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Possible to exploit 'hidden' capabilities of Casio Keyboard?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Doc, Aug 1, 2005.

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  1. Doc

    Doc Guest

    I've got this Casio keyboard of the $99 Walmart variety that I got to study
    chord progressions, since it's got a 100 song bank and a display that gives
    info on the chord type and voicing, even shows the notes on a keyboard

    When it plays the songs, it uses some fairly elaborately sequenced
    arrangements with the midi file data burned onto a chip. However, it occurs
    to me that you couldn't duplicate the multi-instrumentation and polyphony of
    the arrangements by actually playing the keyboard.

    This leads me to think the keyboard has more capability than they've
    included buttons for, sort of like stories I've always heard that certain
    calculators of varying cost all used the same chipset but the more expensive
    ones just had more buttons. Anyone ever heard of someone "hacking" one of
    these inexpensive keyboards to exploit these hidden capabilities?
  2. Tim Shoppa

    Tim Shoppa Guest

    However, it occurs to me that you couldn't duplicate
    It's possible/likely that the keyboard (keyboard = the keys and
    electronics that sense them, not the whole unit) decoder cannot handle
    more than "n" keys depressed simultaneously, where "n" is what you need
    to get the polyphony.

    Keyboard multiplexing/decoding has always been a limiting factor in
    low-end synths.

    Don't most cheap ones allow you to record in one voice/instrument, then
    switch to a different voice while playing back the original so that you
    can "accompany" yourself?

  3. Don Pearce

    Don Pearce Guest

    Does it have a MIDI connector? If it does you should be able to get at
    all the goodies that way.


    Pearce Consulting
  4. philicorda

    philicorda Guest

    "Tablehooters" is a great site by a guy dedicated to doing this kind of

    He confirms that often the same keyboard sound electronics appear in many
    different models, just inaccessible from the front panel.

    I've wondered how they get the demos sounding so good on these little
    keyboards too. Nowadays, they probably use the same 256 voice GM sound
    chip in everything, but on older keyboards I've heard some clever
    workarounds to get round polyphony/multitimbral limitations. Often things
    like changing timbre quickly between notes, or, if the sound engine allows
    it, holding one bass note, changing the timbre with it still sustaining,
    playing the melody notes, and then changing timbre back for the next bass
    note. This leads to some wacky arrangements!
  5. Doc

    Doc Guest

    This model doesn't but the next model up did.
  6. In that case, I think you're out of luck.
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