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XPression - the tool for the creative musician

DynaSample has been striving to build a bridge between acoustic and electronic sound generation. The goal was not only to create an instrument that would simply sound good. It was most important that playing it would have to be easy and intuitive. It had to work without keyswitches, lots of pedals or other external control items. Nevertheless it should be playable immediately in realtime without spending ages of practicing. On top of it it should have a comparable expressiveness and musical bandwith as only known from real instruments up until now.

After years of development we have succeeded to create this instrument - due to "Voice Control" and "TDB".

Here is XPression - the next generation of electronic instruments!

T D B - True Dynamic Behavior

TDB - "true dynamic bevavior" takes care of the natural and intuitive way how XPression responds to incoming dynamic information.

By breaking down samples into seperate components like "soft / loud", "attack / sustain", "legato / non legato", "pitch / noise", "original pitch / deviation from original pitch", and so on it becomes possible to manipulate complex changes in sound selectively in individual cells. TDB automatically recognizes the relevant parameters to be modulated while doing musical phrasing. It's not just simply opening a filter or crossfading between samples as most other synths do.

TDB is even capable of creating sound components that were not even existing in the original sample if the musical context is asking for it.

To be able to handle such extensive manipulations in sound the samples have to be recorded and edited very carefully. Conventional samples do usually not meet these high standards.

Now, what's the difference between a good musician and a machine?

If you input the same parameters into a machine it will always reproduce the exact same result. But even the best musician will not be able to reproduce the same note 100% identically without any small variations. Some of these happen accidentally and some of them are well intended. These slight deviations make the music become alive and "human".

XPression varies - in a controlled way - certain parameters so that no note sounds exactly like the last one - even when repeating the same note. It's not simply rotating between two or three samples that keep repeating again as others do. It's varying single components of the sound. This way you'll end up with a huge but subtle variety of sound elements. On top of this XPression always follows the intuition of the musician.

Of course XPression can not and does not want to replace the expressiveness of a good musician. However XPression provides a tool for the creative musician to realize his musical intentions according to his choices - without beeing held back by the limitations of his sound generator.

TDB has an immense potential and is just at it's beginning. For this reason TDB will constantly be developed further. Free software updates will always keep you up with the current enhancements.

Voice Control

The Voice - the oldest and most natural musical instrument on earth. Everybody has it and can use it instinctivly to make music. So why not use this gift of nature to control electronic instruments?

Opposed to other methods of controlling dynamics - such as pedals, breath controllers, etc. - you don't have to spend a painful long time to learn how to use your voice. You've probably been using it all day long since your early childhood.
Now you might not be able to hit every note exactly like a professional singer would. You may like the sound of your voice or not. However, every musician is capable of getting his idea about musical phrasing across by the use of his voice.

XPression uses this natural ability by translating the phrasing of the voice into usable midi information - without the need of "perfect intonation" or a "beautiful" voice. Once the idea is caught TDB handles the information and sends it to the relevant parameters. That's all! No foot controller could ever send such fast and precise dynamic information.

Simple and effective!
Voice Synth

The built in VOICE SYNTH is capable of analyzing incoming audio and translate it internally to midi pitch information. This way it is possible to use your voice as well as a brass or string instrument to play the internal monophonic synthesizer.

Sampled instruments can be played also, of course. However, due to the pitch analysis there is some slight inevitable latency introduced that adds up to the natural attack time of the sample. This could cause uncomfortable latencies at fast tempos.
Chord Mapper

With the built in CHORD MAPPER it is very easy to create up to 6 voice harmonies (with any combination of instruments). CHORD MAPPER assigns full chords to every incoming (monophonic) note on six different midi channels. The so created harmonies can then be stored and transposed to any key.
Now you can play an impressive 6 voice brass section with just one finger!
Keyboards and other MIDI Controllers

The following MIDI controllers work excellent with XPression:

- Keyboards
- Wind Controller / Breath Controller
- MIDI Guitars
- other MIDI Instruments ...

- Keyboards:
any MIDI or USB keyboard can be connected directly to XPression. XPression can handle keysplits without the need of your keyboard to have masterkeyboard functions. To control the dynamics you can use any MIDI CC, XPression's own pedals, velocity or VOICE CONTROL.

- Wind Controller:
XPression is perfectly optimized for Wind Controllers. No other hardware instrument on the market responds so precisely to dynamic and pitch information. Preset settings for the Akai EWI / EWI-USB, Yamaha WX5, Casio DH-100 as well as Softwind Synthophone are included. Further optimisations and presets for other instruments will be available in upcoming software updates.
The EWI-USB can be connected directly to one of XPression's USB ports. All parameters can be edited and are retained in XPression's memory. Program changes can also be sent from the EWI-USB to XPression.

- MIDI Guitars:
can be used also. In this case "Voice Control" is the preferred option to control dynamics. To control pitchbend down you should connect a foot pedal to XPression. Due to the high latencies of most guitar to MIDI converters there are some general limitations (which apply to ther sound generaters as well).
further tests will follow...

- other MIDI Instruments should generally work and ...
... will get tested when available to get fully integrated.

IN / OUT

FRONT:

1x Headphones OUT (phone jack 3.5 mm)
1x Microphone IN (phone jack 3.5 mm - for throat mic or standard compter mic)
1x MIDI IN
1x MIDI OUT
2x USB

BACK:

3x Stereo LINE OUT (unbalanced - phone jack 1/4" -10 dB)
1x SPDIF OUT (RCA)
1x Stereo LINE IN (unbalanced - RCA -10 dB )
1x MIDI IN
1x MIDI OUT
1x HDMI + VGA OUT (there is no more VGA on the current models)
1x USB
1x Remote IN / OUT
1x DC IN + Power Switch

REMOTE CONTROL:

2x Foot Pedal (phone jack 1/4")
2x Foot Switch (stereo phone jack 1/4")
4x Foot Switch ("MIDI" jack with breakout cable to 4x phone jack 1/4")