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These effects generate MIDI events when passing a track through them. This implies that new MIDI messages are produced as a result of these effects.
The Arpache 5 is an arpeggio and note pattern generator (see Figure B.2). There are three main areas in this effect that control how the effect generates its arpeggios. The Playmode area with its six buttons determines the direction of the arpeggiated notes. An arrow pointing up means that the notes generated move upwards along the chord or note you play and an arrow pointing down means that the notes move downwards. The question mark generates a random direction based on the note or notes you played. The Order button activates the Play Order section, which creates a specific order in which notes are played in your arpeggio. If you look at the last staff in Figure B.3, you will notice that the Play Order used was 1-2-1. Because the chord played was C-E-G, the lowest note is considered as Note 1 and the highest as Note 3. In this case, the arpeggio plays a 1-2-1 pattern before going up one level; then it repeats this pattern, creating a more complex arpeggio.
The Quantize field determines the distance between each note in the arpeggio. In this case (Figure B.2 and B.3), this is set to sixteenth notes. The Length field determines the length for each note. The Semi-Range determines the range in semitones covered by the arpeggio. This defines how high or how low the arpeggio will go from the lowest note played. In this example, the range is set to 24 semitones, or two octaves.
Because the Arpache can be played in real time or assigned to a track, you can decide if you want to include the chords or notes you play to trigger the effect by using the Thru button. When this button is active, you hear the chords as you play them. When this button is deactivated, you only hear the notes generated by the Arpache, unless of course you already have notes recorded on a track. In this case, you can set the MIDI output port for this track to Not Connected. This allows you to hear the events generated by the events recorded on the track without hearing these actual events. In our Figure B.3 example, this would prevent us from hearing the original C chord while we hear the resulting arpeggio.
The Autopan generates Control Change messages over a period of time. Its best use, however, is to create an autopan effect, creating pan values that change over time. In the example provided in Figure B.4, you can see that a square wave has been selected. The different wave buttons choose how the events are created. The frequency of each wave, or its period, is determined by the Period field. In this example, it is set to quarter notes. This means that the pattern of the wave repeats every quarter note. The Density field determines how often a value is added. Again, in this example, the density is set to sixteenth notes. As you can see, there is a value added every sixteenth note in the controller lane of the Key Editor. The Controller field chooses which Control Change message is added to the MIDI track. In other words, this example uses the AutoPan with the Pan Control Change message, but you can use any other Control Change message if you want. The Min and Max fields set a minimum and maximum value for generated Control Change messages. Because this example uses a square wave, each value that is added is either 0 or 127. But if you were to use a sine or random wave, for example, you could have intermediate values as well.
You should also know that when you want to use a smoother transition between pan value changes, you will achieve a better result with a higher density value. However, the shorter both your period and density are, the more MIDI events you generate, and this might cause your MIDI port to choke if it is overwhelmed by such MIDI events.
The two last waveforms on the right can be used with the AmpMod field, which controls the amplitude modulation variations of the controller messages. This works much like a low-frequency oscillator, adding a variable waveform into the equation, thus creating a more complex change in the waveform appearance of the generated messages.
The Chorder effect generates chords when you play a single note. It offers three basic modes: Normal, Octave, and Global.
In Normal mode, you can assign a chord to each note of your keyboard, up to 128 different chords. You create chords using the upper keyboard, clicking on notes you want to include in your chord, and you define the key that triggers this chord by selecting it on the lower keyboard. In Figure B.5, playing the C3 note generates the chord found in the upper keyboard.
The Octave mode is similar; however, you can have up to 12 chords, or one per semitone in an octave. This means that no matter which C key you press, it plays the same chord at the corresponding octave.
In Global mode, the entire keyboard plays the same chord, so the Trigger Note keyboard shown in Figure B.5 is not visible. The chord plays the corresponding chord at the pitch determined by the key you play.
In all three modes, you can also assign zones. Zones create different chords for the same note and are triggered in one of two ways: either by velocity or by note combination.
When chords are triggered by velocity, the velocity scale is divided equally among the number of zone splits you create. For example, if you have two zones, playing a note at a velocity range of 0 to 63 plays one chord (the one you assigned to Zone 1), and playing a note with a velocity between 64 and 127 plays the second zone chord (the one assigned to Zone 2). If you use notes to determine which zone is played, you can only play one chord, or one note at a time. The lowest note you play determines the pitch of the chord, and the second simultaneous note you play determines which other note is played. The interval between the two determines which zone is played. For example, if you play the notes G3 and G#3, the interval is one semitone; therefore, the chord played is the one assigned to this zone. If you play G3 and A3, the interval is two semitones; so, the Zone 2 chord plays, and so on, for a maximum of eight different chords for eight different zones.
Figure B.6 displays an example of chords changing, depending on the method used. The upper staff shows the notes played to trigger the different zones when notes are used to switch between zones. As you can see, the interval between the two notes in this staff is a semitone. This tells the Chorder you want to hear the chord assigned to that zone. In the third bar, the pitch is now different, but the relation between the two notes in the first staff is the same, so the Zone 1 chord is played starting on the lower note's pitch. The second staff from the top shows the notes played to trigger the different zones (each note is played at a different velocity). The lower two staves show the chords generated, which are a C Major 9th chord, C Major 7#11 chord, and a C 13 added.
Because the three modes are similar, we take a look at how to create chords and zones in the Octave mode. Remember that in Normal mode, you can have up to 128 different chords. The note that plays them does not affect the pitch, but serves as a trigger. In Octave mode, the same applies, with the exception that you hear a different octave, depending on the octave you play the trigger note in, and in Global mode, the played pitch determines the chord's pitch. The example in Figure B.6 was generated by using the Global mode using three separate zones.
To create chords in the Chorder MIDI effect:
Select the desired mode. The following steps assume you selected Octave mode.
In the trigger keyboard, click the note you want to use to trigger the chord. The note becomes red.
In the Chord Setup keyboard, click the notes you want to include in the chord. Clicking the note turns it blue, meaning it will be part of the chord. Clicking it again removes it from the chord.
Play that note on your keyboard controller to hear the result.
Repeat Steps 24 for each additional chord you want to create in your octave.
To use zones in the Chorder MIDI effect:
Click the up or down arrow in the Use field to add the desired number of zones for each note. You can have up to eight zones.
Select the first trigger note on the Trigger Note keyboard (only available in Normal or Octave modes).
Select the desired zone number button to make the chord for that zone.
Add notes to the Chord Setup keyboard by clicking on the notes you want to add to the chord.
Select the next zone number button to add a new chord to the same trigger note, but different zone.
Repeat Steps 24 for all the zones.
Select another trigger note from the Trigger Note keyboard and repeat Steps 36 for as many trigger notes as you want (this is also determined by the mode you have selected).
Select the Velocity Zone Split button (second button to the right in the Zone Setup area) or the Note Zone Split button (third button to the right in the Zone Setup area).
The Density MIDI effect panel (see Figure B.7) creates random notes to simulate a denser MIDI track or mute notes to simulate a sparser track. Which one it does depends on the percentage you assign to the slider bar in the control panel. When a value of 100 is displayed, this means 100% density and no changes are made to the MIDI events. A larger value causes the effect to generate progressively more random notes, and smaller values cause it to start muting progressively more and more notes. You can use this to create MIDI effects by using a MIDI loop that varies through time, for example.
The MIDIEcho (see Figure B.8) is similar to an audio delay but creates MIDI events to simulate this echo rather than changing the actual sound coming from the MIDI instrument. It does this through a number of parameters that you can adjust to get the desired echo effect and also offers the possibility to change the pitch of echoed notes. Here's a look at these parameters:
Quantize. Determines how close the echo is to a quantize value. The values can be adjusted using the slider bar or the up and down arrows on the right side of the field. When using the slider bar, each value corresponds to 1/480 tick of a quarter note.
Length and Length Decay. Determines the length value of each note. It can be adjusted the same way as the Quantize parameter. As for the Length Decay, this determines if each repeated note is the same length or not.
Repeat. Determines how many echoes are generated from the input note. You can have up to 12 repeated notes.
Echo-Quantize. Determines the time between the input note and its first echo.
Velocity Decay. Increases or decreases the velocity of repeated events by a certain velocity amount. You can set this parameter to values between plus or minus 36.
Pitch Decay. Changes the pitch of each repeating echo by the amount of semitone you assign to this parameter, where each value corresponds to a semitone. So, a value of seven makes each echo repeat a perfect fifth above the preceding echo. You can use this to create arpeggios by adding or subtracting notes to repeated notes.
Echo Decay. Increases or decreases a value corresponding to the time added or removed between each echoed event. If you set this to a positive value, echoes repeat with more and more time being added between each repetition, or with less and less time if you set this parameter's value to a negative number.
You can start with presets and change the parameters to find the desired effect.
The Step Designer MIDI effect is a step sequencer that allows you to create up to 100 patterns using up to 32 steps per pattern. Each step is defined by the quantize setting in the Step Designer's panel. The Step Designer does not use or need incoming MIDI events. You create these patterns inside the interface itself. Let's take a look at the pattern creation process inside the Step Designer. Each number in the following steps corresponds to the numbers in Figure B.9.
To create patterns in the Step Designer MIDI effect:
Select the Pattern number from the Pattern field.
You can copy a pattern from one to another by clicking Copy, selecting the next pattern, and then clicking Paste. The Random button creates a random pattern, and the Reset button resets all steps.
Adjust the length in steps, quantize value, and swing value for the steps inside the grid below.
For example, a Length of 16 means that there are 16 steps in the sequence. A Quantize of 16 means that each step is a sixteenth note. You can add a Swing amount to create a shuffle or swing feel to your pattern.
Select the range you want to see.
There is an octave range displayed on the left. Clicking and dragging this bar moves the range up or down. This does not affect steps placed inside the grid, but only affects the events that you see. Events that are in the grid, but outside of view are displayed as red events with their note number, and they are in the upper row when found above the current view or in the lower row when below the current view.
If you want to shift an entire octave up or down, use the Shift Octave buttons. This, unlike dragging the range described in Step 3, affects the notes found in the grid on the right.
Add the events in the grid. The steps falling on beats are displayed in black numbers below the grid, and the steps falling between beats are displayed in a cyan (or turquoise) color . To add a step on the second beat at D1, align your cursor at the crossroad of the appropriate column and row and click inside the grid. Clicking again on an inserted note removes it. You can also drag your mouse across the grid to add several events.
If you want to tie two or more notes together, click the Tie button corresponding to the step or steps following the first step number where you want the tie to begin. For example, in Figure B.9, if you want to tie the second step to the first, you click in the tie line on the Tie button number 2.
You can adjust different control change parameters. To choose which controller is displayed below the step grid, click the Controller drop-down menu and select the controller of choice. The default controllers displayed are Velocity, Gate (which allows you to shorten the notes), Harmonics, and Brightness (how the last two controllers change the sound depends on the instrument playing back the steps found in the Step Designer). If you want to adjust other controllers not found in this list, click the Setup button and choose the appropriate controllers from the dialog box.
Adjust the selected controller corresponding to each previous step by dragging the vertical bar up or down to get the desired effect.
If you want to shift all the steps one step forward or backward in time, use the Shift Time buttons. This can create interesting variations to a beat or rhythmic pattern.
If you want to reverse all the steps in your grid (the last step becomes the first and vice versa), click the Reverse button. This option can also be used to create interesting beats or rhythmic variations.
When you are satisfied with the patterns that you have created, you can save them as a preset. Each preset can hold up to 100 patterns. So, before you save a preset, you can choose another pattern and edit it by repeating the previous steps. When all the patterns have been created, you can proceed to saving them in a preset.
After your patterns are created, you can automate the changes by recording MIDI events using note events on the MIDI track. The notes you record as MIDI events in the part are not played back by your VSTi or other external MIDI device. Pattern 1 corresponds to C1 on your keyboard, subsequent patterns follow on C#1, and so on. In other words, recording a MIDI note playing on C1 at bar 1.1.000 and then a C#1 on bar 5.1.000 causes the Step Designer to play the Pattern 1 from Bar 1 to Bar 5 and then change to Pattern 2 from Bar 5 until you enter the next MIDI note corresponding to a new pattern.
To automate the pattern changes in a MIDI track using the Step Designer MIDI effect:
Create your patterns in the Step Designer as previously described.
In the Event Display area, position the left and right locators so that they cover the range of bars where you want to create automation events for the Step Designer.
Double-click the MIDI track to create a new part that corresponds to the length found between the left and right locators.
Double-click this part to open its associated editor (Key or Drum).
Set up your quantize grid appropriately and activate it.
Select the Draw tool from the toolbar.
Enter notes at the location in the part corresponding to desired pattern change locations. Remember, C1 is Pattern 1, C#1 is Pattern 2, and so on.
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