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Velocity, Modulation, Breath for dynamics control
Last post Tue, Mar 13 2018 by PaoloT, 7 replies.
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Posted on Mon, May 22 2017 14:58
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 482

Hi,

I know that VI is very flexible in how to deal with dynamics, but I'm not as much! :) So, I would like to ask directly which is the preferred strategy of the other users.

What I know is that Velocity is the correct choice for percussions, and the preferred one for many with staccato passages. If you use a continuous control for sustain articulations, send a CC28 to turn Velocity XF off, and gain control of dynamics with Velocity. Send a CC28 back, and regain control on continuous data.

Controlling sustain passages is most often done with a continuous control. CC01 (Modulation) or CC02 (Breath) are the most common. Play a note, and use either the modwheel of the breath controller to keep the note sustaining, swell, fade out.

Since I'm awaiting for a breath controller (the TEControl), I will have two lanes of CCs acting on my dynamics: CC01 from the modwheel, and CC02 from the breath controller. I wonder if I should set the breath controller to send CC01 data, to have all the dynamics in a single lane, without having to separately deal with the different sources. (Or, I could set the modwheel to send CC02 data…)

Having been trained as a piano player, I have never really dealt with dynamics inside the notes. Since when I started playing wind instruments, I discovered that a note can be extremely variable. At the same time, my teachers say that I should keep a note as steady as possibile, without inflating it. Only a phrase, they say, should normally vary in dynamics, not a single note. So, maybe even sustaining notes could work well if controlled by Velocity.

Paolo

Posted on Mon, May 22 2017 22:40
by Saxer
Joined on Sat, Apr 18 2009, Frankfurt Germany, Posts 113

Originally Posted by: PaoloT Go to Quoted Post

Since when I started playing wind instruments, I discovered that a note can be extremely variable. At the same time, my teachers say that I should keep a note as steady as possibile, without inflating it. Only a phrase, they say, should normally vary in dynamics, not a single note.

Probably your teacher want you to be able to play steady notes. I'm a wind player myself and steady dynamic free notes are more an exeption than normality in musical context. At least in my world :-)

I use the TEControl too and I set it to CC1. It replaces my modwheel in most cases. I removed the mouthpiece and blow directly into the white plastic at the end of the rubber tube. So no air gets through, it feels like blowing into a pencil, but the pressure is measured and controls the instruments dynamic. That way I can use it for strings and don't get out of air that fast. I can even breath while holding the note when I close the white plastic tube with my tounge.

Posted on Tue, May 23 2017 14:05
by FabioA
Joined on Fri, Jan 13 2012, Posts 90
Ciao Paolo,

You are correct. I think it's better 99% of the time to have velocity to control dynamic for staccato and percussive articulation. But I would'n use a cc to turn on and off the velocity xfade; in VI pro you can go in the advanced panel, select edit and set velocity xfade off (the other possibility is on or global) for every single patch. So you can set the xfade off for every staccato, pizzicato articulations and use cc1 (or cc2) to control dynamic for sustained articulations.

TEControl is like magic. It helps a lot with programming. Now, you will se you have the chance to create and save different presets, and call for then very quickly. So if you have some library which uses the cc1 and other the cc2 to control dynamkc, you may set all your libraries to respond the the same cc, or you can create two presets for the TeControl, one to send cc1 and another one sending cc2 messages.
So to make a long story short, you can send modulation control with your breath control too!
Posted on Tue, May 23 2017 14:12
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 482

Saxer and Fabio, thank you very much for your precious hints! I completely forgot about the ability of turning on/off the Velocity XFade for each patch. Very useful!

The mouthpiece removal hint is to be tried. My breath support is not yet exceptional, but it's nice to know that I can experiment with different embouchures. And this time, it is no debate about plastic or ebonite mouthpieces!

Paolo

Posted on Sat, Mar 10 2018 09:40
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 482
An additional note about using the mouthpiece or not: at least with the basic breath controller from TEC, you can close the bleed valve, and have maximum resistance, as if you were blowing in the white connection piece with no mouthpiece. I prefer to use the mouthpiece, because (a) I can control the required pressure amount, (b) it is easier to free your mouth by simply rotating it, and (c) washing the separate mouthpiece is easier than cleaning the connection piece, fixed to the headset.

Paolo
Posted on Tue, Mar 13 2018 19:09
by LuCsa
Joined on Sat, Dec 19 2015, Vienna, Posts 120

Originally Posted by: FabioA Go to Quoted Post
Ciao Paolo,
You are correct. I think it's better 99% of the time to have velocity to control dynamic for staccato and percussive articulation. But I would'n use a cc to turn on and off the velocity xfade; in VI pro you can go in the advanced panel, select edit and set velocity xfade off (the other possibility is on or global) for every single patch. So you can set the xfade off for every staccato, pizzicato articulations and use cc1 (or cc2) to control dynamic for sustained articulations.

I guess the global option might be useful (in the light of this question) for "long shorts" (talking about sfz or fp patches), which often might be triggered conveniently by velocity, however, sometimes could be further shaped by wiggling the vel-x-fade fader (to produce the faint idea of a sffz for instance)...

-Lukas

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Posted on Tue, Mar 13 2018 20:32
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 482

I agree with Lukas in how useful it is, being able to control some staccato notes with the Velocity X-Fade. An alternative to turning the Global Velocity/X-Fade control on/off may be using two identical staccato patches, and use one for Velocity-controlled staccato, another one for X-Fade controlled staccato.

Paolo

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