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Spitfire Solo Strings.. help?

EBicks

New Member
So I picked up SSS the other day on wishlist (thnx Spitfire!) and I have a question for you guys that have it or have used it.. It seems that when holding out long notes, you can hear the rebowing that seems to happen kind of randomly. Meaning it doesn't snap to the grid or anything like that.. So if you're holding a notes for say 2 bars, the bow may change on beat 2 or 3 of second bar, etc. It's annoying..

I'm assuming there is a work around that I just don't know about. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
So I picked up SSS the other day on wishlist (thnx Spitfire!) and I have a question for you guys that have it or have used it.. It seems that when holding out long notes, you can hear the rebowing that seems to happen kind of randomly. Meaning it doesn't snap to the grid or anything like that.. So if you're holding a notes for say 2 bars, the bow may change on beat 2 or 3 of second bar, etc. It's annoying..

I'm assuming there is a work around that I just don't know about. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
I don’t think there is a rebow trigger and if there is I’d like to know about it too. I haven’t done systematic tests though perhaps @ism has. Mostly I find its rebow algorithm works well if you’ve written a line that is idiomatic and at an appropriate dynamic level and tempo for the length of bow needed to get the rebow to fall right. In context you can often get away with a repetition. Sometimes that works almost flawlessly, other times it is ugly and then I usually have to play around with length, timing, dynamics and even vibrato to get it to sound acceptable. In rare cases I have to rework the line or do something in the accompaniment to mask the problem. If I had a passage with a lot of rebowing I needed precise control of or required a lot of bow change repetitions I’d probably just opt for a different solo string library that was optimized for that. I would also be interested in hearing from folks who have found clever workarounds.
 

Bear Market

Member
I also find it difficult to cope with the rebowings. They are quite pronounced and seem to come quite early in the samples. It makes it somewhat difficult (I find) to write slower passages. Not sure if there is a way to control them though.
 

ism

Senior Member
When you're using progressive legato on the virtuosic Vl, you need to be carefully about crossing dynamic layers during the vibrato swell.

In general rebowing does seem to be related the crossing of dynamic layers and vib/non vib shifts - so basically everything @jbuhler said.

So I don't think there's a silver bullet fix for this. But it might be possible to develop techniques for mitigating the issue via a bit of care with dynamic layer crossing and vibrato shifts.

On my list of things to work on.

Although since the rebowing samples are certainly there, maybe we might also hope for an update from Spitfire? Its possible that there a technical reason that rebowing isn't implemented, but it has always struck me as odd to put such enormous effort into so many transitions ... and then forgetting to add legato from the note to itself. So who knows.
 

ism

Senior Member
I have a theory - involving a script - for coping with this for the virtuosic violin.

I'll post a video one I see if it pans out.

But in the mean time the same rules of thumb that applies to the library as a whole relates to the rebowing - pay attention to the vibrato.

It's the sin quo non of this library.

SsS without attention to vibrato is a terrible, or at least very limited library.

With attention to the vibrato - it is transcendently better.
 

dzilizzi

I know nothing
I just bought this and it is very slowly downloading. Their servers must be stretched as it usually goes faster on my side.

Anyway I would be interested in any solutions, if this is a problem in this library, as well.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I just bought this and it is very slowly downloading. Their servers must be stretched as it usually goes faster on my side.

Anyway I would be interested in any solutions, if this is a problem in this library, as well.
I've encountered few situations that were serious problems and more often I find the instruments make inspired choices for where to rebow. The vibrato has caused me more trouble than the rebowing; the vibrato takes real practice to get right, at least in exposed contexts.
 

fiction

Member
I've encountered few situations that were serious problems and more often I find the instruments make inspired choices for where to rebow. The vibrato has caused me more trouble than the rebowing; the vibrato takes real practice to get right, at least in exposed contexts.
Isn't the vibrato on this the one that completely changes the timbre once engaged? I can hear it in the SA legato walkthrough. Seems like once you increase the vibrato, the violin looses focus and you hear more room like if it was a different microphone.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
sn't the vibrato on this the one that completely changes the timbre once engaged?
I wouldn't put it that way, though the transition is very abrupt in the regular legato instruments. (The vib sample is different from the non-vib sample, as I think is true of all Spitfire strings, whether solo or section.) In the case of the Solo Strings it is done in such a way that you can pass back and forth across the transition with it sounding good so long as you attend to phrasing, dynamics, and vibrato that make musical sense, so you can sculpt an excellent performance from it. You also can't generally just let vibrato be on these instruments except for spot solos that have cover in the accompanying instruments. It's also entirely possible to make things go entirely wrong, and it takes some practice to get right.
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
Hi Guys
I tried the performance violin patch first and I really cant perform there much, I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but the patch triggers even at very low velocities a staccato overlay which is for me very difficult to perform. I tried certain legato phrases also with the cello which ended up in many many bumps, I couldnt even write a simple arpeggiating figure with it... Did you experience also problems with the playability and legato transitions? Am I doing something wrong here? Its actually that strange that I am using a long articulation patch to perform the lines which works better..I am not sure but this isn´t intended..so I assume I miss something here?
 
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AllanH

Senior Member
I haven't found a solution, other than attempting to write for a real violinist :) [not that I know what that means, but anyway]. The solo strings do not provide an infinite bow, and that is likely a good thing for realism. One of my other solo strings libraries use the sustain pedal to force a rebow, which is helpful, and lets me time things better.

That being said, the "Total Performance" legato patch is really well done and very useable. Fiddeling with the vibrato settings can reduce the impact of rebowing imo.
 

AllanH

Senior Member
Isn't the vibrato on this the one that completely changes the timbre once engaged? I can hear it in the SA legato walkthrough. Seems like once you increase the vibrato, the violin looses focus and you hear more room like if it was a different microphone.
I agree with this assessment. It sounds to me as if something about the MV is different than V and NV.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Hi Guys
I tried the performance violin patch first and I really cant perform there much, I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but the patch triggers even at very low velocities a staccato overlay which is for me very difficult to perform. I tried certain legato phrases with the cello which ended up in many many bumps, I couldnt even write a simple arrpegiating figure with it... Did you experience also problems with the playability and legato transitions? Am I doing something wrong here?
As outlined in the manual (do read the manual for this library!), the virtuouso instrument does have a spiccato overlay (staccato only happens at low vibrato levels and are coupled with tremolo rather than progressive vibrato for the long). So notes without legato will have the spiccato at velocity in addition to the long, unless you play at velocities below 9, in which case you should just get the initial long articulation without the overlay. I don't think this is documented, but I find that if you edit the midi to very short duration the instrument seems to trigger the ricochet articulations in the virtuoso violin (you might be able to do it with the keyboard, but I haven't been able to get it reliably). These appear both in arpeggiation figures and in repetitions. Of course you have to write a line that uses them properly. You can also affect the articulation with the vibrato control and the legato transition with the speed of playing. This too is outlined in the manual.
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
As outlined in the manual (do read the manual for this library!), the virtuouso instrument does have a spiccato overlay (staccato only happens at low vibrato levels and are coupled with tremolo rather than progressive vibrato for the long). So notes without legato will have the spiccato at velocity in addition to the long, unless you play at velocities below 9, in which case you should just get the initial long articulation without the overlay. I don't think this is documented, but I find that if you edit the midi to very short duration the instrument seems to trigger the ricochet articulations in the virtuoso violin (you might be able to do it with the keyboard, but I haven't been able to get it reliably). These appear both in arpeggiation figures and in repetitions. Of course you have to write a line that uses them properly. You can also affect the articulation with the vibrato control and the legato transition with the speed of playing. This too is outlined in the manual.
Yes, thank you. I did read the manual though..and I know that the overlays are triggered by velocity, but why they chose a velocity of 9? How you can perform that? you have to have like cloudy super sensitive cat claws to trigger that low velocity, I can´t.. anyways: Did you try with the cello lets say an A minor triad playing up and down over an octave with connected notes? Just curious, I really couldn´t get let that sound anything descent. I mean..can somebody post maybe something where he achieves anything like that? Its sounds maybe funny I know and its not that I normally have problems finding out how a library works. (I mean thats not my first spitfire library...)
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I know that the overlays are triggered by velocity, but why they chose a velocity of 9? How you can perform that?
I don't perform that. I perform the passage and then edit the midi on the notes I don't want the overlay. I assume it was done this way so that you had access to almost the full dynamic range of the spiccatos while playing. That allows you to move back and forth easily between spiccato and legato in phrasing but at the cost of notes that need to be fixed at the beginnings of legato passages. I almost always have to edit the vibrato and/or dynamics in any case, so adjusting the beginnings of legato phrases isn't a lot of extra work and I like the performative gains from the tradeoff.

I'll try the cello thing when I'm at my rig later today. Which octave and how fast?

@ism has noted that this library has poor plonkability. With a bit of practice, it has pretty good playability and I've found I can usually craft good performances out of it, so long as the passage is idiomatic and sits reasonably proximate to one of the library's sweet spots.
 
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