Korg sound design fans, you’ll want this: a user has made a free tool that automatically generates images from program presets. (Sounds like a great idea for other synths, too – and we get into other geeky scripts here, as well.) And now is a good time to revisit free patch sheets for volca modular, though for that you’ll need drawing software … or a pen.
The minilogue xd is one of the more power-packed instruments KORG has ever put out – including additional expandability via the ‘logue SDK. It’s already a sound designers’ dream, but this latest development shows off how opening up a synth with documentation and user contributors can open possibilities.
MikeSynth shared their creation last month on reddit:
I have a Minilogue XD, and one concern was remembering how I created certain patches, or if I get a preset from someone else, look at their settings. Using the display to twiddle knobs until the * appears is just not efficient.
So, I built a little command line application that takes a .mnlgxdlib or .mnlgxdprog file from the Korg Librarian software and creates both a JSON and SVG file. The JSON is just a raw dump, which might be useful if you want to program your own tool, but the real output is the SVG file, which is an image that you can view, print, or embed in a web page, or whatever.
There are some caveats around the way User Oscillators/Effects work, and I don’t have all values to be human readable (e.g., the exact shape value that’s shown in the user interface for the Noise oscillators), but the knob positions and raw value should help to get you there. (And I just noticed that the percentage values at the bottom of the Multi Shape/Shift+Shape knobs don’t make sense. Oh well, the knob positions are still accurate)
Also, the Sequencer is not dumped into the SVG file. It is in the JSON file if you like to see the raw data, but I’ve not gotten around to the sequencer yet (apart from finding out that Korg broke Motion Sequencing for the 093 Flat Lead and 189 TPL WahClav programs in Firmware 2.0 – the Pitch Bend is supposed to have motion sequencing).
Shoutout to Korg for actually documenting their format reasonably well with only a few mistakes, and gekart on GitHub for creating a Python script that was useful for the pitch values.
I made a short tutorial video, and you can download the tool and its source code from https://github.com/ChestnutDev/SynthPresetDump
Note that the Mac version needs to be run from the Terminal – it’s not the most user friendly way, but hey, it beats knob twiddling!
I mean, sure, the old way of doing this was “with a pen,” but I appreciate the extra effort! It’s screaming out for some tutorials and patch sharing – with humans; sorry, ChatGPT.
If someone wants to test this on Linux, too, give a shout.
Let’s not let the minilogue have all the fun, though. There are also some patch sheets out there for the delightful volca modular. Officially from KORG, 2019:
And I’m guessing those in turn may have been inspired by Audiowanderer’s popular sheets, also on reddit:
That in turn is inspiring wonderful volca modular music, like this:
And more patches:
For more on why the ‘logue SDK is so cool, it’s worth looping back to this guest feature on the topic:
And for a deep dive on the volca modular, here’s Francis Preve:
That goes into sound design ideas, but for even more in video form: