Reamp DI Guitar Tracks From Your DAW with the ARTcessories Dual RDB Interface

In this post, I’ll show you how to reamp DI guitar tracks from your DAW with the ARTcessories Dual RDB interface. If you haven’t tried re-amping your DIs yet, you’ll find a great way to see how your DIs can sound running through varied analog gear. If you’re looking for a different guitar sound, or a way to augment your mix with different gear, re-amping is a great solution.

Before we continue, please realize that much of this content is generalized because each DAW, re-amp box and recording chain is different. What works for me with settings, levels and gear will be inherently different for you in your studio. In this post, I cover what re-amping is and generally how to accomplish it.

17 February 2021 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #reamp #reampbox #diy #guitar #pedal #amplifier #speakercabinet #cabinet #balancedsignal #unbalancedsignal #TRS #TS #daw

Skill Level: Advanced

What’s Reamping????

If you’re new to reamping, the reamp box converts a balanced, line-level signal into an unbalanced, instrument-level (think dry guitar) signal. For home recording, you can record a dry guitar signal into your DAW of choice so that you have a clean, unaltered source for a guitar track. Using this dry track, you can play it through your DAW, have the audio signal leave your USB audio interface and flow into the reamp box. From the reamp box, the signal flows into an amplifier input, just as if you plugged a guitar directly into the amplifier. You amplifier is then hooked into a speaker cabinet which you mic and then record back into your DAW. With me so far?

A major benefit of reamping is you can do multiple auditions of a guitar track with different amps and cabinets, recording them into tracks in your DAW, allowing you to compare and choose the perfect sound for your mix.

Have a look here at the Wiki article covering the re-amp concept for a lengthier read.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Overall Recording Strategy (Before Re-Amping)

Before we can get started with re-amping, we need to record some dry guitar tracks, also called DI tracks, into the computer’s DAW. Once recorded, the clean DIs can be re-used whenever we want to re-amp them into different amps, cabinets or other analog hardware.

To capture DIs, I use a passive DI box that is connected to my analog mixer via XLR. I pan the channel 100% Left so that on the mixer’s output, the DI is always on the left channel of the signal pair. I always record DIs with the processed signal (that one is panned 100% Right in the signal pair). In my DAW, I use two tracks – one is for the DI only and one is for the processed signal only. So for each track, I have the unaltered DI source and the output source.

So at this point, get to it and record your DI tracks in your DAW. Make sure your input levels are gain-staged correctly and they are not clipping or otherwise distorted. You need quality DI tracks to reamp DI guitar tracks from your DAW to produce quality re-amped tracks.

About Configuring the Re-Amp Signal Chain

After you have some decent guitar DI tracks recorded in your DAW, we can set up the signal chain that sends the DAW output through the USB audio interface to the re-amp box and out to the external amp/cabinet. Typically a microphone would be used to capture the amp and cabinet output back into the USB audio interface to the DAW.

A point to remember here is that the DAW’s output of the DI track will be sent to the USB audio interface for playback. In order to re-amp, the DI tracks need to be converted from the audio interface’s line-level back into instrument-level signals. The re-amp box takes those line-level signals and converts them back to instrument-level so that the signal can be fed into analog gear properly. Without using a re-amp box, the signal sounds horrible and is not able to be used to feed into amps properly.

Depending on your amplifier situation, you may use an actual amplifier or a virtual amp to reamp DI guitar tracks from your DAW. I typically send the re-amped signal to an iRig HD 2 that is connected to my iPad Air 2. My amp is a software solution running on the iPad and the audio is sent out of the iRig interface via an instrument cable that I connect to my analog mixer with another passive DI Box. Using this setup, I do not need a real amplifier, speaker cabinet or microphone to re-create the signal-it goes directly into my mixer and USB audio interface.

Steps to Reamp DI Guitar Tracks From Your DAW

  1. Record your clean guitar DI track(s) in your DAW. Make sure they are gain-staged so that they are not too low or clipping.
  2. Unplug your left side output cable on the USB audio interface and insert the TRS to TRS (balanced) cable.
  3. Connect the TRS cable to your re-amp box’s input. If you have a gain knob on the re-amp box, you may need to adjust its application to ensure the signal entering the re-amp box is not too low or clipping.
  4. Insert a mono guitar cable (TS to TS) into the output of the re-amp box and into the amplifier’s guitar input jack. If you want to use an overdrive, tube screamer or distortion pedal, run the re-amp box output to the pedals first, then connect the pedal output to the amp guitar input.
  5. In your DAW, press play to audition the DI track. If you’ve done things correctly, you will now hear the DI audio coming through your amplifier.
  6. You may need to tweak levels at this point in the playback of the DI, the gain knob on the re-amp box, and so forth. I’ve found this part of the process can take the longest to get matched up.
  7. When you’re content with the re-amped audio, record it to a new track in your DAW with a microphone or another audio interface.
  8. When finished re-amping, disconnect the TRS cable from the back of the audio interface and re-connect your normal output cable.

Summary

If things went well, you were able to feed a DI guitar track from your DAW into a re-amp box and use a different amplifier/speaker cabinet to get a new sound out of the DI. Or, if you have several amps available, you can see which one works best in the mix by recording them all and comparing or combining them. If you’re like me, you also have amp sims on IOS devices that can be leveraged on the cheap to get you close to name-brand gear for pennies on the dollar.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Create Impulse Responses with a DAW and EQ Plug-in

In this post, I’ll show you how to create impulse responses with a DAW and EQ plug-in. We’ll make an EQ profile of a guitar tone and then apply that profile to a clean impulse response in the DAW, resulting in a custom IR that can saved and be used whenever you like.

14 January 2021 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #impulseresponse #ir #eq #TDRNovaGE #TokyoDawnRecords #equalizer #guitar #audioprofile #smartops #plugin #vst3 #au #daw #waveform11 #tone #sweep

Skill Level: Advanced

What You’ll Need to Get Started

In order to create impulse responses with a DAW and EQ plug-in, take a look at the following items you’ll need.

  • A clean white noise audio sample
  • A DAW that supports 3rd party plug-ins. In this post, I am using Tracktion Waveform 11 Pro.
  • Any EQ plug-in. I’m using a registered copy of version 2.1.3 of TDR’s Nova GE equalizer.
  • A dry guitar track
  • An audio sample of your target guitar tone to profile
  • A virtual amp simulator and an IR loader like STL Tones’ NAD IR

First things first

I am entirely a beginner at creating custom impulse response files and capturing equalizer profiles. This post is the result of research, trial and error and probably more luck than anything else during my first attempt. If I have misstated or written things that are not correct, please let me know and I’ll happily edit my erroneous information. My goal is to help others learn techniques to aid their music production needs.

Credit where credit is due

In order for me to get this far, I want to acknowledge the sources that have given me the motivation and information to complete my first EQ guitar tone profile. Without these folks, I would still be at step 0. Thank you for your work and information.

  • Andrew Wade’s YouTube Channel – This 35-second video is one of the best resources I have ever seen. This video was the break-through that showed me how to take my EQ capture and convert it into a custom IR file. Thank you, sir!
  • TokyoDawnRecords YouTube Channel – Have a look at the video “Introduction to Smart Operations in Nova GE and SlickEQ” at about the 6 minute mark to see how the presenter uses matching to try to get one microphone to sound like another that was used previously.
  • Resington’s YouTube Channel – Resington made his own impulse response and he listed a source where the author demonstrates how to make an EQ profile in Reaper. See below.
  • BGelais’ YouTube Channel – BGelais discusses the steps to make an EQ profile in Reaper with a Reaper plug-in. The concepts are transferable to other DAWs and tools for folks like me who do not use Reaper.

Create the EQ tone profile

  1. Create a new project in your DAW
  2. Add your audio reference sample to a new track. For guitars, it works best if you have as much of an isolated sample as possible, without other instruments.
  3. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to the audio sample track.Add-Nova-to-source-track.
  4. Record a new track of your dry guitar or load an existing DI file of your guitar that you want to transform. You’ll need to add an amplifier plug-in and IRs that get you close to your audio sample that you want to re-create.
  5. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to your DI guitar trackAdd-Nova-to-target-track
  6. Now that the source and target tracks are created, let’s work within Nova GE to extract the EQ profile of the sample.
  7. On your audio sample guitar track, open Nova GE and click the Smart Ops button.Click-Smart-Ops-button
  8. You’ll see the following screen. Click the Learn button and press “Play” in your DAW so that Nova can analyze your guitar tone sample file.Smart-Ops-Learn-Button
  9. When Nova as finished analyzing the source sample, the window above the learn button will display “LEARNED” and you will be able to see the outline of the EQ curve that it captured. At this time, let’s save it as an input reference by clicking REFERENCE, Use Learned Input as Reference. Close this instance of Nova to return back to your DAW.Smart-Ops-Learned
  10. On your target track, open Nova and click the Smart Ops button. When the Smart Operations window opens, click the LEARN button and profile your target track’s audio. When it’s complete, click REFERENCE, From Plugin Instance and choose the item listed, which is the Nova on your source track. Finally, in OPERATION, choose Static Match and click Apply.Target-Nova-Input
  11. Listen to your target track and you should be able to hear the EQ profile applied to it. Enable and disable Nova to be sure your curve is audible.
  12. Finally, the save the EQ profile in Nova GE to be re-used in the future,

Summary

In this post, we covered how to profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in to re-create a sample guitar tone with a different guitar track. As long as you realize it won’t be exact and perfect, this process has the ability to help you sculpt a sound that resembles another.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Click-Smart-Ops-button

Profile Guitar Tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ TDR Nova GE Equalizer

In this post, I’ll show you how I was able profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in. By making a profile of your favorite guitar tones, you can shape your own tone in your DAW to either resemble your favorite sounds or to use as a basis for a new, modified sound.

14 January 2021 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #TDRNovaGE #TokyoDawnRecords #equalizer #guitar #audioprofile #smartops #plugin #vst3 #au

Skill Level: Advanced

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Before we can get started to profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in, take a look at the following items you’ll need.

  • A DAW that supports 3rd party plug-ins. In this post, I am using Tracktion Waveform 11 Pro.
  • A registered copy of TDR’s Nova GE equalizer. I am using version 2.1.3 for this post. The free version will not provide functionality required for this tutorial.
  • A guitar or a dry guitar track
  • An audio sample of your target guitar tone
  • A virtual amp simulator and impulse responses

First things first

I am entirely a beginner at capturing guitar tones as equalizer profiles. This post is the result of research, trial and error and probably more luck than anything else during my first attempt. If I have misstated or written things that are not correct, please let me know and I’ll happily edit my erroneous information. My goal is to help others learn techniques to aid their music production needs.

Credit where credit is due

In order for me to get this far, I want to acknowledge the sources that have given me the motivation and information to complete my first EQ guitar tone profile. Without these folks, I would still be at step 0. Thank you for your work and information.

  • Resington’s YouTube Channel – Resington made his own impulse response and he listed a source where the author demonstrates how to make an EQ profile in Reaper. See below.
  • BGelais’ YouTube Channel – BGelais discusses the steps to make an EQ profile in Reaper with a Reaper plug-in. The concepts are transferable to other DAWs and tools for folks like me who do not use Reaper.
  • TokyoDawnRecords YouTube Channel – Have a look at the video “Introduction to Smart Operations in Nova GE and SlickEQ” at about the 6 minute mark to see how the presenter uses matching to try to get one microphone to sound like another that was used previously.

Create your own EQ tone profile

Summary

  1. Create a new project in your DAW
  2. Add your audio reference sample to a new track. For guitars, it works best if you have as much of an isolated sample as possible, without other instruments.
  3. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to the audio sample track.Add-Nova-to-source-track.
  4. Record a new track of your dry guitar or load an existing DI file of your guitar that you want to transform. You’ll need to add an amplifier plug-in and IRs that get you close to your audio sample that you want to re-create.
  5. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to your DI guitar trackAdd-Nova-to-target-track
  6. Now that the source and target tracks are created, let’s work within Nova GE to extract the EQ profile of the sample.
  7. On your audio sample guitar track, open Nova GE and click the Smart Ops button.Click-Smart-Ops-button
  8. You’ll see the following screen. Click the Learn button and press “Play” in your DAW so that Nova can analyze your guitar tone sample file.Smart-Ops-Learn-Button
  9. When Nova as finished analyzing the source sample, the window above the learn button will display “LEARNED” and you will be able to see the outline of the EQ curve that it captured. At this time, let’s save it as an input reference by clicking REFERENCE, Use Learned Input as Reference. Close this instance of Nova to return back to your DAW.Smart-Ops-Learned
  10. On your target track, open Nova and click the Smart Ops button. When the Smart Operations window opens, click the LEARN button and profile your target track’s audio. When it’s complete, click REFERENCE, From Plugin Instance and choose the item listed, which is the Nova on your source track. Finally, in OPERATION, choose Static Match and click Apply.Target-Nova-Input
  11. Listen to your target track and you should be able to hear the EQ profile applied to it. Enable and disable Nova to be sure your curve is audible.
  12. Finally, the save the EQ profile in Nova GE to be re-used in the future,

Summary

In this post, we covered how to profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in to re-create a sample guitar tone with a different guitar track. As long as you realize it won’t be exact and perfect, this process has the ability to help you sculpt a sound that resembles another.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Build a DIY Reamp Box

In this post, I’ll show you how to build a DIY reamp box from a tutorial I found on YouTube recently. If you’re reading this, you probably know what a reamp box is and why you would need one in your recording studio. You probably also know that the commercially available reamp boxes can easily cost $100 USD. Using some of your own skills and the provided materials list, you can make your own reamp box for around $25 USD. For me, it was not an option to spend so much money on a commercial product, so this post covers what I did to build a reamp box.

What’s Reamping????

If you’re new to reamping, the reamp box converts a balanced, line-level signal into an unbalanced, instrument-level (think dry guitar) signal. For home recording, you can record a dry guitar signal into your DAW of choice so that you have a clean, unaltered source for a guitar track. Using this dry track, you can play it through your DAW, have the audio signal leave your USB audio interface and flow into the reamp box. From the reamp box, the signal flows into an amplifier input, just as if you plugged a guitar directly into the amplifier. You amplifier is then hooked into a speaker cabinet which you mic and then record back into your DAW. With me so far?

A major benefit of reamping is you can do multiple auditions of a guitar track with different amps and cabinets, recording them into tracks in your DAW, allowing you to compare and choose the perfect sound for your mix.

07 December 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #reamp #reampbox #diy #guitar #pedal #amplifier #speakercabinet #cabinet #balancedsignal #unbalancedsignal #TRS #TS #daw

Skill Level: Advanced

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  • Watch this video on YouTube entitled “How to build a REAMP box and WHY you need one” by Life Harmonic. In the video description, he lists all of the components you will need to order to build the reamp box. The complete list is shown here in Step 1. Be sure to check the video’s comments if you have any questions because several common ones are answered there.
  • An electric drill and drill bits capable of making up to one inch holes. I purchased 2 step drill bit products from Harbor Freight for my cuts. This one is for the larger hole, this one is for the smaller holes.
  • A soldering iron and solder
  • Wire
  • Mounting hardware – screws, glue
  • A workbench vice to hold your aluminum box for drilling
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • 3/8″ wrench
  • 8 mm wrench
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire clippers

Step 1 – Order your components

Here is the list of components you will need to order if you do not already have them on-hand to build a DIY reamp box. Since I didn’t have any supplies, I had to buy everything I needed for this build. I used the suggested list in the YouTube video where possible. I ordered the components in the beginning of December 2020, so the cost may be different for you when you order. I also had to use two different electronics supply companies due to inventory unavailability for some items at Newark. I am in the continental USA and had to pay $9.99 to each company for shipping, and each was received in 3 business days.

SupplierComponentCost (USD)Notes
MouserHammond 1550A case$5.91These were almost $1.00 cheaper at Mouser than newark
Neutrik NMJ4HF-S Plastic 1/4″ Jack$0.98The USA Newark website did not carry these, so I had to order from Mouser
NewarkBOURNS  LM-NP-1001-B1L  Audio Transformer$2.52
MULTICOMP PRO  MCF 0.25W 10K  Through Hole Resistor$0.08
BI TECHNOLOGIES/TT ELECTRONICS  P160KNP-0EC15A100K  Rotary Potentiometer$0.95
MULTICOMP PRO  1MS1T1B1M1QE  Toggle Switch$1.29
NEUTRIK  NC3FAV1  XLR Connector, 3 Contacts$1.61Use size 4 screws for mounting
OHMITE  1101-A  Knob, Round Shaft, 6 mm, Thermoplastic Elastomer$1.27I had to drill out with a drill bit to increase shaft diameter. I used a 15/64″ bit and gently worked the hole a SMALL amount to go just a hair bigger. A 1/4″ drill bit is too much diameter, so do not just jump up to a 1/4″ bit!
STELLAR LABS  24-16213  Audio / Video Cable Assembly, XLR Plug to 1/4″ 3P Plug$7.27Optional if you already have a TRS plug to XLR female cable
Lowes
Southwire 20-ft 14-AWG Stranded White GPT Primary Wire
$5.70
Hillman #4-40 x 1/2-in Phillips/Slotted Combination-Drive Machine Screws$1.28
Gorilla Glue Super Glue Tubes 2-Pack 3-gram Super Glue Clear Multipurpose Adhesive$3.98
Harbor FreightTitanium Coated High Speed Steel Step Bit Set, 2 Pc.$19.9912 Step Bit: (3/16 in., 1/4 in., 5/16 in., 3/8 in., 7/16 in., 1 /2 in., 9/16 in., 5/8 in., 11/16 in., 3/4 in., 13/16 in., 7/8 in.)

11 Step Bit: (1/4 in., 25/64 in., 35/64 in., 1 1/16 in., 13/16 in., 7/8 in., 1 in., 1-1/8 in., 1-7/32 in., 1-1/4 in., 1-3/8 in.)
Titanium High Speed Steel Step Bit Set, 3 Pc.$13.99Six Step Bit (3/16 in., 1/4 in., 5/16 in., 3/8 in.,7/16 in., 1/2 in.)

Nine Step Bit (1/4 in., 5/16 in., 3/8 in., 7/16 in.,1/2 in., 9/16 in.,5/8 in.,11/16 in.,3/4 in.)

Thirteen Step Bit (1/8 in., 5/32 in., 3/16 in., 7/32 in., 1/4 in., 9/32 in., 5/16 in., 11/32 in., 3/8 in., 13/32 in., 7/16 in., 15/32 in., 1/2 in.)
Supply List for Reamp Box Build

Step 2 – Measure your placement for pilot drill holes

You’ll need to mark four (4) initial spots for drilling. After those holes are drilled, you’ll drill two (2) more for the XLR jack mounts.

Starting from the top of the pedal’s face, there needs to be one hole for the XLR jack at 25mm down from the top, 17.mm from the left side. Under that hole will be two (2) holes for the potentiometer at 44.5mm from bottom and 10mm from left, 6 mm from right for the toggle switch. On the bottom of the pedal, we’ll drill the hole for the 1/4″ output jack centered at 13.5 mm from top. 17.5mm from left side.

Step 3 – Drill the holes in the box

I used a 1/16″ drill bit to make all pilot holes. Secure the box in a vice so that you are being safe while drilling the metal.

Drill the holes you marked in the previous step with the small drill bit. Now that there are starter holes, you can use larger bits or the step bits to make the holes to the proper size.

After drilling the four (4) main holes, you will need to drill two (2) pilot holes for the XLR jack. Carefully insert it into the metal box and use your pilot drill bit to find the spots for the XLR connectors and drill them from the inside out.

The XLR hole will need to be 7/8″ or 22 mm. The potentiometer hole is 5/16″ or 8 mm. The toggle switch is 1/4″ or 6 mm. The 1/4″ bottom jack (not pictured) needs to be 1/2″ or 12 mm. Finally, the two (2) XLR jack connector holes need to be 1/8″ or 3 mm.

Step 4 – Install the components

To build a DIY reamp box, start with the XLR jack. Mount it with two #4 screws.

Install the toggle switch and use a wrench to firmly tighten the nut.

Continue with the installation of the potentiometer and the 1/4″ plug and tighten with a wrench to secure them into the unit. You need to clip off the metal tab on your potentiometer if it has one, otherwise it will not mount flush against the box’s interior.

At this point, here’s what your reamp box should resemble.

If you ordered the same knobs as I have listed, you will have to drill them out a TINY amount so that they fit the potentiometer’s shaft. I used a 15/64″ bit and carefully made the button’s shaft hole a tiny bit wider. If you go too far, you can always place a small amount of duct tape on the potentiometer’s shaft to snug the button.

Here is my final build.

Step 5 – Solder the components to build a DIY reamp box

To simplify this post, I did screenshots of the original video since the original presenter filmed it cleanly and clearly.

  1. Solder two wires to the middle and right side of the potentiometer
  2. Glue the transformer to the potentiometer
  3. Connect middle potentiometer wire to Pin 1 of the TS Jack (right hand side pin at top of jack)
  4. Connect resistor to bottom of transformer and wind around the transformer pins. Clip excess resistor wire.
  5. Solder lower left side pin of TS jack to left side of resistor/transformer
  6. Solder right side pot wire to right side of resistor/transformer
  7. Solder Pin 1 of XLR to center of toggle switch
  8. Connect bottom toggle switch to the left hand side TS Jack pin (along with connection you already made in Step 3)
  9. Connect XLR Pin 2 to right of transformer
  10. Connect XLR Pin 3 to left side of transformer
  11. Solder XLR Pins 2 and 3
  12. Here is the final product after all connections have been made.

Step 6 – Test it

Plug L main out of USB audio interface into TRS to XLR cable. May be able to use the headphone jack output as well.

Plug XLR into reamp box

Plug TS into amp

Press play in DAW with dry guitar signal

Adjust level knob as needed. Flip toggle switch to eliminate any ground loops.

Did it work without any noise/interference?

Summary

If yo u’ve made it this far, and you’ve followed all of the steps, you should have yourself a very nice reamp box to use in your studio. In a few hours’ time, you’ve learned how to build a DIY reamp box and are ready to make your recordings shine with limitless amping possibilities. Thanks to the original YouTube author for presenting his creation and answering my questions along the way. Follow his channel and show your appreciation if you can.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Multisampler-Zones_C1

Create Tracktion Waveform Multisampler Drums With Audio Sample Files

In this post, we’ll be learning how to create Tracktion Waveform Multisampler drums with audio sample files. Whether you want to make a quick set of drums, or delve deeper into using multi-velocity drum hits, Waveform’s Multisampler will help you make your own re-usable drum kit for your productions. Let’s get started making a custom starter drum kit now in Tracktion Waveform 11 Pro.

29 July 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Advanced

Creating Your Own Sampled Custom Drum Kit

You may have asked yourself if it is worth the time and effort to create a drum kit in a software sampler. I know I did. Looking at the cost of the big virtual drum plug-in developers’ products, I decided it was better for me and my budget to learn how to use the Multisampler component available in Tracktion Waveform 11 Pro to make use of the tons of drum kit audio samples I already own.

In all fairness, follow this tutorial’s steps with some confidence, but be open to change. There is not a lot of documentation or other information about Waveform’s Multisampler tool. I pieced together what I considered to be the “right way” based on other samplers I have used, but I may have done things inefficiently. Or maybe I was misguided and there’s a better, faster and more correct way. In any event, if there’s something you find that makes it better for us all, please let me know in the comments.

I’m using Tracktion Waveform 11 Pro as my DAW. This tutorial is a basic approach to creating a starter Multisampler instrument. Feel free to use whatever drum kit samples you have on-hand. If you need samples, do a web search to find some free ones that can help you learn. Hopefully at the end of the tutorial, you’ll have a custom Waveform 11 Pro drum kit that you can use over and over again.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Steps to Create Tracktion Waveform Multisampler Drums

  1. Create a new project in Waveform 11 Pro.
  2. On an empty track, drag a plug-in instance and choose Waveform Plugins>Instruments>Multi Sampler. The Multisampler window will appear on the SOUND tab.Multisampler-Initial_Window
  3. We’ll add some kick drum samples and assign them to key C1, the MIDI default for a kick drum instrument. From your storage location, drag your kick drum samples into the left-hand side pane.Multisampler-Dropped_Samples
  4. Let’s adjust the duration of all of the samples’ playback next. Select all samples by clicking your first sample, hold the Shift key, and click the last sample. Then in the center of the screen, where the box shows some lines with circles and squares, drag the topmost square all the way to the right as far as it will go. Repeat this action for the bottom rightmost square.Multisampler-Samples_Playback_Duration
  5. Now let’s assign the samples to their key and velocity ranges. Click the “ZONES” heading in the top center of the screen. The zone editor will appear and show a large keyboard with the range the samples are initially assigned. Looking at the image, the range of the mapping is large and not correct since it spans multiple octaves on the keyboard. We’re going to limit these four (4) samples I have to one (1) key, C1. In addition, these samples represent four (4) ranges of hit velocities, so we’ll end up stacking them vertically on the C1 key.Multisampler-Zones_Initial
  6. Let’s limit the range to one key, the C1. At the top of the screen, change all letter and number combinations to “C1”. Leave the zero (0) and One Hundred Twenty Seven (127) as is for now. If you click on the C1 key, highlighted in blue color, you should hear your sample play.Multisampler-Zones_C1
  7. Now that we’ve limited the samples to the correct keyboard key, we need to adjust the MIDI velocities to respond to differing key press intensities, known as velocities. These values help to give the MIDI playback a more human feel and will play louder at higher values and softer at lower values. Since I have four (4) samples, my velocity ranges will be as follows: 0-31, 32-64, 65-97 and 98-127. Note that the range for MIDI velocities is zero (0) to one hundred and twenty seven (127), giving us one hundred and twenty eight (128) possible values.
  8. I’ll select my first sample, which needs to be mapped to C1, range zero (0) to thirty one (31). See the image for the updated values and the change in the samples’ display. The region at the bottom of the samples’ stack is brighter blue now to represent the 0 – 31 mapping. I’ll repeat this step for each sample, assigning it to the ranges I previously specified.Multisampler-Zones_First_Map
  9. Here is my completed mapping with the four (4) sample layers mapped to their velocity ranges. You should be able to see the division lines between the samples and recognize that this C1 key has multiple samples assigned to it. Verify your mapping by clicking the C1 key with your mouse. You should hear your hardest velocity sample play.Multisampler-Zones_C1_Complete
  10. Before we map any other drum kit pieces, let’s make a MIDI clip on our track and make sure the kick drum is responding properly to multiple velocities. Save your Edit and close the Multisampler screen for now.
  11. Drag a new clip from the red Plus button onto the track and chooce Insert New MIDI Clip. You should get a one-bar clip by default, which is enough for our velocity test. Double-click the clip and the piano roll editor will appear. Scroll down to the C1 range and click the C1 key with your mouse. You’ll hear your kick drum sample play.Multisampler-Piano_Roll
  12. Now add some sixteenth notes to the clip on key C1 and press the spacebar. You should hear your kick drum playing, but all notes are playing at the same velocity, which is what we want to vary since we added multiple samples. For each beat’s notes, change them to fall into the four (4) velocity ranges you set up. My first group of notes are set to twenty-two (22) for the velocity. The lines under the piano roll represent the velocity values. You can see that my first group is low, the second beat’s notes are higher, and so on up to the fourth beat. Set your velocities and press the spacebar again. Now you should hear variations in the loudness and intensities of the notes while they are playing. Note that you can also click the C1 key from left to right, and as you move in either direction, the sample played back will represent the mapped velocity layers. Clicking far right equals the maximum velocity, clicking far left equals the minimum velocity.Multisampler-Piano_Roll_Velocities_Set
  13. Save your kit and continue mapping each drum kit instrument, one at a time, and verify they are working before moving to the next piece. I recommend referring to the general MIDI standard specification for mapping your drum kits so that playback is expected and correct when playing MIDI files created by others.
  14. After you get your entire kit working properly, and you’ve saved your sampler instrument, make it into a Waveform preset. The preset will be stored at “C:\Users\{YOUR_USER_NAME_HERE}\AppData\Roaming\Tracktion\Waveform\Presets” in Windows 10.

Summary

Now that you have a basic kit with a few various hit velocities per instrument, you’ll probably want to set up several Tracktion Waveform Multisampler drums to use in different projects or styles of music. You can look into buying more one-hits or multi-velocity hits as well to try to get your acoustic drums sounding like a human player versus a software sequencer’s output.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Similar Drum Sampler Articles I’ve Written

Config-Filter

Create Custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impulse Rack

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own impulse response for a unique guitar tone, Audio Assault has released a plug-in that allows you to sculpt your own IRs from the ground up. You can use other IRs as a starting point, or for the adventurous, start fresh at step one and fiddle with knobs until your heart’s content. In this post, we’re going to make a brand new IR for a metal guitar sound. Follow the steps later in this tutorial to create custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impluse Rack.

28 July 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Intermediate

What Are We Doing With aIR Impulse Loader?

We’re going to generate and export a custom impulse response (IR) file with air Impulse Rack. To keep this tutorial brief, I will assume that you have an understanding of what an IR is and how you apply them within your DAW. If you don’t understand IRs just yet, go do some research and come back to continue.

There is not much documentation on the aIR Impulse Rack, so until that becomes available, the steps here are going to be similar to other information and videos I have seen for this product. There’s also the risk that the information presented will be incomplete or incorrect, so make sure you save your preset in a safe place in the event we find out updated information from the Audio Assault team.

What You’ll Need to Create Custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impluse Rack

  • A Digital Audio Workstation. I’m using an evaluation of Reaper v5.
  • An amplifier simulation plug-in that allows for its cabinet section to be turned off so that IRs can be used for speaker cabinets.
  • Paid version of Audio Assault’s aIR Impulse Rack plug-in
  • An alternate IR loader, such as STL Tones’ NAD IR. It’s free and part of the Emissary Plug-In Bundle.

Some Remarks Before We Continue

  • One of the Audio Assault developers posted a video tutorial about aIR Impluse Rack on 25 June 2020 on the Audio Assault User Group on Facebook. In the video, he demonstrated how to blend several different IRs to create a new IR. In addition, he added several components, one at a time, to show how to make your own amp and cabinet simulation. Based upon the latter topic, I wanted to show how he did his steps while tweaking the settings to make my own IR.
  • Audio Assault runs regular promotions on their products, and they are insanely affordable during these promotions. You can pick up aIR Impulse Rack for around $10 USD while it’s on promotional pricing. The best way to be notified of sales is to join their email list and also the Facebook group. Joining other VST/Plug-in groups on Facebook may also allow you to see what others post for sale pricing as well.
  • This link is where you can find this tutorial’s finished IR file if you just want a sample IR without doing the configuration steps in this tutorial.

Steps to Create Custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impluse Rack

  1. Record a dry guitar track 4 bars in length to be used for playback during the IR development process.
  2. Add the aIR Impulse Rack plugin to the dry guitar’s track effects. Set up looping in your DAW for the dry guitar track so that you’ll be able to hear the changes to the IR as we build it.
  3. Add your desired amp simulation to the guitar track. Ensure that you disable its cabinet so that we can use our own impulse response that we are builidng as the cabinet. Here I am using Audio Assault’s Sigma virtual amplifier.Disable Amp Cabinet
  4. Add the aIR Impulse Rack plug-in to the guitar track, after the amp simulation.Load AIR rack
  5. Click the Modules tab in the pane on the right-hand side. The available tools are presented, starting with “IR Module”. Scroll the list until you find “Phase Delay”. Drag in three (3) instances of this module.Config Delays
  6. The delays are going to act as the speaker cabinet. By adjusting their delay knobs, we’re simulating the sound bouncing around inside the cabinet. Set them with the following values, starting from the top instance and working down. Instance 1 – HP 89.1 LP 9996.4 Mix 50 Delay 1.1 Feedback 55.7 Parallel ON Phase ON Power ON. Instance 2 – HP 101.3 LP 8827.1 Mix 60 Delay 2.7 Feedback 24.7 Parallel ON Phase ON Power ON. Instance 3 – HP 410.4 LP 8704.4 Mix 37 Delay 8.6 Feedback 60.6 Parallel ON Phase ON Power ON.
  7. Now let’s add our speaker simulator by dragging a FILTER module from the list and placing it under the last DELAY module. Set its values as follows. LOW CUT – 91.4 HIGH CUT – 9434.4Config-Filter
  8. Add a HIGHSHELF module next, directly under the FILTER module. Set its values to the following: FREQ – 5092.2 Q – 0.3 GAIN – 2.0Config-HIGHSHELF
  9. Add a FOCUS module with a setting of 69.7Config-Focus-1
  10. Add a FOCUS module with a setting of 33.3Config-Focus-2
  11. Add a NORMALISER module with a setting of -4.0Config-normaliser
  12. Finally, add a VISUALISER as the last module. I added two instances here only to show both the Impulse and the Frequency representations of the impulse response. You only should add one instance of the VISUALISER to your chain of modules.Config-Visualiser
  13. Now that we have finished the initial impulse response, let’s save it as a preset with aIR Impulse Rack. Click the “Presets” tab on the right-hand side of the screen. At the bottom of the pane, click “Save Preset” and select a folder of your choice.Save-Preset
  14. Now let’s export the impulse response into a *.wav file so that it can be used within an impulse loader application as an amplifier cabinet. Click the Export button at the top right-hand side of the screen, set your options and click the Export To button to choose a folder to store the *.wav impulse response file. I used standard export values of 44100, Mono and 24 Bit as parameters for my impulse file.Export-IR
  15. Alternatively, instead of using aIR Impulse Rack to handle providing your impulse response to your signal chain, you can use a different impulse loader, like STL Tones’ NAD IR, to act as your amplifier’s speaker cabinet. If you want to use NADIR, uncheck aIR from your FX chain, add STL NADIR and within NADIR, choose the *.wav file you exported. I also changed my routing in NADIR from MONO to DUAL MONO.Config-NADIR

Summary

Now that you have made a custom IR from scratch in aIR Impulse Rack, you can tweak the preset you’ve stored to your own liking. There’s no right or wrong and the key is experimentation and finding tones that work great for your equipment and ears.

You can also load existing impulse response files, one or more, to blend and tweak and design your own new impulse. The results are really endless. I hope you found this tutorial useful and if you make any IRs, please send them to me so I can try them out.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Notepad-SFZ_Kick_and_Snare

Create a Custom Sforzando Drum Kit Instrument With Samples

In this post, we’ll learn how to create a custom Sforzando drum kit for use in your DAW projects. Sforzando is an open-source sampler that uses a file-driven configuration to play your audio samples for MIDI files. While it may not be usable for every music producer out there, it can be an invaluable tool in creating virtual instruments with custom audio samples. Let’s get started making a basic, reusable, custom drum kit now in Tracktion Waveform 11 Free.

11 June 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Advanced

Creating Your Own Inexpensive Drum Kit

You may have asked yourself if it is worth the time and effort to create a drum kit in an open source plug-in. I know I did. Looking at the cost of the big virtual drum plug-in developers’ products, I decided it was better for me and my budget to learn how to use the free Sforzando to make use of the tons of drum kit audio samples I already own. It’s free, well-supported and has a large user base. There are plenty of videos available on YouTube and getting started was easy enough,

As we move forward in this tutorial, please keep in mind that there may be better, faster or smarter ways to work in Sforzando. I am a guitar player, not a drummer, and I need seriously great-sounding drums for my own artistic expressions. The drum samples I have are great quality and I wanted to be able to integrate them into both a Windows and a Mac world due to the computers I compose on. Sforzando seemed like a great choice and hopefully it can work for you too.

I’m using Tracktion Waveform 11 Free as my DAW, so some of this tutorial will be specific to Waveform’s ways and configurations. Other DAWs may require you to figure out your own path. Hopefully at the end of the tutorial, You’ll have a custom Sforzando drum kit that you can use over and over again.

This tutorial is a basic approach to creating a starter Sforzando instrument. There is so much more that can be done within Sforzando, such as simultaneously playing multiple samples, creating groups that play random samples to vary your playback and controlling your output with its knobs and effects. And also be aware that there seems to be many, many different ways to structure your SFZ configuration files and still produce audio output properly. This tutorial is a minimalist’s experience to get up and running quickly.

The key with Sforzando, at least for me, is to be flexible and be willing to do some trial-and-error approaches to see what ends up working. After I get something working the way I want, I can copy/paste as needed to move on knowing things will work. Another benefit to the file configuration model is that you can copy an entire SFZ, rename it and change your samples and be ready to go with a whole new kit with different sample files.

Getting Started with Sforzando

Your SFZ file will contain all of the configuration of your kit’s samples and parameters that control its function. Once you have your kit’s SFZ file saved, you’re able to reuse the kit any time you like. Save your completed SFZ files somewhere safe so you don’t lose your time and efforts.

To begin, you’ll neeed to create a new, basic sfz file. Follow the steps here at sfzformat.com. Save this file on your local machine so that you can use it to start making your instrument. You’ll also need to download the drum kit samples and place them into the same folder that holds your SFZ file. After you learn to configure Sforzando, you can move your files to another location that suits your needs.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Recommended Reading

Steps to Create Your Custom Sforzando Drum Kit

  1. Create a new project in Waveform.
  2. On an empty track, create an instance of the Sforzando plug-in
  3. Create a new basic SFZ file for a starting point, supposing that you don’t have one already. Follow the steps here at sfzformat.com. When you’ve completed the file, save it to your machine and then drag/drop it onto the Sforzando window. Ignore any errors you may receive.
  4. After Sforzando loads your sfz file, you should see a screen similar to this one. From here you will see your loaded file name at the top of the screen, and you’ll have a button near the bottom of the screen to open your file for edits. I associated Notepad++ to open *.sfz files to make editing easy.Sforzando-Basic_File_Loaded_WM
  5. Download the EasyRider drum kit from the link in the Getting Started section of this tutorial. Place the extracted folders into the same folder that contains your SFZ file.
  6. Open your SFZ file and make two <group> sections. One will define the kick drum. The other will define the snare drum. Refer to this image for the text entries needed in your SFZ file. Set your sample path as required so that Sforzando can find your samples. If the path is not correct, Sforzando will display error details.Notepad-SFZ_Kick_and_Snare
  7. Drop a drum MIDI file onto your Waveform track, or create a new MIDI clip and add some kick and snare MIDI notes.
  8. Press Play on your transport. If all went well, you will hear your kick drum and your snare drum playing the MIDI notes.
  9. Continue creating your <group> sections for each of the pieces of your drum kit and map the samples.

Where To Go From Here

Now that you have a basic kit with a few various hit velocities per instrument, you’ll want to look into implementing a round robin and/or random sample playback approach to really vary your playback audio. In addition, take some time to look into samples that include files for room microphones that open up your sound with real room dynamics.

Summary

Congratulations on making your first custom Sforzando drum kit. Thanks to Michael Kingston for making his EasyRider kit available for free so that we could learn how to play them in Sforzando.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Use a Digitech GNX4 as an Audio Interface in iOS

In this post, we’ll learn how to use a Digitech GNX4 as an audio interface in iOS. The GNX4 will work as an interface in iOS and iPadOS with just about any audio application using the official Apple USB adapter and a USB cable. The best part of the GNX4 being supported is that there is no need for drivers. You read that correctly. The GNX4 is a compliant device and is supported with plug and play by your iOS devices. Let’s get started!

10 June 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Beginner

Recently on the Facebook Digitech GNX4 group, a member asked how he could use his GNX4 as an audio interface for recording with an iOS device. In all the time I’ve used a 2011 iMac with my GNX4, which supports the GNX4 without any drivers, I hadn’t considered trying to hook my GNX4 directly into an iOS device as an interface to record. His question prompted me to give it a try on my iPad Air 2 and I can tell you that the GNX4 is supported as an audio interface in iOS.

Before you continue, you must have an official adapter from Apple to use as the connection interface between the GNX4 and a lightning iOS device. This adapter, which costs around $40 USD currently, provides a USB port and an additional lighting port. The additional lightning port allows for powering the iOS device while a USB device is also connected. Do yourself a favor and buy the official adapter because the cheap ones on Amazon and EBay often are not recognized by the iOS device, and if they are, can fail to transmit audio.

Configure Your GNX4’s USB Output Source

You may need to make a configuration parameter change on your GNX4, depending on what you’re going to record in your iOS application. Are you intending to record the actual audio output from your GNX4 patch, meaning the guitar signal, amp, cabinet and all effects? Or are you intending to send a dry guitar signal to the iOS app and use virtual amps, cabinets and effects within the application? You need to make sure you have a clear understanding of “what” you would like to record, otherwise sending a full-effects signal from the GNX4 into iOS may end up being sent through iOS amps and effects.

To change your GNX4 USB audio settings, see my previous post here. For the steps that I list below, I wanted to send the dry guitar signal from the GNX4 to an iOS guitar application to make use of the app’s amp, cabinet and effects. To do the dry signal, I configured USB 1-2 to be “DRYGUITAR” on the GNX4’s configuration settings.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  • Digitech GNX4 unit with a USB cable
  • Apple iPhone or iPad with Lightning connector and built-in headphone jack
  • Apple iOS version 13 (not tested on any other versions, but may work)
  • Official Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter
  • headphones or stereo audio cable to plug into headphone jack
  • IOS guitar application, such as GarageBand – available free in the AppStore

Steps to Connect Your GNX4 to an iOS Device

  1. Connect your USB cable from your GNX4 into the lightning adapter’s USB port.
  2. Connect a lightning cable into the adapter for a constant power source.
  3. Connect the lightning adapter into the iOS device.
  4. Plug your headphones or stereo line out cable into the iOS device
  5. Power on your GNX4.
  6. Open your iOS guitar application. Set its input channel to 1 for the guitar input. Each application’s settings’ options will vary.
  7. Play your guitar and you should immediately see the input and output volume meters show signal. In addition, you should be able to hear the audio playing in the headphones.

Where To Go From Here

After I had signal in the iOS GarageBand application, I used a stereo headphone cable to send the headphone jack to my computer’s digital audio workstation (DAW) to record the iOS application’s audio output. This type of setup could be useful if you need an array of different amps for recording and you’d like to focus your work on the iOS device.

Summary

I didn’t expect the GNX4 to work as an audio interface to iOS devices due to its sheer age. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked with only a small parameter change for the USB audio and an adapter I already owned for my iOS devices. If you haven’t explored iOS applications for guitars, here’s an opportunity for you to give it a shot for a relatively small adapter expenditure. Good luck and make some great sounds!

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

TX16Wx_Full_Custom_Kit

Create a TX16Wx Sampler Drum Kit in Tracktion Waveform

In this post, we’ll learn how to use a free sampler plug-in from CWITECH to create a custom drum kit with audio samples. Creating your own drum kit to play MIDI parts allows you to have creative control over your kit’s component sounds and can allow you to develop a reusable signature sound for your productions. Let’s get started to create a TX16Wx sampler drum kit in Tracktion Waveform 11 Free.

09 June 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Intermediate

What is a Sampler?

At a high level, software audio samplers allow you to define your own virtual instruments. You can assign specific audio sample files to a MIDI keyboard mapping so that the keyboard plays that audio sound when the keyboard key is pressed. Your mappings can be simple, with one audio sample assigned to one key. Or, for the advanced user, multiple samples can be assigned to one key at various velocities or to just blend multiple audio samples together. Samplers are a great tool to create new, unexpected and unique sounds.

Virtual Drum Kits and Samplers

If you have ever used a virtual drum kit, like MT Power Drumkit, you’ll quickly recognize sampling in action. When using the plug-in, your MIDI notes are automatically rendered as drum kit pieces’ audio. Standard MIDI mappings help to ensure that drum kit components are used as expected so your output audio is rendered as expected. Using a virtual drum kit is easy for many people because the mappings are already present and you can just drop it into your project and render your drum parts.

In contrast to drum plug-ins, samplers are very manual by nature and require time to set up and mapping audio samples to keys. Fortunately, most allow you to save your layouts for easy re-use in the future. Be aware that creating your own sampled drum kit can be very satisfying, but there is time spent on building, testing and tweaking until it’s ready for instant re-use. Your rendered audio will be as good as the quality of the audio samples you use.

Multi-velocity Hits Make Sampled Drums Sound Better

Now that we’ve briefly covered what a sampler is used for, and contrasted how it’s similar to a pre-made virtual drum kit plug-in, let’s talk about audio samples. The quality of your audio sample files is extremely important. If you are looking to really make your sampler sound like a convincing acoustic drum kit, you’ll need high-quality samples and samples made available for multi-velocity hits.

MIDI allows for the specification of note hit strength from zero (0) to one-hundred and twenty-seven (127). If you set all of your samples to trigger at the same velocity, say 127, it will be the loudest representation of the sample and it will sound like a machine is playing the part. There will not be any natural variation in the hit strengths and it will sound very tedious to the listener.

By setting variable MIDI velocities, we can tell the sampler to play specific files at a velocity value, or for a range of velocity values. For example, say we have four (4) multi-hit samples for a snare drum. We can tell the sampler for velocity twenty (20) to forty (40) to play “snare_hit_light.wav”. Then for ranges forty-one (41) to sixty-four (64), we tell it to play “snare_hit_medium.wav”. Hopefully. You can see that we are now alternating between two (2) different samples based on the MIDI notes’ hit strength. After we map our remaining four (4) samples, our snare will sound much more varied than using one (1) sample for all velocities.

Some audio sample producers provide a free set of samples, usually with one hit per instrument. In my experience, quality kits that require payment contain multi-hit files, some with eight (8) or more velocities per instrument. Be certain to investigate your drum audio samples before spending money to make sure that there are multi-velocity hit samples and that the files are in a non-lossy format, like WAV or AIFF.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Disclaimer

I have limited experience with sampler software. This tutorial is the result of me searching, struggling, cursing and finally coming up with a free, working, repeatable solution. If there is anyone who can recommend easier, better or faster, I am proverbially all ears. I welcome any constructive feedback that can help us all get there better and faster.

Finally, the steps in this tutorial will produce a full drum kit, however it will be a stereo (Left and Right) output of all sounds combined. While this will probably work for a majority of people, if you want to split the outputs onto separate channels, you’ll need to do research how to do that on your own. It also does not use multiple velocity groups or any sort of round-robin to randomly select samples from groups.

Steps to Create a TX16Wx Sampler Drum Kit

  1. Install the CWITECH TX16Wx sampler on your computer with its installer.
  2. Create a new Waveform 11 project.
  3. Create a new track and name it “TW16wX_Drum_Sampler”.
  4. Add a drum kit MIDI pattern or file onto the track. It should have multiple kit instruments within the pattern.
  5. Add an instance of the TX16Wx plug-in to the track. Your project should look similar to this image.Waveform11-TX16Wx_Track
  6. Open the sampler plug-in you added to the track. We need to set a few properties and save it. First, change the Midi value to “Omni”. Second, name your program. I called mine “Myersclan_Kit”. Finally, click the Save Program As button and choose a location on your computer. I recommend storing it in your Waveform project folder so it stays with the other project files.Waveform11-TX16Wx_Initial_Config
  7. Let’s create our kick drum trigger in the sampler. Click the Regions button located below the Save Program As button you previously clicked.
  8. The regions view will show a piano keyboard and a screen with grid lines.Waveform11-TX16Wx_Empty_Regions
  9. Click the New Region button. By default, the region fills the entire grid with a green colored fill. Resize the green area to fit on the C2 keyboard key only. You can verify the C2 area by looking at the LO K and Hi K values under the grid.TX16Wx_Create_New_Region
  10. To the right of the Create New Region button, click the button that looks like it has six (6) small squares on it. This enables velocity layers when we drop our audio samples in an upcoming step.
  11. In a separate file explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) window, open the folder that contains your kick drum samples. We are going to drag and drop them onto the Regions screen on the C2 key.
  12. Select your kick drum sample(s) and drag them to the Regions window and drop them on the C2 key. You may need to resize and re-order them. For my Manic Metal samples, I have four (4) kick drum samples, named KickV1, KickV2, KickV3 and KickV4.
  13. Under the piano keys, the grid contains rows for each sample and its mapping. Edit/Configure yours similar to mine, but factor in differences like the total number of samples you are using. Since I used four (4) samples, I divided the one-hundred twenty-eight (128) possible velocities by four(4) to get thirty-two (32) hit values per group. Use the Lo V and Hi V values to specify the range starts and ends.TX16Wx_Kick_Samples_Dropped
  14. Test your configuration by using your mouse to click on the C2 piano keyboard key. You should hear your kick drum sound play back. If so, you’re ready to move on.
  15. Optionally, depending on the samples, you may need to adjust the tails of the audio samples so they play fully. Click the Sounds button near the top of your kit. At the bottom of the screen, a blue section will appear. To adjust the tails, click the round markers and drag them to the right-hand side. The longer the blue bar, the longer the sample plays.TX16Wx_Kick_Samples_Tails
  16. Return to the top of the screen and click the Save button to store your changes.
  17. In Waveform, play your track. You should hear only kick drums at this point.
  18. Now for the work involved with sampling – repeat this Key assignment process for each of your kit’s pieces by adding samples for them to their key assignments. Refer to the general MIDI recommendations for drum key assignments to keep your kit standard. Here’s the final kit image of my complete drum kit.TX16Wx_Full_Custom_Kit

Where To Go From Here

With some additional effort, you can modify the configuration of your sampler instrument’s pieces to output audio to dedicated channels instead of the standard combined 1/2 output that was presented here. Some folks want to have fine-grained control of the audio outputs they configure for their projects, and that is a definite possibility with some TX16Wx configuration. Just be aware that the sampler does have a limit on output channel pairs in the free version.

Summary

Setting up a software sampler is a great way to make a drum kit that defines your personal style. You can combine one or more samples to really create new and unusual sounding kits, or you can aim to make a really convincing kit that may sound divine on your final track. Either way, you have the power and choices to drive how your TX16Wx Sampler drum kit will sound.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

GNX4_Track_Recorded

Use a Digitech GNX4 as a USB Audio Interface in Tracktion Waveform

Learn how to record your electric guitars today with the instructions in this post. The Digitech GNX4 audio interface provides an easy and fast way to record your GNX4’s audio output over a USB connection with your Apple Mac running OSX or a PC running Microsoft Windows 7 or 10. We’ll use the free software Tracktion Waveform version 11 to capture our guitar tracks.

04 June 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers

Skill Level: Beginner

What is a USB Audio Interface?

Without spending too much time here, an audio interface is a piece of equipment that provides a means to record your guitar or microphone as a digital sound into your computer. Audio interfaces come in many price points and offer varying levels of features. A typical interface connects to your computer with a USB cable and sends its audio over that USB connection. Many models will offer two direct inputs for either guitar, microphone or other instrument inputs with 1/4” cables. You can also use a headphone jack on the interface to hear the audio directly, without any latency.

The GNX4 has a USB interface built in, so it is already capable of sending its audio output to your computer easily. For Mac users, there isn’t any need to install drivers because it’s CoreAudio compliant. For Windows 7 and 10, you must install the Digitech drivers, located on the Digitech product page, before you’re able to use the GNX4 as an interface.

The GNX4 offers two channels of USB audio, each having a stereo pair available. Through its configuration options, you can customize which sounds and effects are sent out on the USB channels. A typical configuration I use is to send the full effects out on 1/2 and I send the mono dry guitar signal on 3/4. This setup allows me to hear the full amp, cabinet and effects on channel 1 and I also have the dry, unaltered sound on 3/4 so that I am able to re-amp it in my DAW if desired. See my previous post about configuring your GNX4 to send the dry guitar signal.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Steps to Record with the Digitech GNX4 Audio Interface

  1. Install the GNX4’s Digitech drivers, if using Windows as your operating system.
  2. Make sure your GNX4 is connected with a USB cable to your computer
  3. Power on your GNX4.
  4. Make sure your guitar cable is plugged into your guitar and the GNX4’s guitar input jack.
  5. Open your digital audio workstation (DAW) software and create a new project. We are using Tracktion Waveform 11 free in these steps.
  6. Open your DAW’s Settings page. Set the Input Audio source as the GNX4 USB 1/2 channel, Set the Output Audio source as your computer’s speakers or studio monitors.Waveform11-GNX4_Input_Setup
  7. Latency is always a factor with external audio devices. Configure yours as low as your operating system will allow. This part may take some time and patience to get correct, so make a note for yourself for future recording sessions.Waveform11-GNX4_Latency_Selection
  8. Switch back to the project window. Create a new track. Set its input source as “Input 1”. To the right of the Input 1 setting, click the red arrow to enable recording. Finally, verify that Live Input Monitoring is enabled so you can hear your guitar playback.GNX4_Record_Track
  9. Press the R key to begin recording your guitar signal.
  10. Press the space bar to stop recording. If you’ve done things correctly, you will see the audio waveform of your signal that was recorded to the track.GNX4_Track_Recorded
  11. Press the W key to rewind to the beginning of the track.
  12. Press the space bar to audition your recording.

Where To Go From Here

As you gain experience recording guitars, you will want to get into the habit of recording a signal with all your effects along with a track of just the dry guitar signal. Having the dry signal is a great safety net and also allows for re-amping and using a copy of the source signal in new and creative ways.

To record the dry signal, see my previous post on the topic.

Summary

Now that you can configure Waveform 11 to record your GNX4, here’s to your success as a home recording artist. Have fun recording, and take the time to make multi-layered parts with different guitars or your guitar using different pickup switch settings. Using your Digitech GNX4 audio interface will be a great way to record your progress and also help with getting all those parts played correctly before you release your tracks.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.