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For live usage, I want to to use velocity and not mod wheel to control expression, what should I do?

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by hag01, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. hag01

    hag01 Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    I need virtual instruments for music production but also for live usage.
    unfortunately, in some of the best sounding virtual instruments, the expression is controlled by mod wheel and there isn't an option to change it to velocity expression control.

    IMO, for example, it is completely unexceptable to use mod wheel or expression pedal or wind controller to control expression\dynamics in brass or strings patches, in a live situation.

    Anyone has a solution for this problem?
    I'm sure I'm not the only one in VI-CONTROL who want\need to use those virtual instruments live.
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Active Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    South Africa
    As Polkasound said, having fluid control over dynamics for any sort of sustained note is much more useful than having that dynamic level determined only once by velocity. That being said, there are some libraries that allow dynamics to be selected by initial velocity, partiularly for short articulations (where the note is so short it makes sense to have only one dynamic level per note).

    Off the top of my head I can say that the Orchestral Tools libraries allow for this option and due to their mostly 'build it yourself' patch approach, so do the VSL libraries (even on their sustain-type patches). The bottom line is that this functionality will only be there if the developer has put it into their VI.

    And lastly, I am no Kontakt wizard, but perhaps there is someone on these forums that knows how to do some 'under the hood' tinkering to achieve what you're looking for :)
  3. pmcrockett

    pmcrockett Senior Member

    Nov 3, 2014
    Saint Louis
    If you use a scripting program such as Pure Data (you could also do it internally within Kontakt), you can intercept incoming MIDI data and set mod wheel value equal to the velocity. This would let you use velocity control even in libraries that don't support it.
  4. AllanH

    AllanH Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    Central Coast California
    I would map to aftertouch. That's a pretty intuitive at least to me. E.g. press harder for higher dynamic layer.
  5. Eloy

    Eloy Member

    Jan 28, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Here’s the deal. A man only has 2 hands, 2 legs and head. You have to pick one of those to control your expression and if your software doesn’t allow it - then change your software. I use virtual orchestral instruments for live shows. To control them a combination of pedals and breath controllers. Check out this link
    Saxer and EgM like this.
  6. MatFluor

    MatFluor Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    A continuous controller is vital.

    I recently made a short Kontakt Multiscripts to map Velocity to a CC value in another post if you still need something like that.
  7. ohernie

    ohernie Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    Isn't using only velocity to control an expensive orchestra softsynth a waste of money? Why would you buy an instrument with that level of expression capability if you don't plan on using it? Seems to me that that is what Sound Canvas VA, Garritan and Miroslav are for.
  8. Tfis

    Tfis Senior Member

    Jan 13, 2016
  9. DrJazz9781

    DrJazz9781 Active Member

    Aug 1, 2015
    Pianists across the Universe control expression with velocity and pedal.
    I think it can be done with just velocity and pedal.
  10. Saxer

    Saxer Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Depends on the software host you are using to play your sampler. If you use Mainstage or LogicX there is the midi plugin "Modifier" which does exacly that in the default setting (Velocity to CC1).
  11. Joe Maron

    Joe Maron Senior Member

    Aug 24, 2017
  12. FriFlo

    FriFlo Senior Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Besides the already mentioned Seaboard there is also the possibility of getting a masterkeyboard with poly pressure to control dynamics (or any parameter) per note. However, there are few controllers that are good. I can only recommend the rare Kurweil Midiboard, wich I use in the studio. I honestly wouldn't want to have to carry it to gigs as it is a heavy beast and you probably will never find one to buy. And even with this, it is not straight forward, as no Kontakt instrument is able to process poly pressure. Therefore, I would say it is most practical to use pedals and/or breath controller. Finally, you have to accept the fact, that there is no chance you can ever achieve the same kind of detail with playing live as you can get by programming/playing individual lines in a sequencer. That is why the best sounding sample libraries are not always the best choice when it comes to playing live! Depending on the kind of music, I would suggest looking at something like symphobia and for instrument solos maybe something like Sample Modeling. If you want to go into detail, I suppose there is no way around getting accustomed with a program like Max MSP to program some routings. Some of that is also with doing Kontakt multi scripts. Best of luck!
  13. Iskra

    Iskra Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2016
    But we pianist are using a percussive sound where most of the energy is lost on the initial attack of the note. Strings or brass or woodwinds are not like that except on a few articulations (and those articulations are already usually mapped to, guess what? velocity). ;)
    Even in my old days of live keyboard playing, an expression pedal was a must for me, way before the the days of übergigantic libraries. Expressiveness of a continuous controller in some sounds can't be matched.
  14. OP

    hag01 Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    Ok my friends, thank you all for your help, I discovered that for orchestral strings, brass and woodwinds sounds, for live keyboard rig, Halion Symphonic Orchestra works great for me.

    This is such a smart move from Steinberg to give full content demos of their products, I wish more brands would do so.

    Halion Symphonic Orchestra patches are remarkably playable on keys, and maybe not the best sounding for serious productions, but for live playing they are definitely sound good enough.

    It is also an affordable product, as I'm sure VSL and Orchestral Tools would be even better, but they cost 10 times more, and to buy such an expansive libraries only for live keys palying is a bit overkill IMHO.

    Now I just have to find a black metal band to use those sounds live (or maybe just find a pop band and keep those sounds in my home studio for self amusement;)).
  15. wsalembi

    wsalembi Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    I recognise your need. Have a look at a related thread I opened for string libraries https://vi-control.net/community/th...namics-with-key-velocity-instead-of-cc.65480/

    My ideal behavior for live performance would be that the initial dynamic layer is set by key velocity but can progress to other layers using aftertouch, mod wheel or expression pedal. Unfortunately there are not many libraries that support this.
    hag01 likes this.
  16. ohernie

    ohernie Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    Get Bome Midi Translator and you can map anything to anything.
    hag01 likes this.
  17. OP

    hag01 Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    wsalembi and ohernie, thank you.

    After few days of playing with Halion Symphonic Orchestra, I'm not sure it sounds so good.

    Also, if I'm not mistaken, I found out that I have to buy Halion Sonic if I want to run Halion Symphonic Orchestra on Cantabile or Brainspawn Forte, so I'm not sure it is worth it.

    I'm looking for something better, IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik 2 maybe?
  18. ohernie

    ohernie Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    1. I'm not surprised with your reaction to Halion Symphonic Orchestra. When I listened to the demos I concluded it was way too ambient for live (rock) use. It's too "nice".

    2. Virtuoso Ensembles is on sale so it's budget friendly. The problem I've got with Kirk Hunter libraries is too much bow noise. I know it's a part of the instrument but that constant loud buzz sound gets on my nerves. Just for reference I'd take a quick listen to Rhapsody, Cinesymphony Lite (on sale), Inspire, Orchestral Essentials and The Orchestra.

    3. If I'm reading it right, given the nature of your gigs, you should probably be looking at the higher impact "trailer" orchestras, as opposed to large hall symphonic orchestras.

    4. I tend to be wary of anything Jordan Rudess is hawking. I love his playing, but he's a great salesman. If you could midi it, he'd make poop sloshing in a bucket sound good.

    5. Hate to say it, but for now, Forte is a dead issue. It has served me well. If you want a live performance VST host, go with Cantabile. Much more capability. You can actually set up multiple controller + VST "keyboards", each with their own independent sets of patches.

    I think you should start out be defining the sound you want. Then factor in how you are going to control it.

    My two cents ...
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    hag01 likes this.
  19. wsalembi

    wsalembi Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    I tried your suggestion with Bome Midi translator, but didn't find a reliable config yet. Currently I map

    IN: Note On on ch. 1 with note:64 (0x40) set 'vv' to velocity
    OUT: Control Change on ch. 1 with CC#1: (0x01) and value:vv

    If I hit invidual notes at a slow rate, it works fine and I see the mod wheel change in Kontakt. But if I play a faster piece with chords and pedals, the mod wheel does not change or reacts too late on my velocity changes. I activated the log window but it doesn't log all events.

    Do you have any suggestions?
  20. ohernie

    ohernie Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    If you can, look at the midi output from Bome. I always keep Midimon handy. My guess is you are sending a barrage of mod wheel data via each key struck and the VI scripting can't keep up with it. Since, unlike scripts, you can't get to the sample level via midi you may not be able to get around that. You'll have implement a filter on velocity data before you send it out as modwheel data. You can do that with a timer.

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