GM2 and PCM patches

Forum for SH-01 GAIA

GM2 and PCM patches

Postby bentstavanger » 18:56, 15 May 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum, got my Gaia a week ago. I grew up with the analog stuff back in the days, had a Juno-106 as a teenager. So when I got into playing synth again, I wanted to get something I could start using right out of the box. Gaia sounds great, and also I wanted the GM2 capability for hooking up with an external controller keyboard to play piano, e-piano, drums, and such. VA synth and GM2 sound module in one, pretty neat. It seems to work, although navigating the sounds is a little tricky, since there is no display showing what sounds are being played, not on the Gaia itself, and not on the GM2. I have a few questions, that I hope someone out there might know the answer to:

1) How many sounds are in the GM2 module, and is it possible to get a printout of them with patch and bank numbers? Wikipedia lists 256 standard sounds per channel ( ), but other sites writing on MIDI states as many as 16384 possible sounds...

2) I wish to use a Miniak or other small keyboard as a controller for the GM2 in the Gaia. The reason for this is, that I wish to minimize the amount of equipment necessary to lug around on tour (I'm not 20 anymore...). But it is not suited for making patch changes in the GM2. I have been looking for a small light-weight device to send CC commands, finding only the Behringer BCN44. That has gone out of production, and is not sold anywhere in mainland Europe where I live. Getting it from the UK is impossible, virtually no stores will ship to the mainland, and buying anything outside of the EU is extremely expensive due to the customs barrier. Any suggestions to a similiar device that's small and generally available? Or maybe some other way of sending the CC commands?

3) I understand from the SOS review of the Gaia, that the instrument did no get the GM2 logo, because it only has 15 channels available for the GM2 engine, since channel 1 is reserved for the Gaia itself. However, if the Gaia is set to transmit and receive on a different channel, channel 1 is released for use as GM2. Does this mean, that the Gaia actually DOES have the full 16 channels of GM2, with one channel just being taken over temporarily by the VA engine? Or are the 15 channels just being relocated according to which channel is being used by the VA? Just curious, there are a lot of sounds either way...

4) And finally the PCM sounds. The weirdest thing happened as I was fooling around with the channels and an external controller: All of a sudden, channel 2 was allocated to the PCM sounds from the special bank with just 8 patches. So, channel 1 was Gaia VA, channel 2 was PCM sounds, and channel 3-16 was GM2. Everything could be played from the external controller, making for some pretty awsome layers with a multitimbral controller (actually, the Miniak can have so many zones that any sound engine will run out of notes long before it reaches its maximum). Again, a curious little detail, but useful for someone wishing to maximize the number of possibilities with as little gear as possible. I don't know which buttons I pressed to make it happen, but it worked consistently, and when I went above patch number eight (the choral pad), the rest of the patches were just empty, as if the PCM sounds had simply taken over channel 2 and "thrown out" the GM2 sounds. When I later turned off the Gaia and switched it back on, it was back to normal. Does anybody know what happened? Is it reproducible, or was it just a glitch that happened because I kept changing sounds playing at the same time? I find that happening a lot, actually, notes getting stuck and such. Best not to touch the keys while patches are being changed.

4a) Is there any way to make the Gaia remember changes made to the patches in the GM2 engine, when it is turned of?

Well, that was a lot of questions, but I hope some of you can answer some of them. I find the Gaia has a lot of possibilities, but the documentation is not very good, so a lot of experimenting has to be done. I plan to have the Miniak play drumloops using its built in sequencer together with the GM2 engine in the Gaia. The loops would have to be programmed as small melodies, and it is definitely not what the Miniak engineers had in mind when they built the thing. But hey, ain't it more fun going where you ain't supposed to?

Thanx in advance
Bent :-)
Posts: 1
Joined: 17:27, 15 May 2013

Re: GM2 and PCM patches

Postby bawe » 03:21, 29 September 2013

1) Good question. Using logic pro, I was able to access all the 128 GM level 1 voices but only some (about 50) of the additional 128 GM2 voices by way of CCs. I wasn't able to access the additional drum kits. Does the GAIA provide all 256 standard GM2 instruments?
2) Akai MPC500?
3) and 4) I found channel 10 to be drums only, as in the GM1 spec, but all other channels were accessible.
4a) I didn't know you could make changes to the patches at all. You certainly can't make changes to the PCM bank sounds.
Would be nice to know the CC numbers for all the patches.
Posts: 3
Joined: 01:55, 29 September 2013

Re: GM2 and PCM patches

Postby terrible.dee » 18:31, 16 August 2015


I'm totally confused,

Long time JP-8000, MS2000, SH-32 user and professional musician here ( I pay my rent with my work in music, I don't have or need another job)

I picked up a Gaia as a "beater" synth recently, to thrown in the car to take to writing sessions, preproduction meetings ect. (Wouldn't do that with my JP) I figured it was a half-assed cheap version of the early VA synths I prefer. The first day I got it I hit some random buttons and there it was.....GM2 sounds, the exact same behavior you described...but since then I've found no good info anywhere on it,,,

OH! Before I forget "Preset Patch + Bank+ Bank number" will recreate the behavior you describe, anyway, here are my questions...

1. I heard you could not control the GM sounds but by external controller, I can control 8 sounds from the local keyboard, Organ through voice....when I plug in an external controller I get Gaia on Ch1 Bass on CH2 Drums on CH10 and everything else up to 16 is piano! Patch after patch of frigging piano?! Why is it that I can control sounds that I wasn't supposed to be able to? And why from an external controller am I confronted by patch after patch of piano?

2. 128 sounds????? More????? I could use this thing as a bread and butter sound bank for TV cues? How do I access these sounds? Where are they? I'm actually impressed with the quality of the sounds I've found a few hundred more would be incredible! Can someone tell me how to find them?

3. The Gaia has been out for years now and there doesn't seem to be anywhere on the internet with detailed info on the GM sounds, what they do and don't do, how many there are and how to get to them? It's time this info was readily available, someone needs to do a thorough tutorial, if you know but don't have time, send me the info in point form and I'll do the tutorial, anyone?

We paid for this thing, it's time we were shown EVERYTHING it can do, and it's time to get that info out where anyone who wants to know can find it.
Posts: 3
Joined: 09:27, 17 June 2015

Re: GM2 and PCM patches

Postby rolandgurl » 13:21, 31 January 2017

same here, spent hours and hours looking.... It seems to be a secret and privileged information that only the creators can know.. I was going to ask if any one has a table or chart on Gaias GM2 abilities,
Posts: 7
Joined: 11:40, 31 January 2017

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