Emagic introduced the EXS24, the Emagic Xtreme
Sampler 24 Bit, a polyphonic software sampler for Mac
and Windows during the NAMM show in Los Angeles. The EXS24 runs under Logic Audio and MicroLogic AV from Version 4.0 upwards and is Emagic's second foray into virtual instrument development.
The basis of an EXS24 sound is an 'Instrument' that can have as
complex a structure as required: from a single sample played across the
entire keyboard to densely multi-layered objects made up of numerable
individual samples. Sample assignments in the EXS24 are performed in
a clearly designed editor, doing away with multi-paged LC displays and
endlessly scrolling edit lists. Within the EXS24 architecture, samples are
organized in a 'Zone'. A sample can be WAV, AIFF, SDII or an
imported format*. Its resolution can be between 8 and 24 Bits with
sample rates up to 96 kHz, making the EXS24 one of the first samplers
to support 24 Bit 96 kHz formats. Each Zone will contain volume,
tuning, the key note the sample is assigned to, and keyboard & velocity
zoning. Each Zone will also contain nondestructive crossfade loop
settings as well as One Shot and nondestructive Reverse modes. Zones
are then assigned to 'Groups'. Each Group contains all the parameters
for subtractive synth-style processing, output selection and its own
settings for keyboard and velocity zoning. These last two settings
ensure maximum future compatibility with all third-party formats.
* Currently implemented: Akai S1000/S3000. Support for other standards is
Once an Instrument is defined, further refinements can be added with
analog-subtractive style processing. In each group this
consists of a multimode filter providing lowpass filtering with slopes
selectable from 12 dB, 18 dB, 24 dB classic and 24 dB fat. The unique
fat mode ensures fat bass response even with high resonance settings.
Resonance can be set to self-oscillation in order to produce classic high
resonance effects. To further enhance the filter sound characteristics,
the filter input features a variable distortion control.
Pitch, filter cutoff, and volume or pan, can be modulated with two
LFOs. One LFO is polyphonic with its own envelope generator for
delayed or decaying modulation and the other one is a monophonic
LFO. Both rates can be adjusted in Hz or beat-synced note values.
The EXS24 features two ADSRs, one for volume and one for the
Filter. The curve forms of the envelopes can be adjusted and, for
enhanced realism, the envelope times can be made to follow pitch. The
sample startpoint can be modulated via velocity, as can the attack times
of the envelopes, giving enhanced control of the attack portion of a
sound. The Glide function is switchable from Portamento to Autobend
to obtain a velocity sensitive pitch envelope. The EXS24 can operate in
legato mode, which is especially suitable for solo sounds with fingered
portamento and single-triggered envelopes.
This processing power is handled via an extremely intuitive user
interface providing specially designed controls, allowing the adjustment
of multiple parameters at once.
Integration into Logic Audio and MicroLogic AV
The EXS24 requires Logic Audio Platinum, Gold, Silver and
MicroLogic AV Version 4.0 and upwards for both Mac and Windows.
Up to 16 EXS24, each with up to 32 voices, can be used
simultaneously — depending on computer power.
As the first software sampler to be perfectly integrated into the internal
mixer of a digital audio sequencer, the EXS24 offers total access to
Emagic's built-in proprietary plug-ins, sample accurate timing superior
to any external MIDI sampler, exceptional ease of use and total recall
with automation. The identical storage medium for songs, sounds and
samples as well as audio track data ensures fast and easy backup. The
ability to use Logic's audio track data as sample data in the EXS24,
combined with the possibiltiy to perfom Logic Audio's sample editing
and mixing operations, opens up previously untapped creative options.
Planned future updates of the EXS24 include Digidesign's
DirectConnect support, with which up to 32 outputs of the EXS24 can
be feed into a TDM-based mixing environment. This will allow TDM
users to take advantage of the sample-precise timing of the EXS24.
The EXS24 will be released in April 2000 and carry an MSRP of US$ 299.00.
Submitted by Tom Finegan
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