The MIX Tab is the main tab and displays eight track slots to load kits and individual instruments. This is done by clicking LOAD in the Kit Browser to load a kit, or drag & dropping an instrument into one of the available tracks.
Each Track shows a couple of track controls to manipulate the aspects of each instrument:
|Instrument icon||The icon represents the category that the loaded instrument resides in.
|**Manual Mode**||This button allows you to toggle "manual mode" on and off. Manual mode deactivates all loop functionality for that instrument track and allows you to play the loaded instrument with single hits.|
|Instrument Name / Lock||Shows the name of the instrument currently loaded into the track. Click the button to open the Lock Modes or change the Playback Speed|
|Pan||Allows you to pan the instrument track left/right in the stereo field.|
|Track Power Button||Activate or deactivate the entire instrument track. Double Click the button to SOLO the track|
|Volume Knob||Controls the volume of the instrument track|
|Instrument Track Visual Display||Displays either the waveform (in Loop Mode) or the instruments velocity layer pads (in Manual Mode)|
|Instrument Track Sound Shapers||Click one of the slots to add a Shape FX to the track.|
|Route to FX Button||By default, all instrument tracks are routed to the FX page . As a default, effects added in the FX tab are applied to the entire Player (A or B), contrary to the "shapers". Deactivating the Route to FX Button will bypass the FX A effect lane for this track and route its signal straight into the middle Main FX lane|
|Output||Allows you to send individal instruments to separate outputs in your DAW.|
With the first button on the left, right next to the instrument icon you can switch to
"Manual Mode". The (loop) waveform in the middle of the display will switch place with clickable pads that show the velocity layers of the loaded instrument.
The main element of the Manual tab are the pads - one for each velocity layer in the instrument. You can click on them to play a sound of the respective layer.
If you right click on a pad, it will "lock" this velocity layer. This means that it will just play samples out of this layer but still apply the velocity attenuation. This can be used for some interesting effects.
The preroll phase of a drum sound is everything that comes before the perceived "hit" and is a vital part of its character. The entire pattern playback engine and the EDIT page is aware of those preroll phases and automatically corrects the preroll phase to the tempo.
However if you play an instrument in Manual mode, these preroll phases might get in your way as they vary between different hits and add a layer of "unresponsiveness". This is why you can adjust the amount of the preroll phase that is used as long as your in MANUAL mode using the SKP slider on the left of the pads.
If the slider is disabled, it means that the currently loaded instrument does not have any prerolls.
The 1.3.0 update added the compatibility for a new type of instrument that can produce two different sounds. The most obvious example is a Hi-Hat which can be played either closed or open.
Every instrument in PercX used to be "monophonic" in the sense that you could play it with two keys, but it will cycle through the same set of Round robins.
A Split Instrument enhances this setup by mapping two different sample sets to each of the key giving you the full control of playing two different playing styles.
It also adds a Note Choke logic, which means that playing one layer will fade out notes from the other layer: if you play a closed hi-hat, any previously played open hi-hat note should ring off.
If you load up an instrument that supports this feature you will notice a thin line in the pads that separates the top and bottom layer:
You can play the bottom/upper layer by either clickin on the lower/upper half of the pad or playing the key in the lower/upper octave
It will also indicate a split instrument on the keyboard like this:
Locking split layers
If you don't want to control two layers, but play a single layer on both keys, you can do so by right clicking on either the bottom or upper half. (If you want to lock a particular velocity layer, that option is still available, but you need to hold Shift while right-clicking).
If you want to know about the editing of split instruments, make sure to read the chapter in the Edit section .
The instruments in PercX have multiple layers of velocity (up to 8) to capture the full dynamic range. While the original relation of the sample's volumes have been preserved, you can choose to override this with a customizable dynamic range.
This can be done by enabling the autonormalisation feature (the DYN button) and then choose the Velocity Dynamic Range that is applied to the samples after normalisation.
|DYN Off||DYN On|
|Plays back every sample back its original volume. In some cases this leads to noticeable volume bumps (as indicated by the steps in the diagram above).||Every sample is internally normalised and then attenuated depending on the velocity. The amount of the attenuation can be controlled by the slider above the DYN button. There are no sudden volume changes when you switch between different velocity layers (also the slight volume differences within a velocity layer is also equalised).|
By default, most instruments have been autonormalised and the dynamic range value is set to match the original range to enhance the playability and smoothness in manual mode.
When you look at the tracks Instrument name you might have noticed the little Lock icon. Although it is small in its appearance it can be used to some powerful effects. Basically it allows you to exchange all loop rhythms and all sounds with each other.
There are three "lock" modes:
|Open||Sounds and rhythms will be replaced (default)|
|Lock Pattern||Will lock down the pattern of this track. You can change the instruments with the up & down arrows left of the waveform or by dragging other instruments in this track.|
|Lock Sound||-||Lock down the sound but replace the pattern with one of the other instruments. Drag & Drop recommended.|
|Lock entire Track||This will lock the instrument into this track. Especially powerful when loading different kits.|
The 1.3.0 update added the ability to change the playback speed for each individual track. This can be used to quickly change the tempo of a pattern without editing the MIDI content and is particularly useful in combination with the Kit Generator to quickly adjust
In order to change the speed, click on the instrument name and use one of the items at the bottom:
|Increase Tempo||Doubles the speed of the track.|
|Reduce Tempo||Divides the tempo by 2.|
|Reset Tempo||Resets the tempo of this track to play back in the original speed.|
|Set quarter note speed||Select a note length that will be be used as new quarter note. If you select eg. 1/8, every quarter note will now be played as an eighth note (so this would speed up the track by 200%). This allows a more fine-grained change including triplets and complex polyrhythmic variations.|
As soon as you have changed the tempo of a track, it will show the tempo factor next to the instrument name and the playbar will look like this:
Be aware that if you load another instrument into the track, it will reset the speed setting unless you have enabled the Lock Pattern mode.
The Shape FX are "little" but quite powerful effects that can be applied to each single instrument track. Add them with a click of one of the three slots to the right of each track.
3D - Applies a 3D Haas effect. Turn it to the left or the right to offset the instrument in the stereo field.
Pitch - Pitches the track one octave up or down.
Boom - Duplicates the played sample and filters it down. Gives a nice additional bass boost.
Mud - A low-mid effect that lets you add low mids in the frequency spectrum.
Crunch - Crunches the sound.
Air - Adds "air" to the instrument.
LP - A simple lowpass filter for quick and dirty filtering. You could of course also use the Track Equaliser for the same static effect but the LP Shaper
can in addition be modulates by the Velocity modulation in the Automation Matrix.
HP - A simple highpass filter.
Multi Channel Output
When using PercX in a DAW, you can route the tracks to different outputs. You can use up to 14 channels to send them to your DAW.
Please note: Tracks which are sent to an output which is not the default "master out" will not be routed through the FX tab, as the FX tab sums all instrument tracks from a kit together and applies the processing across the entire signal, at which point they are inseparable.
The kit browser allows you to browse all your collections/kits/instruments and add them to Player A or B. Entire kits can be loaded in at once (LOAD), but individual instruments from different collections/kits can also be loaded into different instrument tracks. Drag & Drop instruments into the tracks to add them to your current arrangement.
The Collections browser allows you to filter the kits according to their collections, the Kits section in the middle shows all kits of the collection and the Instruments shows all instruments from a kit.
You can select and deselect the collections and kits items to filter the content of the instrument section.
When no kit is selected, the instrument section will switch to a window with 12 categories in which all instruments are categorised. Select a category icon to show all instruments of this category.
To the left of the INSTRUMENTS section you can see a bunch of category sliders (Sustain, Pitch, Transient, Organic, Ambience). These sliders allow you to further filter through the kits and instruments to find what you are looking for. For example, if you are searching for an extremely low but natural traditional drum, you could go into "Big Drum", and turn the instrument "Pitch" attribute slider down to find all low-pitched big drums.
The Dynamics knob allows you to scale through the velocity layers of all played MIDI notes in a pattern at once. This crescendo/decrescendo feature is powerful, as the instruments often have high numbers of velocity layers, so different velocity layers will select different samples, therefore at the touch of a knob, you can effectively control the dynamics (not volume - dynamics) of an entire performance.
The 1.3.0 update increased the range to allow non-subtractive values, so you can also amplify the dynamics of a track by setting the knob below its center position.
Beneath the Dynamics knob you can select different scaling modes with which you can scale through the velocity layers. Flat is a linear scale (can get repetitive when turning down), while HDR goes to other extreme trying to preserve velocity differences at all costs. Subtle tries to find the sweet spot in between these both. Try them out to find the crescendo/decrescendo fitting your needs.
The envelope allows you to adjust the AHDSR on a note per note basis. Whichever values you set in this envelope apply individually to each separate note in your pattern.
By default, the release time is set to maximum, to allow all samples' full tails to naturally decay at their complete length.
When adding FX to stems that with a long preroll (like reverses), it is advisable to set the release to a low value, such as 200ms, to prevent these samples playing at their full length after all keys have been released.
If you are writing high energy music which requires a lot of large drums in quick succession, it is likely that the mix may get muddy, very quickly, as often these sorts of drums have longer tails which quickly layer up and build "mud" up in the mix. Whilst a common remedy for this is to EQ out some of the low mids, increase some highs etc, a very good method of clearing up the mess and adding focus/definition, is to simple turn down the release knob to taste. Depending on the tempo and how quick the drums are playing, the appropriate setting will vary across different contexts, however we would advise you hold the key down to allow that instrument track to play, and then slowly turn the release knob down until you find that "sweet spot" where the drums are well defined, there is no mud buildup, but you also have not cut so much of the tails off that it sounds artificial and "soulless".
A parametriq EQ. You can click on the surface to create a new EQ band. A right-click on that note lets you access a few options to change the band. You can change its type (Low/HighPass, Low/HighShelf, Peak) and even connect the band to the CTRL system (sweeps here we come ;)
You can adjust the Q of the band with the mouse-wheel.