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Multiple stops on strings instruments
Last post Thu, Jan 17 2013 by Casiquire, 5 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Jan 16 2013 15:42
by Vincent M
Joined on Sat, Jul 02 2011, Posts 205

 Hello everyone!

What is the best way to simulate multiple stops on strings instruments?  I would love to do sustain double stops and arco triple and quadruple stops...

Is there a trick to make them sound credible? (I know the sound and the technique on the real instrument...)

Thank you for your time,


Posted on Thu, Jan 17 2013 06:17
by noldar12
Joined on Thu, Dec 04 2008, Posts 582

 Based on your post, it is likely that you already know these things... nevertheless:

1) The biggest thing is to remember that anything more than a double-stop must be rolled since a player is limited to playing two notes at a time with the bow.

2) If you are after realism, make sure that the combination is one that the player can actually finger.  This is particularly a concern with triple and quadruple stops.

3) Again for realism, make sure that you allow enough time between chords, if played in sucession, to simulate the time it would take for a player to finger the next chord.  This isn't really an issue with double stops, particularly on violin, but could be a factor with triple and quadruple stops.

4) Also, double stops and chords are more common in solo playing than in orchestral playing where the different notes are generally subdivided.

Posted on Thu, Jan 17 2013 06:19
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325
I don't own VSL's string products so this is generalized advice, but I'd suggest using non-vibrato patches for the most part (string players certainly can play vibrato double-stopped but it tends to be either no vibrato or a sort of exaggerated vibrato, and libraries don't imitate that vibrato so well in my opinion.) If you're doing more than a double-stop, I suggest using either a staccato for the bottom note or only hitting the bottom note for a brief moment with a bit of a stronger attack. It gets a bit more difficult to do a real triple-stop on a violin and it's impossible to sustain a quadruple-stop just because of the arc-shaped arrangement of the strings. So tying in with that, the lower-string staccato notes should start just a hair before the higher strings to simulate the way the bow runs over those lower strings briefly on its way up. I'm not sure if this answers your questions, but that should help if you haven't really played double-stops yourself before.
Posted on Thu, Jan 17 2013 14:57
by Vincent M
Joined on Sat, Jul 02 2011, Posts 205

Thank you for taking the time to answer me guys,  but do you have information about the ''programmation'' of these?

If someone want to share information about how to make a double stop,  triple and quadruple stop real and credible on VSL strings,  it would be very appreciated.

I own Orch 1 + 2 with the extensions.

Thanks again,


Posted on Thu, Jan 17 2013 23:14
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325
There are a lot of different ways of doing that, but I think I'd have something like a "double-stop" row/column which would be a non-legato and non-vibrato arrangement where maybe velocity controls the articulation, so you can choose to have the bottom notes staccato or marcato by playing a lower/higher velocity. Then it's just a matter of playing it slightly rolled. This is just an example of what would work for me--definitely find a way that works best for you.
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