|1. I have an Akai S1000 with 16 megs and cannot load certain "ENTIRE
VOLUMES" of Ancient Worlds or Symphonique even though they are less than
16 megs in memory. How can I load them since they are Akai format?
The Akai S1000 had a very low limit of how many samples and programs
you could load. Now with the S3000 and S5000 for example, many more
samples and programs can be loaded. So as not to limit the new technology
but still allow access for the older versions, Northstar made the decision
to go with a bigger size for certain banks. If you have an older
Akai S1000 or comparable, you can still load individual PROGRAMS or SAMPLES.
This avoids the 110 number limit that was imposed by the old technology.
You can continue to load as many programs as your sampler can sustain.
If you have an S3000 or compatible, you can load the ENTIRE VOLUME.
2. I can't load certain banks of the Grand Gold Pianos into my E64? Help me out.
As E-MU Systems continues to upgrade their machines, memory can become a problem. There are a number of way to get around this. One is to look at your sequencer memory. It usually defaults to 64k. Drop this down to 1k; That will usually take care of the problem. Another option is to just load in the preset/s you need, one by one. Because of the way the Grand Golds are set up similarly from one bank to the next, you usually know which presets you want. (The only problem is when there is a link, in which case you will need to know if there are any links in the preset/s you need. Check the links page of a bank that is loadable to double check. And don't forget to check the link of the linked presets also.)
Finally, you can upgrade your E64 to have the flash memory of an E6400,
which will give you an extra 2 meg of memory. Good Luck.
3. I want to adjust the volumes of the different levels on the Grand Gold Pianos for my own taste. I can't get around on E-MU architecture very easily. Is there a quick way to do this?
Yes, there is. We've had the same problem. That's why we set up so many
presets with links. Remember, if the preset name includes the name "link"
or "lnk", it means it is linked to other presets. Therefore, in the case
of the Grand Golds which use 4 position velocity switch, the first preset
you encounter with the name link in fact just a dummy preset. The presets
following are linked to the first preset. This is very handy for you. For
instance, if you want the softest layer to be even softer, then go to the
preset entitled "Piano Soft" (usually the first preset to follow the link)
and go to the voices page at the preset level and select all, or globally
edit the entire preset. You can then adjust the volume of all the voices
together, or you could add more velocity to level at the cords page, or
add more velocity to filter, etc. globally. This is much easier to do rather
than trying to select each voice out of every layer. Preset 00 by the way
is a non-linked preset and does have all four layers on the one preset
on a non-linked preset. Also don't be fooled by the preset entitled "Ballad
Link". It may be linked to a preset way up high, like preset 127, which
incorporates the "over ring" that you hear on that Ballad preset.
4. I want to customize my own sound effects banks. Is there an easy way to accomplish this on the EIV?
Yes, there is. The same procedure for the EIII, ESI and EIV series of samplers can be applied.
When you're working with sound effects on a practical level, you might
want to load up a whole bank of electrical sounds, for instance, while
your working on a scene. But you might need to quickly customize your own
bank. You know - a siren, a skid, a car crash, a scream, etc. This is the
easy way to do it. You load up Bank 00 on any Northstar Sound Effect CD-ROM.
This bank has no samples in it. But Bank 00 has one of two templates -
either all samples already placed for you on white keys (36 samples) or
all samples already placed for you on black and white keys (61 samples).
So that means that all you have to do is go find the samples you need.
Load them in sequentially, one by one and they will automatically be placed
magically on the keyboard for you. And all the presets will follow as they
are on every Northstar Sound FX Bank. Now that makes things simple. Because
when you're working under the stress of a client breathing down your neck,
you've gotta be flyin'. And this system allows you to do it. Remember on
the EIV what you do is hit the disk button. Then F2 to browse, Hit F5 to
browse the samples. Hit F5 again to audition a sample in mono. Then Hit
F4 to load it. Disk, F2, F5, F5, F4. Each sample will automatically appear
on the keyboard and you're ready to manipulate them anyway you might need.
5. What are the numbers that I see following the sample name on the Sound FX CD-ROMs from Northstar?
Northstar has produced sound effects CD-ROMs for the E-MU series of samplers including the Hollywood Edge, The Valentino Library, the Hanna Barbera Comedy FX and our Wizard CD-ROMs which are amazing film score ambiences and textures. By the way Northstar did the work for E-MU Systems on the Sound ideas Series CD-ROMs, which is very important for you to know. Because in so doing, we were able to lay out a cohesive system for all these libraries.
What we did was to look at all the sound effects in the world and attempt to categorize them. By interviewing many sound designers we came up with a balanced system, that for any sound effect you hear - a name and a category are assigned to that sound effect at the sample level in the EIV. We had to have identifiers that were concise, small. By using the numbers 0 - 9, we could group all sound effects into ten categories, give them a name and not waste a ton of character naming space on your display. So the first category was labeled number 0. 0 is ambience. So we could name a sample: "Cafe French-0" and that's what you'll see in your EIV display. The name is self explanatory. The 0 tells you it's an ambience. The minus sign in front of the zero tells you it's an indoor ambience. A plus sign in front of the zero tells you it's an outdoor ambience. So if you're searching for your ambiences (0) you could distinguish between the indoor and the outdoor samples. Also we have further subcategories like small, large, room, man-made, etc. and these alphabetical tags will follow the number in most cases. Also this gives us the ability to cross reference or double categorize samples. Like a large indoor football game might be named "Football game-0L+5S". That tells you that primarily this sample might be a large indoor ambience but secondarily it also might be grouped under a sporting event which is category Number 5. We'll get to that in a minute.
So, every sample that exists as a sound effect for the E-MU series of samplers incorporates these tags on the end of every sample name. Therefore, a librarian is immensely valuable when searching for effects and categories. Northstar has set up every bank for all these sound effect CD-ROMs in the same way.
Preset 1 has all the samples starting at C1 and going up the scale on
white keys (if there are less than 37 samples or starting at C1 and going
up the scale on black and white keys (if there are more than 37 samples).
And all the presets following are set up similarly on every bank. That
gives you predictability wherever you are. Preset 1 is all samples at 100
percent. Preset 2 gives you velocity. Preset 3 gives you release, so you
don't have to hold down the key. Preset 4 gives you velocity with release.
Preset 5 gives you chorus. Preset 6 gives you velocity to pitch. Preset
7 is a slide down. Preset 8 is delay L and R for a wider sound. Preset
9 is the Lfo to panning and Preset 10 is Flange. Beyond that preset 11
is sample Number 1 stretched from C4 up to C7 and down to A-1. Preset 12
is sample Number 2 stretched from C4 up to C7 and down to A-1. And so forth.
If you want a sample stretched, find out what sample number it is. add
ten to it and go to that preset. Simple.
6. I like the old system E-MU had where all you had to do was touch a key and then you would see the name of the sample on any given preset. Can I still do that with my EIV?
Actually you can. While you can't see the entire name, you can still
see most of it by going to the preset edit mode. Then while in the voices
page, hold the "period" button. It is a single button all by itself. While
holding the button, touch any key. The sample name will be highlighted.
7. When I upgraded my system from an EIII to the EIV, a lot of my presets from both E-MU, Northstar and others seem to have a slow attack. What's the problem? Aren't these systems compatible?
In theory, yes. In actuality, we've found the velocity to attack times
to be out of balance. Also the delay times are way off. And there are a
number of other minor flaws. If you do find a problem like attack times
being unrealistic, go to the preset edit voices page and globally bring
all attack times to 1 or even 0. Things will feel much better.
8. I don't like the velocity response to certain presets. They are not dynamic enough for me. What can I do about this?
The first question is "What kind of controller are you using?" Is it weighted or unweighted? Can you make adjustments from the controller? If not, go to your sampler and check the velocity response curve. Many samplers allow you to have a varied velocity curve. Try these different curves out. You will be quite surprised by the variations that occur. And you may want the attack of your string sound to be radically different from your drum attacks. So check 'em out. You'll need to know the difference.
Also try adjusting the split points at the preset management level.
This can radically change response.
9. I'm trying to make a combination disk of drums, bass, and keyboards on my old EMAX 1 (actually it's a Baldwin, but I understand that it's also running E-MU Emax software). Why can't I fit everything from the Northstar Disks into one disk of my own?
The problem is memory. Northstar disks are set up for studio quality recording, so the samples are at the optimum level for the best sound using the entire memory. Now you can scale that back to acceptable performance levels. Remember you need to fit everything you want into basically 512k. The way to do this is first preview the sounds you want. Secondly, format yourself two disks with no presets on them. Now load up the preset (1 only) of the drum sounds you want (or think you can get by on). Now look at the size of the preset. Uh, oh. It takes up the entire memory of the disk. Well by using the edit assignment feature, start stretching the sounds you want over the sounds you don't want (or can live without). When you stretch (edit assign) these voices over the unwanted voices, you are effectively erasing them from the memory (don't worry, not the sound file on the disk!). This will free up memory for your bass and keyboard. Now when you think you've got the sounds chosen, you'll still probably not have enough memory. So go to the digital mode and look at the sample rate of each sound you've got. If they are at 27778, try taking them down to a lower level that you can still live with. (Remember, you can still filter them at the analog level if they get too grungy sounding.) Now save that one preset to one of the floppies. OK. There's your drums. Now the Bass. Do the same thing. Load one of the blank floppies up, then load up the preset you want from the Bass disk (1 preset only). All right, you won't need the high end of the keyboard samples really. So let's dump those. Good, you've freed up some memory. Now try sample rate converting the samples downward (in the digital mode). When you do this you will find that your tuning may go crazy. That is because the samples were based on single cycle tone loops. So you may have to digitally retune your samples to match the tone loops. Oh well, that's not too bad. It will only be a couple of samples. Now use the analog retuning feature of the presets to get them back where the tuning should be. Now save that bank to the second floppy. Then load the Drum disk preset that you set aside. Now load up the bass preset from the second floppy into the second preset on your Drum disk floppy (the one that you just loaded). So now you've got Drums and Bass on the same floppy. Now save that disk with the two presets back onto the Drum disk (or even another blank formatted floppy for safety). Finally do the same process for your keyboard sound until you can fit the preset you like into the Drum/Bass disk you've created. Be patient. It may take some time but it hopefully will be worth it.