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Imprint Module Rev 1.01 02 Feb 2016

by Industrial Radio

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The IR Imprint Module is essentially an envelope generator that takes a mono audio signal produced by the string(s), generates an envelope that relates to the amplitude of this signal and then shapes the output of the synth accordingly.

By shaping the synth's output in this way the MIDI performance becomes more dynamically rich, guitar-like and expressive.

With this technique we are virtually imprinting the shape of the string into the synth sound; hence the name Imprint.

IR Imprint Module Rev 1.01

OUTPUT

The OUTPUT buttons let the user switch between the three output modes: GUITAR, SYNTH, and IMPRINT. Each mode has a corresponding knob, to its right, that controls the output level of that mode.

GUITAR

When OUTPUT is set to 'GUITAR' the Imprint Module is essentially bypassed and will output the unchanged audio signal from the guitar (input 3 on Reaktor 6). This signal will be either a single piezo output (1-6 on the FSI-1) or the mono signal produced by the magnetic pickups (MAG on the FSI-1).

NOTE: For more information on a mono Imprint setup, where the mono signal from the magnetic pickups is used, see article.

SYNTH

When OUTPUT is set to 'SYNTH' the Imprint Module is essentially bypassed and will output the unchanged audio signal(s) from the synth (inputs 1 & 2 on Reaktor 6).

IMPRINT

When OUTPUT is set to 'IMPRINT' the Imprint Module works as it is intended and outputs the synth signal after it has been shaped by the internal envelopes.

NOTE: The ability to easily switch between these output modes is especially useful during the setup process when it can be helpful to switch the outputs to check that the all the necessary signals are coming through.

MODE

The MODE buttons let the user select one of two modes: LEVEL and X-OVER (CROSSOVER). The MODES affect the way the internal envelope generator operates.

LEVEL

LEVEL is the simpler of the two modes where the envelopes generated by the Imprint Module only change in level proportionally to the volume of the audio signal.

NOTE: When LEVEL is selected the OFFSET, BASS & TREBLE controls have no effect.

X-OVER (CROSSOVER)

X-OVER mode works like LEVEL mode but with the added feature that it also resonds to the harmonic content of the string. For example, in X-OVER mode if you strike the string and create a rich, treble harmonic boost to the sound, this will be mapped into the synth's sound and will become brighter.

Also, if you play the string more softly, ie. with a lower energy, there will be less treble and more bass in the synth's sound. X-OVER adds more variety to the imprinted synth sound as two notes played will never sound exactly the same. The controls that relate to X-OVER are OFFSET, BASS & TREBLE.

CONTROLS

The following controls adjust the ATTACK, DECAY, SMOOTH, OFFSET, BASS, TREBLE.

ATTACK

Controls the attack rate of the envelope with a range from 1 millisecond to 1 second (1000 milliseconds). At its minimum value of 1 millisecond the envelope will rise to the shape of the audio (guitar) signal at its quickest rate. As you increase the time it will slow down. If you are playing a synth sound with a fast attack you would normally have it set to zero. The best starting point for setting ATTACK is to start at 1 millisecond and experiment from there.

DECAY

Controls the decay rate of the envelope with a range from 1 millisecond to 1 second (1000 milliseconds). At its minimum value of 1 millisecond the envelope will fall to the shape of the audio (guitar) signal at its quickest rate. As you increase the time it will slow down and you will start losing the fast response of your guitar's level shape.

NOTE: Depending on the synth sound you are using, when DECAY is set to its minimum value there can sometimes be a bleed through of the actual audio (guitar) sound into the synth sound. This is quite subtle and will present itself as distortion in the synth sound. It is usually more noticeable on the lower strings.

As with all of these settings you will need to experiment to find out what works best for you. A setting of around 30 milliseconds is probably a good starting point. However, a DECAY setting of 1 millisecond can work well on some synth sounds.

SMOOTH

Controls a lowpass filter which is used to filter the envelopes generated by your guitars audio signal. It has a range from 10 Hz to 10,000Hz. It is used to remove any artifacts that are created by the envelope generator software. Again sometimes the strings audio can cause distortion in the synth sound especially when the attack and decay controls are set to their lower values. The smooth control can help remove any distortion. Lower values of the SMOOTH knob will totally remove any distortion but will make the synth feel sluggish, so only set this value to the minimum value you think that you need. We find a value of around 1.0KHz a good starting place.

OFFSET

Controls the frequency crossover point at which the synth sound is filtered into its bass and treble paths. The offset parameter has a range of -36 to +36 semitone steps. This filtering process also uses midi data coming from the midi bass which tracks which note is being played on the instrument (continuous controller 24) so as you change pitch on the guitar the filter split point will track with the changing midi pitch, to this pitch is added the offset to create a filter point that tracks the strings pitch. The best way to adjust this parameter is to first turn down the treble knob so you are just hearing the bass, then adjust the offset so you are listening just to the bass frequencies, by adjusting the offset you will be able to control the amount of higher frequencies that will be in the bass signal path. We normally find a value of 0 to +12 a good starting point. Note that the pitch of where the actual synth is programmed will effect its response. So if the Octave of the synth is jumping around from patch to patch you will need to adjust the offset to match the synths tuning.

BASS

Controls the level of the bass signal path, adjustable from oodB, -50dB to +20dB.

TREBLE

Controls the level of the bass signal path, adjustable from oodB, -50dB to +20dB.

A Note About Using Effects

Many synths have an effects section within their architecture. Effects like reverb and delay need to placed after the Imprint Module. So we suggest not using reverb or delay within plugins but instead place an effects unit on the output of the Imprint Module for this class of effects.

PRO-4 MIDI BASS IR USER GROUP
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