Assigning Bank, Patch, and Drum Note Names to a MIDI Device

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Assigning Bank, Patch, and Drum Note Names to a MIDI Device

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When you specify an instrument sound for a staff in a song, you use a Staff Setup window to identify the playback device, a MIDI bank on the device (many devices have only one bank), and the identification of some instrument sound that the device offers.

A patch, also called a "MIDI program" produces an instrument sound for a MIDI device. When a MIDI program change instruction is sent to the device on a given MIDI channel, the device subsequently uses the specified instrument sound to play notes on that channel. The patch, or MIDI program, is identified with a number between 1 and 128.

The General MIDI (GM) standard specifies a standard set of 128 instrument sounds. If your playback device supports the GM standard, then you will not need to follow procedures in this section on Assigning Bank and Patch Names to a MIDI Device. Instead, you should follow the procedures in Specifying a General MIDI (GM) Device.

Some sound cards and most external MIDI devices offer alternative sets of instrument sounds, which do not adhere to the General MIDI standard. Also, some MIDI devices offer more than one alternative set of 128 patches, for a larger palette of instrument sounds. The palette of instrument sounds is divided into MIDI banks, each defining up to 128 instrument sounds. For such devices, when you use the Staff Setup dialog to specify an instrument sound for a staff, you must specify not only the device and patch number but also the bank number.

If you add a new, non-General MIDI external playback device to your MIDI configuration, Musician does not have any way of knowing the names of the instrument sounds that the device offers, unless you inform Musician what the names are. The easiest way to provide Musician the names of instrument sounds is to import them from a MIDI Device Description (.mdd) file or Cakewalk Instrument Description (.ins) file. However, if you are not able to find a MIDI Device Description file or Cakewalk Instrument Description file for your device, then you will need to manually identify the one or more MIDI banks available for the device, and enter the names of the instrument sounds for each MIDI bank.

The procedure for identifying MIDI banks on a device is described in Assigning a Bank to a MIDI Device.

For each MIDI bank of a device, you can enter the names of the instrument sounds in a Patch Names dialog, as described in Assigning Patch Names for a MIDI Device or Bank of a Device. You only have to enter the patch names for a device once. After that, the patch names will be shown in the Staff Setup dialog as instrument sound names.

The following diagram shows the relationship between the Staff Setup window and the Patch Names dialog box. You will use the Staff Setup window many times as you assign sounds to staves in songs. You will use the Patch Names dialog box only once per device, to inform Musician about the instrument sounds provided by your playback device.