The most important thing to understand about KARMA is that what you can see and work with in your keyboard is only part of the total picture.
What is a Performance?
In "KARMA-speak," the technical term for a collection of parameters comprising an entire selection of parameters for one to multiple modules, the GEs that are selected and being used, and the way in which they are mapped across the keyboard and triggered is known as a "Performance." You will see this term used in the KARMA Software should you have it. So you can look at a program, combi or song setup as consisting of two things: Korg's sound editing parameters, and a KARMA Performance. The KARMA part of a Program is a "Single Module Performance," while the KARMA part of a Combi or Song is a "Multiple Module Performance."
Every KARMA Performance (whether it is part of a program, combi, or song) comprises two different sets of parameters:
- Module Parameters (that are stored within the Performance)
- All of these are editable within your keyboard, but only some of them are available to be assigned to sliders and switches for real-time control. The subset of Module Parameters available to be used in this manner are known as "Performance Real-Time Parameters," or Perf RTP for short.
- Generated Effect Parameters (that are stored within the GE, and show up in the Performance for editing)
- These are a set of up to 32 GE parameters determined by the GE's RTC Model and the original programmer, selected from within a subset of the much larger set of internal GE Parameters. These are known as "GE Real-Time Parameters," or GE RTP for short.
These control the behavior of a KARMA Module, including things like the GE used for the module, the keyboard zone for the module, the way that the Module is triggered, which types of MIDI may be generated and received by the Module, remapping the notes in the phrases and patterns generated by the GE, and many other properties that are "outside" of the GE itself. For example, it doesn't make sense for a Key Zone to be saved as part of a GE, since that GE may be used in many different Performances, in different areas of the keyboard. So the GE contains no parameters that specify a Key Zone; rather, this is supplied by the Module Parameters in the Performance.
All of these Module Parameters are visible in the various KARMA-related pages for your programs and combis, and can all be modified and saved with a combi/program. However, only some of them are available to be assigned to sliders and switches for real-time control. The subset of Module Parameters available to be used in this manner are known as "Performance Real-Time Parameters" or Perf RTP for short, and is discussed in the sections of the Parameter Guide for your keyboard related to Program: KARMA and Combi: KARMA.
Generated Effect Parameters
These control the behavior of a GE, defining the exact phrases and patterns that the GE generates.
There are over 400 parameters that define what is generated by the GE. After looking at various options, Karma-Lab and Korg decided that it would be too confusing and difficult to present all of this complexity to the user through the editing pages of the keyboard itself. After all, if you think the KARMA pages in your keyboard are overwhelming now, think how much more overwhelming it would be if you had to choose from 3 to 4 times the number of editing pages! So access to each and every parameter of a GE on a microscopic level is only available through the use of the KARMA Software program corresponding to your keyboard (available separately from Karma-Lab) - which is what was used by the Korg voicing team to create the GEs that come with your keyboard.
Within these 400+ GE Parameters, there is a smaller subset that is available to be controlled in real-time from various MIDI controllers such as the sliders and switches of your keyboard's control surface. This subset of [need number] parameters are known as the GE Real-Time Parameters, or GE RTP for short - these are what is described in the KARMA GE Guide section of your keyboard's Parameter Guide.
Of this set of [need number] GE RTP, up to 32 may be chosen and assigned in any given GE, to be available for editing and assignment of real-time control. These 32 selected GE RTP show up in your keyboard's editing pages, and can be modified and saved with the KARMA Performance (program, combi or song). All of the other parameters for a GE can be viewed, edited, and saved only in the KARMA Software for your keyboard model. It is very helpful to remember this fact when you are reading the KARMA GE Guide section of the Parameter Guide for your keyboard model, because it describes all of the potential possibilities that you might see in the 32 GE RTP slots of a particular GE. However, the fact that they are listed and described does not guarantee that a particular GE parameter is used by one of the factory GEs. You will see some being used far more than others, since the ones assigned are dependent on the RTC Model of the GE, and the individual choices of the original programmer of the GE.
So effectively, you can make limited modifications to the preset GEs that are included in your keyboard, because you can only modify up to 32 of the 400+ parameters for each of these GEs. The 32 parameters that are visible in your keyboard were selected by the programmer of the GE, as being the most useful to tweak on the particular GE itself (and are in many cases determined by and related to the GE's RTC Model, a concept that is further explained [need reference]).
So, to gain full detailed control over every aspect of the GEs in your keyboard, you need to use the KARMA Software for your keyboard model. You still cannot actually change the preset GEs themselves, but you can save a preset GE to a new user GE location, make any changes you like to all 400+ parameters of the GE, and then load this new version into the user GE banks on your keyboard model.