Using a PC as a Sampler It is very common to use a PC, or any dedicated second computer, as a stand-alone sampler.

This use has several benefits. First, a dedicated computer has much more storage space than a traditional hardware sampler. You can store thousands of samples, rather than hundreds, and you can easily store and recall presets on your hard drive. Second, by incorporating a second computer, you relieve a great deal of the processing burden on your Mac. This is a huge advantage over virtual instruments and sampler plug-ins that reside on the same computer as your sequencing program. The purpose of this article is to discuss the basic signal flow and cabling in such a studio. In general, think of a dedicated PC as equivalent to a hardware sound module. In both cases, there are three basic steps to the signal flow. First, you send MIDI from your sequencing program (DP) to your PC. Second, the PC converts this MIDI into audio. Third, the newly generated audio is send from the PC to your studio's mixing board or audio interface. Software First, you need a sequencing program on your Mac and a sampling program on your PC. In the following diagrams, Digital Performer serves as the sequencing program while Gigastudio is the sampling program.

Mac w/ Digital Performer

PC w/ Gigastudio

The most common sampling software programs are Gigastudio, Kontakt and Mach-5. The most common sequencing programs are Digital Performer, Logic Audio and Pro Tools. Step 1 - Sending MIDI from the Mac to the PC To send and receive MIDI, both computers need a MIDI interface or card. In most studios, the Mac will be connected to many devices and will require a large MIDI interface (such as the MOTU MIDI Timepiece). For the PC, the MIDI interface may take the form of a card that plugs into an ISA or PCI slot inside of your computer or an external box that attaches to the computer's USB port. Commonly, the PC will require fewer ports and an audio/MIDI card will do. In the diagrams below, the MIDI interface is drawn as an internal audio/MIDI card.

In this diagram. which will send it on to the PC. I assumed the studio is using a MOTU 828 for this purpose.During playback. Digital Performer will send MIDI data to the Mac's MIDI interface. MIDI Interface MIDI Out (Mac) USB Cable Mac w/ Digital Performer Firewire Cable AI (MOTU 828) MIDI In Audio/MIDI Card PC w/ Gigastudio Audio Cables . MIDI MIDI Interface Out (Mac) USB Cable Mac w/ Digital Performer MIDI In Audio/MIDI Card PC w/ Gigastudio Step 2 .MIDI to Audio Conversion This step occurs internally at the PC. you will send it to your studios mixing board (or audio interface) where it can be mixed with the other elements of your studio. Step 3 .Sending Audio from the PC to your Mixing Board Once the audio is generated at the PC. Your sampling software will interpret the MIDI messages and generate audio using the samples you have on your hard drive.

Doubleclick on the new device and give it an appropriate name. such "PC 1-1" or "PC 1-2". you created a MIDI track in Digital Performer and assigned it to "PC 1-5". import the desired samples into the appropriate channel using your sampling software. you can create a MIDI track in Digital Performer and set it's output to the PC. be sure the device is transmitting and receiving on all channels. it is easy to incorporate additional gear. open Gigastudio on the PC. You will select patches or samples in your sampling software on the PC. It is imperative that the "channel 5" in the MIDI track Output and in Gigastudio are aligned. In this case. Also. This "virtual map" must match exactly how your studio is physically cabled. it is important to note which channel (1 through 16) you are selecting. click on "Add Device". . 2) MIDI Track Outputs Once the PC is created in Audio MIDI Setup. you named the track "Legato Violin". such as "PC 1" or "Giga 1". highlight channel 5 and import your favorite legato violin patch. When selecting outputs. as above. This includes: 1) Audio MIDI Setup You must add a device that represents the PC in your Audio MIDI Setup "MIDI map". In Audio MIDI Setup. Leave the Default Patch column in the Tracks window and the Patch Row in the Sequence Editor blank. do not attempt to select patches in Digital Performer. Incorporating Other Gear Given this setup. Suppose that.Software Setup Considerations On your Mac. connect this device to your Mac's MIDI interface. Last. On the PC. 3) Patch Names In this context. Since you want it to be a violin part. you will need to set up Digital Performer similar to a hardware sound module.

This is a small…but comparatively powerful…studio. and MOTU virtual instruments as MIDI sound sources. . MIDI hardware. you can draw upon the PC. You can then mix these with anything you record from the microphone.Keyboard MIDI Out MIDI In MIDI Out MIDI Interface (Mac) MIDI Out USB Cable MIDI In Other MIDI Hardware Audio Cables Mac w/ Digital Performer Firewire Cable AI (MOTU 828) MIDI In Audio/MIDI Card PC w/ Gigastudio Audio Cables Mic Mic Cable Speakers In this setup.

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