EMAGIC EXS 24 FAQ bY Stephen Allsopp

1.  What is EXS24?
2.  What is a software sampler?
3.  What forms the basis of an EXS24 sound?
4.  What is an EXS24 Instrument?
5.   How do I create an EXS24 Instrument from scratch?
6.   How do I load single samples into a new EXS24 Instrument?
7.   How do I load multi-samples into an EXS24 Instrument?
8.   How can I edit related groups of multi-samples in an EXS24
Instrument without having to edit each sample individually?
9.   How do I load an Instrument from an
EXS24 format CD-ROM?
10.  How do I import SoundFont 2 files into EXS24?
11.  How do I import SampleCell 2 files into EXS24?
12.  How do I import Akai samples into EXS24?

1.  What is EXS24?  top
The EXS24 (Emagic Xtreme Sampler 24 Bit) is a professional polyphonic software sampler plug-in for use in Logic Audio. Although currently available to both Mac and Windows users, as from September 30th 2002 Logic Audio will only be supported on the Mac.

2.  What is a software sampler? top
A software sampler allows the user to sample sounds, edit their parameters, then playback and record these sounds from a MIDI keyboard into a compatible sequencer.

3.  What forms the basis of an EXS24 sound?  top
The basis of an EXS24 sound is called an Instrument. An Instrument can be comprised of a number soundfile formats, the most basic of which are AIFF, WAV and SDII. However, the EXS24 is also compatible with Akai S1000 and S3000, SoundFont 2, SampleCell 2 and RX2, as well as EXS24 native sample formats.

4.  What is an EXS24 Instrument? top
An EXS24 Instrument is best described as a single keyboard map. This can be one sample mapped across the entire range of the keyboard, or a series of multi-samples mapped to specific keyboard ranges, or a different sample for each one of the 127 keys. The flexibility of the EXS24 means you can customise your Instruments in whatever manner you like.

5.  How do I create an EXS24 Instrument from scratch? top
Open the Track Mixer (ctrl-M) then click and hold on the Inserts bar of, for example, AudioInst 1. A drop-down menu will appear, from which you choose Stereo>Logic>EXS24. When the EXS24 appears on screen, click on its edit button. This opens the edit screen which has a keyboard running across the top. At this point you’ll notice there are now four new headings on the main menu bar (Instrument, Zone, Group and View). Click on the Instrument menu and choose New. In order to change the default name of your new Instrument, choose Instrument/Rename from the main menu and type in the name you want. When you click and hold on the EXS24 selector pane/flip menu (located between the edit and options buttons) you are able to select your new Instrument. You are now ready to load sounds into EXS24.

6.  How do I load single samples into a new EXS24 Instrument?  top
Now that you have your new EXS24 Instrument, the next step is to create a Zone – by, unsurprisingly, selecting Zone/New Zone from the main menu – whereupon a thin white bar appears in the edit screen spanning the keyboard, and beneath it the Zone range panel. In the Zone range boxes it tells you that the default range is from C-2 to G8. To change the Zone range all you need to do is click and drag (up or down) in either of these boxes and note that the Zone range bar changes accordingly. Now click once in the window to the right of Audio File in the Zone range panel and locate your sample from the browser. Upon making your selection and clicking OK your sample is loaded and its name appears in the Audio File window. Once you have set the desired Zone range for your sample you might want to rename the Zone so that it indicates the nature of the sound it refers to (each sound you load must have a corresponding Zone). To do this double-click on the Zone panel title and type in the new name. In order to add more samples to your EXS24 Instrument, simply repeat the procedure outlined above until your Instrument is how you want it. Play around with the Zone panel controls and see how it dictates the sample’s behaviour – you can change the key note, reverse the sample, disable pitch, alter the volume and loop settings, and so on.

7.  How do I load multi-samples into an EXS24 Instrument?  top
To load multi-samples into your EXS24 Instrument simply choose Zone/load multiple samples from the main menu. This opens a two-windowed browser. The top window is where you navigate through your drives in search of the relevant samples. When you select a sample click on Add File. The sample now appears in the lower window, which is the container or shopping trolley for all the samples you’re collecting. Once all the samples you want are in the lower window click on Done. You are now presented with an options box asking you how you would like the samples to be loaded into the Instrument. Unless you wish to cancel the operation you have three options here. If the samples are from a library disc with added information readable by EXS24, then choose either Auto map or Drums. Otherwise you should choose Chromatic, which loads each sample to a single key (you can of course change these settings afterwards in the Zone Range boxes as described above in Answer 6). Now that you have your multi-samples loaded into EXS24 you will notice that each sample has a corresponding Zone panel in the Instrument editor. Only one Zone can be active for editing at any given time, and the best visual clue as to which is active is provided by the Zone range bars beneath the keyboard – only one of them is white, the others are grey. Experiment with expanding the Zone ranges of each sample the better to understand how they behave and you will soon discover how easy it is to edit multi-samples in EXS24.

8.  How can I edit related groups of multi-samples in an EXS24 Instrument without having to edit each sample individually?  top
Once you’ve loaded your multi-samples into an EXS24 Instrument take a close look at the Zone panels in the Instrument editor and you’ll notice that one of them is not a Zone panel at all, and is in fact called Group#1. This is the default Group panel which appears whenever you load multi-samples into an Instrument. Click on the arrow icon in the top left corner to expand the panel and take note of its parameters (Volume, Pan/Bal, Voices and Velocity Range). By assigning Zones to this Group, and then editing the Group panel parameters, you are also editing these parameters for all the related Zones! To assign Zones to this Group simply click in the Group pane of the Zone panels you wish to assign and select Group#1.You can of course add more Groups to an EXS24 Instrument by selecting Group/New Group in the main menu, and you can also change the name of a Group by double-clicking on its title bar.

9.  How do I load an Instrument from an EXS24 format CD-ROM? top
To load an Instrument from an EXS24 format CD-ROM simply copy the Instrument file you wish to load (but not the samples related to it) and paste this file into your Sampler Instruments folder (which is contained within your Logic Audio folder). When you load this Instrument into EXS24 (click and hold in the Instrument pane/flip menu between the edit and options buttons) you must ensure that the CD-ROM is present in your CD drive because the EXS24 will now search for the related samples on all your local drives. If the CD-ROM is not present you will have to re-insert it and then reload the Instrument.

10.  How do I import SoundFont 2 files into EXS24?  top
To import SoundFont 2 files into EXS24 copy the relevant files into the Sampler Instruments folder. Now when you select one of your SoundFont 2 files from the EXS24 flip menu it will be automatically converted into an Instrument.

11.  How do I import SampleCell 2 files into EXS24? top
To import SampleCell 2 files into EXS24 simply follow the procedure for importing SoundFont 2 files.

12.  How do I import Akai samples into EXS24?  top
To import Akai samples into EXS24 choose Options/Akai import from the main menu (depending on the version of Logic Audio you’re using you might find Akai import under Instrument in the main menu). Now you should see a new window on your screen divided into four columns (Partition, Volume, Program, Audio File). Insert your Akai disc into the CD-ROM drive. Once the disc has been read the window will display its contents. (The time it takes EXS24 to read the disc is dependent on several factors and can sometimes vary dramatically, so be prepared to exercise a little patience! If you find it’s taking an unacceptably long time you might prefer to use another utility to perform this task such as CD Extract.) To view the contents of the entries in the four columns simply click once on the relevant entries. When you are ready to start importing just click on the appropriate Convert buttons at the foot of each column. All the selected parts will now be imported into EXS24 along with the accompanying Audio Files. If you wish to convert your entire Akai CD-ROM into EXS24 Instruments simply click on the Convert entire CD button.