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An open letter to Synth and Plug In companies


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Dear software and hardware manufacturers,


First of all, I'd like to thank you for creating the tools I use every day. Your chosen way to make a living has brought me countless hours of happiness despite a smaller amount of frustration.


I have a small request for all of you, although the request comes in two ways depending on whether or not you build hardware synths.


On another thread, many people, including myself, lamented the fact that many racks force us to place our modules below eye level and often below desk level. This, of course, is no fault of yours, but it does (as another observer so astutely pointed out) create an obstacle to creativity and a smooth workflow.


Well, I have an idea, and I'd like to give it away free to anyone who will actually implement it. :idea: (by the way, that last statement is tongue in cheek...I'm not THAT arrogant to think that this is a unique idea).


I think every hardware synth should come with a VST/AU/DXi-type plug in that will emulate the front panel. No passing audio, no deep edit functions...just patch changes and whatever is available on the front panel (to start with). If I could call up my rack like I call up my Akai S5000, but do it within my sequencer of choice, it would rock my world.


All respectable synths have a sysex implementation chart, so I know the hooks exist.


If you REALLY want a PR coup, how about creating a few of these front panel emulators for your legacy units? Man, I'd PAY for something like that.


I'm not saying that it has to be feature-laden, but this would be that final step in a completely accessible studio. This would also reduce the need for the one aspect of MIDI sequencers that simply sucks: patch names.


So how about it guys?


And to you, software guys: is there anything you can do? Can't you create some universal plug in with its own plug ins to emulate front panels?




Zero (who is shoulders-to-knees trying to audition a kick on his DM Pro)

"For instance" is not proof.


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I suggested something on this forum many months ago, which would solve the patch names problem:


Update the MIDI spec to include a "Patch Name Request" and an "All Patch Names Request" command. The first one would request the patch name of the current patch. The second would request all of the patch names from a synth.

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Originally posted by zeronyne:

Wow, that's sort of it! I wish there was an OS X version.


I wonder if the skinning feature would let me create actual front panel emulations...


Thanks for the link.

I'm not sure. Not all hardware is supported and you need to check it at the company web site. I do notice that some interfaces are user created.



This post edited for speling.

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Yamaha has already done this to some degree. There is a protocol called OPT (Open Plugin Technology) that allows editors for our products to be imbedded within applications. Currently Sonar and Vegas both support this along with our own SQ01 software. Steinberg has expressed interested in adding support for this but we haven't seen it yet, keep your fingers crossed.

-Mike Martin



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The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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