1. How do I determine
what version of the software I have?
The version is indicated at power up. Also, by holding
the left arrow and up arrow buttons at power up, the version
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2. What is the difference between
the original PC 1600 and the PC 1600x?
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- Expanded SysEx Control
- Checksum-- Now it is possible to designate a byte
as "cs" for checksum calculations.
- Global Channel Bytes-- Many MIDI products use SysEx
messages that include a MIDI channel and/or device
ID. This is, of course, handy for differentiating
among multiple units of the same type. Normally, changing
this byte would require editing of each fader/button
individually. Now, a new byte can be a part of the
string that specifies the global MIDI setting or global
device ID. By simply changing the global setting,
all messages are changed.
- Improved SysEx Transfers-- New MIDI delay parameters
to slow down the MIDI stream if you have a unit that
"chokes" on the data at full speed.
- Expanded Button Facilities
- Send Fader-- This feature provides an easy way to
send specific fader values. When a button is set to
"send fader," it must be pressed to enable
a fader value to be transmitted. Fader movement is
used to select a specific value and the button is
pressed to send it. BTW, continuing to hold the button
down will enable the fader to work as usual.
- Send Scene-- This new button function allows any
scene to be sent from any of the 16 buttons.
- Fader ID-- With a button programmed to "Off/Fader
ID," pressing the button displays the fader name.
- Remote Control-- All 16 buttons can now be triggered
externally via MIDI notes or program change messages.
This is particularly handy for control from a footpedal.
- Note Capture-- This makes it easy to capture clusters
of notes (chords) and assign them to a button.
- Left Arrow(Mute) Button-- When the left arrow button
is pressed, the PC 1600 will not generate any MIDI
- Preset Initialization-- This new utility feature
allows a preset to be returned to an initialized state.
This is handy for programming from "scratch"
or freeing up more dynamically allocated preset memory.
- Enhanced Scene Features
- Preset Identity-- The scene display now indicates
the associated preset number.
- Scene Initialization-- This new scene function allows
an existing scene to be initialized which disassociates
it with any preset.
- Setup String Additions
- Scenes-- A scene can now be assigned to each preset.
Anytime the preset is recalled, the scene will be
- Flexible Bank Select-- Bank Select editing is now
expanded to include MSB or LSB programming.
- New Factory Presets-- New factory presets present
a wide range of applications.
3. Will the PC 1600x work with any
The PC 1600x will work with MIDI devices that respond
to external MIDI messages. Since the PC 1600x is a generic
MIDI device, it can be programmed to work with just about
every MIDI product. Up to 50 presets can be customized
to your setup. By the way, we provide several "example"
presets that represent a variety of devices.
4. How do I re-initialize the PC 1600x?
Will I lose my presets?
With the power off, hold UTILITY and ENTER while turning
the power on. This will restore the factory presets (Yes,
you will lose any presets you created and the factory
presets will be restored).
5. Is the Data Wheel Programmable?
The Data Wheel can be linked to any fader, or the last
moved fader, as well as CV1 or CV2.
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6. What are CHANNEL messages?
Channel messages communicate the following: note off,
note on, poly pressure, control change, program change,
channel pressure, and pitch bend. These messages are typically
two or three bytes in length and are input using hexadecimal
numbers. Examples include (n=MIDI channel):
7. What about System Real Time Messages?
- Note On=9n, x1, x2 (x1=note number, x2=velocity)
- Control Change=Bn, x1, x2 (x1=controller number,
- Program Change=Cn, x1 (x1=program change) (n=MIDI
These one byte messages are used to transmit the following
types of messages:
8. What are System Exclusive messages?
These are MIDI messages designed for specific products.
That is why they are called "exclusive." SysEx
messages start with F0 (SysEx status) and end with F7(
End of Exclusive). SysEx messages can be of any length
and usually consist of the Manufacturer's ID and Device
## followed by the command and data information. SysEx
messages can be used to create patch editors on the PC
1600. For example, to change the filter ##1 cutoff on our
Spectrum Bass module, the following message is required:
F0, 00, 00, 1B, 02, 0D, 00, 08, 00, 21, pr, pr, F7.
NOTE: the pr bytes are the values that are altered by
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9. What about System Common Messages?
Although System Common messages are not used very often
on the PC 1600, they consist of the following messages:
10. What is update mode?
- MIDI Time Code Quarter Frame =F1, x1
- Song Position Pointer=F2, x1, x2
- Song Select=F3, x1
- Tune Request=F6
- End of SysEx=F7
Update mode is used when the PC 1600 is connected BETWEEN
two devices where one device is transmitting continuous
controller (CC) information to the other (data is going
through the PC 1600). Typically, the PC 1600 is used in
this mode to replace the INCOMING data with new data generated
from fader movements. Update works like this: Incoming
CC messages (that match a fader) pass through (from the
PC 1600 MIDI In to its MIDI out) until the fader is moved.
When you move the fader (to edit the data), the value
that the fader transmits matches the last value coming
in (regardless of fader position). This allows seamless
editing of CC messages. A common application is when sequenced
tracks are sent to a sound module for playback. If the
tracks already have MIDI volume (CC 7) information recorded,
the PC 1600 can be used to edit this data seamlessly.
By connecting the unit between the sequencer and the sound
module, updated CC 7 messages can be "punched in"
without worrying about the fader position.
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11. How are the Parameter Formats
Parameter formats determine how the variable "pr"
bytes in a fader string are computed by the PC 1600. The
single byte format is the most basic. It allows for 128
distinct values, usually 0 to 127 (0-7FH in hex). [Remember,
a MIDI data "byte" is essentially only 7 bits,
since the 8th bit can't be set that would make it a MIDI
"status" byte.] When this range isn't large
enough, the data must be represented with more than one
byte (the PC 1600 supports up to 4). After these bytes
are sent to a MIDI device, that device must translate
all the bytes into a single value. There is no industry
standard for this translation, so the PC 1600 is able
to send the data in several formats to support the most
popular translation methods. The choice of parameter format
will tell the PC 1600 three important things:
The number of bytes that make up the data value (1-4).
To determine the proper parameter format for your receiving
device, consult your owner's manual or SysEx documentation.
Remember to make sure that the number of "pr"
bytes in your MIDI string matches the number in the parameter
format. For example, if you choose "2Byte, Nibs,hi->lo,"
you must have at least two "pr" bytes in the
string. If you choose to put more than two in the string,
the 2-byte data value will repeat as necessary. This is
useful if you want to use a single fader to program two
different parameters simultaneously (as long as they have
the same format and range, of course).
The size and weighting of each byte (4-bit binary [Nibs
or nibbleized], 7-bit binary, or 4-bit BCD [binary-coded
The order of numerical significance [high to low, or
low to high].
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12. How do I change presets on the
PC 1600x remotely with MIDI Program Changes?
In its default state, the PC 1600 will echo Program Changes,
but not respond to them. To make it respond, you must
go to the "MAP: Curr Midi map" screen in the
utility menu and switch on one of the three maps (instead
of "Off"). Then the PC 1600 will respond to
Program Changes on its MIDI IN channel ("ChIn"
parameter on the first utility screen) according to the
map. The three maps can be reordered randomly to select
any Preset or Scene with a specific Program Change number,
but from the factory maps 1 & 2 are set normally:
Program Change 0 will choose Preset 0, etc. Map 3 maps
program changes to scene transmissions.
13. What is a scene?
A scene is a "snapshot" of the current fader
positions and values of the messages at the time of the
14. What happens if I save a Scene
from one preset, but send it when I'm on another preset?
Nothing different. When you save a Scene, the PC 1600x
remembers the fader and CV pedal positions from the current
preset. So, when you send a scene, the messages are always
from the preset location from where you saved it, not
from the one you are currently on. Note that any changes
to the source preset will alter the scene since the scene
references a preset location.
15. How do I "fine tune"
large parameters that I'm controlling with faders?
The PC 1600x uses 8-bit A/D converters for its faders
which supply 256 discreet steps for parameter adjustment.
This covers most situations, but sometimes you must edit
larger ranges (e.g. 0 - 1000), and each movement of the
fader results in a value change larger than 1. In these
cases, program the Data Wheel link to "Last Fader"
in the preset you're using. Use the fader to get the parameter
value close to where you need it, then use the Data Wheel
to fine tune the value from there.
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16. How can I learn more about SysEx
& Hexadecimal numbers?
We recommend the "Next MIDI Book" by Katamar
Entertainment. Their phone number is 805-375-7388.
17. Are there any undocumented features?
Yes! It's actually possible to move horizontally (fader
to fader, etc.) when editing. For example, when editing
several faders to transmit continuous controller data,
after setting the MIN and MAX, press EDIT and hold the
button down. Now move the next fader and release the EDIT
button. This takes you directly to the MIN and MAX pages
of the newly selected fader.
18. How are "Note Off" messages
Midi allows Note Off messages to be handled two ways:
1. Using the Note Off command
2. Using a Note On command with a velocity value of 0
The PC 1600x uses method two when assigned to function
"note on/off." However, notes can be created
using the MIDI string function and in this case, either
method could be used.
19. What is a MIDI string?
A MIDI string is a group of hexadecimal messages that
communicate a MIDI message. These include, channel, system
real-time, system exclusive, and system common messages.
20. What messages can the buttons
Mute fader, solo fader, program change, note on/off, MIDI
string (up to 80 bytes), string toggle, string prs/rls,
fader send, scene send, and fader ID.
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21. What messages can the faders transmit?
Continuous controller, master fader, MIDI string (up to
22. What is the "Send Fader"
By programming a button to "Send Fader," fader
movements are muted until the button is pressed. This
allows the user to easily send specific single messages
vs. "Sweeps" of messages. Notice that the display
signifies a "M" in the lower right corner of
the LCD indicating the mute status. When the button is
pressed, the "M" disappears.
23. How are buttons accessed remotely?
This feature is set up in the Utility menu, and allows
the PC 1600x buttons to be activated by external Program
Change or MIDI Note commands. Now, remote MIDI pedals,
for example, can duplicate the button functions.
24. What's up with the note capture
In times past, to program a button to transmit chords,
a hexidecimal MIDI string would have been used. Now, notes
can be captured via the MIDI input and stored for button
activation. To set up this feature, go to the Utility
menu and scroll to the MIDI DevNum/RecChn screen (look
for the note logo). RecChn stands for Record Channel.
Set this parameter accordingly, then move to the button
edit menu. At any of the "String" edit areas,
press the right arrow button to move the cursor to the
edit field. Recording of chords will automatically occur
by any incoming notes. For additional details, check out
the manual's in depth description of this process.
25. What types of Checksum calculations
Roland for now, and possibly more later.
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