Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 6, last updated 6/25/2013
answer to that question. The thing to remember is that there are no rules. Use
your imagination and don’t be afraid to experiment. In time, you’ll develop an
instinct for programming the sounds you can hear in your head. Even if you
don’t feel like you can create a new sound from scratch, you can easily modify
existing patches to your liking, learning to use the controls along the way. For
example, if you load up a synthesizer patch and you think the notes cut off too
quickly, just increase the release value on the amplitude envelope until it
sounds right.
Most synthesizers use obscure values for the various controls, in the
sense that it isn’t easy to relate numerical settings to real-world units or phenomena. Reason uses
control values from 0 to 127. While this nicely relates to MIDI data values, it
doesn’t tell you much about the actual parameter. For example, how long is an
attack time of 87? The answer is, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is
what it sounds like. Does an attack time of 87 sound too short or too long?
While it’s useful to understand what the controller affects, don’t get too caught
up in trying to figure out what exact value you’re dialing in when you adjust a
certain parameter. Just listen to the sound that comes out of the synthesizer. If
it sounds good, it doesn’t matter what number is hiding under the surface. Just
remember to save the settings so you don’t lose them.
Making and Loading Your Own Samples 6.2.3
Sometimes you may find that you want a certain sound that isn’t available in
your sampler. In that case, you may want to create your own sample
If you want to create a sampler patch that sounds like a real instrument,
the first thing to do is find someone who has the instrument you’re interested in
and get them to play different notes one at a time while you record them. To
make sure you don’t have to stretch the pitch too far for any one sample, make
sure you get a recording for at least three notes per octave within the
instrument’s range.
Some instruments can sound different depending on how they are
played. For example, a trumpet sounds very different with a mute inserted on
the horn. If you want your sampler to be able to create the muted sound, you might be able to
mimic it using filters in the sampler, but you’ll get better results by just
recording the real trumpet with the mute inserted. Then you can program the
sampler to play the muted samples instead of the unmuted ones when it
receives a certain MIDI command.
Keep in mind that the more samples you have, the more RAM space
the sampler requires. If you have 500 MB worth of recorded samples and you
want to use them all, the sampler is going to use up 500 MB of RAM on your
computer. The trick is finding the right balance between having enough
samples so that none of them get stretched unnaturally, but not so many that
you use up all the RAM in your computer. As long as you have a real person
and a real instrument to record, go ahead and get as many samples as you can. It’s much easier to
delete the ones you don’t need than to schedule another recording session to get the two notes
you forgot to record.
Max Demo:
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