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VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS‌

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Virtual instruments are like having a keyboard instrument within Mixcraft. They can be played and recorded using a USB or MIDI keyboard controller. Mixcraft’s Instrument Preset Window offers powerful layering, splitting, and more.

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VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT PRESETS

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Click the instrument piano keyboard icon to open the Instrument Preset window.

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This opens the Instrument Preset window. On the left side you’ll see numerous preset categories. There are four special preset categories: <Favorites>, <VSTi Instruments>,

<ReWire Devices>, and <External Devices>.

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FAVORITES

Frequently used and favorite Instrument Presets can be tagged by simply clicking on the star to the left of Instrument Preset. Once you’ve clicked the star icon, all Favorites are easily displayed and chosen by selecting the Favorites category.

VSTI INSTRUMENTS

This shows all available virtual instruments including any external ones. VSTi is the only supported third-paty plug-in type. If you have a virtual synthesizer that is not showing up, you may have to edit your Plug-in folders in Preferences>Plug-Ins>Edit VST/VSTi Folders.

Clicking on a virtual instrument the window expands downward (you can also expand the view by clicking the Show Details button).

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Click in the preset column to browse presets for the selected instrument.

REWIRE DEVICES

This section displays available ReWire applications. Selecting a ReWire application automatically creates a ReWire track for that application. In the Show Details view, available ReWire instrument sources can be selected (under Presets). Played or recorded MIDI data from the Virtual Instrument track, will be routed to the ReWire application. Audio generated by the application will appear in Mixcraft on the ReWire track.

EXTERNAL DEVICES

This category displays all external MIDI outputs and sound card MIDI synthesizers. If an external synthesizer is connected via a MIDI interface, select the appropriate MIDI output interface. Please note that you will not be able to render or burn the audio made by external synthesizers unless they are first recorded to an audio track.

PRESETS

Click on a category on the left and then click on a preset. Main default categories include:

Bass

Brass

Combinations

Ethnic

Guitar

Hits & Stabs

Keyboard

Percussion

Reed

Sound Effects

Strings

Synth

Voice

Wind

Click the X button at the top right of the window to hide the instrument dialog. Alternatively, click the instrument button on the track header to toggle viewing the instrument preset window.

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EDITING VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT PRESETS

Custom Virtual Instrument presets featuring multiple layered synthesizers, edited presets, custom key ranges and more can be created. Begin by clicking a Virtual Instrument track’s Instrument icon.

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This opens the Instrument Preset window:

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Now click the Show Details button to extend the instrument window and display more details about the preset. You can either modify the current preset, or begin with a “blank slate” by clicking the New Preset button:

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To add a virtual instrument, click <Select Synth> and choose a synthesizer from the drop-down list.

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After selecting an instrument, the following parameters can be set:

Parameter

Description

Preset

Selects a preset or patch from individual instruments.

Edit

If the synthesizer has an editable user interface, click the Edit button to view and adjust its parameters.

Volume

Click on the Vol column and type in a value.

Pan

Click on the Pan column and type in a value from

-100% to 100%.

Range

The range of MIDI notes the synthesizer responds to. Click and select a range of notes from the pop-up keyboard. The synthesizer will respond only to notes in the specified range.

Transpose

Type in a transposition value for this synthesizer. For example, if transpose is set to 12, playing C4 will actually sound C5.

Velocity

Type in a velocity range the synthesizer will respond to including a low and high note limit, e.g.1-

127). Make sure to include a dash so the software understands the range. For example, if you wanted it to respond to velocities from 120 to 127, you would type in 120-127.

Config

If the virtual instrument supports multiple output channels, click the Config... button to configure which output channels to use.

ADDING EFFECTS TO INSTRUMENT PRESETS

To add effects to Instrument Presets, click <Select An Effect>.

Once an effect is chosen, an effects preset can be selected from the from the Preset

column. To customize effects settings, click the effects Edit button.

Effects chain can be created with as many effects as desired.

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SETTING AN INSTRUMENT PRESET ICON

To add a custom icon to an Instrument Preset, click the Set Icon button and select an icon (or add a custom icon using the Add My Own Image File… button).

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SAVING CUSTOM PRESET INSTRUMENT PRESETS

Custom Instrument Preset can easily be saved and recalled. This saves all parameters of the Instrument Preset including effects. To save a custom Instrument Preset, click the New Preset button.

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Type a preset name and select a category from the Category drop-down menu. To save the currently selected instrument icon, check the Embed Icon checkbox.

INSTRUMENT PRESET FILE LOCATION

Instrument Preset files are located in the Mixcraft folder in a directory called “InstPresets".

Preset files have a .instrument extension and may be traded and sent between computers and users. Please note that you'll need the same VSTi's and virtual synths

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installed.

Custom presets will be saved under %appdata%\Acoustica\Mixcraft\InstPresets\

( %appdata% is a Window's shell variable that is expanded to something like C:\Users\ UserName\AppData\Roaming\ )

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EDITING INDIVIDUAL VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT PARAMETERS

Many Virtual Instruments feature extensively editable control panels. To access these parameters, click the Edit button.

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On the following is the Minimogue VA virtual instrument. Use the mouse to create custom sounds by turning virtual knobs, switches, etc.

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VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT PRESET MANAGEMENT

Though each Virtual Instrument will have a unique user interface, they share the same controls on the top of the instrument window. These controls let you choose a new preset, save a preset, or delete a preset.

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Here's what all the Preset Management controls do:

Button Description
Virtual Instruments Active or Inactive

Makes the current Virtual Instrument active or inactive.

Virtual Instruments Active or Inactive

Opens the current Virtual Instrument’s automation mapping window.

Virtual Instruments Presets

Selects a Virtual Instrument instrument preset. If the preset is factory default, it may say [Sys] at the beginning of the preset name.

VST Preset File

Load VST Preset File. Some VST effect and instrument manufacturers will distribute additional banks of sounds, in the form of .fxb files. These files replace the current Virtual Instrument’s presets with a new set of presets.

Save Preset

Saves a preset for the current Virtual Instrument.

Deletes Virtual Instrument Preset

Deletes the selected Virtual Instrument preset.

ADDING THIRD PARTY VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS

If a VSTi instrument has been installed and it’s not visible in the Instrument List, you'll need to add the folder that stores the VST instrument.

Select File>Preferences>Plug-Ins>Edit VST/VSTi Folders from the Main Window menus.

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Click the Edit VST/VSTi Folders button and navigate to the folder containing the Virtual Instrument, and add the folder by clicking the Add… button.

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If you’re having trouble locating installed Virtual Instruments, click Auto-Scan For VST/VSTi Directories. Mixcraft will attempt to locate folders containing VSTi instruments.

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USING A THIRD-PARTY ARPEGGIATOR PLUG-IN

A number of third-pary software companies offer arpeggiator plug-ins that can be used to "play" VST either Mixcraft's included instruments or installed third-party VST instruments.

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To use an arpeggiator plug-in, open the Instrument Preset window and select the arpeggiator as an instrument in a location above the instrument you'd like it to control. No other fancy setup necessary!

INCLUDED VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS

The following virtual instruments are included with all versions of Mixcraft.

ACOUSTICA INSTRUMENTS

A huge library of carefully sampled orchestral instruments, drums, synthesizers, pianos, organs, guitars, basses, and more, all mapped to the General MIDI specification.

IMPULSE

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This polyphonic synthesizer is modeled after synthesizers of the early 80's, and is loaded with classic analog synthesizer tones.

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