Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

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Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:19 am

Hi All,

I've been toying with making all my presets for my ESi2000 using a software editor so that I can make all my samples, keyboard layouts and presets all in software, where it's easily edited, then upload them to my ESi2000 via SCSI. This seems to have become possible by the use of soundfonts.

My research has found that what is available out there in the big wide web are 2 software programs: Creative Vienna (freeware, but you need a Creative sound card for it to install), and Xtrakk soundfont to wav extractor.

So the procedure is: create your keyboard/sample layout in Vienna, then save it as a sound font (.sf2)

Now, open it in Xtrakk, and send it to the ESi sampler via SMDI SCSI dump (Xtrakk has a special dump output option just for Emu samplers), and you should have it all laid out in hardware.

I have nearly everything I need, but I am yet to get a Creative sound card (Live or Audigy etc) to try all this out - easy enough to find on ebay. I'll get one soon.

Has anyone tried this before?

Cheers, graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:01 am

OK.. I just found my old Soundblaster AWE64G sound card in my spares box - and it has the Vienna editor on its installation disk! So I'm set to try it out. If this whole Vienna/Soundblaster + Xtrakk setup works for creating ESI presets and samples/splits etc, this could be a really fast way to make up banks easily in an editor, all easily laid out and seen, and then just save them as a soundfont and upload them to the sampler via SCSI with Xtrakk. Fingers crossed!

Here is the link to Xtrakk:

http://web.archive.org/web/200801180950 ... ftware.htm


And for Vienna Soundfont editor (down at the very bottom of the page):

http://connect.creativelabs.com/develop ... Items.aspx


AWE64G's can be picked up for less than $10 on ebay (these cards need an ISA slot in your computer though).

Other cheap Creative cards using PCI slots, running Vienna are:
Live! series
Audigy series
Extreme series
And most of the other ones after these cards

Cheers, graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:49 pm

Hey hey hey! IT WORKS!!!!

This is GREAT!

I've only had a short time to play with it, just simple stuff, but it was really easy! I made a simple drum kit with kick, snare and hihat from ordinary 16bit, 44k .wav files, placed them on a keyboard in the editor, then uploaded them to the ESI2000. The kick was placed in the editor on C1, snare on D1, hihat on F#1, and this is how it then appeared in the sampler once all uploaded.

Here is what I did:

Opened Vienna, made a new "instrument" (a drum kit). Imported the drum wav samples into the "instrument", placed them on the virtual keys in the instrument panel where I wanted them. I then saved them as a .sf2 soundfont file.

Next, I opened Xtrakk. I loaded the newly created soundfont into it. The drum kit appeared in the directory panel, and when you click on it, it expands to show the samples used in the instrument.

Now, I hooked up my Esi2000 to the computer using the SCSI interface, switched the sampler on. I then highlighted the first sample in the kit (the kick drum) and sent it via the SMDI server output menu. The sample loaded into the sampler, already placed. I then did the next sample (snare), and then the last (hihat). They were all loaded into the blank preset that was on the sampler, in perfect placement, as I had had them placed in the editor.

It was so quick!!! It definitely will save time when you've got lots of samples, like a good piano sample set, as you can visually lay out all the samples and see them all at once, no menu diving like in the sampler. It also does layering as well etc but I havent had time to scratch the surface yet.

Now, I mentioned in the previous posts that in order to run Vienna, it needs to detect a Creative sound card installed in your computer. So this is one catch. There may be some other soundfont editor out there that you can use which has nothing to do with the sound card, I haven't really looked. Since I already had a soundblaster card and vienna was on the driver disk I didn't have to look.

But there is one thing you can do without Vienna - you can simply upload ANY pre-made soundfont to your Esi sampler just using Xtrakk, and it will place the samples on the sampler just as in the soundfont. So that means LOTS of free samples everywhere, since soundfonts are pretty much available anywhere on the net. Cool!!!

I will experiment more, and perhaps write up a tutorial on how to do everything for people wanting to do this.

Finally, we now have a software sample bank editor for the ESI series samplers. Yay!!!!!


So, here is a list of everything you need to do what I did:

1) an Emu ESi series sampler, with SCSI port and preferably the latest OS chips (V3,02) - you can still get these chips if you don't, for about $30

2) A PC computer with a SCSI card installed and working properly, and a SCSI cable to connect it to the sampler. Install the Esi drivers on the computer and have them communicating successfully first - this is vital, or you won't get anywhere.

3) A Creative Sound card installed in the computer (Soundblaster AWE32/64/64G, Live, Audigy, Extreme etc)

4) Creative Vienna Soundfont creator software (free!!)

5) Xtrakk Soundfont to Wav software (free!!)

6) a bunch of 16bit, 44k .WAV files to use.


If you just want to upload already made .sf2 soundfonts to your sampler, you only need 1), 2) and 5), and some soundfont files.



Cheers, Graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby madtheory » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:02 pm

So it just does the key maps? That feature is available in Bias Peak also, as long as you go to the trouble of defining the key range for each key. It's a standard thing for SMDI but I can't remember the right technical term for it in the definition.

I wouldn't exactly call this feature "software editing for the ESI" because it doesn't do layering and modulation, but well done. Great discovery. Saving time on mapping is certainly worth this small effort.
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:43 am

I can't remember the right technical term for it in the definition.


Zones? That's what the ESi calls them.

It does velocity switching and layering and modulation in the latest version 2.4 of Vienna, according to the blurb in the specs page - I think this is the feature of soundfonts that are version 2.1, as opposed to the eariler 2.0 soundfonts specs. The earlier version 2.3 Vienna only outputs 2.0 soundfonts, from the brief reading I've done.

Bias Peak is only for Mac? Couldn't see a PC reference on the product page.

Vienna is for PC, and also free, which is why I thought I'd check it out for people. But it's good to know of a Mac alternative for the Mac users out there' so thanks for the heads up about it :)

Cheers, Graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby madtheory » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:38 am

There are a few sample editors that will include pitch and keymapping as metadata with the sample. It's part of SMDI spec, it's not peculiar to Bias Peak. It's just Peak is the only one where I've used it personally.

Yes, Vienna will do VS mod and layering, and your Soundblaster would be the engine, but that information does not get sent to the ESI, does it? The ESI has no sysex y'see.
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:31 am

You don't send the data from Vienna, as Vienna doesn't have SMDI, you save it as a soundfont, which incorporates all that extra feature data. You then use Xtrakk to open the soundfont and then send it to the ESi using SMDI via the SCSI port. A bit of a double step procedure, but it seems to work well and is all freeware based. Even without the Vienna part of it, just the possibilities of using soundfonts with the Esi via Xtrakk opens up a whole gigantic user library source of already made banks of instruments for everyone.

Do you know if Bias will open and send sounfonts? That would be really cool if it did, and be a great resource for Mac users if it did, seeing that Xtrakk is only for PC.

Cheers, graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby madtheory » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:20 am

Yes, I know Vienna does not have SMDI. The point is, the ESI will not respond to anything other than keymapping. Is that correct?

Xtrakk appears to be the only app on any platform that transmits soundfonts. Bias will not open soundfonts.
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:41 am

I've just read up on the Xtrakk FAQ, which has revealed a few things regarding this. Here are snippets from it:

"This program was made to extract samples/instruments/layers/presets from soundfonts (a creative labs/EMU sampler bank format) and to write them to wav files or to send them via SCSI (SMDI) to samplers"

"SMDI transmission was tested with E-MU ESI32 and ESI4000 samplers, and should work with any other sampler which supports standard SMDI sample transmission....the SMDI specification does not support the transmission of any format-specific sound data (e.g. filter, envelope, lfo, effects...)...E-MU sample placement is an extended SMDI format"

So it seems that most of those other features you mention may not be able to be transmitted under the SMDI specs, although it states that Emu runs an extended SMDI format, and so may do SOME of them. More bits in the help file seem to indicate sample splits/layers are transmitted, but velocity of a sample isn't, as far as I understoood it.

Lack of time has prevented me from delving into what it will and won't do. As soon as I get the chance, I'll test everything you've mentioned and write up a kind of summary; then things will be a bit clearer.

Shame about no soundfont capability in Bias, that would have been good for Mac people. I don't see Xtrakk ever being ported for Mac

Cheers, Graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:00 am

I have just been informed of another preset editor for the ESi and lots of other samplers.

Constructor, by Chicken Systems:

http://www.chickensys.com/products/sw_i ... onstructor

According to the blurb, you can make up your ESi presets with splits, layers, velocity, fx, etc. and then send the preset directly to your ESi. You can also save that preset to your computer from Constructor. It will also open soundfonts and convert them to ESi presets. So it will do in one package what I have now in 2 packages - plus it will upload all sample and preset parameters.

It's not free, though ($149) but it does send all the parameters for the samples and presets. Best of all, it's for both Mac and PC. There is a free demo to try out there (saving is disabled), so you can get an idea if it's worth buying before shelling out the money first.

Cheers, Graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby madtheory » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:32 am

Chicken Systems, no comment...
gmeredith wrote:Shame about no soundfont capability in Bias, that would have been good for Mac people. I don't see Xtrakk ever being ported for Mac

Only if you're using a hardware sampler. Pretty much every soft sampler will read that format on Mac and PC.
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby depulse » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:06 pm

gmeredith wrote:I

It's not free, though ($149) but it does send all the parameters for the samples and presets.




For $149 you can find a E6400/5000 and the problems with graphic editing is solved :mrgreen:


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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby gmeredith » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:26 am

What sort of features do those samplers have for editing?

Cheers, Graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, RAP10, DP1 drum kit, DH100, CDP200
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol & ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & CF card reader, Evolution MK461C, BCR2000
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Re: Esi32/2000/4000 software preset editor

Postby Spadz » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:47 pm

The E-mu E4 screen has a graphic view of the sample's wave, like in the software world. BUT, I've these for several years and it still won't beat editing on the computer.

I've used XTrakk many times with my E4, and it works fine as you have found out.
I'm about to probably get an ESI-32 and read the manual. It's a pretty simple thing to program. I fail to see the gain in paying 149$ just for that.

But that's just me.
If you don't know what you are doing, why are you doing it?
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