Since Impact Soundworks’ first library in 2007, we’ve committed to deep-sampling in all our virtual instruments. This means recording as many dynamics, round robins, articulations, and mic positions as necessary to best capture the essence of acoustic instruments and ensembles. Though it takes much longer, we think this approach gives the best possible results.
The drawback to deep-sampling is that it can be overwhelming! Even though modern computers can easily handle many gigabytes of sounds, organizing lots of articulations and playing techniques is no easy task. Faced with so many options, composers may find it difficult to find the right articulation or adapt it for their particular MIDI setup.
After producing dozens of sample libraries with a variety of disparate articulation systems, we decided to create a complete solution to this problem: Total Articulation Control Technology, or TACT.
TACT was built to achieve goals for both us (as developers) and you (the user!)
- Provide a consistent interface for managing articulations, located in a separate tab one click away in ANY instrument
- Give users tons of control over exactly how articulations are triggered: velocity, MIDI CC, keyswitch, key range, pedal
- Offer ways to adjust each articulation’s dynamics, offset, and legato interaction (where applicable)
- Make it extremely easy for users to create an advanced mapping setup with just a couple clicks
- Save us (ISW) resources by alleviating the need to create a new articulation system in each library
Finding a way to offer deep control for advanced users while also making it easy to use is something we’ve always aimed for in all of our libraries. Restricting control can make things simpler, but we want to accommodate all producers & composers, even those with unusual MIDI setups or non-standard DAWs. That means flexibility is a top priority.
The value of creating a reusable system also can’t be overstated. Creating new code for every library means wasting time & money ‘reinventing the wheel’. It also introduces the possibility of new bugs and losing (or breaking) existing features. Plus, it can be confusing and frustrating for users to learn something new every time.
With TACT, we think we not only achieved our goals, but also created one of the most powerful articulation managements tools in the virtual instrument world. Here are some of the most important and unique features:
1. Conflict Detection: TACT makes it easy to see if multiple articulations have conflicting mapping setups, for example the same keyswitch or MIDI CC value.
2. Presets: Saving or loading an entire articulation setup takes just one click, and can be easily shared with other users.
3. Automap: It’s now possible to map multiple articulations at once with almost no effort, using schemes like ascending keyswitches or split velocity range.
Ventus Ethnic Winds – Shakuhachi
More to come soon!