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In this section of the manual, we will cover the fundamental layout of the Matrix-12's front panel and the basic operation of the front panel controls. Getting the most out of your Matrix-12 rests in your ability to understand the concept behind the front panel's design. We will therefore discuss these operations in detail.

The Matrix-12's front panel has been designed for maximum efficiency in permitting the user to get from one section of controls to another easily. At first, the Matrix-12 looks deceptively simple having few switches ("buttons") and even fewer rotary controls ("knobs"). Take for example the center section called PAGE MODIFIER. Its two displays, six knobs and twelve buttons are shared by over 1200 individual functions that you can control within the synthesizer, the majority of them being programmable.

With over 1200 separate functions under your command, it becomes immediately obvious that providing a button or a knob for each function would be impractical and outrageously expensive. Imagine what your Matrix-12 would look like, let alone what it would cost if this were so.

In order to simplify matters, we have scaled down an otherwise monstrous instrument by grouping related functions within the Matrix-12 into specific sections called "Pages". Each Page within the Matrix-12 contains all of the functions, called "Parameters", that have to do with the operation of the selected Page. When any Page is selected, its parameters are displayed in the two windows of the PAGE MODIFIER Section in the center area of the front panel. At this point, the selected Page can be examined to see what its parameter Values are or can be edited as necessary.

If the particular Page you have selected contains more parameters than can be displayed at once, a "Sub-Page" is provided the remaining parameters. Selecting the Sub-Page is accomplished by pressing the PAGE 2 button whenever appropriate.

For example, let's select one of the Matrix-12's Pages and examine its parameters.

1. For our purposes, we want to be in SINGLE PATCH Mode. Look at the left-hand area of the panel and locate the section marked PROGRAMMER. Just above the display and to its extreme left end is the word PATCH. Beneath PATCH in the display is a letter and the two-digit Patch Number. If the letter is "S", you are already in SINGLE PATCH Mode.

If this letter is "M". you are in MULTI PATCH Mode. If so, press the button labeled SINGLE PATCH and we are ready to move on.

2. Look at the right-hand area of the panel under the heading SINGLE/MULTI PATCH PAGE SELECT. Press the button labeled VCO1. The two displays in the PAGE MODIFIER section will now reveal the available parameters for VCO1 (Voltage Controlled Oscillator #1). This display is identical for VCO2.

These parameters are the ones most frequently used in operating a VCO. They are also the parameters that have: 1) "more or less" amounts (VALUE X) and 2) parameters that can be modulated. Thus, these parameters are displayed first when the Page is selected. This is referred to as "Page 1" or the section's "Primary Page".

There are, however, many more parameters involved in operating a VCO than just its Frequency (tuning), its Detune amount, the Pulse Width and Volume level as this Page shows. What about waveform selection, keyboard control and pitch bend/vibrato routing?

3. Press the PAGE 2 button. The displays will switch to read the available parameters in the VCO1 Sub-Page. The Page 2 displays show the available ON/OFF parameters for this group of functions. An underlined display message = ON. Not underlined = OFF.

So now we can see that with Page 1 (the "Primary Page") and Page 2, we have all the parameters that allow operation of this VCO at our command. Notice that VCO 2 has an extra parameter titled SYNC. The operation of this function is covered later in the manual.

4. Pressing PAGE 2 again returns the displays to the section's Primary Page. You can switch back and forth between Page 1 and Page 2 by pressing the PAGE 2 button repeatedly.

There are some Pages in the Matrix-12 that do not require a second page of parameters. Pressing PAGE 2 in these cases will have no effect. Don't worry - it's not supposed to.

For you trivial buffs, there are a total of 59 Primary Pages and related Sub-Pages lurking within the Matrix-12. As a learning aid, we have listed every one of the 59 pages' displays in the MATRIX-12 PAGES DIRECTORY. The Directory can be found in the "Matrix-12 Owner's Manual Supplement" included with this manual.


Mastering the Matrix-12 first requires a thorough working knowledge of its front panel operation. In the following discussions, we will examine each section of the panel and how they interact with one another. For starters, let's identify the main sections of the synthesizer:


Contains the synthesizer's general-purpose Master controls.

VOLUME Control
TUNE PAGE Select Switch
MASTER PAGE Select Switch

Used to manipulate the Matrix-12's 100 SINGLE or 100 MULTI Patches and select between the two banks of Voices.

Programmer DISPLAY
VOICES 1-6 and VOICES 7-12 Select Switch
STORE Switch
NUMERIC KEYPAD including "+" and "-" Buttons


This section utilizes a 14-switch row used to select either a Modulation Source to be used in a patch, its "+" or "-" Numeric Value, or to select a Primary Page designated with an "X" - TRACK X, ENV, LFO X, RAMP X or ZONE X. The X is used in these titles because there are more than one of these Pages from which to choose. For example, the "X" in LFO X represents the five possible LFOs numbered 1 through 5. The "X" in RAMP X represents in the four possible RAMPs numbered 1 through 4. There are three TRACKS, five ENVs and six ZONEs in the Matrix-12 from which to choose.

The operation of these multi-function buttons depends on the type of programming that you are doing at any given time. For example, if you are editing a Patch by using modulation, the indicator light next to MODULATION SOURCE SELECT will be lit prompting you to select one of the Matrix-12's 27 sources of modulation. These are titled on the front panel above the switches.

After you have chosen the modulation source you want, you can set its amount Value with the same buttons - only this time the X SELECT indicator light will be lit informing you that the buttons have now been transformed into numeric value buttons. These are marked on the front panel below the switches.

The "+" and "-" buttons are used to switch the modulation amount between positive and negative values. QUANTIZE and CLEAR are special-purpose switches and are covered later in the manual.

Used to view the current settings of any Page or program/edit any of the Matrix-12's 59 Pages and Sub-Pages.

2 displays: UPPER and LOWER

Dual Function: MODULATION PAGE SELECT or ON/OFF status
Dual Function: VALUE X or ON/OFF status
PAGE 2 Select Switch


Used to select the Pages for all SINGLE Patches and MULTI Patches.

SINGLE Patch Pages: Indicated by titles in WHITE lettering. SINGLE Patch signal path illustrated by Flow-Charts


MULTI Patch Pages: Indicated by titles in GREY lettering



Now that we have identified the five main sections of the Matrix-12's front panel, we are ready to start co-ordinating the use of all these functions. So that you may better comprehend the general operations of the Matrix-12, we'd like to point out a few basic design concepts:

1. The headings displayed in the MASTER section - VOLUME, TUNE PAGE and MASTER PAGE - are referred to as Global functions. A Global function is simply any parameter that affects the synthesizer as a whole, regardless of what PATCH Mode (SINGLE or MULTI) the Matrix-12 is in. It is extremely important that you understand this concept.

As an example, setting MASTER TUNE (displayed as M TUNE in the TUNE PAGE) to any tuning interval affects every Patch in the Matrix-12. It fine tunes the instrument as a whole. In contrast, tuning the oscillators (VCO1 and VCO2) in one of the SINGLE PATCHES to different intervals only affect that Patch individually, not the others.

The Matrix-12's Global functions are kept in its memory as you have set them and will remain there until they are changed. Thus, Global settings are not "programmable" in the traditional sense of the word because they are not set for a particular Patch but for the Matrix-12 in general.

There are two types of Global functions in the Matrix-12. The UPPER DISPLAY in MASTER PAGE lists those functions that are Global for the entire synthesizer. The LOWER DISPLAY lists those functions that are Global for SINGLE PATCHES only. These functions, in a sense, are kind of "Semi-Global" because they affect only one of the two available Patch Modes. As we get deeper into the programming of the Matrix-12, you will notice that the four Sub-Pages listed are programmable functions for each MULTI Patch individually, which is why these four parameters disappear from the Lower Display when MULTI PATCH Mode is entered. The individual programmability of PAN, VIB, VASSIGN and ZONE in the MULTI Patches gives this Mode its incredible flexibility and specialization.

2. The MASTER PAGE may be best thought of as your "Home Base". You can enter MASTER PAGE at any time no matter which of the Matrix-12's 59 Pages you have currently displayed. If you should get lost or confused in your programming, you can simply enter MASTER PAGE and start over. Rest assured, however, that none of the work that you've done will be lost. Entering MASTER PAGE does not destroy any of your editing. You are just able to enter MASTER PAGE as needed.

Upper Display Sub-Pages
Your "Patch List" arrangement in CHAIN, all of the synthesizer's MIDI settings and actions, the Velocity settings and Controllers Polarity selections in MISC, and data transfer functions in CASS are selected as general Matrix-12 functions.

Lower Display Sub-Pages
The setting of the Voices' stereo imaging in PAN, the master Vibrato settings made in VIB, the poly or mono Zone / MIDI Channel Voice settings in V ASSIGN, and the configuration of the six Zones in ZONE are set for all 100 SINGLE Patches equally. In other words, whatever adjustments you make for these functions for one of the SINGLE Patches, you make for all of them. It bears repeating that the magic of the Matrix-12 is its ability to program these very same functions individually for each of the 100 MULTI Patches.

4. As you are operating certain functions in the Matrix-12, the three 40-character fluorescent displays will always tell you the current status of the synthesizer. Depending on the operation, the displays will prompt ("ask") you or permit you to make changes. The various knobs and buttons on the panel will allow one of five types of operations to be executed:

ON/OFF status - ON = underlined, OFF = no underline.
YES/NO status.
Numeric VALUE X or Amount select - depending on the parameter, possible Values are 0 to +63, 0 to 127, -31 to +31 or -63 to +63.
OPTION select - these functions change name when the button is pressed or knob is turned. In some cases, they will always be underlined because they are always ON.

5. In operating the Matrix-12, performing the above functions will require you to select or choose a parameter, a numeric Value, etc. "Selecting" will be indicated on the displays by the name or number being underlined. Selecting is accomplished by pressing the button directly beneath the parameter's name or the number, etc. in the display.

For parameters that have ON/OFF Status, for example, an underlined parameter name indicates that it is ON and no underlining signifies OFF.

6. There are also several "Special-Purpose" functions available in the MATRIX-12 that are not shown in the displays or printed on the Front Panel. We will cover them in detail later in the manual.

7. The Matrix-12 employs a basic design function that remembers everything about the last state its Pages were in when it was turned off. This "Power Down/Power Up Status" feature restores all functions to the last state they were in at turn-off when you turn the Matrix-12 back on. Things like the Patch you were playing, the last Page that was called up, all of the changes (edits) that were made, your MIDI settings and even Auto-tune values are restored exactly.