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Posted on Sat, Apr 16 2016 13:29
by LuCsa
Joined on Sat, Dec 19 2015, Vienna, Posts 126

Hello!

After purchasing the SE1 bundle and parts of the SE2, I set up the "Special Edition Vol 1 Demo" (v3) resources in REAPER and looked into how it was made (I replaced 2 or 3 string patches which used the SE Appassionats, I think). And of course, many questions raised since this it the first time I put my hands on VSL stuff.

It's going to be rather wide-spread, but since it is all about this specific demo piece, I think it is fine to have them in one thread...

Here we go:

1) In all MIDI tracks there is data in the CC "channel pressure", but I didn't figure out yet what it does in the VI?

2) I'm somewhat unsure about CC11 (Expression). I know that it varies the volume (and only that) of the sound from ~zero to a maximum of the current CC7 (Master Volume) value. In the demo, it is mostly at CC11=127 and just sometimes used for "extreme" diminuendos on long lasting notes. Is this it's general use case?

3) I assume that for short articulations I would normally want to use "pure" velocity control whereas the velocity x-fade comes in handy for sustained notes. Is there a special reason why the vel-x-fade of the clarinets is actived just after the first notes of the phrase at about 0:22?

4) The cellos in the first bars...is this just a divisi?

5) When playing around with the Bösendorfer pedal-up and -down samples, I do not hear the expected long sustain of hit notes with the pedal-down samples, although the higher sonority is obvious. So my question is: Do I have to control the "length" of a pedalled note via the length of the MIDI event? Because I just blindly assumed that "pedal-down" would just mean that the played notes simple had a long release trail...

Now a bit more technical:

6.1) The demo has set different values about ~100 for CC7 for every instrument. Additionally it has set different levels of volume in the mixer tabs of VE. What are the thoughts behind that? Am I correct that this is about the general balance of the orchestra?
6.2) Is there a tutorial/etc. about how to set up a balanced orchestra template? Some tips about how to assign the proper initial values of CC7 or the mixer volume sliders?

7) VI features an algorithmic reverb. In REAPER, I have also a reverb plug-in. Now, the VE setup that comes with the demo uses a reverb plug-in inside the VE, which I am lacking (reverb bus exists, but no plug-in). Is there a way of using the algo reverb of the VI inside the VE or do I have to assign it in every single VI instance?

And now string questions which came to my mind while fiddling around:

8.1) The orchestral strings have a slow attack. Apart from blending in a solo instrument or blending in a short articulation - is there something essential about those samples that I am missing? Currently, I feel unable to play a quick theme without making it sound harsh by using short articulations...
8.2) ...but without them, it's just mush (at least at the beginnging). To my untrained it seems that the legatos always use new bow... imagine the players just putting their fingers down on a string one after each other (attack is the same since it's on one bow)... Can I achieve this by layering with the sustain sound?
8.3) In one thread I read that the repetition perfomance patches should be used for 3 or more repetitions on one note. Is that so? And how would I put e.g. the beginning of Schubert's "Unfinished" into practice?

 

Please bear with me. :D
I know that, above all, experience will show most of the stuff and that there is a huge "it depends" about most of the aspects, but I am sure there are some basic rules from where to start exploring and I would be really glad, if you could help me out getting to know them. :)

Kind regards,
Lukas

i7-6700K (4 @ 4.0GHz w/ HT) - 16GB RAM
Windows 10 Home 64bit - REAPER - Finale 2012 - Dorico
---
VI Pro 2 - VEP7 - MIRx Sage
SE1&2 - S-SE1&2 - SSP
Posted on Tue, Apr 19 2016 13:39
by LuCsa
Joined on Sat, Dec 19 2015, Vienna, Posts 126

Hello!

Is there something I can change about my post to receive some answers?

Kind regards,
Lukas

i7-6700K (4 @ 4.0GHz w/ HT) - 16GB RAM
Windows 10 Home 64bit - REAPER - Finale 2012 - Dorico
---
VI Pro 2 - VEP7 - MIRx Sage
SE1&2 - S-SE1&2 - SSP
Posted on Sat, Apr 23 2016 11:14
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

Originally Posted by: LuCsa Go to Quoted Post

1) In all MIDI tracks there is data in the CC "channel pressure", but I didn't figure out yet what it does in the VI?

2) I'm somewhat unsure about CC11 (Expression). I know that it varies the volume (and only that) of the sound from ~zero to a maximum of the current CC7 (Master Volume) value. In the demo, it is mostly at CC11=127 and just sometimes used for "extreme" diminuendos on long lasting notes. Is this it's general use case?

3) I assume that for short articulations I would normally want to use "pure" velocity control whereas the velocity x-fade comes in handy for sustained notes. Is there a special reason why the vel-x-fade of the clarinets is actived just after the first notes of the phrase at about 0:22?

4) The cellos in the first bars...is this just a divisi?

5) When playing around with the Bösendorfer pedal-up and -down samples, I do not hear the expected long sustain of hit notes with the pedal-down samples, although the higher sonority is obvious. So my question is: Do I have to control the "length" of a pedalled note via the length of the MIDI event? Because I just blindly assumed that "pedal-down" would just mean that the played notes simple had a long release trail...

Now a bit more technical:

6.1) The demo has set different values about ~100 for CC7 for every instrument. Additionally it has set different levels of volume in the mixer tabs of VE. What are the thoughts behind that? Am I correct that this is about the general balance of the orchestra?
6.2) Is there a tutorial/etc. about how to set up a balanced orchestra template? Some tips about how to assign the proper initial values of CC7 or the mixer volume sliders?

7) VI features an algorithmic reverb. In REAPER, I have also a reverb plug-in. Now, the VE setup that comes with the demo uses a reverb plug-in inside the VE, which I am lacking (reverb bus exists, but no plug-in). Is there a way of using the algo reverb of the VI inside the VE or do I have to assign it in every single VI instance?

And now string questions which came to my mind while fiddling around:

8.1) The orchestral strings have a slow attack. Apart from blending in a solo instrument or blending in a short articulation - is there something essential about those samples that I am missing? Currently, I feel unable to play a quick theme without making it sound harsh by using short articulations...
8.2) ...but without them, it's just mush (at least at the beginnging). To my untrained it seems that the legatos always use new bow... imagine the players just putting their fingers down on a string one after each other (attack is the same since it's on one bow)... Can I achieve this by layering with the sustain sound?
8.3) In one thread I read that the repetition perfomance patches should be used for 3 or more repetitions on one note. Is that so? And how would I put e.g. the beginning of Schubert's "Unfinished" into practice?

 

1.  This would depend on what the CC data is triggering.  e.g. Expression, Attack, Release, etc.  Right click a fader in VI, it should start flashing red, then move an appropriate controler on your keyboard to control that parameter.

2. The Expression fader is usually used in conjuction with Velocity Crossfade.(Vel X Fade).  The Vel X Fade is used to access samples that were recorded with more or less pressure.  In other words, a high Vel X Fade for a Clarinet is like a player blowing harder through the mouth piece so that the timbre of the instruemtn changes.  It's the same thing for brass and strings etc.   Sometimes, however, the transitions can be abrupt in which case you would use the expression fader to smooth things out.  You don't need Vel X Fade for a piano. or harpsichord. 

3.  Not necessarily but see my answer for question 2.

4. Are you using chamber or orchestral strings?

5. I believe the Bosendorfer pedal up and down refer to the damper pedal not sustain.  I might be wrong on that.  Most keyboards have a sustain attatchment that is already mapped to CC ??? I don't remember.  But if you want to sustain  piano notes you should be using a sustain pedal or you could fake it by just elogating the MIDI notes.

6.1 Well the VE mixer is just that... a mixer Some instruments will come in stronger than others and you'll have to tap them down a little to create a balance.

6.2  I don't think so because it would depend on what seating arangement you are using (German, American) and your system to name a few things.

7.  I don't know which demo you are refering to but it could be the reverb from Vienna Suite or MIR.  I usually assign individual reverbs for each instrument in VE because you use different reverb tail lengths to create depth.  I then use a hybrid reverb in the mastering stage. 

8.1  It might be the articulation that you are using.  There is an attack fader where you can control attack and there is a global setting for attack as well.

8.2 Attacks can be manipulated in realtime using the attack fader that has been assigned to a CC controler on your keyboard.

8.3  You don't have to follow that but repitition patches work well for... repetitions.


"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 Sun, Apr 24 2016 21:59
by LuCsa
Joined on Sat, Dec 19 2015, Vienna, Posts 126

Thank you, jasensmith, for your response.

First of all, I'm referring to the resource files that become downloadable after purchasing the SE (if I am allowed to, I'll gladly upload the files here).

Quote:
1.  This would depend on what the CC data is triggering.  e.g. Expression, Attack, Release, etc.  Right click a fader in VI, it should start flashing red, then move an appropriate controler on your keyboard to control that parameter.

I know about the principles of controller mapping - I just couldn't find out to which element in the VI the 'channel pressure' routs in this example. In the meantime, I learned that 'channel pressure' = aftertouch. Another post in the forums suggests that the aftertouch information is recorded automatically but not used by VI?

Quote:
2. The Expression fader is usually used in conjuction with Velocity Crossfade.(Vel X Fade).  The Vel X Fade is used to access samples that were recorded with more or less pressure.  In other words, a high Vel X Fade for a Clarinet is like a player blowing harder through the mouth piece so that the timbre of the instruemtn changes.  It's the same thing for brass and strings etc.   Sometimes, however, the transitions can be abrupt in which case you would use the expression fader to smooth things out.  You don't need Vel X Fade for a piano. or harpsichord.

Yet it seems that in this example the dynamics are controlled almost exclusively via the vel-x-fade... Expression was only used for extreme diminuendo.... the smoothing you mentioned maybe. (Although at this point we have already arrived at the softest velocity layer, I'd say...)

Ad 3) Sure...it depends... the question

Quote:
Is there a special reason why the vel-x-fade of the clarinets is actived just after the first notes of the phrase at about 0:22?
still remains, though... It's haunting me. :P

Quote:
4. Are you using chamber or orchestral strings?

The orchestral strings. To me it seems to be "divisi simulation"...

Quote:
5. I believe the Bosendorfer pedal up and down refer to the damper pedal not sustain.  I might be wrong on that.  Most keyboards have a sustain attatchment that is already mapped to CC ??? I don't remember.  But if you want to sustain  piano notes you should be using a sustain pedal or you could fake it by just elogating the MIDI notes.

Yes, the sample change to pedal down is mapped to CC64, which is the pedal channel. These samples have somewhat more resonance, but they do not sustain, thus my original question.

Quote:
7.  I don't know which demo you are refering to but it could be the reverb from Vienna Suite or MIR.  I usually assign individual reverbs for each instrument in VE because you use different reverb tail lengths to create depth.  I then use a hybrid reverb in the mastering stage.

I'm talking about the demo I referred to in the introduction. This was my educated guess - I fear the answer to my question - whether one can use the algorithmic reverb of VI as a plugin in VE - is no...? Thanks for the information about your workflow.

ad 8) The attack controller is already at the minimum position...

 

Thank you for your time!

Lukas

i7-6700K (4 @ 4.0GHz w/ HT) - 16GB RAM
Windows 10 Home 64bit - REAPER - Finale 2012 - Dorico
---
VI Pro 2 - VEP7 - MIRx Sage
SE1&2 - S-SE1&2 - SSP
Posted on Sun, Apr 24 2016 22:35
by MassMover
Joined on Mon, Sep 29 2008, Posts 236

1: When there is channel pressure information in the midi track this is an indication that the notes were played in real time by a human on a midi-keyboard instead of inserting note per note with a mouse or using step recording. You cannot avoid giving aftertouch when playing loud passages.

As VI per default does not use this information to control anything it is not neccecary to delete this data afterwards.

Posted on Mon, Apr 25 2016 11:18
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

My apologies Lukas,

I should have said in my original reply that I'm at a computer where I cannot access the demo that you are refering to but I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

When you say, "Expression was only used for extreme diminuendo..."

I think Diminuendo and Crescendo samples are only available in the big full library collections (Orchestrral Strings, Chamber, Brass 1, etc.)  So the expression fader can be used to create dims and crescends from scratch or "fake" them with sustain patches on the fly.  Also, as you work with the samples you will notice that sometimes there are abrupt velocity differences between notes when working with the Vel X Fade.  You can use expression to smooth those differences out.

As for the Clarinets Vel X Fade at 0.22.  It could just be a matter of preference by the composer.  Sometimes, articulations like staccs or portatos work better with MIDI velocity as opposed to Vel X fade.  Personally, I always keep the Vel X Fade activated for nearly everything but having the ability to switch it on and off just gives you more options. 

Again, I'm on a computer where I can't see the demo unfortunately but, regarding divisi, my guess is that the orch. strings were probably layered with chamber or solo strings and you're hearing volume (expression?) changes between the different string samples to simulate ("Fake") a divisi.


"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 Mon, Apr 25 2016 16:20
by J.Hall
Joined on Tue, Sep 28 2010, Posts 69
Regarding the piano, yes you either have to fake it by making the notes longer or using the sustain pedal (CC64).

Regarding mixing, I can recommend getting one of the MIRx reverbs that you activate inside VI
(not sure if it's only usable in VI PRO though). There's also a list with volume settings for all instruments in the MIRx manual, which is set in relation to the loudest instrument (Bass Drum). This is helpful but I'm not sure if it's available if you haven't bought it.
i7-6700, 32 GB DDR4 RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB SSD, 500GB HDD
Cubase 8.5 / VI PRO / VE / MIRx / SE1+, SE2, SE4 / Dim. Brass I / Dimension Strings I standard / Soprano Choir + some full single instruments
Posted on Tue, Apr 26 2016 11:07
by LuCsa
Joined on Sat, Dec 19 2015, Vienna, Posts 126

Hello!

@MassMover: Yep, I found that out in the meanwhile, thank you. :)

 

@jasensmith: I would attach the respective files if it is okay with the forum rules to post the files. They became available in my download section after purchasing the SE.

As you state correctly, real diminuendos etc are not part of the SE and I am indeed talking about the means of using vel-x-fade and expression. :) The smoothing approach seems appropriate as expression seems to be nothing more than "volume" within the range of the current CC7 volume setting. It seems that vel-x-fade alone doesn't allow for an al niente diminuendo and this is where CC11 comes into play (these are my observations in the demo I'm referring to).

The clarinets: This section bugs me, because it's not that the composer uses a short articulation for which vel-x-fade-OFF may be more appropriate at first and then switches to legato with vel-x-fade ON. It's the same legato patch all the time! He just turns vel-x-fade ON at the mentioned time stamp (after the first ascending notes)! And I'm dying to know the reason for this. :D

Divisi: Appassionata/Chamber sections were used which I replaced with the Orchestral equivalents. In the original VE/VI file the divisi Cellos both used the same Orchestral legato patch while one Cello voice also deployed the Chamber portamento. The fact that they both use the same legato patch made me a bit unsure about the divisi thing, hence my question, as it is just doubling the section size, essentially. (However, this issue is not so important to me at the moment.)

 

@J.Hall: There is a misunderstanding at either one or both ends here, I think. :D I'll try to clarify.

My frame of mind/expectation:
Patch "Pedal up": Hit a note, hear sound, let key go, sound go bye bye.
Patch "Pedal down": Hit a note, hear sound (more resonant), let key go, sound still there.
Obviously this is not the case... It's just the resonance/timbre that differs.

You stated that I need to prolong the midi events or use CC64 (pedal) to have sustained notes. But: The CC64 channel is already used to switch to the pedal down patch (and just that)! If my understanding above is correct, then switching to the pedal down patch (and nothing else does using CC64 (pedal)) doesn't automatically yield sustained notes.
If now all that I said is correct so far, it feels that it's actually cumbersome to "use pedal" with samples and the piano section in this specific case may not be entirely realistic (sustain on only some of the bass notes, too little sustain on all the other high ones...).

Mixing: I stumbled about the list of "natural volume levels" in a manual as well and planned to take a look at it. I just wondered, if there was a general guideline for balancing samples in the light of midi orchestration...

 

Thanks to all of you!
Lukas

i7-6700K (4 @ 4.0GHz w/ HT) - 16GB RAM
Windows 10 Home 64bit - REAPER - Finale 2012 - Dorico
---
VI Pro 2 - VEP7 - MIRx Sage
SE1&2 - S-SE1&2 - SSP
Posted on Mon, Apr 06 2020 19:14
by Sandrew
Joined on Fri, Nov 01 2019, Basel, Posts 18

I know this post is four years old, but in case anybody comes here looking for an answer to question Number 5 (the problem with the sustain pedal not working on the Bösendorfer of the SE-Bundle):

I had the same problem today, and I solved it by not using the expression map in Cubase that VSL provides. It seems to block the CC64 from getting to the plugin. After dactivating the expression map, the sustain pedal worked as expected.

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