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Roland SC-880 Manual

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Article TN001

Creating the Roland SC-880 Patch File

1. Introduction

Steinberg have posted some of their own notes on their website explaining how to write in their scripting language. Unfortunately though, a little clarity has been lost in the translation. They have also posted a windows-based script-editing tool on their site, but we were unable to install it and use it. What that meant is that we had to write our own SC-880 script file by hand, and it's a tedious affair. The notes below are provided so that you can edit this file, or adapt any others you may come across, or maybe write one from scratch. As a final thought, don't panic! Cubase seems to be fairly robust when dealing with syntax errors in the script file, i.e. it just ignores them!

2. SC-880.txt

If not already done so, you can download a copy from our website, at The SC-880 script file is a standard ASCII text file, which can be modified in any standard text editor. Please note that if you intend to use the Windows "notepad" you may experience some memory problems. The file is made up of a header section, one or more sections that define the patches, and finally a footer section. Within each section are a number of commands. Commands are denoted by the ASCII characters '[' and ']'. Any additional text that follows on the same line as a command is the associated value of the command.

3. The Header

The header in the SC-880 file consists of the lines shown in the table below. The commands in this section define things such as, script parser, script author, name of the audio device as it is to appear in Cubase, etc.
Header Commands [Cubase parse file] [parser version 0001] [creators first name]Most [creators last name]Excellent [device manufacturer]ROLAND [device name]SC-880 [script name]Roland SC-880 [script version]version 1.01 [define patchnames]
The text that immediately follows the command [script name] is the text that will appear in the Setup Instruments dialog box within Cubase. There are additional commands that may be inserted in the
Updated on the 25th June 2001
header. These can be used to define the order that data bytes are transmitted over midi to the sound module. It is the custom of Roland to swap the MSB and LSB of the bank value (see section 4).
Additional Header Commands [bank: do swap value bytes] [bank: don't swap value bytes] [bank: do send msb first] [bank: don't send msb first] [bank: do send only one byte] [bank: don't send only one byte] [bank: do send as program change] [bank: don't send as program change]
4. The "Mode" Sections
Following the header is a very long list of tone names and midi program change messages. These tone name to midi-value pairs are grouped into "mode" sections using the [mode] command. This command tells Cubase on which midi channels to broadcast the program change messages within each "mode" section. That is, a section starting with [mode] means "use the following program changes on all midi channels". However, a section starting with [mode 10] means "use the following tone names on midi channel 10 only". The commands used to define the first two piano tone-sets are shown in the table below.

Menu Definition in the Mode Sections [mode] Tones [g1] [g2] [p3, [p3, [p3, [p3, [p3, [p3, etc Piano Piano 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 8, 0, 8, 0, 8,

1 1] 2] 0] 1] 2] 0]

Piano Piano Piano Piano Piano Piano
1 Bank Bank Bank 3 1w Bank 1 1w Bank 2 1w Bank 3
In each section there are two kinds of lines. Those that begin with a "[g ]" define pop-up menus. Lines with [g1] form the highest menus, [g2]'s form sub menus, etc. The text that directly follows them will appear as the text on the menu.
Within our SC-880 file, we have used the [g2] menus to hold all the General Midi names and the [g1] top-level menus to hold the broad-brush tone categories used within the SC-880 module. The lines that begin with a "[p ]" define the midi program change values to be broadcast. Similarly, the text that follows the command will be displayed on the popup menu. The popup menu that it will appear on is determined by the values immediately following the "p", similar to the [g1], [g2] command, etc. The command takes either the form: [p?, PC, BN 1, BN 2], or [p?, PC, BN]
Where: PC = Program Change, and BN = Bank Number
The Program Change value is between 0 and 127 and within the SC-880 script, its values takes on the General Midi tone number. The Bank Numbers in the first version of the command are between 0 and 127. Within the SC-880 file, Bank Number 1 is the tone variation number (or the CC00 value within the SC-880s manual). Bank Number 2 is one of the three tone sets, as shown on the right. The Bank Number in the second version of the command is 14 bit value.

5. The Footer

Finally, the last line of the file should contain the command [end].

Footer Commands [end]


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ROLAND SC-880 TURBO FACTS The SC-880 stands at the top of Rolands legendary GS Sound Module line-up. Patches, a feature new to the Sound Canvas line, allow creation of sounds previously not available in instruments of this type. Features include: 64-Voice Polyphony 32-Part Multitimbral operation 1,117 internal Tones, 256 Patches, 42 Rhythm sets 5 built-in independent effects: Reverb, Chorus, Delay, EQ, and Multi-Effects algorithms (64 total) Powerful new Layering and Performance features Tone Finder automatically finds groups of similar sounds Phrase Preview for easy auditioning of sounds Large 136 x 32 dot backlit graphic LCD Built-In computer interface using optional DB9F-3/10 (PC) or MD8-3/10 (Mac) Cable Full MIDI control (In-A, In-B, Out/Thru) Initializing Use the following procedure to initialize the SC-880 and restore the factory settings: 1) Press UTILITY. Press UP CURSOR and use the VALUE DIAL to select Factory Preset. 2) Press DOWN CURSOR and use the VALUE DIAL to select ALL. 3) Press ENTER twice. Listening to the Demo Songs Use the following procedure to listen to the demo songs in the SC-880: 1) Press UTILITY and ENTER simultaneously. 2) Press ENTER to start the Demo Songs. 3) Press EXIT to stop playback. 4) Press EXIT again to return to Play Mode. Selecting and Auditioning Tones The Tone Finder function allows you to quickly find sounds by selecting from specified categories: 1) Press PERFORMANCE followed by TONE. 2) Press the VALUE DIAL to display the categories. 3) Rotate the VALUE DIAL to the desired category then press the VALUE DIAL. 4) Use the VALUE DIAL to select the desired sound. 5) Press the VOLUME KNOB to audition the sound using Phrase Preview.
Selecting Patches A Patch consists of up to six Tones plus Effect settings. Use the following procedure to select from 256 different Patches - Preset Patches P001-128 and User U001-U128: 1) Press PATCH. Press the PART < button to select Part A01. 2) Rotate the VALUE DIAL to select Patch U-002 Alternative 880. 3) Press the VOLUME KNOB to audition the Patch. 4) Rotate the VALUE DIAL to select the Patch U-004 LA Stack and press the VOLUME KNOB to audition the Patch. 5) Repeat step 4 to audition these additional Patches: U-015 JC Guitar U-021 Euro Piano U-064 String Sect. 2
NOTE: If you wish to use a keyboard to trigger Patches, set it to transmit on MIDI channel 1. Also, pushing in the VALUE DIAL while rotating it will change Patches in increments of 10.
Selecting Multi-Effects When it comes to effects, the SC-880 has it all. Reverb, Chorus, Delay and EQ as well as 64 different Multi-Effects. Use the following procedure to select a Multi-Effect: 1) Press PATCH. Press the PART < button to select Part A01. 2) Use the VALUE DIAL to select U-019 Fantasia. 3) Press M-FX. 4) Use the VALUE DIAL to select P-00 Thru and press the VOLUME KNOB to audition the Patch with no effects. 5) Use the VALUE DIAL to select P-07 Phaser and press the VOLUME KNOB to audition the Patch with this effect. 6) Repeat step 3 to audition other effects 7) Press EXIT when you are finished. 8) If you wish to save the current settings for this Patch press WRITE and use the VALUE DIAL to select a destination, then press ENTER twice. ROLAND SOUND CANVAS AND GS FORMAT When two of the worlds leading computer manufacturers decide to improve and enhance their sound technology, who do they turn to? Roland, of course. In an agreement which will serve to enhance the quality and compatibility of multimedia audio development, Roland Corporation has licensed its Sound Canvas sound set and GS Format to Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Apple will be including this technology in Quicktime 3.0 while Microsoft will be incorporating it into the Microsoft Network (MSN), DirectMusic Architecture, ActiveX and numerous desktop products to be released in the coming months. A world leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of electronic musical instruments, Roland introduced the worlds first General MIDI/GS Formatcompatible sound module in 1991 with its SC-55 Sound Canvas. *All Trademarks are property of their respective owners
NOTE: If you wish to use a keyboard to trigger these sounds, set it to transmit on MIDI channel 1.
Selecting Rhythm Kits Use the following procedure to select a Rhythm Kit: 1) Press PERFORMANCE followed by TONE. 2) Press the PART > button repeatedly so that A10 is displayed next to Part. 3) Use the VALUE DIAL to select the desired Rhythm Kit. 4) Press the VOLUME KNOB to audition the kit with Phrase Preview.
NOTE: If you wish to use a keyboard to trigger Rhythm Kits, set it to transmit on MIDI channel 10.



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