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First Steps file:///C:/Users/Omistaja/Downloads/VSampler-Tutorial/VSampler-Tut...

Tutorial "Creating VSampler instruments"

The following tutorial will show you how to


create an instrument in VSampler from one
or more .WAV files. At the same time we'll
talk about typical procedures and introduce
you to some of VSampler's most interesting
functions. Please use VSampler version 2.7
or newer, to be able to reproduce all steps.
Whether you use Standard or Pro, VST
Instrument (VSTi), DX Instrument (DXi) or
Standalone version - it doesn't matter for
this tutorial, nor does the sequencer you
use. The source samples in WAV format
can be found in the "sounds" directory
inside the tutorial. Let's go!

After starting, VSampler appears in the


Preset mode, and all of the preset slots are
empty. Load the sample "sawteeth.wav",
either by using the button "Load Sample",
the menu "Load Sample", or by
drag'n'dropping directly from the Explorer
(drag'n'drop doesn't work with Sonar at the
moment) into one of the free slots - and the
first playable sound is ready! Our first
preset, containing one single Split.

You can now play the onscreen keyboard


with the mouse. The closer you get to the
bottom edge of each key, the louder each sound will be played - velocity sensitivity by
mousekey :-)

If you have a MIDI keyboard you should of


course use it rather than the onscreen
keyboard to play your VSampler. If you run
VSampler as VSTi or DXi inside a
sequencer VSampler just uses the MIDI
engine and settings of the sequenzer, no
need to setup anything special. Users of
the Standalone-version find the MIDI
devices setup at VSampler's menu
Preferences --> MIDI Settings. For this
tutorial set the MIDI mode of VSampler to
"Preset," so that the selected preset will be
played no matter what MIDI channel your
keyboard is sending it's data.

When using VSampler within a song you would set this mode back to "Multi" and then at the
"Multi"-page you would assign Presets to the 16 MIDI-channels (doubleclick) as well as a
mixer-channel of the host-sequencer. So you get up to 16 individual outputs to the mixer incl.
the possibility to add insert-effects, provided the host-sequencer supports multiple audio-
outputs per instrument (e.g. Steinberg Cubase/Cubasis VST, Sonic Syndicate Orion).

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At the filter page, activate the lowpass filter


"Lowpass 1 12 dB". Play around with the
sound turning the "Freg" knob - the cutoff
frequency of the filter changes. The lower
this value, the more muffled the sound.
Depending on it's setting, the filter
resonance ("Res") can boost the
frequencies around the cutoff-point of the
filter. A quick change of the cutoff
frequency combined with a high resonance
will give you typical acid chirps and whistles
- but take care, digital clipping might occur.
For the tutorial sound let's set the
resonance to about 70%, and the frequency to about 22050 Hz, so the filter is fully opened.

Up until now, the sound remained the same


each time you struck a key. We can lively
things up a bit by making the cutoff
frequency dependent on the velocity. A
popular method not only for synthesizer-
sounds but also for e.g. percussions or
piano: when the key is struck harder, the
sound becomes louder and at the same
time the higher frequencies are emphasized
- the filter opens up. To do this, set the
"Freq Vel Sens" (Frequency Velocity
Sensitivity) at the "Velocity" tab of the Filter
page to a value of about 100. If you hit the
key with maximum strength you should be able to hear the sound with the filter fully opened,
adjust this value till you feel comfortable playing the sound and it matches the dynamic of
your keyboards.

In order to hear the effect without a velocity-sensitive MIDI keyboard, click with the mouse on
various areas of a key of one of the onscreen keyboard's keys.

Now, we also want to be able to hear the


sound even if we strike a key softly; to
better bring up the filter effect. To do this,
the key pressure sensitivity as related to
volume (velocity sensitivity) must be
reduced. This is done at the Volume page
by lowering the "VelSens"value from 127 to
40. Now you can hear the sound at the low
velocity range too and it can be played
quite expressively.

In addition to making the filter velocity-


sensitive, let's now modulate the filter
frequency with the LFO (Low Frequency
Oscillator). To do this, go to the "LFO"
page und tell the LFO to modulate the filter
cutoff frequency (the LFO target) as shown
in the picture and set the speed of the LFO
to 6 Hz. Now click the button with the little
hook ">" and lower the Target Range from
100 down to 30 to soften the LFO effect a
bit. As an alternative you could also use the

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hardwired filter-LFO at the "Filter"page, it's


specialized to control both the cutoff-frequency and the resonance of the filter simultaneously
with independent amounts, e.g. with opposite directions to cause an effect similar to that of a
WahWah. On the LFO page you can activate and setup 2 independent LFO's, you can switch
between them on top of the upper right corner of the envelope display. Together with the
hardwired filter-LFO that makes 3 LFO's per Split. Note: VSampler doesn't have a dedicated
page for a pitch-envelope, because this function is rarely used. But it can be done easily, just
"abuse" one of the LFO's and set the Waveform to "Envelope" and the target to "Frequency"
- you got your pitch-envelope. In the tutorial-soundbank you find the sound "pitch envelope"
which demonstrates this effect - after releasing the key the engine slows down, have a look
at the LFO-page of this sound.

Up until now, all keys have played the same


sound. Now we are going to split the
keyboard so that we can play our current
sound "sawteeth" on the upper octaves,
and on a lower octave a second sound
which we will now load. As with the first
sound, this is done on the Preset page.
Place the cursor on the upper left slot, and
load the sound "OctaveStrings.wav" on top
of the current sound. Now you can hear
both sounds at the same time. Beneath the
WahWah synth sound lies the string - we´ve
created a second sample layer, a second
Split.
Especially in the lower octaves this sounds works rather well! :-)

Now let's switch over to the Zones-page.


Here you see a graphical representation of
how every sound is assigned to certain
keys (Keyzones) and velocity ranges
(Velocityzones) - every sound plays within
it's ranges only. The name of the currently
selected Split can always be seen above
the Zones window. Not yet very appealing
for the moment, but please be patient :-)

At first we want to deal with the keyzones


only, activate the Keyzone-View at the
upper right corner of the Zones page. You can now see how our two sounds are each
assigned to the entire keyboard, which is why we are hearing them both at once, no matter
which note we play. We'll change that in the next step.

In order to do this, use the mouse to


change the ranges as shown in the right
picture by dragging the small black boxes
at the left and right border of each range or
by entering the note names into the Lo and
Hi field directly (doubleclick pops up an
input dialog). Now each sound is assigned
to a separate area of the keyboard - test it!
You should always hear only one of the two
sounds, depending on whether you are
playing in the lower or upper octaves.

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The "R" mark within a range is the root-key


of the Split. This note plays the pitch that
the sample was originally recorded in. The
farther away from this key, the more
"unnatural" the sound. This however is
exactly what we've just done; we've
assigned the strings to an area that is so
low that they can only be played far below
their root-key. The result is that the strings
sound too low. This is easily corrected by
simply moving the root-key down an octave
as shown in the left picture. That's better!

In actual practice keyzones are used either to play more than one instrument live without
having to switch anything. Or to create a close replication of a sampled instrument - you
won't be happy with a piano created from just one single sample, it will sound everything but
original even a few keys away from the root-key.

The picture on the right is just an (extreme)


demonstration, no step of the tutorial, don't
panic! :-) To recreate the sound of an
original instrument as close as possible
keyzones are not enough - additionally it
might be required to create velocity-zones.
That means VSampler will not just play
different samples at different keys but
additionally it will play different samples
*within* a key, in dependence of the
velocity. Those zones are created in the
Velocity-Zones view. For instance when
playing a piano, with different velocities the
sound doesn't just change it's volume but also it's character. This kind of change in the
character of a sound can't be artificially generated by a sampler by tweaking some sound-
parameters. That's why we sample the original instrument at different velocities and
re-assemble it in the sampler. This could look like the picture on the left, a bass guitar which
has been recorded in 4 velocity-stages semitone by semitone. You also get the velocity-
controlled filter of your favourite analogsynth into the VSampler this way.

Back to the tutorial-sound. The layout of


the velocity-zones and key-zones is
graphically represented in the
Velocity-Zones View: keyzones are
displayed horizontally, corresponding to the
keys of the onscreen-keyboards, and
velocity-zones vertically within a range of 0
to 127. You see the key-ranges of the two
Splits as you changed them earlier in the
Keyzones-View. And in adddition you can
see that both Splits span accross the
complete velocity range within their
assigned keyzone, from 0 to 127. You can
change that the same way as before in the Keyzone-View: drag the corners of the ranges
with your mouse. As an alternative you could enter the numbers for the Velocity-range of a
Split at the "Volume" page in the "VelRange" input fields.

A ready-to-use example sound to play


around with can be found in the tutorial-
soundbank, check the Velocity-Zones
layout of the sound "8 velocity zones" an

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test it with different velocities - the Waldorf


Pulse in action, see picture on the right.

Short

commercial break :-) Sample-CD's with ready-to-play


VSampler-banks at a price of just $25 (+shipping) can be
found at www.maz-shop.com - most of the sounds used in this tutorial (incl. the one shown
on the right) are from the CD "no.1 instruments".

Switch back to the "Presets" page and


place the cursor to the first sound of this
tutorial, if you played around with other
sounds before. The last basic function
group which influences the sound and
hasn't yet been discussed is found on the
"Volume" page. Here is where (guess what
;-) ) the volume parameters are set, incl.
the volume envelope of the sound. Above
the onscreen keyboard (as illustrated left),
the two Splits are graphically represented
next to each other as bars. Select the left
split, the strings. The name of the selected
Split, "OctaveStrings" is now shown above. Now modify the volume envelope as shown in the
picture on the right, giving the strings a slowly rising attack phase as well as a softly falling
release.

Often it's required to change certain


parameters as e.g. the volume envelope
not just for one Split but for the complete
Preset (instrument). To do this you would
select "All Splits" at the menu up right as
Edit Group - all following touches to a
parameter apply to all Splits of a Preset
then. If you got a complex instrument with
numerous Splits you would want to select
multiple Splits at once, to apply certain
actions to the selected Splits only and
leave all other Splits untouched. As soon as
you selected more than one Split the
currently selected Splits are marked red. Multiselecting Splits is done the common
Windows-way by using the Shift- or Ctrl-key, either directly in the Zones-View or on the right
in the Splits-View.

So much for the melody instruments. Let's now skip to


a special case: the drum-set. As opposed to melody
instruments, drumsets usually consist of a large number
of separate sounds which typically occupy exactly one
key each. This assignment (root-key and range
together on only one key) is performed automatically by
VSampler when loading, as long as the checkbox "use
next free key(s)" is activated.

Whenever a new sample is added, it will


automatically be assigned to the next free
key. This works the same way when
loading several WAV's at the same time.
Try it out using the sounds in the

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"Percussion-Set" directory. The result after


loading all of the WAV's should look like the
picture on the right. You can also view the
created splits in the Split-view on the right
side of VSampler. If you want to directly
place a sample on a certain key just
drag'n'drop it to the respective position of
the Splitbar above this key.

For all of you impatient people, a somewhat edited version of the tutorial soundbank
"tutorial.vsb" is ready to be used.

Have fun experimenting and making music with VSampler!

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