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To use expression maps OR one articulation pr. track like A.K. Dern

stigc56

Senior Member
Hi
I have been using expression maps fora LONG time. But as many other here I have been watching the YT videos by Anne-Kathrin Dern, where she among other things - a lot of other things - praise the one articulation pr. track idea.
I can see the point in her arguments, but when watching her video about wood winds, where she presents the Berlin WW as her favourite, I can only see 2 tracks for the ex. flutes, a legato and a staccato.
What about all the other articulations?
I mean in Spitfire Symphonic Strings there are 31 different articulation for 1st violins! That sums up to around 150 tracks for this library alone. And then there are Spitfire Chamber Strings, and VSL Synchron Strings PRO!!!
How is this done?
 

Uiroo

Señor Member
My track list is already at the limit for what my screen has to offer, I imagine working with a track-per-articulation approach to be really annoying and unpractical.

But for mixing its much better obviously, and you can have delay compensation for every articulation.
I'd be curious to see what the workflow is with that approach, and how to overcome the problem of having 10x the track count.
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Alex Fraser

Requires ☕️
You can always use both? Maps for the tracks which benefit from switching, and single articulation tracks for - say - extended ostinatos which may need extra mix juice.

You could also set up a system whereby you hide the tracks you're not using, coupled with dynamic plugin loading (Logic) or the similar system that Cubase has.
 

MauroPantin

I engrave little black dots
I use one art per track. I used to have expression maps and what not (the equivalent for them in Reaper, anyway). And it worked OK, but I want to layer multiple articulations sometimes and that was a pain. I also don't want to spend time clicking around for the correct art, it takes a ton of work to maintain a template with those... any change to the template has an impact... it's just easier and faster to add a track and get going with the writing. As long as everything is bussed correctly you are good.

I do find that it is important to manage screen space a bit more, though, so my touchscreen can filter and show or hide track groups for specific instrument families or for unused tracks and things of that nature.
 

MauroPantin

I engrave little black dots
Sorry, double posting here to address something I missed:

What about all the other articulations?
I mean in Spitfire Symphonic Strings there are 31 different articulation for 1st violins! That sums up to around 150 tracks for this library alone. And then there are Spitfire Chamber Strings, and VSL Synchron Strings PRO!!!
How is this done?
You add them as you need them.

I started my template with shorts and longs (legato and stac or whatever you deem basic when you do it). As I advance through a project, I duplicate those tracks to retain bussing and FX processing, but I add other articulations. And then when I finish a project, I duplicate the project file, remove all session data and just keep the tracks, save that as the latest version of my template.

With this method and over time, you start to accumulate articulations on your template. The ones you really use, that is. Otherwise, adding every single articulation for every single library right at the get go... that's just a recipe for madness IMO. Some people do it but it ends up in a ridiculous track count for a template that is probably impossible to balance correctly. My phylosophy here is that I should add what I really need, and keep what I really use.
 

Markrs

Complete Beginner
Not sure if it is madness or not but I am currently creating a track for every articulation in BBCSO for Reaper. I will then create Track templates for both instruments and sections which can then be used in the master template. It is rather boring doing it, but now I have started it I feel the need to complete it. Later on I might add in all the track delays as well.

I don't think I will be doing the same for EW Hollywood Orchestra as I sure the strings alone would drive me to madness!
 

MauroPantin

I engrave little black dots
I don't think I will be doing the same for EW Hollywood Orchestra as I sure the strings alone would drive me to madness!
Curious that you mention that one in particular because that's the library I was mainly thinking about, lol!
 

Waywyn

Senior Member
Not using keyswitches or expression maps give you the freedom to, for example, layer marc, sustain and stacc samples to create some cool combo sounds that let you play everything you need in realtime.

I personally think that keyswitches and expression maps make lots and lots of sense when you are about to arrange track that has to be recorded with real orchestra but you want to give the client a rough preview, ... but not when trying to create a good mockup.
 

pawelmorytko

Senior Member
Not using keyswitches or expression maps give you the freedom to, for example, layer marc, sustain and stacc samples to create some cool combo sounds that let you play everything you need in realtime.

I personally think that keyswitches and expression maps make lots and lots of sense when you are about to arrange track that has to be recorded with real orchestra but you want to give the client a rough preview, ... but not when trying to create a good mockup.
Yep I feel the same way, plus keyswitches and expression maps don't work as well when working with tracks that have articulations layered from different libraries. Trying to go from longs/sustains to tremolo on CSS with a layer of SCS in the same kontakt instance is just not going to be as easy/simple as just having a longs track and a tremolo track.

Not to mention that different artics can call for different processing which also doesn't make sense to me as to why you'd have them all on one track using key switches/expression maps. Maybe the shorts need less reverb? Maybe one articulation has some mids you want to remove with eq? So you have to sacrifice all of the other articulations just to edit that one issue?

And on top of that is the issue for me personally of never knowing what is playing what articulation and where. At least with a track per articulation i know where the string trills are instantly just by looking where the strings trills track has a midi region.
 
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stigc56

stigc56

Senior Member
Thread starter
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Okay.
I'm sitting here installing Berlin Woodwinds Revive.
I have been using articulations maps for many years and just lately I have been aware about the problems with track delays. So many comments about this problem suggest to combine a pr. track/art solution with a articulation switch based. But I fear that this will leave me with the worst of both solutions. Also, how can I combine this set-up with a Kontakt set-up in my VEPro frame?

Orchestral Tools "shines" with leaving all this "boring" set-up work to their customers, claiming that there are not one solution that fits al, I suppose, and they might be right. But I must say that a selling point for companies producing libraries, is ease of set-up. And in this regard OT is behind.

When I buy a library for around 650€ I just WANT ALL the articulations in my set-up. So how is this possible in Berlin WW?
I can load all the piccolo articulations into Kontakt separate, this will give me 13 separate articulations, addressed by 13 midi channels, and with 12 instruments in the library it will take up 12 midi ports!
The other way is to combine some of the articulation in a multi. This will give you fewer slots in Kontakt, but you will have to create the set-up your self. :eek:

I have 4 or 5 woodwinds libraries and if each of these articulations will take up a midi port, I will need around 50 ports!
I also use VSL string libraries, Spitfire string libraries, LASS string libraries and so on. They have so many MORE articulations, it's simply not a viable solution to address each of their articulations with a separate track.
So if anyone have a WORKING set-up, that combines these two ways it really would be nice to have details.
 

InLight-Tone

Senior Member
The whole splitting out the Shorts from the Longs is quite maddening. Sure when the shorts are routed separate, and put in a smaller to no reverb, there is much more clarity in hearing them with less smearing and ringing and you can time delay individual tracks.

I see the advantage in that it allows experimentation of layering of different articulations from the same or different libraries with ease. I think if you're aiming for realism, keyswitches are your friend.

On the other hand, just think of a metal guitar player and routing his short chunks separate from sustained chords, never gonna happen.

I just layed out 1600+ individual articulations in Cubase using disabled tracks to try out this method. I am questioning my sanity. I haven't even gone through and routed them to the proper group tracks and reverb yet...
 
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jononotbono

Luke Johnson
On the other hand, just think of a metal guitar player and routing his short chunks separate from sustained chords, never gonna happen.
I understand what you’re saying and why you would compare but the reality is this is not the same as splitting out short notes of string libraries.

Splitting them out from the longs is because of mixing engineers needing to use different reverb timings because shorts and longs produce much different tail timings.

when you play a guitar and you’re going through an amp and with whatever effects. There’s no difference in room reverb tails between short notes and sustained playing.

But yeah, splitting stuff out is annoying. Until a template is setup. Then it’s no big deal really
 
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InLight-Tone

Senior Member
Does that go for Brass and Winds as well, or is this a modern need spurred on by endless String Ostinatos?

It does make sense to me and how I write though. I'm guilty of using a single articulation and I like that I can layer notes and lines at will with other articulation for different effects. I'm not going for a realistic orchestra sound whatsoever.

OK, I'll plow onward then. I remember you saying you were going to expression maps at some point. Did you continue on that path?
 

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Does that go for Brass and Winds as well, or is this a modern need spurred on by endless String Ostinatos?

It does make sense to me and how I write though. I'm guilty of using a single articulation and I like that I can layer notes and lines at will with other articulation for different effects. I'm not going for a realistic orchestra sound whatsoever.

OK, I'll plow onward then. I remember you saying you were going to expression maps at some point. Did you continue on that path?
Yes, this applies to Brass and Winds too.

I put off using expression maps on hold a while ago because I couldn’t offset timings. Or at least couldn’t figure any way out.

However, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do this and so far I’ve started using a delay plugin on audio output channels on each art in VEPro and this sorts everything out (excluding legatos - of which that CSS might be able to be used). However, performance (as in playing live) there’s all sorts of delay latency so it’s not exactly ideal. So it means turning on the plugins and then turn them off. It’s all quite a big hassle. 😂

I’m also about to beta test some new touchscreen software so I have been waiting for that before ploughing more time into any of this. If I was using Expression Maps, I would only do so with a contextual Touchscreen template so it changes and updates to reflex any track I have selected in my DAW.
 

Waywyn

Senior Member
Okay.
I'm sitting here installing Berlin Woodwinds Revive.
I have been using articulations maps for many years and just lately I have been aware about the problems with track delays. So many comments about this problem suggest to combine a pr. track/art solution with a articulation switch based. But I fear that this will leave me with the worst of both solutions. Also, how can I combine this set-up with a Kontakt set-up in my VEPro frame?

Orchestral Tools "shines" with leaving all this "boring" set-up work to their customers, claiming that there are not one solution that fits al, I suppose, and they might be right. But I must say that a selling point for companies producing libraries, is ease of set-up. And in this regard OT is behind.

When I buy a library for around 650€ I just WANT ALL the articulations in my set-up. So how is this possible in Berlin WW?
I can load all the piccolo articulations into Kontakt separate, this will give me 13 separate articulations, addressed by 13 midi channels, and with 12 instruments in the library it will take up 12 midi ports!
The other way is to combine some of the articulation in a multi. This will give you fewer slots in Kontakt, but you will have to create the set-up your self. :eek:

I have 4 or 5 woodwinds libraries and if each of these articulations will take up a midi port, I will need around 50 ports!
I also use VSL string libraries, Spitfire string libraries, LASS string libraries and so on. They have so many MORE articulations, it's simply not a viable solution to address each of their articulations with a separate track.
So if anyone have a WORKING set-up, that combines these two ways it really would be nice to have details.
Out of curiosity, but which company so far made it easy for the customer to deal with the negative track delay? No matter what patches from no matter what sample library I am using, they all contain different track delays. Sometimes I have to put in different track delays for the same articulations, depending on the arrangement, the track tempo, and the flow.

It is like a great drummer, not only plays in time. They can drag or rush and deal with micro timing ... I find the same is necessary for the orchestra. Real orchestras perform with a conductor who makes them tight, rush, or drag. A sample library company cannot implement conductor features on all these track delays. This is what we have to take care of.

Besides that, the first sample library company that takes care of the track delay problem with either negative delay compensation or all articulations matching between each other in realtime will also win the Nobel's prize because they managed to make time travel possible.
 

Alex Fraser

Requires ☕️
Out of curiosity, but which company so far made it easy for the customer to deal with the negative track delay? No matter what patches from no matter what sample library I am using, they all contain different track delays. Sometimes I have to put in different track delays for the same articulations, depending on the arrangement, the track tempo, and the flow.

It is like a great drummer, not only plays in time. They can drag or rush and deal with micro timing ... I find the same is necessary for the orchestra. Real orchestras perform with a conductor who makes them tight, rush, or drag. A sample library company cannot implement conductor features on all these track delays. This is what we have to take care of.

Besides that, the first sample library company that takes care of the track delay problem with either negative delay compensation or all articulations matching between each other in realtime will also win the Nobel's prize because they managed to make time travel possible.
TBH, I've never bothered doing a deep dive or setting up track delay on these things. It seems to be a constantly moving target and an attempt to bring order to what is an inherently chaotic thing.
If I want track pre-delay, I usually apply it to the midi regions directly in Logic.
 

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Out of curiosity, but which company so far made it easy for the customer to deal with the negative track delay? No matter what patches from no matter what sample library I am using, they all contain different track delays. Sometimes I have to put in different track delays for the same articulations, depending on the arrangement, the track tempo, and the flow.

It is like a great drummer, not only plays in time. They can drag or rush and deal with micro timing ... I find the same is necessary for the orchestra. Real orchestras perform with a conductor who makes them tight, rush, or drag. A sample library company cannot implement conductor features on all these track delays. This is what we have to take care of.

Besides that, the first sample library company that takes care of the track delay problem with either negative delay compensation or all articulations matching between each other in realtime will also win the Nobel's prize because they managed to make time travel possible.
I can do it. I just invert my sample libraries.

Don’t try to understand it. Just feel it.
 

Kony

Bad ape
When I buy a library for around 650€ I just WANT ALL the articulations in my set-up. So how is this possible in Berlin WW?
Use one multi with expression maps - then split that out into separate tracks (once you have finished composing) into the articulations that you actually used in the composition.
 
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