Tips for Creating Multisampled Instruments

edited September 11 in Resources

Tips for creating multisampled instruments in BM3. Please add more tips & tricks below. Thanks.
1. Easiest method may be to analyze one of the melodic instruments in the stock BM3 library.
2. Key-Mapping: 'Root-Key' (aka key center or key index) is the sample's root pitch.
3. Key-Mapping: 'Key-Range' is the Lowest-key and the Highest-key that the sample should play.
4. An economical & popular method for sampling a keyboard or synth is to sample 2, 3, or 4 keys in each octave: (2 keys: C, F#), (3 keys: C, E, G#) or (4 keys: C, D#4, F#4, A). Notice how there are identically numbered 'note gaps' between each sampled key for each of the 3 examples. Later when mapping the samples, set the key-range of each sample to fill up the gaps. A good practice is to set the key-range to go more to left than to the right of the root-key (i.e.-when necessary, go lower in pitch versus vs going higher since it usually sounds better when going lower. Samples play faster and may finish too quickly if the High-key is too high.)
5. It's a balancing act: recording each key/fret would be ideal, but the work involved in mapping all of those samples is very time-consuming, and more samples takes up more system resources, like RAM, disk space, & CPU. All of which the iPad is way behind when compared to a computer. Luckily BM3 has Disk Streaming, which significantly lowers RAM/memory usage, since the iPad has a fast flash-based drive (like an SSD), but also has limited RAM/memory.
6. Sometimes a samplepack will have a key-definition file (i.e. - *.sfz file) which you may be able to open in a text editor. This can be helpful for setting the sampler and synthesis parameters. (Also *.nki files can be opened in Kontakt Player for checking the Mapping Editor; plus *.exs files can be opened in Logic’s EXS24 sampler or possibly in Garageband on Mac OS.)
7. Sometimes samples with be 'Key-Labeled', meaning that they will have the root-key in the file name (i.e. - "Piano C3.wav"). Or possibly it may be in the MIDI Note Number format (i.e. - "Piano 060.wav"). Below is a convertor for MIDI Note Number to Key.

8. Multiple Layers: Under Construction. This adds to the realism and complexity of the instrument. It's also useful for sorting samples that are too loud or quiet, or have a different timbre. Layer string samples with piano samples for the classic Piano+Legato Strings patches. Or layer different drum samples for maximum impact. Or for sound effects, soundscapes, pads, etc.
9. Sample Looping: Under Construction. This is probably the most time-consuming and frustrating process. This is used so that the sample sustains while using an ADSR envelope. If you hold a key down for a long time, the samples sustains or continues to play inside the loop. MONO samples are significantly easier to loop than STEREO samples! That's because with STEREO, there are two waveforms - a left & a right, and those waveforms are almost never identical! It's easy to get clicks & pops were the loop starts and ends (aka 'Loop-points'). Use 'Zero Snap' to find where the waveform crosses 0 (basically silence) to help with setting loop start & loop end points. BM3 has 'Crossfade looping', which helps immensely if you still get clicks & pops at the loop-points, but you will need to turn off Disk Streaming to use this feature. Crossfade looping is sometimes the only option for stereo samples.
10. Modulations: Under Construction. BM3 has an impressive modulation section, and this can help liven-up a sound, making it more complex and interesting. Put a slow tempo-synced LFO on the filter cutoff, for example. Set a MIDI CC to modulate the Amp Envelope's Decay Time on Snares & Hi Hats. Use small amounts of Random, S&H. or the Step Modulator to modulate the pitch, etc. The Step Modulator can run in FREE Mode or PITCH (Chromatic) Mode. The LFOs can reset at note-start (Mode=MONO) or free-running (Mode=POLY). Plus most modulation sources can be synced to the tempo of your Session. And a modulation destination can have multiple sources.
5pinlink's Tip: ...using velocity to change attack and filter, it saves a ton of extra velocity layers, the piano gets softer the lower the velocity and brighter and harder the higher velocity.

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