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Discussion Starter #1
I've been using the Roland VSC (virtual sound canvas) for years for the majority of my midi playback needs in both Band In A Box and Sibelius. In Sibelius, I've supplemented it with Konatakt and Garritan, but some of the VSC sounds were better than either of those had to offer.

I've just purchased a new computer with Windows 7, and I was sad to find out that the Roland VSC isn't supported by Windows 7. Since I've relied on it so heavily for creating decent sounding backing tracks, this puts a big dent in my ability to do that.

I've read that the TSS-1 soft-synth included with cakewalk might be a reasonable alternative, but I haven't found any good demo examples of how all the different instruments sound. The only examples I've found so far were put out by people using it mostly for "techno" type stuff, and I'm not interested in those sounds.

Has anyone tried using TSS-1 with Sibelius? Can it be inserted into the list of Sibelius playback options the same way Garritan and Kontakt are...(and the way Roland VSC was prior to Windows 7)?

I'm trying to find an "affordable" option without having to purchase a full set of the Garritan orchestra and big band sounds...(which still might not satisfy me completely).

I'm not interested in Midi "Sound Fonts". I do have the ability to build and edit general midi sound font libraries, but they don't come anywhere close to the sounds that Roland's VSC offered.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...especially from people who have experience using alternative soft-synths with Sibelius.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Still hoping to get some input about the TSS-1...but now I'll ask another question that may be related.
Does anyone have experience running the Ubuntu operating system alongside Windows 7? Since the 64bit Windows system may be the reason that the Roland VSC isn't working (or even installing), I'm wondering if the 32bit version of Ubuntu will allow me to install and use the Roland VSC in conjunction with Sibelius or Band in a Box (previously installed on Windows). I've read that you can run programs installed on Windows in the Ubuntu system, but it's not clear whether programs that would only work in Ubuntu would work simultaneously with programs installed on Windows.

If any or all of this has gone over your head, join the club. Hopefully someone with experience using Ubuntu can offer some input or advice.

Thanks
 

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I'm no computer expert here but it's not too big of a deal to partition your hard drive so one partition runs Windows and the other runs whatever flavor of Linux you prefer. Now, as to whether you can run your software on Ubuntu - I have no clue. I'd say give it a try and see if it works. If not you can go back to just Windows. From my experience it's harder to get rid of that partition than it is to add a new one so be prepared to back everything up first so you can format and reinstall Windows if you mess it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks...
As I dig deeper and deeper into some of the more obscure Ubuntu Q&A forums, it appears that Ubuntu is designed to work side by side with Windows (if you choose to use it that way), but not to work with programs that are installed on the Windows side of the partition. If I'm understanding what I've read, that means if I want to use a particular program in either or both Windows and Ubuntu, the program has to be installed separately in both partitions. In other words...I can't install a program in Windows, and then access it from the Ubuntu operating system. Since I'm not looking to get away from the Windows operating system entirely, nor do I want to waste disc space by installing certain programs twice (on two different partitions), it sounds like more hassle than it's worth.

It's looking more and more like my only workable options are going to involve cash layouts that I was hoping to avoid...either buying the upgrade to Win 7 Ultimate in order to use a Virtual XP environment...or purchasing some of the more expensive sound libraries such as Garritan and/or Native Instruments. After paying for a brand new computer to begin with, I was hoping to avoid the additional expense just to bring my soft-synth capabilities back to where they were on my older computer. As it is, I'm still in disbelief that Windows 7 no longer even supports midi playback device selections. I've figured out a way around that with the help of a free utility you can download, but it's sad that Microsoft would go backwards instead of forward in that area. It makes the Mac look more attractive than it already was in comparison to Windows for people trying to create music.
 

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Thanks...
As it is, I'm still in disbelief that Windows 7 no longer even supports midi playback device selections. I've figured out a way around that with the help of a free utility you can download, but it's sad that Microsoft would go backwards instead of forward in that area.
That doesn't sound quite right. I'm having no trouble using Reaper and two or three other applications to play back MIDI on a variety of MIDI devices, from the internal MIDI to hardware synths through a USB adaper. I'm using Win7 Pro x64. I suppose its possible that MIDI functionality goes up as your version of windows goes up (MS seems to want to nickel and dime home users), but you might not need to run a virtual machine. Some of the functionality for the lower versions of Win7 (and even the pro version) does get added by free MS upgrades, which may be what you're referring to.

Roland lists the VSC standalone as not compatible w/ Win 7 x32, but the VST version is shown as compatible w/ Win7 x32. This seems to be missing from the x64 page, which is odd. If it weren't compatible, I'd think they'd list it as such, as there are plenty of non-compatible listings. I can't imagine why a VST wouldn't work in the 64-bit version, though-- A VST is a VST! You can try Reaper for free, and the cost is quite reasonable if you choose to license it.
http://www.roland.com/products/en/_support/faq.cfm?PRODUCT=VSC-MP1&iRcId=56957732&dsp=1

What would an upgrade to Win 7 Pro cost??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That doesn't sound quite right. I'm having no trouble using Reaper and two or three other applications to play back MIDI on a variety of MIDI devices, from the internal MIDI to hardware synths through a USB adaper.
scotts...the midi playback selection feature I was talking about is different than what you're describing. In older versions of Windows, you could go to "Sounds" in your control panel and select which playback device (or soft synth) to use for midi playback. That selection option no longer exists in Windows 7. It doesn't mean that you can't use a variety of midi devices...only that it's not as easy to select which midi sound sets your computer uses as the default device for midi playback.

Yes...you can still use VST. The Roland VSC 3.2.2 however is another story. It won't even install on a 64bit version of Windows 7 because there are no working drivers available, and apparently Roland has decided it's not worth their time to support it with new drivers. The Roland VSC 3.2.2 is one of the only programs that seems to have this level of incompatibility with Windows 7 64bit...which is unfortunate, because for such a small program, it really did include some very nice synth sounds. Not all of them were the best, but enough of them were good enough that I depended on it for close to half of the soft synth sounds I used.

The cost to upgrade to Win 7 Pro or Win 7 Ultimate is a little over $200.00...which may not be much in the overall scheme of things...but with limited income and already having laid out close to $1000.00 for this computer, it adds up fast.
 

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I don't think upgrading Windows will help. It looks to me as if both Roland and M$ have abandoned this. Too bad... (The VSC compatibility page shows that Roland has no plans to upgrade it for OS X. Which means they stopped working on it a long time ago.)

I'm surprised that you can't find good sounds using Garritan and Kontakt. I routinely export BiaB MIDI files and run them in Cubase using these sample libraries, and the sounds are vastly superior to (my memory of) Sound Canvas. The trick is to find a few good sounds you like, and use them all the time. I have a template setup with my favorite acoustic and electric piano, B4, electric and upright bass, acoustic and electric guitar and drums. That way I just import the BiaB export and apply to these instruments. These all draw from the Kontakt sample libraries and the Garritan Jazz and Big Band library.

I am sure that using Reaper you can accomplish the same thing - these libraries aren't necessarily studio ready, but they are good enough for casual use.

I understand about just clicking on a MIDI file in Windows and having the VSC play it - but you are SOL with that, MIDI is pretty much a hidden technology these days. Meaning, it still drives a lot of stuff under the hood, but the days of "finding the right driver" and "working with MIDI event lists" are pretty much over.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I hear what you're saying, Steve. I already knew that Roland had stopped working on the VSC a number of years ago. I was just hoping that there might be a secret workaround relating to using the 32bit version of Virtual XP.

I have in fact always used an assortment of sounds from Garritan and Kontakt along with some of the Sound Canvas sounds. Each one has some sounds that are better than others. My Garritan and Kontakt sounds were limited to the ones preinstalled with Sibelius "Essentials"...which are a scaled down version of the Garritan and Kontakt libraries. I never relied on Sound Canvas alone...and never used Windows midi playback as my sound source for backing tracks. I always recorded the playback as wav files from inside Sibelius...(using the "what you hear" recording input built in to my upgraded X-Fi sound card)...which gave me the ability to play back a file in Sibelius using a variety of individually selected sounds for each instrument...a combination of sounds from VSC, Garritan, and Kontakt at the same time. The only thing I'm really missing now are the handful of sounds from Sound Canvas that I did prefer over the Garritan and Kontakt sounds that were available to me.

As an example...this is a project I was working on last year on my old computer...

http://coooljazzz.com/music/Persuasion.mp3

A good bit of the accompaniment for that came from the Sound Canvas sounds...about 50% Sound Canvas, 25% Garritan, and 25% Kontakt. It may not have been studio ready, but I thought it was pretty darn nice for what it was. The project was unfinished, and I haven't been able to come anywhere close to that sound using just the Garritan and Kontakt sounds available to me in Sibelius Essentials. It's rather depressing at the moment.

I'm still considering purchasing the full version of Garritan's Jazz and Big Band library, as well as the Personal Orchestra library...(I do a considerable amount of classical stuff too, so I need more than just the jazz instruments). I guess I just have to "get over it"...save my money...and invest in those things when I can afford it.
 

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I just managed to install VSC on Windows 7

Right click on "SETUP.EXE" of VSC installer,
Click Property,
Choose 'Compatibility' tab,
Choose 'Run this program in compatibility mode',
Choose 'Windows XP (Service Pack 3)'

Then install as normal.

Good luck. :treble:

John

Bangkok Thailand, :mrgreen:
 

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While not a Linux guru, under Ubuntu there is a program called Qemu which is a windows emulator. There is another but its name escapes me now. There might even be a VSC comp program under Linux. I know there is recording, midi, and publishing software.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just managed to install VSC on Windows 7

Right click on "SETUP.EXE" of VSC installer,
Click Property,
Choose 'Compatibility' tab,
Choose 'Run this program in compatibility mode',
Choose 'Windows XP (Service Pack 3)'

Then install as normal.

Good luck. :treble:

John

Bangkok Thailand, :mrgreen:
I tried that several times with no luck. Are you by any chance using a 32bit version of Windows 7? If so, that may be the reason you were able to install it. I'm using a 64bit version of Windows 7, and apparently there are no 64bit drivers available for the VSC program.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just managed to install VSC on Windows 7

Right click on "SETUP.EXE" of VSC installer,
Click Property,
Choose 'Compatibility' tab,
Choose 'Run this program in compatibility mode',
Choose 'Windows XP (Service Pack 3)'

Then install as normal.

Good luck. :treble:

John

Bangkok Thailand, :mrgreen:
Now that I think about it...your response mentioned that you "just managed to install" it. Does the VSC actually work...or have you tried to use it yet? It appears to install just fine on my system...but the program doesn't work when I try to start it. I keep getting an error message about the VSCAPI.DLL...which is apparently the driver needed to run the VSC...and it doesn't work (doesn't even install) under Windows 7 64bit. Everything I've read on the internet so far indicates that no one has figured out a way to make it work with Windows 7...and Roland has no intention of developing a new driver for it.

Please let me know if the VSC is actually working on your Windows 7 computer now...and whether it's a 32bit or 64bit version of Windows 7.
 

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Now that I think about it...your response mentioned that you "just managed to install" it. Does the VSC actually work...or have you tried to use it yet? It appears to install just fine on my system...but the program doesn't work when I try to start it. I keep getting an error message about the VSCAPI.DLL...which is apparently the driver needed to run the VSC...and it doesn't work (doesn't even install) under Windows 7 64bit. Everything I've read on the internet so far indicates that no one has figured out a way to make it work with Windows 7...and Roland has no intention of developing a new driver for it.

Please let me know if the VSC is actually working on your Windows 7 computer now...and whether it's a 32bit or 64bit version of Windows 7.
The VSC is working on my PC. I use Windows 7 Ultimate that is 64 bit.
I just got this new PC yesterday to replace my P4 2.0 GHz (8 Years old) running Windows XP.

I usually run karaoke program that send midi out. Once I got PC, I install karaoke program and the output MIDI device can not be changed, due to there is only 1 device. I tried install VSC and found same problem you found. So I search around 10+ forums. Most of them (including this forum) tells no way to do it.

Finally I found 1 forum in Thai, explain how to do it. I follow and it works. So I translate to English and post it here.

After install VSC, I can set my karaoke program to output MIDI to Roland VSC. The sound is same as when I run VSC on my old XP PC.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The VSC is working on my PC. I use Windows 7 Ultimate that is 64 bit.
I just got this new PC yesterday to replace my P4 2.0 GHz (8 Years old) running Windows XP.

I usually run karaoke program that send midi out. Once I got PC, I install karaoke program and the output MIDI device can not be changed, due to there is only 1 device. I tried install VSC and found same problem you found. So I search around 10+ forums. Most of them (including this forum) tells no way to do it.

Finally I found 1 forum in Thai, explain how to do it. I follow and it works. So I translate to English and post it here.

After install VSC, I can set my karaoke program to output MIDI to Roland VSC. The sound is same as when I run VSC on my old XP PC.
Unfortunately, that method doesn't work for me, but you may have answered another one of my questions. I was previously wondering if upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate might be the secret. 7 Ultimate does have an XP mode, which probably explains why you were able to install VSC with XP compatibility. XP compatibility doesn't work in 7 Premium, but the upgrade to 7 ultimate is another $200+. I was hoping to avoid the extra expense since VSC is the only program that I've had an issue with so far.
 

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Unfortunately, that method doesn't work for me, but you may have answered another one of my questions. I was previously wondering if upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate might be the secret. 7 Ultimate does have an XP mode, which probably explains why you were able to install VSC with XP compatibility. XP compatibility doesn't work in 7 Premium, but the upgrade to 7 ultimate is another $200+. I was hoping to avoid the extra expense since VSC is the only program that I've had an issue with so far.
If you like the VSC, you might save yourself lots of headache and money by getting the $200 Win7 Ultimate upgrade. I think it would cost alot more than that to replace your Roland VSC with something of equal or better quality.

Good luck!
 

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If you like the VSC, you might save yourself lots of headache and money by getting the $200 Win7 Ultimate upgrade. I think it would cost alot more than that to replace your Roland VSC with something of equal or better quality.

Good luck!
Or go back to your original idea and run it through Linux with a windows emulator. You'd only need to set aside enough hard drive space for the Linux OS and your VSC program. A guy I know was running Linux off a usb thumb drive. Let your imagination run wild ;o)
 

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Or go back to your original idea and run it through Linux with a windows emulator. You'd only need to set aside enough hard drive space for the Linux OS and your VSC program. A guy I know was running Linux off a usb thumb drive. Let your imagination run wild ;o)
Linux is great but it does take quite a bit of programming knowledge to move around. I once had my brother set up a Linux DAW using Ardour running VST plugins. It was awesome worked with my M-Audio Delta44 and everything. It needed a tweak or two and my brother told me to go for it w/o his help.

I did, but erased the desktop (basically the whole system) and it never worked again. 3 months of hard work down the drain. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I went ahead and did the "Anytime Upgrade" from 7 Premium to 7 Ultimate...(less expensive than buying the Ultimate upgrade disc). Since my previous version of Windows 7 was 64bit, my only option was to upgrade to the 64bit version of Ultimate. I then downloaded and installed "XP Mode" and "Virtual XP"...but even in the Virtual XP environment, Roland VSC 3.2.2 won't install on a 64bit system.

Not to question JohnAM's veracity, but I'd probably have to see it to believe it...especially if his machine is actually operating in 64bit mode. The full install of Windows 7 Ultimate has both 32bit and 64bit capabilities built in, but you have to choose one or the other when you install it. I've yet to hear of anyone else that was able to get Roland VSC installed on a 64bit machine. Makes me wish I could read Thai so I could find that forum and see if there's anything I might have missed in JohnAM's translation.

I could have used the $139 I spent on the upgrade to Ultimate to purchase the Garritan Jazz & Big Band Library, which might have been a more productive move, but I won't moan about that at this point. The upgrade to Ultimate wasn't a total waste of money, even if it didn't solve the problem at hand.
 
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