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Realistic Cello for Live Theater Production #3021065 12/27/19 05:47 AM
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Mighty Motif Max Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

I've been asked to play the entire cello part in a pit orchestra for a Broadway production this coming year, as the company is having difficulty finding a skilled cellist that can make the two-hour plus drive to all the rehearsals. The cello has a lot of solo parts and exposed sections and is a main instrument. The musical director likes the Motif XF cello sound above the others I have, so that will likely be the base tone. However, there are a ton of different articulations throughout the music, including glisses, bends, spicatto, pizzicato, arco, trills, vibrato, quickly-repeated bow phrases, and assorted sound effects that I can't describe. All played originally by one cello. The job is conditional on replicating as many of those as possible, as if I can't they'll still try and find someone else but it's going to get really expensive quickly for them (nightly rehearsals for a week with the nearest other town with good musicians being two hours away and with winter roads, five-six performances over four days).

If you had the following gear available for live usage in combination or alone, how would you go about replicating the cello as realistically as possible with articulations in a live theater performance situation? Anyone gotten a good result?

Yamaha Motif XF8
Korg Krome 61
Roland JV-1000
Yamaha YS200 FM synth
Yamaha PSR-295 keyboard/YPG-235 (essentially the same board in different sizes)
Yamaha PSS-470 FM keyboard

I don't have a way to do a laptop running a vst like EastWest Symphonic or Hollywood Solo Cello (looks awesome though!) etc for this at all. No suitable laptop or interface and I'm not really planning on shelling out >$150 for a plugin for a one-time gig.

Last edited by Mighty Motif Max; 12/27/19 07:07 AM. Reason: Clarified, thanks Dave

Yamaha: Motif XF8/YS200/CVP-305/CLP-130/YPG-235/PSR-295/PSS-470
Korg: Krome 61
Roland: JV-1000
Casio: CT-370
Kimball Valencia/Broadway/Conn 465 w/144 spkrs/WCOC Reed Organ/Titano Virtuoso Converter
KC Island
Re: Realistic Cello for Live Theater Production [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #3021071 12/27/19 06:31 AM
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davedoerfler Offline
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Originally Posted by Mighty Motif Max
The musical director likes the Motif XF cello sound above the others I have.


I guess you have your answer then. wink


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Realistic Cello for Live Theater Production [Re: davedoerfler] #3021074 12/27/19 06:59 AM
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Mighty Motif Max Offline OP
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
Originally Posted by Mighty Motif Max
The musical director likes the Motif XF cello sound above the others I have.


I guess you have your answer then. wink


For the base tone, yes. For programming and playing techniques to play articulations, not so much. I’m hoping some of the people here have suggestions as to ways to achieve these. I may need to use a second keyboard for certain articulations, which is why I listed everything I can take out live. Maybe someone has used one of those boards and gotten a good result for certain articulations. Sorry if I somehow wasn’t clear about that. Thanks.


Yamaha: Motif XF8/YS200/CVP-305/CLP-130/YPG-235/PSR-295/PSS-470
Korg: Krome 61
Roland: JV-1000
Casio: CT-370
Kimball Valencia/Broadway/Conn 465 w/144 spkrs/WCOC Reed Organ/Titano Virtuoso Converter
Re: Realistic Cello for Live Theater Production [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #3021076 12/27/19 08:17 AM
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tfort Offline
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Since you’re saving them money and bailing them out, maybe they would agree to buy you Audio Modeling’s SWAM Cello?

https://audiomodeling.com/solo-strings/swam-cello/

Re: Realistic Cello for Live Theater Production [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #3021078 12/27/19 09:59 AM
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marczellm Offline
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He's just said that VSTs are out of the question.

Max, the JV might be of use in this situation. You should get the orchestral expansion card for it (SR-JV80-02 or maybe SR-JV80-16). I play a JV-90 keyboard every week in church and it has the 02 orchestral expansion. It has quite a number of string patches - solo cello, small cello section, larger cello section - and with different articulations too.

Here's a few resources:
https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/ORCH_P.pdf
https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/ORCH_W.pdf
http://www.synthmania.com/sr-jv80-02.htm

Heck, I could maybe even sell that card to you smile Although I'd have to check how much it is used in the perfs I created for church - and I have no idea how I'd ship it from Hungary. Check Ebay too.


Life is subtractive.
Current: Jazz, funk, rock, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symphonic pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G


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