Become An Xpand2 Power User In Pro Tools

February 20, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Xpand2 is FREE with Pro Tools 8,9 and 10, yet so many users don’t realise how powerful it can be.

Russ creates one MIDI track of 4 notes and then makes a whole song from it using just those 4 notes and a single instance of Xpand2.

Learn more about Xpand:

Xpand!™, developed by the Avid Advanced Instrument Research group, provides fast, efficient ways to access and manipulate thousands of high-quality sounds directly from within your Pro Tools® system. Built for songwriters, film composers, DJs, electronic musicians, and music producers — and offered as a free RTAS® plug-in for Pro Tools systems, Xpand! is a sonic powerhouse that will become an indispensable component of your creative Pro Tools environment.

Extensive Patch Library
Xpand! makes it easy to start creating music right away. Equipped with more than 1,000 preset patches, Xpand! puts a wealth of sonic options right at your immediate disposal. Browse the patch database by category to find what you need quickly. Whether you’re looking for a warm pad to fill out your mix, building a new rhythm track for a remix, or composing a soundtrack for a feature film, Xpand! offers a huge assortment of possibilities. Choose from synth pads, leads, acoustic and electric pianos, organs, strings, vocals, brass and woodwinds, mallet percussion, ethnic instruments, loops, and more. Use the presets or make modifications to create distinctive sounds. Save your favorite patches for instant recall.

Robust Sound Engine
Xpand! uses Avid’s proprietary multi-synthesis engine to combine sampled instruments with synthesized tones, creating complex sounds extremely efficiently. Each Xpand! patch comprises a blend of up to four individual “parts,” created with oscillator multi-samples, 32- or 64-step wavetable synthesis, virtual analog synthesis, FM synthesis, or virtual tonewheel synthesis.

The preset patches are excellent starting points, but you can modify patches easily by mixing and matching up to four of the 500 included part presets for millions of possible combinations. Mix a warm pad with a wind chime for an ethereal texture, or combine a drum loop with a bass line and a gated pad for an instant techno track. Xpand! offers 64-note polyphony and is efficiently integrated with Pro Tools software as an RTAS plug-in, so you can run multiple instances on your session to build multi-timbral compositions.

Tweaking Made Easy
Fine-tune the parts further for truly unique sounds. Each part gives you access to six “SmartKnobs” to control the most useful parameters for that part. For an electric guitar part, select an amp, then adjust the distortion level and the amount of fret noise. For a vibraphone, modify the level of mallet attack noise. For a synth pad, tune the sweep rate, effect level, and resonance. Adjust the rotary settings for a tonewheel organ part or change the wah settings for a clavinet.

Each part also includes a built-in arpeggiator and two effects sends. Choose the type of arpeggiation or chord phrase and the note-based rate. Then route the effects sends into the two effect sections: Pick from a full range of reverbs and add delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, vocoder effects, or another effect. Adjust the size and shape of rooms, and the depth and rate of delays and choruses.

Once you’ve perfected the tone of each part, you can adjust how parts blend into the overall patch. Modify the volume, mix, pan, transposition, and effects levels for each part. Set high and low keys for each part to achieve keyboard splits, in which parts are assigned to specific note ranges.

In the Global Mode, use the SmartKnobs to adjust essential sound parameters for the entire patch, including attack, decay, release, cutoff, envelope depth, and fine-tuning.
Click on the mod tab to adjust a wide range of settings for aftertouch and the modwheel. To finalize your creation, save your new patch for instant recall.

Xpand Your Creative Palette
Whether you need fast access to a comprehensive preset sound set or want to create something unique without having to spend hours editing patches, Xpand! offers you an easy way to get started creating with a full range of sounds.


  • Comprehensive sound factory for all musical styles and applications
  • More than 1,000 factory patches and 500 combinable part presets
  • Four layer-able parts for millions of combinations
  • Multi-synthesis engine
  • 64-note polyphony
  • Quick and easy sound tweaking
  • Sample playback and virtual tonewheels
  • Two built-in effect sections and four arpeggiators/phrase generaftors
  • Highly efficient on system resources
  • RTAS format


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