Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 6, last updated 6/25/2013
Figure 6.13 Parameter settings in Cakewalk Sonar – input and output channels and patch
It’s possible to call for a patch change by means of the Program Change MIDI message.
This message sends a number to the synthesizer corresponding to the index of the patch to load.
A Program Change message is inserted into track 1 in Figure 6.13. You can see a little box with
p14 in it at the bottom of the track indicating that the synth should be changed to patch 14 at that
point in time. This is interpreted as changing the instrument patch from a piano to tubular bells.
In the setup pictured, we’re just using the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth as opposed to a more
refined synth. For the computer’s built-in synth, the patch number is interpreted according to the
General MIDI standard. The choices of patches in this standard can be seen when you click on
the drop down arrow on the patch parameter, as shown in Figure 6.14. You can see that the
fifteenth patch down the list is tubular bells. (The Program Change message is still 14 because
the numbering starts at 0.)
In a later section in this chapter, we’ll look at other ways that the Program Change
message can be interpreted by a synthesizer.