Clavia LogoGeneric Synth Preset Storage and Conversion

by Ken Martinez

For my synths with preset storage and the ability to dump & load presets via midi sysex, I wanted to be able to feed the sysex of a synth into a software program which can

The generic patch storage format must display meaningful values for the parameters (filter envelope amount = 1/2 octave, envelope 1 attack = 50ms, etc) and convert between these values and a given synth's sysex (as much as possible - resolution probably isn't good enough to get envelope attack to exactly 50ms on each and every synth, and envelope shapes vary between synths, etc). The storage format will also store the original parameters, using the "native" value range of each parameter (e.g. filter cutoff frequency between 0 and 127) as well as the original sysex program as an ASCII hex dump.

Since I didn't find any software which could do this, I began writing my own in Java. I am concentrating on converting basic analog components; any on-board effects are not used.

Project News

03-24-2004 I'm in the process of moving this project to Sourceforge as project Synth Patch Conversion ... more to come.

02-09-2004 The Virus converter needs more work, so I went back to the Nord Modular converter and tried to finish that up. That's in pretty good shape, so I'm releasing the whole Nord Lead 2 sound library converted to Nord Modular format. Most patches I tried converted well; I don't have time to listen to them all, so if you try them and find one which didn't, let me know and I'll investigate when I have time.

12-30-2003 Coming in under the wire for December, I've posted a group of Nord Lead 2 programs from the first bank of the Nord Lead 2 sound library 1 converted to Nord Modular patches. Some of the 99 sounds didn't convert well, so I left them out; #85 and #99 have a small problem with the Morph data but still load. I'm pretty pleased with the way these sound compared to the originals; those of you with both a Nord Lead 2 and a Nord Modular (or Micro Modular) can try them for yourselves and let me know what you think. For now I'm cleaning up the Nord Modular conversion, but hope to also release these sounds for the Virus and Novation in the next few weeks.

12-07-2003 Well, November has come and gone... I guess the holiday season is a tough time to try to finish a project in my "spare time". I hit a few snags in the conversion process and had to rethink some parts, e.g. PWM on some synths (e.g. Virus) drives pulse width to 100% where the sound cuts off, while others like the Nord Lead 2 just max out at 99%, so this doesn't convert well without taking PWM max into consideration. The Nord's Morph feature also has some quirks that are hard to duplicate on other synths. Anyway I'm now aiming to release some sounds by the end of December.

11-12-2003 Currently I'm focusing on converting Nord Lead 2 programs to the format for the Access Virus b, Novation Supernova II and Nord Modular. Once that's working reasonably well, I'll convert patches between these other synths and add a few more that I own. By the end of November, I expect to post on this web site groups of NL2 programs that have been converted to various formats; those of you who own both synths can load up the sysex and let your ears be the judge.

Note that the Nord Modular converter will most likely be a one-way converter, only able to read other synth's patches. The complexity of many of its patches would prevent them from being implemented on most preset synths.

The Nord Modular Classic Archive was created by Wout Blommers