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  • The MIDI Messages Forum  Ask and you shall receive

    The MIDI Messages Forum
    Ask and you shall receive

  1. Rick
  2. The MIDI Association
  3. Wednesday, 13 September 2017
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For many years I have used GM1 production in cakewalk Sonar (now Platinum and X3) and have upgraded to GM2 compatible synths (Roland FA-06, BK-5) but cannot see where I can pull up GM2 voices in cakewalk (I realize this is a bit newbie but have been using pre GM2 synths for years!). :o
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Geoff Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I think we need to separate two aspects of this.

You can on the one hand use various GM2 add-ins with Cakewalk, like TTS-1, where you're using virtual synth sounds of various types, so that Cakewalk becomes a Soft Synth which may well be inherently GM2 compatible. Exactly how you do this will be dependent on the facilities of the various modules that you might be using.

On the other hand, you could stay with the external modules that you seem to have, in which case the access to GMs is dependant on the codes required by each box, and these could be different for the units you list.

What usually happens is that each box can be set to default to a specific sound set, and within that sound set, the different sounds (programs) can be selected via a simple 'Program Change' midi command. If you cannot make GM2 sounds an immediate default, then the GM2 sounds are usually selectable via a more complex 'Program Change' process involving MSB and LSB data followed by a Program Change byte to select a GM2 bank and then a patch within that bank. Each of your units should explain how this is done for that unit. It is possible that you can create short cuts within Cakewalk to at least partly automate this process.

The first step is to decide if you're going with the Soft Synth route, or to stay with the Hardware synth route you've been using. If the latter, the main part of you answer will be dependent on the indiv unit and how patches are selected using midi commands.

You've indicated the units, which is a help. I'm not familiar with these specific units, but I'd expect them to be similar to other units. I could prob find manuals on the web, but I'd not wish to spoil ALL your fun!!

Geoff.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Rick Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Ok.....It's reading time!!:(
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  1. more than a month ago
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Geoff Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hello,

I've found a 'Program List' for the FA-06.

I note that the GM2 facilities are but a tiny part of the sound facilities available, I'd not wish you to restrict yourself to JUST the GM2 bit!!

The GM2 sounds are selected via Bank Select, but there are two levels to this.

Firstly, once GM2 is selected, maybe via an initial Bank Select:

Controller 0 is MSB and this should be 121 decimal
Controller 32 is LSB and this COULD be 0
Then Program Change 0 to 127 for the base instruments

I'd guess that subsequent instruments could be selected with JUST the PC command, staying with the same bank.

However, at a higher level, many of the basic sounds have alternative/subsidiary/variant sounds available, and these can be selected using the complete command set, but changing the LSB byte from 0 to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 as appropriate depending on the alternative sounds available. Not sure if the PC command is needed as well in this case, the chart does not say.

So, you could prob select the GM2 bank, and then play a midi file and it would be fairly correct.

In another thread, I was discussing a similar problem regarding the Roland SC-D70 (Sound Canvas), which seems to use a similar bank/select process.

Once you suss out the Bank Select commands, then you can access ALL the units sounds using the numbers on the charts.

Geoff
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  1. more than a month ago
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