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How to simulate "con sordino" strings
Last post Wed, Nov 21 2018 by fatis12_24918, 12 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Nov 15 2011 12:37
by roberto
Joined on Mon, Aug 11 2008, Posts 121

Hello

waiting to buy Solo Strings II, I need to simulate "con sordino" Strings effect. I'm working with solo Strings I (full version).

I thought that lowering the filter frequency in VI Pro could do something similar. Do you have any better idea?

Thanks a lot for the help

Roberto

Posted on Tue, Nov 15 2011 13:20
by nicks
Joined on Sun, Jan 05 2003, Posts 184

Dear Roberto,

Sordino reduces vibration of the bridge through the application of a mechanical implement to it - I'm sure you already know this.  Interestingly, there are several different styles of mute that all impact the sound in various subtlely different ways.  My unsatisfying response is that you should get whatever collection is necessary to give you sordino articulations - this will by far give you the best results.

Having said that, the usual (maybe a bit unsatisfying approach) to achieving a faux-sordino sound is to filter out a reasonable swathe of the very high frequencies (the engineers amongst this board's readers will be able to give you a much better idea which ones) and reduce the volume of the track, followed by frequent A-B'ing of the results to check you are not making it sound weird.  Finally you also need to squeeze the dynamic range - you can do this by compression, but I would tend to suggest manually doing so via MIDI by just reducing the different between maximum and minimum volume, and easing off use of the velocity X-fade.

It is worth also taking a look at what you are writing and how.  Most composers tend (for no particularly good reason) to stick to longer lines and phrases when writing con sordino than without - so stylistically you may wish to consider that in conjunction with the above equalisation trick.

Although a bit of an unsatisfying response, I hope it helps!

Kind Regards,

Nick.

Posted on Tue, Nov 15 2011 13:47
by roberto
Joined on Mon, Aug 11 2008, Posts 121

Dear Nick,

Thanks a lot. All what you told me is very precious for me. It confirms some ideas I had, adding some more information.

Really, thanks, again.

Now I'll go back to the composition tryng to do my best.

Good life and good work to you

Roberto

Posted on Wed, Nov 16 2011 09:31
by gabriel81
Joined on Tue, Nov 17 2009, Wien, Posts 241

I read somewhere that EWQL only simulates con sordino by some convolution. It would be pretty nice if this could be somehow applied to other strings as well, so also this might be worth some additional investigation.

VSL SE (no extension), Vienna Smart Orchestra
Sopranos, Flute2, Fanfare Trumpets
Synchron Strings
VE Pro 7
VI Pro + MIRx
Cubase 9
Posted on Wed, Nov 16 2011 09:50
by roberto
Joined on Mon, Aug 11 2008, Posts 121

Hello Gabriel

I don't know EWQL. What is it? Thank you for the information

Roberto

Posted on Wed, Nov 16 2011 13:37
by gabriel81
Joined on Tue, Nov 17 2009, Wien, Posts 241

Actually EWQL is competition of VSL, so I will not write any details or anything ... Also I assume that their "plugin" is purely internal and can not be used for other sources.

Also googeling for ewql and con sordino convolution i did not find that much anymore (only some indicators that it is not sampled con sordino e.g.: http://community.vsl.co....rums/p/24201/162433.aspx)

So i fear there is no "convolution Emulator" Plugin easily available for all strings ;(

VSL SE (no extension), Vienna Smart Orchestra
Sopranos, Flute2, Fanfare Trumpets
Synchron Strings
VE Pro 7
VI Pro + MIRx
Cubase 9
Posted on Wed, Nov 16 2011 16:29
by roberto
Joined on Mon, Aug 11 2008, Posts 121

Ok, Gabriel, thank you again for your time and interest.

Good work to you

Roberto

Posted on Sun, Sep 14 2014 12:59
by John Melcher
Joined on Thu, Dec 26 2013, Posts 23
nicks wrote:
...the usual (maybe a bit unsatisfying approach) to achieving a faux-sordino sound is to filter out a reasonable swathe of the very high frequencies (the engineers amongst this board's readers will be able to give you a much better idea which ones)...


I, too, was trying to emulate con sordino (also sul ponticello and sul tasto), sadly missing from Dimension Strings (for now?). The challenge is that these playing modifications affect the frequency spectrum of each note differently. So what is required is a filter that changes with each note. You can reasonably fake con sordino, for example, with a variable low-pass filter, and automating the cutoff frequency and resonance to change with each note. Sul ponticello can be similarly emulated with a high-pass filter, and sul tasto with a notch (band-stop) filter. This is only effective with monophonic lines or small-interval double stops.
Posted on Sun, Sep 14 2014 17:31
by strytten
Joined on Sat, Jan 06 2007, Posts 65

I am a heavy user of con sordino strings in my projects. I am not an experienced arranger and I am not a string player, but to my ear the biggest difference in the con sordino sound is that the fundamental and lower harmonics are being damped. I'm not so sure that taking out the high frequencies is the way to go.

Having said that, I avoid simulated con sordino because it can't come close to the real thing. Most string libraries skimp on con sordino, which is a real mistake. Vienna has provided more con sordino than anyone else, but we could still use more. I would love to see more articulations and more real trills (I'm sorry, there is no substitute for a real trill). 

Good luck!

Steve

Steve Trytten
All VSL strings, winds, and most others, Vienna Imperial, VE Pro, MIR, Protools 10.3.5, Mac Mntn Lion 12 core, LASS, Ivory, Kontakt 5, Spitfire Sable Strings
Posted on Wed, Nov 14 2018 20:16
by HorNet505
Joined on Wed, Jul 08 2015, Düsseldorf, Posts 1

since I am researching it myself I like to point you to two threads.

One handles brass mutes using an EQ 

https://vi-control.net/community/threads/mute-your-brass.67296/

the other uses a convolution reverb to achive CON SORDINO on all string libraries

http://www.numericalsound.com/universal_sordino.html

 

Cheers

Posted on Sun, Nov 18 2018 09:50
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1552

Hello Roberto,

I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you but if I may borrow your thread to ask a related question(s).

Is it relatively easy for string players to switch back and forth between Con Sordino and back again?  I mean could they switch back and forth on a dime, say within the span of a few bars?

So if a piece is written Con Sordino is it pretty much that way for the entire piece?


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Wed, Nov 21 2018 12:45
by fatis12_24918
Joined on Sat, Dec 16 2006, Posts 262

 

Well, actually some audio engineers specialized in impulse responses and acoustics (even cooperating with VSL for some projects) have a website explaining the topic and offering a plug-in for strings sordino emulation.

I can't remember the name, but you may find it for sure searching not only the web, but even the VSL Forum, since we had recently (few months ago) a full post debating it, with all the details.

 

EDIT: I did it for you :) here you are

http://www.numericalsound.com/universal_sordino.html

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