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Instrument editing


When clicking on one or more instrument(s) in the tree, the editing page of instruments appears.

This page comprises several parts:

instrument page

If only one instrument is selected, the page allows the editing of the global parameters of the instrument and the parameters of all its divisions.

In the case where several instruments are selected, the global parameters of each of these instruments can be edited.

instrument page with multiple instruments selected

Table

Presentation

The table allows the viewing and editing of the overall configuration of an instrument. A change of a parameter in the "global" division applies to all divisions, except for divisions whose same parameter is already specified.

The editable parameters are:

  • Key range
    Key range for which the sound will be heard.
  • Velocity range
    Velocity range for which the sound will be heard. It is possible to set different sounds for the same note, with different velocity ranges (to distinguish different nuances of a piano key for example).
  • Attenuation
    Attenuation in decibel applied to the sample.
    Note: the sf2 format doesn't allow this value to be negative, no amplification is thus possible.
  • Pan
    Balance applied to the sound, to hear it to the left or to the right in stereo.
  • Loop playback
    "0" indicates a sound reproduced with no loop, "1" indicates a sound which loops continuously, "3" indicates a sound which loops for the duration of key depression and then proceeds to play the remainder of the sample.
    Note: the sf2 format had no plans for a special playback mode which triggers a sample when a key is released. One way to achieve this behavior is to double each sample with a sample containing a short silent loop followed by the sound to emit on the release. The added sample will be read with the playback parameter "3".
  • Root key
    Allows you to change the normal root key of a sample to a different note from that usually used.
  • Tuning
    Change the tuning in semitones and cents of semitones. Changing "scale" plays on the difference between two consecutive notes.
  • Filter
    Apply a low-pass filter, by specifying the cutoff frequency and the resonance.
  • Volume envelope
    Change the volume envelope, and possibly how it changes with the note.
  • Modulation
    Set a modulation (envelope, delay, frequency, changes with the note) and its effect on the tone, filter and volume.
  • Vibrato
    Set a vibrato (time, frequency) and its effect on the tone.
  • Exclusive class
    This parameter can define one or more exclusive classes, by assigning a set of sounds within a class the same parameter value other than 0. When an exclusive class is defined, any note triggered from one of the sounds of the exclusive class ends all the other sounds of the same class. The scope of an exclusive class is the preset in which the class is defined (a sound triggered in an instrument will end a sound of another instrument if the two instruments are in the same preset). This effect can be used for percussion instruments like a cymbal. Basically playing one note automatically terminates another in the same group.
  • Chorus and reverb
    Indicates the intensity of chorus and reverb effects. The effects are configurable in the software settings.
  • Fixed key and velocity
    Can freeze the key and velocity on the key range specified by the linked sample.
  • Offsets
    Changes the positions of the start and end of a sound during playback, as well as the start and end of the loop. The unit of an offset is samples (number of values). It is also used at the sample level to define the length of a sample, the start and end of a loop.

Editing facilities in the table

To facilitate and speed up editing in the table, the following features have been implemented:

  • the mouse wheel may be used to change a value (the cell has to be in edit mode first),
  • a multiple selection, followed by the editing of the last cell, will edit all cells simultaneously,
  • the keys "delete" and "backspace" clear the content of all selected cells,
  • stereo divisions may be edited simultaneously if the option is ticked in the software preferences,
  • key names may be numeric or as a text (having C3, C4 or C5 as middle C), depending on the option chosen in the preferences,
  • copy / paste / cut of a set of cells (not necessarily adjacent) may be done via Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V / Ctrl+X.

Do not forget the tools available! In particular the global setting tool.

Key range editor

The key range editor allows you to quickly and graphically dispose samples according to their key and velocity ranges. This graph further highlights configuration problems, such as zones free of samples or unwanted superpositions.

range editor

Each sample is represented by a green rectangle. The color is semitransparent, so that the superposition of several elements is identifiable. By maintaining the left click you can:

  • change the size of a rectangle, when the mouse is over one of the edges or a rectangle;
  • change the position of a rectangle, by pointing to the center of a rectangle.

When several rectangles are superimposed, a left simple click changes the selection. Maintaining the right click allows you to change the zoom.

Envelope editor

The envelope editor provides a graphical overview of the 8 parameters defining the volume envelope and the 8 parameters defining the modulation envelope. This is thus a tool for better understanding the impact of each of these parameters.

envelope editor

The buttons above the graph select alternatively the volume envelope (displayed in green) or the modulation envelope (displayed in red) for the editing. During the editing of the modulation envelope, the volume envelope is displayed with a thin line.

The left part of the graph represents the evolution of the envelope when a key is triggered. 7 of the 8 parameters are involved in this representation:

  • Delay: duration during which the envelope remains at 0 just after a key is triggered,
  • Attack: duration after delay during which the envelope grows from 0 to the maximum value,
  • Hold: duration after attack during which the envelope keeps its maximum value,
  • Decay: duration after hold during which the envelope progressively goes from the maximum value to the value specified by sustain,
  • Sustain: value after decay sustained as long as the triggered key is not released,
  • Key → Hold: change of the hold duration depending on the key (see below),
  • Key → Decay: change of the decay duration depending on the key (see below).

A positive value in Key → XXX gradually decreases the duration of XXX toward the trebles, whereas a negative value does the opposite. For instance:

  • value 100 halve the duration of XXX per octave above middle C (60) and double the duration of XXX per octave below middle C,
  • value -100 double the duration of XXX per octave above middle C (60) and halve the duration of XXX per octave above middle C.

The right part represents the evolution of the envelope when a key is released. Only the release duration is involved in this representation. The envelope gradually returns to 0 during this duration.

When only one division of an instrument is selected in the tree, the corresponding sound sample is displayed on the background. It is thus possible to better visualize the evolution of the envelope relative to the sample being played.

Modulators

The lower section of the editing page of instruments is intended for the creation of modulators, globally for an instrument or for a particular division. A modulator allows the use of a first parameter, optionally a multiplication by a second one, to modify a third one. The output of a modulator can be used as input to another modulator (this function appeared in version 2.04 of sf2 format and may not be supported by some synthesizers).

The addition or deletion of modulators is made through the buttons "+" and "-" on the right of the interface. The parameters can be entered below. When a modulator is added, the border of the corresponding cell in the table is thicker.

It is possible to copy all or a part of the modulators from the list in another section of an instrument or preset by using the "copy" and "paste" buttons on the right of the interface. Modulators of a global division may also be duplicated for other instruments or presets.

Warning: the synth included in the software does not take into account the modulators.