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MuLab Multisampler Tutorial

Using MuLab MuLab is a lightweight, crossplatform, modular free music production environment. The reason we use it in this course is that if features a powerful Multisampler environment and lots of useful effects out of the box. The interface has its own logic (but that is the case for almost all music production software..) but in itself works very logically and is easy to use. Also, MuLab does not require an installation and can be run from a USB stick which makes deployment easy. (siehe auch MuLab Online Help!!) MuLab Setup
  • Make sure midi interface is activated (in menu "edit" -> midi setup) and running (check using midi monitor in menu MuLab > Help)
  • Make sure the Midi Keyboard is set to the LOWEST OCTAVE. This makes sure that your Note-Trigger events start with the lowest MIDI Number (= 0). Usually, the Note "0" corresponds to the Note "C-2".
  • Load VST Plugins into database (MuLab > Manage Plugins), if needed
Create Multisample
Important to understand: A multisampla instrument for us is an independently controlled sound generator unit. All sounds in it are affected by the effects and keyboard mappings in this rack. If we want to control another simultaneous sound by another effect (or have it NOT affected by a certain effect) we need to create another multisampla instrument instance on a second rack.
  • Load MultiSampla by clicking on an empty slot in the rack (NOTE: the racks get MIDI data from top, and then this is transferred into audio by the multisampler)
  • Deleting instances in Rack -> Right-click on instance, DON't use delete / backspace directly on the rack (deletes whole rack!)
  • Create Zone by drag& drop a soundfile (wav / aiff) or by doubleclicking the area under the keyboard and dragging the mouse -> If a sample can't be loaded, change format to aiff / wav and samplerate / bitrate to project rate
  • Usually you should start mapping your sounds starting with the lowest midi note value: C-2, / decimal value "0". This makes it easier to build a functional prototype.
    • When you use a synth it may be necessary to transpose the synth so that sounds are audible. Transposition is achieved with XPOS
  • Make sure the velocity sensitivity is set to zero (VS knob in multisampler AMP section) -> ensures that the sound is played at equal volume no matter how strong you press the key (simulates a simple trigger)
  • Save Multisampla presets (save AS, navigate to desired location). Rename multisample  -> IMPORTANT FOR IDENTIFICATION.  Also, existing stored Multisampla presets and multisamples can be reused)
  • Configure Loop (Loopmodes): Start of playback, start of loop and end of loop. Usually "alternating" is the best mode
    • Add Loop point for three-step loops. (Start / loop start-point / loop end-point) by double-clicking the timeline. CAREFUL: MuLab 5.3.25 crashes when trying to create a locator through the right-click menu.
Realtime Control & DSP
  • Create a Midi Mapped Controller (e.g. transpose -> XPOS): Right-click on interface (knob, slider) and select "map controller", then move the desired control (know, slider) on the Keyboard
  • there are also LFO and envelope generators in MultiSampla, e.g. for ADSR curves for the amp (e.g. to create a smooth fadeout at the end of a loop)
  • Plug effects directly into the Multisampla instance. There are four slots available. Map controllers again with right-click on the control interface
    • You can also plug effects in the rack, after sound generators, and map controllers in the same fashion as for multisampla
  • Use mapping overview (in menu "edit") for overview
  • We need to using several racks to enable independent controls / different version of same sample, etc. For this purpose:
    • -> insert "send" to the next rack BEFORE sound generating instance in rack (this sends MIDI events, otherwise it would send audio)
    • -> edit focus midi map to force rack 1 (in menu "Session")
  • Add your working folder to the favorites: In a save dialog, click on the smiley-folder and choose "add as favorite folder"
  • Be careful: the undo function is not always available! Save often.
  • if using the filter in the Multisampla, make sure "key tracking" is set to zero in the submenu of the filter (otherwise, the filter cutoff changes based on the note pressed)
  • You can limit parameter ranges for midi mapped controllers in the "Map controller" dialog (right-click on controller)!
  • Keep a list of your trigger and control change mappings! You can open an inventory of the mappings in MuLab by right-clicking a rack and chosing "Edit Midi Controller Map"
Project Finalisation and Deployment
  • Make the project self-contained: Menu "Session" -> "Manage Audio/Sample Files" -> at "Sample Files" via Dropdown: "Embed Into Session's Audio Subfolder". Then SAVE! the whole project/session.
  • Now, MuLab and your project can be run from a USB stick on any computer (with the same OS)!