How to add support for my Hardware expander ?

I noticed that on MIDI tracks there’s a choice for a MIDI device, and below there’s a second drop down menu (but I didn’t figured out yet : what is it used for exactly ?).
I assume it’s purpose is to make it easier to program “Patch changes” more easily, and that these list are based on some mapping data (preset name per device mapped with program change codes, or something like that).
First question : am I right ?

If I am, I would like to add support for my Roland Integra 7 expander which is not in the list, so I could more easily insert patch change in my MIDI tracks and save it with the project, so I wouldn’t need to recall the patches manually on the device when I re-open a previously saved project.

  • What information/tech specs about my expander do I need exactly ? What does it looks like ?
  • Where in Ardour can I add it ? Is there some config files ? What format ?
  • Is there an Ardour documentation for that ?

Of course, if I can do it and if it works fine, I would then share it to the community for other Ardour+Integra users.

You shoud search the web for a midnam file for Roland integra 7. It’s possible it already exist because protools uses the format also.
If it exist, download it. Than you have to validate it to make sure it will work.(i have no idea where you can find the validation file unless you compiled the source, then it’s you can find it in the source with a directory name patchfiles. There’s a readme file that explains how validate(easy))

Make a midnam file for the Integra7. It’s not that difficult. It’s well documentated and you can also look into the existing midnam files how they are made. (you will also have to validate, to make sure it doesn’t have errors).

Installation happens in a directory called patchfiles

/usr/share/ardour3/patchfiles/ or /usr/share/ardour3/patchfiles/ or /opt//patchfiles (i think)
Depends on how you installed it.

Maybe it’s also possible to install it in your home directory. But i don’t know where.

Thank you for your answer,
unfortunately, I can’t find any midnam file available for the Integra, so I guess I’m gonna have to make it … I found some .ins files (for SONAR) on Roland’s website :
It looks like some kind of CSV data file, I could easily write a little script that convert it to XML such as MIDNAM, but I don’t really know what to do with this data : what does it means ? And what to do with it ? What must be the final result … what is the mapping between .ins to midnam (I’m trying to figure it out, but I’m kind of lost).
I’m gonna try to do it anyway, and we’ll see if it works and what is the result.
If I manage to produce something that actually works and is usefull, I will post it here.

But if someone could explain me a little bit how .ins and midnam format are structured and what effect it has in Ardour and in the expander, I could sure use a little help :wink:

.ins files are proprietary to Sonar. You may or may not have any luck getting documentation on that. MIDNAM is relatively well documented online - use a search engine and/or just read the many, many examples shipped with Ardour to get an overview.

It looks harder than what I thought : I just dont’t know what the hell all this data is supposed to mean in either midnam or .ins files … and I can’t find a proper documentation that would explain it with actual words.

Please, help me !

I’m not asking anyone to write the file for me, I’m just begging for some explaination, or even a good link explaining midnam format.

“MIDNAM is relatively well documented online”
=> I found the DTD easily, but I just don’t understand what the tags refer to. Do you have any link such as a “midnam for dummies” guide ?

“just read the many, many examples shipped with Ardour to get an overview.”
=> That’s actually what I’m trying to do right now, but I don’t know the devices these files are made for, so my mind can’t link this data with something known that I could identify …

Sorry for being such an idiot, I’m new to MIDI and MIDI devices, and it’s hard for me to just understand what is the difference between a “patch”, a “bank”, a “preset”, a “tone”, a “patchlist”, a “patchbank”, a …

This is very frustrating cause I’m used to manipulate XML almost everyday at may work, so once I understand what is meaning of the data I’m dealing with, and what the midnam tags refer to, I’m sure it will be much easier :s

OK, so here’s today’s update :
I’m starting to understand things a little better, but there’s a lot of things that I still don’t get … however, I did managed to write a very basic midnam sample file that allows to choose from Ardour a sound among a list of 50 (among the Integra’s 6000+ sounds).
And IT WORKS !!! :slight_smile:
I will post it here tonight as an exemple.

Next step is to write a script to convert all the .ins data I can understand into some midnam data. That should produce a file that allows to find all of the presets sounds, but probably in the best way possible.

Then we’ll see later what’s next …

Here is my first try :
For now, it allows to use the 50 first sounds from the “SuperNatural Accoustic Tones” bank, and it seems to work pretty well.
If would be nice if someone can check it out and tell me if it looks OK.

A far more complete file will come soon :wink:

File updated.
Still hosted as the same URL as above :
It now references all the “Preset Tones” (SuperNatural and PCM) of the Integra.
It stll needs some work to at least add the drumkits, though.
If there are some other Ardour+Integra-7 users here finding this useful (or not), I would love to get some feedback :wink:

here is also Midnam files for Roland integra-7 (and also Roland FP7-F) with every instruments included (i hope),
that i took from the pdf file of Roland.

I didn’t found any documentation about format of midnam files, so i copied/pasted from some examples, guessing it is correct?