZ 500/300

    I use the MZ-X500 for personal enjoyment as an arranger and to play small venue solo performances. The pads are a great feature which I use to enhance the built in rhythms.
  21. Microphone Volume

    Hi Lobbard, I took a look at the video by Ralph Maten. I agree it sounds good, but one thing he didn't show was the balance settings between the mic, keyboard parts and rhythm. I can also get enough volume from my Shure SM58 mic without anything else playing but the problem is that unless I severely reduce the other parts the mic volume is not adequate to cut through. Having to change the balance settings for hundreds of performances is not something I'm willing to do. We should be able to have the mic volume adjustment alone create an adequate level for the vocals. With the master volume at 12:00 the volume of the performance parts is way too loud for my average size practice room so I play at 10:00 to 11:00. In either case since the volume of the mic tracks with the master volume the problem of mic level persists. I took a look at the specs for both your mics. The impedance of the AKG is 300 ohms (similar to my Share SM58) while the Samsonteck is just 150 ohms. Both these mics are considered low impedance so I would expect them to have low volume with the MZ-X500. I see that locally Walmart has some inexpensive mics <$20 USD meant for Karaoke with unbalanced connections. These are typically high impedance mics and I will try one out next week to see if my theory is correct. Stay tuned. On the plus side it was good to learn that the MZ-X500 can add reverb to the mic input vis activation of the DSP effects. Still learning.
  22. Microphone Volume

    Hi Lobbard, Thanks for the detailed response. I'm learning about microphones as I go. Apparently lower quality mics have a high impedance output and use an unbalanced 1/4" TS connector. Our Casio MZ-X500 seems to be designed for these type of mics, ugh... Since I don't have one I cannot comment on what the volume would be when using a high impedance mic. Professional mics, like my Shure SM58, are used by nearly ALL stage perforrmers. They are low impedance and use a balanced XLR connector. I have tried the Hosa MIT-176 adapter (pic attached) which has an impedance matching transformer in it but it is still unsatisfactory. I just posed this problem to Shure and asked them to suggest a possible solution. I'll update this post when I hear back from them. The distortion you are experiencing could be the result of not having isolation between the output of the VE-5 and the MZ-X500. This is something that the Hosa adapter I am using might address, but no guarantees. I need to use the mic input for the mic during most setups so I will continue to explore how to get this to work. I am also going to check with Boss/Roland about the output of their VE-5 and see what they say. I'm disappointed that the Casio team has not helped us. We cannot be the only ones having this issue and Casio certainly must know what their input circuitry needs in order to have strong vocals from a professional microphone. This isn't a karaoke machine!!
  23. Microphone Volume

    Hi Lobbard, thanks for the suggestion, this could be a workable solution for me. Do you run the mic output of the VE-5 into the mic input of the MZ-X500 and if so what is your cable setup? I'm thinking that I would still need to use an impedance matching adapter to go from the three pin mic output of the VE-5 to the 1/4" TR plug on the MZ-X500. How high do you now need to set the mic volume on both units to get satisfactory vocal levels? After reading the owners manual for the VE-5 the only negative I see is that you need to set the key signature so the harmonies are correct. Has this been troublesome? Do you use the optional foot switch or just hand control to add in the harmonies? How do you like the reverb effects and harmonies? I used to use a TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play but gave it up because the harmonies were "unpredictable". I tried it with my MZ-X500 but even at max output it was marginal. The seller of my MZ-X500 has volunteered to check the mic volume on a unit from their inventory. I gave them my settings from this post and will report back on their findings. Sorry about all the burdensome questions, I really appreciate your help.
  24. Registration memory

    So It would seem that this is an alternate way, perhaps better/easier, to do what I am doing. I start by creating and saving a registration for the start my performance, for example 7-1. Then I recall it and save it to the next registration, in this case 7-2, make the modifications I want and then save 7-2. If I need further changes then I repeat for 7-3 etc until I have all the changes I need for the performance. One advantage I can see for using filters would be if I change one of the "filtered" paramaters of the performance I would only have to change the first registration to impact all the others. For example if I make a key change to accommodate a vocalist in the first registration, 7-1 in this example, and have a "transpose filter "set to "on" for the other sequential registrations then I won't have to go through saving each one separately. On the other hand if I start to use the "freeze" tool then I am going to have to check each registration I use to make sure that I haven't previously set a "freeze" parameter for it. Anything else I'm missing? BTW, I really appreciate these type of tips. This type of real world application is what is missing from most instrument manufacturer's documentation. Manuals are written to show off the features of their instrument but they don't relate them to how/why to best use them in the creation of a real world performance. Application manuals or videos that explain why we would want to use the features that are available would be very helpful.
  25. Registration memory

    Could you please explain this in a little more detail? I often use registrations to change instruments and never used the "filter edit" with "freeze". I set up the registrations in sequence making sure that I have saved the same rhythms, tempo and key signature with the only changes being the instrument parts and occasionally the accompaniment level. How is the end result different? Just trying to understand.
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