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Garritan has announced a "revolutionary" new user interface for sampled and synthesized musical instruments which allows the user to select, load, manipulate and mix software instruments in one single graphical environment.

Garritan Drag and Drop Software InstrumentsWith a unique, patent-pending, process, the user selects the desired musical instrument icon from an icon palette and drags and drops the instrument onto a desired location on a virtual soundstage. Any number of musical instruments can be placed into position on the virtual soundstage - ranging from a soloist to a small ensemble to a grand symphony orchestra - all with simple movements of a mouse. Instruments are unloaded by removing them from the stage. Various instrument arrangements can be saved and recalled by the user.

This new 'drag and drop' interface will integrate high-quality samples, MIDI performance tools and impulse response technology. Audio characteristics such as volume, panning, reverb reflections and spatial cues, are controlled by positioning scalable musical instrument icons on a virtual soundstage. As an instrument icon is placed closer to the front to the stage, the icon grows larger and the volume increases. Conversely, when placed towards the rear of the stage, the icon becomes smaller and the volume decreases. As an instrument icon is placed further to the left or right of the Virtual Soundstage, the panning correspondingly goes to the left or right. Regions on stage correspond to sampled reverb impulses to provide the appropriate spatial effects.

This 'drag and drop' sampler/synth will incorporate high-quality samples, MIDI performance tools and impulse response technology.

PR quote: "We have been working on this interface for several years to provide an easier and simpler system to load and mix software musical instruments", says Gary Garritan, inventor of the drag and drop interface. "Working with samples is no longer textual or spreadsheet-like, but now graphical and intuitive. This is a natural way of working with musical instruments and this new system visualizes what the user will hear in real-time."

A team of programmers led by David Viens from Plogue Art & Technologies developed the custom sample engine for Garritan.

With this "drag and drop" interface, the new sample engine will allow Garritan to tailor instruments in any way imaginable. Compatible formats will include Mac OS X (including Mac Intel), Windows XP & Vista, and Linux; VSTi, AU, RTAS, ReWire and stand-alone. The first product to use the new sample engine will be the Authorized Steinway and Sons Piano library.

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