Virtual Instruments: 5 Tips For The Z3TA+ Junkie

Here are some of our favorite Z3TA+ tips and videos from our archive:

1. EDM Production – Enhance Your Drums with Z3TA+ 2

  • Insert two instances of Z3TA+ 2.
  • Copy your drum sequence to both Z3TA+ 2 tracks.
  • Isolate the Kick on one track and the Snare on the other.
  • Setup the first Z3TA+ 2 to generate a Sine Wave for the Kick.
  • Setup the second Z3TA+ 2 to generate White Noise for the Snare.
  • Adjust the Amplifier Envelope to match the duration of each hit.
  • Within Z3TA+ 2 add Reverb, Compression, and EQ.
  • Mix in under your existing Drum Loop.

2. How to Customize Z3tA+ 2’s Stock Arpeggios

Z3TA+ 2 comes packed with a massive pool of MIDI programs that power it’s internal Arpeggiator, but why stick to the stock programs when you can make your own?

Here’s how:

  • Open Z3TA+2 and activate the Arpeggiator Section
  • Right-Click on the sequence in the arpeggiator and make sure the following are checked
  • Auto Disable Pattern When Dragged to Host
  • Auto Fit Patterns to One Measure When Loaded
  • Load one of the Arpeggios from the Pattern menu
  • Drag and Drop the Arpeggios right into SONAR X2
  • Edit the MIDI Clip to your liking
  • Go to File > Save As
  • Select MIDI 0 in “Save as type”
  • Go to C:\Cakewalk Content\Z3TA+ 2\MIDI Arpeggios and Save it
  • Load it into Z3TA+2′s Arpeggiator by going to Pattern > Load MIDI File…

3. How to create a bass synth with Z3tA+ 2

Who doesn’t like bass? Especially synth bass. Z3TA+ 2 is the answer to all of your sound design needs especially when you are looking to improve your production in the low end. I’ve put together a short tutorial on how to make a simple bass synth inside of Z3TA+2. Once you understand how everything works together you’ll be able to really start to make this plugin work for you.

Picking the right Oscillators

Within Z3TA+2 the first section you need to start working with is the OSC section. First I’ve selected two different square waves for OSC 1 and 2. They were Vintage Square 1 and Vintage Square 2. When creating a bass synth you need to make sure that your patch will not break up in the low end so be sure not to drop the octaves on the individual oscillators too low. I typically set mine to -2 at the most. Once you get to a certain range the instrument will sound weak and lose it’s driving Bass Synth sound

[READ THE REST OF THE TIP HERE]

4. [VIDEO] Digital Sound Factory Z3TA+  Sound Design

5. [VIDEO] Mixing and Mastering a song using only the Z3TA+ effects engine in SONAR

Designing Sounds for Cakewalk Synthesizers – Behind the Scenes at Digital Sound Factory

Digital Sound Factory

When people ask me what I do for a living, it is often difficult for them to grasp the words; I record sounds and musical instruments that musicians use to create music. At Digital Sound Factory we breakdown the instrument to the fundamentals and capture the sounds that make up its character. Each note and playing style is recorded. We are essentially creating a ‘digital archive’ of musical instrument sounds that render playback on modern computers.

Creating sound expansion packs for Cakewalk synthesizers involves many steps in the development process. It’s a long journey from defining the scope of the sound set to hearing a sound when playing a MIDI note. This is an overview of how an expansion pack is born and what goes on behind the scenes.

 

Defining the Project

First we take a close look at the scope of the project and define the instruments and samples required.

Musicians, engineers, and studio time are not free, so the better prepared we are, the more we capture. Each instrument requires different considerations. Sampling drum’s is different from sampling synthesizers is different from sampling brass or winds. In the case of drums, how the drum should be tuned, number of velocity hits on center to the edge of the head, matching rim shots, various microphone placements, to name a few. Sampling brass or woodwinds will entail multiple volume levels of sustain, more breath, less breath, breath only, mutes, staccato, and more.

 

The Recording Process

Sampling is similar to recording music in some ways, but in other ways it is very different. The similarities are musicians are recorded in professional sound environments using microphones, mixing console, speakers, etc. The very different part is we are not there to record music. We record the instrument and its characteristics. I can’t begin to tell you how many sessions I have walked into and the musicians are ready to impress with great music. In these sessions we focus on the technique, not the music.

Each note the instrument is capable of playing is meticulously recorded at various amplitude levels and styles (ie: sustained, mute, fast attack, slow attack, soft, loud, etc.) using 4 – 16 microphones, fast computers, and Sonar. It is imperative that any addition sounds that are not part of the instrument, such as squeaky chairs, breathing, or noise from the musician are identified and eliminated during the recording process. Occasionally there are sounds that make their way into the sample and need to later be isolated and removed using software tools. All microphones, takes, tracks, hard drives, etc. are documented for use during the editing process.

 

Selection and Editing

After days, weeks, or months of recording, the tracks are reviewed and the best takes are sliced and copied to a new project. This may include as many as 4 to 16 tracks of microphones that can be mixed or separated to create the final individual .wav files for each pitch/velocity/etc. Selecting the best ‘takes’ involves a lot of listening and is essential to delivering the highest quality instruments. Any additional DSP (Digital Signal Processing), such as leveling, noise cancelation, equalization, and amplitude fades are completed at this stage. Sustained notes require looping the recordings to create a seamless pitch at the loop points. Loops are adjusted to lengths based on memory size targets. Each .wav file is tagged with the instrument name, style, and pitch identification.

 

SFZ Creation

SFZ files are created and used to map the incoming MIDI controller note number to the correct .wav file and location. The SFZ files are text files and use ‘opcodes’ or operation codes that are used to control various synthesizer program parameters. It contains relevant information about the instrument such as velocity, filter types, envelopes, LFO’s, and others. SFZ files are programmed for each playing style and sometimes combined to create layers.

 

Programming

This is where the instruments develop personality and flavor. SFZ files can be combined as elements to create layers. Filters, modulation sources and destinations, and effects are assigned. The program is named and saved to the relevant style folder.

 

Digital Sound Factory Recording Video

This video includes recording sessions for orchestral strings, winds, brass, and percussion in the concert hall and studio, drum kits and percussion, ethnic instruments, and grand piano.

Buy Sounds for Cakewalk Synths

Digital Sound Factory offers over fifty expansion packs for Cakewalk’s Dimension, Rapture, Sound Center, Z3TA+2, and Session Drummer 3.  Digital Sound Factory on the Cakewalk Store

DSF Sale

Download DSF Expansion Packs for as low as $19.95
Stock up this weekend on DSF expansion packs for Dimension Pro/Dimension LE. The DSF collection features thousands of sounds for all types of music and genres. Included are Grand Pianos, Guitars, Basses, Classic Keys, Orchestral, Hollywood Sound FX and much more. Buy one or buy them all and save big during this special offer. Ends February 28th, 2013.

Shop and save today

Sale on all Dimension Pro/LE Packs plus new title from DSF

DSF Sale

Download DSF Expansion Packs for as low as $19.95
Stock up this weekend on DSF expansion packs for Dimension Pro/Dimension LE. The DSF collection features thousands of sounds for all types of music and genres. Included are Grand Pianos, Guitars, Basses, Classic Keys, Orchestral Continue reading Sale on all Dimension Pro/LE Packs plus new title from DSF

FREE DSF Symphonic Strings HD When You Buy SONAR X2 Producer

DSF Symphonic Strings

Buy SONAR X2 Producer and get DSF Symphonic Strings FREE
For a limited time you can download a Free Symphonic Strings expansion pack for Dimension Pro ($149 value) when you upgrade, or purchase SONAR X2 Producer from the Cakewalk Store or any worldwide retailer. This is a special offer to reward early adopters. Offer valid through September 30th on the Cakewalk Store and valid through October 31st for all other registered SONAR X2 Producer customers who purchase through any worldwide retailer.

When you upgrade to SONAR X2 Producer on the Cakewalk Store the DSF Symphonic Strings HD will be available immediately for download on your store account.

Symphonic Strings is a collection of string ensembles recorded in the amazing Saint Thomas Cathedral at Bastyr University in Northern Washington State in the US. The cathedral is 48 feet tall and features unusual near-perfect acoustics that attract frequent recording sessions for Hollywood films. Scores for “Brokeback Mountain,” “About Schmidt,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “Mirror Mirror,”, and orchestral tracks for Dave Matthews album have been recorded here. The cathedral is wired so that a modified bus configured for recording can pull up and plug into the pre-wired snake to track the performance.

Listen to Sound Examples

DSF Symphonic Strings HD includes over 100 programs recorded at 24-bit resolution, each pitch, and programmed for the ultimate clarity and realism.

Upgrade to SONAR X2 Producer  |  Find a Dealer

Please note: DSF Symphonic Strings HD will automatically be delivered with your SONAR X2 Producer order. Please do not add it to your cart.

 

Here is what customers are saying…

“The DSF download was an unexpected delight! I spent two hours reviewing the various sounds, tweaking as I went… Once again Cakewalk has inspired me to go somewhere I had never been before!!!– Roy Cunningham

 

“It is the best strings sound from DSF for Dim Pro so far. I spend 1/2 hour on it. Need to tweak some of the effect settings. It is definitely well worth to upgrade to X2 now. Especially if you can’t afford any expensive Strings VST that cost 500USD or more.” – Choo Shi-hwei

 

“Upgraded to X2 [Producer] and then I downloaded the strings. I was working on a project that had two different string tracks. I used the new symphonic strings. They sound awesome! Thanks Cakewalk” – Marcus Curtis

 

“They blend really well with a variety of genres.” – Bennie Beat Bumma Smith

New HD Grand Pianos for Dimension Pro and LE [updated]

Dimension Pro Expansion Packs

[Update: We have corrected an issue that was preventing some customers from purchasing. We apologize for the inconvenience.  Please try again and enjoy!]

Save $50 off new HD Grand Pianos from Digital Sound Factory
Based on the success of the HD Songwriters Collection, Digital Sound Factory brings two new grand pianos to Dimension Pro/LE in High Definition. Using high quality microphones and preamps, multiple layers were recorded at 24-bit resolution to capture the full dynamic range. As a result of this process, the samples are perfectly matched, sound great, and are free of artifacts. With a natural sounding wooden resonant tone and very long sustain, these pianos are the ultimate addition to Dimension Pro.

Choose from two studio quality grand pianos – just $99.95 each for a limited time:

HD Steinway Grand Piano

 

HD Yamaha Grand Piano