Welcome to another installment of Your Korg Kronos and You. Lately it’s been all about the things you can do with SYSEX (System Exclusive) messages and the Korg Kronos. In the first installment I wrote about how to get modal ans switch modes on the Kronos from program to combi to global and so on and so forth.

Installment number 2 was all about Karma. I laid out the commands you would need to turn Karma on and off and toggle all the switches and buttons on the front panel related to Karma.

Now comes some really cool stuff I’m going to layout the commands to switch banks and choose specific programs or combis depending on what mode your are in on the keyboard. So here is how it works: If you want to use SYSEX to choose a combi you must put the Kronos into Karma mode. Do that by sending this command:

F0 42 30 68 4E 00 F7

For program mode use this command:

F0 42 30 68 4E 02 F7

Now the rest of this is the same whether you are in Program Mode or Combi Mode. You send the same string in either mode to make your bank and program changes. So here we go.

It is a little quirky on how it works. You can’t just change banks and expect to go from Internal-A to Internal-D. You also have to send along a program change. Effectively what you are doing is choosing a sound, for example, sound number three on Internal-D. Another gotcha is most of the programs in Combi Mode and in Program Mode are numbered from 000 – 127. A couple of the banks have programs numbered 001 – 128 to conform to the General MIDI specification.

From now I will use the word program when referring to sounds in program mode and combi when referring to patches in combi mode.

So, in order to accomplish changing banks and programs on the Kronos you need to send two lines of SYSEX. Let’s say we want to choose program number three on bank I-C. You would send the following SYSEX strings:

make sure the Kronos is in Program Mode
F0 42 30 68 4E 02 F7
B0    00    00
B0    20    02
C0    03
This tells the Kronos to choose Steel Drums SW 1 (or whatever sound you have stored in that location)

Combis work the same way

make sure the Kronos is in Combi Mode
F0 42 30 68 4E 00 F7
B0    00    00
B0    20    02
C0    03
This tells the Kronos to choose Random Scattered Colours (or whatever combi you have stored in that location)

I’ve created a chart for the Bank Buttons on the front of the Kronos
Program/Combi – Bank Change Patch numbers are 0-127

Button I – A B0 00 00 B0 20 00 C0 XX <== (XX value must be 00 – 7F)
Button I – B B0 00 00 B0 20 01 C0 XX
Button I – C B0 00 00 B0 20 02 C0 XX
Button I – D B0 00 00 B0 20 03 C0 XX
Button I – E B0 00 00 B0 20 04 C0 XX
Button I – F B0 00 00 B0 20 05 C0 XX
Button I – G B0 00 79 B0 20 00 C0 XX – Patches in Program Mode are 1-128 because the is the General Midi Bank.
Button U -A B0 00 00 B0 20 08 C0 XX
Button U – B B0 00 00 B0 20 09 C0 XX
Button U – C B0 00 00 B0 20 0A C0 XX
Button U – D B0 00 00 B0 20 0B C0 XX
Button U – E B0 00 00 B0 20 0C C0 XX
Button U – F B0 00 00 B0 20 0D C0 XX
Button U – G B0 00 00 B0 20 0E C0 XX

The last number in the row C0  03 must be a number from 0 to 127 to choose the right program/combi location. Since it’s SYSEX it also has to be in hex form. Here’s a chart with the numbers from 0 – 127 in hex form:

So Why did I post all this? I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out. I use Cakewalk Sonar and one of the things you can do with it is send out SYSEX dumps when you load a project. I wanted to be able to set my Kronos with some patches I created for specific tasks automatically depending on what I’m doing.
It’s fairly straight forward. I did find while sending SYSEX in Sonar, I had to be sure to end my strings with F7. That basically tells the Kronos “I’m done sending my message now. go on about your business.”

For some reason it’s been difficult to track down how to do bank and program changes with System Exclusive on the Kronos. I decided I needed to share the knowledge. If you have any questions or comments, ping me in the comments below. I’d be happy to answer what I can.