Decoding microKorg Patch Files (.prg) to PlainText

MicroKorg “prg” files files are downloaded from the microKorg by the Korg Sound Editor software, and are often posted online (e.g. the microKorg sound bank). But sometimes it is nice to be able to see what the patch is, or post it online in a plain text form. Plain text patches are also a handy way of documenting your own patches in a nice durable format: on paper. Also, if you want to share a patch, posting a readable version of the patch is a nice thing to do, and ideally without having to work your way through the whole matrix, transcribing the settings. Transcribing settings is boring, error-prone…

I have written a small program to convert “.prg” files for the microKorg to a nice readable format. So, if you have Sound Editor working, you can just download your custom patches, locate the place where the .prg files are stored, and away you go. Similarly, it is really quick to see what the Korg sound bank patches (or whatever) are doing at a glance, which I find is a good way of working out the tricks…

e.g. If you drop the “atmos” patch from the microKorg sound bank, you get:

atmos
 [Voice]: Synth , Single , Poly , -- , --
 [Pitch]: 0 , 0 , 0 , 2 , 0
 [Osc 1]: DWGS , 0 , 48 , -- , --
 [Osc 2]: Saw , Sync , -12 , 0 , --
 [Mix Levels]: 127 , 91 , 0 , -- , --
 [Filter]: -12dB LP , 101 , 50 , 0 , 0
 [Filter EG]: 0 , 64 , 127 , 0 , yes
 [Amp]: 127 , cnt , on , 0 , --
 [Amp EG]: 0 , 79 , 0 , 53 , yes
 [LFO 1]: Triangle , Off , off , 59 , --
 [LFO 2]: Sine , Off , off , 70 , --
 [Patch 1]: LFO1 , Pitch , 10 , -- , --
 [Patch 2]: Mod Wheel , Cutoff , -63 , -- , --
 [Patch 3]: LFO1 , Cutoff , 0 , -- , --
 [Patch 4]: LFO2 , Cutoff , 0 , -- , --
 [Mod FX]: Ensemble , 20 , 56 , -- , --
 [Delay]: Stero , off , 80 , 74 , --
 [EQ]: 320Hz , 0 , 6kHz , 0 , --
 [Areggio A]: 120 , 1/16 , 100% , Up , 1
 [Arpeggio B]: off , 0 , off , 8 , Both
 [Arp. Pattern]: yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes
 [Arp. State]: off

It only works for single-patch files right now, but is can be used for single and layered patches and vocoder patches. On most web browsers (recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer), you should be able to drag-and-drop a .prg file. Otherwise you have to use the old-school “Browse” button. There is more technical information on the decoder page, and a link to report bugs or make suggestions (although you can do that as comments to this post if you do not wish to create a GitHub account).

6 thoughts on “Decoding microKorg Patch Files (.prg) to PlainText

  1. Ciao dall’Italia.
    Hi from Italy,
    I’m Dario, pianist and Microkorg addict.
    This is really awesome!

    Is possible reverse route?
    Create a new .prg file with a txt?

    Tanks lot, sorry for my english 🙂
    Ciao
    Dario

  2. I’ve just stumbled on your program. It’s great. Thank you for developing and sharing it with the microKORG community!

  3. Thanks.

    Yes, the reverse route would be possible… but I think it would not be so easy to use because the user would have to know the precise spelling of all the keywords etc. It would probably be better to have something like the microKorg sound editor: visual controls you select etc…

    Adam

  4. This was really helpful because the microkorg editor doesnt work with new mac operating system. Does this still only decode single-layer programs? One of the files I used to program a patch wasn’t quite right. I’m wondering if that is because I’m not getting the right info. But then again would it even work if it was a multi-layered patch?
    Thanks!

  5. Hi – I’m glad you found it useful. Unfortunately, I cant remember about the layers, but I guess only single still; I’ve not really done anything about this for years!

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