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Using the EXS24 Instrument Editor

Let’s take a look inside the newly created sampler instrument with the goal of exploring the creative potential offered by the EXS24. You edit Sampler instruments in the EXS24 Instrument Editor, which is accessible from the EXS24 interface.

  1. In the inspector, double-click the EXS24 in the channel strip to open the EXS24 interface.

    The EXS24 Parameter window opens with the newly created sampler instrument, Vox Note, displayed. You will be working with the parameters in this window later in the lesson; but for now, you will use it to quickly access the EXS24 Instrument Editor.

  2. Click the Edit button.

    04fig06.jpg

    The EXS24 Instrument Editor opens.

  3. To save some screen real estate, close the EXS24 Parameter window (but not the EXS24 Instrument Editor).

    The EXS24 Instrument Editor has two views: Zones and Groups. You are currently looking at the Zones view (more on Groups later), as indicated by the selected button at the upper left.

    04fig08.jpg

    The top portion of the EXS24 Instrument Editor is called the Parameters area, and it displays the settings of each sample referenced by the sampler instrument. The bottom portion of the window displays how each sample is mapped to various pitches, as represented by the keyboard at the bottom of the window. As you can see, a new zone named Vox Note.1 was created, mapped to C3 on the keyboard.

    When you create a sampler instrument with the Convert Regions to New Sampler Track command, the zone created is without range—that is, mapped to only a single pitch.

    You can, of course, extend the zone’s range to map the audio file to multiple pitches, either by changing settings in the Key Range columns of the Parameters area, or by directly dragging the zone in the lower area.

  4. In the Key Range parameters, double-click the Hi field and enter c4. Press Return.

    04fig09.jpg

    The zone extends in range to the right, from C3 to C4.

  5. In the lower area of the EXS24 Instrument Editor, drag the zone’s left border toward the left, extending the range to C2.

  6. Play the C2 to C4 keys on your MIDI keyboard, listening to the result.

    The pitch (and speed) of the sample shifts up and down, mapped in relation to your MIDI keyboard input.

    If you have perfect pitch, you might have noticed that the sung note is a little flat compared to standard tuning (A440). It wouldn’t be a problem if this were the only instrument used in the project, but if other instruments will be played at the same time, it would sound out of tune. Using the zone’s Pitch parameters in the Instrument Editor, you can compensate for tuning discrepancies in Coarse or Fine degrees. (Coarse equals semitones, and Fine equals cents, or 1/100th of a semitone.)

    The best way to tune a zone by hand is by inserting a Tuner plug-in on the EXS24 channel, monitoring the results as you adjust parameters.

  7. Click the Audio FX slot of the new Vox Note (EXS24) channel, and choose Metering > Tuner > Stereo to open the Tuner.

  8. While watching the Tuner readout, hold down the C3 key on your MIDI keyboard and drag the zone’s Fine parameter upward to about 28 cents. (The Tuner’s readout will bob around the 12 o’clock position.)

    04fig12.jpg

    The sample plays in tune relative to standard tuning.

  9. Close the Tuner window.
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