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Korg X5 FAQ and Sequencing Tips

Last updated on January 13, 1998

Questions and Answers

1. How to play back these songs from Korgy Park?
2. Are different Korg models compatible?
3. Is there an official Korg site?
4. Is it possible to convert sounds from other Korg synthesizers?
5. How to install the Korg driver for Windows 95?
6. How to load back the factory preset sounds?
7. How to build a host-to-serial connecting cable?

Sequencing Tips

1. Selecting banks in Multi mode
2. Saving Multi mode settings
3. Making realtime parameter edits
4. Using combinations in Multi mode
5. Making jungle beats a la Savannah
6. Changing modes via MIDI
7. Saving sounds as a System Exclusive message
8. Using and converting different file formats
9. Using MIDI controllers
10. Changing effects
11. Getting rid of MIDI-delay NEW!

Other FAQs

Korg X5 Specifications and FAQ by Chad Gould
Beginner's Synthesizer FAQ

Other Pages at Korgy Park

Korgy Park Main Page
Beginner's Guide to Korg X5
Korg X5 Buyer's Guide
Korg X5 User List
Korgy Park Song Page

Can't find the right answers to your questions on these pages? Then mail me, and I'll add your question along with my answer here. Also if you have some knowledge you'd like to share with others you know who to tell it to..


Questions and Answers

In this section I try to give some answers to the most common questions about the Korg X5 and compatible synthesizers, and most importantly, I'll do my best trying to use a language that everyone can understand, not only Nobel prize winners (although I myself will become a Physicist one day...)


1. How to play back these songs from Korgy Park?


2. Are different Korg models compatible?


3. Is there an official Korg site?


4. Is it possible to convert sounds from other Korg synthesizers?


5. How to install the Korg driver for Windows 95?


6. How to load back the factory preset sounds?


7. How to build a host-to-serial connecting cable


Sequencing tips

Having problems getting the best out of your X5? Then this section might be of use to you. There are some basic sequencing tips for beginners but also a few advice for the more advanced reader.

1. Selecting sound banks in Multi mode with MIDI

2. Saving Multi mode settings

3. Making realtime parameter edits

4. Using combination sounds in Multi mode

5. Making jungle beats a la Savannah

6. Changing modes via MIDI

7. Saving sounds as a System Exclusive message

8. Using and converting different file formats

9. Using MIDI controllers

10. Changing effects

11. Getting rid of MIDI-delay NEW!

Editor's note: This is a story by Timo Raita (thanks a lot for this ingenious idea, Timo!). If you have any questions or comments, mail them to him (Timo.Raita@iki.fi), not me. -Janne

A standard MIDI bus is rather slow (31250bps if I correctly remember; correct me if I'm wrong.), and causes noticeable delays to sequences if there is many events on the same beat. Korg's host interface is not too much faster (38400bps. Why didn't Korg's engineers make it a parallel bus to get more bandwidth?).

What you can do, is to use both an ordinary MIDI interface and Korg's host interface simultaneously. You will get a total of 69650bps bandwidth between your PC and your Korg, although all of it will practically never be used, since there is no proper software to share MIDI-events equally between two interfaces (Maybe one of us could write such program? If you have experience of writing Windows-based MIDI applications, maybe you should try it...). Instead of, you will have to do the sharing channel-by-channel (or track-by-track in your sequencer). It can be done individually for each sequence by using your sequencer's port-setting to determine the used MIDI output device for each track, or a "fixed" sharing can be done with MidiMapper. In this case, you will need to create your own MidiMapper setup and specify for example even channels to ordinary MIDI port and odd channels to "KORG PC I/F Synth Port". Don't forget to set up your sequencer to use MidiMapper as MIDI output device.

You don't need any special tricks (for example self-made cables) to connect up your equipment, but to make sure all korgies understand what I mean, I will specify it closer.

MIDI controller         PC              Korg synth module
===============         ===========     =================
MIDI out----------------MIDI in         MIDI out
                        MIDI out--------MIDI in
                        serial port-----host interface

I have tried the double-bus-method only with a synth module (05R/W), but I'm not sure if this principle works also on keyboard models. If you have one, try it, and tell me if it works or not (As you might guess, you should connect your PC's MIDI in to Korg's MIDI out instead of separate MIDI controller). At least you will have to be careful with the MIDI thru settings to prevent loops, since you are forced to allow your sequencer to receive MIDI input from your Korg. If your sequencer hangs up and Korg's MIDI-LED lights all the time, there is probably some kind of loop (don't worry; it will not damage your equipment). You can break a loop simply by switching off your Korg. I suppose that you can't use the host interface to transfer MIDI-data from Korg's keyboard to your PC, since Korg always echoes the data coming in through the MIDI in jack to the host interface. Instead of, the MIDI out jack should be free of the stuff coming in through the host interface, if you check the box "Independent Synth / MIDI Out" in the KORG PC I/F Driver setup window.

Problems?

One known problem with the double-bus-method is that the PC-architecture reserves only two interrupts for serial ports. So you can use only two serial ports simultaneously. If you have a serial mouse in addition to Korg's host interface, you can't use other peripherals that plug in a serial port. This was a real problem for me, as I have two other devices (modem and HP48GX) that plug in a serial port. I solved this problem by using a Microsoft InPort Mouse with its own interface card, so mouse is no longer blocking a serial port IRQ.

If you have other problems, please report them to me.

Backgrounds

You might have wondered, how did I invent this possibility. Before I bought my Korg, I had used Sound Blaster AWE32 as the main synthesizer of my home music studio for more than two years. After buying a Korg, I had a hard time getting used to the slow MIDI-bus; there was no bottleneck like this between the sequencer and the synth while using soundcard's internal synth.

When I got a host cable, at first I tried it with my Thinkpad, and it worked fine (Yeah, now I have a portable music workstation!). Regarding to the user's manual, it was even possible to connect other MIDI-devices to Korg and control them through the host interface. Of course, I wanted to try how it works, and I used my desktop computer as "other MIDI-device". So Korg was connected to two computers at same time, and I tried silly things like using a sequencer to record MIDI-data which was coming from a sequencer (or a game) running on the another computer, and playing back sequences from both computers at same time. ;-) Then I got an idea: If both interfaces can be used at same time, wouldn't it be possible to connect them to the one and the same computer? I tried it, and there really was a noticeable difference in the MIDI-delay!

Timo Raita, Timo.Raita@IKI.FI


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Korgy Park - under constant Konstrukzion.
This page is brought to you by Janne Simonen.
E-mail:  jsimonen@cc.joensuu.fi