MIDI Instrument Maps

Things that make the work with LinuxSampler & Co easier, better, faster, louder and more sexy. Including friends like JACK, ALSA, etc.
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MIDI Instrument Maps

Post by Alex » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:55 am

Linuxsampler is replete with features, among which is the ability to use midi maps.

This short tip may be useful to those who wish to use Ls in 64studio (for instance), and take advantage of this feature.


Within the Ubuntu/debian repos are 'parts' of a linuxsampler build, but not all. It is recommended you remove these components, as they could mess up your install.

As the LS team are adding new features on a regular basis, i also recommend you download LS from the website, and you'll gain even more using their CVS builds. Follow the instructions for install, and any flags or tips related to your particular architecture. My builds are for 32 and 64bit (dual boot) in an AMD64 X2 5600+ pc, with 4gb of ram. (64bit is 64Studio 3.0 beta3, and 32bit is debian 5 Lenny, with a custom RT kernel)

So, after the install:

Lsampler comes in two parts. The backend, or engine, and the frontend, as a GUI. And LS has two frontends, called Qsampler, and Fantasia (Java, so make sure you have up to date Java JDK/JRE in your OS build.) There's a difference between Qsampler, and Fantasia, in that Qsampler has only single bank capability at the moment. (1 instrument bank, and 1 percussion bank) Fantasia, on the other hand has multi bank capability, and is my weapon of choice, when using LS.

When opening Fantasia for the first time, the user will see, on the left, two tabs, marked Orchestras, and Midi Instruments.

Open the tab for midi Instruments, and you'll see a header called Manage Instrument Maps.

Now, if you're organised, you'll have your instruments sorted by section in your sample directories. This makes adding instrument/patches fairly easy, and the donkey work of adding hundreds and possibly thousands of patches a little less painful.

for this tip, add a map in the Manage instrument maps section, called "Draft1." (You can remove this later if you wish.)

So you've created a midi instrument map, that can be exported to other Fantasia templates, which is highly useful if you have many patches, and only want to input everything once.

Go to the next box down on the left, and you'll see, in the drop down box, your new map "Draft1".

Now you're ready to add patches to this, but importantly, when you add channels, you have a midi patch map to use for your instrument channel. This is particularly useful when using a progamme like Rosegarden, which enable you to switch patches in a single track.

Now start adding patches to Draft1.

Using the add icon at the top left of this box, click, and a popup box will appear (Called "choose instrument"), giving you a number of options for adding patches to your map. Select directory by clicking on the folder icon (browse), and choose a gig file. (I'll use piano for this example.) Once you choose, new options appear. Filename, Instrument Index, Engine, Load Mode.

Briefly, filename is obvious as the path to your selected gig file, Instrument Index is a list of files within the Gig file, Engine is Gig, and Load mode is the option to have a) a persistent load of that patch, b) On demand and Hold, which means once you use that patch, it stays loaded ready for instant use, and c) On demand, which is only loaded each time the patch is requested [non real-time].

Select 'On demand and Hold' for now. (you can edit this at anytime)

Click next, and more options will appear, among which is Bank and Patch number designation. As we have not created a bank just yet, the number should be 1, but you can change this to suit your own setup. The patch number will also likely be 1, but again, you choose. In our example, we'll use bank 1, patch 1.

(A note here. you can change the bank and patch start number to 0 by default, in Edit/ Preferences. Select the general tab, then click on 'Advanced' for those options.)

Once you've chosen your bank and patch numbers, click Finish, and Fantasia has created Bank 1, and by clicking on the little plus, next to the bank name, you can see your newly created patch "Piano".

Using the same method, add 3 more instruments of your choice.

Now go to manage instrument maps and create a new map, called "Draft2".

Back to our drop down box, and now you have 2 entries, Draft 1 and Draft 2.

Select Draft 2, and you'll see it's blank, waiting for you to add banks and patches.

Repeat the add bank and patch process.

You can also add multiple banks to a map.

Go to Draft1, and add a new instrument, but when you get to the bank/patch options, change the bank number to 2, and patch number to 1. Click Finish, and you'll see bank 2 appear in the Draft1 map.

Repeat and rinse as required.

In this way, you can build up a complete midi bank/patch profile of your entire library, once, and use it in multiple templates.

If you go to Actions/Export, you'll see a midi instruments maps option, and if you choose it, it will ask you to save the maps as a new file. (It will not save as an lscp file by default, so be sure to add the .lscp on the end of the file name, if you wish to have it appear by default in your file list.)

Finally, add a new channel, and press the little arrow marked options on the right. The channel will expand to show more options. Choose midi instrument maps, and a drop down list of your maps will appear. Choose the one you want, and when LS receives patch messages from an external source, either another app like RG, or a midi input device, like a midi keyboard, it will load the selected patch in the channel.

For those who use multi articulation instrument sets, the LS bank and patch framework offers a real opportunity to switch quickly between patches, during playback, in user built and defined bank and patch maps.

Should you wish to make a hard copy of all your maps, as i have done, simply copy the file you saved, edit as required, and print. A quick reference that may prove useful.

When you want to create a new template, with your midi maps included, simply open the chosen midi map, then save it under a new name. you can then set about adding devices, and channels according to your requirements.


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