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Question about large Expression Maps in Cubase
Last post Fri, Mar 17 2017 by jbm, 30 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Feb 20 2015 13:01
by Stephane Collin
Joined on Sun, Aug 02 2009, Posts 96

Hello Talino.

This particular expression map is for Dimension Strings, and the articulation 3 column (OS - F I - F II - F III - F IV) is for forcing the strings on the instrument.  You can have the violin play vibrato on G string (vib + F I) or vibrato on D string (vib + F II) or non vibrato on D string (nvib + F II) and so on.

There are some ways of combining those articulations that prove efficient, and others not.

One I found of great use, especially for all the dynamic patches, is to use articulation 2 as short medium and long, instead of 1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 4 seconds, 5 seconds, 6 seconds, 8 seconds, which anyway never apply to all the patches.

I also struggled a lot and did many trials of building my own presets with all the available articulations in logical order, knowing that I never play live, but rather program all the prases.  It takes me more time to play the phrase and then correct it and then sculpt the articulations, than to immediately program the phrase as I hear it inside.

Stephane

PC core i7 hexa 64 gb ram
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Many Vienna Instruments
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Posted on Fri, Feb 27 2015 19:10
by Talino
Joined on Sat, Jul 17 2010, Posts 260

I also never do any live work with VSL. Most of the time I just play the notes and then spend hours drawing CC curves. Your setup is very instructive and opens up possibilities I didn't think of. But Cubase is still way behind VSL in the way articulations are handled IMHO (although I'm not aware of any other sequencer that does it better). 

MASTER: Cubase Pro 10.0.20, iMac 27 2015 i7 4.0 (17,1) 24gb RAM, OS X 10.14.4, RME Fireface UC. SLAVE: Mac Pro 2009 Quad 2.66 (4,1), 28gb RAM, OS X 10.11.6, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, samples on OWC Accelsior SSD.
Posted on Fri, Feb 27 2015 19:52
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608

This discussion is very interesting as it highlights all the reasons I don't use Expression Maps. Yet. However convenient it might be for me and my set-up, there is no better way than using Keyswitches. Obviously one has to set things up the correct way so that there are pretty much no caveats. I'll follow this discussion with interest, because whilst I pretty much know all my KS from memory, it is not so easy for my assistants who don't deal with sample sequencing as often. Expression Maps would put us all on an equal footing. 

DG

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Fri, Feb 27 2015 20:02
by Talino
Joined on Sat, Jul 17 2010, Posts 260

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Unless I miss something, In Cubase, using Keyswitches without Expression Maps (whether inside the same MIDI part as the notes or on a separate track), basically amounts to having a list sitting next to you with e.g. "C#0 = Portamento" which, for people like me who could never commit that to memory (or don't have assistants), is a rather painful experience...

Steinberg could easily solve this by making the articulation lane a single-row thing, where user-definable menus + submenus simply enable the selection of the defined articulations. That way you just see, e.g. "Legato" below the notes, followed by "Pizzicato" and then back to "Legato" etc. There's no point in having all the possible articulations listed under the notes with empty lanes for each and every one of them. It's a no-brainer, really.

MASTER: Cubase Pro 10.0.20, iMac 27 2015 i7 4.0 (17,1) 24gb RAM, OS X 10.14.4, RME Fireface UC. SLAVE: Mac Pro 2009 Quad 2.66 (4,1), 28gb RAM, OS X 10.11.6, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, samples on OWC Accelsior SSD.
Posted on Fri, Feb 27 2015 22:40
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608

Originally Posted by: Talino Go to Quoted Post

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Unless I miss something, In Cubase, using Keyswitches without Expression Maps (whether inside the same MIDI part as the notes or on a separate track), basically amounts to having a list sitting next to you with e.g. "C#0 = Portamento" which, for people like me who could never commit that to memory (or don't have assistants), is a rather painful experience...

It would be, if I didn't have a Lemur with all the patch names on it. So all I have to do is enter Steptime (via a macro on the Lemur, for various reasons), click where I want the KS, touch the correct button on the Lemur, hit the macro button again, and all's well. With this system I can enter as many KS as I like anywhere I like and don't have to remember anything. Although as it's laid out really logically, it is pretty easy to remember, and no matter how bad your memory, you only need to remember 4 or 5 things. 

As an aside, I would never put Portamento on a KS. It's not necessary. It only happens when using a legato type articulation, Velocity xFade would always be used for dynamic changes, and it is a one-shot sort of articulation, so using a high velocity is a perfect way to do the Portamento. In fact I have 4 different speeds set to different velocities, so that I have a choice how pronounced the slide is.

DG

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Sat, Feb 28 2015 05:36
by Talino
Joined on Sat, Jul 17 2010, Posts 260

Lemur is nice, as is TouchOSC or any other remote control solution. However, none of these solve the issue of seeing in the Cubase Key Editor, next to the controller lanes, which articulation is being used (unless you add all of them and enjoy looking at staircase patterns which are visually non-sensical). Like I wrote, a single-row text bar would be enough IMHO...

As to Portamento, why not. That's the method used by LASS, too. But that's a matter of personal preference, which I believe software should allow, not impose.

EDIT: DG, your PM inbox is full... This is off-topic: for interfacing Cubase & Lemur are you using the Lemur Daemon or something like OSCulator? Thanks.

MASTER: Cubase Pro 10.0.20, iMac 27 2015 i7 4.0 (17,1) 24gb RAM, OS X 10.14.4, RME Fireface UC. SLAVE: Mac Pro 2009 Quad 2.66 (4,1), 28gb RAM, OS X 10.11.6, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, samples on OWC Accelsior SSD.
Posted on Sat, Feb 28 2015 09:32
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608

Originally Posted by: Talino Go to Quoted Post

Lemur is nice, as is TouchOSC or any other remote control solution. However, none of these solve the issue of seeing in the Cubase Key Editor, next to the controller lanes, which articulation is being used (unless you add all of them and enjoy looking at staircase patterns which are visually non-sensical). Like I wrote, a single-row text bar would be enough IMHO...

Agreed. All my keyswitches for all instruments are in the bottom two possible MIDI octaves, so they are next to the controller lanes and I can read them very quickly, but certainly for people not used to my setup, having some sort of name in the Key Editor would be useful, which is why I had been investigating Expression Maps.

Originally Posted by: Talino Go to Quoted Post

As to Portamento, why not. That's the method used by LASS, too. But that's a matter of personal preference, which I believe software should allow, not impose.

Me too. I was just mentioning how I worked for information.

Originally Posted by: Talino Go to Quoted Post

EDIT: DG, your PM inbox is full... This is off-topic: for interfacing Cubase & Lemur are you using the Lemur Daemon or something like OSCulator? Thanks.

Thanks for the heads up. I just hadn't got round to deleting everything yet.

I am using the original hardware Lemur which comes with its own software and interface.

DG

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2015 12:11
by Talino
Joined on Sat, Jul 17 2010, Posts 260

Stéphane's Expression Map made me try out something more complex than I've done before in Cubase, an Expression Map for all the articulations available for an instrument which keep screen real estate to a minimum. I've tried it out and it's quite easy to program with. However there is no way for Cubase to tell you if an articulation combi actually exists (e.g. a dynamic strong vibrato for 2 seconds might not exists at 4 seconds), so mostly it just falls back on what is closest. There's probably a better way to organize all this. Problem is, this is so time consuming to create that I'm not sure I want to do the same for other instruments. This shouldn't be like this! Computers should help with repetitive tasks, not create them... Oh well. Please post back if anyone has better ideas to use large Expression Maps.

(Cubase screenshot too large for the forum apparently, you gave to click the link above the Key Editor image).

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MASTER: Cubase Pro 10.0.20, iMac 27 2015 i7 4.0 (17,1) 24gb RAM, OS X 10.14.4, RME Fireface UC. SLAVE: Mac Pro 2009 Quad 2.66 (4,1), 28gb RAM, OS X 10.11.6, Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, samples on OWC Accelsior SSD.
Posted on Fri, Mar 17 2017 15:33
by jbm
Joined on Fri, Jan 16 2004, Posts 1150

I've been getting used to composing in Cubase (instead of Sibelius and/or Logic) and found this thread while researching how to make that huge articulations lane more manageable. I have to say I do love the expression maps technology (and I'm waiting with baited breath for Dorico to perfect its implementation, and particularly to get their controller lane working!). But selecting articulations is pretty laborious... For me, I find it too hard to tell what articulation I'm hovering over, with the names way off to the left of the screen. One thing I find absolutely amazing, from a UI design perspective, is that they didn't at least add a horizontal (y position) guide along with the vertical (x position) guide. It's just crazy... such a simple solution...

Or better yet, they could highlight the expression at the current vertical mouse position... Or, probably better still, they could place a little hint popover to the left of the cursor, indicating the articlation at that y position (i.e., when you hold the option key)... So many solutions...

Or maybe I'm just missing a setting somewhere?

J.

Posted on Fri, Mar 17 2017 15:37
by jbm
Joined on Fri, Jan 16 2004, Posts 1150

Ah!! Okay... heh... just found the "Crosshair cursor" --> "show horizontal line" setting... sorry Steinberg... Mind you, the hint popover is still a good idea, since it would remove the need to have the lane tall enough to keep all the text visible.

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