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#2919077 - 04/03/18 09:53 PM Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 68
OK people, I think it is my last debate in deciding whether to spend my best budget on a Korg Kronos, or on the best virtual instruments.
The issue is, that in many sample libraries, especialy in most of the best sounding ones, there is no option to control dynamics\expression via velocity, but only through CC11, which means I have to use the modwheel or expression pedal for that.
Question is, is this acceptable for live performance in your opinions?

I understand that in studio productions, to achive great realism, this is the way to go, but for live context, I think we only need good sound and playability.
As someone with piano background(I played 10 years on acoustic upright piano before I touched a digital keyboard), I like to have the option to control dynamics\expression only via velocity.
I can accept that things like vibrato for example is controlled via some MIDI CC, but not dynamics\expression.

A good question is, whether there are any presets in, for example, the Korg Kronos(stock sounds or expansion libraries), where there is no option to control dynamics\expression via velocity, but only via its joystick or expression pedal.
If there are such presets in the Korg Kronos, this is a good indication that something is wrong with ME and with MY playing style, but if not, well, I guess that software isn't there yet for live context, and I have to stick with hardware, with all the pros and the cons of it.

P.S
I hope that's OK that I always mention the Kronos, IMHO it is the hardware king.

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#2919113 - 04/04/18 05:54 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
MorayM Offline
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I think you're looking at this problem the wrong way. Live performance is all about giving single, transient, performances. However often you perform, each performance is going to be different and all are entirely driven by your personality and musicality.

I use some of the same libraries at home and am slowly getting the hang of riding faders to inject life into my string parts. As a pianist like you, it doesn't feel particularly intuitive and I don't enjoy doing it, but it gets results. When I'm playing live on the other hand I don't bother. I use the factory string library in my PC3K8. The samples are old and the total sample size is less than a single Kontakt instrument but the patches were designed from the ground up to be performed. They respond beautifully to pianistic dynamics, initial velocity, release velocity, legato playing, the whole works, so I'm well deep in my comfort zone when performing. And because I'm so comfortable, I'm going to give a much more confident and much more expressive performance than I ever could with Spitfire or East West.

Yes, the detail isn't there, and you're not going to get authentic string effects like hearing the change in bow direction on repeated notes, but for most gigs, no one will notice. And if you absolutely do need all that then you should probably get real string players...



Or, of course, a backing track wink
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#2919122 - 04/04/18 06:59 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
Markyboard Offline
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Originally Posted By: hag01

The issue is, that in many sample libraries, especialy in most of the best sounding ones, there is no option to control dynamics\expression via velocity, but only through CC11, which means I have to use the modwheel or expression pedal for that.


This statement surprises me. Which products? I would definitely steer clear of these for your intended purpose - especially knowing there are plenty of other/better options in both software and hardware.

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#2919128 - 04/04/18 07:38 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Markyboard]
burningbusch Offline
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I know that the Sample Modeling and Analog Modeling (SWAM) libraries require a controller, but I am unaware of any others. Which ones are you referring to?

Busch.

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#2919133 - 04/04/18 07:51 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: burningbusch]
Reezekeys Offline
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I'm betting he means the wind or string instrument sample libraries that crossfade between different samples with CC11. That's an intelligent design choice for sustaining sounds that change timbre during the note, as opposed to percussive sounds like the piano, where you cannot vary the timbre after the note is triggered – that's where velocity works better.

Of course, on a VI/laptop rig you can probably find a way to remap velocity to CC11 (I know I can do it in Bidule), but the results would be unpredictable and probably not sound very good imo; you'd need very precise control over your playing dynamics.

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#2919149 - 04/04/18 08:58 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Reezekeys]
hardware Offline
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ReMapping on your host or controller is a breeze.
But don’t waste an entirely useful hand to ride a modulation wheel unless of course you’re playing over pre recorded material.

If you are playing pre recorded material use your host to automate dynamics and you can still play with both hands.

If you’re actually performing, use both hands and throw in a foot for the Expression Pedal to control dynamics.

In my host I can slam down the Expression without riding it and pre programmed curves decide how long the dynamics take to reach their maximum and minimum values.
Think of it as the Yamaha Montages Super Knob, only a more refined version of it.
This also moves my drawbars for Hammond Organ emulations to and from selected values at selected rates.

It sounds to me like you want to do what most guys do in a studio live.

I can assure it can be done and only requires some foresight and proper hardware/software.
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#2919196 - 04/04/18 12:34 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Reezekeys]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 68
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
I'm betting he means the wind or string instrument sample libraries that crossfade between different samples with CC11. That's an intelligent design choice for sustaining sounds that change timbre during the note, as opposed to percussive sounds like the piano, where you cannot vary the timbre after the note is triggered – that's where velocity works better.

Of course, on a VI/laptop rig you can probably find a way to remap velocity to CC11 (I know I can do it in Bidule), but the results would be unpredictable and probably not sound very good imo; you'd need very precise control over your playing dynamics.

Yes, that's exactly what I meant, CC11.

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#2919205 - 04/04/18 01:27 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
Reezekeys Offline
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If thats what you mean then you should understand that velocity alone can't give the expressiveness with sampled string and wind instrument libraries. CC11 is for crossfading between phase-locked samples that play back simultaneously, and is a way to simulate timbre changes in those instruments as you blow or bow harder. I know the Kronos uses a SSD to stream samples but I'm not sure it does this kind of thing out of the box – so it's possible that a Kronos won't be able to give you that kind of expressiveness, if that's what you require. Of course velocity can open a filter or boost the VCA a bit, but that affects the whole note for as long as it sounds. Winds & strings can change volume & timbre as the note is playing, so keyboard software & hardware manufacturers seem to have settled on CCs to do that. Using a breath control or foot pedal seems a good way to work it, in order to leave your hands free. But again – I would do some research to see if the Kronos uses this method to get dynamics into their strings & winds. If not, then a VI setup might be preferable to you.

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#2919207 - 04/04/18 01:48 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Reezekeys]
J. Dan Offline
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Kronos does some of that but typically uses the vector joystick which can modify the sound in 2 dimensions. Those assignments can be remapped to other controllers like foot pedal, etc.
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#2919748 - 04/06/18 04:55 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: hag01
OK people, I think it is my last debate in deciding whether to spend my best budget on a Korg Kronos, or on the best virtual instruments.
The issue is, that in many sample libraries, especialy in most of the best sounding ones, there is no option to control dynamics\expression via velocity, but only through CC11, which means I have to use the modwheel or expression pedal for that.


I'm not sure I understand this. AFAIK, whether Kronos/hardware or VSTs, most quality sampled acoustic sounds have velocity layers. Which VSTs are you talking about where the sounds don't automatically permit you to control dynamics/expression with velocity?

If you're talking about triggering entirely different sounds at different velocities (as opposed to playing a single sound with greater expressivity), while there may be some sample patches constructed this way, I think you'd largely want to custom assemble these for yourself based on your needs, regardless of what platform you use. But maybe some of the fun "instant orchestra" things are more or less available in different environments, I don't know.
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#2919751 - 04/06/18 05:18 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: AnotherScott]
burningbusch Offline
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Mike Verta does an excellent job showing the idea behind controlling timbre/dynamics/expression using a controller vs. velocity. This is why these libraries are programmed as they are and this is the intended usage.



Busch.

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#2919772 - 04/06/18 06:51 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: burningbusch]
roygBiv Offline
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Loc: Pacific NW
Wow, that is a great video, very informative. Thanks Busch.

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#2919779 - 04/06/18 07:51 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: burningbusch]
AnotherScott Offline
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Nice video, thanks. My first thought was that the wheel was controlling filter, as opposed to sample crossfading, but I can see where authenticity can favor the latter. And the problem with trying to do that same thing with velocity is that the wheel lets you manipulate the sound over time, whereas velocity's job is done as soon as you sound the note. But rather than use the wheel, for the examples there, I think I"d rather use a Breath controller... which also has the virtue of not taking up a hand, which can be impractical in many live performance situations.
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#2919800 - 04/06/18 11:38 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: AnotherScott]
Pianolando Offline
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Registered: 05/25/14
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This is a good point!

I really wish Montage or Kronos had string/wind/brass ensembles who were controlled the way the VIs are, with modulation wheel, cc11 or other continuous controller. For instance, the super knob in Montage would be perfect, but I do believe that people designing these synths and programming their sounds are not high level players themselves, and it shows.

At least for me, having a good sampled string orchestra, controlled like that would be amazing and much more realistic than controlling velocity layers with velocity and trying to ride expression to compensate. It works, but it’s not as good or realistic. Even the basic, few MB, Berlin strings ensemble patch, only intended for for quick sketches is way better sounding and more expressive than any string sound in Montage or Kronos. Imagine what playing a multi velocity, few hundred MB ensemble patch would feel like - nothing like what’s currently available in HW.


Edited by Pianolando (04/06/18 11:39 PM)

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#2919847 - 04/07/18 07:00 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Pianolando]
Reezekeys Offline
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I'm going to guess that the reason you don't see the crossfaded sample techniques used in hardware workstations is that they are very memory & cpu-intensive. When you play a single note you're actually triggering & streaming a whole bunch of samples simultaneously and using a controller to crossfade between them. A velocity-layered patch triggers one sample per note. I wouldn't expect even a high-end hardware workstation to allocate the disk space, memory or CPU resources to handle this more specialized application, when they also have to provide all the other sounds that a typical buyer expects to get.

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#2919863 - 04/07/18 08:03 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Reezekeys]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 68
Hey fellows, I think I didn't explain myself clearly.

I meant that I don't like that in many virtual instruments you have only the possibility to control dynamics through CC11, and no option to control dynamics through velocity, because most of the time I want to just use velocity like a piano player, even when I play none piano sounds.
Of course that is some cases I'd prefer to use CC11 for more sophisticated expressiveness, but I like to have the option to use velocity for dynamics, in any virtual instrument I'm playing.

Look a Soundiron Symphony Series, such a great VST, too bad you have only CC11 for dynamics in that VST.
I also haven't found any decent accordion virtual instruments, where you can control dynamics via velocity, only CC11 in accordion VIs(although some real accordion player told me that accordion VI with velocity sensitivity is blasphemy).

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#2919886 - 04/07/18 10:14 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Pianolando]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pianolando
I really wish Montage or Kronos had string/wind/brass ensembles who were controlled the way the VIs are, with modulation wheel, cc11 or other continuous controller.

My gut feeling is that you might well be able to get a good deal of the way there by simply assigning filter cutoff and volume to mod wheel (or other controller of choice). If you listen to that video, a big part of what's happening as he pushes the wheel up is that the sound gets brighter and louder. That VI method may be more authentic by virtue of using samples of varying brightness rather than using a filter to achieve the various amounts of brightness, maybe the actual instruments' harmonics don't "open and close" precisely as the filter sweep would emulate it, but I think it would be pretty close, esp. for live performance. I think the other thing you'd want to try in this scenario is using (or assembling) sounds that have fewer different velocity samples in them. You'd want to avoid, for example, hitting a key softly such that it triggers a low velocity sample that simply doesn't include the upper harmonics, which would then not be available to be introduced via the wheel. You could compensate a bit for what you'd lose by altering the attack envelopes with velocity, or maybe having the wheel affect atack velocity as well.

Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
I'm going to guess that the reason you don't see the crossfaded sample techniques used in hardware workstations is that they are very memory & cpu-intensive. When you play a single note you're actually triggering & streaming a whole bunch of samples simultaneously and using a controller to crossfade between them. A velocity-layered patch triggers one sample per note.

The Yamaha Motif architecture (to pick as an example) supports 8 elements per triggered note of a given sound, and while it is often configured to generate different elements at different velocities, it has no problem triggering all 8 elements simultaneously, as some sounds require, and even layering multiple such sounds... and I'm pretty sure you can use the mod wheel to crossfade between different elements... which means that actually, you should be able to assemble a sound that behaves the way we're talking about, assuming 8 samples for a given note is sufficient. It does eat up polyphony, though. 128 polyphony with a single 8-element sound becomes 16 note polyphony (though that's still sufficient to emulate a brass or string section). Layering two such sounds would reduce polyphony to 8.

Originally Posted By: hag01
Hey fellows, I think I didn't explain myself clearly.

I meant that I don't like that in many virtual instruments you have only the possibility to control dynamics through CC11, and no option to control dynamics through velocity, because most of the time I want to just use velocity like a piano player, even when I play none piano sounds.
Of course that is some cases I'd prefer to use CC11 for more sophisticated expressiveness, but I like to have the option to use velocity for dynamics, in any virtual instrument I'm playing.

That gets back to my first post in this thread, where I though that was what you meant, and again, I wasn't aware of an inability to use velocity with VIs.

Originally Posted By: hag01
Look a Soundiron Symphony Series, such a great VST, too bad you have only CC11 for dynamics in that VST.

They say you can assign different articulations to different velocity ranges. But I guess you're saying there's no way to adjust volume *within* an articulation's range by virtue of hitting the key harder or more softly? It's nothing I have any experience with, but I'd be surprised if there is no way to do that. Not even within their "ensemble instrument" which is designed less for individual instrument control and more as an overall "sketchpad?" But clearly, either way, this environment is something geared to one part at a time composition rather than live performance. So then getting back to your first post...

Originally Posted By: hag01
A good question is, whether there are any presets in, for example, the Korg Kronos(stock sounds or expansion libraries), where there is no option to control dynamics\expression via velocity, but only via its joystick or expression pedal.
If there are such presets in the Korg Kronos, this is a good indication that something is wrong with ME and with MY playing style, but if not, well, I guess that software isn't there yet for live context, and I have to stick with hardware, with all the pros and the cons of it.

I don't know whether or not the Kronos has such sounds, but either way, I think you'd be wrong to draw the conclusions you describe. Even if there were such presets in the Kronos, that wouldn't need to mean that that there's something wrong with your playing style, it could mean tha Korg chose to include some presets designed more for composition/recording than for live performance. Regardless, nothing would mean that "software isn't there yet for live context" rather you just may need to choose different software. If indeed Soundiron has no such live performance facility because they are so focussed on composition, that still wouldn't mean you can't use software at all, there is certainly software that have velocity sensitive instruments in them. Lots of folks gig with VSTs, they're not all playing with no velocity control of their sounds! Try Mainstage maybe, for example?
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#2919892 - 04/07/18 10:38 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: AnotherScott]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
I'm going to guess that the reason you don't see the crossfaded sample techniques used in hardware workstations is that they are very memory & cpu-intensive. When you play a single note you're actually triggering & streaming a whole bunch of samples simultaneously and using a controller to crossfade between them. A velocity-layered patch triggers one sample per note.

The Yamaha Motif architecture (to pick as an example) supports 8 elements per triggered note of a given sound, and while it is often configured to generate different elements at different velocities, it has no problem triggering all 8 elements simultaneously, as some sounds require, and even layering multiple such sounds... and I'm pretty sure you can use the mod wheel to crossfade between different elements... which means that actually, you should be able to assemble a sound that behaves the way we're talking about, assuming 8 samples for a given note is sufficient. It does eat up polyphony, though. 128 polyphony with a single 8-element sound becomes 16 note polyphony (though that's still sufficient to emulate a brass or string section). Layering two such sounds would reduce polyphony to 8.

It's my understanding that there's an additional property of these samples that are crossfaded between with a controller: they are all "phase-locked", which prevents phasing artifacts as one sample layer fades out while another one fades in. I first heard of this in a violin VI a few years ago. Again, it's my understanding (I'm leaving myself an out in case I'm completely wrong, lol!) that making all these "parallel" samples phase locked involves serious manipulation of the sample data. Perhaps there's a forum member that knows of this particular process and can educate us on it?

Anyway, from what you say about the Montage, Yamaha could load phase-locked samples into its sample roms if they chose to, and I'm assuming they have engineers there with the DSP smarts to make this work. Maybe they, or other hardware companies, are already doing it? I'm pretty sure they custom-fab DSP chips for their high-end synths so there's no reason it can't be done, other than what the bean counters might have to say about it.

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#2919895 - 04/07/18 11:04 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: hag01
Hey fellows, I think I didn't explain myself clearly.

I meant that I don't like that in many virtual instruments you have only the possibility to control dynamics through CC11, and no option to control dynamics through velocity, because most of the time I want to just use velocity like a piano player, even when I play none piano sounds.

Because, as it has been explained in this thread more than a few times, when it comes to certain kinds of instruments, it makes no sense to use velocity to control dynamics. The libraries you mention are wind instruments; to play it realistically you need to be able to vary its dynamics while the note is sounding. This can't be done with velocity.

Originally Posted By: hag01
Of course that is some cases I'd prefer to use CC11 for more sophisticated expressiveness, but I like to have the option to use velocity for dynamics, in any virtual instrument I'm playing.

If you must use velocity, you can program a patch in an app like Plogue Bidule to convert velocity to CC11. Maybe Mainstage can do this too. Bome Midi Translator may be able to also. As I mentioned in an earlier response however – the results may not be very satisfying.

Also, most if not all sample player VIs should let you assign velocity to volume & filter cutoff – that's a very simple way to create dynamics. In my opinion it's also a complete waste of resources! Why spend $300 or $400 on a high end orchestral horn or string library and control it like that? It makes no sense.

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#2919896 - 04/07/18 11:29 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Reezekeys]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 68
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Originally Posted By: hag01
Hey fellows, I think I didn't explain myself clearly.

I meant that I don't like that in many virtual instruments you have only the possibility to control dynamics through CC11, and no option to control dynamics through velocity, because most of the time I want to just use velocity like a piano player, even when I play none piano sounds.

Because, as it has been explained in this thread more than a few times, when it comes to certain kinds of instruments, it makes no sense to use velocity to control dynamics. The libraries you mention are wind instruments; to play it realistically you need to be able to vary its dynamics while the note is sounding. This can't be done with velocity.

Yes, but fact is that in all hardware keyboards you can play any sound, including brass\woodwinds and strings, with velocity responsiveness(except from organs and harpsichord maybe).
We are keyboardists and using expression pedal with strings sound in a live situation, and to express yourself like a keyboardist, could be extremely difficult.
Of course in the studio it is completely another situation, and you want a relistic imtation of those instruments, too bad that the creators of many VIs didn't consider the live players as well.
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys

Originally Posted By: hag01
Of course that is some cases I'd prefer to use CC11 for more sophisticated expressiveness, but I like to have the option to use velocity for dynamics, in any virtual instrument I'm playing.

If you must use velocity, you can program a patch in an app like Plogue Bidule to convert velocity to CC11. Maybe Mainstage can do this too. Bome Midi Translator may be able to also. As I mentioned in an earlier response however – the results may not be very satisfying.

Also, most if not all sample player VIs should let you assign velocity to volume & filter cutoff – that's a very simple way to create dynamics. In my opinion it's also a complete waste of resources! Why spend $300 or $400 on a high end orchestral horn or string library and control it like that? It makes no sense.


I don't think that conveting velocity to CC11 would achive good results, unless you play monophonic\single notes only.
The trick with volume in Kontakt instruments could be a good solution, but I don't know how to do it in Kontakt.

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#2919961 - 04/07/18 09:07 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: hag01
I also haven't found any decent accordion virtual instruments, where you can control dynamics via velocity, only CC11 in accordion VIs(although some real accordion player told me that accordion VI with velocity sensitivity is blasphemy).

I guess the accordion player was responding to the fact that accordion keys don't do velocity... but that neglects the fact that dynamics are still available via how much force you use on the bellows. So you do want *some* way to create a similar effect when playing such a part on keys. Again, something like breath controller might be a good approach.

Originally Posted By: hag01

We are keyboardists and using expression pedal with strings sound in a live situation, and to express yourself like a keyboardist, could be extremely difficult.
Of course in the studio it is completely another situation, and you want a relistic imtation of those instruments, too bad that the creators of many VIs didn't consider the live players as well.

Just like with keyboards, not every VST is designed for every kind of player and every application. There's nothing wrong with that. Buy what works for you, and don't buy what doesn't.

Originally Posted By: hag01
I don't think that conveting velocity to CC11 would achive good results, unless you play monophonic\single notes only.

If I understand correctly, you're actually talking about the reverse, converting velocity to CC11. But converting or in ANY way using velocity (a single event occurrence) to achieve something that is supposed to change over time (as via CC) is inherently not going to achieve comparable results, I'm not sure how much of a difference mono vs poly makes.

But what you're really looking for is simply a way to control volume with velocity, right? Getting back to the previous message I posted in this thread, there are VSTs that do that, even if the one you're looking at doesn't. And I think Reezekeys has a good point that a $400 library designed around the concept of continuous control of articulations would kind of be wasted if played like a straight polysynth with simple one-articulation-per-note velocity control. Maybe if you were at least talking about using not just velocity, but aftertouch as well, you could better approach similar results..
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#2920936 - 04/12/18 03:29 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: AnotherScott]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 68
OK people, you helped me to understand that I have to go with hardware, and that software is not for me.

If I was only need keyboard sounds(i.e pianos, organs etc), and synth sounds, than I could go with software easily.
But I have to go with hardware if I want brass and woodwinds and strings and other acoustic instruments sounds, that act like keyboard sounds with velocity sensitity(all the sounds in all hardware keyboards have velocity sensitity), and not like those sample libraries which sound great but dynamics controlled only via CC11 which is not good at all for live playing .
Also most of the strings patches in those sample libraries are not like in hardware keyboard at all, you get separate violins patch, separate violas patch, separate cellos patch, seperate double basses patch, and when you lay them all together it doesn't feel like a keyboard sound.
I just need some keyboardish strings patches if you know what I mean.
Like this problem with strings VIs, Similar problems are common in other acoustic VIs sounds, in term for keyboard playability.

My research made me come to the conclusion that there is no software replacement for Korg Kronos\Yamaha Montage\Kurzweil PC3K.
I wonder why is that, but I guess that if something like that will emerge, many keyboard workstations manufacturers will bankrupt.
The only software modules with sounds that act like keyboard sounds are stuff like Korg M1(1988 Korg workstation? give me a break), XPand!2, which are really poor and dated sounding compared to contemporary keyboard workstations.

There is only one software option I didn't checked which is Mainstage, there is no online demonstration of its orchestral sounds, horns sounds, and other acoustic sounds, but I understand that the acoustic sounds in Mainstage do act like a hardware keyboard sounds.

I'm pretty sure that Korg Kronos+Kapro expansion will blow out the water every software rig with its orchestral sounds because not only they sound good, as opposed to most orchestral VIs you can play them like a keyboard player.

I'm heading now to buy a Korg Kronos, but I rether wait to a Korg Kronos 2 replacement, hopefully will be released in january NAMM.

Thank you all people, you helped me to come to the right conclusions.

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#2920939 - 04/12/18 03:34 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
hag01 Offline
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Registered: 10/15/16
Posts: 68
Here a good demonstartion of great sounds+keyboard playabilty:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMLuRUBRpNs
This is what I want when I'm playing keys.
no modwheel no expression pedal, just velocity, extremely realistic sounding, yet keyboardish sounding.
The closest thing you get with software is Korg M1 VI.
A workstation from 30 years ago, thanks a lot.


Edited by hag01 (04/12/18 03:40 AM)

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#2920987 - 04/12/18 07:18 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
Ashville.Guru Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1849
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: hag01
I don't think that conveting velocity to CC11 would achive good results, unless you play monophonic\single notes only.

This is quite far from the truth.

Firstly, converting to CC11 works, and works quite well, provided you have the right tools. @Reezekeys has mentioned Bidule. In addition, you could fine-tune the response to the nth degree using MIDI plugins like MidiCurve.

Secondly, converting to CC11 isn't the only way to skin this cat. Most (all?) live hosts allow you to control individual plugin volumes using CC values. Hosts like Bidule, Cantabile and third party plugins like MidiConverter3 let you convert incoming MIDI velocity from your keyboard to CC, so you can indirectly control volume of any plugin, even if the plugin isn't designed to respond to it.

Finally, virtual instruments almost(?) always come in a plugin format - VST/AU or whatever. Which means they're meant to be played in a host software. It appears that you might not be quite familiar with the popular ones out there.

Many such hosts are not mere dumb containers for plugins. They're designed with the live performer in mind, with near-infinite routing power and flexibility.

That's why individual instrument plugins don't need be uber-flexible. That's the job of the host software. Which is a good thing - it lets VI devs focus on quality, rather than reinventing the wheel.

- Guru
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#2921000 - 04/12/18 08:36 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: hag01]
JerryA Offline
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Registered: 08/02/00
Posts: 7195
Loc: New England
You've made a good choice with the Korg Kronos, which is a very capable synth. However I should point out that your reasoning here sounds uninformed ...

Originally Posted By: hag01
We are keyboardists and using expression pedal with strings sound in a live situation, and to express yourself like a keyboardist, could be extremely difficult.


Absolutely not. Pedals have a long history of expression with keyboards, beginning with the pipe organs of the middle ages. Some notes can be expressed using velocity only, some require dynamic/timbral change while the note is being held. If you do not wish to develop such skills, of course that is your personal choice. Nothing wrong with that. smile

(I am not suggesting that we all build rigs as extravagantly as Vangelis, but please enjoy his expressive use of pedals below ....)


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#2921022 - 04/12/18 09:52 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Ashville.Guru]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12976
Originally Posted By: Ashville.Guru
Finally, virtual instruments almost(?) always come in a plugin format - VST/AU or whatever. Which means they're meant to be played in a host software. It appears that you might not be quite familiar with the popular ones out there.

Many such hosts are not mere dumb containers for plugins. They're designed with the live performer in mind, with near-infinite routing power and flexibility.

That's why individual instrument plugins don't need be uber-flexible. That's the job of the host software. Which is a good thing - it lets VI devs focus on quality, rather than reinventing the wheel.

Good point. If your host lets you convert velocity to CC1, it may not matter as much whether the VI does. Still, if the VI developer doesn't program with that in mind, you might not get as good a result as in the situation where the developer specifically addresses adapting for live performance. Simply converting velocity to CC1 will only give you the single starting value. If you want any more expressivity after you trigger the sound, you'd need to also program another control source (aftertouch, expression pedal, whatever), and that might not go so smoothly. For example, on a VI designed for mod wheel articulation control, once you mapped velocity to initial value, you'd want a "subsequent manipulation" controller to not send an absolute value, but rather to do something relative to the starting point you established wit your velocity strike, otherwise there would be a jump. And you'd want to be able to go in either direction, perhaps backing off after a high velocity hit, or opening up after a low velocity hit. Could be complicated if the VI were not written with such rerouting in mind, no?
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#2921034 - 04/12/18 10:21 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: JerryA]
dsetto Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 733
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: JerryA
...
(I am not suggesting that we all build rigs as extravagantly as Vangelis, but please enjoy his expressive use of pedals below ....)
...
Wow! The amount of thought & control to realize that is phenomenal. A philosophical evolution of the pipe organ. ... I've never seen so many pedals.

(Perpendicular keys & controls for rectangles does seem best.)

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#2921045 - 04/12/18 10:48 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: AnotherScott]
Reezekeys Offline
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Registered: 02/07/11
Posts: 2976
Loc: NYC area
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Simply converting velocity to CC1 will only give you the single starting value. If you want any more expressivity after you trigger the sound, you'd need to also program another control source (aftertouch, expression pedal, whatever)

At which point one might ask: why convert velocity at all, if you're going to use a controller to shape it? Just use the controller to begin with.

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#2921061 - 04/12/18 11:53 AM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: Reezekeys]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12976
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Simply converting velocity to CC1 will only give you the single starting value. If you want any more expressivity after you trigger the sound, you'd need to also program another control source (aftertouch, expression pedal, whatever)

At which point one might ask: why convert velocity at all, if you're going to use a controller to shape it? Just use the controller to begin with.

In live performance, you could use a foot pedal or aftertouch to affect the sound after you play it, when desired. You wouldn't want to have to use the controller for every single note you play, just for simple control of how loud you want to play the note, that's where you'd want to use velocity. Just like with standard workstation sounds. The fact that you might use your keyboard's wheels, pedals, or aftertouch after you strike a note in no way eliminates the usefulness of having the sound also modified by the velocity of the initial strike.
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Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!

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#2921141 - 04/12/18 08:51 PM Re: Controlling dynamics via modwheel in live playing [Re: AnotherScott]
Ashville.Guru Offline
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Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1849
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Still, if the VI developer doesn't program with that in mind, you might not get as good a result as in the situation where the developer specifically addresses adapting for live performance.
...
Could be complicated if the VI were not written with such rerouting in mind, no?

Except that the VI itself need not receive the remapped CC.

Note that hosts have an internal virtual mixer, which itself can be controlled by CC. So the velocity remapped to CC controls volume downstream of the VI. And good hosts let you filter what CC messages each VI receives.

Also, doesn't have to be CC1. Since both the sender and receiver are within the host, MIDI standard convention goes out of the window. You're free to choose any of 128 CC numbers to map velocity to volume...!

Everything else will work exactly as the VI dev intended.

- Guru
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“This is really what MIDI was originally about — encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place." - Dave Smith

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