Tuesday, January 20, 2015

'PX7 200K Collection' shrinked to 30K uniques

When I first heard of the original Korg Kronos oriented 'dx7_200k_collection' project I thought that it would be interesting to try and purge it from all the inevitable duplicate Banks and Patches included.

This happened a few weeks before the release of Propellerhead's own version, the PX7-200k-Collection ReFill for their PX7 FM Synthesizer.

After reaching a point where I already had all duplicate SysEx Bank files removed and was going through each bank sets, performing the conversion to .repatch format using the indispensable Propellerhead's DX7-PX7 Patch Converter, I realized that the hardest part of this dups removal project was going to be the surprisingly high amount of cases that I had to decide which bank should be considered the "original" so I could remove all the corresponding duplicates from all the others.

Well, once PH released their 200K ReFill version, I thought that it really wasn't worth my time to revisit the project and go through the very time consuming process of doing it properly even though still thinking that it would be nicer to browse a collection of unique PX7 patches, even if similar sounding,  at least free of exact copy duplicates.

...so I let the project go to sleep, like so many that I have, waiting for better (longer) days :)


Recently, a sequence of (soon-to-be-deceased) PH Forum threads (mainly joeyluck) reignited my interest on this matter.

I decided to have a different approach and this time I would search the web for similar or at least sub-sets of this huge 200K collection, trying to identify the original sources of the included banks.

For this, the most useful resource was Bobby Blues DX7 pages which allowed me to better organize some of the more recognizable banks into some sort of historically meaningful folders.

While doing this, the same PH Forums (via Jamesville) referenced another project that achieved a unique Bank count (but not unique patch count), BlackWinny's DX7 collection.

These two allowed me to further break down the amount of unsorted banks that the 200K source provided.


Well, after some necessary iterations, here's beta 6 7 of what I like to call Version 1 of this Koshdukai's Slim 'PX7 200K Collection' ReFill project, with 30102 unique patches, obviously still including similar sounding ones:

"PX7 200K Collection (30102 Uniques) Koshdukai's Slim Version 1b6 ReFill"

(beta 7 changelog at the end of this post)

The final Version 1 release will happen once I'm sure there's no unwanted empty folders or anything weird with folder or file naming, etc.

So, Version 1 is basically my attempt to:
  1. remove duplicate Banks from the 200K: Achieved
  2. remove duplicate patches: Achieved
  3. provide an historical context of the Bank sources: Achieved where possible

Am I happy with it? Nope :) ...that's why I'm working on Version 2, keeping goals 1 and 2 but dropping the importance of the 3rd goal because it caused a lot of insignificantly small banks once removed of all the duplicates they had when compared with "higher hierarchy" sources (that's why the folders are numbered). Basically, in Version 2 I'm going to drop the "from the Web" folder completely and feed it into a better organized "Instruments" folder.

There's also a very critical issue that undermined Version 1 and will condition me working on Version 2: The DX7-PX7 Patch Converter has some bugs and limitations regarding particular chars used in the patch names which result in existing patches being skipped from the conversion process not being included in the final converted bank zip.
This is why there's some patches missing from known banks which I would like to see included in Version 2.

I'm going to wait for these issues to be fixed in the converter to start re-building that new project.
Until then, Version 1 will have to do :)

Needless to say, suggestions and comments pin-pointing issues with this beta are very welcome!


V1b7 changelog:
  • empty folders removed except the ones at "2 Other Cartridges\Bo Tomlyn\"
  • "7 from the Web\Atari\SYNTHESI\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Atari's SPECIAL\SPECIALS\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\103\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\138\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\176\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\228\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\245\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Big Mamma\298\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\2003\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\DX45\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\DX55\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\EBANK0\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\from 200K\FULLCRC3\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Jeff Saxe\BANKP1\16\Fluegel 2" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Jezreel's INCON\INCONI05\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Conrardy\ORCHESTR\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Conrardy\PERCUSSI\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-03\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-105B\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-106B\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-10C\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-20C\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • "7 from the Web\Tim Garrett\TX7-79B\" fixed. (Converter issue)
  • small adjustments to the ReFill splash/icon image.

There are still A LOT of 1 or 2 patch folders in Beta 7 that I'm thinking of simply discard their original Bank folders and put them in the higher folder. Still deciding if I should do that in Version 1.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PH Forums go "byebye" next week...

The Propellerhead Forums are not being brought along to the new website, which means this place is going to close next week.»
Propellerheads.se Forums

I guess this blog might start getting more posts now :)

Why? Well, I don't get along with Facebook (and it doesn't get me either) so this blog is now basically my default place to publicly comment on what's going on in the world of Reason.

Along with that, the time I usually spend browsing forum threads for any issues that catch my eye to jump in and try to help will now be spent here.

My tendency to comment and provide feedback about Reason in PH own forums was, I see now, a natural act of keeping it in context, within a place where almost all cared about that specific subject, apart from my quick snippets of text on Twitter, trying to express my more immediate opinions on things as they happened (which I'll keep doing, because Twitter is natural to me, unlike Facebook).

btw, just noticed how I went 1 full year without posting here... hmmm... :)

PS: Be prepared to find a lot of dead-links around here since there are many pointing to PH Forum threads and posts. I fell into the dumb assumption that all that info would be "indefinitely" secure and available, at least as long as the www.propellerheads.se had a presence on the web. How naïve of me.