Korg M3: Creating programs based on SoundFonts


You've found a free SoundFont on the internet and you want to create your own M3 program based on this SoundFont but you have no idea how to do this. This guide will show you the steps of creating your own SoundFont-based sound sets.

Finding SoundFonts on the internet

On the internet you can find thousands of free SoundFonts with various patches. The M3 can read SoundFont files. The following steps shows you how to find a SoundFont (String Pad), which we are going to import in the M3.

  1. Start the Google page.
  2. Type in your keywords (soundfont free pad etc….).
  3. Find a page with SoundFonts - now the fun starts!
  4. Performing the above step came up with a page called Hammersounds - SoundFonts. URL: http://www.hammersound.net/hs_soundfonts.html
  5. Download the SoundFont: HS Pads and Textures II. URL: http://www.hammersound.com/cgi-bin/soundlink_download2.pl/Download%20Norway;hs_pt2.zip;30
  6. Save this zip file to your harddisk and unzip it.
  7. Copy the file you just unzipped named: HS Pads and Textures II.sf2 to your USB stick.

Creating a Program based on this SoundFont

  1. Put the usb stick in your M3.
  2. Press the MEDIA button on the M3.
  3. Find the hsPads~1.sf2 fild (the M3 can only display 8 characters of the name).
  4. Select this file by touching it and pressing Load on the touchscreen.
  5. Now you will get a screen where you can set the destination. The Combi destination is only used when a SoundFont uses more then 4 velocity layer samples per zone, if it has less then 4 velocity samples per zone then the Combi destination is not used. The program destination is the location where your program is created. For instance, select Program U-D000 and press OK.
  6. Now go to Program U-D000, and you will see the name of the SoundFont that you just imported.
  7. Play the sound. All samples are stored correctly INCLUDING the looppoints. You don't have to do a thing, this is a new program!

Creating your own SoundFont-based sound set

By selecting your favorite SoundFonts this way you can create your own sound sets which contains the new sounds you like. This is how to do it:

Selecting your favorite SoundFonts

  1. Repeat the above procedure for every SoundFont that you've downloaded and remember which SoundFonts you like. Store these in a separate location on your computer.
  2. When you are done, you will have a directory on your computer with your favorite SoundFonts.
  3. Remove the programs you created in your M3 during your test loading of the SoundFonts (it's easiest to load an empty bank from a PCG file on external media into the bank you want to clear out).
  4. Turn off the M3 to empty the RAM. This is necessary to avoid having extra samples in RAM that aren't needed by your sound set, because they'll require more space on your external media.
  5. Copy your favorite SoundFonts to your USB stick in a new folder and load these SoundFonts in to your M3 again.

Saving your favorite sound set

  1. After you've imported all your favorite SoundFonts:
    1. Save your new programs and combis to a PCG file on your external media, naming the file something descriptive such as AMBIPADS.PCG.
    2. Save the samples in RAM to a KSC file on your external media:
      1. Press the MEDIA button.
      2. Press the Save tab.
      3. From the page menu, select Save Sampling Data.
      4. Specify a name for the KSC file that matches the name you chose for your PCG file (for example, AMBIPADS.KSC) and choose to save All, then press OK.
    3. Ensure that these two files (and the sampling data folder related to the KSC file) are located in the same folder on your external media.

Now whenever you need to use the AMBIENT PADS USB Expansion set you created yourself, just load the AMBIPADS.PCG file from your external media and choose the load option that will also automatically load the AMBIPADS.KSC file, with the Clear allocation.


Of course, you can modify every program to your liking by adding Effects from the Korg M3 or modifying the sound with the basic controls like cutoff and resonance, etc. (try for instance to add a stereo phaser on the pad sound used in the example in IFX1 slot - WOW!). Remember, when you've created your own sample set, you can use every sample (or combine them) as an Oscillator for your own sounds. This can result in some very interesting sounds when you program your own sounds.

Now download thousands of SoundFonts and experiment away!

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