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MIDI Reference

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Programmable MIDI Messages
Program Change Names
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"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax -
Of cabbages - and kings -
And why the sea is boiling hot -
And whether pigs have wings."

- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass


This section describes the things that make up a KeyMaster document: instruments, songs, patches, chains, programmable MIDI messages, and program change names.

When you use the name of a chain, song, patch, or program change, you need not type the whole name. Just use the shortest unique prefix of the name. Also, you needn't worry about matching upper and lower case; all name comparisons are case-insensitive.


You have to describe your MIDI instruments to KeyMaster in an Instrument window. You give each instrument a name, specify which MIDI ports it uses, describe which MIDI channels it transmits and receives, and more.

MIDI input and output patch elements represent instruments in a patch.


A song is a collection of patches that allow you to control your MIDI setup. A song can have any number of patches. You can step forward and backward through the patches in a song using the movement menu items, the keyboard, or Movement Triggers.


A patch is a group of MIDI pathways on which sit patch elements that can modify the MIDI data. The simplest pathway connects one MIDI device directly to another.

A patch also has an enter message and an exit message. These are MIDI Messages that can contain any MIDI data such as patch changes, note on or off messages (for those looong drones), and system exclusive messages.

The complete list of patch elements, along with more in-depth explanations of what they do, is found in the section on patches.


A chain is a list of songs. A song can appear in more than one chain. One special chain called "All Songs" contains the list of all songs.

When you delete a song from a chain, the song is not gone. It still exists in the "All Songs" list of all songs. Only when you delete a song from "All Songs" is the song gone forever.

For more information about moving amongst chains, songs, and patches, see the movement section.

Programmable MIDI Messages

KeyMaster allows you to create programmable MIDI messages of any length. You can put any MIDI data in a message and send this data a any time via the keyboard (??), menu, or via a trigger in a patch enter or exit message.

To send a MIDI message, select "Send" from the "Message" menu in the Messages list window or click the "Send" button in a Message Editor window. This is currently the only way to send a MIDI message. I will be adding a single-key send (probably bound to Alt-Fx).

See Editing Messages for more information.

You might want to peruse the section on ideas for using MIDI messages.

Some day, you will be able to open MIDI files, drag MIDI files onto the editor, etc.

Program Change Names


It is often easier to refer to your synth's programs by name rather than by number. KeyMaster allows you to enter names for all 128 program changes on each instrument. You can then refer to programs by name at almost any time.

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Contents © 1995 - 2000 by Jim Menard; All Rights Reserved.