In this chapter, we're going to take you through the procedure for programming a complete setup — a Master Program.
You may find it easier to set the LN-4 on a stand or table while going through this section.
A Master Program is a complete configuration of the functions of the LN-4. This includes which outputs are enabled, MIDI channels, program change numbers, velocity curves, transpositions, synth levels, keyboard splits and zones, Assignable Wheel assignments, and aftertouch assignments.
There are 64 Master Programs available in memory. The Master Program numbering system is octal based, meaning that it only uses the numbers 1 through 8. The first Master Program is 11; the last, 88. (Users of Korg and Roland equipment will be familiar with this scheme). Don't worry, though, all the other numbering schemes used for programming are decimal based — the familiar 0 through 9.
Master Programs can be selected either with the Increment/Decrement switches, as outlined in the last chapter, or with the eight numbered switches on the faceplate. To select a Master Program with the numbered switches, simply enter the two numbers that comprise the Master Program number by keying the appropriately numbered switches. You'll see the numbers displayed in the Master Program Display. As soon as you enter the second number, the Master Program will be called up and your MIDI system will configure itself according to the settings in the Master Program. Try selecting some Master Program numbers.
Using the numbered switches instead of the Increment/Decrement switches has the advantage that any Master Program can be called up at any time. Using the Increment/Decrement switches means that you must step through the Master Programs sequentially.
You'll notice that if you enter only one number with the numbered switches, the second position in the Master Program Display shows a dash. The Master Program won't change until you enter the second number. This can be useful in performance if you have very little time to change Master Programs. When you have a chance, enter the first number. The original Master Program will still be in effect, and you can continue playing. Then, at the appropriate time, you can select the new Master Program by entering the second number. This lets you change Master Programs with one keystroke.
As you know, the LN-4 has four MIDI outputs. All four outputs carry the exact same information. You can think of one OUTPUT as the main "MIDI OUT" and all the others as "MIDI THRUS". The numbers bear no significance other than for convenience.
Within any Master Program you can choose which outputs are enabled and which are disabled. Each Master Program can have its own arrangement of enabled and disabled outputs. The LN-4 won't send any data from a disabled output.
Now, if you have more than one synth and you've set them up as we suggested in the Introduction, you can choose to mute (or not use) any synth in the setup. We'll show you how this is done.
First, select Master Program 11, which should have all four outputs enabled. An output is enabled when its LED indicator, on one of the first four numbered switches, is lit. Each of the first four numbered switches corresponds to an output. Now press the Output Enable switch so that its LED lights up. You've entered Output Enable Mode.
Press all of the first four numbered switches so that their LEDs go out. Now play the keyboard, and confirm that the outputs are off and no sound is heard. Disabling an output cuts off any MIDI data at the output so that no information is sent to the synth. Re-enable some outputs and confirm that they're on by playing the keyboard.
When you're in Output Enable Mode, the switches numbered 5 through 8 don't do anything. Exit Output Enable Mode by pressing the Output Enable switch again, so that its LED goes out.
You don't, by the way, need to press a secret Write switch or anything like that. Any changes you make in a Master Program are automatically stored in memory.
One good use for the Output Enable feature is to orchestrate your playing. In other words, you could create one Master Program in which four synths are playing together (all four outputs enabled), and create another in which only one synth is playing (one output enabled). Switching back and forth between them would create dramatic changes in density as you play.
Enable as many outputs as you need again before going on.
Creating a Master Program
Now that you know about Master Programs and enabling outputs, it's time to create our own Master Program. We're going to take you through the process of creating a simple Master Program using the Transposition Programming Function, since it's easy to hear the changes as you make them. Follow these instructions as we go along.
Creating a Master Program is a five step process.
1: Choose a Master Program position or number to work in.
Unlike some other programming systems, you always work in an existing Master Program position, rather than creating a Master Program in limbo and then giving it a number or assigning it to a position. We'll continue to work with Master Program 11, unless you'd rather work in a different one. It's up to you, really. Select a different Master Program now, if you like, by pressing the appropriate numbered switches.
2: Choose which outputs will be used and enable them, as described above.
It's a good idea to do this first, as an output must be enabled for you to hear anything from that output. It's frustrating to spend time programming a complex Master Program and then not hear anything. You'll also want to be able to hear the results of your programming as you do it. In this case, enable Outputs 1 and 2 by pressing the Output Enable switch and then pressing the first and second numbered switches, so that their LEDs light up.
3: Enter Programming Mode.
You do this by pressing and holding the Shift switch, located next to the Master Program display. Then you press one of the numbered switches to enter a Programming Function. Notice that the switches used to enter Programming Mode are underlined or outlined with pink.
A Programming Function is where one particular control function, such as Transposition or MIDI Channel, is accessed. There are nine Programming Functions altogether. Once you've pressed one of the Programming Function switches, the Master Program Display will alternately flash between a two-letter abbreviation or symbol, representing the programming function, and the current value of the function.
In this case, enter the Transposition Programming Function by pressing and holding the Shift switch and then pressing the fourth numbered switch, labeled TRANSPOSE. Notice that when you're in Programming Mode, the Shift switch's LED lights up. You'll see the Master Program display flashing between 36 and TR, for Transpose.
(Entering Programming Mode requires you to press and hold the Shift switch while pressing a Programming Function switch. in performance.) This is a safety feature to prevent you from accidently changing a Master Program setup in performance).
4: Set the Programming Function values used in the Master Program.
Once you've entered a Programming Function, the switches labeled with blue are used to change the actual values.
Since each output can have a different Programming Function value, you then must select which output to program. When you first enter any Programming Function from Performance Mode, the LED in the first numbered switch will flash, indicating that Output 1 is selected for programming.
You then set the programming value for that Programming Function for Output 1 by pressing the Up Arrow switch to increase the value or by pressing the Down Arrow switch to decrease the value. When you're in Programming Mode, the Output Enable and Hold switches become the Up Arrow switch and Down Arrow switch, respectively.
(The Up Arrow and Down Arrow switches will scroll quickly through values if you hold them down. The values will "wrap around" when you reach their upper or lower limits).
In this case, let's change the transposition value for Output 1. First play and hold a note on the LN-4, to make sure you can hear something. Still holding the note, increase the transposition value to 37 by pressing the Up Arrow switch once. You won't hear the note change yet. Now release the note and strike the same note again. You should hear it a half-step higher. If you have a synth connected to Output 2, you should hear it still playing at its original transposition.
Now, select Output 2 for programming by pressing the Blue Right Arrow switch so that the LED in the second numbered switch lights up. (Once you've entered a Programming Function, the Shift switch becomes the Blue Right Arrow switch). Pressing the Blue Right Arrow switch steps you over to Output 2, and lets you set the programming value for the second output. (The blue arrow points to the right because you can only step through the outputs from left to right. The output selection "wraps around" to Output 1 when you step past Output 4).
Change the transposition value for Output 2 to 37 also. If you have two synths connected, you should hear both of them in unison again when you play a note.
Remember, at this point you're still in the Programming Function you originally selected, in this case Transposition. So, first you set the transposition value for Output 1, and then you set the transposition value for Output 2. You could continue this process for the remaining outputs.
Before going on, reselect Output 1 and set its transposition value to 36, and do the same for Output 2. We'll talk more about Transposition later on.
Now that you've set your transposition values, you could open a new Programming Function by pressing and holding the Shift switch and pressing a new Programming Function switch. The Master Program Display will flash between a new abbreviation and a new value. You then could repeat the process of selecting outputs and setting their programming values. We won't do that now.
Note that when you first enter Programming Mode, Output 1 is automatically selected for programming, even if you've disabled Output 1 with the Output Enable function. If you stay in Programming Mode and open a new Programming Function, the output you last worked on will still be selected for programming. You should immediately step past any outputs you're not using, to save time.
5: Exit Programming Mode.
The final step in the programming process is to leave Programming Mode by pressing the Exit switch (switch number 8). Once you do, you'll be back in Performance Mode and you'll have a complete Master Program stored in memory and ready to be used. Any changes you make in a Master Program will be saved when you exit Programming Mode.
Now we'll show you what each Programming Function does and how to use it.
Setting MIDI Channels
The first Programming Function we're going to enter is the MIDI Channel Programming Function. Open it now by holding the Shift switch and pressing the switch labeled MIDI CH. You'll see the Master Program display flashing between the MIDI Channel abbreviation, Ch, and its current value. The abbreviation is shown below.
If you're still in Master Program 11, the display should read 1, for MIDI Channel 1. Notice also that the LED in the first numbered switch is flashing, indicating that you're programming Output 1, and that Output 1 is currently set to MIDI Channel 1.
This is an important concept. Be aware of which output you're programming. When you first enter Programming Mode, Output 1 is selected for programming. When you open a new Programming Function, the last output you worked on will still be selected for programming. When you're in Programming Mode, one of the first four numbered switch's LEDs will be flashing, indicating which output you're programming. Always select the output you want to program before changing values.
Now let's change the MIDI Channel value. If you have one synth connected to the Power Module's first output, change Output 1's MIDI Channel number to 2, say, by pressing the Up Arrow switch (the Output Enable switch) once. The display will read 2.
Set your synth to MIDI Channel 1, Poly mode, if it isn't already, and play the LN-4 You'll hear nothing, because you're sending on Channel 2 and receiving on Channel 1.
Amazing. What good is that, you might ask? In and of itself, not much.
However, there is another interesting thing you can do with the Output MIDI Channel assignments. Following the steps above, reset Output l's MIDI Channel to 1. Press the Blue Right Arrow switch (the Shift switch) twice, so that you're programming Output 3. The LED in the third numbered switch should be flashing. Set it to MIDI Channel 1 also. Exit Programming Mode by pressing the Exit switch.
Now, enable Outputs 1 and 3 by pressing the Output Enable switch, so that its LED lights up, and pressing the first and third numbered switches, so that their LEDs light up. Now play on the LN-4. You'll be sending two Note Ons to your synth, so that whatever you play will be doubled at the octave and you'll have a "fatter" sound.
The reason this is happening is that Output 1 and Output 3 carry the same information. Whatever is sent from Output 1 is also sent from Output 3, and vice versa. So when both outputs are set to the same MIDI channel, each output from the LN-4 sends one Note On, on MIDI Channel 1. The synth is listening to MIDI Channel 1, and receives both Note Ons, so it plays two notes.
You can do some fun things with this idea. We'll talk about them further when we discuss transposing outputs.
The real value of the MIDI Channel Programming Function becomes obvious when you have more than one synth. If you do, you'll want to make sure that each synth is set to its own MIDI channel, and that each synth is in Poly mode, as discussed in Chapter 1. Now, one basic setup, using up to four synths, is to have each output sending on a different MIDI channel, each synth connected to a different output, and to enable and disable outputs to use the different synths as needed.
If you have more than four synths, up to 16, you can daisy-chain them as mentioned in the Setting Up chapter. Each synth can be set to a different MIDI channel in Poly mode and you can play up to four different synths at once. If you want to play more than four at once, some would have to be set to the same channels. In that case, though, synths set to the same channel would always play together.
If you have more than 16 synths, up to 32, it is possible to control all of them from the LN-4. This setup takes advantage of the LN-4's parallel outputs. To use 32 synths, you would need to divide them into two groups of 16 each. Think of them as the A group and the B group.
Each group would then be divided in to two groups of 8. The first group of eight would be set to MIDI Channels 1-8, and connected by daisy-chaining to the first output. The second group of eight would be set to MIDI Channels 9-16 and connected to the third output. Now you have a group of 16 synths, each set to its own MIDI channel, running off Outputs 1 and 3. Since Outputs 1 and 3 carry the same information, we can think of them as a single chain of 16 synths.
Next, the third group of eight synths would be set to MIDI Channels 1-8 and connected to the second output, and the last group set to MIDI Channels 9-16 and connected to the fourth output. All the synths would be in Poly mode, of course.
Setting Program Numbers
The next Programming Function to look at is a very powerful layering tool: The Program Number Programming Function. This is where you set Program Change numbers to be sent to your synths when you select a Master Program — the Four Channel MIDI Patcher.
If you've changed Master Programs up to now, your synths have been changing their programs accordingly. In other words, an unmodified Master Program, when selected, sends a Program Change message that corresponds to the number of the Master Program. If you have synths that number their programs in an octal base (starting at 11 and going up to 88), the Master Program numbers and the synth programs have corresponded exactly. If your synths use the more common decimal base program numbering system (starting with 0 or 1), the program numbers haven't matched up, but have changed sequentially.
But suppose you don't want to select sequential program changes? Suppose you want to create a Master Program that selects Program 1 on your first synth, Program 24 on the second synth, and Program 95 on the third, and have them all change together? It's easy, actually.
Open the Program Number Programming Function by holding the Shift switch and pressing the switch labeled PGM NO. The Master Program Display will alternate between the Program Number abbreviation, Pr, as shown below, and its current value.
Make sure Output 1 is selected for programming using the blue right arrow. Now click or hold one of the Up Arrow or Down Arrow switches to change program numbers, either in steps or by scrolling. The synth listening to Output 1 should change its program when you release the switch. Some synths will scroll their programs along with you as hold the switch; others won't change until you release the switch.
IMPORTANT! Whenever you call up a Master Program, the LYNC transmits up to four MIDI program change commands, then up to four MIDI volume commands. Output 1 goes out first, then Output 2, then 3, then 4. What would happen if all four outputs were set to the same MIDI channel? The receiving synth would receive and recognize four program change commands in immediate succession. The synth would rapidly change programs four times, ending up on Output 4's program number (because that was the last one received). So if you tried to store different program numbers in Outputs 1, 2 or 3, nothing would happen; your synth would always end up on Output 4's program number. In this case, you would store the desired program number in Output 4. So be careful whenever you assign two or more Outputs to the same MIDI channel because the higher numbered Output will always win. The same holds true for volume commands.
You may have noticed that when you scroll the Program Number value above 99, the next highest value is something strange which reads A0. The Program Number values actually go up to 128, but since our Master Program Display can only show two digits, we've come up with an extended numbering system to display all 128 values. The chart below gives you all the extended values and their decimal equivalents. Extended values are on the left sides of the columns and actual values are on the right sides.
[Image: Numbering Scheme]
Note also that if you scroll above C8 or below 1, you see two dashes in the Master Program Display. This indicates that no program change will be sent from the Master Program you're working in to the output you're working on when you select that Master Program. This is so you can keep one synth's program the same while changing others. You could just set the program number to the same value as the previous Master Program, but some synths, such as Yamaha's, interpret a program change message as an All Notes Off message, and will cut off any sustaining notes.
While we're at it, here's another chart showing the octal equivalents for the first 64 Program Number values, for all you octal-holies out there.
[Image: Program Number Table]
Now we'll assume that you've set Output 1 in Master Program 11 so that the synth listening to Output 1 is playing a sound you like. Exit Programming Mode by pressing the Exit switch and select Master Program 12. Make sure that Output 1 is enabled in Master Program 12.
Re-enter Programming Mode by holding the Shift switch and pressing the PGM NO switch again. Now set a different Program Number for Output 1. Make sure that Output 1's MIDI Channel is set to the same value as in Master Program 11. Exit Programming Mode again.
Now we have two Master Programs, each with a different Program Number set for Output 1. Play the keyboard and switch between the two Master Programs with the Increment/Decrement switches in the left- hand controls. You should switch smoothly between the two different synth programs while all other LN-4 values stay the same.
If you have more than one synth, enable their outputs and follow the same procedures outlined above. Set a different Program Number for each synth in both Master Programs. You'll be creating layered synth textures, so choose sounds that go well together. Exit Programming Mode and play while switching between the two Master Programs. The LN-4 functions as a Master MIDI patcher when using more than one synth in this way.
Setting Velocity Response
If you read through the Intro to MIDI section, you'll remember that MIDI instruments use velocity, or the speed with which a key is depressed, to respond dynamically to your playing. Or maybe you already knew this. Not all people have the same way of playing a keyboard, however. Some pound on it, others play lightly. The LN-4 can accommodate all those different playing styles. In addition, there are a lot of creative things you can do with different velocity responses.
There are eight different velocity curves to choose from. Each output can have its own separate velocity curve. Here's a list of the different curves and a somewhat subjective description of what each "feels" like. You should realize that choosing a different velocity curve doesn't physically change the keyboard feel. It just changes the way the LN-4 interprets the velocities you produce when playing.
Curve 1. — Constant velocity. The LN-4 produces a constant MIDI velocity value of 64, no matter how hard or soft you play. This gives you a response similar to an electric organ.
Curve 2. — "Soft" DX-7 feel. This curve is similar to a DX-7 keyboard response, except that all MIDI velocity values produced when you play are shifted down by a factor of 20. The values range from 1 to 95.
Curve 3. — Normal DX-7 feel. This velocity curve gives you the same keyboard response as a DX-7 keyboard. DX-7 keyboards produce MIDI velocity values from a minimum of 21 to a maximum of 115 only. Use this curve for compatibility with your DX patches.
Curve 4. — "Hard" DX-7 feel. Again, this is similar to a DX keyboard, but with a wider range of MIDI velocity values, from 21 to 127.
Curve 5. — 'Soft" piano feel. The MIDI velocity values here range from 1 to 121.
Curve 6. — Normal piano feel. This curve produces a full range of MIDI velocity values, from 1 to 127.
Curve 7. — Hard piano feel. The values produced in this curve range from 21 to 127.
Curve 8. — Inverted velocity response. The harder you play, the lower the velocity value produced. This is useful for velocity cross-fade effects, which we'll discuss in the Creative Applications chapter. The values here range from 99 to 8.
You can refer to Appendix A to see these curves in graphic form.
Okay, let's try some different velocity curves. First, disable all outputs except Output 1, for clarity's sake. Choose a velocity-sensitive sound on the Output 1 synth.
Then open the Velocity Programming Function by holding the Shift switch and pressing the switch labeled, of all things, Velocity. The Master Program Display will alternate between a value, probably 4, and the abbreviation for velocity, which sort of looks like VE:
Select Output 1 for programming and set the Velocity value to 1. Play the keyboard and notice that no matter how hard or soft you play, the synth plays at the same level.
Now choose a velocity-sensitive sound that is one of your favorites — something you use a lot and are very familiar with. Then run through all the other velocity curves while playing to hear how the sound responds to them. Find the curve that gives you the most control over the sound in your playing style.
After that, enable the other synths, select some favorite sounds, and try them with different velocity curves. You'll probably notice that different sounds and different synths seem to respond better to different curves. Since everyone has a different touch, we won't suggest that you choose some particular curve over another. That is strictly a personal decision.
Using different velocity curves on different outputs can be useful for balancing louder or stronger sounds against weaker ones. Check the Creative Applications chapter for some other ideas.
Before moving on, you should decide if you want to keep working in Master Program 11. If you've created some settings you like, you might want to save them by working in another Master Program for the rest of this tutorial.
The LN-4 allows you to selectively transpose each of its outputs over the entire range of MIDI Note Numbers, from 0 to 127. When you take it out of its box, Outputs 1 and 2 in each Master Program are set to a Transposition value of 36, and Outputs 3 and 4 are set to a value of 48. What this means is that playing the lowest note on the keyboard, the bottom C, will send out a MIDI Note Number of 36 from Outputs 1 and 2. A Note Number of 36 corresponds to C1, by the way (C1 is two octaves below middle C. Note Number 60 is middle C, C3). Let's try setting up some transpositions.
If you have one synth, enable Outputs 1 and 3. Then enter the MIDI Channel Programming Function and set Outputs 1 and 3 to the MIDI channel your synth is listening to. That way, you'll be able to hear two notes when you play and the transposition effect will be clearer.
If you have more than one synth, enable the first two outputs only. Go into the MIDI Channel Programming Function and set each output to the appropriate MIDI channel, if they aren't already.
In either case, now open the Transposition Programming Function by holding the Shift switch and pressing the switch labeled Transpose. You'll see the Master Program Display flashing between a value and its stylized rendition of Tr, for Transposition, as shown below.
If the Display for Output 1 reads 36, leave it set to that. If it doesn't, use the Up Arrow/Down Arrow switches to set it to 36. Now select the other output you're using for programming with the Blue Right Arrow switch and set its Transposition value to 43. An increase of one unit means transposition up by a semitone. The difference between 36 and 43 is 7, which is 7 semitones or a perfect fifth. This means that the lowest note on the keyboard for your second output is a perfect fifth above the lowest note for your first output. Now play the keyboard. You should hear either two notes a fifth apart from your single synth or your two synths playing a fifth apart. You've transposed the second output relative to the first.
Now set the second output's value to 48. You'll have parallel octaves when you play.
You'll notice as you get into the higher transposition ranges that the extended numbering system is applied. Refer back to the chart on Page 26 to help remind you of the values.
Of course, even if you're only using one output, Transposition can be useful. Try transposing the output up an octave, to access the higher notes of your synth. Or transpose down an octave or two to put a bass line in an easier range to play. Or transpose a part you need to play from a difficult key to an easier key.
With more than one synth, try transposing each to a different chord tone and playing parallel chord lines.
It's probably a good idea to keep a Master Program handy that doesn't have any transpositions set, just to avoid confusion about what key you're actually in.
Setting the Levels of your Synths
Remember in the last chapter, when we talked about MIDI Volume in connection with the Volume knob? The Volume knob functions as a master volume for your synths, provided they can respond to MIDI Volume messages. In addition to the master volume function, the LN-4 lets you set a MIDI Volume for each individual output as well. You do this in the Attenuation Programming Function.
The first thing to do is make sure your synths respond to MIDI Volume. If you've already tried using the Volume knob, you should know which ones will and which ones wont respond to MIDI Volume. As we mentioned earlier, some synths are pre-set to apply MIDI Controller #7 (MIDI Volume) to level. Others need to be configured that way. Yet others don't respond to MIDI Volume at all. Determine which ones will respond to MIDI Volume. For the purposes of this section, let's use just those.
If you're using only one synth and it doesn't respond to MIDI Volume, or your multiple synths don't respond to MIDI Volume, you might as well go out for pizza while we're working through this part.
Okay, we'll assume that you've enabled outputs for just those synths that accept MIDI Volume messages. Open the Attenuation Programming Function by holding the Shift switch (do we need to keep telling you this by now?) and pressing the switch labeled ATTEN. You'll see the familiar flashing display alternating between a value in the extended numbering system and something which attempts to spell AT:
Now, it's important to realize that you can only attenuate (decrease the volume of) a synth output. You can't amplify or otherwise increase its volume. Every time you select a Master Program, the program changes set in the Master Program are sent first and then the Attenuation values, which are actually MIDI Volume messages. To have a synth play at its fullest volume, you need to send it the highest possible MIDI Volume message, which is a value of 127. A MIDI Volume message of a lower value will cause the synth to play at a correspondingly lower level. The default value for the Attenuation function is C7 (127), the highest value, which represents no attenuation.
The whole purpose of the Attenuation function is to balance two or more synths against each other, or two balance the levels of two different patches in the same synth. If you have two synths, choose a loud sound on one, such as a brass sound, and a soft sound on the other, such as a flute sound. If you have one synth, take a minute to set up two Master Programs which select a loud sound and a soft sound as just mentioned.
Now use the Attenuation function to balance the two sounds. If you're using two synths, set a lower Attenuation value for the output going to the loud sound. You might have to try several different values to get one that balances the two sounds. If you're using one synth, you'll have to switch in and out of Programming Mode to change Master Programs. The idea is to set the Attenuation value for the loud sound so that when you switch between the two Master Programs, you don't hear a radical volume change.
That's how it works. Use Attenuation to balance levels within a MIDI stack, or balance patches in one synth.
As a final note, using the Volume knob in conjunction with the Attenuation function is perfectly acceptable. The Volume knob functions as a master volume control for all outputs. If you use the Volume knob in performance, the relative levels set with the Attenuation function will be maintained, and all outputs will change volume proportionately. Whenever you change any Attenuation Function value, the Volume knob control function automatically resets itself to full volume, regardless of the position of the knob. This lets you hear the effect of attenuation changes without "interference" from the Volume knob.
Setting Keyboard Splits and Zones
Let's choose a new Master Program to work with before going on, 21, for instance. Enable outputs for as many synths as you have available because we'll use them all in this section.
Setting a keyboard zone involves opening two different Programming Functions in succession: the Low Limit Programming Function and the High Limit Programming Function. Each output can cover the entire keyboard, as they have until now, or be limited to any range or zone within the keyboard. The LN-4 lets you create up to four different zones, one for each output, which can be separate from each other, overlap each other, or be inverted.
Open the Low Limit Programming Function by holding the Shift switch (blah, blah, blah) and pressing the switch labeled LO LIMIT. You'll see the Display alternating between a note value and Lo.
The note values are displayed as a note name (C, d, etc) followed by an octave (0,1, etc). CO is the lowest note on the keyboard. C4 is the highest note on the keyboard. Sharps are indicated by a period after the note name. C.3 means C#3; d.0 means D#0. Notes are only expressed as naturals or sharps. No flats.
The Low Limit Programming Function lets you set the lowest key in the zone for the selected output. Once the Low Limit has been set for that output, playing a key below the lower limit will not send a Note On from the output.
You can use the Up Arrow/Down Arrow switches to set the Low Limit value, but there's an easier and much more intuitive way. Just play the key that will be your zone's lower limit. Now that you're in the Low Limit Programming Function, play any note on the keyboard and you'll see it displayed in the Master Program Display.
Note that you can increase the Low Limit value above C4 with the Up Arrow/Down Arrow keys. We’ll show you a good use for this in our Creative Applications chapter.
For now, set Output l's lower limit to CO by playing the lowest note on the keyboard. Now go directly into the High Limit Programming Funcuon by holding the Shift switch and pressing the switch labeled HI LIMIT. The display says Hi!
Set Output 1's upper limit to C1 by playing the second C from the left on the keyboard. Exit Programming Mode.
Disable all the outputs except Output 1 and play the keyboard. You should only hear notes from your Output 1 synth when you play in the lowest octave. Enable your other outputs again, and re-enter the Low Limit Programming Function.
Following the procedure above, set a zone for Output 2 from C1 to C2 (Low Limit C1, High Limit C2). Then set a zone for Output 3 from C2 to C3 (Low Limit C2, High Limit C3). Finally, set a zone for Output 4 from C3 to C4 (Low Limit C3, High Limit C4).
If you play the keyboard now, you should hear each synth only in its assigned octave, with one note overlapping. A zone includes all notes between and including the notes that set the Low and High Limits. Here's a diagram of your zone layout.
Of course, the zones can be arranged in any number of ways. Reassign the zone for Output 3 so that it extends from C2 to C4 (Low Limit C2, High Limit C4).
[Image: Zone-Layout 2]
Now if you play the keyboard, you'll hear how the synth on Output 3 has its notes doubled in its second octave by notes from the synth on Output 4. Set a transposition, such as an octave higher, for Output 4 and the doubling will be an octave higher.
Another interesting effect can be obtained with inverted zones. Setting an output with an inverted zone means that only keys played outside the zone limits will send Note On messages. Keys played inside the zone limits will not send Note On messages.
Disable Outputs 3 and 4. Leave Output 2 set to a zone from C1 to C2. Select Output 1 for programming. Set its lower limit value to C#2 (Low Limit C.2). Set its upper limit value to B0 (High Limit B0). You’ll notice that the Low Limit value is higher that the High Limit value. Setting the Low Limit above the High Limit creates an inverted zone — a zone where only notes outside and including the limits are played. Here’s a diagram.
[Image: Zone-Layout 3]
Play the keyboard, and notice that the notes from CO to BO are played by the synth on Output 1, notes from C1 to C2 are played by the synth on Output 2, and notes from C#2 on up are played by the synth on Output 1 again.
As you can imagine, it's possible with the overlapping of zones and inverted zones to create quite complicated keyboard splits.
To reiterate: If the High Limit is set above the Low Limit for an output, all notes between and including the limits will be sent to the output. If the High Limit is set below the Low Limit, all notes outside of and including the limits will be sent to the output. If the High Limit is set to the same note as the Low Limit, only that note will be sent to the output. You'll have a zone of one note.
Assigning a MIDI Controller to the Assignable Wheel
The next Programming Function to consider is the Controller Assignment Programming Function. This Programming Function lets you set the MIDI Controller number for the Assignable Controller wheel — the wheel next to the Pitch Bend wheel. In the previous chapter, we called this the Mod wheel. Its default setting is in fact assigned to control modulation amount, but it actually can be assigned to any MIDI Continuous Controller or MIDI Switch Controller. What this means is that you can use the Assignable wheel to control modulation amount, volume, breath control, panning, sustain, or any one of dozens of other functions.
Each MIDI Continuous and Switch Controller has a unique I.D. number. Here's a list of some ot the most important ones.
Continuous Controller Numbers
#1. Modulation amount
#2. Breath controller
#4. Foot controller
#5. Portamento time
#6. Data entry
#7. Main volume
#8. Balance control
#10. Pan control
#11. Expression controller
#16-19 General purpose controllers
Switch Controller Numbers
#64. Sustain on/off
#65. Portamento on/off
#66. Sostenuto on/off
#67. Soft pedal on/off
#69. Hold 2 on/off
#91. Effects depth
#92. Tremolo depth
#93. Chorus depth
#94. Detune depth
#95. Phaser depth
#96. Data increment
#97. Data decrement
As with the Volume knob and Attenuation function, your synths must be able to recognize these controller messages. It's the same old story. Some synths are permanently set to respond to all of these messages; some will respond to some of these messages; some need to be especially configured to respond; some won’t respond at all. Check your MIDI Implementation Chart. It should tell you what's what.
Let's experiment. Enable Output 1 only. Open the Controller Assignment Programming Function by holding the Shift switch and pressing the eighth numbered switch, labeled CONTROLLER. The Display will flash between a value and Co.
Set the Controller value to 64, the number of the Sustain On/Off Switch Controller. Play some notes and rotate the Assignable wheel. If all goes well, you should hear the notes sustain as if you had stepped on a sustain pedal.
Now set the Controller value to 7, MIDI Volume. Play while rotating the Assignable wheel and you should get volume changes as you play. You can use this controller assignment like a swell pedal with organ patches.
Try some of the other controller assignments from the lists above and see what happens. Remember, each Master Program can have four different controller assignments.
The last Programming Function to consider is the Aftertouch Programming Function.
Aftertouch is a MIDI message produced by certain MIDI keyboards when you further depress a key at the bottom of its travel after you've played it. In other words, you push a key all the way down, and press "into" the key when you hit bottom. This pressure is translated into a MIDI message used to control parameters in a MIDI synth. Properly used, it's a powerful, expressive technique.
Aftertouch comes in two flavors: Monophonic Aftertouch, also called Channel Pressure or monotouch, and Polyphonic Aftertouch, also called Key Pressure or polytouch. Usually, the generic "aftertouch" refers to monophonic aftertouch, as very few synths receive or transmit polyphonic aftertouch at this time.
Monophonic aftertouch produces information that affects every note on a MIDI channel, so that applying pressure to one key affects all the notes you're playing. Polyphonic aftertouch affects only the note to which it is applied, so that applying pressure to a key will cause only that note to change.
The LN-4 can output monophonic aftertouch information and assign that information to either MIDI Channel Pressure (mono aftertouch, which has its own MIDI message), or to any MIDI Continuous or Switch Controller, just like the Assignable Controller.
As with many MIDI messages, some synths can receive aftertouch and apply it to various parameters, some synths need to be enabled to receive aftertouch, and some synths don't receive aftertouch at all. Check the MIDI Implementation Chart for the synth in question.
For now, let's assume that you have one synth that can receive aftertouch. Connect that synth to Output 1, and select a program that responds to aftertouch. Enable Output 1 only on the LN-4 for the Master Program in which you're working. Open the Aftertouch Programming Function by holding the Shift switch and pressing the Output Enable switch. The Display will flash between an aftertouch value and AF.
Select different aftertouch assignment values with the Up and Down Arrow switches. The lowest value is two dashes, indicating that aftertouch is disabled.
When aftertouch is disabled for an output, no information is sent from the output when you apply pressure to the keys.
The next highest value is On. When you set aftertouch to On for an output, applying pressure to a key or keys will send a MIDI Channel Pressure (monophonic aftertouch) message from that output. Set the output to On.
Play some notes and hold them down. Apply pressure to the keys, and listen to the results. If your synth is set to a program that responds to aftertouch, you should hear some change in the sound. Typically, the sound will get brighter or louder. If you don't hear a change, try a different program. Make sure, of course, that the synth is enabled to receive aftertouch.
Even if your synth can't receive aftertouch, you can still use the LN-4's aftertouch feature. This is because you can assign the aftertouch information to any MIDI continuous or switch controller, just as you can assign the Assignable Wheel to any controller number.
Set the aftertouch value to 1, Modulation Amount, using the Up and Down Arrow switches. Now if you apply pressure to some held notes, you should hear a modulation change, as if you had moved the Mod wheel.
Try assigning aftertouch to Controller number 64, Sustain Switch. Play a chord with your left hand and apply pressure to the keys. Now play a run with your right hand, and you should hear the notes sustain, just as if you had stepped on a sustain pedal.
Remember, aftertouch is independently assignable for each output. Try creating a setup in which aftertouch is On for Output 1, assigned to Modulation (#1) for Output 2, assigned to Volume (#7) for Output 3, and disabled for Output 4. There are many different possibilities.
If you feel that it takes too much or too little pressure to get the results you want for your playing style, you'll be happy to hear that aftertouch sensitivity is globally adjustable in the LN-4. This means that the sensitivity is the same for all Master Programs, and that the sensitivity adjustment is remembered even after powerdown.
If you want to adjust aftertouch sensitivity, follow this procedure:
1: Turn off the Power Module and turn it back on while holding down the switches numbered 1, 3, and 5. The display will show CA, for Calibration Mode.
2: Adjust the first aftertouch sensitivity calibration (LED #1 will be illuminated), which represents the aftertouch sensitivity when one key is depressed, with the Up and Down Arrow switches. Increasing the value increases sensitivity (less pressure needed for full value output.). Decreasing the value decreases sensitivity (more pressure needed for full value output).
There are 24 different aftertouch sensitivity levels available. Level 1 is the least sensitive, level 24 the most sensitive. A level of 1 means that you would have to stand on the keys to get aftertouch response. A level of 24 means breathing on the keys will give you aftertouch response. It's okay to breathe on the keys, by the way, but don't stand on them.
3: Press the Blue Right Arrow switch to advance to the next calibration (LED #2 will light up). Adjust the second aftertouch sensitivity calibration, which represents the aftertouch sensitivity when two keys are depressed.
4: Advance to the next calibration (LED #3 will light up). Adjust the third aftertouch sensitivity calibration, which represents the aftertouch sensitivity when three keys are depressed.
5: Advance to the next calibration (LED #4 will light up, as you might expect by now). Adjust the fourth aftertouch sensitivity calibration, which represents the aftertouch sensitivity when four keys are depressed.
6: Advance to the last calibration (LEDs #1 and #4 will light up). Adjust the fifth aftertouch sensitivity calibration, which represents the aftertouch sensitivity when five or more keys are depressed.
7: Exit Aftertouch recalibration by pressing the Blue Right Arrow once more. This will reboot the system and return you to the normal operating mode. You'll need to turn the Power Module off and on again according to the procedure above to re-enter Calibration Mode.
Generally, you want aftertouch to be less sensitive when more keys are held down, because the tendency is to exert more force on the keys with more fingers on them. To decrease sensitivity overall, try lowering all calibration levels by 2. To increase sensitivity, try increasing all levels by 2. It's really a question of personal taste.
You can even set all the calibration levels to completely unrelated values, if you wish. We encourage you to experiment and customize your instrument's response to your personal preferences.
A Final Word
That covers all the functions of the LN-4. What follows is a reference section, containing a complete run down of all the LN-4's features, a chapter on creative applications, an appendix of velocity curves, a glossary, and an index.
The LN-4 has been designed to be a complete MIDI master controller. It has enough programmable features to make it seem complex or even daunting. By now, though, you should be familiar with it. If you spend some time designing your Master Programs, it's possible to play a whole show's worth of material without touching your synths. Advance preparation is the key. The whole point of the LN-4 is to give you as much freedom as possible. Take that freedom and use it.