HX3.5 Editor User Manual

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HX3.5 Editor with Tab/Drawbar window open


HX3.5 Editor is a Windows application for adjusting HX3.5 parameters and setups as well as for firmware and FPGA updates. The editor for old HX3 versions HX3.4 Remote is not suitable for the HX3.5. Mac users, please see section Using HX3.5 Editor on a Mac below.

No installation is necessary. Just make sure all files contained in HX3.5 Editor ZIP file are copied to a folder on your local harddisk. All files must be present in the same folder as the HX3.5 application.

You will find the HX3.5 Editor application in our Github Repository. With version 5.1 we have introdruced a Drawbar/Tab-Window for easy remote control of your HX3.5 device by "virtual" drawbars and tab switches as well as assigning General MIDI instruments to HX3.5 voices 16...39. When using a MIDI connection (also USB) a virtual keybed allows testing the voice you created.

HX3.5 Editor Connect Window


HX3.5 Editor can connect to the HX3.5 mainboard through several channels:

  • through MIDI over USB using a USB connection from your PC to the B-type USB Jack of the HX3.5 mainboard or of the HX3 Extension Board mk5 (but not mk4) or to the USB-mini Jack of the HX3 MIDI Expander,
  • through a bi-directional MIDI connection (IN/OUT) using a third-party USB MIDI adaptor,
  • through our FTDI serial adaptor cable FT232R-5V (available from our shop). Attach USB-to-serial adaptor cable FT232R-5V to the PC USB port and HX3.5 6-pin header PL19, black wire (BK) facing to black header PL17,
  • through any FTDI device with FT232 interface chip like the one on our discontinued HX3 Extension Board mk4. Connect the USB cable to the B-type USB jack of the HX3 Extension Board mk4 (internally, this as well goes as USB to serial connection through a FTDI interface).

Choose the channel that fits your configuration best. In the editor application all channels are equal, except for DSP updates, which can be made through MIDI over USB only. To establish communication, click on Connect at the top right corner of the main editor window.

Important: When using a "MIDI over USB" connection, disconnect any MIDI device from secondary (left) MIDI input DIN jack as both share the same MIDI input line.

MIDI connection

When HX3.5 is connected to your PC's USB port, it will appear as "HX3_USB" in the list of MIDI input/output devices. Per default, these items are checked in HX3.5 Editor's Connect window, so the connection will use the MIDI over USB. Select "USB Midi Cable" for a connection through MIDI IN/OUT and a USB MIDI cable. Protocol is proprietary SysEx, so other devices will not respond to HX3.5 Editor commands.

FTDI cable connection

On Connect in the editor main window, check the Use FTDI devive instead of MIDI box. Select "FT232R" or "TTL232R" entry and click on OK. On first use, Windows will install FTDI drivers automatically (Win XP needs manual FTDI driver installation, though).

HX3.5 Editor finalize window

Basic Settings

Open HX3.5 Update/Finalize window by clicking on the button Update/Finalize Panel at the top right corner. In the text field, the "Board Info" should show current configuration, including user name, the HX3.5 serial number, the "Organ" and "Extended" licence keys as well as the version numbers of the active parts of the operating software. Complete or partly updates may be triggered by pull-down menus in this window (see below). Checklist:

  • Is at least Organ Licence OK "LED" lit (light green)? Otherwise, licence number is invalid or a communication error occured reading it. You may need to enter the valid licence number(s) again in the finalize window. Then click on 'Send Licences/Name'.
  • Is appropiate Scan Driver installed? Should be either MIDI Input for HX3 MIDI Expander or HX3 Drawbar Expander FW) or FatarScan driver for other firmwares. You may replace the Scan Driver by using the HX3.5 Editor (see below).
  • Are HX3.5 System Inits correct? HX3.5 will not scan buttons or analog inputs if not set correctly. Go to HX3.5 main window and click on pink System Inits button. See Editing Parameters section below how to do this.

In order to configure the board for a particular device click on Execute INI and then open the file "config_xxx.ini" (xxx = device name). HX3.5 boards are configured as MIDI Expander from factory.

In order to restore factory default settings click on Execute INI and then open the file "factory_xxx.ini" (xxx = device name). Execution may take several seconds. To restore all presets to factory default settings, click on Finalize. Confirm you want all presets to be overwritten by clicking on Yes.


Before performing an update you should create backup files of the configuration settings and your presets.

  • To save the licence information click on Create Lic Backup INI in the window HX3.5 Update/Finalize. This will create a file named "licence.ini" containing your licence information.

In case the licence information is lost after a backup click on Execute INI and open the file "licence.ini". This will restore the licence information. Click on Get Board Info to confirm.

  • To save the configuration settings click on the tab Advanced in the main editor window, then on Save Table to INI Setup. The will create an INI file containing all configuration settings except the presets. Select a unique name for the INI file. The factory default settings are stored in this way in the file "factory_xxx.ini".

In case your configuration settings are lost after an update, click on Execute INI in the main window or in the Update/Finalize window and open the INI file you have created. Click on Get All Params, then your configuration data should appear again in the main window table.

  • To save the Presets click on the tab Presets in the main window, then click on Save Preset(s). This will create an INI file containing all (ALL) presets or a selected presets (number). If you choose ALL the procedure may take several seconds. Choose a unique file name like "presets_new.ini".
  • To save the Voices (drawbar settings) click on the tab Presets in the main window, and then on Save Upper Voice(s). This will create an INI file containing all (ALL) voices or a selected voice (number). Saving the Lower or Pedal voices is done in the same mannor using the buttons Save Lower Voice(s) and Save Pedal Voice(s), respectively". Choose unique names, for example "upper_all.ini".

In case your voices are lost after an update, click on Execute INI in the window HX3.5 Update/Finalize and open the INI file you have created. Repeat the procedure for the manuals and the pedal.

By the way: All INI files (the backup files as well) may also be read from an SD card and may be selected via the menu panel. Please note that in the menu all filenames are restricted by DOS convention (8 characters for the name, 3 characters for the extension). Experienced users may edit the INI files by using a standard text editor, for example to create or modify settings.

Operating the organ

HX3.5 Editor Tab/DB Panel

In the main editor window click on the button Tab/DB Panel at the top. This will open a window containing virtual controls, which are more neatly arranged than in the main window table. On the "Tab/DB Panel" you have the instrument's operating controls only. By clicking on the tabs Upper, Lower, Pedal or Volumes you approach the operating controls of the respective manual like the drawbars and ADSR/Percussion enable switches, or the volume controls. In each section you may recall and save the respective Voice presets.

If you select a voice number in the range of 16...39 you will get a list box containing all available General MIDI instruments, from which you may pick your selection for the respective voice preset. Please note that the GM assignments are valid for upper and lower manual as well as the pedal at the same time.

Changes applied to the controls will be sent to the HX3.5 immediately and registered in the main editor table.

If the HX3.5 is connected via MIDI, you may play the sounds for trying out by touching the virtual keyboard with the mouse pointer. The parameter assignement is independant of the selected CC set, since the data are transferred via MIDI SysEx.

Sometimes it may be useful to recall data from the HX3.5 board - for example after you have moved the real drawbars. Refresh the data by clicking on Get All Params in the main window. The settings on the "Tab/DB Panel" are synchronized automatically with the main editor table.

By hitting the Esc key or one of the function keys 1...12 you may select the live preset 0 or preset 1...12 quickly on the PC keyboard. Keep the shift key pressed to have the parameter values fetched and displayed in the editor window. This will take some time, though, and is not recommend when playing on stage. To select voices quickly, choose upper manual, lower manual, or pedal in the drop down menu "Function Key Assign" or by hitting one of the keys "u", "l", or "p". Push "c" or the spacebar to switch back to quick preset selection.

Editing Parameters

The main table in the editor main window lists all 800+ editable HX3.5 parameters, which are organized in groups. To find a particular parameter group, click on the tab Parameters, then click on corresponding button. The group will move to the top of the table, and will be marked as active by green parameter numbers. In the column Value click on the parameter line you want to edit.

Important: Please do not change values you don't fully understand! In particular, the System Inits and Rotary Setup group are delicate to changes, which may lead to unwanted results.

A help text for the selected parameter appears on right bottom of main window. Depending on type of parameter, either an editable scroll bar, an ON/OFF button or a dropdown list appears on parameter line. Some parameters do not have a special visual control, just the number itself.

Click on the teal colored Get Group button above to refresh values from HX3.5 board (e.g. to display current drawbar setting). Set Group will send whole group values to the HX3.5 (usually not necessary since parameter uplink is always "live").

Saving Parameters

Changes to parameters values are executed instantly, but they are temporary until you save their parameter group. Save destination is dependant on type of parameter (see color coding at right bottom of main window).

In the main window, click on the tab Parameters and select a parameter group by clicking on the group button, or click on a parameters value in the table to activate that group for saving.

To save teal colored Voice settings (drawbar positions) in the main window to a particular Voice Preset, select the desired voice number from the dropdown list and click on Store Group Values button.

Black coloured parameter values are saved to overall (common) presets. Note that the Store Group Values button changes its color corresponding to the type of the activated parameter values.

Red coloured parameter values are initial default values, which are valid for all voices and presets. Click on Store Group Values to save them as initial default values. The initial default values may get lost in the course of major firmware upgrades. Therefore you should create a backup file before updating. See section Backup.

Pink coloured parameter values (System Inits) are saved as a startup defaults for all voices and presets in common. Click on red Store Group Values button to save as initialization values. These parameters are persistent even with a major firmware update. Examine the values thoroughly if your hardware configuration has been changed. Also check the values on first-time use of brand new mainboard which is configured as MIDI expander from factory.

Grayed-out parameters should not be changed.

Assigning Controls

Every analog and digital input of the HX3.5 board may deliberately be assigned to nearly any function. From factory the HX3.5 assignments mostly match the assigments of the older HX3 mk4 board.

Assigning analog inputs

Click on the button Analog Remap to activate the assignment table. In the table the assigned function for each analog input is listed as the parameter value. For example, parameter 5009 has the function "Master Volume" assigned to input PL22 pin 10. If you have connected the TONE control to this input, set the value in the pull-down menu to "87 Tone Pot Equ". Make sure that you do not assign a function twice. Set unused inputs to "254 Not Assigned".

Assigning digital inputs

Click on the button Button Remap to activate the assigment table for the 16 digital inputs PL25/26 (and possibly more). Limitation: The inputs PL23 pin 1 to pin4 (for buttons at the bottom left side of Panel16) cannot be assigned deliberately, if the Panel16 configuration is set to vibrato knob or preset mode by System Inits parameter 1504.

Testing Controls

Manual Table Refresh

Parameter display will not update until you click Get Group or Get all Params. With all analog inputs enabled (parameter 1503=2), check if changes on drawbars are to be seen on Upper DB resp. changes on all other analog input groups are to be seen when clicking on the Get Group button. Non-working analog inputs may have been remapped to "not assigned". See Analog Remap group.

Live Events

Note: Following description applies to FTDI cable connection only. It is meant mainly for debugging.

Click green Start Events button to enable live update of displayed parameters (when it's group is visible in main table, data will change instantly). HX3.5 mainboard sends an "event" to the editor when it detects a change of any analog or digital control. The Log Window will show each event. If an analog input is floating (not connected), it is likely you will get random data on a particular parameter number. Click Stop Events to cancel live parameter updates. Note: Some functions (saving value groups, presets, finalizing) also stop event messaging; re-enable with Start Events if needed.

Example: To check operating range and mapping order of volume potentiometers, click "Volume Pots" button to display corresponding parameter group. Click "Start Events" and work the potentiometer knobs; values received should range from 0 to 127. If a pot refuses to work, it is likely that it's analog input has not mapped or re-mapped to the desired analog function (see Analog Remap section).

Updates and Scan Drivers

For updates, entering extended licences or changing Scan Driver from MIDI to FatarScan2 or Scan16/61, click on Update/Finalize Panel. The window HX3.5 Update/Finalize will open showing user name, the HX3.5 serial number, the Organ and Extended licence keys as well as the version numbers of the active parts of the operating software.

User Name

Make sure that at least green Organ Licence "LED" is already lit. To change the user name, enter name in New User Name text field and click Send Licences/Name.

Extended Licences

Make sure that green Organ Licence "LED" is already lit. To install an Extended Licence, enter number in "Extended Licence" text field and click Send Licences/Name.


Update files are made available for download through our Github repository. Please download the "UPDATE" ZIP file according to your configuration. Unzip and copy all files to a local folder on your harddisk.

Besides MIDI over USB and FTDI connection update files may as well be provided on a SD or SDHC card. An appropiate SD card adaptor is available from our shop. Updates from SD card may also be initiated in the panel menu or automatically on power-up. Please see HX3.5 SD Card Usage for details. If you are using an SD card, please copy all files to the root directory of an empty card. Attach the SD card adaptor to HX3.5 mainboard PL17.

Updates for HX3.5 consist of several parts:

  • Controller Firmware including EEPROM content (firmware.bin and eeprom.bin), handles user interface behaviour and MIDI CC
  • FPGA Sound Engine (hx3_main.bin), all organ sound generation
  • Wavesets (wavesetX.bin), waveform definitions for Sound Engine, different organ models
  • Scan Driver (scanXXX.dat), handles keybed scanning or MIDI receive
  • Taperings (taperX.dat), B3/H100 tone generator filters and manual tapering definitions
  • FIR coefficients (fir_coe.dat), coefficient file for rotary horn simulation
  • DSP firmware (reverb, sound generation by GM synthesizer)
  • DSP Sound Banks (audio wave table for GM synthesizer)

Files may be used independently and may carry different time stamps; some will rarely need an update (Wavesets, Taperings, FIR Coeffs). See Changelog on our Github Repository page for details which files are to be updated since last commit. Select the file designated for updating from the appropriate drop down menu Update via SD Card..., Update via MIDI oder FTDI Device... in the HX3.5 Update/Fínalize Window.

As long as the preset and parameter structure did not change on new firmware version (otherwise will be noticed in Changelog), do not update the EEPROM content as it holds all board settings and drawbar voices. The update from SD card will skip the EEPROM update automatically if the preset structure did not change.

Important: After updating to a different firmware type (eg. from expander to drawbar organ), check System Inits parameters with HX35 Editor. These values are persistent even when firmware is updated. Factory programming is ADC setting "Swell only" for expander use, so set the configuration according to your needs. Also, the MIDI only scan driver is installed. If FatarScan2 or Scan16/Scan61 boards are to be used, replace scan driver with appropriate type (running INI script scanfatr.ini or scan61.ini). On custom installations, also check Analog Remaps and Button Remaps with HX3.5 Editor as the update will install default values here.

Updating the firmware may require a "finalizing" process to overwrite invalid preset structures. In that case this will indicated in the changelog. Click Finalize button after all updates and settings are done. Note: Finalizing will void any presets, so please create a backup file before doing so.

For update of the HX3.5 Reverb/GM Synth DSP, see page HX3.5 DSP Updates.

Using HX3.5 Editor on a Mac

HX3.5 Editor running in VirtualBox on a Mac

Sorry, there is no Mac version of HX3.5 Editor available yet. But Mac users may use our application anyway. All you need is install a Windows environment, either by making use of Apple’s Boot Camp, or in a virtual machine like Parallels Desktop or Oracle’s free VirtualBox.

For example, we are explaining how to set up and connect the HX3.5 Editor even in a very old Windows XP environment running in VirtualBox. We are assuming that you already have installed VirtualBox and the Windows XP operating system:

  • 1 Launch VirtualBox and start up Windows XP.
  • 2 Download HX35_Editor_508.zip from the KeyboardPartner Github. Unzip the file and make sure all contents is in one folder on your virtual Windows machine.
  • 3 Connect the HX3.5 board or device to your Mac via USB and power it up.
  • 4 Open VirtualBox pull-down menu ‘Devices’ and select ‘USB’.
  • 5 Choose the entry ‘DREAM S.A.S HX3_USB’.
  • 6 Go to the ‘HX35_Editor_508’ folder and launch ‘HX35_Editor.exe’.
  • 7 In the HX35 Editor window, click on ‘Connect’.
  • 8 The ‘Select USB device’ window will open, check ‘USB audio device’ in MIDI input device as well as MIDI output device boxes and then ‘Ok’.

Then you’re done. You may now use the HX3.5 Editor as described in the manual above.

Note: Since old Internet browsers for Windows XP are no longer supported, it may be impossible to access the KeyboardPartner Github due to security settings. In this case you may perform the file downloads in the Mac environment and then transfer the files to the Windows environment through a Shared Folder.

After a firmware update is completed, the HX3.5 mainboard will reboot, disconnecting the USB port. This may result in an error message in HX3.5 Editor, since Windows XP in the VirtualBox environment is not able to re-establish communication. In this case you need to go back to topic 4. and re-connect the HX3.5 system. Click on the ‘Get Board Info’ button in the ‘Update/Fiinalize’ window to confirm the update has been performed successfully.