Download Navigation
Home | Support | Tech Notes | Understanding Bank Select with Patch List Manager
Document Actions

Understanding Bank Select with Patch List Manager

This FAQ assumes the user knows how to create Patch Lists and folders and assigning them your instrument. For complete instructions, please consult your DP documentation.

A MIDI message can have a value between 0 and 127. Like any MIDI message, a patch change (program change) can only have a value between 0-127 (i.e. 000 Piano, or 100 Soft Strings). This is pretty limiting as having only 128 sounds in a synth is not very much. The way synth manufacturers have overcome this limitation is to break sounds into banks or groups of program changes. The bank is therefore accessed by sending one or two controllers, either bank select controller 0, controller 32 or both control 0 and 32. This messages is sent with the program change to access a specific patch in a specific bank. For example, bank 2 may have the bank select control number of 32 with the value of 6. This accompanied with a program change of 002 would equal patch 3 in bank 1.

Before setting up the device in FreeMIDI and Patch list manager, you will need to gather the following information from your synth documentation or directly from the synth manufacturer:

  1. Bank select control number/s used by the device (the MIDI device will support either bank select control 0, Bank select control 32 or both)
  2. Number of banks your instrument has
  3. Value of controller for each bank (for example: Bank 1 may be controller 32 with value of 6)

Next you will need to create a device in FreeMIDI with a property of bank select control 0 and/or 32. This is done in the device specification window of FreeMIDI. Choosing this/these property/ies in the drop down list.

Next, launch Patch List Manager and select the device in the FreeMIDI Devices window. From the windows menu choose the Patch list window. From the Patch list window's mini menu choose add folder. Next choose add patch lists (as many as you have banks). Click drag them into the newly created folder.

In the patch list window is a bank column. Click on that column next to your first patch list and you'll get a bank select window. If your synth responds to bank select 0 or bank select 32, choose "one number" in the bank select format list. If it responds to both bank select 0 and 32, choose 2 numbers (the first from L-R is 0, second is 32). Enter in the controller value to change to that bank as a decimal (0-127) or a hexidecimal (00-7F). Nine out of ten times the value is given as decimal. Follow these steps for all the synth banks.

In the FreeMIDI devices window, assign the folder to the synth.

From this point you should be able to send a program number (patch change) with the appropriate bank select value in your Digital Performer, FreeStyle or Mosaic program.