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How to create your own EXS24 instruments in Logic Pro X [Tutorial]

Learn how to bolster the factory-supplied EXS24 library with some sounds of your own in Logic Pro X for Mac

MainAlthough it hasn’t changed significantly in recent times, the current version of Logic’s EXS24 sampler provides a sizeable chunk of the software’s bundled audio content. Its vast sample library contains everything from acoustic pianos, strings and brass to guitars, synth textures and beyond. What often tends to be overlooked, however, is the word ‘sampler’ in its title. Not just an instrument for playing back samples from its well-appointed library, the EXS24 is designed to take any recordable sound and arrange it so that it can be played back either from your MIDI keyboard or from a MIDI track within Logic itself. You can use sounds that you’ve recorded yourself onto an audio track, or you can use audio files that already exist on your hard drive. Here’s how it’s done.

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Step 1

1 Create new track

In Logic, create a new Software Instrument track by clicking the ‘+’ symbol at the top of the track list. Click the Software Instrument tab followed by the Create button.

Step 2

2 Load EXS24

Load up an instance of EXS24 by clicking on the track’s instrument slot in the channel inspector and selecting EXS24 (Sampler)>Stereo from the pop-up menu.

Step 3

3 Open editor

Click the small ‘edit’ button in the top-right corner of the EXS24’s main window to open the instrument editor. This grants you access to all the inner workings of the instrument.

Step 4

4 Create new zone

In the instrument editor, select Zone>New Zone. This new zone will act like a container for your sample, determining the area of the keyboard that it will occupy.

Step 5

5 Load sample

Click the small triangle in the new zone’s Audio File column and select Load Audio Sample. Browse to the location of the disc’s ‘EXS Tutorial. aif’ file and click the Open button.

Step 6

6 Check playback

Logic will automatically spread the file across the entire length of your MIDI keyboard. If you now play some notes, you should hear a grungy synth guitar power chord.

Step 7

7 Go loopy

The sample plays back okay, but cuts off abruptly. So that you can play longer, sustained notes, select View>Zone:Loop and check the Loop: On checkbox.

Step 8

8 Set loop start/end

Use these settings to adjust the start and end points of the loop so that the sample sustains smoothly. We’ve gone for a start value of 2377 and an end value of 170000.

Step 9

9 Save Instrument

Finally, save your new instrument using the Instrument>Save As command. Choose a suitable name and save location and click Save to add it to your EXS24 library.

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