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Synchron Player - Why Limited Number Of Dimension Controllers?
Last post Fri, Mar 04 2022 by DaddyO, 12 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Feb 23 2022 00:31
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

I am curious if there is some internal reason why the Synchron Player dimension controllers are limited to A through H, 8 in number. 

Since I never use a keyboard to select dimensions and slots, CC numbers would provide me with more flexibility than keyswitches. But with just 8 dimension controllers it is not possible to replace all keyswitches with CC assignments for some libraries.

I understand it if it turns out there is an internal reason for this.

Edited to add:

I'm not asking to know what a reason might be, only whether there is one, whether there is any reason to hope the number of available dimension controllers might be increased.

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
Posted on Mon, Feb 28 2022 15:17
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

Hopefully this is not a difficult question to answer.

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2022 21:28
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 13437

Hi DaddyO, 

This is a user forum and of course we are watching it. However, we are encouraging all users to contact us directly with specific questions that need a direct (and most of the time urgent) answer from our team. 

Regarding the Dimension Controllers: We didn't want to cause too much confusion, and the last years went by without any complaints about the limitation to 8 possible controllers, and now I thought I'd watch what the resonance to your question will look like. 

Limitations can also be quite inspiring, at least that's how I like to see it!

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2022 22:16
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

Thanks, Paul. Now that you mention it I could have sent an email to support.

To forum users, the purpose behind raising the question has to do with expression maps. If I could set up custom Synchron Player instances, based on the factory presets, with non-key dimension controllers (CC's, Speed, Velocity, etc.) that would allow me to set up a single expression map for all instruments in a Woodwind, Brass or String library. I wouldn't have to worry about primary instruments in a library with ranges that extend very high or very low, making the range of notes available for switching too limited to support all with one map.

With keyswitches one has to vary the octaves of the switches to account for low and high instruments. Creating, changing, and maintaining multiple expression maps  per library can be very time-consuming and tedious even with copying and editing.

Eight dimension controllers are not enough in some libraries to accomplish all the needed switching.

I have no idea if I am the only one with an interest in doing this. If I am in a minority of one or a few, I expect there is no reason for VSL to expend any effort to add to the number of available controllers.

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
Posted on Wed, Mar 02 2022 02:39
by ravez
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2011, Posts 29

what library is a good example where the 8 dimension controllers are not enough or where you can't fit in the octaves of all the instruments from the same library?

I tend to use the -2,-1,7 and 8 octaves to set the main articulations, and then 4-5 dimension controllers (velocity, speed and some CCs) for stuff like attack,release,vibrato,etc.

I use one map per library.

more than 8 dimension controllers would only help though, i agree.

Posted on Wed, Mar 02 2022 20:36
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

ravez,

I have ended up using the same octaves as you, but I think it was Elite Strings where I bumped up against the limitation and ran out of available notes for switching.

But even beyond that, I would like to set up universal CC controls for various options that come up repeatedly like:

Attack

Transition

Release

Vibrato (senza, con, regular, molto, crossfades)

Vibrato Crossfades (between vibrato types)

General crossfades (other than vibrato)

Tempo

Duration (various switchable durations)

edited to add:

Lineup (for dimensions that select players included)

Instrument (for dimensions that select which iteration of an instrument is active)

That's ten in addition to the oft-needed Speed and Velocity assignments

 

Also, if I can standardize what CC's always apply to a given parameter for all applicable libraries (woodwinds, brass and strings), it is easier to work with them. I would quickly remember which CC to use for what, just like I always know CC 28 turns Velocity X-Fade on and off.

For example:

CC 60's for Attack, Transition and Release

CC 70's for Vibrato and Vibrato X-Fade

CC 80's for General X-Fades

CC 90's for Tempo and Duration

CC 100's for Lineup, Instrument, and other iterations

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
Posted on Wed, Mar 02 2022 22:16
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

So many these days switch using not keyboards but iPads and other hardware and software controllers (Metagrid and Touch OSC) which can be programmed with CC data instead of note data. This way the note range of an instrument becomes irrelevant to the creation of expression maps.

This same feature applies to most keyboard controllers as well. Even my existing MIDI keyboard has 9 faders in multiple assignable banks, eight knobs, and sixteen assignable drum pads.

When I think about it theoretically, why other than live playing do we use keyswitches as the default for controller presets? And live players so far as I guess are not going to use more than a few in any given session. I don't play in live sessions. Why do I need keys for switching? I don't. Then why am I stuck with a finite number of keys when I can be freed to use the far larger number of CC's?

Just food for thought. I realize I must not be in the majority on this subject.

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
Posted on Thu, Mar 03 2022 02:59
by ravez
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2011, Posts 29

Have you tried using program change for dimension controllers as well?

In any case i think you'd run into issues where the same CCs are controlling dimensions that have a different number of cells in them, as they would likely not be the same amount from instrument to instrument, even worse between different libraries, so the same CC value would choose a different articulation.

Posted on Thu, Mar 03 2022 14:57
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

Originally Posted by: ravez Go to Quoted Post

Have you tried using program change for dimension controllers as well?

In any case i think you'd run into issues where the same CCs are controlling dimensions that have a different number of cells in them, as they would likely not be the same amount from instrument to instrument, even worse between different libraries, so the same CC value would choose a different articulation.

Program change is not available in VST3. It's a shame, because the value of a program change is a straightforward number range. If you want the fifth slot, the value is five. As you say, CC's are not so straightforward. If you want the fifth slot, you have to figure out the total number of slots, then use that to calculate the value from 0 to 127 that will get you there.

And the problems you pointed out of variance in the mapping structure and available articulations for instruments in a library do indeed exist. It might be possible to overcome them by creating custom presets that standardize the mapping, and where articulations are wholly missing leave blank slots or substitute with a copy of the best alternative.

Keyswitches suffer from some of the same problems, requiring multiple maps when variances occur.

I admit this is an idea in flux and at this point theoretical because of the Dimension Control limit. 

Thanks for your comments.

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
Posted on Thu, Mar 03 2022 16:44
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

Actually, I should acknowledge the real solution is what VSL has already done working with Studio One and Sound Variations, making user-created expression maps needless except for circumstances that go beyond just referencing individual slots (reference Dorico's conditions options.)

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
Posted on Fri, Mar 04 2022 03:53
by ravez
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2011, Posts 29

I find Sound Variations unusable with Synchron VST3.

It has dynamic mapping which means you end up with hundreds of articulations with infinite names that you can't even read.

But works great with VST2 to create sound variations from scratch and you can also layer them.

You can also just create them in VST2 version and then load the saved mapping in VST3 version.

As long as you don't edit your Synchron patch or load another patch, cause that will reload the dynamic mapping.

I just hope they fix VST3 to support custom mapping and sound variations layering.

I was hoping Cubase 12 was gonna revamp expression maps, but no luck, again...

Logic can work well with Audio Grocery X-DAW, but again, a lot of work from scratch.

Posted on Fri, Mar 04 2022 15:37
by DaddyO
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Washington (US State), Posts 447

Interesting comments, thanks.

It is a real disappointment that Cubase 12 has brought nothing in the way of expression map improvements. The feature set of the newly released versions of Cubase and Dorico were heavily impacted by the development time for their new licensing system (the Dorico team has plainly said this). But it's still disappointing. It kicks the can down the road another year. I had been hoping that Studio One's auto-population advance would stir competitors up match or exceed them and create some momentum for better VST - DAW interaction.

SY Woodwinds, Brass, Perc I, Strings Pro, Elite Strings, Prime
SYzd Woodwinds, Solo Strings, SpecEds 1-4 PLUS
Studio One 5, Dorico 4, Cubase 11
VE Pro, MIR Pro 3D
Windows 10, i5-9600K, 64GB
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