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Tips for programming with Dimension Strings
Last post Tue, Dec 29 2020 by mikeyggg, 9 replies.
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Posted on Sat, May 31 2014 23:20
by Logic
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Posts 4
I'm using DS in VIPro in Logic Pro X . I've read the manuals and watched the tutorials of both VI Pro and DS, so I know what is possible, but I could use some advice on how to get started creating realistic strings. The dynamic patches and short notes sound very realistic right away. The legato lines are more of a challenge. I use Expression, Velocity X-fade and Slot X-fade. Any tips? It would help a lot to see how the fantastic sounding demo's are programmed...
By the way: the remote app is great, I can see how the parameters interact, something which is not possible in Logic-pro X.
Thanks for any advice.
Posted on Sun, Jun 01 2014 14:41
by Stephane Collin
Joined on Sun, Aug 02 2009, Posts 96

Hi logic.

Other than what you mentionned, I do constantly use attack time to shape the legato phrases.

The best advice I can offer is to listen carefully to real world models.

I also started to add the fingernoises in dimension strings, and even the ambiant noises.  They do help.  The forced strings add some subtle portamento between the notes that is so characteristic of the strings.  More than often, I go for Zigane portamento.

When you listen carefully to real strings, certainly solo ones, you realize how intricate it can be to mimic them accurately.  Volume is never constant, timbre neither, it is full of noise from the left hand, there are resonances of open strings, tempo varies, etc.

But you can achieve a lot with VSL.  I use Cubase expression maps together with 5 controller lanes.  Pain to set up, but joy to use.  And with the option to disable all cells, and to enable them on midi data, I can program a quite cosy orchestra within my 12 Gb ram limit.

Hope this helps.

Stéphane.

Stephane

PC core i7 hexa 64 gb ram
Macbook pro 6 gb ram
Motu 8M
Genelec 1030 A monitors
Adam S3X H monitors
Sennheiser HD 800 headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 880 pro headphones
Many Vienna Instruments
MIR pro
Posted on Sun, Jun 01 2014 22:26
by Logic
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Posts 4
Hi Stéphane,

Aha, this helps! The attack time is indeed an important tool to make a smooth transition in legato. It actually was my main problem. The FX helps as well. I noticed that they are only available in the solo-player patches. I use the "all players" matrix, my dual-core iMac is limited in CPU... Do you work with separate players?
Thank you,
Logic
Posted on Mon, Jun 02 2014 19:09
by Stephane Collin
Joined on Sun, Aug 02 2009, Posts 96

Hi Logic.

Yes, when I have time to spend, I work with separate players.  I do the rough work with the orchestral strings, to get the large view as quickly as possible, and then, when I'm not in a hurry, I detail the work for as long as I have energy to do so.  It is so that at this level, you begin to spend much, much time to get a tiny improvement.  But superior works are additions of tiny improvements.  One thing helps : I tried to make VI presets compatible between Orchestral strings and Dimension strings, so my work with Orchestral strings is not lost, but reuseable as a start for the work with Dimension strings.

Funny anecdote : in dimension strings, it is the player 1 that causes me the most trouble.  I tend to leave him out, for his sound, dynamics, legato, attacks, etc.  Some other players have less sound, but are more playable, methinks.  THat is great part of dimension strings, you can choose your favourite players.

Stéphane.

Stephane

PC core i7 hexa 64 gb ram
Macbook pro 6 gb ram
Motu 8M
Genelec 1030 A monitors
Adam S3X H monitors
Sennheiser HD 800 headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 880 pro headphones
Many Vienna Instruments
MIR pro
Posted on Mon, Jun 02 2014 23:03
by Logic
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Posts 4
Hi Stephane,
That's another interesting remark. I'll keep my ear open for Player 1...
I spent some time today with the separate players. I worked on the "All players" version first. Than I set up all 8 players, tweaked the parameters (humanizing, attack, velocity, expression,...) and it begins to take shape. A lot of work it is...
Thanks again for the information.
Posted on Sun, Jun 08 2014 22:40
by BachRules
Joined on Sun, Mar 30 2014, Posts 360
Logic wrote:
... It would help a lot to see how the fantastic sounding demo's are programmed....

I agree, and this is very important to me. When I shop for libraries, I'm not just searching for good sounding demos; I'm searching for the ability to make good music on my own system, and that requires not only good samples and software, but also the knowledge how to use them effectively. Companies which offer me that knowledge to go along with their libraries are more likely to get my business. For now, it seems VSL is ahead of the other companies, by offering MIDI files for some of their demos; but I'd appreciate still more detailed info about how to use the products.
Posted on Mon, Jun 09 2014 23:19
by Logic
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Posts 4
Interesting, where can I find these MIDI files?
Posted on Tue, Jun 10 2014 01:04
by BachRules
Joined on Sun, Mar 30 2014, Posts 360
Logic wrote:
Interesting, where can I find these MIDI files?

On select demos, below the normal "Download MP3" button there's an additional "Download Tutorial" button, which gets you some MIDI files and other information. For example the "Summer Music" demo here:

http://www.vsl.co.at/en/67/702/252.vsl

I haven't experimented yet, so I don't know how close the "Tutorial" data gets you to the actual sound of the MP3 demo. I'm waiting for the day companies provide us with DAW projects showing every detail needed to recreate their MP3 demos exactly. I will be waiting a long time though, I'm afraid. Propellerhead provides such demo projects with Reason, and it's very helpful; but it was easier for Propellerhead, since Reason is a DAW which comes standard with instruments and FX sufficient for making a complete project.
Posted on Tue, Dec 29 2020 16:34
by mikeyggg
Joined on Fri, Nov 25 2011, Posts 13
So funny to come across this all these years after it was written.
I’m having exactly the same issues with Dim strings legato and it’s player 1 causing me to have to use attack to smooth out some of the transitions.
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