synthpanel - 16 channel MIDI control panel
synthpanel manages all 16 MIDI channels in a compact grid of 16 rows. It
also provides an interface through which synthesizer preset banks may be
added and selected for use with midisynth(1). On startup, synthpanel
polls the internal software synthesizer for its configuration. Since
MIDI includes minimal provisions for query, synthpanel is unable to poll
external MIDI devices. You can also use synthpanel to monitor MIDI data
played by soundplayer.
Currently contains only the Exit command.
Commands related to MIDI events. Contains:
Input Interfaces submenu
Contains a menu item for each available, configured MIDI output
port. Only one output port may be selected at a time.
All Notes Off command
Sends a GM All Notes Off message on all 16 channels via the current
Reset All Controllers command
Sends a GM Reset All Controllers message on all 16 channels via the
current output port.
Restart Synthesizer command
Causes midisynth to terminate immediately; a question dialog will
ask if you wish to restart it. This is a brute-force technique, and
should be reserved for emergency use. The previous two commands and
the All Sound Off button are usually sufficient.
Synth System Reset command
Sends the equivalent of the standard MIDI System Reset message.
This resets midisynth to its startup state and purges all loaded
banks, presets and sample files.
Synth Startup Configuration... command
Brings up the MIDISynth Startup Configuration Panel, allowing you to
customize the startup configuration file for midisynth and save the
result to your home directory as .midisynthrc. Changes made to the
Panel settings and to this file will not affect the currently
running synthesizer; use the above-described Restart Synthesizer
command to restart with the new settings.
Synth Runtime Parameters... command
Brings up the Run Time Parameters Panel, allowing you to set the
Main Transpose, Main Tune, Reverberation, and Chorus parameters for
the internal synthesizer. These parameters are set via system
exclusive MIDI events, and will not affect external MIDI devices.
Reverberation choices simulate four rooms of varying size. Reverb
decay time, tone, and effects mix ratio may be varied for each room
General MIDI Preset Mode toggle.
This sends a Universal System Exclusive MIDI message which toggles
the General MIDI mode setting of any synthesizer which understands
Commands for opening directories in order to view MIDI files,
synthpreset(4) files, and sound files.
MIDI Songs command
Brings up a dirview(1) showing the contents of the directory
/usr/share/data/music, which is where the sample MIDI data files are
stored. Double-clicking on any MIDI file icon will bring up
soundplayer(1), which will play the MIDI file via midisynth(1).
Each menu item brings up a dirview(1) showing the contents of the
various subdirectories under /usr/share/data/sounds/synth/presets,
which is where the preset files used by the internal synthesizer are
stored. The two commands are General MIDI (GM presets) and Golden
Analog (example presets which attempt to immitate analog synthesizer
Sound Files submenu
Each menu item brings up a dirview(1) showing the contents of the
various subdirectories under
/usr/share/data/sounds/synth/soundfiles, which is where the sample
soundfiles used by the internal synthesizer are stored. The four
commands are General MIDI Sound Set (sounds for GM presets), General
MIDI Percussion Map (sounds for percussion preset), Cycles (waveform
sounds for LFOs), and Prosonus Sampler (additional demonstration
Commands for starting up other useful audio and/or MIDI applications.
Audio Control Panel
Invokes the new syntheditor(1) tool
CHANNEL DISPLAY PANEL
Each channel row contains:
MIDI Input Activity Indicator
The indicator flashes on receipt of any MIDI event except System
Exclusive, Common and Real-Time events. The light does not hold for
the duration of a note. Rather, it flashes briefly for each Note On
and Note Off event.
Channel Activator Button
This determines whether the internal synthesizer generates sounds on
a particular channel.
Play Button (note# 60 or C4)
Pressing this button will send a Note On event on the selected
channel at maximum velocity (127). Releasing it sends the
corresponding Note Off. The pitch cycles through four octaves of
the note 'C', changing with each button press.
Preset Icon Drop Pocket
Dragging a synthpreset(4) file into this pocket will cause that
preset to be loaded on the chosen channel. For the internal
synthesizer, this operation can be done independent of the General
MIDI mode and of the current preset bank: Any arbitrary preset from
any directory may be used.
Preset icons will not change presets on external MIDI devices unless
you operate in General MIDI mode, in which case synthpanel attempts
to extract a number from the beginning of a file name and transmit
that number as a MIDI program change. See the section PRESET FILE
NAMING CONVENTIONS in the synthpreset(4) man page for more
information on this.
Typing a number between 1 and 128 in the text entry field following
by the <return> key will cause synthpanel to send a program change
event on the corresponding channel for that number. Note that this
is very different than dropping presets in the pocket: The
resulting preset will be the corresponding entry in the current
preset bank. If that bank is a General MIDI bank, the preset will
match the GM specification for that number. For example, preset #73
is the Flute preset. If the current bank is not a GM bank and does
not contain a preset for the number entered, the resulting preset
will be the lowest available value from the bank (usually preset 1).
If no number is entered in the text entry field, and the <return>
key is pressed, synthpanel will instruct midisynth to load the
Default preset: One Sawtooth-wave oscillator with two detuned
siblings, controlled by one amplitude envelope with a zero-second
rise time one-second decay time, and no sustain. See the
synthpreset(4) man page for details.
Preset Name Label
This label displays the name of the current preset. For
synthpreset(4) files, this will be the value of the Name: string in
the Information section, if present, otherwise synthpanel will
create a name from the file name by clipping off the number prefix,
if present, and the ".preset" suffix, if present. For other types
of preset files, such as those found in preset bank files, the name
is extracted from the appropriate data in the file.
THE 'MORE' PANEL
The More/Less Arrow Button expands the channel layout to include MIDI
Pan, Volume and Expression indicators. Actual MIDI channel volume is
calculated by multiplying the Volume and Expression and dividing by 16129
(127 squared). This follows the General MIDI Level 1 Specification.
Standard practice dictates that the default level for the Volume should
be 100 and should be 127 for the Expression.
THE PRESET BANKS PANEL [Toc] [Back]
The Show/Hide Banks Arrow Button expands the main panel to include an
additional panel with eight rows. Each row contains:
Bank Number and Select Button [Toc] [Back]
Each button is labeled with the index number of this preset bank.
Selecting a bank un-selects all other banks and causes all
subsequent program change messages to use presets from this bank.
Currently-selected presets will remain unchanged until a program
change message is sent on that preset's channel (or a new preset is
dropped into the Preset Drop Pocket).
Bank Drop Pocket [Toc] [Back]
Dragging either a directory or a SoundFont2-compatible preset bank
file into this pocket will either 1) tell the internal synthesizer
to regard that directory as a holder of 128 + 1 General MIDI
synthpreset(4) files or 2) tell the internal synthesizer to load the
preset bank file into its bank library. This bank can then be
selected via the select button if desired. If a directory is
dropped in the slot, midisynth(1) will not load any of the preset
files until the bank is selected and a program change event is sent.
At that time the internal synth will attempt to locate a preset file
which matches the requested program number. See the Preset Icon
Drop Pocket description above for more information.
The default preset bank is the directory
This is installed from the dmedia_eoe.data.synth image on the IRIX
CDROM. See the midisynth(1) man page for information on how to
change this and other default values.
Bank Name Label [Toc] [Back]
The name of the preset bank file, or the last portion of the
Print usage statement.
Do not go into the background. By default, synthpanel forks itself
to give control back to the shell.
synthpanel works only on Iris Indigo R4000, Indigo2, Indy, O2, Octane,
and Onyx/Challenge machines fitted with the SGI Audio Option (ASO) Board.
Some synthpanel operations do not control external MIDI devices because
the MIDI messages are system exclusive for the SGI software synthesizer:
Main Gain(dB), Main Tune, Reverberation, Channel activate and preset name
(those that does not start with numerical characters). A MIDI program
change# is extracted from Synth Preset file names that begin with "XXX_",
where XXX= number in range [1..128]
The version of the Synthesizer Panel and Software Synthesizer shipped
with IRIX 6.5 is incompatible with earlier versions of these products.
Attempting to use the new 2.0 Panel with an earlier release of midisynth
(or vice versa) will result in garbled communication and unpredictable
There is currently no way to select GS preset variations via synthpanel,
even though midisynth(1) will respond to BANK_SELECT MIDI messages and
can load GS preset banks.
midisynth(1), midikeys(1), soundplayer(1), syntheditor(1), synthpreset(4)
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