KnowledgeBase | K2600 | Program Mode


Creating Programs - V.A.S.T. Basics

Question:

I need to learn my way around V.A.S.T., editing a simple program. Can you walk me through a few examples?

Answer:

Please Note: screen shots are intended as a rudimentary guide, not a verbatim match for what you may see on your unit.

Starting in Program Mode, let's take a quick look at the display.

ProgramMode     Xpose:0ST  <>Channel:1  
__________________     1 Program One
Keymap Info       |    2 Program Two
Layer 1           |    3 Program Three  
Layer 2           |    4 Program Four
                  |    5 Program Five
                  |    6 Program Six
Octav- Octav+ Panic  Sample Chan-  Chan+

Notice to the left of the program names is a large drop-shadow rectangle showing you how many layers are in the program, which keymaps were used, and the keyboard range for each keymap (represented by the solid line under the keymap name). The top illuminated bar shows you that you are in Program mode, whether or not the program has been transposed, and the MIDI Channel you are on.

To begin, let's simply listen to the raw sampled sounds before actually editing them. To do this, we'll call up program 199 Default Program. Press the buttons on the keypad (1 9 9) then press ENTER. You have now called up Default Program 199. Press the EDIT button and you will see the main edit screen. You are now looking at the basic building block of the Variable Architecture.... the algorithm:

EditProg:ALG               <>Layer:1/1  

Algorithm:1


 PITCH ->NONE                 ->AMP  ->

<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

The chain of boxes from left to right represent the signal path that this one layer takes through the K2 synth engine. Each box in an algorithm represents an individual DSP module which alters the sound in some way. Highlight the Algorithm number (#1) at the top left of the screen. Now, take a moment to turn your alpha dial to view some of the other algorithms. You will notice that the signal flow changes as do the number of active modules. As you will see, each module can have several possible functions other than the one you currently see. Now turn your alpha dial back to algorithm 1. Make sure the DSP module (represented by the large rectangle in the middle of the signal chain diagram in this algorithm) is reset back to "None". On the display (from left to right) you will notice the following soft buttons:

  • [<more] and [more>] - indicate additional page selections
  • [ALG] - used to select the algorithm page
  • [LAYER] - used to adjust parameters such as keyboard range and delay, as well as enable or disable controllers
  • [KEYMAP] - used to select the various multi-sampled waveform layouts
  • [PITCH] - used to control the pitch of the keymap waveform.

Press the button under the KEYMAP page and you will see Grand Piano.

EditProg:KEYMAP            <>Layer:1/1  

KeyMap:1 Grand Piano         Stereo:Off
Xpose :0ST        TimbreShift :0ST
KeyTrk:100ct/key  PlayBackMode:Normal
VelTrk:0ct        AltControl  :OFF
SmpSkp:Auto       AltMethod   :Switched
<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

Turn your alpha wheel, press your - / + buttons to scroll through waveforms, or enter the waveform's number on the keypad. This is the procedure for selecting a sampled waveform. You may now want to take a few moments to listen to the 'raw' waveforms. Before continuing, please return to the Grand Piano keymap.

Now let's return to the algorithm page and begin editing. Press the soft key button under algorithm.

There are 31 different algorithms available to you (up to 125 in the K26 series), each offering different possibilities for creating and shaping the sound. Some algorithms allow you to stack up to 4 oscillators (1 multisample + 3 digitally generated DSP waveforms) at the same time without using more than a single voice. In this way, you can create some incredibly 'fat' sounds using a single layer. Some algorithms allow for dynamic stereo panning, parametric EQ and a variety of nonlinear functions (shaper, wrap, distortion, etc.). It is important to relaize too, that this is all just for one layer. V.A.S.T. permits up to 32 layers, each with their own algoritm and settings, per program!

Did you know?
A "standard" V.A.S.T. program supports up to 3 layers. A standard program can be played on any MIDI channel. However, a K2 program can have up to 32 layers (each layer with its own keymap of multi-samples, one algorithm, envelopes, LFO's etc.). Such a program is referred to as a "Drum Program".

In the K2000 we allow the user to designate one MIDI channel to accommodate drum programs, which we refer to as the "Drum Channel".

The K2500 offers 8 drum channels.

The K2600 series does away with this concept permitting 32 layer programs on all 16 channels.

In algorithm 1, for example, you'll notice three boxes which represent the synthesis modules used in this particular algorithm.

EditProg:ALG               <>Layer:1/1  

Algorithm:1


 PITCH ->NONE                 ->AMP  ->

<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

Algorithm 1 uses three modules - some use more; the maximum number is five. The first module is Pitch - almost all algorithms start with a Pitch module. You can't select any other function for this module other than Pitch, however, there are many parameters you can use to control Pitch such as keyboard tracking, velocity to pitch, an LFO, many others.

The middle block currently is marked "None", however this block offers many possibilities. Need be, press the down cursor one time and highlight the middle block. Rotate the alpha wheel to the right and you will see HIFREQ STIMULATOR, a function which produces an effect similar to an 'aural exciter', enhancing the upper frequencies for that ultimate bright rock piano or a sharp steel string guitar.

EditProg:ALG               <>Layer:1/1  

Algorithm:1


 PITCH ->HIFREQ STIMULATOR    ->AMP  ->

<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

Press the EDIT button and notice that the top of the display shows you Edit Program 1, Page F1, frequency of the high frequency stimulator.

EditProg:F1 FRQ(HIFRQ STIM)<>Layer:1/1  
Coarse:C 4 262Hz    Src1  :OFF
Fine  :0ct          Depth :0ct
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0ct/key      DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0ct          MinDpt:0ct
Pad   :0dB          MaxDpt:0ct
<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

The numeric representation 1/1 (located in the upper right hand corner of the display) indicates this program has 1 layer and that's the one you're editing; this is layer one of a one layer program. Press the [ more>] button one time and you will see 4 new soft button page choices:

EditProg:F1 FRQ(HIFRQ STIM)<>Layer:1/1  
Coarse:C 4 262Hz    Src1  :OFF
Fine  :0ct          Depth :0ct
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0ct/key      DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0ct          MinDpt:0ct
Pad   :0dB          MaxDpt:0ct
<more  F1 FRQ F2 DRV F3 AMP F4 AMP more>

F1-Frequency, F2-Drive, F3-Amplitude, and F4-Amplitude.

The Amplitude page is used to adjust the overall volume of this particular layer. The other "F" keys apply to the stimulator. Most of the editing pages will look like this one, so once you are familiar with this page you will quickly know your way around.

On the left side of the screen, you'll notice a coarse and fine adjustment for setting the frequencies you wish to excite. You may also use Key Track to scale the range (hertz) or amplitude (dB) of the stimulator. Velocity tracking allows you to control the effect from touch, and a pad adjustment (padding refers to decreasing gain) is provided in case you overdrive this module to clip. Yes, you can intentionally cause your K2 to clip or distort if you choose, however, we recommend that you have very tolerant speakers.

On the right half of the display you'll notice Source 1 and Depth. You can assign any controller to act as the source input and set the desired active depth. Below Source 1 and Depth is Source 2, for an additional modulation source. Depth control for source 2 will allow you to assign any controller, like pedals, wheels, or the slider, to control the modulation source. Minimum depth for a constant level of modulation and maximum depth to be reached by adjusting the Depth controller are provided. Depth control is useful for creating roto speaker effects where you can change gradually from a light vibrato (Min) to a deep vibrato (Max) at the flick of a wheel.

Let's continue editing. Before we adjust any parameters, listen to the un-edited Default program. Let's set the Coarse Frequency control to C0 16Hz by rotating the alpha wheel to the left. Next, let's set Source1 to Mod Wheel. Press your right cursor one time and you will highlight Source 1. Rotate your alpha wheel slowly to the right until you see MWHEEL, or use the intuitive entry system where you press and hold the ENTER button and move the controller you wish to assign - the MWheel in this case. Take a moment to scroll through the various control sources available to you. They are extremely abbreviated and a complete description of each is available in your user's manual. When you get back to MWHEEL, stop. Press your down cursor one time and highlight DEPTH. Rotate the alpha wheel to the right until you see 10800 cents.

EditProg:F1 FRQ(HIFRQ STIM)<>Layer:1/1  
Coarse:C 0 16Hz     Src1  :MWheel
Fine  :0ct          Depth :10800ct     
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0ct/key      DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0ct          MinDpt:0ct
Pad   :0dB          MaxDpt:0ct
<more  F1 FRQ F2 DRV F3 AMP F4 AMP more>

Next, press the button under the F2 Page.

EditProg:F2 DRV(HIFRQ STIM)<>Layer:1/1  
Adjust:0dB          Src1  :OFF
                    Depth :0dB
KStart:C-1 unipola  Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0.00dB/key   DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0dB          MinDpt:0dB
                    MaxDpt:0dB
<more  F1 FRQ F2 DRV F3 AMP F4 AMP more>

Notice that the top bar informs you that you are on the high frequency drive page. This page offers almost the same choices as the last one. Set the Adjust to 4dB using your alpha wheel. Set source 1 to MWheel using your cursor and alpha wheel. Set the depth below source 1 to 12 dB.

EditProg:F2 DRV(HIFRQ STIM)<>Layer:1/1  
Adjust:4dB          Src1  :MWheel
                    Depth :12dB        
KStart:C-1 unipola  Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0.00dB/key   DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0dB          MinDpt:0dB
                    MaxDpt:0dB
<more  F1 FRQ F2 DRV F3 AMP F4 AMP more>

Now, press the button under F3 and you arrive at the Hi Frequency Stimulator Amp page, where you can boost or cut the effect's volume.

EditProg:F3 AMP(HIFRQ STIM)<>Layer:1/1  
Adjust:2dB          Src1  :OFF
                    Depth :0dB
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0.00dB/key   DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0dB          MinDpt:0dB
                    MaxDpt:0dB
<more  F1 FRQ F2 DRV F3 AMP F4 AMP more>

Set the adjust to 2 dB. Play the piano sample, move the Mod Wheel up and down and notice the effect.

Moving on, press the [<more ] button once, then press the button under the Algorithm page [ALG ] and you will return to the main screen once again; you will see HIFREQ STIMULATOR illuminated.

EditProg:ALG               <>Layer:1/1  

Algorithm:1


 PITCH ->HIFREQ STIMULATOR    ->AMP  ->

<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

Now, let's try a different DSP. Rotate your alpha wheel slowly to the right and watch the display change to PARAMETRIC EQ. PARAMETRIC EQ allows for precise adjustment and contouring of the harmonic frequencies of a sound (like putting a little extra punch in your kick drum or a little more snap in your slap bass). Turn the alpha wheel again and see STEEP RESONANT BASS.

EditProg:ALG               <>Layer:1/1  

Algorithm:1


 PITCH ->STEEP RESONANT BASS  ->AMP  ->

<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

STEEP RESONANT BASS offers a powerful resonant filter and a bass boost for the ultimate analog synth bass. Let's make some minor adjustments and see what happens:

First, we need to select a waveform. We'll use a Sawtooth. Press the soft key under KEYMAP. Press the number 151 on your alpha numeric keypad and then press ENTER. You should see 151 Sawtooth.

EditProg:KEYMAP            <>Layer:1/1  

KeyMap:151 Sawtooth          Stereo:Off
Xpose :0ST        TimbreShift :0ST
KeyTrk:100ct/key  PlayBackMode:Normal
VelTrk:0ct        AltControl  :OFF
SmpSkp:Auto       AltMethod   :Switched
<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

(note: some of the parameters on the Keymap screen will vary depending on which model of K2 you are using.)

Press the [more >] soft key once and press F2 RESonance.

EditProg:F2 RES(STEEP BASS)<>Layer:1/1  
Adjust:10.0dB       Src1  :OFF
                    Depth :0.0dB
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0.00dB/key   DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0.0dB        MinDpt:0.0dB
                    MaxDpt:0.0dB
<more  F1 FRQ F2 DRV F3 AMP F4 AMP more>

Using the cursor, highlight DEPTH under source 1, then enter 0 on your keypad to clear the value. Press your up cursor once, then your left cursor once to highlight ADJUST. Set the adjust to 10.0 dB.

Press the button under F3 Amp and set the Adjust to 8dB using your alpha wheel or - / + buttons.

EditProg:F3 AMP(STEEP BASS)<>Layer:1/1  
Adjust:8.0dB        Src1  :OFF
                    Depth :0.0dB
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0.00dB/key   DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0.0dB        MinDpt:0.0dB
                    MaxDpt:0.0dB
<more  F1 FRQ F2 DRV F3 AMP F4 AMP more>

Play the keyboard, push the Mod Wheel up and down and listen to the filter sweep.

Let's try one more:

Press the [< more] soft key, then the ALGorithm button. Turn your alpha wheel slowly to the right until you see 4 POLE LOPASS WITH SEP.

EditProg:ALG               <>Layer:1/1  

Algorithm:1


 PITCH ->4POLE LOPASS W/ SEP   ->AMP  ->

<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

Notice that parameter values set for a block in a particular algorithm will carry over when selecting other algorithms.

Play the keyboard, move the Mod Wheel and notice the difference in filters. The 4 POLE completely screens out all frequencies while the STEEP RESONANT BASS doesn't.

Lastly, try assigning Source 1 on the F1 Freq page to MonoPressure:

Press the [more >] button once, then press the F1 button.

EditProg:F1 FRQ(4P LOPASS) <>Layer:1/1  
Coarse:C 0 16Hz     Src1  :MPress      
Fine  :0ct          Depth :10800ct
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0ct/key      DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0ct          MinDpt:0ct
Pad   :0dB          MaxDpt:0ct
<more  F1 FRQ F2 RES F3 SEP F4 AMP more>

Use your cursor to highlight source 1. For this example, select 33 on your keypad then the ENTER button or scroll on your alpha wheel until you see MPress. Try playing a note and pressing down hard and listen to the filter open/close.

Finally, let's name and save this program to complete this exercise. First press the [< more] soft key until you come to NAME.

EditProg:F1 FRQ(4P LOPASS) <>Layer:1/1  
Coarse:C 0 16Hz     Src1  :MPress      
Fine  :0ct          Depth :10800ct
                    Src2  :OFF
KeyTrk:0ct/key      DptCtl:OFF
VelTrk:0ct          MinDpt:0ct
Pad   :0dB          MaxDpt:0ct
<more  Name   Save   Delete Dump   more>

Press the button under NAME and watch the soft key descriptions in the display change to accommodate naming:

EditProgram:Rename       <>KbdNaming:Off


Program Name:   Default Program



Delete Insert  <<<    >>>    OK   Cancel

(note: some of the parameters on the Naming screen may vary depending on which model of K2 you are using.)

The left most soft key will delete a letter or character. The insert soft key can be used to insert letters or characters. The left and right arrow soft keys (<< < and >>> ) move the cursor. The OK button should only be selected when naming has been completed. To change letters, you may use the alpha wheel, - / + buttons or the alpha numeric keypad. Remember, the UPPER/LOWER button (located on the lower right of the keypad) changes from upper case to lower case letters. The 0 button (also found on the key pad) will cycle through numbers 0 - 9. Try naming this program "Press Sweep 1". When you have named this program press OK.

Next press the button under SAVE. You will see:

EditProgram:Save                        


Save Press Sweep 1 as: ID#200 



Object             Rename  Save   Cancel

Notice that the display will ask you to save to the first empty used location available (if you started from a clean machine, this will be ID#200, otherwise the first unused ID will be offered). If you weren't finished editing, you would press CANCEL, but since we are finished, you'll want to simply press the button under SAVE and the display will return to the algorithm page.

Before we exit, let's take a closer look at the KEYMAP page. Press the KEYMAP soft key button.

EditProg:KEYMAP            <>Layer:1/1  

KeyMap:151 Sawtooth          Stereo:Off
Xpose :0ST        TimbreShift :0ST
KeyTrk:100ct/key  PlayBackMode:Normal
VelTrk:0ct        AltControl  :OFF
SmpSkp:Auto       AltMethod   :Switched
<more  ALG    LAYER  KEYMAP PITCH  more>

Notice that you can select and change the keymap which contains the sampled ROM waves; you can transpose and adjust the keymap tracking from the keyboard or velocity and adjust the timbre shift parameter which changes the timbre characteristics of the samples in the keymap. You can set which control source (if any) will enable you to select a factory defined alternate attack (or you can program your own). You can select whether the samples play normally, backwards, bi-directionally, or select noise which disables the current keymap in favor of a noise generator. Noise is often used to create wind and surf type programs. To exit this mode press EXIT.

Notice that you are now back out in Program mode on program 200*Press Sweep 1.

TIP: the astersik * indicates an object in user RAM, i.e. one you have made or loaded.

Let's wrap this up by looking at all of the types of filters found in algorithm 1. We already mentioned the HIFREQ Stimulator and STEEP RESONANT BASS so we'll pick up with the 4 POLE LOPASS WITH SEParation:

  • The 4 POLE LOPASS WITH SEParation offers a different kind of resonant filter: smoother, great for sweeping the cutoff and sounding like those true great analogs. This filter is also great for precise control of subtle instrumental timbral changes.
  • The 4 POLE HIPASS WITH SEParation is a very dynamic resonant filter which allows yo to screen out the lower frequencies and add resonance to pronounce the harmonics. You can create the perfect Clavinet with this filter.
  • The TWIN PEAKS BANDPASS offers you a smooth non resonant filter which can dramatically thin out or fatten up a waveform.
  • The DOUBLE NOTCH W/SEParation allows you to precisely zero in on annoyingly loud harmonics within a waveform or sample and cut them out, or boost frequencies which are weak in the waveform.

And finally back to NONE. This is the end of the look of just algorithm 1 - and we've just scratched the surface!


Need more info? Check out the following links: