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Crossfades allow your zones to blend into each other across key or velocity. This allows your...

Kontakt Tutorials

Creating Key and Velocity Crossfades in Kontakt

Crossfades allow your zones to blend into each other across key or velocity. This allows your instrument to be played smoothly and realistically. In today’s video tutorial I will discuss Creating Key and Velocity Crossfades.

When you create Sample sets of tonal instruments that don’t include a Sample for each note, the notes that haven’t been sampled need to derive their signal from the Samples of nearby notes. This is usually done by transposing these Samples upwards or downwards. This method has a downside…the necessary re-sampling process can skew the sound character of your instrument, especially when transposition over a wider note range is required. Consequentially, this means that two consecutive notes on a scale which happen to cross the border between two Zones, and thus are both transposed versions of different Samples, can sound dissimilar.

The same problem can arise with velocity switched Sample sets; suppose you’re using four Samples per note, each assigned to one of four equally large velocity ranges. Especially when you’re sampling an acoustic instrument, it can easily happen that two consecutive notes with only marginally different velocity values still happen to fall into two different velocity ranges, thus resulting in noticeably different timbres.

Crossfades provide a way to counteract these effects. The basic idea is that overlapping your Zones and creating a crossfade between them, thus making them blend into each other within the overlapping parts, will mask the difference in sound for notes that fall between them.

Consider this example…You’re sampling an instrument in minor thirds and have just sampled D and F. You create two Zones out of the Samples and extend them a major second to both sides. Now, Zone 1 covers the key range between C and E, with its root key being D. Zone 2 has its root key on F and covers the key range between D# and G. Notice that the Zones overlap on D# and E, where both will be transposed. Now you create a key crossfade on both Zones; as a result, D# and E notes will play a blend of both Zones, with the D Zone’s Sample being predominant on D# notes, and the F Zone’s Sample being predominant on E notes. Of course, this method works just as well with larger sampling intervals. Just make sure that your Zones overlap in ranges you’d like to be crossfaded, whether in key (horizontal) or velocity (vertical) direction.

Remember to leave a comment to let us know what you think about the video, how you plan on using the techniques you have learned or if want to give us some feedback!

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