Each pad is a full-fledged instrument: a multi-layer sampler, which can also load and control Audio Units plugins as well as external applications. The Editor view allows you to configure every aspect of these instruments.
Quick links :
To open the Editor, tap on the following icon from the left-toolbar:
1. Global pad parameters
The left side of the Editor displays a pad selector and global parameters for the selected pad:
Use the pad selector at the top to select the pad you wish to edit.
You can copy a pad configuration to another by pressing the 3-dots button next to the pad name and choosing “Copy” from the menu. Next, select another pad using the pad selector, press the 3-dots button again and choose “Paste”.
1.1 Channel configuration
This “CHANNEL” tab presents the following parameters:
VOLUME: Sets the volume for the pad output
PAN: Sets the panning of the pad output
SEND 1 and 2: Sets the amount of output signal the pad sends to aux track 1 and 2
CHOKE GROUP: Choke groups are used to stop the playback of a pad when another one is triggered. If two pads are part of the same choke group, each time one pad is triggered, the other one is silenced. For example it can be especially useful when working with open hi-hats and closed hi-hats samples.
LINK GROUP: When two (or more) pads are in the same Link group, triggering one pad will also automatically triggers all other pads belonging to the same group.
PAD NOTE: Sets the note to be triggered when pressing the pad. C3 is the default, original note.
Press the “SAMPLES” button to display layers and sample information for the currently edited pad:
A pad can play more than one sample at a time. It can contain several layers, which in turn can contain several samples. When editing a layer parameter, it will affect all the samples contained in this layer.
You can easily add more samples/layers by tapping and dragging an audio file from the Browser to the Editor view.
Select any layer or sample from the list to edit it.
By pressing the 3-dots button next to a layer or sample name, you can delete it or move a sample from a layer to another.
To mute a sample, press the “M” button located next to its name.
1.3 Pad & Bank MIDI setup
Banks and pads can be configured to receive and send MIDI events from/to an external controller or instrument. For more information on configuring MIDI inputs for a Bank, see this article.
Pads react differently to incoming MIDI messages depending if their associated Bank is set to Single Channel or Multi Channel mode. This mode can be set by tapping the 3-dots button located next to the current Bank name and then on “MIDI Setup”:
SINGLE CHANNEL MODE: the incoming MIDI note is associated to the destination pad. For example, if you press C3 (MIDI note 60) on your controller, then pad 61 will be triggered (MIDI note 0 triggers pad 1). The pad “Base Key” setting is used. However, if you set the Bank in KEYS mode then the selected pad will play chromatically (and regardless of the pad “Base Key” value).
MULTI CHANNEL MODE: the incoming MIDI channel is used to route MIDI events to the destination pad. For example, MIDI messages received from channel 3 will be directed to pad #3. In this mode, the Bank listens on all channels.
To access the specific MIDI settings for the selected pad, press the 3-dots button located next to the pad name, and then tap “MIDI Setup”:
Within the MIDI Setup menu, you can change the MIDI Input port and channel the pad reads incoming events from (if Multi Channel Mode is enabled, the channel parameter is not taken into account). To output a MIDI note event each time the pad is triggered, change the MIDI Output port and channel to fit your external MIDI configuration.
By default, empty pads send a MIDI note message to the channel associated with the Pad number. For example, if Pad 3 is empty, a note message is sent to channel 3, using the Bank output port setting. If the pad number is greater than 16, the channel number is rolled over from the beginning (i.e. pad 18 sends to channel 2).
For more information and schematics about how BeatMaker handles incoming MIDI events routing internally, see this article.
A layer is a group of parameters applied to all the samples it contains. Select a pad from the Pad selector or a sample from the layer list to edit it. There are 5 different editing tabs: SAMPLER, LAYER FX, MODULATIONS, MAPPING and PLUGIN. Let’s first discuss the SAMPLER page:
At the top of the editor, you can find a “REC” button. SeeHow to record a sample onto a padfor more information.
The filename of the currently edited sample is also displayed. By pressing the 3-dots button next to it, you can quickly make a copy of this sample.
Right next to it, you can find the “SLICE MODE” toggle. For more information, see How to slice/chop a sample.
- Double tap the “START/END” or “LOOP” buttons to focus and re-center the wave view on start, end and loop markers respectively
- Long-press the [-] button to zoom out and show the complete waveform
- Long-press the [+] button to zoom in to maximum level. In slice mode, it will zoom in to the currently selected slice
2.1 Sampler page
The waveform of the selected sample is displayed, where you can change its start/end and loop positions. Press the “EDIT” button to open the Audio Editor and access to more parameters.
Several parameters can be set for each layer/sample on this page:
SAMPLE LOOP: Set if the sample should automatically loop when playing. FORWARD mode playbacks the sample from the beginning over and over, whereas ALTERNATE playbacks the sample back and forth.
CROSSFADE: When loop mode is ON, define if a crossfade should be applied during the loop transition. This is useful to avoid audio clicks when the sample is looping.
BPM, SIGN: Set the tempo, time signature and duration of the sample. This is useful when using the LIVE STRETCH feature described later.
DURATION: Tap to set the sample length in bars and beats. An extra option is available in the displayed menu called “AUTO SCALE”. Use it to automatically pitch the sample to a beat duration (I.e the sample is played back slower or faster to the matched a new duration).
LAYER TRIGGER: Defines the layer behavior when triggering a pad. ONE SHOT plays the sample once. HOLD plays the sample until the pad is released. ON RELEASE starts playing the sample only when the pad is released.
DISK STREAMING: Tells the application whereas it should load the sample into memory or read it directly from the hard drive. Setting DISK STREAMING to ON can be useful when using large samples, as they can overload the RAM memory.
LIVE STRETCH: If set to ON, the sample is automatically time-stretched to fit the Session tempo. This is useful when working with audio loops having different BPMs than your song BPM.
REVERSE: If set to ON, the sample is played backward.
POLYPHONY: Sets how many instances of the sample can be played at the same time. You can also set it to LEGATO mode: the sample playback continues at its current position even when playing different notes.
GLIDE TIME: When LEGATO mode is ON, defines the time it takes for the sample to be pitched correctly to the new playing note.
TUNE: Changes the pitch (playback speed). From -36 to +36 semitones.
FINE TUNE: Changes the pitch, in percentage of a semitone.
GAIN: Sets the original sample volume.
PAN: Sets the original stereo position.
SATURATE: Create a distortion effect on the sample.
AMPLITUDE ENVELOPE: If enabled, envelope defines how the volume of the sample is affected while playing. Two modes can be chosen by tapping the 3-dots button: AHD (Attack, Hold and Decay) and AHDSR (Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain and Release).
FILTER TYPE: If enabled, applies a frequency filtering effect to the sample. You can choose between many types of filter by pressing the 3-dots button.
If you double-tap on any SAMPLER parameter, a menu pops up letting you set its precise value, reset it, or even add a modulation or macro control. Use the “SET VALUE ON ALL LAYERS” option to apply the current parameter value to other layers. This option is also available for knobs displayed in the LAYER FX and MODULATIONS pages.
2.2 Audio Editor
By pressing the “EDIT” from the SAMPLER page, the audio editor is displayed full screen and offers several options:
SNAP ON: If enabled, any selection or position set in the audio editor is automatically moved to the closest zero-crossing value.
SELECT, START/END & LOOP: When SELECT mode is enabled, dragging cursors over the waveform creates a selection, which can then be used for actions such as Delete, Trim, Copy, Process… When disabled, the waveform is used to change playback start and end positions. If SAMPLE LOOP mode is active, the loop playback points can also be set by pressing the LOOP button.
Several audio editing options are available. When using these options, BeatMaker automatically creates a copy of your sample on disk, and leaves the original sample untouched.
Delete: Deletes the selected portion of the audio file
Trim: Deletes everything but the selected portion of the audio file
Copy: Copies the selected audio portion to the clipboard
Paste: Inserts the copied audio portion to the selected position
Process: Applies a processing to the selected audio portion, such as normalizing, fading, time-stretching, pitch-shifting, etc...
When pressing the “LAYER FX” tab in the editor, you can add up to 4 realtime effects to each layer.
Tap on any “NEW LAYER FX” zone to display the effect selection menu.
Use the layer list from the SAMPLES tab to select the currently edited layer.
Most of the sampler parameters can be controlled and modified by modulators, such as: envelopes, LFOs, step sequences, MIDI parameters and controllers.
To create a new modulation for a parameter, double-tap on its knob or value from the SAMPLER page. After the parameter menu pops up, select MODULATE. In the following example, we double-tapped the filter Cutoff parameter:
For each type of modulator, you can either use an existing one (for example there is already an Amplitude Envelope for the AHDSR modulator), or create a new one from scratch.
The MODULATIONS page within the editor displays all the currently assigned modulations:
The following actions are available for each parameter:
- Delete the modulation
- Set the default value of the parameters
- Set the modulation ratio (the amount of modulation that should be applied to the parameter)
- Bypass or activate the modulation.
When you select a modulation from the list, more parameters are displayed depending on the assigned modulator. In the example above, the LFO parameters are displayed. You can also save this specific modulator configuration as a preset for later reuse, by tapping the 3-dots button located at the top-right corner of the modulator.
Some modulators (such as LFO and Step Modulator) have a “MODE” parameter: if you want the modulation to reset each time a new note comes in, set it to “MONO”. If set to “POLY”, the current modulator’s state is used.
2.5 Mapping page
Distinct samples can be triggered depending on the MIDI note and velocity received by a pad. The Mapping page allows you to define how your samples are spread along a keyboard and key velocities.
Sample mapping can help you create realistic instruments (for example a piano, synthesizer or guitar) by recording each note with different key pressure, and then assigning them accordingly within BeatMaker:
Have the samples list opened on the left for easier navigation within the Mapping page. When you select a sample from the list, the keyboard and velocity zone where this sample is currently assigned becomes highlighted in blue.
You can change the range of the zone by dragging its edges either horizontally (key range) or vertically (velocity range). You can also use the top menu for a more precise control:
PITCH: If ON, the sample is automatically pitched by semi-tones along the range of the keyboard.
ROOT KEY: Sets the base key where your original sample is located. When this key is received, the sample is played using its original pitch.
LOW KEY: Sets the lowest key your sample plays from.
HIGH KEY: Sets is the highest key your sample plays from.
LOW VEL: Sets the lowest velocity your sample plays from.
HIGH VEL: Sets the highest velocity your sample plays from.
You can use the LEARN buttons next to any key parameter to automatically set it using an external MIDI controller.
The “KEYBOARD VELOCITY” button lets you set the velocity of the mini-keyboard at the bottom of the screen (useful for testing your velocity mappings within the app).
To learn more about what you can do using the Editor, please refer to the following articles: