Using Macro Controls and Assigning Controllers in the ES2

The section at the bottom of the ES2 interface provides three views, accessed by clicking the buttons on the left:

Figure. View Mode buttons and Macro control parameters.

Using the ES2 Macro Control Parameters

The macro parameters provide quick access to several linked, related parameters. As you alter any of the macro controls, you will see one, two, or more parameters in the ES2 interface update. For example, adjusting the Detune macro control simultaneously affects the Analog parameter and the coarse and fine oscillator Frequency parameters.

Figure. Macro View control parameters.

Important: The impact of each macro control is completely dependent on the parameter values of the current setting. In some patches, a number of macro controls may have no effect.

Another bonus of the macro parameters is that they are settings-compatible with ES2-based GarageBand instruments. In other words, you can use the ES2 and some GarageBand synthesizer settings interchangeably.

Assigning Controllers in the ES2

Clicking the MIDI button at the lower left of the interface displays the Controller Assignments. There are six menus, for Ctrl A to Ctrl F. You can use any MIDI controller shown in the menus for these control sources. See Using the ES2 Oscillators.

To assign a controller
  • Click a control menu, then choose the controller name/number that you want to use from the list.

To learn a controller assignment via MIDI
  1. Click a control menu, then choose the -Learn- item.

  2. Move the desired controller on your MIDI keyboard or controller.

Note: If no suitable MIDI message is received within 20 seconds, the selected control will revert to the previous value/assignment.

Nonassignable and 14-Bit Controller Information

Controllers 0 and 32 are reserved for Bank Select messages, controller 1 is used as modulation source in the router, controllers 33 to 63 work as LSB for controllers 1 to 31, controllers 64 to 69 are reserved for pedal messages, controllers 120 to 127 are reserved for channel mode messages.

In the MIDI specification, all controllers from 0 to 31 are known as Most Significant Byte (MSB) controller definitions. Each of these controllers (0 to 31) also contains a Least Significant Byte (LSB) controller definition (32 to 63). Use of this secondary LSB controller in conjunction with the MSB controller allows for a resolution of 14 bits instead of 7 bits. The ES2 recognizes these control change messages—the breath or expression controllers, for example.

To explain:

  • 14-bit controllers are pairs of normal Control Change (CC) messages, where the number of the second CC message (the LSB) is 32 higher than the first CC message (the MSB). Examples of valid 14-bit pairs are:  CC1/33, CC7/39, and CC10/42.

  • 14-bit controllers have a resolution of 16,384 steps, allowing very precise control of plug-in parameters. The first CC message of a 14-bit pair (the MSB) has a coarse resolution of 128 steps. Each of these steps can be divided into a further 128 substeps using the second CC message (the LSB). This results in 128 x 128 = 16,384 steps.

  • You don’t need to create new, or special, data types to use 14-bit controllers. The finer resolution is achieved by complementing the assigned CC message (the MSB) with its LSB. The CC message assigned in the ES2 can always be used alone if your MIDI controller isn’t capable of sending 14-bit messages, thus limiting the resolution to 7-bit = 128 steps.

The 14-bit capability is the reason why CC numbers 33–63 can’t be assigned in the Ctrl A–F menus. Using these (LSB) CC numbers would result in changing 1/128th of the parameter range—or put another way, 128 continuous steps out of 16,384.