Different types of plugins and virtual instruments
VST (Virtual Studio Technology) - a virtual instrument or effects that work with a host sequencer such as Cubase, Cakewalk and Ableton.
Audio Units (AU) - a system-level plug-in architecture provided by Core Audio in Mac OS X developed by Apple Computer for use in Logic Pro and other host sequencers that support audio units.
RTAS (Real Time Audio Suite) is a standard developed by Digidesign for their Pro Tools LE software and is the sucessor to Audiosuite plug-ins. RTAS also works with Pro Tools M Powered.
EXS24 (.exs) patches are specifically for use with Logic Pro’s EXS24 sampler.
Kontakt (.nki .nks) patches are specifically for use in Native Instruments Kontakt Sampler.
HALion (.fxp) patches are specifically designed for use in the full version of Steinberg´s HALion.
What is the difference between KONTAKT 5 PLAYER and KONTAKT 5?
KONTAKT 5 and the KONTAKT 5 PLAYER are the same application. The main differences being that KONTAKT 5 PLAYER has most instrument editing features disabled, although you can still edit parameters via the Performance View. Demo limitations also apply for non-KONTAKT 5 PLAYER compatible content such as samples or 3rd party sample libraries in KONTAKT format. Only 3rd party libraries which have been produced for KONTAKT 5 PLAYER may be loaded. Non-licensed libraries can be used for 15 minutes at a time in demo mode and without the ability to save your work.
If you purchase one of our products that ship with the Kontakt Player such as ProjectSam Symphobia you will need to register the product using the Native Instruments Service Centre. Alternatively if you already have the full version of Kontakt you will also need to register the product using the Native Instruments Service Centre.
If you purchase one of our Kontakt libraries that does not ship with the Kontakt Player you will need to have the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt. If you use one of these libraries in the free player it will only work in demo mode for 15 minutes. Please make sure you check that you have the full version of Kontakt before purchasing one of our Kontakt libraries.
For more information on Kontakt files and Kontakt libraries, please see our knowledge base article here.
UVI Workstation - The UVI Workstation is a multi-timbral software instrument that provides unlimited parts, integrated effects, live performance feature, and a smooth real-time workflow. The UVI Workstation works ships with all Ultimate Sound Banks.
It operates as a MAC/PC stand alone application and as a virtual instrument software plug-in compatible with Mac OSX and Windows for all major hosts sequencers.
Audio File Formats
The audio CD format is typically referred to as a CDA file (.cda). CDA files can only be played from a CD and the files must be converted to WAV or MP3 files for storage on a computer hard disc or DVD disc. The CDA format is an industry standard (referred to as the Red Book audio standard) that is used for encoding music on CDs and audio CDs bought in the high street will use this format. CD audio uses a sample rate of 44.1 kHz and for stereo audio this requires 176,400 bytes per second (or 1,411,200 bits per second - there are 8 bits per byte) of data storage. This equates to about 10.09MB per minute of audio in CDA format.
Acid Loops are specialized music clips. They were originally created for use with Acid, the loop-based, music-sequencing software, created by Sonic Foundry in 1998.
"Acidized" loops contain tempo and key information, so that Acid and other programs that can read the "acidization" can properly time stretch and pitch shift them. Although the phrase "ACID loops" technically only refers to loops which have been "acidized", some people use the term to refer to loops in general, even when used with other software packages.
REX is the native file format of ReCycle. A REX file contains the original audio of the loop, the spces you have appped in ReCycle, and any effects or processing you have added in ReCycle. Saving an audio file as a REX file also reduces the size of the file significally. This is achieved by applying a "nonlossy" compression algorithm to the file when saved, meaning that it does not compromise the audio quality in any way.
Practically all major music software titles support the REX format. Be it music production software like Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase, Sonar, Live and of course Reason, or software instruments such as Native Instruments Kontakt, Spectrasonics Stylus RMX or Digidesign Transfuser. Check your software´s specifications for REX compatibility.
REX2 loops are created in ReCycle by analyzing audio files to locate zero crossings in the waveform, usually at the start of a beat or other rhythmic point. The file is then divided into "slices" delineated by these markers (a form of metadata). This allows compatible DAW software to adjust the playback start time of each slice, so that the loop can dynamically match the tempo of a song without altering the pitch of the loop, as would normally happen if the audio file was slowed down or sped up. Depending on the host software, individual slices can be triggered via MIDI notes, and individually tuned up and down in pitch if desired.
The original REX format was mono only; REX2 supports mono or stereo files. The REX2 format uses a proprietary compression algorithm that can reduce the file size by up to 60%.
WAVE and AIFF Files
Wave (.WAV) and Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) audio files are very similar. They can be stored at different bit depths (16 and 24 bit are supported), in mono, stereo, or surround, and at sample rates up to 192 kHz.
Core Audio Format Files
Core Audio Format (CAF) files are containers that support integer and float PCM formats, A-law, u-law, and a number of others including AAC and the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). Unrestricted file sizes are possible, at high sample rates and bit depths.
Sound Designer Files
Sound Designer I and II (SDII) audio files are similar in structure to AIFF files, and can contain timestamped region information. Use of Sound Designer format files can make transfers between Logic Pro and Digidesign Pro Tools software more convenient.
MP3, Apple Lossless, and AAC Files
MP3 and AAC files contain compressed audio information. They are usually far smaller than equivalent WAV, AIFF, or SDII files. This reduction in file size is due to different encoding techniques that “throw away” some of the audio information. As a result, MP3 and AAC files do not sound as good as their WAV, AIFF, or SDII audio counterparts, depending on the source audio material. Apple Lossless files also contain compressed audio information. As the name suggests, the compression used (ALAC) does not discard audio information in the same fashion as MP3 files. The sound of the compressed audio file is identical to the original recording.
Apple Loops are audio files that contain additional identification information: time and date, category, mood, key and tempo, among other’s. They also contain a number of transient markers, which break them down into small time slices. The main advantage of Apple Loops audio files is their ability to automatically match the tempo and key of a Logic Pro project.
A second Apple Loops file type is also supported by Logic Pro. These contain MIDI note information that triggers a musical phrase or riff. The motif will be played, as is, when these types of Apple Loops are added to an audio track. When added to an instrument track in Logic Pro, however, the MIDI note information can be edited, as you would with any MIDI region.
ReCycle (REX, RCY) files are generated in Propellerhead ReCycle software. These are similar to Apple Loops audio files, in that they contain a number of slices, and match the project tempo. When imported, a small folder that contains several regions—one for each slice—is created. Each of these slice regions can be handled like any audio region. ReCycle files, unlike Apple Loops files, do not follow the project key.
Standard MIDI Files
Standard MIDI files (SMF) are a standard file format used in MIDI sequencers. They can be read and saved in Logic Pro, Steinberg Cubase and many other host sequencers. SMFs may contain note, lyric, controller, and SysEx data. They are added to MIDI or software instrument tracks in Logic Pro.