Installing And Setting-Up The bs-16 VST Instrument Plug-In


To install the bs-16 VST instrument plug-in, you will go to the bismark downloads page (by clicking on the link below the screenshot), after reading these instructions. Look for the download for their bs-16 product (not the “bs-1” or “bs-0” products).

The font colors on their page may be hard to read. I have manually highlighted the links you need in the screenshot below:


Screenshot of the bismark downloads page, with the bs-16 links highlighted

Here (below) is the link to the bismark downloads page. After going there, make sure to click on the link to the version for the operating system you use. Downloading the file, rather than just opening it:

bismark bs-16 downloads page

For Mac OS X, it downloads an Apple Disk Image (.dmg), whose filename is “bs-16_MacOSX_v4.1.dmg”. After downloading it, double-click on the downloaded file, and follow the installation instructions (after allowing it to run).

After installing it, run GarageBand.

In its “Software Instruments” pane (on the right), in its “Browse” tab, click on “Pianos and Keyboards” (on the left side), to select it. Then click on “Grand Piano” (on the right side), to select it, as shown in the screenshot below:


Click the “Edit” tab. You should see something like the screenshot below:


Click on the “Piano” drop-box. In the pop-up menu that appears (near the bottom, under “Audio Unit Modules”), click on “bs-16”, as shown in the screenshot below:


You should then see something like the screenshot below:


Double-click on the “Sound Generator” button (left of the “bs-16” drop-box). The control panel of the bs-16 VST instrument will appear, looking similar to dark-blue portion of the screenshot below:


Now, we need to tell the plug-in what soundfont to use.

In the screenshot above, the soundfont file has already been selected, but initially yours will not have any soundfont selected. To select it, left-click on the word “File” in the dark-blue background area – just below the gray areas, and to the left. When you do this, a pop-up menu will appear, looking something like this:


In that pop-up menu, click on the “Open...” entry, then browse to where the soundfont you want to use is stored, and select it.

In the screenshot above, I have already selected the FluidR3_GM122501.SF2 and TimGM6mb.sf2 soundfont files from the folder where I keep them. Each soundfont you load will appear in a list (below the “Close”) entry, and you could select a soundfont from that list.

Once you have selected your soundfont, you are ready to use the soundfont player, and you can close its editor window.

If you don't have any soundfonts to load into the soundfont player, you can obtain the FluidR3_GM soundfont by following the instructions you get by clicking on the following link:

FluidR3_GM soundfont

Now we need to save the new instrument's settings.

Click the “Save Instrument...” button (near the bottom right of the “Software Instrument” pane – see below).

In the “Save Instrument” dialog that appears, specify “bs-16” in the “Save as” text-box, and click the “Save” button.

Click on the “Browse” tab of the “Software Instrument” pane.

With “Pianos and Keyboards” selected (in the left side), you should see “bs-16” on the right side. Click on it to select it (if it isn't already selected), as shown in the screenshot below (note – I named mine BS-16-1 instead of the recommended “bs-16”:


This new plug-in is set up to receive from all 16 MIDI channels, and the KeyMusician Keyboard can send on any of those MIDI channels. Whenever you switch to a performance pane, it sends MIDI messages specifying the instrument being used, to which the soundfont player VST plug-in will respond (changing to the specified instrument).

When you use the integrated MIDI player to send to the VST host (over the same MIDI interface), it also sends MIDI messages for each MIDI channel used, specifying the instrument used, and the soundfont player will act on those messages, producing the requested instrument sound on the channel it received it on.

If you haven't done it already, make sure the KeyMusician Keyboard (in its “F1 Help/Setup” pane) has it “MIDI Output To” drop-box set to the MIDI interface connecting to GarageBand.

When you switch performance panes, you will hear the instrument associated with that pane when you play it.

Until you have paid for the bs-16 soundfont player (and registered it), it will make a sound like a dog barking (not overly loud), once every 30 seconds. This is annoying, but doing it this way lets you try out the instrument, and make sure it is working before you pay any money.

The bismark bs-16 website tells you how to pay for it, and register it, which will stop the dog from barking. If you have cats, they will appreciate it.

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