There are two reasons that you may want to make a custom patch map:

  • Remap (translate) the General MIDI patches (instrument numbers) and drum note numbers to the drum/patch numbers that your synthesizer uses.
  • Allow access to higher bank patches other than the basic General MIDI standard patches.

Note that Band-in-a-Box® does include a number of patch maps for various synths, and there are also some other ones available for download from our website.

How to remap the General MIDI patches and drum note numbers

Most modern synths are General MIDI (GM) compatible, so it is not too likely that you will need to do this. But, if your synth is not General MIDI compatible, you may need to remap (translate) the General MIDI drum note numbers and patches to the drum/patch numbers that your synthesizer or sound module uses. For example, in the General MIDI standard, patch 1 is Acoustic Piano. If your synth has Acoustic Piano at patch 10, and a different instrument at patch 1, you need to tell Band-in-a-Box® this. We have already made custom patch maps for many non-GM synths. These are in the form of .DK files, located in the Synth Kits folder (in the Band-in-a-Box® Folder). To load in a .DK file, go to the MIDI menu and click on "Load MIDI Setup/Drum Kit". There are some additional .DK files available for download from our website

If you need to remap the patch and drum numbers and you can't find a .DK file for your synth, you can do it manually. Go to the MIDI Menu and select 'Make General MIDI Patch Map'. Beside each instrument, type in the patch number that your particular synth uses for that instrument. Next, go to the MIDI menu and select 'Edit Drum Kit (Note Values)'. Beside each drum sound, type in the note number that your synth uses for that sound. Other settings can be found in the MIDI menu | MIDI Settings dialog. For example, if your synth uses a channel other than 10 for drums, you can specify the channel number in that dialog.

Now you can save your settings as a .DK file. To do this, go to the MIDI Menu and select "Save MIDI Setup/Drum Kit". You should save your file as XXXXX.DK (where XXXXX is the name of your synth), and make a backup of this file in case you lose it. You could also save your setup as the default MYSETUP.DK, which is loaded automatically when you start Band-in-a-Box®.


How to access higher bank patches other than the basic General MIDI patches

.PAT files allow you to choose any patch on your synth by name, provided that you have a .PAT file for your particular synth. There are some .PAT files for common synths that ship with Band-in-a-Box®. These are located in the Synth Kits folder, in your Band-in-a-Box® Folder. There are also some .PAT files available for download from our website

To use a .PAT file, first select the track (Piano, Bass, Guitar etc.) that you are want to change the patch for. Then, go to the MIDI menu and select 'Choose Patch on Higher Bank', or click the [+] button on the main screen in the top toolbar. Choose the appropriate .PAT file from the Synth Kits folder and this will open the 'Select Patch from Higher Bank' dialog.

If you cannot find a pre-made patch map (.PAT file) for your synth, you will need to make one yourself.

Manually Creating a Band-in-a-Box® Patch map

You can manually create a patch map by using a simple word processor, such as TextEdit. We will use the Roland SC8820 as our synthesizer example.

If you want to add comments to the PAT file you must insert a semi-colon. Here is an example:

; This is how you would add comments to a pat file.
; You can add as many comments into the file as you wish
; as long as you insert a semi-colon.

One thing you will need to know is which controller your synth or module uses to send bank changes. This information can usually be found in your synth documentation. As a general rule:

  • Roland uses controller 0 (MSB)
  • Yamaha uses controller 32 (LSB)
  • Korg will often use both or a combination

You enter patches into your patch map using the following format:

<patch/program change>.<bank0/controller#0/MSB>.<bank32/Controller#32/LSB>=PatchName

Your first bank should consist of 128 patches. In most cases this is the GM bank which is Bank 0. You do not need a header for Bank 0 like you would with the other banks, and you only need the patch number. For other banks, you need to insert a header, such as "[Bank 1]". Below is a sample patch map. Note that in this example, Bank 0 only has 7 patches. Normally there would be 128.


; This is a sample patch map for the Roland SC8820
; The SC8820 Uses Controller 0, which is also known as MSB

1=Piano 1
2=Piano 2
3=Piano 3
5=E.Piano 1
6=E.Piano 2

[Bank 1]
1.1=Upright Piano
2.1=Pop Piano
3.1=EG+Electric Piano 1
6.1=E.Piano 3
8.1=Clav. 2
9.1=Pop Celesta

[Bank 2]
1.2=Mild Piano
2.2=Rock Piano
3.2=EG+Electric Piano 2
7.2=Harpsichord 3
8.2=Atk. Clav.1
16.2=Santur 3
17.2=Ful Organ 1


As an example, let's look at Bank 1. The first instrument is Patch number 1, Bank (MSB) 1, and the instrument name is Upright Piano.

Some synths or modules use controller 32, which is also known as LSB. It follows the same principle as above. Below is a sample patch map.


; This is an example of controller 32, as well a synth that uses
; both controller 0 and 32.
; In this case, you do not need to enter a bank header like the Controller 0 patch maps

1=Piano 1
2=Piano 2
3=Piano 3
5=E.Piano 1
6=E.Piano 2
1.0.1=Upright Piano
2.0.1=Pop Piano
3.0.1=EG+Electric Piano 1
6.2.1=E.Piano 3
8.2.12=Clav. 2
9.2.12=Pop Celesta


Again the first number represents the Patch number. The second number represents the controller 0 bank number, and the third number is the controller 32 bank number.

1.0.1=Upright Piano
Patch number 1, controller 0 bank 0, controller 32 bank 1.

6.2.1=E.Piano 3
Patch number 6, controller 0 bank 2, controller 32 bank 1.

9.2.12=Pop Celesta
Patch number 9, controller 0 bank 2, controller 32 bank 12.

Once you have finished creating your file, give it a name such as "MyPat.pat"". "MyPat" can be any name you choose. Put your patch (*.Pat) file that you created into the Synth Kits folder in your Band-in-a-Box® Folder, and you are finished. If you create a patch map that is not available for download on our website, and you would like to share it with other Band-in-a-Box® users, please email the file as an attachment to support@pgmusic.com.

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