46. How do I use SysEx (System Exclusive) in RealBand?

Any SysEx data embedded in a MIDI file is transmitted in real-time while the song is playing. You can view/edit the SysEx data in the Event List window. You can also use the built-in SysEx librarian (Window menu | SysEx) to transmit, receive, and edit banks of SysEx data.

The Event List window can be used to view and edit SysEx data in a MIDI file. In the Event List editor, SysEx data will show up as black events on track 1. To insert a SysEx message, press the [Ins] button, select 'SysEx',and press OK. To edit a SysEx event, click on it and press the [Change] button. In either case, the SysEx Events dialog will open.

  • Load from file: This lets you load a .syx file containing SysEx data.

  • Receive: This lets you transmit SysEx data from your synth to RealBand.

  • Request: This launches the Dump Request dialog within which you can issue a dump request to your synth.

  • Delete: This lets you delete the event all together.

Note: If your SysEx event is very large, you may experience stuttering when it is transmitted during playback so we recommend limiting the size of the SysEx events to 128 bytes or less.

SysEx Window

RealBand also has a SysEx Window (Window Menu | SYSEX), which is actually a built-in System Exclusive librarian. It allows you to transmit or receive SysEx data. You may also load and save MIDIEX compatible SysEx files. The SysEx librarian can hold up to 24 banks of system exclusive data. Since the librarian stores all data on disk as opposed to memory, the size of the SysEx data is limited only by the amount of free disk space.

  • Receive: This command lets you receive a data dump from your synthesizer to the currently selected bank. When you execute this command, a message box will pop up to indicate that the sequencer is ready to receive the dump. You may then dump the data from your synth and all the data received will be stored in the current bank. A dialog box will show the progress of the dump. When your synth is finished dumping the data, you may then press the OK button to let the program know that the dump is finished.

  • Transmit: Sends the data in the current bank out via MIDI. A dialog box will inform you that a send is in progress. If you wish to cancel the transmission after it has started, you may press the cancel button, and the transmission will be stopped.

  • Request: This option allows you to initiate a dump request by sending a dump request to your synthesizer. Simply choose an instrument from the available choices and press ENTER. You may be prompted for the channel or patch numbers if the instrument requires them. After sending the dump request out the MIDI OUT port, the program will then receive any data that is sent from your synth as if the receive command had been executed.

  • Load: This command will load a MIDIEX compatible SYSEX file into the currently selected bank.

  • Save: This command will save the currently selected bank on disk in MIDIEX compatible format.

  • Name: Lets you choose the name for the current bank of SYSEX data.

  • Auto: When this option is enabled, the bank will automatically be transmitted via MIDI when loaded from a .SEQ file. The letter 'A' will appear to the right of the bank name if the bank is to be Auto-Transmitted.

  • Port: This setting determines the output port through which the SYSEX data will be sent out via MIDI. If the selected port is greater than the number of ports available, the data will be sent out the highest available port. For example, if the port setting for a bank is set to '2' and there is only one MIDI output driver installed, the SYSEX data in the bank will be sent out through port 1.

  • Delete: This simply deletes the data from the currently selected bank.

  • Send All: This transmits all the banks out via MIDI.

  • Edit: This command is for experienced MIDI users who wish to edit the bytes of the currently selected bank. You can also type in SYSEX data if the current bank has no data in it. A dialog box will pop up in which you can edit the bytes. The bytes are edited as hexadecimal numbers. The bytes are shown separated by spaces. The SYSEX data will look something like this example: 'F0 41 10 42 12 40 11 02 10 1D F7' . Each SYSEX message should start with 'F0' and end with 'F7'.

Note: If you save a song as a .SEQ file, the SysEx data will be saved within the file. However there are differences in the way SysEx data is saved in .MID files since it must be saved as SysEx meta events. If you save the file to a .MID, SysEx information will be saved, but the banks won't have any names when a .MID file is loaded back into RealBand. In addition, if a bank has multiple SysEx messages in it, such as a bulk dump, each individual SysEx message is saved separately into the .MID file. If more than the maximum number (24) of SysEx meta events are read from a .MID into RealBand, the additional banks will be added to bank number 24.

Some common SysEx messages you may see at the start and end of a MIDI file

  • General MIDI Mode On (resets GM devices to default settings): F0 7E 7F 09 01 F7

  • Roland GS Mode On (Resets GS devices to default settings): F0 41 10 42 12 40 00 7F 00 41 F7

  • Yamaha XG Mode On (Sets XG devices to XG Mode on): F0 43 10 4C 00 00 7E 00 F7

There is more information about SysEx in FAQ topic 70 and FAQ topic 71

Alyssa - PG Music