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Roland Fantom X WAV Sample import Tool

UPDATE: 5/30/2011: 0.95 beta: fixed same multi-sample issues and improved refresh. Download: Fantom Import Tool 0.96 beta

I was looking for a decent CP70 electric grand piano sound for my Roland Fantom X. The sound was popular in the 80’s (Tears for Fears, Talk Talk, George Duke, Genesis, U2) and more recently Keane used it on several records.

I first tried the SRX-07 but just didn’t quite capture the sound. So I decided to upgrade the internal sample memory to 512MB and buy a CP70/CP80 sound library (note CP80 is same as CP70 but with full 88 keys). I found several CP libraries: Definite CP70 Electric Grand by Hollow Sun and Prominy PCP-80. Both were tested well in Sound on Sound magazine but the first one was sampled with 2 velocity levels and the latter with 20 levels (!). I always thought the CP70 does sound quite different at full velocity so to be safe I bought the PCP-80 (under $100 new on Ebay). I think now 2 levels is probably enough but price was similar.

UPDATE: you can find free CP80 samples here: http://forums.rolandclan.info/index.php?action=show_thread&thread=29580&fid=1&page=1

Now the challenge is to get this massive library trimmed (to 2-4 velocity levels) and imported into the Fantom X. I stumbled upon a nice Fantom Sample Editor by Henrik Greg which imports selected wav files onto a Roland Card. Missing however was keeping the original key settings and loop data. So I decided to create a similar import tool which does retain key and loop settings. See below screenshot:

Quick instructions for importing:

  1. First select source directory on the left with the wav files you want to import.
  2. Select Roland Card Drive (you will get an error most likely first time program starts that drive cannot be read, ignore). Select the drive where you have the flash reader (you can also select a Roland card root directory on a hard-disk). All directories will be remembered so you only need to do this once (make sure you have write permission to the config file)
  3. Select one or more WAV files that you want to import on the left
  4. Select slot on the right where you want to import the WAV files to. Note that there must be enough contiguous space otherwise it will not copy. Note stereo samples will take 2 slots
  5. Click Import and files will be copied to the card. Currenly ‘smpl’ chunk key and (first) loop data in WAV files will be also imported. Roland samples will be copied as is. Also if no original key data can be found I check if the last characters of the file name contains a valid key string. E.g. mySample_A4.wav will be seen as having original key A4.

I’ve tested it with a few samples (Roland formatted WAV files (PCM 16bit signed), WAV files with and without sample loop and key data). Works so far pretty well. I haven’t thoroughly tested it so use at your own risk and always backup all data.

UPDATE V2: I enabled multsample functionality and added an optional filter for source files. To use the filter enter a pattern (e.g. 87* or *C4*) and then either select a path or hit enter at the source path textbox to refresh. See screenshot below for multisample screen:

To create multi-sample:

  1. Click on ‘Create multisample’ to go to ‘Edit Multisamples screen’
  2. Select at least 2 samples on the left
  3. Enter name for the new multisample in the middle textbox
  4. Select destination on the right. If you select an existing multisample it will ask if you want to overwrite it
  5. Click ‘Create multisample’. This will auto-generate the multisample same as Roland does (spreads samples out evenly according to original key)

UPDATE V8: Changes:

  • Added Ctrl-C in right destination sample listbox to copy selected text to clipboard. Ctrl-A will now select all non-empty samples
  • Added batch update for sample parameters. If you select more than 1 sample and then click edit you’ll see ‘various’. If you leave it as various it won’t update that parameter, otherwise it will update all selected samples with the new value.
  • Minor fixes for handling invalid path in source directory and wave files not showing up due to bug in key note detection. Last fix exception for filenames ending with underscore and with less than 2 characters after that.

UPDATE V9: Changes:

  • Fixed multi-sample issues where it was not setting source (e.g. card)
  • Save was not working correctly when you hit cancel in multi-sample and choose save
  • Improved list refresh so you don’t have to keep scrolling back to last position after import/delete

UPDATE V9.5: Changes:

  • Fixed multi-sample lack of stereo wav files support
  • Refresh multi-sample list after returning from edit
  • WAV file import: writing now couple more fixed bytes in Roland header (not sure what those mean but just in case the created file is now about identical)
  • 9.6: Sort source file names

Download link: Download Fantom X Sample Import Tool Beta 9.5

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One response

  1. Thanks for the tool! It really helps a lot.

    October 18, 2013 at 4:20 am

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