Microsoft DirectX 9.0

Bank Selection

Because a single data byte is used to select the patch number in a program change, and only seven bits in each data byte of a MIDI message are significant, a program change can select from a maximum of 128 instruments. To provide a greater choice, the MIDI specification allows for the use of up to 16,384 instrument banks, each containing up to 128 instruments.

To select an instrument from a different bank, the MIDI sequencer must first send a control change message called bank select. The two data bytes of this message are referred to as the most significant byte (MSB) and least significant byte (LSB), and they are combined to identify a bank. Once the bank has been selected, each subsequent program change selects an instrument from that bank.