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[Tutorial] VST Plugins - The Basics (Advanced)

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Skale Jedi

Joined: 12 Nov 2002
Posts: 508
Location: Norway

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2002 1:05 am    Post subject: [Tutorial] VST Plugins - The Basics (Advanced)

(Complies to v.0.75B and older)

In this tutorial we will cover the basic of loading and using one, or more, VST plugins with Skale. In this tutorial I have loaded and used 3 differenet VST plugins for 5 basic instruments I picked at random.
If you don't know what VST plugins are, you can read this quick introduction:

VST Introduction

A VST plugin is simply a sound filter. What you can do with the filter depends on how the creator made the VST plugin. Some VST's can make echo, pan your sample around in stereo, or make your sample sound completly different. The possibilities of what VST plugins can do is quite wide.
And the nice thing about VST plugins is you can download and use free plugins. In this tutorial I will only use free plugins I picked at random as an example for how you can load, and use a free VST plugin in your Skale song.
You can get some free VST Plugins from one of Awezoom's demo songs here.


Loading the VST Plugins:

First of all you have to start Skale Tracker.
Now you can choose to add VST plugins to a song you've made before , or you can pick some random instruments like I did for this tutorial.
The point is you need an instrument to add the VST to, since the VST plugin need a sound-source to modify.

Open up Disk Op and load up your song, or some instruments.
Then click on the Multi FX button, and you will see this:

From this panel you can manage and organize all your different VST plugins. But note, in the current version of Skale Tracker you can have max 8 VST plugins.
The numbers are the numbering of the slots you can load the VST plugins into. If you closed Disk Op you will have to open it up again with the Multi FX so your Skale look like this:

Note that I have selected FX as the item I want to open.
Let's browse for a VST plugin and load it into slot number 1.
If you loaded it correctly you should have a green light above the slot-number and a few scrollbars and some text appearing like this:

Note: Some VST plugins might not load at all.
In that case you will note the bars and the text not showing up.

Here you can see I have loaded the "freeverb2.dll" VST into VST-slot number 1, but off course you can load any VST plugin you would like to. The text you see are called parameters and the scrollbars controll the amount of each parameter. The parameters will vary from what plugin you loaded, so don't panic if you have other parameters than in the picture. We will come back to the amounts later in this tutorial when we have set up the VST's with an instrument.

Now, what if I want 2 VST plugins, or maybe even 3 or more?
Simple, just switch to the next VST-slot by clicking on the next number in the Muli FX table. In this picture I have selected VST-slot number 2 at the same time I have a VST plugin loaded into slot number 1.
As you see slot number 2 does not have a VST loaded yet:

You can see that slot number 1 is taken because of the little green light above the slot number. Now, let's load up another VST plugin into slot number 2 by clicking the .DLL file in the Disk Op. You can also add a few other VST's to have fun wtih later, and see what they can do for you.

As you can see in this picture I have loaded 3 different VST's into slot 1, 2 and 3, and Im viewing the parameters for the VST in slot number 3:


If you play your song or play with the instrument now you will not hear any difference. That's because the VST plugins is not in use by the intrument. To make a instrument use one or more of the VST's we have loaded we have to move on to the Mixer.

Quick overview of the Mixer:

At first the Mixer can look confusing. Don't worry about that, soon you will be the master of the Mixer
At top you can see large numbers from 01 - 08, these are the intruments.
And if you go to the instrument box to the top-right in Skale and switch to another range of instruments the Mixer will automaticly change instruments too. In this picture you can see I have 5 basic instruments too at the bottom of the mixer.

For each instrument you can see 8 smal dots with smal numbers, and a little knob you can turn around. This is where we add the VST to an instrument. To turn on the VST simply click the little dot and it will glow green if there's a VST in that slot number. With the knob you can turn around you can set how much VST effect you want to add to the instrument.

In this picture I turned on the VST plugins in slot 1 and 3 for instrument number 01. For instrument number 02 I have turned on the VST plugins in slot 1 and 2, instrument 03 have only the VST in slot 2 turned on, and so on:

In the top-right of the Mixer you can see some volume-bars with the labels FX1, FX2 and so on. With these you can set the global volume/amount of a VST plugin.
Also you can see the volum bars for each instrument at the bottom.
This makes it easy to adjust the volume of one instrument without having to change the volume parameters through the whole song in the pattern view.

Remember I told you to wait with the amount of the parameters in Multi FX table?
If you have a song loaded or have made a little test song you can try to play it. You should now hear the VST effects depending on what VST's you loaded and turned on for the instruments playing.
But you can change how the VST plugin sound.
Open up the Multi FX table again and select any slot where you have loaded a VST plugin.
Now you can try to adjust the amount of some parameters for the VST plugins you have loaded. You should hear the effect changes when adjusting the amounts for different parameters.
Also remeber you can adjust the amount of VST effect for the instruments with the knobs in the Mixer.

Now play around a little and see what you can come up with.
Hope this basic VST plugins tutorial was helpful for you.
If you have any questions, comments or anything else you can send me a PM.

'Til next time,
- Skagen

Last edited by skagen on Wed Jan 05, 2005 4:16 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Skale Lover

Joined: 05 Dec 2002
Posts: 158

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 10:23 am    Post subject:

Well written
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Skale Clueless

Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 11

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:14 pm    Post subject:

People using VSTi's should also note that they must activate the DEVICE led ind Instr.Ed.Ext screen in addition to selecting synth they want to use to have VSTi's produce any sound. This detail was not covered here.
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Skale Jedi

Joined: 12 Nov 2002
Posts: 508
Location: Norway

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 4:13 pm    Post subject:

Moerkoe wrote:
People using VSTi's should also note that they must activate the DEVICE led ind Instr.Ed.Ext screen in addition to selecting synth they want to use to have VSTi's produce any sound. This detail was not covered here.

This article/tutorial was written long before Skale even supported VSTinstruments and is only for VSTeffects.
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