MQ Introduction

About Midi Quest

Before getting into Midi Quest's features and capabilities, we'd like to describe the problems it was designed to solve. If you've experienced any of these situations, you'll easily see why Midi Quest is a welcome addition to your studio.

The Backup Solution

For as long as there have been programmable synthesizers and electronic audio effects, musicians and engineers have dedicated great amounts of time to the creation of new sounds. Buttons are pressed and knobs are spun for many a long hour before the final results are stored into program memory with a decisive press of the Save key.

Most of us believe that the memory in our gear is eternal - At least until the RAM battery runs out, the instrument requires service, or is even stolen. That's when the sense of security is replaced with a whole lot of regret. It's a simple fact that most users of MIDI equipment would happily back up all of those sounds if it was easy and safe. Anyone who has performed a MIDI dump to a sequencer can vouch for the fact that it's not always a straightforward task and can result in corrupted patches and lost SysEx if not done properly. More often than not, those SysEx backup chores get put off and delayed until disaster strikes and it's simply too late.

Midi Quest is will back up your sounds quickly and easily: No confusion - just secure storage on your computer's hard drive that you can access anytime.

The Editing Solution

Take a good look at the programmable instruments and effects you own and ask yourself this question: Am I getting the power I paid for? The factory patches that came with your gear sound great, but how many of your own do you actually use?

Here’s a common trap that many users of MIDI gear fall into: They know there are thousands of untapped sounds in each instrument they own, but never seem to get around to experimenting, tweaking or designing anything new. Eventually, they either become resigned to the factory sounds or trade up to more expensive gear with newer sounds to choose from. Either way, they’re still stuck with canned sounds that sound generic and aren't exactly what they need.

Why does this happen? The answer is simple. Manually editing and managing MIDI patches is tedious and exacting work. Small LCD displays and awkward panel buttons aside, programmers also need to know where every parameter menu is and what each multifunction key does for every product they own. Many users just write the whole job off as too much effort and just settle for the factory patches.

You bought your equipment to make music: Why be distracted punching through menus and rereading manuals when it's often more trouble than it's worth?

Midi Quest's Editor Window gives you direct visual access to every accessible parameter of your instrument's sound. Programming sounds is now easier and much more intuitive.

The Management Solution

As instruments and effects are put to work over the years, their memory banks fill up with sounds developed for all the projects they have been used on. Sooner or later, there comes a time when you are no longer sure which sound is a factory patch, which sounds are subtle variations, and which are entirely new creations that might be needed in the future.

Have you ever overwritten what you thought was an unused patch only to later find out that it was actually vital to some song or sequence in your archive? Most of us have, and the results can be pretty embarrassing when the newer patch is unexpectedly sounded in a key performance. To make matters even more confusing, many keyboards build their multi-timbral patches or performances with single patches that use smaller sounds such as tones or voices: These multi-component sounds rely on their dependent patches and tones in order to work, which makes finding a clear memory slot for any new sound as risky and nerve-wracking as choosing a camping spot in the middle of a mine field!

One practical solution to this situation is to attempt house-cleaning your device's memory to sort out the sounds. Unfortunately, this is like trying to organize a closet from the inside with the door closed: It's very cramped and confusing inside an instrument's program memory and you risk erasing valuable sounds and mangling your patch assignments if you make the slightest mistake along the way. It's easy to see why some users simply buy new gear when their current instrument's program memory gets full enough to worry about!

Midi Quest's Bank and Set Windows give you complete visual feedback on the layout of your instrument's internal memory and where your sounds are located. Parent-child relationships between combination and single sound patches are automatically maintained and displayed, and visual editing features are only a button-click away.

The "Right Sound" Solution

Finding the right sound when working on a musical project typically consists of stepping through the factory presets until something usable comes up. Since any given instrument has a fixed memory size, this means your freedom of choice is limited. Likewise, having to spend more than a minute conducting a sound search can put a serious damper on your creative process and costs you time that could be spent making music instead. How many times have you had to hunt for a specific sound by scrolling through presets on an LCD panel? The sound you end up using is often just a random, uninspired and limited compromise compared to what you originally had in mind.

Midi Quest's Library Window lets you create tag searchable sound libraries for every instrument in your studio. Build and run powerful queries in seconds and instantly audition the results without any interruptions to your creativity.

This sums up many of the difficulties Midi Quest was created to handle. In the next section you'll learn how Midi Quest actually solves these problems.


Midi Quest Versions

Midi Quest is currently available in four versions: Standard, Pro, Essentials, and One.

This manual will indicate very specifically which features are available in each version, following is general explanation of ear version.

Midi Quest (standard) provides editor/librarian support for all* of the MIDI devices currently supported by the Midi Quest platform. This includes all of the advanced organization and sound creation tools

Midi Quest Pro is the most advanced version of Midi Quest. It includes all of the standard Midi Quest features and adds a range of advanced capabilities. This includes: plugins (for AU, VST3, AAX, VST2, MFX, and Studio Connections), extensive bank name export facilities to support patch selection by name in most DAWs, and the ability to create new Midi Quest device modules.

Midi Quest Essentials is a simplified version of Midi Quest standard. While all* MIDI instrument/device modules are available, only three modules can be installed in Essentials at any given time. Essentials also lacks the following features: Library and Collection tools, has only one randomization tools, and it doesn't have the more advanced editing functions.

Midi Quest one has essentially the same features as Essentials except it is limited to supporting a single instrument from a select list of instruments and Psicraft instrument modules can't be installed.


* Korg OASYS support is only available in Midi Quest Pro.