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Is layering strings something common ?

MartinH.

Senior Member
How do you layer a library that uses the modwheel for dynamics with one that uses note velocity for dynamics, without feeding them different midi data? Is there a reaper script that smoothly steers CC1 data twoards the latest note-on velocity?
 

Burt

New Member
How do you layer a library that uses the modwheel for dynamics with one that uses note velocity for dynamics, without feeding them different midi data? Is there a reaper script that smoothly steers CC1 data twoards the latest note-on velocity?
I have (suffered) over a decade using multiple string libraries. INMO, controller info must be rewritten for each library separately. For examply, using CC11 or 7 to shape dynamics (or the mod wheel fr cross fade libraries) requires replaying each individual line and using whatever tools work best in that library for shaping dynamics and articulation.
After all, the purpose of using multiple libraries is to create the illusion of many real players playing together. An automated mapping of one libraries' controls onto another is unlikely to be adequate. (But I always try kust using the lst libraries; controllers when playing the 2nd library. Maybe I'll get lucky!)
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I have (suffered) over a decade using multiple string libraries. INMO, controller info must be rewritten for each library separately. For examply, using CC11 or 7 to shape dynamics (or the mod wheel fr cross fade libraries) requires replaying each individual line and using whatever tools work best in that library for shaping dynamics and articulation.
After all, the purpose of using multiple libraries is to create the illusion of many real players playing together. An automated mapping of one libraries' controls onto another is unlikely to be adequate. (But I always try kust using the lst libraries; controllers when playing the 2nd library. Maybe I'll get lucky!)
I'm not too worried about that since I don't need it to be perfectly in sync and I'd have some things in the toolbox to tweak the cc and velocity ranges per library to get them closer together, but I have nothing for "emulating" CC1 data from just note velocity. Maybe that's the point where I finally need to start writing my own scripts, but I thought I'd ask first.
 

Burt

New Member
I'm not too worried about that since I don't need it to be perfectly in sync and I'd have some things in the toolbox to tweak the cc and velocity ranges per library to get them closer together, but I have nothing for "emulating" CC1 data from just note velocity. Maybe that's the point where I finally need to start writing my own scripts, but I thought I'd ask first.
Sorry I was unclear - I didn't mean to address any sync problems you might have. I was trying to convey my skepticism that any script can transfer control data from one string library to another.

For example, I made all my string libraries use the same controllers for roughly the same articulations, but I still need to tweak (or rewrite) the data in each library to get the best performance from that library.

The amount of vibrato or expression one gets from going from 50 to 100 is different in each library, and for each instrument sometimes (violin compared to cello for ex.). And there's no assurance that simply adding a fixed amount to the value of a controller will 'convert it' from one instrument/library to another. More than likely the attempt to formalize this will result in a robotic sounds - the opposite of the purpose of layering string orchestras, I think.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
Sorry I was unclear - I didn't mean to address any sync problems you might have. I was trying to convey my skepticism that any script can transfer control data from one string library to another.

For example, I made all my string libraries use the same controllers for roughly the same articulations, but I still need to tweak (or rewrite) the data in each library to get the best performance from that library.

The amount of vibrato or expression one gets from going from 50 to 100 is different in each library, and for each instrument sometimes (violin compared to cello for ex.). And there's no assurance that simply adding a fixed amount to the value of a controller will 'convert it' from one instrument/library to another. More than likely the attempt to formalize this will result in a robotic sounds - the opposite of the purpose of layering string orchestras, I think.
Ah, I see what you mean, thanks for elaborating. I'm mostly looking at this for building a better Kontakt ensemble multi with just a sustain articulation to improvise on without using the modwheel (among other reasons because my mini usb keyboard doesn't even have a proper modwheel). I'm not trying to achieve higher realism neccessarily. I just layered a bunch of sustain patches and liked the sound, but only one of the libraries is sensitive to note-velocity. So I'm thinking if I could somehow control CC1 over note velocity, that should give me a more "playable" patch to experiment with.

For doing the actual mockup I'd rather not layer if I can avoid it, because there's too little articulation overlap in my string libraries.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I hacked together a barebones version of the script that I wanted to have and have concluded that it's less usefull than I thought it would be. On a true velocity sensitive patch you can do something like hold a soft chord with one hand and play a dynamic melody with the other hand. With emulating CC1 values based of note-on velocity that chord would be all over the place in terms of dynamics, always following the melody.

Maybe I'll look into what can be done with editing patches in Kontakt directly, but that sounds much less fun than programming to me, so I'm not extremely motivated to persue this further.
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
I hacked together a barebones version of the script that I wanted to have and have concluded that it's less usefull than I thought it would be. On a true velocity sensitive patch you can do something like hold a soft chord with one hand and play a dynamic melody with the other hand. With emulating CC1 values based of note-on velocity that chord would be all over the place in terms of dynamics, always following the melody.

Maybe I'll look into what can be done with editing patches in Kontakt directly, but that sounds much less fun than programming to me, so I'm not extremely motivated to persue this further.
And here is perhaps where the divide comes, not said with judgement. I never write for strings playing a melody while holding chords. I just don't think about them that way. I don't think of "strings" like a pad (unless it is music that clearly lends itself to that approach), I think violins, violas, cellist, and basses.
 

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
I specifically layer my strings for long melodies, because CSS and BS work so well together and give me that perfect romantic string sound I love.

Here’s a quick example (from 1:04-2:12). All CSS + BS, with some Cinebrass near the end for extra fatness.

 

MartinH.

Senior Member
And here is perhaps where the divide comes, not said with judgement. I never write for strings playing a melody while holding chords. I just don't think about them that way. I don't think of "strings" like a pad (unless it is music that clearly lends itself to that approach), I think violins, violas, cellist, and basses.
When I "write" I prefer that control as well, sometimes even doing 2 part divisi per section in NI SSC SE. But when I "play" it's just doodling around as if it was a pad. I can't play well enough for it to have a place in my writing right now. "Writing" in my case me means entering notes with the mouse. "Playing" is for messing around and exploring the harmonic possibility-space.
 

EgM

Game music!
I've been layering strings since the mid 90s, still do it today :) As much as I may like the sound from one particular library, there's often that bite that is lacking especially in short articulations.

For long articulations such as violins and cello, I usually layer a solo along with them.
 
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