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How to Use Patch Banks


Why You Should Use Patch Banks

Patch banks are very useful when you need to assign a device with special patches such as drums, voices and performances. They can be one or more several layers of patches that may contain various elements to help you get that sound that you have in your mind.

Using patches, you can mix various instruments and add layers to get a fuller sound. You can also route various patches to separate MIDI channels and then assign them to different layers.

Once you assign the Patch Banks and the Bank Assignments for a device, you'll be able to use them very easily via the Inspector for a MIDI channel routed to the MIDI device. 

For example, almost all devices route the Drums and Drum kits to Channel 10 of the MIDI device. When you create a MIDI track and then set the output to the MIDI device, you will be able to choose from the Drum kits once you select the output channel as 10. 

All the patches will contain Drum kits when you select the tenth channel.

How to Access Patch Banks

Patch banks can be accessed via the MIDI device setup. 

Go to the MIDI Device Manager from the Devices menu. Select the MIDI device and then click on Open Device

In the device’s menu, click on the Patch Banks from the drop down menu on the top. Depending on the device, there will be an option to route the Bank Assignment also. 

A general XG Device will have the Device option, the Patch Banks option and the Bank Assignment option as well.

How to Select a Patch

Create a MIDI track and click on the Output Routing. You'll find that the MIDI device that you created will be available. Select the device and the Patch Banks and Program Selector fields will be set to Off.

Click on the Program Selector field and you'll be presented with a list of presets and banks for your selected device. Click on the + or - signs to open or close groups and sub-groups. 

You can also search or filter the list of patches by clicking on the Filter text box and then typing in the keyword according to your need.

Editing Patches and Banks

Sometimes, you might have to add or edit certain banks to suit your needs. In situations like that, you can easily add or modify existing patches via the setup menu of your device.

Click on the device in the MIDI Device Manager from the Devices menu. Click on Open Device and select Patch Banks from the drop-down menu. Check the Enable Edit checkbox and navigate to the required patch to edit. Double-click on any patch and type in its new name.

If you want to create a new Bank, click on the drop-down menu at the top-left and select Create Bank. This will create a new Bank similar to XG Voices, Drum kits, etc., which are of the highest hierarchical level. They contain the main categories of sound, such as performance, voices and drums.

Each Bank contains a group that can contain many number of presets. To create a sub-group, click on the New Folder option in the drop-down menu in the top-left corner. You'll be presented with a dialog box to type in the name of the sub-group. You can also edit the name by double-clicking on the folder name.

These Banks contain the presets that can be loaded onto the device. They are of the lowest hierarchical order and can be created by selecting the New Preset option. Note that this will add the Preset into the folder or the Bank that you have selected. Change the name of the Preset by double-clicking on the name and type in the new name.

When you select a newly created Preset, you'll find that the MIDI Events for that preset is found in the right-hand side window. By default, a Program Change MIDI message with the value of 0 is created. To edit these values, click on them and choose the values according to the device.

To add a new event click below on the empty area directly below the previous MIDI message and then select the event from the drop-down menu. You can also replace an event by clicking on the name of the event and selecting the new one from the drop-down menu.

If you want to delete an event, click on it and press the Delete key or press the Backspace key. To move a preset from one folder to another, just select the preset and drag it towards the required area.

Patch Banks
Patch Banks

Cubase also provides you with the option to create Multiple Presets. Click on the Add Multiple Preset option from the drop-down menu and type in a new name for the preset.

Click on the MIDI Message Name and change its value to create a new event. You can add a new one by selecting the empty area just below the newly created event. A drop-down menu will be presented with the available events for that preset. 

You can add up to ten events in a Preset. Once you are done creating the Preset, click on OK and the presets will be added in the folder.


Patch Banks are extremely useful when working with various MIDI devices and for setting up various Banks and Assignments for the devices. 

For an efficient and effective workflow, you must always check your device’s documentation for the proper settings that will help it to function in the best way. 

Properly setting up Patch Banks and Devices will help you to create really interesting sounds and tones that will help your projects to sound the best.

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