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viernes, 20 de junio de 2008

Miscellaneous Channel Settings (MISC) tutorials


Miscellaneous Channel Settings (MISC)

The Miscellaneous Channel Settings page contains various generator settings. These settings appear in all generators (including third party ones).

1. Levels Adjustment

This section contains four knobs that control the volume (VOL), panning (PAN), cutoff (CUT) and resonance (RES) levels of the channel. Essentially, these duplicate the functionality of the other controls found in the Channel Settings window, but are useful for two main reasons:

Easier automation - You can, for example, create a fade in/out effect for a channel using the volume adjustment knob instead of the channel volume control. This allows you to independently set the overall volume level using the channel volume knob, without needing to recreate the automation data. Similarly, you can set the pan adjustment knob to create panning LFO without automating the channel pan knob, i.e. adjust the overall panning without recreating automation data.

Wider range - The volume adjustment knob has a range of 0% to 200% compared with the channel volume knob (0%-100%). Thus, you can preamp the volume up to twice as loud as the original level without needing additional effects.

2. Cut / Cut By

Cut groups are arbitrary numbers used to identify Channels instruments as belonging to a Cut or Cut by group. Cut groups are used so that an instrument channel can either silence other instrument channels when it plays (Cut) or be silenced by other instrument channels (be 'Cut by').

Example: Let's consider the example of two channels, one has a open hi-hat sample and another a closed hi-hat sample. You want the closed hi-hat sound to stop (cut) the open sound if it is playing so that it sounds as if the hi-hat has slammed shut (open to closed sound). In this case you would set the closed hi-hat Cut group (LCD on the left) to 1 (for example) and leave the Cut By group (LCD on the right) at the default "--" . Then set the open hi-hat sound Cut by group to "1" and leave the Cut group to the default "--". This means the open hi-hat is listening for any activity on cut group 1 and if the open hi-hat channel hears activity on Cut group 1, it will stop playing. Alternatively activity on the open hi-hat channel won't affect the closed hi-hat channel since its Cut by value is set to none "--".

Cut any, all or self: You may select any Cut and Cut by numbers in any or all channels. That is you may have one channel cut all others or all channels cut a single one. You can even make a channel to cut itself - just set its Cut/Cut By values to the same number. FL Studio will do this automatically (finding unique numbers, not used in other channels) if you check the Cut Itself button (this can also be accessed by right-clicking the channel button and selecting 'Cut itself' from the pop-up menu).

The importance of the release envelope: The Cut function works with the note data sent to the plugin (it is not an audio function like turning down a channel volume). 'Cut' sends an all-notes 'release' command to the plugin on the channel so all playing notes jump to the release phase of their envelopes. If your instrument has long release envelopes, you will still hear the notes fading out after they have been cut. Finally, Cut and Cut-by does not appear in the TS404 generator, because it uses a different approach for generating sound.

3. Polyphony/Portamento

Drag up/down in the Max Polyphony LCD (MAX) to reduce the maximum number of voices the channel will play simultaneously. Setting this property to a lower number reduces the amount of CPU used to play the song. If the LCD displays dashes, it indicates that polyphony is unrestricted.

Turning on the Mono button sets the generator to monophonic mode (maximum one note played at a time). In this mode, when two notes overlap (the overlap amount does not matter) they will "slide" one to another (including their properties - cutoff, resonance and panning). You can set the transition length with the Portamento Time (SLIDE) knob (see below).

Turning on the Porta button enables the portamento feature for this channel (sliding the pitch from note to note). In FL Studio the portamento transition also includes all other properties of the note (cutoff, resonance and panning).

Portamento Time (SLIDE) is used to set the slide length when portamento is turned on. Also used for overlapping notes in monophonic mode. The more the knob is turned right, the longer the slide.

This section will not appear in a TS404 channel, because it works only in monophonic mode.

NOTE: Portamento and sliding of overlapping notes is not supported by DXi and VSTi generators. It may also not be supported by some Fruity Plugin generators (those that do not support pitch bending).

4. Preview Keyboard

The preview keyboard allows you to preview the channel instrument (left-clicking on the piano-keyboard), set the root key (right-click a key), and set key region (left-click and drag on the ruler).

  • Root Key - The bright orange rectangle in the ruler above the piano key (C5 in the example above) shows the root key of the channel. Right-click on the ruler above the desired Root Key to change the setting. As each sample has particular pitch, FL Studio needs to know what key should play at the original pitch. All other notes are generated by changing sample's speed (and so pitch), setting the root key higher will cause a given key to sound lower in pitch.
  • Key Region - The lighter orange bar in the ruler above the piano keys. Left-click and drag on the ruler to define the key region. Once created, edit the region limits by dragging the end points. Setting a key region for a channel will cause notes outside the region to be ignored (so not played). This can be useful when using a channel as part of a Layer, to create multi-sampled instruments (e.g. selecting a different sample to play over each octave).
  • Enable Main Pitch - If you turn off this option, channel's pitch won't be altered when you change the main pitch value (see Main panel).
  • Add to Key - When this option is on, the root key works, as expected, by offsetting the whole keyboard including all key range specific options (like samples assigned to specific range of notes). So when you set the root key to C6 when it is normally C5, and play C6, it's exactly like if you played C5 with root key C5 (the preview keyboard shows the actual note being played in this mode as well). When this option is off, however, only the pitch is offset, and the rest of the features remain as they were with the default root key. So, if in the previous example you set the Add to Key option off, playing C6 will result in hearing a C5 tone, but with the samples and properties that are mapped to C6. This feature makes no difference for generators that have single sample and properties along the whole keyboard. However, it will act differently when used with generators like the Fruity SoundFont2 player or the Fruity Slicer generator, where different samples may be assigned to different keys.
  • Reset - Sets back the default base note and removes the key region (all notes will be played). For the Sampler & DrumSynth that is C5. For SimSynth it depends on how the preset was set in SimSynth.
  • Sampler & SimSynth/DrumSynth - (not shown) These buttons appear only in Sampler generator, when SimSynth or DrumSynth preset is used to fill the sample bank in Sampler Channel Settings. If the Sampler button is clicked, the base note you set in preview keyboard is used as usual by the Sampler as a base tone of the sample (in this case the sample generated by the SimSynth/DrumSynth preset). When the SimSynth/DrumSynth button is clicked, the base note is used by the SimSynth or DrumSynth engines respectively for a pitch of the sample generated.
  • Fine tuning (FINE) - You can use this knob to fine-tune the base note in cents (1 cent = 1/100th of a semitone).

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