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Cakewalk By Bandlab: TTS-1 Synth

Cakewalk / Sonar Tips & Techniques
By Craig Anderton

You can assign any TTS‑1 instrument to one of four individual outputs.You can assign any TTS‑1 instrument to one of four individual outputs.

The TTS‑1 synth may be old, but it's still got some power!

It's easy to dismiss TTS‑1. It's over 14 years old and still on version 1.00. It comes bundled for free with BandLab, and has a user interface that looks like a Ready Player One concept art reject. It won't function at 88.2kHz sample rates, and it's only available in DXi format. Case closed... right?

Yet to dismiss it would be a mistake, because the TTS‑1 has a number of really useful mobile-friendly features: WASAPI's low latency with a laptop's internal sound card, the virtual touchscreen or QWERTY controller, low CPU footprint, and multitimbral operation. Besides, many of the sounds still hold up after all these years — so, here are some of my favourite TTS‑1 tips.

Getting Started

When you first insert TTS‑1 into your project, avoid using a Simple Instrument Track, because the TTS‑1 supports 16 MIDI channels and provides four audio outputs. When you insert the plug-in, tick All Synth Audio Outputs: Stereo, MIDI Source and Synth Track Folder. This allows maximum flexibility with assigning MIDI tracks to different instrument channels, and different instruments to different audio outputs.

Each of the 16 Parts (presets) in the 16 mixer channels corresponds to the equivalently numbered MIDI channel. To select a sound, click on the instrument name at the bottom of the TTS‑1 mixer, and choose from the Preset menu. Click and hold on the little note below a mixer channel, and a phrase will play to show you what the instrument sounds like.

Each instrument can go through one of the four stereo outputs. Click on the System button towards the right, then click on the Option button. Note also that...

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Published January 2019