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I bought a new Forte DXi 1.6 synth for my new 64-bit vista OS based on PG recommendations. I love the sound, but I have discovered it does not recognize some, maybe many bank changes. For me it started with the thunder effect and then the castinet bank change, which is in many of my 500 midi files.

I sent two e-mails today to Coyotes and got responses. Norm Campbell wrote this evening, 22 Dec 09:
"OK, I see now that those two (as well as several other sound-effect-ish
sounds) are missing from the set of sample files shipped with ForteDXi.
If I can find a public-domain sample for each I will add them to the
next version of ForteDXi.
"However, as I said, you should be able to add sample files yourself,
too. The documentation is installed when you install ForteDXi. To get to
it, right-click on the ForteDXi window (in BIAB, for example) and select
Help Index. Or just double-click on the file ForteDXi.chm which should
be in C:\Program files\Coyote\ForteDXi (or wherever you installed ForteDXi)."

I know many people bought the new Forte DXi 1.6 version recently from PG Music and may be beginning to encounter this bank change recognition problem. I have reported it to the PG Music tech staff and this post it to give other buyers some warning of the issue.

Norm told me how to get to the documentation he references above in another e-mail:
"(by the way it is always possible for you to add your own custom sounds
and assign them to any bank and PC - see the documentation under
"Advanced Topics" - "Using Other Sample Files")."

I hope this will help some of you. Regards, Scott




Thanks
Norm

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The Forte was offered as an alternative to the VSC, which wasn't being updated by Roland. So the emphasis was using it with BIAB. I suspect that most of the folks here didn't buy Forte to hear thunder, or gunshots, or helicopters, or whatever. Most of the folks here are more interested in pianos, basses, guitars, strings, etc. That doesn't mean that Forte shouldn't have included those GM (and GM2) sounds, just that when it came out (and many of us were involved in testing version 1 quite some time ago), the emphasis was on musical instruments that would work with BIAB. I'm not aware of any BIAB style that uses thunder, but I could be wrong.

But, as you have seen, Norm will and does respond to you (he is to Coyote as Peter Gannon is to PGMusic).


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Thanks, John. Everyone on these forums is so helpful. I was also impressed with Norm's fast and helpful responses. I don't know but I would suspect there are Latin styles that have castanets. Now I feel sure that BIAB 2010 and RB GM functions are intended to support all bank changes. So I am sure it will get worked out. I actually use a helicopter sound too for a truck engine starting on the beginning of one of my Alabama songs! As I understand it, now the ForteDXi is the only choice for 64-bit processors.

Again, thank you for the background. I have read many of your posts in other threads and really appreciate your insights! Happy Holidays! Scott

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Roll, on...


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I finally went ahead and boutht the Music Creator 5 primarily to get the 32-bit TTS-1 synth and got it installed. I may go back to the Forte DXi when their full bank patch update comes out. I was very have to find a new feature, for me anyway, in Real Bank: a Bank Select Dialog box. Right click on the track and go up the menu to the Band Select Dialog Box. It leads to the avaialbel Bank changes for the instructment and gives you the MSB (CC 0) amd the LSB (cc32) for the bank change you might like to make in the synth your are using. But then you have to remember to got back to the event list (something I have trouble doing) and enter the cc's in the proper order (one after the other appears to work best for me): first the MSB (cc 0) then the LSB (cc 32) and finally the program change instrument e.g., 25 for a nylon string guitar bank change. Then if you change synths you may have to change the MSB (CC 0) and LSB (CC 32) again to get the right patches on the new synth.

I hope I have this right. It all seemed to work for me on the tracks I had bank changes when I installed the TTS-1. I am sure the ForteDXi will be out with added bank change patches before too long and I will be forced with deciding beteen two excellent synths for my 64-bit processor.

Someone please correct me if I have not got this information and procedure right.

Happy Holidays to All and to All a Good Night. Scott

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I have a 64 bit Windows 7 OS and I have been working with TTS-1 and ForteDXi synths in Real Band for a month trying to correct problems I reported in a earlier post in this thread. I now believe it is likely that the TTS has a problem recognizing bank changes in midi files. It seems like almost any bank change can cause an irregularity in the playback of the file AND in subsequent files - at least in my 64-bit W7 system. For example, a file had an MSB: 1 entered on a drum channel. The drums in the next file played were changed to a piano. In another file bank changes on four channels resulted in three of the channels sounding as pianos and the fourth sounding as a fretting sound - the originally set sounds were two guitars, a bass, and strings. When I deleted the bank changes in most cases the irregularities disappeared and subsequent files also functioned properly. In a few files, usually GM2 files, with almost all channels containing bank changes, I was not able to solve the problems - until I exited the virtual synths and played the files with the midi mapper. If the problem on the original file is not corrected in some way it seems that every successively opened file with the same synth installed has instrument changes - usually to piano sounds - like Program 1 was a default if the synth did not recognize the bank change.
So far the only person who has duplicated these problems played the file I forwarded him on his XP system with the TTS and it was fine, but when he changed to the midi mapper and MME the distortions in sound occurred.
ForteDXi admittedly does not recognize all bank changes (mostly effect-like sounds I understand, e.g., thunder) but I have not played a lot of files through Forte so I don't know the extent of the problem there. Another strange occurrence is that when the sounds in a file played through the TTS has bank change problems it can sometimes be corrected by switching to the Forte. Then when you switch back to the TTS, on the same file, the problem is sometimes corrected - like there has been a reset of the instruments.
The sound on the TTS also seems so intense that sometimes high pitched sounds, like hung notes, develop and actually bleed over into the next file if there are inadequate resets at the end and beginning of files. The absence of a zero entry on the end of pitch bend strings also appears to cause problems.
I have been working through these problems one at a time for a month and am learning to live with them - usually by limiting or deleting bank changes or switching to the MME and midi mapper as a last resort. I do not intend to post anymore about the topics as no one else appears to be experiencing them right now and the PG staff apparently has not been able to replicate the problems. I have reported them to Cakewalk/TTS and to the Forte people. But should someone else bump into the same or similar problems I would be happy to discuss them further. I hope no one does. I hope it is a set of problems somehow unique to my system or files. However, the problems have certainly undermined my confidence in my back-up music for performances and it may take some time to restore.

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I want to thank everyone here who has reviewed and made such helpful comments about the TTS problems I have discussed in earlier posts. But I think Andrew has found the solution and the cause. Let me try to explain it simply - as I am not knowledgeable enough to explain it in the proper technical terms. Please forgive any slight errors.

Essentially the TTS does not change automatically from GM2 to GS mode when a SysEx msg is sent (my external SD-20 does). Roland says soft synths do not recognize any SysEx msgs. When Real Band opens a midi file it usually strips the bank change controllers from the event list and puts the information in the patch dialog area (altho sometimes some MSB or LSB contollers are not stripped and remain in the event list). TTS is by default in the GM2 mode (although you can manually change it to GS, etc), so any GS bank change msg can cause problems.

So, improper or incomplete bank change settings in the midi files can cause the TTS to go to its default settings with certain MSB contoller numbers (other than 120 for drums and 121 for all other instruments). The default settings in TTS in this situation are PC 1 (piano) -unless you have manually changed it to something else on a channel by channel basis. So your instrument can be automatically changed to a piano or, ocassionally, something else, by the TTS when it gets an improper bank change controller.

So I need to go back into all the files and make sure I am getting the right bank change msgs to the TTS. I have a list of all the GS and GM2 bank change possiblities. I suppose that is all as clear as mud! Sorry.

As to the possibility of pitch changes distorting sounds, the TTS help file says if you have sound troubles with the TTS turn down the volume. I initially had my lappy sound set to 100%, but I have turned it down. Andrew says about the only problem people have with pitch bend is failing to enter a zero at the end of the pitch bend strings. I found many such situations in the midi files I have. I think it can lead to the bleeding of sound into the next file played if the proper resets are not entered. And it seems like many programers no longer bother with resets.

Of course, if there is an improper bank change msg on a channel with pitch bend I assume you can get unusual results.

I know I will have more problems of various kinds, but now, thanks to all of you, I feel like I have many new friends who will probably be able to help me find a solution to any problem!

Thank you all very much! Scott

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Bank Change

Patch Change


Two different entities.



--Mac

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I may have gotten something wrong, Mac. But the patch on a channel can be set to a guitar, for example, especially at the beginning of a file. But there is a bank change or incomplete bank change that is in the file. If the TTS does not recognize the bank change, when the track begins to play TTS will sound the notes in, usually, a piano sound, if that is the default instrument for that channel in TTS. I hope that is what I said in the earlier post. Ha!

So, I realize that patch and bank are two different things and tried to describe as best I could what happens.

Thanks, Scott

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Just to clarify a bit, the main thing to understand about the TTS-1 is that (1) it is a GM2 synth, and (2) you can edit the default sounds and save them in User banks. Banks (MSB) 1 and 2 are the user banks, and unless you have edited and saved your own sounds in these banks, all the Program #s are "acoustic piano" by default. Here are the details:

USER NORMAL
Bank MSB 001
Bank LSB 000 - 003
Program number 001 - 128

USER RYHTHM
Bank MSB 002
Bank LSB 000
Program number 001 - 128

GM2 RHYTHM
Bank MSB 120
Bank LSB 000
Program number 001,009,017,025,026,033,041,049,057

GM2 NORMAL
Bank MSB 121
Bank LSB 000 - 009
Program number 001 - 128

If you don't specify any bank, then by default you'll get the (Bank LSB 0) patches on the GM2 Normal bank, which are just the General MIDI 1 patches. However if you are trying to choose the extra patches that are part of General MIDI 2 (not in GM1), then you should specify the correct banks as listed above. You can refer to the General MIDI 2 instrument list in the TTS-1 help file. For example, "Helicopter" is Program #126 in General MIDI. If you want the extra General MIDI 2 patch "Siren" instead of "Helicopter", then you would need to send it BankMSB (controller 0) 121, BankLSB (controller 32) 5, and Program# 126.

Last edited by Andrew - PG Music; 01/24/10 03:25 PM.

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Thanks, Andrew.

That last paragraph helped me too.

I wish I had named this thread TTS-1 Bank Change Recognition! I sent Norm at Forte a copy of my last post about the TTS bank change situation just in case it had any relevance to the ForteDXi 1.6.

Scott

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Well, the Forte has but one bank, the GM bank...

Which is why I thought it relevant to speak of the differences between Patch Change and Bank Change commands.


--Mac

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