NAMM2K: Emagic introduced EXS24 Sampler

     09/02/00
NAMM2K: Emagic introduced EXS24 Sampler


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 under development. 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. Availability The EXS24 will be released in April 2000 and carry an MSRP of US$ 299.00. Submitted by Tom Finegan
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