MQ Introduction MQ_yes MQLT_yes MQLib_yes

Working with SysEx

Midi Quest takes a Studio perspective when organizing SysEx and uses a top-down, hierarchical approach to accessing and editing it. When Midi Quest is first opened, it starts with the Studio view. The Studio is intended to represent the MIDI hardware in the Studio. The Studio, when saved, contains all of the SysEx for all of the the instruments that have been added to the Studio. In turn, each instrument is made up of a set of components where each component stores and edits a particular type of SysEx from the instrument. Most components are editable and so each component has an associated Patch or Bank editor that is used to manage the components SysEx.


The Studio View MQ_yes MQLT_yes MQLib_yes

Studio 8 Modules

The Studio view is intended to provide an overall view of MIDI hardware in the Studio. This is where instruments are added or removed and an entire instrument's SysEx can be retrieved from or transmitted to the hardware.

The Studio is where SysEx files are saved and loaded and a single file holds the SysEx for all of the instruments currently in the studio. Each instrument in the Studio represents the Studio's SysEx so removing the instrument from the Studio permanently removes the stored SysEx as well.

For more information on the Studio click here.


The Instrument Editor MQ_yes MQLT_yes MQLib_no

As previously discussed, each instrument is made up of its SysEx components with each component storing and editing the SysEx for that component. For most instruments, the editor is laid out with a split screen. The left column lists the SysEx components found in the instrument and when a component is selected, the larger right hand side displays the editor for that component. Essentially, the instrument editor manages the bank and patch editors that, in turn, manage and edit the SysEx.

For an older or basic instrument there may be no more than two components, a Patch and a Patch Bank. These two components would hold all of the SysEx for a piece of MIDI hardware such as Roland's D-50.

Patch Editor D-50

If all that existed inside any hardware instrument's memory was a single patch bank and one global settings, managing an instrument would be fairly straightforward. For better or worse, most modern MIDI devices are far more sophisticated than this, which brings us to the concept of the Instrument Editor. The instrument editor is extremely important because it links the individual components of an instrument together and treats them as a whole. This includes a knowledge of the relationships between the various components which allows Midi Quest to perform advanced functions such as manage Parent/Child Relationships and handle both virtual and synchronized bank editing.

Patch Editor Triton LE Combi

A Instrument is like a "snapshot" picture of that instrument's internal memory: Midi Quest represents the instrument's components in a list down the left hand side of the editor. Tapping any component displays the editor for that SysEx. This makes it fast and easy to switch between the various banks and patches that make up the instrument's internal memory. You will note that the Korg Triton LE 61 shown above has seven patch banks (four Triton program banks, and three Triton combi banks) and five singles called Combination, Program, Drums, Arpeggio and Global respectively.

Please do not be confused by the fact that we have referred to the Triton's combi banks as patch banks. As previously explained In the manual, `patch` is a generic term to refer to SysEx that is used to configure a synth.

A reminder, that while most instrument modules available for Midi Quest have full editor/librarian support, about 10% and mostly older instruments are librarian only. This means that Midi Quest can store the instrument's SysEx and sometimes manage the instrument's banks but the instrument has no Patch Editors. In this case, tapping a patch component results in a blank view on the right hand side.

For more information on the Instrument editor click here.


The Bank Editor MQ_yes MQLT_yes MQLib_yes

The main advantage of electronic instruments and effects is that their sounds can be changed instantly during a performance - This is possible because there are many patches in the instrument's memory to choose from, and only the parameters of the currently selected patch govern the instrument's sound. Without Midi Quest, you can switch between patches on your instrument by turning a dial on the its front panel or by sending the unit a MIDI program change (PG) command.

Bank Editor D-50

Whenever there is SysEx to create a sound, there is usually corresponding SysEx for a Bank to store multiple patches on the instrument. The Bank Editor above displays shown above.

The number of entries in the bank window, their grouping and their numbering system depends on the instrument itself, which is why the D-50 Bank Editor contains 64 patches laid out in an 8 x 8 grouping labeled according to the Roland "Bank-and-Number" system.

Another example is the Yamaha DX-7 which has 32 Voice Patches in its internal memory (in other words, its bank size is 32). The following is a DX-7 Bank Editor:

Bank Editor DX7

Additionally, on most newer instruments there is a multi-timbral setup SysEx structure where the different tonal sources are assigned to different MIDI channels. This structure, depending on the manufacturer, may be called a Performance, Multi, Combi, Global, Section, and so on. Regardless of the name, it still performs the function of creating a multi-timbral setup. In the few instances where it is necessary to distinguish between a general "Patch" and a multi-timbral setup we will refer to the multi-timbral setup as a "Multi Patch".

It is important to note that some instruments in your studio might have more than one kind of patch bank component in their set-list: Sophisticated workstation-class synthesizers can have banks of tones, banks of patches, banks of performances, and even banks of SysEx that are not directly editable in Midi Quest such as Sequences and Motion Controls. In the set-list you will recognize these components by titles that end with the word "Bank".

For more information on the Bank Editor, click here.


The Patch Editor MQ_yes MQLT_yes MQLib_no

Patch Editor D-50

In order to edit instrument parameters in Midi Quest, you must first open a Patch Editor. Patch Editors contain graphical controls such as knobs, sliders, buttons, pop-up-list selectors, numerical edit controls and envelopes. Depending on the particular instrument module, there will be at least one component in the Instrument Editor that opens a Patch Editor: On synthesizers, these components are called patches, tones, combis, multis, performances etc. while on effects units they are usually (but not always) called presets or programs. In this manual we will refer to such components as patches. Since every manufacturer has a different naming system, Midi Quest's designers prefer to be historically correct and use the word "patch" to describe the basic block of sound parameters on any hardware instrument: This word was first coined in the Seventies to describe all the patch cable routings that were required to create a given sound on the first analog synthesizers, so we consider it the definitive term!

There is also another type of component that launches a Patch Editor. Typically called a global (but also called a system or setup in some cases), this component gathers all the master settings of the instrument into one location. In this manual we will refer to such a component as a single. Unlike patches, singles do not exist as multiples in the hardware memory, although there can be more than one type of single for each instrument (This will be further explained in the Set Window topic).

All parameter edits made in this window can be stored back to the instrument and are automatically stored as part of the Studio . Further details on the Editor Window will be covered in the chapter devoted to it. We'll now continue our tour of the basic window types.

For more information on the Patch Editor click here.


The Collection View MQ_yes MQLT_no MQLib_no

Collection View 2

The Collection is a simple yet powerful SysEx storage facility which allows you to take ANY combination of SysEx from one or more MIDI devices and store them together. For example, a Collection can hold a Korg Kronos Set, an M1 Patch Bank, an M1 Combi Bank, 2 DX7 Voice Banks, a D-10 system setup, and a Wavestation Performance.

The Collection is stored separately on the iPad and is not part of a Studio Collection file.

The Collection is intended to be a temporary storage area where SysEx can be temporarily stored while working on another project or it can be used to transfer SysEx between projects.

For more information on the Collection click here.


The Library View MQ_yes MQLT_no MQLib_no


The Library is used to create a master repository of any one kind of SysEx. Each Library can hold only one type of SysEx so you can have a Library of M1 patches or a Library of DX7 voices but you can not have a Library which holds both types. Midi Quest for iPad automatically manages Library creation and display and will the correct Library in the Resources view for the currently selected instrument and component.

Each Library is stored separately on the iPad and is not part of a Studio Collection file.

If you have a large number of patches, the best place to store and organize them is in a Library. One of the major advantages of the Library is that it can hold a virtually unlimited number of patches - So you can keep them all in a single convenient reference file. The Library becomes your one-stop source when you are looking for a sound while working on a project. Because all of your patches are kept in one place, it is much easier to find the sound you want in a Library Window than having to hunt through a large number of Banks.

For more information on the Library click here.


Moving SysEx Between Views MQ_yes MQLT_yes MQLib_yes

So far you have seen the various storage and editing views in Midi Quest. Remember that these views also support transferring SysEx between them. The component list, Bank Editor and Patch Editor views all support drag and drop between the views and into the Collection and Library views. To move SysEx from a resource view (Patch Zone, Collection, Library) requires double tapping on the item of interest to transfer it. It some cases, the destination for the SysEx must be pre-selected in order for the SysEx to be received.