FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the computer system requirements to run RMS Keyboards?

To run RMS Keyboards, you'll need a Windows or Macintosh computer with at least 2GB of RAM, a sound card and a minimum operating system of Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Macintosh OSX 10.6.

You will also need about 8GB of hard drive space to store the sounds required by the vairous shows.

For more detailed equipment information, please visit this article.

My MIDI Keyboard is connected to my computer, but nothing happens when I play. What am I doing wrong?

If you're having trouble establishing a handshake between your MIDI keyboard and RMS Keyboards, be sure to checkthe following:

  • After RMS Keyboards is launched, be sure to run the Setup Wizard (located in tools menu) and follow the instructions for specifying which MIDI device is to control which keyboard window in RMS Keyboards. 
  • Make sure all MIDI devices are connected properly, and turned on.
  • Make sure you have installed the appropriate drivers pertaining to your MIDI interface (whether it is built-in to the keyboard, as in a usb cable connected from the computer directly to the midi keyboard; or an a external MIDI interface, where the external device connects to the computer via usb, and the external device connects to your MIDI keyboard via MIDI cables).
  • if using an external MIDI interface, make sure the MIDI cable is plugged into the correct ports on the interface and the keyboard.  The MIDI cable should be plugged into the MIDI out port on the keyboard, while the other end should connect to the MIDI in on the interface.  
  • Make sure to launch RMS Keyboards after the above steps are completed.  If you have already launched RMS Keyboards before connecting or turning on your MIDI devices, quit the application and restart it once everything is plugged in and turned on.   
  • If you are still not able to control RMS Keyboards via your MIDI keyboard, download and run MIDI OX for windows users, or MIDI Monitor for mac users.  This software will display all MIDI messages the computer is receiving when the keys on your MIDI keyboard are played.  If no messages are displaying, your computer is not receiving MIDI data.  If you have followed all the above steps, and are still having trouble, call the keyboard manufacturer for assistance on setting up your MIDI keyboard with your computer.  
My previously-unlocked computer reverted to trial mode, what do i do?

You can re-authenticate using your existing authentication code, but before you use it be sure to re-enter your personal information again via the “Purchase/Request Code” tab. Once you’ve successfully submitted a request, click the “Unlock” tab and paste your authentication code to unlock the software.

Are there any settings I can adjust to get the best performance from my Windows computer?

To ensure you are getting the best performance for RMS applications on your Windows computer, click on the ‘Power Options’ setting in the Control Panel and select “High Performance”.

How much does RMS Keyboards cost?

The cost is based on the show and the length of your run. Please see this pricing guide for details.

What if I order RMS Keyboards for my production and don't like it? Can I get a refund?

We offer a free trial version for each of our products so that you can fully evaluate them prior to purchase.

Our free trial is completely functional and contains all the features and sounds you'll find in the full version; the only difference is that the trial limits you to the first few songs.

We want you to be completely satisfied with our products and that is why we offer a free trial. Please take the opportunity to fully test out the software on your equipment prior to purchase. Due to the nature of the product, we cannot offer any refunds on software purchases.

Why do I need RMS Keyboards?

RMS Keyboards enhances your production in 2 major ways:

  1. It allows you to perform authentic versions of shows that utilize significant keyboard books in their orchestrations, without having to track down specific synthesizer hardware;
  2. It saves your keyboard players hours upon hours of programming work to try to recreate the sounds that are indicated in the score.

The simple act of using RMS Keyboards will elevate your production to the next level.

Which sounds are programmed into RMS Keyboards? Can I use RMS Keyboards to cover my missing instruments?

RMS Keyboards is 100% faithful to the keyboard sheet music which comes with your show. All of the sounds listed in the printed materials are represented in our programming. 

RMS Keyboards, however, does not include sounds not listed in those keyboard books. If there is a sound effect of a whistle mentioned in the libretto, but not specifically called for in the keyboard parts, RMS Keyboards will not have it. But if the whistle sound is listed as being played by Keyboard 2, then it will be there.

In addition, RMS Keyboards is not designed to cover for any other instruments in the orchestration other than the keyboard parts. So if you do not have a bass player, and desire a bass sound, RMS Keyboards will not have that bass sound (unless the bass sound is listed in the keyboard books).

If you are missing instruments from your orchestra, and wish to have those parts represented, you should consider our product specifically designed for this: Sinfonia.

 

That sounds great! Can I try it out?

You certainly can. By going to our downloads page, you can download a trial version of the program that has the first few songs of a show for you to play with.

How do I purchase RMS Keyboards?

Purchasing RMS Keyboards is done through the trial version of the program itself.

(Please note: while you can run the demo on any computer, actual RMS Keyboards unlock requests should be made from the computer being used in performance! You don't necessarily need to pay from this computer. But since each unlock code is computer specific, you do need to submit the request from it.)

  1. Download the trial for your specific show.
  2. Install onto the computer you intend to use in performance.
  3. When you run the program, click on the "purchase" button.
  4. Fill out the requested information and hit the "submit" button.
  5. We will confirm your rights and send you an invoice that can be paid by check or credit card.
  6. Once payment has been received, we will send you an unlock code for the program.
I have already purchased RMS Keyboards and want to use it on another computer. What do I do?

Each computer you use RMS Keyboards on needs to have its own unlock code. To request an unlock code for an additional computer:

  1. Download and install the appropriate show from our website on the computer you want to use.
  2. When the program launches, click on the authorize button.
  3. Fill out the appropriate information and click on "submit." To save time, please enter your RMS Keyboards license number (RMSKB-xxxxxx) where indicated. This will make it easier and faster to locate your booking.
  4. We will email you an unlock code that can be pasted into the program.
  5. It can take up to a business day to process unlock codes. Be sure to submit requests well in advance of when you need them.
Do you accept P.O.'s (Purchase Orders)?

 

Unfortunately, we cannot accept PO's at this time.

We recognize that some organizations find this burdensome and we regret the inconvenience.  We are a very small company. If we were to commit the necessary manpower to PO administration and accounts receivable follow through, it would diminish our capacity to develop new products, features, shows, etc. In time, we may very well change our policy. But at this stage in our growth, we believe our customers are better served by focusing on the latter. 

Payment can be made by check (paper or electronic) and credit card.

 

I want to use RMS Keyboards, but don't have performance rights for the show. What do I do?

While the trial version of RMS Keyboards™ can be used by anyone, the full version can only be licensed by organizations that have acquired the performance rights through the appropriate organization.

For R&H licensed shows, please contact Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals.

For MTI licensed shows, please contact Music Theater International.

What is the difference between Beauty and the Beast and Beauty and the Beast (Alternate Orchestration)?

MTI licenses two versions of Beauty and the Beast: a version just called "Beauty and the Beast", and version which is labeled "Alternate Orchestration".

The standard "Beauty and the Beast" arrangement is for a smaller orchestra (11), and has just two keyboard parts. The alternate orchestration is for a larger orchestra (21), and has three keyboard parts.

How do I install RMS Keyboards?

CLICK HERE for detailed instructions.

What do I need to run RMS Keyboards?

With RMS Keyboards, chances are very good that you or someone you know already has most of the equipment you need. For a comprehensive list, please read the following article:

CLICK HERE to learn more.

The show I'm doing has many keyboard parts. Do I need multiple computers to play them with RMS Keyboards?

RMS Keyboards allows you to connect several MIDI keyboards to a single computer. However, your ability to do this effectively depends on the computer you are using.

The program can be implemented in a wide variety of ways using a wide variety of equipment. Your particular configuration may impact your use. For example, a slower computer with less memory may only be able to handle a single keyboard part, while a more powerful computer may be able to run three keyboards with room to spare. Before purchasing a license, please use the free trial version to test your particular implementation. This way you'll know ahead of time how your existing gear can work or whether you'll need something more.

How do I connect RMS Keyboards to my theater sound system or amp?

The answer to this question is very specific to the type of audio interface you have, and where you want the sound to go. The best person to ask for assistance on this is your theater technician, or a pro-audio savvy musician. 

The following article will help you make the most of your RMS Keyboards experience:

What You Need To Run RMS Keyboards.

 

Can I run RMS Keyboards without an audio interface?

Yes, absolutely.

It is possible to run the audio out of the headphone jack on your computer into a mixer. For that, you might need something like this:

Rolls DB25 Passive DI Box 

Hosa Stereo Mini (3.5mm) Male to Mono ¼” Male cable 

The cable plugs into the headphone jack on your computer on one end, and into the front of the DI box on the other end. You can then use an XLR cable from the other side of the DI box to plug into your sound system. The attenuation knob on the DI box gives you some control over the level coming out of the computer. Your theater sound technician should be able to help with this setup.

If you are only running into an amp sitting next to your Keyboards setup, you can use the single 3.5mm stereo to ¼” stereo cable to plug straight from the computer into an amp. This is the most inexpensive setup for RMS Keyboards, assuming you have the MIDI keyboard and a keyboard amp.

What are the benefits to using an audio interface?

Higher quality of audio

For a truly professional level of sound quality from RMS Keyboards, using an audio interface is a great idea. 

The interface may also allow you more control over your mix, with the ability to separate out keyboard 1 from keyboard 2 and so forth. With a headphone mix, all the instruments being played through RMS Keyboards come out in a single stereo mix.

More sophisticated mix

Many RMS Keyboard patches are comprised of several layers. With a computer by itself, you usually get the layers together as a singel stereo signal. But since most audio interfaces have multiple outputs, you can route sounds separately, where they can be mixed and/or processed individually.

Lower CPU load

Without an audio interface, all of the processing power for rendering the audio comes from the computer’s CPU and will be fighting against all the other programs and processes running on the computer.

Stability

Tied in with the point above, putting less demands on your computer CPU results in higher computer stability when running RMS Keyboards. It’s a very straightforward trade-off.

Lower latency

For RMS Keyboards, latency can be defined as the amount of time that passes between pushing a key on the MIDI controller, and hearing the note out of your sound system. Low latencies (under 30 ms or so) will produce sounds quickly enough to be transparent to the keyboard player. Higher latencies will start to feel sluggish to the keyboard player, and the music will drag.

Using an interface guarantees latency to be in the “transparent” range.

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If you need any assistance whatsoever, don’t hesitate to call Realtime Music Solutions at 212-620-0774 and we can help you with your specific setup.

Can I use a foot pedal to change setups and/or songs?

Yes, setups and/or song changes can be assigned to a foot switch or pedal. Your options and method will depend on the type of gear you're using. If your MIDI keyboard has a built-in foot-switch port (different from the sustain pedal port), you can probably quickly assign that to RMS Keyboards by:

  1. clicking in the appropriate controller field within RMS Keyboards edit window; and
  2. pressing your connected foot-switch.

If your MIDI keyboard does not have a dedicated footswitch controller, but it does have an assignable pedal control, you can probably program it within the keyboard to send one of the customary signals for footswitch controls (i.e. CC4), and then use the technique above to communicate with RMS Keyboards.

If your MIDI keyboard lacks these features, you may need additional equipment and/or software. The trick of it in this case is to program the footswitch to send a MIDI note-on message and then assign that same message to the given control. For example, you would probably want to choose a note that is outside of your keyboard's range:

  • MIDI notes 0-20 are below the lowest A of a full-size keyboard.
  • MIDI notes 109-127 are above the highest C of a full-size keyboard.

If you program your footswitch to send MIDI note 0 and likewise set Next Setup to respond to MIDI note 0, you will then be able to advance set-ups from the footswitch.

Call us for further details or assistance.

I launched RMS Keyboards, then connected a new piece of audio or MIDI equipment, but RMS Keyboards is not finding it.

The audio or MIDI equipment that you are using must be installed and connected before launching RMS Keyboards.

I paid for an RMS Keyboards license, but the program keeps opening in trial version and doesn't save my unlock code information.

Make sure you are double-clicking on the RMS Keyboards program icon, and not running the installer again. If you are asked to go through multiple steps to access the program, you are running the installer - and this would continually overwrite your licensing information. The program icon is a pictured below.

I installed RMS Keyboards on one user account and then switched to another one. Now the program is not working.

RMS Keyboards will only work from the account you install it on. To use it on a different account, you'll need to log into that account and reinstall the program.

My unlock code isn't working on my second computer. What should I do?

RMS Keyboards unlock codes are specific to each computer. You need to request a separate unlock code (at no additional charge) for each computer you wish to use. Your licemse allows you to install the program on as many computers as there are keyboard parts in the show, plus one more for back up.

I'm playing the sounds, and they all seem distorted, or they're cutting off suddenly as I'm holding the notes down. This wasn't happening before. What happened?

If you leave the RMS Keyboards program running a very long time (like leaving it on overnight), the samples can become corrupted in the memory. This will cause them to play back incorrectly and sound wrong.

The easy solution for this is to quit out of the RMS Keyboards program when you are not using it- for example, quit out of the program after you have finished the show, and relaunch it when you're ready to start the sound check for your next performance. This will ensure that the samples in memory are fresh and not corrupted.

 

 

WINDOWS SYSTEMS: Some sound cards come with drivers which do not support the full capabilities of RMS Keyboards. If you launch RMS Keyboards, and you find the sound is especially distorted or echo-y, we recommend using an external audio device, or simply using another computer with better built-in sound hardware components.  For our recommendations on audio devices and computers, look for the "computer" and "sound" sections on our hardware recommendations page.

 

 

When I play on my MIDI keyboard, the sound coming from the computer seems late or sluggish.

Modifying RMS Keyboards buffer settings may help to alleviate latency (the delay that occurs between a played note, and its audible sound playback).  

If using a Mac, go to the Preferences window (under the RMS Keyboards menu) and make sure the "audio" tab is selected.

You should now see the section called "buffer size", which is set to 512 by default. Lowering this setting to 256 may decrease latency.

If you are using a Windows computer, you can find the Preferences window under the Tools menu.  Select the Audio tab.  If you have an ASIO device available, select it and adjust your buffer settings accordingly.

If you do not have an ASIO device available, we recommend downloading the third party software ASIO4ALL at the following link:  http://www.asio4all.com

After installation, reopen RMS Keyboards and select ASIO4ALL as your audio device.  You'll now be able to lower your buffer settings under the Audio pane in the Preferences window.

If lowering buffer settings introduces new audio problems such as distortion, you'll need to utilze an external audio device, or simply use another computer with better built-in sound hardware components.  

For our recommendations on audio devices and computers, look for the "computer" and "sound" sections on our hardware recommendations page.

 

RMS Keyboards seems to launch fine, but I don't hear any sound.

Most likely, the reason for this is that the sound samples did not load completely. Be sure to allow the RMS SampleSync utility to run after your initial installation. If you stopped RMS SampleSync before it finished, you can restart it by selecting "Run SampleSync" from the Tools menu. Note: The sample library is large and can take a long time to download. Feel free to contact us to request a free DVD installation. Depending on your Internet service and/or tolerance for lengthy downloads, this may be a better way to install everything.

All the sound samples are installed on my Windows computer, but I still don't hear anything.

Windows computers come with a very wide variety of internal components. Unfortunately, some of the lower end models ship with sound cards that are insufficient to run our software. Our recommended solution is to acquire and use an external audio device, or simply use another computer with better built-in components.  For our recommendations on audio devices and computers, look for the "computer" and "sound" sections on our hardware recommendations page.

RMS Keyboards worked fine during rehearsal, but in the theater, during tech week, it started crashing.

The most common reason for this scenario is compromised power. Here are some rules to follow for setting up a computer in a theater:

  1. Computers should always be on dedicated power. This means that the RMS Keyboards computers should not be on the same circuit as any other pit or theater devices, including stand lights.
  2. If your computer is plugged into a power strip, do not have any other devices plugged into the same power strip.
  3. NEVER plug your computer into the same circuit as any lighting or other devices controlled by a dimmer. If you do, you can destroy your computer equipment.
  4. Dedicated power means more than just an outlet in the wall with nothing else plugged into it. That wall outlet may be part of the same circuit as your lighting (or other) devices, in which case you will not have remedied the above problem.
  5. When in doubt, speak to your theater's electricians before plugging things in.

In addition to these power tips, here are some more things you can do to prevent crashes:

  • Turn off any anti-virus similar programs before launching RMS Keyboards. We have found that some anti-virus programs can interfere with how RMS Keyboards works.
  • Turn off any wireless internet or other wireless devices with your computer. You do not need an active internet connection to run RMS Keyboards.
  • Quit out of all other programs before starting RMS Keyboards, and do not connect anything to your computer that you do not need for your performances.
I installed RMS Keyboards on my Windows computer, but it crashes with an error message as soon as I launch. What do I do?

Some Windows machines are missing a certain file called "vcredist_x86".  This file must then be installed manually by locating, and then double clicking it.  

  • On Windows XP machines, this file is located at C:/Program Files/RMS Keyboards/vcreditst_x86.exe.  
  • On Windows 7 machines, the file is located at C:/Program Files (x86)/RMS Keyboards/vcredist_x86.
  • Or you can download it directly from Microsoft

To install this file, double click it, follow through any necessary steps, and then reinstall RMS Keyboards.  

I successfully unlocked my software, but after I relaunched RMS Keyboards, I was put back in trial mode.

Your authentication request logs your MAC address as a way of identifying your computer. If you submitted your authentication request over an Ethernet connection, and then switched to Wifi or another connection, the MAC address your computer is using will change and invalidate your unlock code.

To remedy this situation, disable your Internet connection (usually by turning off your WiFi card) before launching RMS Keyboards. For further assistance call us at 212-620-0774.

RMS Keyboards crashes after I run the Setup Wizard. What should I do?

We have seen this bug in certain rare cases and are actively working on a fix. In the meantime, if you are experiencing a crash, here are some workarounds to the Setup Wizard:

  1. If you are trying to change MIDI inputs: 
    In the Keyboard window, find the dropdown MIDI input list (below the Exit and Global Edit buttons) and choose your MIDI input.

  2. If you are trying to toggle hotkeys: 
    In the Keyboard window, open the Edit Drawer (outward facing arrows on the top right hand corner of the window) to see your hotkey assigments.

  3. If you are trying to change audio output settings: Select Preferences (located in the Tools Menu on Windows, or the RMS Keyboards menu on Mac) and under the Audio tab, choose your selected audio output device.
I want to install RMS Keyboards on both Mac and Windows computers. Will I need to buy separate licenses for each type of system?

No. You are entitled to a certain number of unlock codes with each RMS Keyboards license (one for each keyboard book in the show, plus one additional for backup). It doesn't matter if these codes are used to unlock Macs or Windows systems. And you are welcome to mix it up, depending on your available hardware.

Paypal declined my credit card purchase. What should I do?

We use Paypal as our credit card processor because it offers a much higher level of security than most processing services. No one at RMS ever sees your credit card details. However, because of this, we have no access to the specific issues which may cause your card to be declined or delayed. Usually though, there's a simple explanation. A typo, a missing detail, or a discrepancy between the information provided to Paypal vs. what's officially listed with your credit card company.

You can find Paypal's customer support page here.

How can I get RMS Keyboards?

You can download it right here.

There's a lot of content in the intital installation. Over 6 GB. (That's because of all the sounds that are used.) So be prepared for a long download if you install directly from the Internet. We can also send you a DVD installation, which might be preferable if you have a slow or limited Internet connection. Feel free to contact us for a DVD installation.

Note: after you've installed once, subsequent installations for other shows then are quick and easy.