Commodore Sound Sampler
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Commodore Sound Sampler
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WHAT IS THE COMMODORE SOUND SAMPLER?

Sound sampling is a technique in which
sound waves (e.g. from a microphone or
direct input) are converted into numbers
and stored in the Computer's memory. lt can
then be converted back into sound again, or
the Computer can be used to alter the sound.

The sound sample can be replayed
forwards, backwards, at a high pitch or low
pitch, or with a repeating loop. The
Commodore sound sampler also has
software included for Converting it into a
drum machine.

You can record any sound you want, e.g. a
dog's bark, and play it back using the
keyboard (or optional overlay keyboard)
over a lO-octave range. Thus a tune can be
played using the sampled sound.

Tbe sampler can store 1.4 seoonds of sound,
but endless loops can be set up using the
editing software. Many of the sound effects
that are heard in Pop music today can be
reproduced on your sound sampler One
example is "pitch shitifting" which can be
used to dramatically change the sound of
your voice. Whilst you speak inte the
microphone, the sampler will shift your
voice up or down in pitch - e.g. a man's
voice can be made to sound lika a woman's
voice or vice versa.

Your sound sampler can also be used as a
drum machine. Up to four sounds can be
stored in the Computer's memory at once,
e.g. tom-tom, cymbal, bass drum and snare,
either recorded by you from a miorophone
or loaded from pre-recorded sounds
available on disk or cassette. You can then
set a sequence of up to 16 drum notes and
play them bank at any speed.

These drums are real, not syntesised,
sounds!

PACKAGE CONTENTS

Commodore Sound Sampler Module.
Miorophone.
Audio/video cable.
Software on disk or cassette.
User's guide.
 
SETTING UP - WHAT YOU NEED

For sampling and playback you will require
the following:
Commodore C64 or C128 Computer
TV or Monitor
1530 Cassette Deck or 1541 Disk Drive (or
similar).

INPUT

1. A microphone or line input.
2. The sampler software on disk or cassette.

OUTPUT

1 A TV - use Ihe cable supplied to connect
the Sampler OUT socket to the computer's
video socket. Turn up the volume to hear the
output.
2. An amplifier and speaker - connect up
the sampler OUT to the amplifier IN socket,
using a suitable cable.
3. A monitor - use a suitable connector to
link the Sampler DUT socket 10 the audio IN
socket on the monitor, e.g. (a phono to phono
lead).

SETTING UP - WHAT YOU DO

1. BEFORE switching on slot Ihe Sampler
unit into the expansion port on the back right
hand edge of the Commodore 64 or 128.
2. Check that your Commodore disk drive or
cassette und is correctly plugged in.
3. Make sure your TV or monitor unit is
correctly plugged in and ready (Cassette
users should ensure that the cassette unit is
as far away from the TV as possible).
4. Switch on your computer and TV or monitor
If you are using Ihe TV or monitor as Ihe sound
output, turn up the volume on your set.
5. Plug Ihe microphone into the IN socket on
the Sampler - (see markings underneath
Sampler).

LOADING THE PROGRAM FROM
CASSETTE

1.Check that the TV or monitor screen is
displaying the "READY" signal with a
flashing cursor.
2.Insert Ihe cassette into the cassette unit.
3.Ensure the tape is fully rewound to the
beginning.
4.Hold down the SHIFT key and press Ihe
RUN/STOP key.
5.Press PLAY on the cassette unit.
6.The Menu screen appears once the
program has been loaded.
7.Press STOP on the cassette unit.

LOADING THE PROGRAM FROM DISK

1.Before switching on the computer, check
that your disk drive is correctly plugged in
then switch it on so that it is ready for use.
Switch on computer and the TV or monitor
Check that the screen is displaying the
"READY" signal with a flashing cursor
2.Type LOAD "*",8,1 then press RETURN.
3.The menu screen appears once the
program has been loaded.

OVERLAY KEYBOARD

You have the Music Maker keyboard
overlay, place it on your computer so that it
fits and operates correctly

If you are not using the Music Maker
keyboard the QWERTY keys may be used
as shown in the table on the back page.

OPERATION

USING THE PULL DOWN MENU

Now the program has loaded you can use
the function keys to move up and down the
menu options by pressing F3, for cursor
down, or F1, for cursor up. The menu Option
highlighted to that which is current. Select
your choice by pressing F7. Most of the
menu selections work in this way, so as you
get further into this guide it will be assumed
that you are familiar with the menu selection
procedure.
 

 
MAIN SCREEN MENU

The main screen menu allows you to select
one of five main activities or, if required,
preset three *MIDI options (for which you
need a MIDI interface). A MIDI interface will
allow the Sampler to be played by MIDI
synthesizer keyboards. (see page 5 of this guide).
*MIDI = Musical Instrument Digital
Interface.

The five activities on tbe main screen menu
are as follows:

1. SOUND SAMPLING.
2. QUATTRO SAMPLING.
3. PITCH CONVERTER.
4. ECHO.
5. DISKUTILTIES (or TAPE LOAD/SAVE).

SOUND SAMPLING

Selecting this option displays a menu from
which you can chonse:

1. RECORD.
2. TUNING FORK.
3. DRAW WAVEFORM.
4. REPLAY.
5. LOOP.
6. SAMPLE EDITOR.
7. OCTAVE.
8. TRIGGER LEVEL.

1. RECORD

To select, press F3 to move the menu bar
down from EXIT, then press F7.

An instruction text appears at the base of
the screen:

PRESS SPACE BAR TO RECORD
Watch the sound level on the LEVEL
METER at the left of the screen and speak
into the microphone to obtain a suitable
sound level for sampling. If the meter level
does not appear, adjust the volume control
on the Sampler. The ideal level lies between
5 and 7. lt Ihe meter shows overload (red bar
appears at the top of the meter!.) then it is
possible to turn down the level by using tite
volume control on the sampler unit.

Enter your sound via the microphone after
you have pressed the space bar. The sound
can now be replayed, using the keyboard,
over two octaves.

In order that the sampler can record, the
sound level must be greater than the
TRIGGER LEVEL. Note Ihat the blue marker
at the side ot the meter is the "trig" pointer.

When the Program is rirst loaded the trigger
level is always set at zero, so all sounds input
should be sampled. lt you have not altered
the trigger level the sample will have been
recorded and will be ready to play to the
keyboard over a two octave range.

Do not be alarmed by the screen blanking,
this is needed to allow the computer's
microprocessor enough time to do the
sampling.

USING THE TUNING FORK

The tuning fork can be switched 'on' or 'off'
by selecting the tuning tork option using key
F7. lt is only necessary to use the tuning tork
when a mountain plot is tobe drawn, so a
tidy display is obtained. (See DRAW
WAVEFORM). The note from the tuning fork
can be heard trom your TV or monitor when
you enter sound sampling RECORD mode.
Remember to check you have the correct
volume level by adjusting the volume
control on your TV. First tune your instrument
or voice so it produces a note at the same
pitch as the fork (or any octave above or
below). Note that the fork pitch is NOT a
standard pitch so you may have to tune your
instrument to match it. lt you cannot tune
your instrument, play a note as near in pitch
as possible. Record Ihe sound as normal.

3. DRAW WAVEFORM

Once you have selected this option you may
display your sample's wavetorm in any of
three ways:

1, GENERAL MOUNTAIN PLOT.
2. SPECIFIG MOUNTAIN PLOT.
3. OSCILLOGRAM.

A GENERAL MOUNTAIN PLOT is a display
which shows the wavetorm ot the sound
throughout the entire 1.4 second sample
time. The sample memoty is divided into 112
pages (each page is a unit of memory equal
to 256 bytes).

 
The SPECIFIC MOUNTAIN PLOT enables a
range of page numbers which are of most
interest to be chosen and plotted for a given
tange of pages of memory. If you wish to plot
specific ranges of waveforms for the
Quattro Sampler it will be useful to note the
following:

Sample #l oocupies pages 1 to  27.
Sample #2 occupies pages 28 to 53.
Sample #3 occupies pages 54 to 83.
Sample #4 occupies pages 84 to 112.

The OSCILLOGRAM will plot one selected
page of sample memory at a time. You can
then choose to seleot one page forwards or
backwards and replot one at a time, using
the F1 and F3 keys.

4, REPLAY

When this mode is selected from the sound
sampling menu Ihe direction of replay of Ihe
sound is switched from FORWARD to
REVERSE. This will cause your sample to
play backwards when it is played by using
the keyboard.

5.LOOP

This causes the sound to repeat as long as a
key is depressed. The sample editor can
select Ihe exact point to begin the repeat
(see below). Using Ihe loop feature enables
sustained sample sounds to be obtained.

6. SAMPLE EDITOR

This plots the sampled sound's loudness
versus time information. This type of piel is
also called an amplitude envelope. If you
select this Option you will obtain a screen
display of the sound's amplitude envelope
below which you will see two large arrows.

The arrow on the left is the REPEAT marker
and the one on Ihe right is the TRUNCATE
marker. The repeat marker sets the point
from which the sample starts repeating. The
TRUNCATE marker allows you to cut off the
end of a sound completely.

To make you more familiar with the sample
editor try the following tests. Enter record
mode and record the words 'one two three
four five six.' Remember you have 1.4
seconds of record time. Playing the
keyboard will of course play back 'one two
three four five six.'

Now select the sample editor and you will
see a plot of 6 patterns corresponding to the
words 'one twe three four five six.' Use F5
(SWAP key) to select the arrow that you
want to move (this arrow will change to
yellow). Move the repeat arrow to a point
between the third and fourth peaks and then
exit the sample editor. Select LOOP ON and
play back the sound. You will hear 'one two
three four five six four five six four five six' etc.

Now go back to the sample edior and
select the right hand arrow (TRUNCATE) to
be between peaks 5 and 6. Exit the sample
editor and on playing the keyboard you will
hear 'one twe three four five four five four
five four five' etc. The sample editor is useful
for tidying up the sound and setting loop
points for sounds that are required to play
continuously. It is also useful to edit drums
for special effects.

OCTAVE

To change the octave in which the sample is
played, press Fl or F3 to move the menu bar
to OCTAVE. Then press F7 and you can use
F1 and F3 to change the octave.

The octave range of the keyboard can be
extended to a lO-octave range although
some of your samples may not be
recognised when you replay them in an
octave range far from that in which the
sample was taken. The pitch at which you
record will be played back at middle C (or I)
on the keybeard, when octave 6 is selected.

TRIGGER LEVEL

This is Ihe thrashold at which the sampler
will commence the recording. If the
microphone is sampling background noise
it is possible eliminate this by raising the
trigger level. TRIGGER LEVEL is to ensure
that silence is not obtained at the start of a
sample.

 

 
QUATTRO SAMPLING

When you select this Option from the main
menu you are able to enter RECORD mode
and store four different samples into four
parts of memory tabelled, #1, #2, #3 and #4.

After selecting RECORD from the Quattro
Sampling menu the command prompt at the
base of the display reads as follows:

SPACE BAR to record sample# 1 F7 to Exit.
Wben you have rehearsed the first sample
and checked that the level and trigger
levels are suitabte, press and release tbe
space bar. Remember to release the space
bar before the time allocated for the next
sample begins otherwise you may fill #2 as
well. Repeat the above process for #2 #3
and #4. If you practise a few times you
should easily be able to fill all four channels
with different sounds.

After the last sample bas been recorded
you will find yourself in Quattro Play Mode.
Tite Quattro Play soreen shows the four key
notes Q W E R which can be used to replay
the sounds. Remember, do not be alarmed
when the soreen blanks during playback.

If you have entered four suitable sounds into
the Quattro Sampler, perhaps with drums,
hand claps, or cymbals, it will not be long
before you wisb to use the sequencer.

THE QUATTRO SEQUENCER

You can use yoor own recorded sound or
load up 'DRUMS' or 'LATIN DRUMS (Disk
version only)' after selecting DISK UTILITIES
(or TAPE LOAD/SAVE) from the main
screen menu. If you load up tbe pre-
recorded 'DRUMS' from the disk or tape,
sound 1 is a bass drum, 2 is a snare, 3 is a
cymbal and 4 is a handclap.

Once all four sounds have been recorded or
loaded from disk or cassette, enter
QUATTRO SAMPLING then SEQUENCER,
then PLAYBACK. Press F7. You can now hear
the preset drum pattern. Press F7 to stop.

You may now wisb to try Your own rhythms.
Enter tite PROGRAM SEQUENGER and you
will see a soreen with sixteen boxes from
left to right across the screen. Press F5
(CLEAR) to erase the preset numbers in the
sixteen data boxes, These boxes can be
programmed with the new data. The small
arrow shows the input position. Pressing key
Q enters sound # 1, pressing key W enters
sound #2 and so on. Pressing the SPACE
BAR enters a pause. If you wish to change a
number use F1 and F3 keys to move the
input arrow to tbe Position at which the new
data or pause is to be placed. Type in the
new sound or pause.

Press F7 to play your sequeuce and
remember to use F7 to stop the sequeucer.
You may wish to change the speed. If so,
move the menu bar to TEMP0 and change it
as required (1 is tbe slowest and 28 the
fastest).

PITCH CONVERTER

Pitch shifting effects can be performed by
selecting the PITCH CONVERTER Option
from the main menu. The sound input into
the sampler is output to the loudpeaker at
higher or lower pitch depending on which
EFFECT NUMBER was setected as sbown in
the table below.

   Effect Number     Musical interval
 1            -1 octave (low pitch)
 2      - 1 fift
 3      - t tbird
 4      - 1 tone
 5      + 1 tone
 6      + 1 third
 7      + 1 fift
 8 + 1 octave (high pitch)

Try changing the position of tbe feedback
control on the Sampler when using tbe
effects.

ECHO

Echo is selected directly from tbe main
menu by moving the menu bar and using F7
in the usual way. Try delay time can be
altered from 20 milliseconds up to 2 seconds.

In order to start the delay effect that you
have cbosen, select ECHO START from the
echo menu then press F7.

Careful use of the feedback knob can
enhance the effect. Pressing F7 will exit the
echo activity.

 
DISK UTILTIES or TAPE LOAD/SAVE

When you need to bad a sample from disk
or cassette return to the main menu and
select DISK UTILITIES or TAPE LOAD/SAVE.
The following options are then available.

1. LOAD SAMPLE.
2. SAVE SAMPLE.
3. SCRATCH FILE (Disk Version only).
4. FORMAT DISK (Disk Version only).

The LOAD Option allows you to load up pro-
recurded sounds from disk or cassette.
These may be your own samples or those
supplied with your program. DRUMS and
LATIN DRUMS (Disk Version only) are used
by the Quattro Sequencer, while ,FUZZ
GUITAR' is played on Ihe keyboard. The
SAVE SAMPLE Option allows you to save
samples on a disk or cassette. First you must
select the SAVE SAMPLE Option from the
Disk Utilities or Tape Load/Save menu, To
give a name to your sample use the F1 and
F3 keys to move the ,box cursor' over the
required letter, then press F7. Repeat this
procedure until the name for the sound is
complete, then select "END" to save the
sound. Use "DEL" for deletion if you make an
error. If you change your mind and no longer
wish to save a sound, delete the whole
sound name and goto "ENG". You will then
return to the menu.

DISK VERSION ONLY

If you are saving a sample to a brand new
disk you will need to format it first using the
FORMAT Option. Take care not to format a
disk which contains files that you require to
keep because formatting will erase them.

The SCRATCH FILE Option allows you to
delete any sample that has been saved on
disk. When this Option is selected a
directury of the sound files is loaded from
disk. You can then exit or select the file to be
deleled, using Ihe menu bar and F7.
 

MIDI
(Musical Instrument Digital Interface)

If you have a MDI keyboard and a MIDI
interface, the interface may be plugged into
the cartridge point on the top of the Sampler
unit BEFORE the Computer is turned un.

Select MIDI ON from the main menu.

NB. to select MIDI ON move cursor into
position then press F7 TWICE.

For instruments such as the Siel MK900
Synthesizer select MIDI TYPE 1 from the
main menu. For instruments such as the
Casio CZ1O1 use MIDI TYPE 2.
The MIDI CHANNEL number is used if you
want your controlling instrument or
sequencer to control more than one
Sampler. The Sampler program is preset to
Channel 1. You may be able to alter the
channel on your MIDI sequencer or
Keyboard. If so, you should set the
appropriate MIDI CHANNEL number from
a Sampler menu. In equal the channel
number used by the controlling instrument.

DO NOT SELECT "MIDI ON" IF YOU DO
NOT HAVE A MDI INTERFACE
CONNECTED.
 

DISCLAIMER

Although these programs are thoroughly
tested by Commodore before release, no
claim is made regarding the accuracy of Ihis
software. Commodore and its distributors
cannot assume liability or responsibility for
any loss or damage arising from the use of
these programs. Programs are sold only on
basis of this understanding. Individual
publications should be thoroughly tested
before implementation. Should you require
installation, maintenance or training, please
contact your Commodore dealer.

 





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