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Logic 9 EXS24 Sample Select by CC# value rather than velocity?

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by Per Boysen, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    I can't find a way to make the EXS24 morph between two layers of samples by MIDI CC#2 rather than by velocity! Any ideas?

    The reason is I'm recording and building this EXS24 instrument to play flute sounds with an EWI. With breath instrument you have nothing like velocity for plucked or strummed instruments. I have one layer of hard overblown and distorted by vocalization flute notes and a second layer of soft and smooth flute tone samples with minimum overtone character. I want to crossfade these by CC#2 and that doesn't seem to be possible within the EXS24 (hoping I'm wrong).

    If I can't find out how to do it the workaround will be to create two different EXS24 instruments, based on each tone character, and set them up in parallell as a Mainstage patch with crossfade level by CC#. But it would be cool to do it all in the EXS24 so the same multi layer instrument can also work as is in Logic.

    Maybe Sample Select is not the best parameter to do this? I also looked into EXS24 Groups as well but could not find a way to assign any CC# to "Group Output Level" (cross fading two groups of zones by the CC#2).
  3. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    This may be a task that Redmatica's AutoSampler is made for. You can create a single instrument using it's "multi-dimentional" parameters, and assign it to any CC you want, if I'm not mistaken. If you have the time, I'd suggest you download the AutoSampler2 manual and see if it does what you want.

    Of course, if you use samples regularly, I think the whole Compendium is worth it. :)

    Hope that helps,
  4. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Thanks Orren. I own AutoSampler since a long time but I had forgot about that "multi-dimensional" functionality. Only used it the week I sampled all of my old analog synths :))

    I just re-read your post and noticed that you were talking about two instruments while I was actually asking for how to do it within one instrument. Best would be if layer groups (within one instrument) could adapt their levels according to a given CC#, by positive or negative scaling so two groups can be continuously cross faded

    Just need to see if AutoSampler works on Intel Macs with Snow Leopard - I bought mine back in the G5 days. Guess there will be a upgrade?`
  5. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome! :)

    The new version released a few months ago (AutoSampler2) is 10.6 compatible. In fact, 2.1, shown at NAMM and to be released next month, is 64-bit as well.

    Take care,
  6. mattrixx

    mattrixx Senior member

  7. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Ah... thanks, Matt. I was just toying with that but didn't got it to work yet. And I'm also reading the online manual about "Using the EXS24 mkII Advanced Group Selection Parameters". It seems I will be able to use CC#2 to fade between Groups. Awesome! So by both fading between sample zones (your recent tip) and groups by the same CC# I think I will be able to realize the sound patch I have in mind.

    It's so much faster to set it up in Mainstage and I have been working a lot in Mainstage lately so I sort of had a minor shock when trying to do it in Logic by the EXS24 instrument programming. But, as said initially, the time needed to tweak it is an investment for the future because then the instrument will work with exactly the same feel both in Logic and Mainstage.
  8. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Matt, I just realized why the "S.Select" method doesn't work so well. It is because if you set it to MIDI CC#2 it still only selects sample at the very first note attack. It doesn't fade over to another sample during the notes duration if the continuous CC#2 value changes. And this is what I need to play breath-style.

    So I will try to set up "S.Select" for all layers at once and then use "Advanced Group Selection Parameters" to switch with crossfade zone between zones of two groups.
  9. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Ouch, obviously "Advanced Group Selection Parameters" does only work in the same way as "Sample Select"; picking the the group (instead of sample) at the note attack. What a drag! You can't realize a breath controlled wind instrument patch in Logic within the EXS24. I will have to first set all sample loop points in Logic and set up the actual instrument and trim it in Mainstage by building a Multi Layer Instrument Patch.

    This seems like an annoying Logic/Mainstage incompatibility. It can be worked around by playing the correctly sounding Mainstage patch on a secondare computer, set to the same tempo as the Logic session, record the MIDI and paste it into Logic to control two separate Logic tracks, each containing a layer to be morphed by CC#2 level with the other. Nice that there is always a solution, but I must say that these days Mainstage offers me more "it-just-works" value (as being a breath based EWI player).
  10. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    I was intrigued by this question and tried to work through the options available. (Sad to say I even tried setting up a Transformer in the Environment but couldn't convert CC#2 to velocity:().

    So setting a value in the Xfade box doesn't give you the crossfade effect you need?

    If so then it's really a shame for those using breath controllers.
  11. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Thanks for your support, CSeye! What I want to achieve is to have two groups/layers of sample sets and crossfade between them by CC#2, ie how hard I blow. The harder I blow the more is heard from the sample set that was recorded by overblowing and vocalize distorting the original flute tone and the softer I blow the more is heard from the soft and mellow set of samples (I have sampled every note at three alternative blowing techniques).

    You should be able to play a note from silence and slowly increase your breath power to make the sampler correspondingly crossfade from the soft sample layer into the overblown harsch sounding sample layer. Converting CC#2 (breath) to velocity values on-the-fly doesn't help because velocity is in fact an attack value for a note and can not be used to increase or decrease a continuous value - as cross fading is about. By the MIDI specification you simply can not generat a new velocity value while holding a one long note, only when playing a new note.

    What I'm doing now instead, is to create two EXS24 instruments, one for each sound character, and set them up inside the same Mainstage patch in the multi layer patch manner. I will mostly need this instrument at concerts so Mainstage is a totally accurate solution for me. In the future I may like to play like that ("what you hear is what you get") in the studio and record as MIDI into Logic and I think I will be able to build a proper breath cross fading instrument in Kontakt (eventually with additional controller routing inside a Biduel AU plugin).
  12. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    So far I know it is the only way and a matter of sample players in general. Each of the audio snippets can be triggered or not. You cannot half-trigger it or change it after you triggered.

    I think we can say that sample players do not fit for wind controllers. Look at the thousands of samples a complete instrument requires. And the sophisticated performance tools where you select the type of samples almost manually. This is keyboard and programming stuff, hardly usable for a live blown or bowed instrument if you want great articulation. Once a sample is triggered you can only change the sound by tone controls.

    However, I don't think that crossfading alone gives you all you need. There is still the sample selection. Take just one single tone: If you play hard and take the breath back, the old harsh sample keeps sounding while the new soft sample blends in. And the soft sample was triggered too hard. You may be forced to work on some tone controls to fake the transition.

    You don't want to go back to hardware, do you? I myself stopped to use exclusively software for the wind controller, although I am not after natural sounds. The best way I found yet is to combine physical modeling hardware and virtual instruments. There you get instant attack, the physical model follows your breath and in a certain range you let the softsynth come in (or vice versa) and the hardware can mask the less-optimal behavior of the software.
  13. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Good points, Peter! It just isn't possible to set up a breath playable fully expressive EXS24 instrument of a wind character.

    What I need to do is to have all layers/groups trigged by any velocity value. Then I'll have CC#2 crossfade between the two or three layers as they all play. That would sound good enough; I'm already doing it in Mainstage and was just surprised that it isn't possible within the EXS24.

    There are lots of good "wind instrument" EXS24 patches but they are all programmed for plucking or strumming instruments, like the piano, to mimic the character of a wind instrument. And the EXS24 itself isn't even cabale of providing the functionality needed for using a wind instrument controller to play wind instrument dynamic sound design. I won't say this sucks, because it just mirrors the market out there. We EWI players just have to roll our own electronic instrument patches and I'm all happy with that because that's what I'd do anyway :))

    My solution here is to use a combination of two EXS24 instruments. The first is a velocity crossfade between two layers; softly blown notes and spitted attack notes. The other EXS24 instrument has only one layer: notes acoustically distorted by singing behind the flute air pillar (gives a kind of ring modulated feel to the sound). Next stage is to use both of these EXS24 patches in Mainstage and set up a Mainstage Multi Layer Patch that cross fades between the two EXS24 patches by CC#2. Velocity is not used for playback level/volume at all, only for cross switching between the two attack characters in the first EXS24 instrument.

    Then there are a lot more details in EWI sound design and the EXS24 handles all that very well. Stuff like going in and out of Portamento Mode while playing melody lines, turning off LFO vibrato and instead using pitch-bend with more or less spice of a scaled filter cut-off, smart voices number limiting in order to do chord backing by the sustain pedal (CC#64) and more... This might sound complex, but with the AKAI 4000s all these simultaneous control parameters come together naturally as "simply playing it as an instrument". AKAI has done a great job designing the 4000s.

    A cool aspect of using Mainstage instead of Logic is that you are not limited to (thanks to the Multi Layer Instrument option) to set up all your preferred sounds as an EXS24 instrument. You may use a certain note range to trigger Playback and Loopback plugins. The EWI has such a long note range so you can stuff a lot into one Mainstage patch. But dammit, it would be cool to have all that in Logic for studio sessions!!!
  14. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    I know this isn't exactly what your looking for. But it may spark some other solution.

    I'm a MIDI guitar plucker and never realized how complex wind instruments are to reproduce with MIDI.

    I'm not an Environment expert either, but it fascinate me.


    Environment Crossfade project file is here:

    Attached Files:

  15. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    That environment is a great example! I just wish the EXS24 would allow that crossfading.
  16. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I may be totally misunderstanding this, but I am able to do what I think it is you want. In this case I'm using the modwheel to crossfade or "morph" between two sustained samples.

    Attached is a test exs 24 instrument, it will crossfade from a sinewave into a HardFM synth via cc1, is this what you mean?

    EDIT: didn't work I've reattached, see post further down)
  17. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    HI Pete,

    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. But I can't see how to receive an attachement from this forum post. Would you mind explaining how you made that happen in the EXS24 or email me the attachment?
  18. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Attached Files:

  19. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Beware, the crossfade sample is really nasty
  20. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Thanks, Pete. I'm checking out your example and it is indeed identical to what I tried first. I didn't get it to work first, when trying with my EWI. Then I switched to another MIDI controller, a micro KORG, and with this one IT WORKS! Obviously I have a hardware error in my EWI that needs fixing - I should have double checked with another synth earlier. Please accept my apologies for bringing confusion into this thread and thanks to all of you that have bothered helping me to track this down.

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