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Author Topic: recycle compatible samplers  (Read 5057 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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recycle compatible samplers
« on: March 13, 2015, 06:07:51 PM »

Not content with taking the world by storm with the release of Reason, Propellerhead follow hot on its heels with a new version of ReCycle, their loop manipulation tool. No minor upgrade this one, Propellerhead claim to have completely re-written their engine, adding a realtime preview and realtime effects. Along the way, a major overhaul has been performed on the user-interface.

ReCycle 2.0 comes on a single CD, with versions for Macintosh and PC. Documentation comes in the form of a printed manual, along with three online manuals in Adobe Acrobat PDF format - an operation manual (identical to the printed manual), a guide to keyboard shortcuts, and a sampler and file format reference.

Installation was a trivial operation - select a destination and go. Once installed, select the best supported sound driver (ASIO by preference, or the best native driver available), adjust buffer settings until playback is smooth (unnecessary for ASIO), and everything was ready to go.

Basic Operation
For existing users, the first thing that strikes you is the new user-interface. While the basic appearance is the same, more tools are available (see ReCycle Main Window), and the program now supports stereo audio files and sampler formats.

Basic editing functionality of ReCycle remains unchanged, so will only be discussed briefly. Open an audio file, or upload audio from a sampler, adjust the Sensitivity slider and slices are detected for each individual sound in the file. Slice detection has improved, but generally still needs some tweaking - performed with tools to mute slice points (effectively merging a slice with the following slice), lock slice points so they remain even if sensitivity is adjusted downwards, and manually add slices. Finally, use the left and right locator to the beginning and end of a loop.

The ReCycle Main Window

Having prepared the loop, the length of the loop can be specified in bars and beats using the main toolbar. ReCycle will automatically calculate the tempo of the loop (displayed as Original Tempo). In the simplest mode of operation, this is all you need to do - select an installed sampler from the Sampler menu, then "Transmit to..." to transmit the slices to the sampler as samples assigned to individual keys. In addition to the sample dump, a MIDI file is created that can be used from a MIDI sequencer to play back the loop. Once in a sequencer, the MIDI file may be edited to adjust the loop, create fills, or whatever fires your imagination.

Preview Mode
The most exciting feature of ReCycle 2.0 is preview mode. Finally, you can review the effect of your various changes while the sound is playing - Propellerhead refer to this in the manuals as "What You Hear Is What You Get". In preview mode, what you hear is exactly what will be transmitted to a sampler or saved to a file. To use preview mode, the sample should already have been prepared as a loop, as described in basic operation, then click the "Preview Toggle" on the main toolbar (to the left of the "Stop" tool), and previewing can begin. In this mode, the tempo of the loop can be changed and effects adjusted while the loop is playing - and the effect will be heard immediately.

The first set of controls active in preview mode are positioned to the right of the sensitivity slider. Tempo should be familiar - it allows setting the tempo of the samples and MIDI file or audio files created. Also provided are:

    A  Gain control, for adjusting the level of output material.
    A Pitch control, for changing the pitch of the loop by up to 2 octaves.
    A Gate Sensitivity control - acting as a noise gate triggered at the start of every slice and closing for when the level falls below the specified level.

The effects are shown on separate panels - Envelope, Transient Shaper and EQ - that can be shown or hidden separately. Each can be enabled separately, and has a number or presets (no user presets can be created unfortunately).

The Envelope panel sports the familiar Stretch parameter - used to add tails to slices that will be used at a lower tempo, but adds an Attack and Decay control to give control over the dynamics of the slices. The Transient Shaper panel is used to apply a slice-aware envelope driven compression to the slices. It works similarly to a compressor, but resets the gate to open at the start of each slice. Both the Envelope and Transient Shaper work best with well-constructed loops, so effort up front is rewarded here.

The Equalizer panel is used to cut or boost selected frequencies in the audio. Lo Cut, Hi Cut, and two parametrics with frequency, gain and Q controls are provided.

All the effects work well, although the quality of preview obviously depends heavily on system capabilities. When the loop is transmitted to a sampler or exported to a file all the changes to tempo, pitch and effects settings are applied - so the quality will be that of the relevant output. The ability to preview really makes this kind of manipulation easy, and the effects included are well adapted to use in loop preparation.  The difference all this makes to ease of use and enjoyment when using ReCycle is hard to understate.

 Off-Line Processing
The process menu provides access to the following offline processing tasks:

  Normalize    Changes the gain of either the whole file or each slice to ensure maximum level.
  Convert to Mono    

Converts a stereo file to mono, based on the left or right channel, or both channels mixed.
  Convert Sample Rate    Conversion of sample rates
  Crop Loop    

Crops the file to the current loop
  Remove DC    

Remove any DC offset in the audio.

Re-run slice detection algorithm.

Loops + Supported Devices
ReCycle supports transmitting samples to a range of samplers, and receiving samples from some samplers. MIDI or SCSI (or in some cases both) are used for the transfers. The samplers supported are listed below:


E4X Turbo,



Roland S-760
Yamaha A3000

In addition, the following generic sample formats are supported. Note that none of these support receiving samples.

    Generic SDS Samplers
    Generic SDMI Samplers
    Extended SDMI Samplers

The following sample formats are supported, but use a file-based protocol:

    AKAI S5000 and S6000 - creates an AKAI Program File (AKP) plus associated audio files.
    DigiDesign SampleCell SoundCards (Mac and PC) - Creates a Multisample instrument plus associated audio files.
    SoundFonts - wave table format typically supported for audio cards (SoundBlaster AWE- 32, AWE-64, and SoundBlaster Live!, Terratec EWS-64 and EMU-APS).
    MixMan TRK files - used by MixMan Studio and MixMan Studio Pro.

For both hardware and file-based sample formats, samples can be exported for each slice, or the entire loop as a single sample. All tempo changes, stretching, pitch shifting and effects are applied to the exported samples. A MIDI file is exported at the same time, with a sequence of notes that can be used in a sequencer to reproduce the loop as performed in preview mode.

In addition, the following exports may be performed:

    Audio files in AIFF, WAV - either one file per slice, or one file for the entire loop. As usual includes any tempo changes, pitch changes and effects applied within ReCycle.
    MIDI files - these are sequences of ascending notes that have the timing of ReCycle's. These can be useful as groove templates.

    RX2 (ReCycle 2.0) - these retain the original audio, and reapply all the processing when opened.

Significantly, both Cubase and Reason can make use of the REX and RX2 file formats. This is particularly welcome with Reason, where the Dr.Rex loop player works natively with the file to allow tempo changes, pitch changes, filters and other effects to be applied in real-time to the loop.

What's New In 2.0
Here is a list of the most important changes in ReCycle 2.0 from ReCycle 1.7:

    Support for stereo files.
    You can open stereo audio files and import stereo files from a hardware sampler and then save/export them as stereo after slicing them.
    Preview listening.
    You can now listen to the loop at new tempo and pitch settings.
    Realtime effects.
    Effects to tweak the sound of your loops:

        Envelope. A stretch feature was included in previsou versions too, but this time it has an attack and decay setting too.
        Transient shaper. This is a compression utility that trigs it's gain reduction on each slice. Perfect to get more snappiness from your loops.
        EQ. All the bass you want. Or not want. ReCycle's EQ has a Hi-cut, a lo-cut and two parametric filters.

    Support for new samplers.
    AKAI S-5000/6000 and all SMDI capable samplers are now supported.
    Move slices
    You can now move the slices you have added manually.
    Support for REX2
    ReCycle 2.0 uses the REX2 format as it's native save format. REX2 files can be played in programs such as Reason and Cubase. The format also has a 50% non lossy compression.

Wrapping Up
When ReCycle was first launched, it revolutionized the process of loop production. With ReCycle 2.0, Propellerhead have managed to improve drastically on an already great product. Although the updated user-interface and improvements to slice-detection and basic operation, and the addition of new samplers and file formats are welcome, by far the most significant new feature is the preview mode. This really does re-revolutionize the creation of loops, actually making the process fun again. With this release, it really does seem that ReCycle becomes a compelling purchase once again.

In-depth Feature:  Recycle 2.0
Recycle 2.0 - Loop Processor
Rob G writes:    .

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Recycle On a Mac
I'm a big fan of recyle - I've been using it in conjunction with my SampleCell II card for quite sometime. It just suits the way I work. I've been looking forward to trying out V2.0. Propellerheads have not disappointed.

Installation on the Mac was a piece of cake. The first time you launch Recycle it scans your SCSI busses to see if there any samplers attatched - which is a nice touch. You can rescan at any time should you need to.

The program still does what it used to (but more elegantly) and more besides. All the additional functions have real world applications. Although it would be nice to apply the processes in any order you choose - eg: you might want to apply the HPF before gating or runnng the transient shaper.

As far as the results go - it does exactly as you would expect - instruments can be exported to SampleCell format an then loaded with no fuss - I suppose it would be nice to have Recycle automatically launch and load the instrument as an option but it's not a big gripe.

All in all, top marks from this mac user

Demo File
To demonstrate the processing functions of Recycle 2.0, we took a simple stereo drum loop@104bpm from the Keith Le Blanc Sample CD KLB vol 2, imported it into Recycle 2.0, and exported the results to SampleCell format.

First bar: Straight loop
Second bar: with tight gate applied - cuts the ambience right down
Third bar: Transient Shaper in full effect.