What are the pros and cons of having a single instrument with keyswitches for articulations, compared to having separate patches for every articulation?
Cubase comes in pretty handy when working several midi tracks (one for each articulation) since it lets you see all notes at once. There's also the possibility of merging them into one MIDI file.I never use key switches, unless it's for something like Sonokinetic libraries. I prefer each articulation to be its own instance, on its own track. I might see this differently if I were a composer who wrote using notation software, or I were preparing a score for an orchestra.
For now with MetArk1 I use different single articulation patches per instrument section and use the midi channels to set per-note articulation switching. I have standardized the most common ones, so sustain is channel 1, legato channel 2, then increasingly shorter notes on channel 3 to 5. That way I can even move midi data between different sections without making changes to keyswitches. Becomes annoying though when you need to edit CC1 data on channels other than ch1, but that's still less annoying than having to scroll to reach keyswitch notes and move them together with played notes etc.. One drawback of my method: past channel 5 I can't remember what the channels do and have to open Kontakt to check. That probably could be solved better (maybe with reaticulate), but I didn't bother to really look into it yet.I like the ability to "microswitch" between articulations as a way of trying different note attacks and tuning the performance of each instrument. E.g. what happens if we use sustain instead of portato, or marcato... Each one can work as a semi short articulation like a quarter note, but with a different performance character. Or another example, what happens when you want a phrase to have short and long notes together... It becomes a nightmare to keep moving notes across tracks.
It's totally reasonable if people compose differently and don't care to microswitch articulations like I do. But for people who do switch all the time between articulations, do any of you still prefer separate tracks instead of keyswitches? I'm curious to hear how it's not a frustrating nightmare for you folks
This is exactly why I cannot use separate articulations on separate tracks. For any sort of realism, this microshifting is crucial in order to actually use the library in it's full capacity. I do it like @MartinH. , having single articulations within one Kontakt instance on separate midi channels and use the same channels for the common articulations as well. The articulation map in Cubase is just using midi channel instead of a keyswitch, but otherwise it's doing what articulation map is supposed to do.It becomes a nightmare to keep moving notes across tracks.
So a proper articulation manager would delay the midi for each articulation appropriately? I admit I haven't looked into articulation managers much yet. I'm using Reaper and all we have is reaticulate, which is still in alpha and which I've only done a little bit of reading about.That's one of the reasons to NOT embed actual keyswitches on your tracks and rather use an articulation management solution that generates the key switches on the fly as the actual notes are sent.