Akai Miniak

Initial Setup

  • Turn off Memory Protect: Press the "Config" button the synth, the use the Data knob to get to "Store: Protect". Click the knob, the change the setting to "off". This allows Patch Base to write to the synth's memory, which is necessary for normal usage of the editor
  • Set MIDI Channel: Open the "Global" tab/window in Patch Base, and make sure the MIDI Channel setting matches the MIDI Channel setting of the synth. You can find the MIDI Channel by clicking "Config" then navigating to "MIDI: Channels" and see what channel the synth is set to "start at"
  • Turn on Send/Recv Pgm Change on the synth: Patch Base both listens to and sends Program Change messages to the synth in order to operate properly. Click "Config" and navigate to "MIDI: Pgm change" and make sure this setting is "on (send+recv)"
  • Use "Programs" mode: Patch Base currently only edits and organizes the Programs on your Miniak. Multis, Sequences, and Rhythms are not (yet?) supported.

Editing Patches

Because the Miniak does not offer a way for external editors to fetch the current edit buffer on the synth (without knowing which patch is being edited), Patch Base uses a workaround: Patch Base designates 1 slot on your synth's memory as a sort of "scratch pad" where it stores the patch you're working on. By default this is slot 127 in bank 7 on the synth, but you can change this to whatever you'd like in the "Global" tab/window of Patch Base. Just be careful not to set this "Write" location to a location that stores a program you want to keep safe.

While this approach is a bit "weird", it also gets around a couple of limitations that almost all Miniak editors in the past faced: with Patch Base, you can add additional "Mods" to your patch via the editor, without adding them on the synth first. Also, you can change the name of a patch from the editor as well.

Similarly, Patch Base has a "Fetch" location setting (also in "Global") that determines which Program will be fetched from the synth when you tap the Fetch button in Patch Base; generally, you don't need to set this manually; Patch Base will listen to messages from the synth to know which Program is currently being played, and should keep things in sync for you so that you can just tap the "Fetch" button whenever you want to start editing the current selected sound.

Fetching Program Banks (from synth to Patch Base)

The Miniak has a non-traditional structure to its Program Banks; some parts of a Bank can be "empty" rather than having a patch in them. In order for this structure to work with Patch Base, a small workaround has to be used. To Fetch Program Banks from your synth into Patch Base:

  • Open the "Program TOC" tab/window in Patch Base. If you have not fetched this info before (the Table of Contents of all programs on the synth), you will see a message asking you to do so.
  • Tap the Fetch button. You must fetch the Program TOC before you can successfully fetch banks from the synth. The transfer may take a few seconds, but once it completes you will see "XXX Programs on synth" in the window, where "XXX" is the number of Programs currently stored on your synth.
  • Open one of the "Pgm Bank" tabs/windows. You can now fetch banks individually from the synth. Please note that any empty slots in the bank on the synth will be filled by Patch Base with a copy of an existing patch.

Patch Base manages Programs on your synth according to their Bank/Patch location on the synth. When you scroll through sounds on the Miniak itself, they are presented in alphabetical order; not the order they are stored in the banks. If you ever want to know the Bank/Patch location of a sound you're playing on the synth, just press and hold the "Programs" button on the synth, and it will be displayed on the screen.