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Emagic SoundDiver 2.1.2
This article is out of date.
Emagic was purchased by Apple
Computer who has discontinued development of Windows versions of the software.
This site has discontinued
coverage of Emagic products except those available on the PC.
SoundDiver (SD) is a patch librarian/editor which can be
"autolinked" to Logic Audio or used alongside other MIDI/Audio
sequencers. It provides two levels of accessibility depending on whether a
custom dll has been written specifically to access the higher functions of your
particular MIDI gear or not. Ideally this relationship means you can use SD to
automatically configure all of your MIDI gear and even program patches when when
you load a song in Logic. In practice it can be a bit more complicated. A fair
review of SD requires me to point out that every MIDI device is different and so
is its MIDI implementation. Not only does each manufacturer see fit to put its
own spin on how MIDI and sysex should be handled but they often do this
differently for different products within a single company. Add to that the fact
that different devices can be fundamentally different in what they do and can
span many years of changing technology and you can have a story sea complication
and conflict. It is this sea that SD attempts (and often succeeds) to navigate.
Just as ships can be lost at sea through not fault of the ship or its captain SD
can not always guarantee it can make each piece of your gear submit completely
to its will. The attempt is made through a central program and a series of
software modules corresponding to each MIDI device SD supports. Just as the list
of popular MIDI devices changes and grows so does the quantity and quality of
coverage that SD provides.
Depending on the nature of support for your particular set of
equipment setup can be very easy or somewhat complicated but it only has to be
Support for a device can include a full graphical interface for
each and every feature. This allows you to design patches or tweak them right on
your computer screen. SoundDiver also allows you to keep your patches safely
backed up on your computer's hard drive and will provide search functions, not
only for a single device but across multiple devices. If you are using Logic
then autolink means you can share data back and forth between SD and Logic such
that you can select patches in logic and their current names will be properly
displayed in the arrange window because Logic retrieves them from SoundDiver.
You can even have both programs keep their windows synchronized so if you select
window configuration 1 in SD it will bring up the corresponding window
configuration in Logic as well and vice versa. All edits in SD are played
immediately on your synth. These edits can even be recorded as MIDI track data
by logic so that real-time edits can be part of your sequence.
The way Logic is laid out your best access to all of the patches
of a typical multi-tambral synth like the Yamaha XG and Roland GS series is
through 'multi instruments'. Unfortunately these Logic objects have a design
restriction preventing use of enough banks to account for all of the banks where
patches reside in XG or GS synths. Until Logic's multi instruments are
redesigned your only real work-around is if you are using autolink with
SoundDiver and have full patch selection support in a SD dll supporting your
synth. If you typically only use the same small list of patches from your synth
they you can set them up as individual instrument objects but this is not a
practical way to work if you routinely browse through the whole patch set of an
XG or GS synth the way I do.
You can link to Emagic's web site at http://www.emagic.de
(more specific links will be added soon)