It is kind of like magic... Legato Sordinos & More

storyteller

Senior Member
Well, this weekend I got curious about something, which may have just opened the door to something really wonderful here in the vi-control community. After fighting with sustained sordino patches in a place where I needed legato sordino, I conceded that the only real solution was to just buy another library (the usual solution - and one I enjoy doing) with real legato sordinos and just blend it into my workflow. As I was auditioning every library under the sun to decide if I wanted to make a small change or possibly even a big change to accommodate this one need, my thoughts drifted off to that Melodyne 4 video where there is a brief mention at the end of the "what's new" video where the harmonics of a piano are applied to a guitar. And kind of like magic, the guitar sounded piano-esque.

So, there it was. That is the technique I decided to try in applying sordino harmonics to my non sordino legato patch with Melodyne. So - without further adieu ado :thumbsup: - here are the results. I would love to hear thoughts and opinions on it.

--------------------
THE RESULTS
SSSE = Symphony Series Strings Ensemble
Melodyne = Melodyne 4 Studio
--------------------

ORIGINAL SSSE LEGATO:
https://app.box.com/s/7ku6vuh7tjlxax25nqnh7gnhd1omzfr0

ORIGINAL SSSE SORDINO:
https://app.box.com/s/alw0x14wmgjgrw4056cn1nf9ox7d3uhz

***The sound is beautifully sampled, but notice the sucking sound because it is only a sustained patch and needs legato for the faster passages. This is a problem for anyone using sustains where legato is needed***

MELODYNE SSSE SORDINO HARMONICS MAP APPLIED TO SSSE LEGATO PATCH:
https://app.box.com/s/jiplrnv0xprnzbqpn7hu44b5g3xa1l3m

***Notice there are no artifacts apparent, nor is there a synthetic sordino sound apparent with other sample library developers. It just sounds real IMHO. A slight notch of eq around 1.4k would make both samples equal, but I left that untouched here. NOTE: The Melodyne EQ mapping match to the sordinos did not produce workable results. It made it sound like the other IR based "sordino modes" or plugins. ***

--------------------
And just for fun....
--------------------

ORIGINAL, 4 AGITATO LEGATO INSTANCES TO ACCOMODATE FOR 4 PART DIVISI:
https://app.box.com/s/a83g7iv0wkmfjmrfvujm9s2bmgdjy90z

MELODYNE SSSE SORDINO HARMONICS MAP APPLIED TO AGITATO LEGATO:
https://app.box.com/s/ato2bkv19wvtq0m0bs0rs74ywp524if1

***This sounds real again, with no artifacts, though the sound of having one patch layered any number of times for divisi writing on 1st and 2nd violins isn't my preference. Tonally though, the sordino sounds wonderful.***

------------------------------------------------
And finally just to see how 2 completely
different sample libraries' harmonics react
when harmonic maps are exchanged...
------------------------------------------------

ORIGINAL SSSE LEGATO:
https://app.box.com/s/7ku6vuh7tjlxax25nqnh7gnhd1omzfr0

MELODYNE AGITATO HARMONICS MAP APPLIED TO SSSE LEGATO PATCH:
https://app.box.com/s/whzu2trvviqlvrv10qb2ldomwvoso4dn

***Almost nothing happens - which means that this is truly the harmonics of the violin instrument itself and not the "sound" of the 8dio violins vs the SSSE violins***

------------------------------------------------
Download all files in WAV & MP3 format in a single zip: https://app.box.com/s/xk7sa4vtyd7nl5jjbmtaps28q2c0em06

NOTE: The midi file has no dynamics applied to it just for simplicity. PM me if you would like the midi file to replicate results.
 
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Hannes_F

Traveller in boundlessness, at home in the Now
- without further adieu -
Instant classic - nice!
SSSE means Session Strings Second Edition?
Interesting experiment but even on a laptop I think I hear more harmonics in the original SSSE sordinos, especially 1 octave above the root note.
 
OP
storyteller

storyteller

Senior Member
Instant classic - nice!
I think I hear more harmonics in the original SSSE sordinos, especially 1 octave above the root note.
Thanks Hannes. I guess I messed that one up a little now... Ha. "Without further ado..." ;)

But you are right about hearing the upper octave harmonics more in the natural sordino, though it is mostly apparent because of the notch in EQ that needs adjusted. Without that slight EQ adjustment, the higher harmonic is somewhat masked by those 1.4k-ish frequencies. Notched out, the outcome is almost identical though. I also just played around with the Brilliance control in melodyne for the high harmonics and that vastly brought out what you are hearing without the eq notch. Still figuring out the nuances of its sound editor engine.

SSSE means Session Strings Second Edition?
SSSE... I see now I forgot to indicate what that was. It is Symphony Series String Ensemble. I'll add that to the original post for clarity.
 
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germancomponist

Senior Member
Well, this weekend I got curious about something, which may have just opened the door to something really wonderful here in the vi-control community. After fighting with sustained sordino patches in a place where I needed legato sordino, I conceded that the only real solution was to just buy another library (the usual solution - and one I enjoy doing) with real legato sordinos and just blend it into my workflow. As I was auditioning every library under the sun to decide if I wanted to make a small change or possibly even a big change to accommodate this one need, my thoughts drifted off to that Melodyne 4 video where there is a brief mention at the end of the "what's new" video where the harmonics of a piano are applied to a guitar. And kind of like magic, the guitar sounded piano-esque.

So, there it was. That is the technique I decided to try in applying sordino harmonics to my non sordino legato patch with Melodyne. So - without further adieu - here are the results. I would love to hear thoughts and opinions on it.

--------------------
THE RESULTS
--------------------

ORIGINAL SSSE LEGATO:
https://app.box.com/s/7ku6vuh7tjlxax25nqnh7gnhd1omzfr0

ORIGINAL SSSE SORDINO:
https://app.box.com/s/alw0x14wmgjgrw4056cn1nf9ox7d3uhz

***The sound is beautifully sampled, but notice the sucking sound because it is only a sustained patch and needs legato for the faster passages. This is a problem for anyone using sustains where legato is needed***

MELODYNE SSSE SORDINO HARMONICS MAP APPLIED TO SSSE LEGATO PATCH:
https://app.box.com/s/jiplrnv0xprnzbqpn7hu44b5g3xa1l3m

***Notice there are no artifacts apparent, nor is there a synthetic sordino sound apparent with other sample library developers. It just sounds real IMHO. A slight notch of eq around 1.4k would make both samples equal, but I left that untouched here. NOTE: The Melodyne EQ mapping match to the sordinos did not produce workable results. It made it sound like the other IR based "sordino modes" or plugins. ***

--------------------
And just for fun....
--------------------

ORIGINAL, 4 AGITATO LEGATO INSTANCES TO ACCOMODATE FOR 4 PART DIVISI:
https://app.box.com/s/a83g7iv0wkmfjmrfvujm9s2bmgdjy90z

MELODYNE SSSE SORDINO HARMONICS MAP APPLIED TO AGITATO LEGATO:
https://app.box.com/s/ato2bkv19wvtq0m0bs0rs74ywp524if1

***This sounds real again, with no artifacts, though the sound of having one patch layered any number of times for divisi writing on 1st and 2nd violins isn't my preference. Tonally though, the sordino sounds wonderful.***

------------------------------------------------
And finally just to see how 2 completely
different sample libraries' harmonics react
when harmonic maps are exchanged...
------------------------------------------------

ORIGINAL SSSE LEGATO:
https://app.box.com/s/7ku6vuh7tjlxax25nqnh7gnhd1omzfr0

MELODYNE AGITATO HARMONICS MAP APPLIED TO SSSE LEGATO PATCH:
https://app.box.com/s/whzu2trvviqlvrv10qb2ldomwvoso4dn

***Almost nothing happens - which means that this is truly the harmonics of the violin instrument itself and not the "sound" of the 8dio violins vs the SSSE violins***

------------------------------------------------
Download all files in WAV & MP3 format in a single zip: https://app.box.com/s/xk7sa4vtyd7nl5jjbmtaps28q2c0em06

NOTE: The midi file has no dynamics applied to it just for simplicity. PM me if you would like the midi file to replicate results.
You did exactly what I wanted to do some weeks ago, but I was overtaxed... . Great you did it! With Melodyne you can do this and much more things very well! I think Melodyne is a great tool also for sample library producers ... .
 
OP
storyteller

storyteller

Senior Member
You did exactly what I wanted to do some weeks ago, but I was overtaxed... . Great you did it! With Melodyne you can do this and much more things very well! I think Melodyne is a great tool also for sample library producers ... .
Agreed. You know the reality is - and what gets me really excited - is that it means all developers could :thumbsup: take their legato, sustains, and vibrato patches for their own libraries, duplicate them, then reprocess every file through Melodyne with their preferred sordino harmonics per instrument. End result: con sordino + legato + vibrato patches for every library with MINIMAL work. And, they will sound much, much better than any of the simulated con sordino modes on the market today. I do hope they'd be transparent about it though.

Or, the alternative: Any composer who owns Melodyne can now just post process their string renders in each song and get a true con sordino sound for their favorite string libraries. No mix-and-match or blending of libraries needed. The only downside is that it is a post-process job and not realtime. But it works!
 

Johnny

Active Member
It is a great concept! I believe that EW was actually the first developer to fully attain this approach in their Hollywood Strings library. There are no "real-life" muted (con sordino) samples in Hollywood Strings; the effect of the mute is merely simulated by a switch that activates an EQ curve modelled on sordino recordings- essentially (edit: Melodyne built upon and further expanded) what you have achieved by using Melodyne : ) There were a few developers over the years (if I remember correctly?), that incessantly tried to market their "actual" recorded sordino strings; however, using an intelligent EQ sure didn't dent the sales of Hollywood Strings ; )
And at the end of the day a sampled string library is still a sampled string library :roflmao:
Excellent work:)!
May the force be with you along your journey : )
 
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Ashermusic

Senior Member
It is a great concept! I believe that EW was actually the first developer to fully attain this approach in their Hollywood Strings library. There are no "real-life" muted (con sordino) samples in Hollywood Strings; the effect of the mute is merely simulated by a switch that activates an EQ curve modelled on sordino recordings- essentially exactly what you have achieved by using Melodyne : ) In contrast however? There were a few developers over the years (if I remember correctly?), that incessantly tried to market their "actual" recorded sordino strings; however, using an intelligent EQ sure didn't dent the sales of Hollywood Strings ; )
And at the end of the day a sampled string library is still a sampled string library :roflmao:
Excellent work:)!
May the force be with you along your journey : )
Exactly, HS, you beat me to it.
 

Hannes_F

Traveller in boundlessness, at home in the Now
There are no "real-life" muted (con sordino) samples in Hollywood Strings; the effect of the mute is merely simulated by a switch that activates an EQ curve modelled on sordino recordings- essentially exactly what you have achieved by using Melodyne : )
Is it really the same? As I understand it the Melodyne 4 filters process harmonics-wise, so the equivalent would be an EQ that moves up and down with the frequency of the root frequency of the note, no? Such as SurferEQ (which I found compelling concept-wise especially for bass but never got around buying, so my demo has run out):
http://www.soundradix.com/products/surfer-eq/
 

ModalRealist

Active Member
Yes, I'm pretty certain the CS simulation in HS is just an EQ curve, not a harmonics process. I'm not sure about Berlin Strings though; I think I read somewhere that the CS simulation there is more than a just a fixed EQ, but I might be wrong.

In any case, the Melodyne results are very pleasant. While they might not fool a musician's ear, I think they carry sufficient character to be used plausibly.
 

d.healey

Senior Member
Developers have been able to do this for years using impulse responses - in Kontakt you don't even need to re-render the samples as it has a built in convolution plugin.
 

germancomponist

Senior Member
Developers have been able to do this for years using impulse responses - in Kontakt you don't even need to re-render the samples as it has a built in convolution plugin.
Huh...., you can't compare Melodyne with a shitty convolution plugin! Melodyne is much more!
 
OP
storyteller

storyteller

Senior Member
Just to level the playing field, I intended this post about Melodyne to not serve as a form of division, but rather a way everyone can come together with new technology. The world has been fighting the my-way-is-right or this-is-how-it-has-always-been-done fights in politics, religion, and life for 2000 years...probably longer. But against all logic & rationale, people seem to always choose division (in pride of their path) rather than holding everyone's hands and trying to get to the finish line together. How crazy is that, right?? :confused: We are all in the same race, racing as one. But as composers & musicians, we get to create the rhythms and songs that the emotions of the world run along to.

IRs and dynamic EQs have had their place in the world by shaping con sordino samples and more for quite some time. I was well aware of that before posting this. But they work kinda like molds. Bruce Lee once said, "When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot." Think of IR shaping like that. But, the difference is you aren't pouring water into a mold. You are pouring a pre-shaped substance into a mold. It isn't fluid and therefore the mold doesn't work as expected. Melodyne approaches it more along the lines of, "If I want the substance to take the form of a teapot, then how can I make the substance more like water?" And that, my friends, makes all of the difference in the world. The harmonic mapping make the substance more fluid, which helps it fit into a mold a little better than before.

Perhaps it is a combination of all of the above tactics. In my first post, I mentioned that EQ still needs to be applied. But molding the shape of the senza sordino sample's EQ to a con sordino sample's EQ (even with Melodyne's algorithms) doesn't work as desired. It can't. The sound has already been pre-shaped. But, you can take the structure of the sound and make it more fluid. That's what the harmonic mappings do and that is what gets me excited about it. There are more techniques in Melodyne's sample editor that get the sound even closer without EQ. But imagine this. The perfect sordino sample can be used as a map to any regular violin library because it's fluidity has been deconstructed. That's a huge step forward in my book. So now I'm going to put this little chicken guy here because it just seems right. Chicken guy ->:scout:
 

Hannes_F

Traveller in boundlessness, at home in the Now
not serve as a form of division, but rather a way everyone can come together with new technology. The world has been fighting the my-way-is-right or this-is-how-it-has-always-been-done fights in politics, religion, and life for 2000 years...probably longer. But against all logic & rationale, people seem to always choose division (in pride of their path) rather than holding everyone's hands and trying to get to the finish line together. How crazy is that, right?? :confused: We are all in the same race, racing as one. But as composers & musicians, we get to create the rhythms and songs that the emotions of the world run along to.
I like this.

And this::scout: