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C16 User Targets

MIDI controlC16 product description
Will the C16 work with such and such?

ready-made C16 User Targets — free downloads
C16 Editor program for Windows® — free download
C16 Editor program for Macintosh® — free download

Extended device support with the C16 User Targets

Even if C16 doesn't support a synth within its presets, Targets 98 and 99 can be set up to generate most message types, including Controllers, NRPNs and various SysEx formats. This programming can be done by inserting C16 SysEx messages into a sequencers event list editor or be done far less painfully with our Windows 95 C16-Editor. First check our list of reloadables as these may already have that synth listed, but otherwise you'll need to set up Targets 98 and 99.

Before doing this, first consult the synth's MIDI spec.

One possibility is it allows its filter's, LFO's, or envelope's parameters to be assigned a Controller number, in which case designating Controllers 16 to 31 shouldn't cause any problems, and then simply use C16 preset Targets 12 to 15.

If Controllers are fixed, other Targets on C16 (20 to 27) can used to access them but if their are numbers are spread out, this may not be convenient, so Targets 98 and 99 could be set up to send the most convenient Controller from any slider.

Failing both of these ideas, check if the the synth can use a system of SysEx often called 'parameter change' or 'parameter edit', or something very similar. This is needed, as we wish to edit a single parameter at a time as opposed to doing a 'bulk edit' — Most synths do, but not all, and that synths age isn't always a clue as it can be with Controllers and NRPNs.

If a synth supports SysEx parameter changes, its manual should describe a relevant SysEx header. The first element of the header is the SysEx status byte, 'F0H'. This is followed by the manufacturers ID, consisting of one or three data byte. The next element is usually a product ID, which specifies the model of the synth. After that you may find further header bytes (often, one these says ”this is a parameter edit message”). After the header, you will usually find an 'address' — one or more bytes which are the parameter identifiers or 'parameter number'. The payload of the message usually comes next, in the form of a 'data' or 'parameter value' element. In our context, the data value will always be derived from the position of the appropriate C16 slider along its travel. Finally, the SysEx message should be terminated by an End Of eXclusive status byte, 'F7H'.

In summary, and as a rough rule — if you have the choice, use Controllers for real-time dynamic control; if Controllers are not available, then the next preference is to use NRPNs; failing that you'll have to opt for SysEx. SysEx is harder for sequencers to handle; it can also be more confusing for the user, and few manuals give detailed guidance, beyond just lists of parameters.

There are more details on programming C16 in its User's Guide, and in the online-Help system within the C16 Editor program. The C16 has its own System Exclusive format for programming its User Targets.

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