Switch to New Website - www.notation.com

Home > Community > Resources for Musicians

How to obtain a Cakewalk Instrument Definition File (.ins) for your MIDI device

Learn how to download a Cakewalk Instrument Definition file for your MIDI keyboard, MIDI sound module, or other device.

The User's Guides for both Notation Musician and Composer describe how you can import a Cakewalk Instrument Definition (.ins) file in order to set up the configuration of your MIDI device.

This will save you the effort of manually entering the patch names for each of 128 instrument sounds on your MIDI device, or multiples of 128 instrument sounds if your MIDI device has multiple MIDI banks.

The procedure for importing Cakewalk Instrument Definition (.ins) files into any Notation product is described in the User's Guide. It's easiest to use the "Index" feature to look up "INS".

To download a Cakewalk Instrument Definition (.ins) file for your MIDI keyboard, MIDI sound module, or other device, follow these steps:

  1. IMPORTANT: If you are viewing this web page using Notation's built-in browser, you should instead follow these steps using your normal browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or your preferred browser. The reason for this recommendation is that in step #5, if you attempt to download the Cakewalk Instrument Definition zip file using Notation's built-in browser, Notation will attempt to unzip the file as a MIDI file and will display an error message saying it cannot correctly open the file.
  2. Go to the Notation Users Forum and use the "Search" function to find the thread on "Instrument definition files".
  3. Read through the list of files in the threads of this forum discussion. The files are named according the MIDI device manufacturer and model numbers. If you do not find a file with the particular model number of your device, then use the general manufacturer file, such as Roland.zip, that will include instrument descriptions for many models for the same manufacturer. If you cannot find the file that you need on the forum, you can use your favorite search engine and enter the device name and "ins" or "instrument definition file" to search the internet for the .ins file that you need .
  4. Download the and unzip the zip file. (IMPORTANT: See note in step #1.)
  5. Run Notation, and follow the instructions for importing the Cakewalk Instrument Definition (Ins) file into Notation.

    Again, the instructions for doing so are described in the User's Guide : Configuring Your Sound Card and MIDI Equipment / Using the MIDI Device Configuration Window / Managing MIDI Devices / Importing from a Cakewalk Instrument Description (.ins) File. Or just use the Index feature to look up "INS".


Create and edit sheet music with your keyboard, mouse, or MIDI instrument.
$98.99 USD

Convert MIDI files into sheet music you can see, hear, and play along with.
$59.99 USD