Very small switch to change between tablet and computer mode
Revisado en el Reino Unido el 12 de junio de 2020
I bought this to work with a couple of (now) older keyboards. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I found recently with my Macbook Pro that the good old engineer's way - or at least the electrical/engineer's way - of thumping it with a hammer - but actually just power off and restart - was sometimes useful.
If the lights don't come on when plugged in to the USB port on a computer, then is the time to think of rebooting.
The switch to change between tablet and computer mode is ridiculously small. Whoever thought that was a good idea? I had to buy a pack of wooden cocktail sticks to move it around.
I have had it working with computers and tablets. I don't know if it works better in a Windows environment, but a problem with MacOS is that for use in a DAW there are several things to check. The required settings are probably not in System Preferences, under sound, but in the Audio Midi Setup utility - in Utilities. Additionally, the specific preference settings for each DAW may also require attention.
For consumer keyboards it is probably necessary also to turn OFF the synthesiser in the keyboard if it is to be used for input to the DAW, but conversely that will need to be ON if the General Midi features of such keyboards are to be used. Getting the settings right on the keyboard is also important, and may require consulting the manual.
In the case of one of mine, a Yamaha E323 I only recently noticed that the settings for the computer have a shortcut - hold down the Demo button for several seconds, and then the computer function for PC appears in the display. The next function after that is the toggle switch from Local, while the one after that is to choose whether an external clock is used. WIthout that shortcut there's a tedioius bit of button pressing in order to get to the choices, and that might have to be attempted several times in order to get things working. Many keyboards will be different. Another Casio keyboard has a Midi switch, and it won't work unless that is set up appropriately.
One possibly good thing about this pack is that it may give access to some Roland virtual analogue synthesisers, so if anyone tries to use those they will work correctly. Otherwise they may be installed when setting the devices up (drivers etc.) and forgotten about until a long while later. If the correct registration process is followed, then the synthesizer will probably work, but if not, then it will do one of three things - not work, time expire, or deliberately introduce distortion. So don't throw away the original packing and other materials until you're sure that you won't ever need the information which might be included with them, such as a registration code.
Some of the problems with this device are due to the way Midi hardware and software works, but that might present a real can of worms for some people. Specific things to look out for are the presence of the red lights, and the position of the switch, which as I've already mentioned, is ludicrously small.
Also don't think that other units are necessarily any better. I also have a Yamaha Bluetooth Midi adapter, but that presents other problems with MacOS, which I may detail in a review of that device.
It is possible to use a significantly more expensive device, such as a Focusrite Scarlett audio adapter. For some people they may be a better option, though a lot will depend on what one wants to use these things for. Amateurs who are not performing gigs may find the Roland UM-ONE works for them, and it is reasonable value for money if they can get it to work with their equipment. It is also very small - possibly too small - it could be lost easily - and lightweight. Some people may prefer Bluetooth adapters, though they may also present problems, and in particular if musicians try those for gigs, they may find that interference from some electrical equipment - such as audience phones etc. totally disrupts their performances, so at least wired systems, apart from requiring configuration and making a potential trip hazard, may still be preferable.
So - recommended - but with reservations depending on user's level of experience and other factors.
PS: A quick revision very shortly after posting the original review. If using MacOS it seems to be important to get the correct drivers, and to install them following the instructions. Unfortunately, the drivers for the latest MacOS variants and the instructions may be difficult to find. They are there, but depending on the route one takes to find them - they might be difficult. Roland needs to sort out it's support site so that users can access the latest information. For newer MacOS variants (perhaps High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina) Apple introduced a feature to block installation of new USB drivers and equipment. This is deliberate, to reduce the risk of malware. However, if this is not known, it can lead to difficulties with installation. During the installation process this block can be deliberately overcome, and instructions are available on the Roland site - if you can find them! An added complication is that Apple only allow 30 minutes after starting the installation for the block to be overcome, so if one interrupts the installation for any reasons - to get a coffee, to answer a phone call etc., users may then be unable to install the software correctly, and might actually be unaware that this happens.
If in doubt, make sure that the best information re installation and the drivers is available, and reinstall the drivers, but some digging around is currently needed to find the software and the relevant information.
My experiences after that are that the UM-One then works, though there are then added difficulties in trying to get it to work with a DAW such as Logic Pro X. FInding out how to do that is also not easy, but a 6 minute video by LogicProHacks which can be found by searching for "Setup, Control and Route an External Midi Keyboard in Logic" might help a great deal.
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