4. Basic Operations
4.1. Selecting a Bank and a Program
Exciton has four memory banks (A/B/C/D). Each banks have 128 program memory slots (512 programs in total). First bank (A) is filled with the factory presets.
The memory bank switchs with the bank selector buttons. You can press A...D buttons to select a bank.
The program switchs with the program selector. To select a program, use four buttons below the program number. You can click for the next program, for the previous, for +10 and for -10 respectively. You can also click on the program number. The whole program list of the selected bank appears on the popup menu.
You can also set a program number from the host application. The method depends on the host application. Please refer the host application's manual for how to set a program number from a host.
On most VST host applications, if you change the program number from the program selector on Exciton panel, the indication of the host application is not updated. By this reason, program number indication is sometime different between Exciton and the host application. In this case, Exciton's indication is always valid. The host application always reads a program number from Exciton on any required time (saving a file, etc.) and does not cause an actual problem.
On the other hand, if you change the program number from the host application, the change is sent to the plugin (Exciton) immediately. The program number is always synchronized in this case.
You can also set a bank or program number by sending MIDI messages.
To set a bank number, please send a bank select (control change #0) message to the instrument.
To set a program number, please send a program change message to the instrument.
4.2. Playing Sounds
Exciton plays sound on receiving MIDI note-on messages from the host application. It also accepts pitch bend messages. You can change the tone with a pitch bender. You can also change a bend range from 0 (disabled) to 24 (2 octaves). Please refer to Pitch Bend in the master section.
Exciton also recognizes sustain pedal messages (control change, #64) and processes them properly. You can play it like a piano.
Playing an instrument using a sustain (damper) pedal needs more number of voices. While the pedal is pressed, voices are remained triggered and many voices (probably more than you expected) are used. If you want to play like a piano, you have to set at least around 16 voices. Please refer Voices in the main section for setting the number of voices.
4.3. Switching Panels
Exciton has two panels on the window. You can click the panel selector to switch panels.
Clicking PARAM switches to the 1st (parameter) panel.
Clicking CONTROL switches to the 2nd (controller) panel.
On clicking MENU, file I/O menu appears. See Loading and Saving Programs for detail.
4.4. Changing Parameters
You can create your own sounds with clicking and dragging a mouse on knobs and switches.
The mouse action of knobs is slightly different (improved) from most host applications. A parameter decreases with dragging a mouse to the left or bottom, and increases with dragging to the right or top. Dragging with pressing a shift key changes the mouse sensitivity to 1/10. It is useful for precision parameter control.
4.5. Information Display
When you change a parameter with dragging a knob or clicking a switch, the change is displayed on the information display. You can adjust a parameter with checking its exact value. Also, when you copy/paste/load/save a program (or a bank, tec.), the result is also displayed on the information display.
4.6. Editing a Program Name
You can edit a program name with clicking on the program name display. Any printable single byte code can be used for a program name.
Please do not use multibyte characters (Unicode, Japanese/Chinese/Korean letters, etc.). It is possible to enter a multibyte character using an input method of your system. But they are garbled.
You can also edit a program name from the host application. The method depends on the host application. Please refer the host application's manual for how to edit a program name from a host application.
On most VST host applications, if you change the program name from Exciton panel, the indication of the host application is not updated. By this reason, the indication is sometime different between Exciton and the host application. In this case, Exciton's indication is always valid. The host application always reads a program name from Exciton on any required time (saving a file, etc.) and does not cause an actual problem.
On the other hand, if you change the program name from the host application, the change is sent to the plugin (Exciton) immediately. The program name is always synchronized in this case.
4.7. Copying and Pasting a Program
You can copy a working program to the temporary buffer and keep it during the runtime. A program kept in the buffer can be pasted(overwritten) to the current program.
Clicking COPY button, the working program is stored to the temporary buffer. The stored program is pasted to the current program with clicking PASTE button.
4.8. Loading and Saving Programs
When you save the song file with the host application, the working program is also saved as a component of the song.
The range of saved data depends on host applications. For example, Cubase saves all programs (A-001 to D-128) as a component of a song file. On the other hand, Logic Audio saves only the current program with a song data. Please refer the manual of your host application for detail.
Exciton supports loading/saving program data. File formats of Exciton are common for Windows and Macintosh. You can transfer program data to other environments regardless of host applications and platforms (Macintosh or Windows).
There are three file formats used by Exciton.
- Program File: Load/save the current one program.
- Bank File: Load/save the whole bank.
- Controller Map File: Load/save the controller map.
You can load or save a file with selecting the popup menu. On clicking MENU button, the popup menu appears.
- "Load Program...": Load a program from a program file.
- "Load Bank...": Load a whole bank(program 1-128) from a bank file.
- "Load Controller Map...": Load controller map settings from a controller map file.
- "Save Program...": Save a current program to a program file.
- "Save Bank...": Save a whole bank(program 1-128) to a bank file.
- "Save Controller Map...": Save controller map settings to a controller map file.
On selecting each menu items, the appropriate file dialog box appears. You can select a folder, enter a file name (and so on) on the dialog box.
Transferring Windows files to Macintosh
Macintosh uses file types for distinguishing files. If you save files with Exciton on Macintosh, the following file types are used.
- Program File: excP
- Bank File: excB
- Controller Map File: excC
If you transfer files from Windows to Macintosh, you should set file types to your data files. You can set Macintosh file types with an appropriate application. For example, ResEdit is a Apple's old free software and it can be used for changing file types. You can obtain ResEdit from Apple's website. But you can find better applications from World Wide Web resources. There are a lot of good free/sharewares for setting Macintosh file types and you can easily find them from the internet.
Transferring Macintosh files to Windows
Windows recognizes file types using extensions at the end of file names. If you save files with Exciton on Windows, the following file type extensions are added at the end of filenames as default.
- Program File: .prog
- Bank File: .bank
- Controller Map File: .cmap
If you transfer files from Macintosh to Windows, it is recommended to follow these rules for naming your files. If you are using Exciton on Macintosh and planning to transfer files to Windows, you should add the extensions at the end of file names.
Most VST host applications also support loading/saving programs. But file formats depend on host applications. There are no compatibility among them. We recommend for you to use Exciton file formats.