01/W General MIDI

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rev: 01Aug24
How to make your 01 GM compatible 
GM and Drums 
Families of Sounds 
GM-to-01/W Program Worksheet
List of GM Multi-Sound assignments 
Converting an 01 sequence to GM 
  When I play a SMF, old instruments play

To make your 01 GM compatible, you must make the 128 Progs and a Drum Kit GM compatible. You can do this by hand-editing existing Progs and Kit, or by loading the Progs and Kits from a floppy or over MIDI with a SysEx dump.

How to Make Your 01 GM Compatible

To be GM compatible, your 01 must have all the Progs and a Drum Set changed to match the GM specification. You can do this with a floppy or over MIDI.

GM Setup Using a Floppy

1. Get a GM disk that is 01-formatted
1a: Disk XPD-15 from Korg ($15 plus shipping and handling as of Summer 1999).
1b: GM set-ups may also be found on some 01 sites, likt http://www.vienxu.com/korg0. (If the XPD-15 is no longer available from Korg, check for a file called "KORG_XPD-15_GM.syx" at the vienxu site. There may be another file called http://www.vienxu.com/korg0/files/o1gsmi.zip.)
1c: You may find a GM setup file that has the extension ".01w" . You will need DiskImage to write this file to a disk formatted on the 01.

2. Insert the GM disk and Load All Data from it. (DISK Mode, Page 0)

3. Verify the transfer by checking that Prog names have changed (Piano-ish Progs for A00-A09).

GM Setup Using MIDI

1. Get a GM setup as a System Exclusive (*.syx or *.sys) file in your computer.
1a: Check http://www.vienxu.com/korg0  (look for a file called KORG_XPD-15_GM.syx)

2. Send the *.syx file  to your 01 over MIDI using any of several programs (like Cubase or Cakewalk).
This should include all 128 GM Progs and a GM Drum Kit. The Drum Kit should appear at Prog B28.

3. Verify the transfer by checking that Prog names have changed (Piano-ish Progs for A00-A09).

GM Details
GM requires specific instruments to be specific program numbers. The factory 01 Programs don't line up with the GM specification. The 01 doesn't have all the instruments required by GM. If the 01 has the instrument, it's usually not the right Prog number. That is, the 01 is not GM compliant.

If you want to play GM sequences, you'll have to "EDIT PROG" Banks A and B to create Programs that are as close to the the GM spec as possible. Use the worksheet to get you started in selecting 01 Progs to assign to your GM Bank. You'll have to edit both Banks because there are 128 GM Programs but only 100 01/W Progs per Bank.

Your GM Banks can not be completely accurate because some GM Programs require Sounds that don't come built into the 01. (Examples include Tango Accordion and Telephone Ring.) These GM Instruments will have to be assigned 01 Multi-Sound(s) that are as close as you can get. You can modify the Sounds once they're in an 01 Program to try and make it closer.

Korg did this for you, and sells it on a floppy disk, XPD-15. Click here to see how Korg assigned Multi-Sounds to create a GM-compatible system.

GM and Drums
But you are not done yet. What about drums? The GM spec also defines a Drum Kit. This assigns specific drums and percussive instruments to specific keys on the keyboard. The 01 has four Drum Kits A1, A2, B1, and B2. None of them match the GM spec. (although B1/Prog 29 overlaps some at the low end of the keyboard). That means you also have to edit an 01/W Drum Kit to be like the GM spec. (For details on building a GM Drum Kit, see the Percussion Manual.)

The tables on this page are only a starting point for those who want to create their own GM setup. You will likely find that the ROM Progs can't be forced into all the GM slots. That will lead you to editing your own Programs to match what you think the GM instrument should sound like. This can be a long and difficult process. Unless you really want to learn about editing Programs, you are better off acquiring the Progs and Kits rather than creating them.

Once you have defined (and saved!) your Banks and Kit, you will be able to load GM sequences and play them on your 01.

How do I convert an 01 sequence to play on a GM synth?

Conversion can range from simple to impossible, depending on which 01 Progs are in your sequence. What you need is a table listing all the 01 Progs used. Next to each 01 Prog, list the GM Program that sounds most like the 01 Prog. You can start with the tables listed in the 01 GM Worksheet.

For example, if your sequence has only an electric piano, vibraphone, and electric bass, then conversion is simply replacing the 01 Prog number with the corresponding GM Prog number.

If your 01 sequence uses a Drum Kit, the job just got much harder. Now you need another table showing every Drum Sound used and which key each Sound is on (Crash Cymbal on C4, etc.). Next you find which GM key has the same, or nearest, Sound (Crash Cymbal 2 on A3) (see pages 38-39 in the Percussion Manual). Then you have to go all through your sequence, changing every 01 key to the corresponding GM key. This is can be a simple, though tedious, process on a computer-based sequencer by using the Transpose command. You also must change the 01 Drum Prog number to match the GM Program number.

The real problem is when you use an 01 Prog/Patch that has no corresponding GM Program/Patch. The 01 Sounds are what make it unique, and there are probably dozens of 01 Progs that are very different from any of the GM Programs. It may be impossible to make a good conversion in this case.

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When I play the SMF, the old Progs play even though I changed them.
SMF off the net often have MIDI Prog/Patch Change commands buried within the sequence. You need to find every Change and make sure it changes to the Prog you want.
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Copyright ©1998-2001 by Ken Westover at Cliff Canyon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
This material may not be distributed without the written permission of the author.
E-mail questions or comments to cliffcan@indra.com.
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