Today's contemporary music is predominately created with samplers and audio recording software (like SONAR). Without these tools of the trade, it would be virtually impossible to create many of today's popular songs. Samplers remove traditional creative boundaries by allowing us to use any possible sound as a source for an instrument. These can include the sound of a record playing to add a retro vinyl feel to a track, individual multi-samples of orchestral instruments, rhythm loops, complete instrumental grooves, vocal hooks and phrases. This tip is for users of SONAR, Home Studio 2002, Home Studio XL, Music Creator 2002, and Plasma.
What is a sampler?
A sampler is a device that is able to record and playback sound. A sampler digitatizes a sound and stores it in its internal or external memory. This digital representation of a sound is called a sample. Once a sample had been recorded, it can be played on different keys of the sampler's keyboard or triggered by MIDI data. Most modern samplers also allow processing of the digitalized data, for example adding effects or changing the pitch. Professional samplers are expensive and often have a limited memory to store sample data.
What is VSampler?
VSampler is a "virtual" sampler. That means you don't need expensive hardware to work with it. Most properties of a real sampler are emulated by software when using VSampler. The sample memory is only limited by the RAM of your computer (we recommend 128 MB, but more is better). You get the power of a real sampler at a fraction of its cost combined with the great flexibility of working with software.
VSampler emulates a hardware sample-player with powerful features such as
This includes some demo songs with samples loaded that you can open into SONAR, Home Studio 2002, Music Creator 2002, or Plasma.
When you install the demo be sure to check the DXi option for your installation. To do so, check the box labeled "Install Cakewalk SONAR Support."
After completing the install, start your Cakewalk program. Open a sample file by clicking FILE | OPEN, then browse over to C:\Speedsoft\Vsampler\Banks and double-click the file named "'Deserted' by Larph.wrk". You can now play this back to get a feel for VSampler.
Let's take a look at VSampler.
Click the FX tab at the bottom of SONAR's Track view.
Double click on VSampler to bring up its user interface.
You will notice eight instruments loaded. Each one is assigned to respond to a different channel.
When using Vsampler in your own projects you can enable this multi-timbral mode by setting MIDI mode from "preset" to "multi."
VSampler allows you to import a wide variety of sample formats, including:
You can do this from the file menu in VSampler.
VSampler also allows you to stream large samples from disk. This is useful if you have samples larger than your computer's amount of physical ram. VSampler automatically loads a portion of the sample into ram to make it instantly available. The remainder is read and streamed from the hard disk in your computer. You can do this by enabling this function from the EDIT MENU | SAMPLE STREAMING | ENABLE option. This can be enabled globally or for an individual instrument.
VSampler has numerous features that go way beyond the scope of this article. Dig in and experiment.
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