Maggie

Instructions for Adding Sounds and Rhthyms to Your Casio Keyboard

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Some people have trouble using their workstations and I just got a new one, so I thought I’d document a few things to help you out.  I hope you find it helpful.

So, you want to download stuff to your new Casio keyboard, but you don’t know how?  Well, I can’t tell you for sure, based on the keyboard you have, but several of them allow downloads, so this applies to several models.  Get that info off their website or your manual…thanks!

To use the stuff you download to your computer from the http://www.casio.com website, you need to learn how to use the “application” software disk included with the keyboard (also available on their site for download if you don’t have the disk or got it used).  So, the software should have installed with your driver.  You have to have a driver so that your computer recognizes your keyboard when you plug it in.

So, follow the directions and get your keyboard hooked to your computer…yup, you gotta move that heavy baby.

This is the port on the back of the keyboard

The other end is a standard USB 2.0 connection.  I am plugging my Casio wk-3800 by what they told me at the store was simply called a “firewire” or “printer cable” or both.  In any case, mine was 10′ long and ran about $20 at Wal*Mart, or $31 for the same at Radio Shack.  I could have gotten it cheaper somewhere, but we have no office supply places around here, and it was an emergency.  😉

Alright, so now you start wondering how to use the software, and if you are clever enough, you might click enough files to get you to a website to read the user manual.

I clicked this file:

It is called “INDEX”.  Any of the files there with your explorer browser icon will take you to some part of the manual.  The only problem is, none of them have a link back to the home page, so when you get to “end”, you have nowhere else to go.

Tip:  If you are viewing the manual from the links on the disk, start “index”, so that you can view the whole table of contents and move around in the site.  This menu doesn’t follow you, so you have to keep hitting “back” to get to it again.  Casio also has a link to this software manual in more usable form–I’ll try to remember to insert that link if I run across it again.

Things are disjointed and you have to dig around a lot and patch things together to figure this stuff out…I hope this helps you who need it.

So, you’ve  downloaded your tones and rhythms you want and made a note of where you put them (a “Casio Downloads” file would be handy to create somewhere easy to find).

A note here…processing individual tones you downloaded can be tricky.  I recommend downloading at least one full batch of tones somewhere, mainly because my program did not seem to recognize the file I created for individual tones not downloaded in a batch.  I had to move the single ones to a file I’d downloaded as a batch so that the progrm recognized the file name where I put them. (Did you follow that?  It’s kind of confusing…anyway, if you need to know you’ll figure that out.)

Again, you have to extract the files you downloaded.  (Unzip them).  On my XP, it is RIGHT click, then “extract all files”. You can delete the zipped files now if you like to clean up.

Before you get too far along, PLUG UP YOUR KEYBOARD TO YOUR COMPUTER, HAVING ALREADY INSTALLED THE DRIVER WITH THEIR INSTRUCTIONS.

I’m not going to duplicate those instructions, but I did run into one snag with that process by their directions:

I don’t know if you can see my note there on the photo, I can’t. It says, “To find SYSTEM, I had to look under PERFORMANCE AND MAINTENANCE in my Control Panel.”  This is not on their instructions in the “read me” file” to tell you how to install the driver from the CD.  In fact, it said some message about “classic view” I still can’t figure out…just ignore that and look under “Performance and Maintenance” to find “System”.

Now, you should have everything up and connected.

So, you bring up the program and you have two blank panels, one on the left, and another on the right.

On the right, select the tab (it is the default, most likely) that says the name of your keyboard.

Next, you are going to go to that little white box with a yellow symbol on the left and a down arrow on the right.  There, select “USER TONE”.

Now, you are going to click the symbol that looks like a refresh key on top of the right hand panel, indicated by interlocking arrows…see it below as a very small square just below my wk-3800 tab.

Click REFRESH, and a list should begin to populate of tones you have loaded on your keyboard currently.  (Now, you only do this if you want to add these directly to your keyboard.  If you want to put them on a disk, well…click that, and a list probably won’t populate unless you already have stuff on your disk).

Now, you have to get the right hand side dealt with.  This took me some time…and I must have missed it if it was in the online application manual.

You have to tell the program where to find your files on your computer.  To do this (I accidentally “reprogrammed” my keyboard in the process of trying to figure this out, not knowing what I was clicking.  [File, Initiate, System–don’t do that].  No harm done for me, but if you had a bunch of user settings already saved, you’d lose it if you chose that.  (And, as a programming note here, for the powers that be:  there SHOULD BE A warning that says, “you are about to erase any user data from your keyboard, are you sure you want to continue?”  Take note, ye do software development.)

ANYWAY.

Next, go to File|Preference|Directory|Browse

Here navigate to your your folder where you downloaded all your goodies.

Now, apply and Okay and close your way out of all that. The RIGHT panel list will populate with the tones you just downloaded. (You’ll repeat this for each thing you want to move to your keyboard).

Finally, I want to figure out where I want the new sounds to go.  I tried several approaches here, but you need to find a way to group the sounds that works for you.  They list them alphabetically, which isn’t very handy.  I don’t want delicate piano next to dynamic trumpet, just an example I made up.  I’d rather have it set up differently.  Decide what might work for you…you can always change it later.  It will seem you are overwritting sounds already there, but no fear…they are duplications of things in your system in another place.  I left some keyboard sounds I like just to have them handy if I’m layering…I’m only one away from a piano I like.  (If you followed that, you get a star).

Tip: I could not figure out the abbreviations of the tone names, so I went to the website and pulled back up the list with the full name and abbreviations, then I pulled up the program on top of that on my screen so that I would see what I wanted.  I don’t need anymore of some sounds I never use, so I just didn’t load those.

Another thing to remind you of:  you can only move one item at a time to your keyboard.

But, you just click the red arrow, and it’s done…you’ll see it show up and a light flash over “data access” while it’s processing.  It will say “Pls wait” so that you know it’s coming in.  It takes maybe five seconds a sound to move in.

I just loaded “duck”, wondering where to file THAT!.  Um, it sounds, well, like…a duck.  I’m going to replace it in my least favorite slot…’clavicord’  😀

Tip, you will accidentally rewrite number 700, the first user slot, numerous times by forgetting to select where you want your file to go.  I recommend just figuring you ultimately want there and put it back at the end!  That’s what I’m resigned to do.

Tip: error message

If you click the keyboard before it’s done transferring the information, you get this error message.  It says “the something something something is invalid”.  Look at your keyboard where you just told it to put the item.  Mine was always there.  I think it was just telling me not to touch anything on my computer until the transfer was complete.  There was no fatal error or anything…the process still happened.

Tip: You can try out your stuff as you instal them.  If you don’t like them, just replace them with something you do like!  The way I see it, the user slots should be a ton of my favs!

Here are the rhythms I chose.  I did demos with frequently played songs to see what I might actually use.  Like most CASIO users, I wish I could overwrite a lot of the ethnic stuff I will NEVER, EVER use and upload more funk and other things I won’t have enough options with.  In any case, you only get 15 new rhtyms slots and a ton of options, so I recommend testing them and overwriting anything you aren’t absolutely in love with.

I’ll probably download the Christmas rhythms to external disk around winter time.

I used “print screen” and created myself a little number list of everything I downloaded and installed so I know where to find it.  I think I’m going to laminate it and tape it to my music stand or something.

Okay, so I’m not a geek (I really am, I’m just in denial) and I don’t have a ton of time to answer questions (because I’m playing my keyboard) if they aren’t here already, but I do hope this helps you (because it’s a shame to have such a great tool and not know how to use it) and that you’ll say “hi” (because musicians tend to isolate themselves learning and it’s great to hear from others of you out there hammering out this worship thing).

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