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FP and Crescendo
Last post Sun, Jan 22 2017 by William, 7 replies.
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Posted on Thu, Jan 19 2017 13:57
by Nitrox 32
Joined on Sun, Mar 15 2009, Posts 145

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to create a FP followed by a crescendo by combining articulations.  I've tried putting a sFFz patch in slot 1a and a dynamic sustain in slot 2a with no luck.  I've tried putting the same patches with sFFz followed by a dynamic sustain in slot 1b with a crossfade and without.  Still no luck.  Is there a was to do this?


Posted on Sat, Jan 21 2017 02:49
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5738

I agree this is an important articulation - I often need it. What I have found effective is to use a sforzando, and then keyswitch immediately to a sustain using velocity crossfade to do the crescendo. Also, if you don't need a huge difference in f or p, you can use just a sustain with crossfade and dial in the dynamics.  An attack at full velocity, followed by a sudden slope down to pp, then slowly up.   Or if possible, use the sampled dynamic crescendo if it fits the timing.  One thing to remember is that it makes almost no audible difference to use a crossfade dim/cresc with ensemble instruments vs.  the dynamic samples.  It is a waste of time in fact on ensembles.   On solo instruments though,  it can be better.  Though I have to say that some solo instruments work nicely for crossfades also - it depends on the instrument and you have to check them out to see what works.  

Posted on Sat, Jan 21 2017 04:11
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5738

also I forgot to mention the trick of using an instant switch from no velocity crossfade using note-on velocity, and then switching to velocity crossfade for the crescendo.  That allows an instantaneous change of dynamics like the forte-piano-crescendo even with the original non-velocity crossfaded ff note hanging over the softer pp note crescendo.

Posted on Sun, Jan 22 2017 15:14
by saxmand
Joined on Wed, May 06 2009, Posts 67

Doesn't agree with William that there's no audible difference from using crossfaded dim/cresc vs. dynamic samples. Dynamic samples just have more definition in timbra and less articfacts (caused by the crossfades). 

Anyway, just wanted to put your attention to the usage of "attack" and "release". If you put a really long release on your first articulation (FP) and a long attack on the second articulation, then you can simulate an audio crossfade, since the first one blends in to the second one. 

I'm using Cubase so I can do all the faders/articulations with NoteExpression, so the attack and release values get attached to the notes themself, which makes it easy to tweak this type of stuff. 

(let me know if you need more explanation  )

Posted on Sun, Jan 22 2017 16:51
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5738

saxmand - I stated on ensemble sounds, not solo.  You didn't distinguish between those.  Solo need dynamic samples, ensembles in general don't.  A few exceptions, but  I guarantee you I could fool you with them if you were blindfolded.  

Posted on Sun, Jan 22 2017 18:55
by saxmand
Joined on Wed, May 06 2009, Posts 67

I did understand what you stated originally, and maybe you could fool me :) no dis intended.

I also just realized that you said "there's almost no audiable". I just found your statement "it's a waste of time" rather bold, and didn't entirely agree. I guess it also depends on the library as you say, and maybe even more, how much reverb you smear on it. One thing to say about dynamic samples is that you hear the direction in the playing, which is what often lacks in sample library based music. For example a crescendo patch with strings you hear the vibrato grow much more naturally then if you would have done it with velocity crossfade.

And of course I agree that this is much more audible with solo instruments then with ensemble patches. But you could also argue that as soon as you have two instruments playing together, like unison flute and clarinet, they are already an ensemble(!?), but I would still argue that if you can make some magic with dynamic samples you'll get a much more human performance... But if it's worth the trouble, is up to the individual.

Posted on Sun, Jan 22 2017 19:12
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5738

I would also add that you are right in some cases.  I should have said MOST of the time the difference is not audible in ensembles.  One thing that does seem necessary to use actual samples on in any situation is a strong sforzando.  I have found that a slight sudden decrescrendo or a slight accent works o.k. with crossfade, but it is hard to do a strong very fast change with crossfade because the sound - i.e. timbre and vibrato, etc. - does not change naturally in the same way. Though a slight sudden accent works well such as a mf-pp.

The reason I wrote in on this is that I use this particular articulation - a strongly attacked note followed by a piano then crescendo - in almost every piece I write!  It is a very dramatic sound, and so often needed that I almost think VSL should have sampled those - though that would have added a lot to the sheer quantity of samples so it is understandable they didn't.   

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