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How Does Everyone Program "mixed" Phrases?

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by tomhartmanmusic, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. tomhartmanmusic

    tomhartmanmusic Active Member

    Nov 25, 2016
    I have my own way of doing this, but wondered if there was something I'm missing.

    If you have a string phrase that consists of both sustained AND staccato notes, a real time key switch is just not practical. So do you all go in on another track and insert the KS moments? What a pain lol.

    Just thought there might be a miraculously simpler way to do this...;)

  2. Tfis

    Tfis Senior Member

    Jan 13, 2016
    Expression maps can do the job.
  3. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic Senior Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    True, if you are using Cubase, at least. (Do any other DAWs offer something similar?)

    If the OP is like me and uses something Logic, which doesn't have expression maps, it gets harder. In Logic, my current solution is having a separate track for each articulation in my template, which sidesteps the problem at the expense of ballooning the template's size and making it impossible to play the parts in live (which would be difficult for me to do while also setting the keyswitches anyway).

    However, my plan for a few months from now (after I wrap up my current project) is to try creating a new template that uses ArtConductor to basically put the keyswitches into an automation lane, thereby keeping them out of the MIDI data. My hope is that I can then preset the automation lane to trigger the needed articulations at the right times, and thereafter can more or less play the parts in live without having to grow a third hand for articulation switching. I realize that still doesn't fit with the OP's goal of not wanting to do a separate pass of key switching, but such a goal may be difficult to achieve.

    If ArtConductor doesn't work out for this, my next step will be ArtZId, although I still have misgivings about whether all of my libraries can toggle between articulations quickly enough to response to those changes essentially being sent a millisecond or less before the actual notes. I know the developer of ArtZId has said this isn't an issue, but my personal experience with keyswitch behaviors, as well as my knowledge as a software developer, still causes me to be concerned about it. My decision to try ArtConductor first was based on two things: 1) that I can automate the keyswitches in advance of the actual played note, to allow that time for the articulation change to be processed, and 2) it was a lot cheaper (on sale at the time).
  4. JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

    Sep 30, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I have my template set up so that the sustain pedal switches to short notes. Similar to Cinesamples' way of handling it, but opposite - I prefer to trigger short notes when the sustain pedal is down. When the sustain pedal is down, cc1 defines the note length. By far the most efficient method in my book.
    WindcryMusic likes this.
  5. thesteelydane

    thesteelydane Senior Member

    Apr 9, 2015
    I’ve been using ARTZID since it came out. It hasn’t failed me yet.
  6. fixxer49

    fixxer49 Bouncing Consultant

    Jan 13, 2013
    New York, NY
    notes on one MIDI track and keyswitches on another MIDI track (with both MIDI tracks feeding the same instrument) is the cleanest.
    this works especially well if you decide to switch the part(s) to another instrument or library that has different ways of changing articulations, or if the parts will eventually end up in score form.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  7. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic Senior Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    May I ask if you can specify which sample libraries you have used it with? I'm wondering if any of them overlap with the ones I have concerns about (e.g., where I've seen keyswitches not work if placed in too close of proximity to the following notes).
  8. thesteelydane

    thesteelydane Senior Member

    Apr 9, 2015
    It works with all Spitfire libs, even polyphonically - I can have multiple articulations playing from the same patch simultaneously. I have the entire symphony range, as well as most of the Albions. Apart from that I use it with CSS without any problems.

    Edit: I also like that I can combine multiple patches in a single kontakt instance, md get it to behave like one giant keyswitched patch (without actual keyswitches of course). You can even combine libraries from different developers this way.
  9. chimuelo

    chimuelo Star Of Stage & Screen

    May 14, 2007
    Between 120-150bpm
    I use pedals since I need both hands.
    My first week off in months and I just got around to ISW Sitar, outstanding.
    Also Ilya Eminovs fantastic Uellian Pipes.

    The pipes have Keyswitches above and below the drones so it’s pretty well set up to start playing.

    I do like learning how guys are recording these though.
    I’m going to start using a DAW and have some fun.
    Live guys work too damn hard for the money....
  10. WindcryMusic

    WindcryMusic Senior Member

    Oct 19, 2015
    Sounds good - that's two of the three major libraries that are sources of concern to me. Would you happen to have tried it with the Metropolis Ark series (or if not, maybe someone else reading this thread has)? That's the other major one where I see myself needing to use a lot of keyswitches with whatever solution I end up with. (I use CineBrass as well, but keyswitches are not so much of a concern there.)
  11. dariusofwest

    dariusofwest Senior Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I have all the articulations for one instrument/section per instance of Play/Kontakt, so I just put the articulations on different midi channels so i can play in the part and switch the articulations in after- usually works well.
  12. thesteelydane

    thesteelydane Senior Member

    Apr 9, 2015
    Sorry, don’t have Ark, but it works so well I’m confident it will be fine.
  13. pbattersby

    pbattersby Senior Member

    Jul 6, 2016
    What I've been doing is the same as you. I first play the notes with a general purpose articulation, then go back and insert sustain, staccato, "normal", accent, key switches then I also go back and draw in volume automation.

    I'm tired of working that way so since I use my own orchestra library, I'm now working on patches that will use key velocity to affect the articulation / attack of the notes and the mod wheel to control the volume + crossfade. If I were to buy a library that's what I'd be looking for.

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