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Dropdown Menus, Colored Keys, and Keyswitches come to Decent Sampler

An example of the key coloring functionality

Version 1.4 of Decent Sampler recently got released: Download it here.

It brings with it a number of under-the-hood features that sample developers can make use of:

Colored Keys

It’s now possible to color the keys of the on-screen keyboard.

This can be useful for showing different ranges of notes that serve different purposes or highlighting notes used as keyswitches. In order to implement colored keys, make use of the new <keyboard> and <color> elements as follows:

<DecentSampler> <ui> <em><!-- Other stuffhere --></em> <keyboard> <color loNote="36" hiNote="50" color="FF2C365E" /> <color loNote="51" hiNote="57" color="FF6D9DC5" /> <color loNote="58" hiNote="67" color="FFCCF3F5" /> <color loNote="68" hiNote="73" color="FFE8DA9B" /> <color loNote="74" hiNote="84" color="FFD19D61" /> </keyboard> </ui> <em><!-- Other stuff here --></em> </DecentSampler>
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

By default, Decent Sampler highlights all of the notes that are mapped for a given sample. If you use the color keys feature, this default highlighting will be turned off and it will be up to you to color whatever keys you want.

Full documentation for the new elements is here.

Dropdown Menus

In order to implemented dropdown menus, use the new <menu> and <option> elements. The <menu> element defines where the dropdown menu will show up in the ui, whereas the <option> XML elements determine what menu options it has and what if anything those options actually do:

<menu x="10" y="40" width="120" height="30" value="2"> <option name="Menu Option 1"> <!-- Turn on this group --> <binding type="general" level="group" position="0" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="true" /> <!-- Turn off this group --> <binding type="general" level="group" position="1" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="false" /> </option> <option name="Menu Option 2"> <!-- Turn off this group --> <binding type="general" level="group" position="0" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="false" /> <!-- Turn on this group --> <binding type="general" level="group" position="1" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="true" /> </option> </menu>
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

In this example, a menu is being used to switch between two groups (the first menu option turns group 0 on and group 1 off; the section option turns group 0 off and group 1 on). Full documentation for the new <menu> and <option> elements is here.

The new fixed_value translation type

You’ll note, in the example above, there’s something new in the bindings: the four bindings elements have a translation parameter of type fixed_value. This is a new translation type. Up until now, binding translation has strictly been about taking an input parameter (such as a knob value or continuous controller amount) and translating it so that it is useful for some other purpose (it’s our way of being able to do a little bit of math without having a full-blown scripting language). This new fixed_value binding is different. It ignores the input value completely and instead provides whatever is specified in the translationValue parameter. In this way, each menu option can have hardcoded values that it provides its bindings when it is selected.

Keyswitches

It is now possible to implement keyswitches. For a long time, it’s been possible to trigger events when a MIDI continuous controller event is received: using MIDI CCs we can change knob values or group volumes, for example. It is now possible to trigger events using MIDI notes as well. Here’s what the setup for a MIDI note-based event mapping would look like:

<midi> <note note="11"> <binding type="general" level="group" position="0" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="true" /> <binding type="general" level="group" position="1" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="false" /> </note> <note note="12"> <binding type="general" level="group" position="0" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="false" /> <binding type="general" level="group" position="1" parameter="ENABLED" translation="fixed_value" translationValue="true" /> </note> </midi>
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

In this example, MIDI note 11 turns on group 0 and turns off group 1, whereas MIDI note 12 does the opposite. Note the use of the fixed_value translation type.

More documentation on this can be found here.

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We’ve made a Kontakt Piano Template: Just add samples

We’ve created a Kontakt template that should be perfect for people trying to build piano instruments in Kontakt. The basic idea behind the template is that it it should allow you to build a piano instrument in Kontakt 5/6 without doing much scripting. Check it out!

Download the template here: https://github.com/dhilowitz/kontakt-piano-template/releases/latest

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Kontakt Video Tutorial: How To Remove Unwanted Frequencies + FREE Kontakt Library

Have you ever had an audio file that contained a bunch of extra frequencies in it that you wish you could just remove? Spectral editing may be for you. In this video, I show how to use spectral editing to clean up a sample so that I can make a Kontakt instrument–but not just any instrument:

A few weeks ago, Christian Henson announced a competition: he challenged the internet community to try to turn two oddball samples he’d recorded into true sample-based instruments.

So this video serves two purposes: it’s both a quick introduction to spectral editing as well as my entry into Christian Henson’s Rusty Gate sample competition.

Here’s a link to the free sample (Kontakt 5.3 or higher).

Here’s a link to Christian Henson’s Rusty Gate Sample Competition.

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Video Tutorial: How to Make Release Triggers + FREE Tea Kettle Whistle Kontakt Library

In this video, I show how to make release triggers in Kontakt. In the process, I create a full-featured Kontakt library out of the whistle from a Chantal tea kettle.

The instrument that I make in the video can be downloaded for free here.

– Dave

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Video Tutorial: How to Make Mic Level Controls in Kontakt + FREE BOWED NAGOYA HARP SAMPLE

In this video, I find out what happens when you play a Japanese Nagoya Harp (Taishogoto) with a violin bow! In the process, I demonstrate how to make microphone volume level control knobs.

The Plucked Nagoya Harp Library (with 3 mics, velocity layers, round robins, etc.) is still available for $10 here.

The completely different but related Bowed Nagoya Harp Kontakt Library that I created in this video is available for FREE here.

Enjoy!

– Dave

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Intro to Kontakt Scripting: Adding your First Knob + FREE KONTAKT INSTRUMENT

In this video, I cover one of the most basic aspects of Kontakt scripting: creating knobs to control instrument parameters. In particular, I use this occasion to add a lowpass filter with cutoff and resonance knobs to a Korg Volca Keys sample library (FREE). This video is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into KSP scripting.

The new Korg Volca Keys Kontakt instrument is available for free here.

Dave