Often overlooked, EXS24 is a very valuable feature of Logic. So why and how should we be using it?
When Logic 9 introduced the facility to create an EXS24 instrument out of a drum loop in one move, the buzz of excitement turned into disappointment for those who didn’t notice the small print. Yes, this ‘Convert Regions to New Sampler Track’ feature is brilliant, but you have to understand how to use it effectively. This is what we’ll explore later on in this month’s workshop — but let’s first look at why we’d want to use EXS24 at all in 2013.
The Road To EXS
Many newer Logic users are dismissive of EXS24, immediately investing in popular third-party samplers to build their sample library. Granted, sampler plug-ins introduced since the EXS have surpassed it in drag-and-drop design simplicity and other conveniences, but the true value of EXS24 has not changed. It’s still your most essential instrument in Logic, and with Apple’s acquisition of editing-software developer Redmatica last year, substantial enhancements to the Logic sample player are probably ahead.
EXS24 was one of the pioneering virtual samplers on the market over a decade ago, the EXS name being an acronym for Extreme Sampler and ‘24’ referring to 24-bit resolution. Pretty impressive in the year 2000, when the competitors were hardware samplers like the 16-bit MPC2000! Today EXS24 ships with a massive library of over 1300 sampled instruments. But none of this is why for years it’s been called the workhouse of Logic, or why it should be a central part of any Logic user’s sample-based arsenal.
Reasons To Be Cheerful
1. EXS24 is extremely CPU-efficient and stable. You can use literally dozens without creating system overloads. Part of its efficiency is that the EXS24 sample editor is Logic’s own audio editor and not a separate engine, so the integration is tight.
2. EXS instruments and their associated samples automatically save to your Logic project folder, so you will never show up at a session without your favourite kick, snare or string samples. With a third-party sampler, you need to remember to bring your folders of associated samples, so avoiding extra housekeeping is another good reason to use EXS24.