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The E-mu Command Station XL-7/MP-7/PK-7 and Proteus 2500 tutorials Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 18th July 2014
  #1
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balma's Avatar
The E-mu Command Station XL-7/MP-7/PK-7 and Proteus 2500 tutorials

The idea of this thread is to allow to the E-mu Command station and Proteus 2500 users to understand the potential of the synthesis features, and improve their musical and creative performance with these instruments
After implementing most of the information of this thread in your Emu´s patch USER bank, you could able to get a decent approach to synths that cost twice or more the price. But that´s not the idea, since these machines are their own kind. I´ll try to demostrate their enormous power as creative tools through sounds and programming methods. The engine is extremely complex, and the most "scientific" I´ve found to the moment.

So I´ll go slowly through different topics and types of sounds. I´l try to keep it readable, so I´ll love if you also provide different observations along the way, and know at least if there´s enough people interested on exploring it. Have no idea how many owners are on this forum, and also will like to know what kind of sounds you´ll like to improve or develop seriously.

A good start could be, explaining how to turn your E-mu Command Station into an Ensoniq Fizmo. (yeahhhhh, you wish.....).

I hope this thread becomes the best and most comprehensive and source of techniques to boost the potential of these synthesizers available on the Internet. So, as I stated before, I would like to know how much people is interested on reading this. Is gonna be very extensive.....

Old 18th July 2014
  #2
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Spectralwaves's Avatar


I will be following this with much interest, thanks Balma.
Old 18th July 2014
  #3
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mpresev's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectralwaves View Post


I will be following this with much interest, thanks Balma.
Sure, I'm interested too..
Old 18th July 2014
  #4
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pr0gr4m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by balma View Post
A good start could be, explaining how to turn your E-mu Command Station into an Ensoniq Fizmo. (yeahhhhh, you wish.....).
You had me excited for a split second.

I'm looking forward to reading and maybe even contributing here and there. I loves my XL-7.
Old 18th July 2014
  #5
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by balma View Post
I hope this thread becomes the best and most comprehensive and source of techniques to boost the potential of these synthesizers available on the Internet. So, as I stated before, I would like to know how much people is interested on reading this. Is gonna be very extensive....
I'm very much looking forward to reading this. Thanks in advance.
Old 18th July 2014
  #6
Here for the gear
 

bookmarked
Old 18th July 2014
  #7
yes!
Old 18th July 2014
  #8
Here for the gear
 

I am in. Been listening to your tracks on that other recent thread. Nice work!

Opal
Old 18th July 2014
  #9
Gear Head
 

Just bought one a week ago, I'm waiting formit anxiously!
Old 18th July 2014
  #10
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robotunes's Avatar
in the meantime, i highly recommend the free windows-only editor proteum:

Proteum Patch Editor

what an awesome synth engine! i miss it sometimes.
Old 18th July 2014
  #11
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Totally! Great project!

Don't know if this would belong in your tutorial thing or not, but I have a suggestion for something that would make the Proteus 2500 engine much more usable, especially to beginners:

A collection of tips and explanations about things that the manual is unclear about. The manual isn't bad, but it is huge and it tends to point you back and forth to a lot of different sections of itself and there are important things left out.

So how would you make a list of things to remember to avoid confusion?

For instance, I remember the storing part of the command station being unusually tricky. Something about patches that would be different than what I had saved, and before I figured it out, I would loose all my work each time I tried to save something.

Also, I remember lots of different things had to be checked in differen menues if I for some reason didn't get any sound. MIDI settings were to be found in several different and unexpected menues. All in all these things and some other things I don't remember anymore had me spending a frustrating amount of time solving problems instead of making music, and it would be extremely helpful at the time with a short list of tips to avoid confusion and frustration.

Anyways, I always got inspired reading through those posts whith you praising the command station over at VSE, and I know this will be interesting.
Old 18th July 2014
  #12
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balma's Avatar
thank you all!

Using the E-mu Command Station to emulate an Ensoniq Fizmo.

Fizmo was released on 1998, same year Ensoniq was fusioned with E-mu Systems and became Creative Labs and, the first synth released after this fusion was this rompler engine. The Halo keyboard, wich has the same engine of the command stations but with half polyphony and without the sequencer, was released with the EMU-ENSONIQ label. And it has samples of the Fizmo´s transwaves (Q Rom).


Fizmo uses 8 transwaves per patch, wich can be programmed individually and controlled globally.

The Command Station can use 8 and even 12 sample waveforms per patch, and detailed programmation and control is available for each one of them.

Also the 3 ADSR envelopes can be looped like the Fizmo, so when the envelope ends, goes back to te start. This allows long evolving sounds. There are 6 stages per envelope, and the length of each one of them can be synchronized with the TEMPO/BPM of the patterns. So predictable and random behaviors across a long time are possible. Sounds can be morphed in multiple ways during minutes

There´s also a prolific LFO programming possibilities. A patch with 8 samples can use 16 different LFOs. And there are 15 types of LFOS. Each one of them can be modified by separated during realtime performance.


3 ADSR envelopes, (Amp, Filter and Aux) per sample. The filter envelope can be reprogrammed to control other parameters instead the filter, and the Aux envelope is unused on most of the default presets of the extra and factory ROMS, and it´s identical to the filter envelope. So a 8 samples sound would use 24 different ADSR envelopes.


It is possible with the CS to hold a single note during a prolongated time and the waveforms will morph in multiple ways, creating complex patterns of variations, without touching a single knob, or you can be in control of several of those variations. Mathematical combinations of the lenght of each stage of each ADSR of each sample can keep a sound changing on very intrincated ways during several bars. That´s very "fizmo".

Romplers cannot scan a sample´s waveform on realtime (without having to restart the note) and stay looping on a segment like transwave synthesis does. but I still trying to get an aproximation (but obviously not on realtime) to the Fizmo´s transwave wavelength scanning, using the sloop, sample retriggering and sample start point functions on the mod matrix.

I'll provide a programming chart for a fizmo-like sound with an audio sample on my next reply
Old 18th July 2014
  #13
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Seccione's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by balma View Post
So, as I stated before, I would like to know how much people is interested on reading this.
Keep 'em coming!

I use the CS for sequencing, but this kind of thread probably inspires me to dive into the synth part as well.
Old 18th July 2014
  #14
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Nice initiative. I've owned an XL-7 for a few years and have picked-up a few tricks along the way that I can share here.

The one area where I've always struggled is adding on-the-fly variations to my recorded sequences. Any tips in this area would be appreciated.
Old 18th July 2014
  #15
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balma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarlywarly View Post
The one area where I've always struggled is adding on-the-fly variations to my recorded sequences. Any tips in this area would be appreciated.
Go to CHANNEL ASSIGN screen at the EDIT PATTERN Menu.
The T01-16 corresponds to the track numbers, and the Channels: 01A-16A to the MIDI channels, wich contains the patches assigned to the tracks. There is possible to reassign the Channels, and put two or several tracks with the same patch channel on them. Use one track for the notes, and record knob movements/modulations on the other ones.
You can record different modulations by separated from the track with notes and, keeping these motion sequence tracks muted and then bring them to the scene at any moment of the performance. At the moment you turn them on, the ControlChange data will affect the track wich contains the notes.
And you have the advantage of easily erase the knob modulations just pressing erase + the track trigger at the same time if you made a mistake, without erasing the notes.

With the XMIX function you can go even further, using entire patterns to only contain ControlChange variations, creating collections of only motion sequences.
While playing a pattern, you can experiment bringing those knob modulations contained inside another patterns with the XMIX function.s

So actually is very easy to add on-the-fly variations to your recorded sequences. You sacrifice tracks to record the modulations, but also gain control over a sound.

Normally, I record notes on tracks 1-8, and record knob motion sequences for each one of them, on tracks 9-16.

Old 19th July 2014
  #16
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balma's Avatar
The idea of this sound, is to produce a continuous changing effect over the sample waveforms. There´s a recognizable form in the sound, but also it has an unexpected behavior. This makes the sound more interesting and not just a mechanical predictable behavior. Trying to emulate the nature in some way.

PatchCord programming:
Aimed to hold a single note during a couple of minutes and produce changes over several parameters that won´t repeat on the same way. There will be noticeable patterns, but also unexpected changes over these patterns will be present.


I recorded the sound without the modulation matrix and filters programming at the beginning of this audio sample, to allow a comparison before/after using the modulation matrix and also demostrate how radically the Command Station´s engine can tweak samples.

Also there are no effects applied, I bypassed the FX section, to better appreciate how the mod matrix works:



Here´s the programming for this sound using the XL-7 ROM.. I can provide the whole chart if necessary. You can change the waveforms used and experiment how other samples react to these tricks:

WAveforms used:
L1 INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
0460 wav:SquareAttack
L2 INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
0463 wav:Sinusoid
L3 INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
0459 wav:Juno Square
L4 INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
0456 wav: Juno Square

Filters used:
L1 Filter Ord Type
DeadRinger 12 REZ
Freq: 128 Q:25

L2 Filter Ord Type
PhazeShift2 6 PHA
Freq: 64 Q: 32

L3 Filter Ord Type
ContraBand 06 BPF
Freq: 95 Q:0

L4 Filter Ord Type
KlubKlassik 12 LPF
Freq: 48 Q:0


FILTER ENVELOPE:
Mode: tempo-based
Repeat: on
AUX ENVELOPE:
Mode: tempo-based
Repeat: on


Modulation Matrix program:
With "All", I mean -same value for all layers-


LAll PATCHCORDS #01
Pink -> Gain4x +000

LAll PATCHCORDS #02
Gain -> Quantize +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #03
Quantize -> SLoop +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #04
FilEnv+ -> FiltFreq +000

LAll PATCHCORDS #05
AuxEnv+ -> C04Amt +000

L1 PATCHCORDS #06
ClkWhole -> ChrsAmt +000
L2 PATCHCORDS #06
ClkHalf ->ChrAmt +000
L3 PATCHCORDS #06
ClkQtr -> ChrsAmt +000
L4 PATCHCORDS #06
Clk8th -> ChrsAmt +000

L1 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo1+ -> RTXfade +050
L2 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo1+ -> RTXfade +100
L3 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo1+ -> C06Amt +000
L4 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo2+ -> C06Amt +000

L1 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo1+ -> AmpPan +000
L2 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo1+ -> AmpPan +000
L3 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo2+- -> AmpPan +000
L4 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo2+- -> AmpPan +000


LAll PATCHCORDS #09
XfdRand-> C04Amt +000

LAll PATCHCORDS #10
AuxEnv+- -> Gain4x +000


LAll PATCHCORDS #11
Gain4x -> SLoop +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #12
Lfo2+- -> C13Amt +000

LAll PATCHCORDS #13
FilEnv+- -> Gain4x +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #14
Gain4x -> C11Amt +000

L1 PATCHCORDS #15
Midi I -> AmpVol -36
L2 PATCHCORDS #15
Midi J -> AmpVol -36
L3 PATCHCORDS #15
Midi K -> AmpVol -36
L4 PATCHCORDS #15
Midi L -> AmpVol -36

L1 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiM -> C09Amt +100
L2 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiN -> C09Amt +100
L3 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiO -> C09Amt +100
L4 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiP -> C09Amt +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #17
MidiA -> C01Amt +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #18
MidiB -> C04Amt +50

LAll PATCHCORDS #19
MidiC -> C05Amt -100

L1 PATCHCORDS #20
MidiD -> C08Amt +100
L2 PATCHCORDS #20
MidiD -> C08Amt -100
L3 PATCHCORDS #20
MidiD -> C08Amt +100
L4 PATCHCORDS #20
MidiD -> C08Amt -100

LAll PATCHCORDS #21
MidiE -> C07Amt +75

LAll PATCHCORDS #22
MidiF -> C11Amt +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #23
MidiG -> C10Amt +100

L1 PATCHCORDS #24
MidiH +> C14Amt +100
L2 PATCHCORDS #24
MidiH +> C14Amt -100
L3 PATCHCORDS #24
MidiH +> C14Amt +100
L4 PATCHCORDS #24
MidiH +> C14Amt -100

Old 19th July 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balma View Post
Go to CHANNEL ASSIGN screen at the EDIT PATTERN Menu.....
...
Hey thanks for that. Yes, I've done similar, although IIRC, I put all of my CC data into two tracks, as they can record multichannel data.

Once cool aspect of this is that, when you mute the control tracks, the CC values stay at that point, so you can get a lot of random variations just by muting/unmuting the CC tracks.

When I talk about on-the-fly variation, I'm really talking about the patterns themselves and the MIDI data they contain. For example, if I have a simple beat going, with drums split-out (i.e. BD on Track1, SD Track 2, Hats track 3) - there is no way to alter the recorded MIDI data spontaneously (e.g. perform a roll or fill) - you must create more tracks and patterns to act as Xmix sources, and this needs to be carefully pre-planned (which for me personally is bit of a creativity killer - or maybe I'm just too disorganized!).

I am being a tad unfair, as I am using MIDIbox and RMx1 as comparisons - these allow on-the fly manipulation of the MIDI sequences (e.g. change direction, interval skipping, manual scrub position, etc.) which - brilliant for instant fills, turnarounds, etc.

One method I have used to good effect is via the Vel>AMP knob. I program my drums using the 'Analogue-style" knob entry method. I add ghost notes with just a tiny amount of velocity , and I can then make these appear or disappear from the running sequence just by twisting the knob - the movement of which can also be recorded.

Last edited by jarlywarly; 19th July 2014 at 09:09 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 19th July 2014
  #18
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balma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarlywarly View Post
When I talk about on-the-fly variation, I'm really talking about the patterns themselves and the MIDI data they contain. For example, if I have a simple beat going, with drums split-out (i.e. BD on Track1, SD Track 2, Hats track 3) - there is no way to alter the recorded MIDI data spontaneously (e.g. perform a roll or fill) - you must create more tracks and patterns to act as Xmix sources, and this needs to be carefully pre-planned (which for me personally is bit of a creativity killer - or maybe I'm just too disorganized!).
Several parameters inside patch edition can be synchronized with the sequences´s bpm.

"sequences" are not always performed by notes, but by motion variables inside the patch´s program.
There are lots of methods to produce bridges or produce variations on the fly using the patchcord section. Use a modulator source to affect the sound, and then, assign a knob to manipulate them on the fly.

For example, if I want a 1/16 roll, I can emulate it with the modulation matrix:

LAll PATCHCORDS #01
MidiA -> C02Amt +2
LAll PATCHCORDS #02
Clk16th -> SRetrig +00

Moving the KnobA from left to right will make the waveforms to repeat at 1/16.

The Clk16th source is a clock divider. There are 8 different clock dividers, you can create slower or faster repetitions.

Another option is to use the LFO hemi-quaver instead clock dividers. It will roll the sound in a more complex way.

For more variations on the repetitions:
LAll PATCHCORDS #01
MidiA -> C02Amt +100
Lfo1+- -> C03Amt +0
Lfo2+- -> SRetrig +0

Also, you can use the RTXfade to crossfade between sounds. In the case of a percusison sound, you can change a tom low to a tom hi, using a Square LFO and sending it to the RTXfade destination.

LAll PATCHCORDS #01
MidiA -> C02Amt +100
L1 PATCHCORDS #02
Lfo1+ -> RTXfade +000
L2 PATCHCORDS #02
Lfo1+ -> RTXfade +000

And on the RT screen (trigger2):
l1 rt lo fade high fade
00 127 127 000

l2 rt lo fade high fade
00 000 127 127

Something nice for percussive/drum sounds is to delay the start of the samples using the Sound Start Delay function, wich can also be synchronized to the bpm. There you can play the 4 waves sequentially instead unison, and control each wave on different ways using the mod matrix .
Old 19th July 2014
  #19
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Muied Lumens's Avatar
Thanks! Great info here, I will try the transwave trick on the P2k module.
Old 19th July 2014
  #20
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Excellent stuff Balma,

How is it that there is nothing on this level today? The guys that put that OS together were on another planet!

The non creative labs destruction of emu and ensoniq (I think?) is a disgrace.

If I was super rich, I'd get those guys together and let them have at it!
Old 19th July 2014
  #21
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Rusty_OHara's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by balma View Post
So I´ll go slowly through different topics and types of sounds. I´l try to keep it readable, so I´ll love if you also provide different observations along the way, and know at least if there´s enough people interested on exploring it. Have no idea how many owners are on this forum, and also will like to know what kind of sounds you´ll like to improve or develop seriously.
Subscribed, and very interested. Only had mine a week, so need to dig into her a lot more.

Thank you for all you've written, both here and elsewhere so far
Old 20th July 2014
  #22
Gear Head
 

Wll, I've got it, and I love programming it! Pretty intuitive! Though I have a problem with the arp pattern mode. Sometimes, using a patch with the arp ON, it stop playing with that sound, and even if I turn the arp off, it doesn't work til I reset the machine. Any idea why?
Old 20th July 2014
  #23
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Thanks for doing this Balma, I've always been very impressed with your knowledge and level of passion for the command Stations in your posts across the internet.
Old 20th July 2014
  #24
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balma's Avatar
Thanks a lot for the compliments across the thread.

Explaining most of the previous modulation matrix chart:

patchcords 1 to 3:

LAll PATCHCORDS #01
Pink -> Gain4x +000

LAll PATCHCORDS #02
Gain -> Quantize +100

LAll PATCHCORDS #03
Quantize -> SLoop +100


There are two noise generators on the mod matrix: pink and white.
I used the pink noise to affect the Sloop, wich is a strange destination wich is supposed to shrink or enlarge the samples while looping them.
But before sending it to the Sloop, I processed it with a quantizer, wich makes the gradients or variations generated by the pink noise, more scrict and smooth, quantizing them, and then, I send the result to the GAIN4X destination.
Gain4X increase 4 times the effect of any modulation. I´ve noticed the SLoop appears mostly with high values affecting it.
To make it effective, I must create another patchcord using Gain4X as a source.
The modulation produced by these 3 patchcords over the sound is uneffective since the Patchcord # is +000. So I must create another patchcord and assign a midi controller to activate it:

LAll PATCHCORDS #17
MidiA -> C01Amt +100


patchcord 4
LAll PATCHCORDS #04
FilEnv+ -> FiltFreq +000

This is a simple sentence to make the filter envelope affect the filter. The filter envelope won´t be effective if the value is+000 an there are no patchords modulating it. I´m leaving it on zero in order to allow different forms to control it with other sources

patchcord 5
LAll PATCHCORDS #05
AuxEnv+ -> C04Amt +000

I´m using the aux envelope on the patchcord 5 to control the filter envelope, located on the patchcord 4. The effect will be more complex than just increasing or decreasing the value of the filter with a knob, making the aux env longer than the filter env. I created two patchcords to modulate the filter envelope on two different ways.

Knob B activating the filter envelope:
LAll PATCHCORDS #18
MidiB -> C04Amt +50

Knob C making the AuxEnv modulate the FilEnv:
LAll PATCHCORDS #19
MidiC -> C05Amt -100


Patchcord 6:
L1 PATCHCORDS #06
ClkWhole -> ChrsAmt +25
L2 PATCHCORDS #06
ClkHalf ->ChrAmt +032
L3 PATCHCORDS #06
ClkQtr -> ChrsAmt +000
L4 PATCHCORDS #06
Clk8th -> ChrsAmt +000

Sending the clock dividers to the Chorus will make it increase/decrease in a way similar to a square LFO. I used different 4 different speeds for each layer (I made a correction on Layers 1 and 2, since they were ineffective and with no sources modulating them).

L1 and L2 are already modulating with values +25 and +32. L3 and L4 will be activated with the patchcord 7

patchcord 7
L1 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo1+ -> RTXfade +050
L2 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo1+ -> RTXfade +100
L3 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo1+ -> C06Amt +000
L4 PATCHCORDS #07
Lfo2+ -> C06Amt +000

Things are now going more complex.... the patchcord 7 has different programming for each one of the 4 layers.
I created an interpolation between layers 1 and 2, using the RT screen, located on trigger2 ("ranges").

L1 RT: lo fade high fade
000 127 127 000

L2 RT: lo fade high fade
000 000 127 127

Then, I used an Lfo+ source, to send it to the RTXfade (reatime crossfade) with a value of 50+.
It is possible to alternate between the layers in many different ways. You can make two samples alternate across the keyboard, or with the velocity range, aleatory settings, knobs, LFOs, etc

For layers L3 and L4, I used the Lfo2+ to modulate the chorus described on patchcord 6

The effect of the crossfade will be more noticeable modulating it with the knob E:
LAll PATCHCORDS #21
MidiE -> C07Amt +75

patchcord 8
L1 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo1+ -> AmpPan +000
L2 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo1+ -> AmpPan +000
L3 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo2+- -> AmpPan +000
L4 PATCHCORDS #08
Lfo2+- -> AmpPan +000

The previous patchcord controls the panning of each layer on a different way. If I set a sample totally to the left on screen 4 ("Amp") L63, i should use a LFO + source, to make it go to the right from time to time.
If the panning is zero, I should use a Lfo +- to make it oscillate from left to right according to the LFO.


patchcord 9:
LAll PATCHCORDS #09
XfdRand-> C04Amt +000

The XfdRand will create a random crossfading of the layers. I´m leaving it inactive and then using 4 different knobs to modulate each layer by separated.
Here, knobs M,N,O and P will make this possible:

L1 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiM -> C09Amt +100
L2 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiN -> C09Amt +100
L3 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiO -> C09Amt +100
L4 PATCHCORDS #16
MidiP -> C09Amt +100

patchcords 10 & 11
LAll PATCHCORDS #10
AuxEnv+- -> Gain4x +000

LAll PATCHCORDS #11
Gain4x -> SLoop +100

Now the AuxEnv will modulate the SLOOP. Similar programming of patchcords 1 to 3, but using the Aux instead a quantized pink noise. This will produce a shrink effect over the sample during the peaks of the stages of the Auxiliar envelope.
Then, I assign the knob F to activate it:

LAll PATCHCORDS #22
MidiF -> C11Amt +100

This is relatively simple patch programming emulating modular. I will gradually increasing the complexity of the programming offering different methods depending of the sound category.

...and , really, barely scratching the surface of this amazing engine just with the first explanations, the top of the iceberg.... I´ve really dedicated a lot of time to this synth, not just for devotion to the model or the label, but because no other synth I´ve touched allows such degree of detailed customization. when I can´t make an specific sound with any other of my synths, I think: "let´s make it on the hard way" and go to the command station. It will take more time, but it will always offer a way or programming workflow to achieve the expected result.

You can spend a whole day just with one sound. But after creating 50 of them, you can use them as TEMPLATES to produce new sounds. The l chart to create Fizmo-like sounds will come soon. I´m programming one wich sounds really like a Fizmo, and will work using waveforms from the XL7 and MP7. I also have the Fizmo and know it very well, so trust me.
Old 21st July 2014
  #25
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rockreid's Avatar
 

wow. very cool thread.

I have a Proteus 2500 on the way along with other ROMs I've bought here and there and can't wait to start exploring the potential of this deep deep box.

If only E-Mu back in the day had built USB drivers for the 2500. That would have been awesome as far as integration with a PC. A tiny LCD screen means having to know the machine in and out only after a long while of practice.
Old 21st July 2014
  #26
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I think I need to grab some splitter cables and try and figure out the send/return scenarios... can you address the sub outputs as four monos? (or via panning)
Old 21st July 2014
  #27
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balma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty_OHara View Post
I think I need to grab some splitter cables and try and figure out the send/return scenarios... can you address the sub outputs as four monos? (or via panning)
Insert stereo cables on each suboutput of the E-mu, they must have two outputs at the other end. Connect the white to the line in and the red one into the line out of a effects processor. then it will work like an In/Out plug, sending the sound to the effects unit, receiving the processed signal with the stereo ring, and sending it out again through the main outputs.

You can add external effects and even apply them individually to the layers inside the patches, so the CS allows to integrate external effects to its engine almost like the internal effeccts section.
Old 24th July 2014
  #28
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Emu MP7 (purple model)
The selection of sounds is aimed to hip hop/urban sounds. There are lots of guitar and chord hits, lo fi drums, and above all, cheesy vocal samples (get ready, yeahhh, okey, gimee that, etc...)

Let´s hear how you can mangle those hiphop cheesy samples after a some evil and twisted programming,.

Emu MP7 drone sound: 4 waveforms.




Sample waveforms used:
NAME/INSTRUMENT
INSTRUMENT ROM:MP-7
L1 0136 pad:sirens
INSTRUMENT ROM:MP-7
L2 0135 pad: Drone 3
INSTRUMENT ROM:MP-7
L3 0122 gtr:Chord Bed
INSTRUMENT ROM:MP-7
L4 0314 str:Harp Gliss


Filters used
FILTERS Ord Type Value Q
TalkingHedz 12 VOW 0 0
Shallow 2 BPF 128 0
BolandBass 12 EQ+ 128 0
Aah-Ay-Eeh 6 VOW 255 72


Now the same sound, but duplicating the layers with the LINK function. I subordinated another patch with waveforms from the XL-7:


Emu Command Station sound: 8 waveforms



I added to the previous MP7, another layer of 4 waveforms:

Second layer of waveforms:
INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
L1 0119 sfx:Fuzz Ball
INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
L2 0115 sfx:Future World
INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
L3 0538 nse:Vinyl 3
INSTRUMENT ROM:XROM
L4 0135 vox: Aud Vox

Fiters used:
FILTERS Ord Type Value
L1: Band-pass 4 BPF 64
L2: Ooh-To-Aah 6 VOW 0
L3: Shallow 2 HPF 120
L4: Classic 4 LPF 0



The command stations require some reverse sound engineering to really take advantage of their power, I think the whole sound bank of the command stations must be rebuilt from 0 and create specific knob sets and patch cords depending of the sound category. because most of the Preset sounds from the ROMs barely use the patchcord section and the fuctions of the 16 knobs on the presets are standard. Lots of possible modulations are not present on them and this is limitating for expressiveness.

So, I think that if I don´t use and comprehend the CORDS section, wich is an enormous area of the patch programming, I would be wasting/ignoring a big percentage of its true potential.

An inconvenient: programming sounds can take several hours looking into that tiny LCD screen with a painful cursor navigation. How much do I miss soft knobs for the parameters of the screen, instead sequential browsing with a cursor.


Templates as the base of the user´s sound palette.


Creating TEMPLATE patches can save a lot of redundant and tedious programming. A group of different sounds designed from scratch, with dedicated programming depending of the category, can help as the base for creating new stuff to fill those user banks. Creating 512 user patches from scratch one by one can take years. So I created around 64 user patches from scratch, implementing different methods to tweak them depending of its category.

I made around 64 Template user presets from scratch, one by one, stablishing specific knob functions per each one of them. I located those templates on the positions 01-64 from the bank 0. I left the locationds 65 to 128 empty in order to always maintain a "workout" section of empty slots for experimenting, unfinished/under construction patches, etc
The rest of slots on user 1,2 and 3 banks will be filled with results from tweaking and modifying the templates.
With different templates to work with, is a LOT easier and faster to make your own sounds and evolve them further using the link function, or changing the filters. I reserved another section of user locations, to create big patches wich use two or three sounds at the same time.

The classic layer structure is 4 layers per patch. But the link function allows to layer three sounds at the same time. That also means, using 3 patch user locations for a single sound. You can subordinate two sounds inside another one, and play them unison.

Reprogramming the knobs:
For example, there are sounds where I don´t need attack velocity, but having more detailed control over different LFO functions.

Or maybe you would never use resonance or pitch to LFO in that sound, so eliminate the programming related to them, and think on something different...

Having the same parameters controlled by the knobs for a conga and a string patch is a waste of resources if the system allows you to undone it. If you can reprogram each one of the knobs on every sound, a good place to start doing it, is creating especific knob functions depending of the category of the sound.

So, when making a drumkit patch (lots of them on standar ROMs), it would be recommendable to focus on parameters wich can be expressed on a short amount of time, since most of the drum sounds are short hits and not continuous, and then, producing more control over parameters related to velocity, or the start point of the samples. To be able to make changes over a specific keyzone wich contains kick sounds,

I decided to reprogram the functions of the knobs in order to:

-Making certaing sounds of the drumkits to retrigger at different times.
-Controlling the volume/presence of each one of the 4 layers by separated
-Linking the velocity to affect the sample start point.
-Changing the pan position of the layers.
-Send the aux envelope to the pitch, and atenuate the effect with a knob.
-Bringing another layer to scene when hitting the pads harder.
-Interpolating between two hihat sounds
-Accelerating the frequency/speed of such interpolation-
Making one hihat longer and the other one shorter.
etc etc etc...

If I can rebuilt the sound of the command station from scratch, is must be careful what do I want to correct and suprime about its sound and knob settings.

When creating a patch database from a group of templates, an error of programming inside one of them, will spread to the patches resulting from that template, so better to think on everything before/during the program.

Most of the sounds do not use thw whole scale from C-2 to G8. The lowest and highest range sometimes are unused.

There are 10 pitch user scales. They are available for all the presets. So you can make 10 user scales thinking on dedicated scales for drumkits, arpeggios, whole range performance, another one with small fine tune random variations, sound effects, etc.





The Templates have all the knobs totally to the left, or right, or just in the middle, to allow more predictable and smooth tweaking results when playing live, and also, to produce several modulations that could drastically change the sound. Then, I change some of the filters, and save the new knob positions and programming as a new sound, without having to program everything.



Some ways to program the filter and aux envelope for long sounds:

...4 filter envelopes with similar but not identical times over the attack and decay curves. The times are synchronized with the bpm, so they oscillate at different times but from time to time, they coincide in the peaks or low points.

The envelopes are looped so they reestart at the end of the cicle, after the sum of the times of each stage has been completed.


FILTER ENVELOPE

Mode: tempo-based
Repeat on

L1
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack1 1/2 33%
L2
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack1 1/2d 0%
L3
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack1 1/1 -33%
L4
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack1 1/1 0%

L1
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack2 1/1 100%
L2
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack2 1/2 66%
L3
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack2 1/2D 33%
L4
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Attack2 1/2 75%


L1
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay1 1/2d 66%
L2
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay1 1/2d 100%
L3
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay1 1/1 100%
L4
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay1 1/2d 33%


L1
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay2 1/2d 25%
L2
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay2 1/2 50%
L3
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay2 1/2d 50%
L4
FILTER ENV RATE LEVEL
Decay2 1/2d 0%


The times of the patch L1 are 1/2, 1/1, 1/2d and 1/2d: this equals to 10 bars (2measures+ 2 bars)

The times of the patch L2 are 1/2d, 1/2, 1/2d and 1/2: this also equals to 10 bars..

The times of the patch L3 are 1/1, 1/2d, 1/1 and 1/2d: this equals to 14 bars (3measures + 2 bars)

The times of the patch L4 are 1/1, 1/2, 1/2d and 1/2d: this equals to 12 bars (3 measures)


Now we have predictable timing cycles on each one of the envelopes, but the combination of those 4 different cycles won´t repeat on the same way, until the 4 envelopes start again at the same time.

After programming the Filter envelope in this way, we should go to the AUX ENVELOPE and proceed in the same way, but trying to do not repeat the filter envelope stage times on the Auxiliar values.

The engine offer several options to use these envelopes over several parameters or viceversa.

to be continued...
Old 24th July 2014
  #29
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BezowinZ's Avatar
PX-7 Owner, Subbed

I've used mine for one thing since I've had it. Sequencing drums & percussion in the CPU and triggering the PX-7. So, hopefully I can pick up some basics from this thread.
Old 24th July 2014
  #30
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balma's Avatar
The MP7 comes with a big variety of contemporaneous music hits, like short trumpets, vinyl samples, brasses, keychords, etc, plus the cheesy voice samples.
Lots of sounds wich are not looped, and tons of different percussions. There are some very good sub basses and kicks.
They can sound very eerie when modulated with 12 order filters.

To make the short samples to loop while holding a sound, send a clock divider to the SampleRetrigger destination on the mod matrix:

LA PATCHCORDS
Clk8th -> SRetrig +100

There´s a nice feature on the MP7, on the sample 0758 "rom: Thru Memory". If you hold it, it will go through the 1099 samples on sequential loop. No other ROM I´ve used has such feature.
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