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Creating song lyrics and chords files
I know that midi and mp3 songs with embed lyrics can be displayed (karaoke) on internal and external screens, but is it possible to simply create song lyrics with cord symbols only on a pc to load into the keyboard? Or would it be simpler to create these as pdf files and read them from a tablet/ipad
As I want to create my own accompaniments and just sing and play along
There are several PC and Mac programs for embedding lyrics into SMF's and MP3's (you can't embed lyrics into a .WAV file). On a Mac, I use QMIDI.
But Grammy is right, if you already have a laptop or iPad that you want to use, a program like OnSong offers far more functionality if connected via USB than Roland's internal display system. For starters, it can display PDF scans of sheet music, so you can read straight off the music. Secondly, you can display lyrics even for arranger mode, whereas the Roland's system can only display lyrics for SMF's and MP3's.
And OnSong (and several other display apps) can send MIDI codes to call up the Performance you have already set up for the song. So all you have to do is call up the song on the iPad/tablet, and the BK will automatically switch to the correct Performance.
The problem with trying to display chords AND lyrics on the small BK series screens is that you don't get to see much at a time, two or three lines tops. I use the BK-9's screen for lyrics because it has two screens, so I can still see what is going on other than the lyrics, but I don't think I would if I was trying to display chords as well.
My recommendation would be an iPad running OnSong (you can use a Mini if you don't want a big display in front of you). Or just stick to lyrics (and forget about style mode!).
I'm not sure it's worth going out and buying one JUST for this function, but if you already have one, and don't mind having it in front of you if you perform in public (I'm old school, and don't really like my audience to be able to easily see I'm reading!), they can sure make having hundreds or thousands of lyrics, charts or fake books easily available without a room full of books!
If you already use fakebooks or lyrics sheets on the job, a tablet/iPad will massively reduce how much you have to haul around, how long you take to get ready for the next song, and the convenience of calling up the sheet and the Performance at the same time is a killer plus.
But if you play at home, and can take the time between songs to find your lyrics sheet or fakebook and set it up on the music bench, it isn't such a big deal...