Monday, 15 August 2011

Patch Maps in Symphonix Evolution 1.85

In the forthcoming Symphonix Evolution 1.85 it will be possible to create your own patch maps for MIDI devices, allowing Symphonix Evolution to use your instrument's actual names when selecting presets.  The patch maps are stored in an XML file with a ".sxd" extension where each file represents a different device, and there is no limit on how many devices you can have.

The .sxd files are kept in the app's Documents folder, meaning that they are visible to iTunes and may be copied into and out of the folder using drag-and-drop from iTunes on your PC or Mac.

Here is the structure of the .sxd file, if you'd like to get a head start on creating your own patch map:

<patchmap version="1.0" device="Your Device Name Here">
<patch family="GM Family" bank="CC00.CC32" preset="PROG" name="Instrument Name Here" />
<-- Insert as many patch lines as you need to cover all instruments -->

Replace "Your Device Name Here" with the name of the MIDI device as you'd like it to appear in Symphonix Evolution.  Similarly, "Instrument Name Here" is the name of the preset. (Remember that HTML-style quotes will be needed for certain characters such as &, ', <>, etc).

"GM Family" is a number that describes the instrument family to which the preset belongs, based on the General MIDI groupings:
0 = Piano
1 = Chromatic Percussion
2 = Organ
3 = Guitar
4 = Bass
5 = Strings
6 = Ensemble
7 = Brass
8 = Reed
9 = Pipe
10 = Synth Lead
11 = Synth Pad
12 = Synth Effects
13 = Ethnic
14 = Percussive
15 = Sound Effects
16 = Drum Kit

Each preset must specify a MIDI bank (MSB/Controller 0 and LSB/Controller 32) and preset number ("PROG").

For example, if the MIDI device is a "MySynth 1000" and has a single instrument named "Synth Lead" that is set by sending controller #0=8, controller #32=0 and preset of 85:

<patchmap version="1.0" device="MySynth 1000">
<patch family="10" bank="8.0" preset="85" name="Synth Lead" />

This would be saved in a file named "MySynth 1000.sxd".


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