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claysf
01-25-2007, 06:37 PM
I want to find a way to soften the spiccato attacks. The Strad manual says that the intensity of the standard spiccato attack can be varied by velocity and, to a lesser extent, by the expression pedal. When playing lyrically, I can soften the attacks by using the sustain pedal (legato.) But I can't soften the attack on the first note of any phrase--even if I play very softly (hard to do with my club-fingered touch.) Also, repeated notes give a too-strong attack, even with the sus pedal down, leaving annoying harsh bow-strikes where I don't want them.

I've been thinking there must be a way to adjust the velocity response curve somehow, so that a wider range at the 'low end' is given to the softer attacks, and requiring me to dig into the keys more for the spicatto. But I don't know how to do this.

Anybody else notice this issue? Suggestions?

Thanks,
Clay

MacBook Pro
Logic
Axiom 49

Giorgio Tommasini
01-26-2007, 02:31 AM
Clay,

This issue has been thoroughly analyzed.

I checked the relative loudness of the attacks vs. sustains, by sending their output to different channels, using an unlocked copy of the Stradivari vers. 2.01 in K2.

I could verify that if both CC#11 and velocity are set to very low values (say < 5), the attacks are at least -25 dB (peak value) below the sustains, i.e. barely audible.

Are there other possible causes for the problem you're reporting? Are CC#11, and note-on velocity effectively set to very low values? You should check this with a sequencer. Some pedals, and keyboards, are indeed incapable of outputting very low values.

Giorgio

Bosco Adama
01-26-2007, 10:01 AM
Some pedals, and keyboards, are indeed incapable of outputting very low values.

Giorgio

I believe that is the point.

The quality of most midi keyboards and the inconsistencies of their performance vary greatly.
This is the reason that many users will have the need to fine tune and adjust parameters within the software interface for enhancing the control of attack, portamento, dynamic range etc. Of course we could use the mouse after the fact but that is not appealing for a performance instrument.:|:

claysf
01-26-2007, 11:17 AM
I believe that is the point.

The quality of most midi keyboards and the inconsistencies of their performance vary greatly.
This is the reason that many users will have the need to fine tune and adjust parameters within the software interface for enhancing the control of attack, portamento, dynamic range etc. Of course we could use the mouse after the fact but that is not appealing for a performance instrument.:|:
Yes, Bosco, that was my question. Giorgio, I do clearly hear the softened attack at low velocity and reduced CC #11. I have several keyboards--two weighted key pianos, an old Roland U-20, and a new Axiom 49. With all of them, it is hard to access the lighter attack, perhaps because the velocity threshold is set so low or perhaps because of my manual clumsiness. So I wonder if there is any way--perhaps inside my sequencer (Logic)-- to set the velocity response so that it switches to quieter attack at a higher velocity. I have found, of course, that I can edit this later; but it would be nice to have more easy control in real-time playing.

I hope that makes sense. I'll be gone over the weekend but looking forward to any further wisdom on this question.

Clay

Nickie Fønshauge
01-29-2007, 08:30 PM
What do you think?
I think it would be an extremely helpful utility. I cannot imagine, anybody would try to stop you ;)

Eric G
01-29-2007, 09:13 PM
I had horrid low velocity response on my last controller. I did find a plugin that would extrapolate lower velocity values based on user-definable curves.

However, this came at the expense of resolution. If a keyboard will only generate 30-40 unique values between 0-127, then all a plug-in will do is spread those out over that range (or compress them farther within that range).

Really, the only solution is better controllers. It saddens me that keyboard controllers have devolved - I don't think there are ANY currently made controllers with even, high-res velocity, release velocity, poly-pressure, etc. Advances in software instrument design could really make great use of these features.

I guess there is a good reason to keep my old Ensoniq TS-10 around.

--Eric

nhb
02-01-2007, 08:42 PM
I find myself using the original Strad far more often because I was able to make the necessary adjustments and tweeks to suit my playing style, combined with my particular controller.

There is no reason why we shouldn't be able to have the same freedoms with the 2.0 version. I really hope the programmers are reconsidering the policy of not letting the buyer customize their patches to their satisfaction.

I am really interested in the Cello as well, but only if I am able to do simple things like adjusting attack velocity.

nhb

claysf
02-02-2007, 11:42 AM
Controllers/keyboards are a big thing and a lot of people are either upset by that or on the other hand don't want to deal with it. Following the threads on several forums - it appears that either an older Roland or a CME or a Kurzweil keyboard are the choices. Fatar and M-Audio are at the bottom of the heap and CME gets mixed reviews from users - some like them and some don't.
Sheesh, I just bought an ancient Fatar Studio 2001 because it has a wonderful piano-like action; also, 'cause it allows me to set the velocity curve in several different shapes besides linear. Sorry to hear Fatar is "the bottom of the heap," although since this is vintage 1993 maybe it's better than the new ones? Whatever; I won't be able to try it right away in any case, since the internal battery's dead and I have to find a techy person to help me find a new one and install it. (It loses anything I program as soon as I turn it off)

BTW, any Bay Area denizens here who know a good local person to work on MIDI equipment?

Anyway, Stephen, the idea of creating a plug-in to address this issue is a great one. It would make a huge difference in the playability of this new generation of super-responsive instruments.

claysf
02-06-2007, 12:08 PM
I hope your Fatar is one of the older good ones that I remember (I used to build synth keyboards from Fatar key beds back in the early 70's - liked them a lot then.)
Yes, my Fatar is an old warhorse from 1993. It comes built into a hard case and the keyboard feels better under the hands than even my Clavinova of the same vintage. I took it in for battery replacement (dumb; the old battery was hardwired in!) and hope to have it back later this week.

Stephen, sorry you hate your Axiom's touch, but glad to hear it :) I have an Axiom 49, and while I appreciate the ease of use, it was the Axiom's bad 'feel' that sent me out looking for a better keyboard. Maybe the reason that keyboards have gotten generally worse is because consumers have valued light weight and portability over touch. When I took the Fatar apart, almost all of the weight was in the keyboard structure; the electronics and case weigh next to nothing.

Will be looking forward to that velocity plug-in!

Uli Reuter
08-23-2007, 10:10 AM
Hello
although this has turned in a hardware discussion thread I like to bring this old topic up again.

After some months with this library I must say that the connection of velocity with both initial attack *and* portamento (slides) is not good at all for playing simple, lyrical lines.
Generally, when playing such passages you would not like to have initial accents at all. So you have to play with very, very low velocity. But then when you play legato, there is this incredibly long slide. So: Low velocity at the 1st note of any phrase, high velocity at the following ones... (if you want a simple, clear change of the notes): Absolutely hard to do, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Can't you please provide an alternative where the slides are controlled by a totally different controller, and velocity only is steering attack?

Thank you

Uli

Uli Reuter
08-28-2007, 12:13 PM
No chance?

As an ideal I imagine *nearly* inaudible slides for intervals up to major 3rds and slightly longer ones for bigger intervals, and a controller assigned for doing occational slower slides. Or of course standardized fast slides plus a controller.

Thank you for your comments.

Uli Reuter

dermod
09-15-2007, 02:44 AM
No doubt this is one of the Strad's shortcomings (among its many virtues). In default mode, either the fiddle slips and slides around the notes in the musical style favoured in the era of gas cylinder recordings, or each note is hit like a thump with a drum. But it can all be corrected in the midi editor with a mouse. Sadly, I would not hold your breath for a response to your very reasonable suggestion. Judging by another thread, I think Georgio by now may have decided to take his ball away and not come to this playground anymore. Which would be sad.

Uli Reuter
09-15-2007, 04:08 AM
Hello dermod

in fact, as I have to create some solo string layouts in my current production, i decided to purchase VSL Solo Strings which sound really great and work much better *for me*, so I kind of forgot about this thread here. You are right, it is sad, but maybe I can not expect a manufacturer to monitor internet forums (ok, in this case it is a "developer forum", so I'm not so sure). Guess I will try to sell the stradivarius, which does not mean that it isn't a great product for other colleagues.

Best

Uli

Giorgio Tommasini
09-15-2007, 06:45 AM
Judging by another thread, I think Georgio by now may have decided to take his ball away and not come to this playground anymore. Which would be sad.

Dermod,

I believe you would not blame me for doing this, after all.

But I'll be always available, at least for theoretical discussions. ;)

Giorgio

giorgio.tommasini@fastwebnet.it

Tim Miskimon
09-26-2007, 12:10 AM
I've followed this thread for a while now hoping someone would come up with a fix for this.
The hard attack while the expression pedal is set to the lowest point with the lightest touch possible is still too damn loud.
I wish there was a way to keep that sample from sounding at low levels.
Maybe another keyswitch would be the answer.

Uli Reuter
09-26-2007, 07:32 AM
Yeah that's a bit disappointing. I'm sure there's more than one user who e.g. didn't buy the cello because of complicated experiences with the violin. I wrote them a direct mail.

Haydn
09-26-2007, 06:59 PM
The only way to get the attack softer is to lower CC7. The cello has lighter attacks at lower velocities than the Strad. Personally I find the cello more enjoyable to play.

Jim

tfishbein82
09-27-2007, 01:27 PM
The only way to get the attack softer is to lower CC7. The cello has lighter attacks at lower velocities than the Strad. Personally I find the cello more enjoyable to play.

Jim
I think you meant, the Gofriller has lighter attacks at higher velocities than the Strad. So while you need to maybe play velocity 1-30 to activate a pp attack on the Strad, you can play 1-50 to activate pp on the Gofriller - making it easing to achieve a softer attack with the cello.

If that's what you mean, I'm in total agreement. I wish the velocities for Strad were tweaked to be in alignment with the Gofriller for both attacks and legato/portamento. The cello plays much better than the violin; it's too bad we probably won't get an update for the Strad.

Haydn
09-27-2007, 04:56 PM
tfishbein82,

Yes, that's what I meant.

Jim

Kees Rotteveel
11-16-2007, 05:59 AM
On stage... in a life performance... playing a solo violin behind a keyboard?????
In that case I would play or look for the real thing. So, mostly used in an (computer) arrangement, the initial attack on KS C, C#, D, D# is ugly and indeed far to loud. In a legato phrase the bow can already rest on the string, so there is no attack at all and should therefore be removed. If needed you can easily double the first notes by playing KS E or F on a second piece, or if you run out of memory, mix down to audio, mute the midi track and play the notes on a second track. That way you have completely control over the initial sound of every phrase.


Now a days velocity and expression are combined and controlled by the ModWh. -as in the rest of GPO and so many other instruments. The immediate responds of velocity is to me FAR MORE IMPORTANT in an arrangement than vibrato does. And the ModWh is more common than an expression pedal. No one I know off, has one. So let the pedal -or other CC# or CC 17- control vibrato and afterwards carefully automated, as it is so easily overdone. That is also why I don't like opera :)

So, please, make things work in an update, as I want to control my instrument and not the other way around.


Cees Rotteveel,
Junior member, senior musician :)

Thomas Anthony
11-21-2007, 07:34 PM
Hi Everyone,

I have the same problem. Attack is very load no matter what I do.

Stradivari Manual page 31 last paragraph states:
"The intensity and sharpness of the attack are mainly linked to note-on velocity, while the subsequent sustain is controlled by the expression pedal. This gives the possibility of reproducing different articulations."

The note-on velocity is not changing the loudness of the attach no matter how soft I push the key. I decided to ignore the keyboard and enter couple notes into Logic Pro using the Piano Roll and make the velocity at minimum to see if the will make it change. And it does not change.

Increasing the velocity has no effect on the loudness of the attach. it stays the same. Changing the Impression CC#11 value does not effect the attack either.

Conclusion: The keyboard or the impression pedal are not the real problem. :confused:

I'm sure there is a good explanation to this and only Gary or Giorgio will know the answer. Guys please HELP ~|

I emailed the Garritan team about this problem today and just wanted to share this with the forum to get your feed back. Is this similar to your case?

Have a great Thanks Giving Holiday,
Thomas Anthony

Mac Pro
Logic Pro
Komplete 5, Kore 2, Real Guitar, GPO ... etc.
Korg Pa1X

Uli Reuter
12-15-2007, 11:38 AM
Attack is very load no matter what I do.

that's strange, it's not what it's supposed to behave like (even if I don't like the actual behavior either...). In that case I would honestly look for a fault in the setup somehow.

BTW, my direct mail about this issue to the support 3 months ago resulted in nothing but the information that "Giorgio has replied in the thread". Hmm. As far as my English skills go, I understand Giorgio replied that he was not replying and that he wasn't to blame for this... or do I get something wrong here?

dermod
12-22-2007, 06:26 PM
The cello plays much better than the violin; it's too bad we probably won't get an update for the Strad.

Why would this be so? The christmas go-round sale must have sold hundreds of new Strad copies. It is not the Garritan philosophy to leave a program hanging in that way. Many of the Strad issues, later put right in the Gofriller, were not things that required re-sampling, just re-scripting.

Nickie Fønshauge
12-22-2007, 07:52 PM
Many of the Strad issues, later put right in the Gofriller, were not things that required re-sampling, just re-scripting.
Yeah, but the script programmer (G. Tomassini) apparently doesn't work for Garritan anymore. And it is not all that easy to work on a program, developed by somebody else.

Giorgio Tommasini
12-23-2007, 07:07 AM
Dear friends,

Since the Stradivari and the Gofriller were made available, I got several emails basically reporting the same problem, i.e. too strong attacks, feeble sustains, and a lot of bow noise.

Well, in ALL cases, it turned out that the problem was due to a missing CC11. Lack of an expression pedal, incorrect routing of a physical controllers to CC11, or a keyboard (some old Fatar) sending CC7 instead of CC11, were the most common causes. Enabling CC11 input always solved the problem.

In a few cases, too strong attacks were due to an incorrect velocity response of the KB, incapable of sending low velocity values. Velocity remapping within the sequencer solved the problem.




BTW, my direct mail about this issue to the support 3 months ago resulted in nothing but the information that "Giorgio has replied in the thread". Hmm. As far as my English skills go, I understand Giorgio replied that he was not replying and that he wasn't to blame for this... or do I get something wrong here?
Uli Reuter probably overlooked my reply to Clay as of January 26th in this same thread:
http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51365.

“Clay,

This issue has been thoroughly analyzed.

I checked the relative loudness of the attacks vs. sustains, by sending their output to different channels, using an unlocked copy of the Stradivari vers. 2.01 in K2.

I could verify that if both CC#11 and velocity are set to very low values (say < 5), the attacks are at least -25 dB (peak value) below the sustains, i.e. barely audible.

Are there other possible causes for the problem you're reporting? Are CC#11, and note-on velocity effectively set to very low values? You should check this with a sequencer. Some pedals, and keyboards, are indeed incapable of outputting very low values.

Giorgio”.


As to the correct interpretation of my reply to Dermod, please judge yourself:



Judging by another thread, I think Georgio by now may have decided to take his ball away and not come to this playground anymore. Which would be sad.
http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51365&page=2

Dermod,

I believe you would not blame me for doing this, after all.
But I'll be always available, at least for theoretical discussions.
Giorgio

giorgio.tommasini@fastwebnet.it


I’m a doctor, and I spent my professional life in public hospitals. In my country, medical care is freely available to anyone. So I’m used to the idea of providing assistance independently of the context. :)


Yeah, but the script programmer (G. Tomassini) apparently doesn't work for Garritan anymore. And it is not all that easy to work on a program, developed by somebody else.
Please note that Giorgio Tommasini is not the script programmer, nor did he ever work for Garritan.
The Stradivari Violin and the Gofriller Cello were created by Giorgio Tommasini, Stefano Lucato and Gary Garritan, who also sells these products and is responsible for all marketing strategies.



Back to technical questions. The idea of linking portamento rate to the overlapped note velocity was appreciated by many users. Other solutions would imply using an additional controller, and this may be impractical for real time playing. With the sequencer one may easily lower the velocity of staccato notes. This may be a simple and effective way of solving the problem reported by Uri and Dermod.

Anyway, the above issues could have been discussed, and possibly solved in new updates. The decision of not pursuing the solo strings project was not mine. Sorry about this, but I can’t help it.


More recently, I’ve started to get emails reporting excessive attack loudness, now apparently independent from CC11 and velocity settings. This appeared when loading the instrument in Kontakt3.

I could verify that K3 is indeed responsible for this malfunction.

The programming of the envelopes and the modulators has been modified in K3, so the attacks no longer respond to the already discussed interaction of velocity and CC11. While this may be disappointing, please consider that both the Stradivari and the Gofriller were released, and are supplied, as K2 Player virtual instruments. Moreover, they perfectly work if imported in K2.

Backward compatibility of a new sampler, such as K3, can obviously be provided by NI only.

Sincerely,

Giorgio :|:

dermod
12-23-2007, 12:01 PM
Dear Giorgio

Thanks very much for contributing that reply and underlining your personal commitment to users of your outstanding and unique program. The only thing that really makes many people frustrated is the apparent doubt that the other essential instruments to complete the string quartet may not now be forthcoming. The viola and an alternative violin would be enormously appreciated. A Contrabass would be icing on the cake for string orchestra enthusiasts.

Uli Reuter
12-23-2007, 02:53 PM
I also say thank you very much for clarification Giorgio.

I see clearer now. I think (this is not at all a criticism in you) the fact that the solo strings project is not longer pursued could be made public more clearly (or at all) by the manufacturer.
I still can not really see (that has also nothing to do with you Giorgio) why the need to play velocities lower than a value of 5 to avoid attacks would be in any way practical for life performance, but I'm aware that discussion will lead to nowhere.

Good luck

Uli

Bosco Adama
12-24-2007, 09:16 AM
I also say thank you very much for clarification Giorgio.

I see clearer now. I think (this is not at all a criticism in you) the fact that the solo strings project is not longer pursued could be made public more clearly (or at all) by the manufacturer.
I still can not really see (that has also nothing to do with you Giorgio) why the need to play velocities lower than a value of 5 to avoid attacks would be in any way practical for life performance, but I'm aware that discussion will lead to nowhere.

Good luck

Uli

I agree 100%!!

The Gofriller is fun to play but the Strad is very frustrating to control. And yes, I utilize CC 11, sustain, expression pedal, keyboard scaling etc...

I hope someday there will be a patch to bring the Strad up to the standard of the Gofriller ( Strad SP2 ) regardless of the production the viola and an alternative violin. Until then, it will stay in it's case waiting to be played.

claysf
01-08-2008, 06:54 PM
Hi Sergio (and Gary too!)--

I haven't visited this thread for a long time, but I just installed the Gofriller and am blown away by how well it plays and how sweet are the attacks compared to the Strad. The preceeding dialogue on this thread has been a curious one, to say the least. Giorgio:

A. I appreciate your work on these instruments, and admire your personal priorities. Thank heaven for the example you Europeans set on universal health care!

B. Accepting that you're a busy man, though, your lite replies to this thread suggests that you haven't looked at the reported problem seriously enough. The low-velocity-attack problem is real, and ought to be fixed. The fact that it's been successfully addressed in the Gofriller proves my point.

The Strad was/is a groundbreaking software product. So it's no surprise that it has a serious bug. But it's supposed to be playable "in real time" without the need to go back into MIDI to mellow out the phrasing. To be blunt, these harsh attacks make it difficult--no, impossible!--to make your Strad sound real using an ordinary, good quality MIDI controller setup.

I know this is easily said--I'm just an end-user, not a product developer.
But if the Gofriller can be released without this problem, it seems obvious that the Strad ought to be fixable without major retooling (of course I can barely program my cell phone, so I could be wrong!) Personally, I'd be willing to pay a modest upgrade fee to get this otherwise lovely violin to play as well as the cello.

Gary, what are the prospects for this, if you please?


Clay

Meyo
01-18-2008, 01:13 PM
I recently purchased this product and am having the same issue. I use a Yamaha XS8 as my controller and find that if I concentrate real hard I can control the attack, but inevitibly at some point, my violin turns into a fiddle.

nten
10-21-2008, 02:11 PM
Hi-
I'm having the same problem...even with velocity of 1! Is there something I'm missing?
HELP!

Nickie Fønshauge
10-21-2008, 02:30 PM
Is there something I'm missing?

Yes, crank down CC#11 (Expression), start the note and then raise CC#11 again.

leencoo12
10-02-2010, 12:35 AM
I had horrid low velocity response on my last controller. I did find a plugin that would extrapolate lower velocity values based on user-definable curves.

However, this came at the expense of resolution. If a keyboard will only generate 30-40 unique values between 0-127, then all a plug-in will do is spread those out over that range (or compress them farther within that range).

Really, the only solution is better controllers. It saddens me that keyboard controllers have devolved - I don't think there are ANY currently made controllers with even, high-res velocity, release velocity, poly-pressure, etc. Advances in software instrument design could really make great use of these features.

I guess there is a good reason to keep my old Ensoniq TS-10 around.

--Eric
I find myself using the original Strad far more often because I was able to make the necessary adjustments and tweeks to suit my playing style, combined with my particular controller.

There is no reason why we shouldn't be able to have the same freedoms with the 2.0 version. I really hope the programmers are reconsidering the policy of not letting the buyer customize their patches to their satisfaction.

ellyka112
11-21-2010, 04:53 AM
I find myself using the original Strad far more often because I was able to make the necessary adjustments and tweeks to suit my playing style, combined with my particular controller.

There is no reason why we shouldn't be able to have the same freedoms with the 2.0 version. I really hope the programmers are reconsidering the policy of not letting the buyer customize their patches to their satisfaction.

I am really interested in the Cello as well, but only if I am able to do simple things like adjusting attack velocity.

nhb
Anyway, Stephen, the idea of creating a plug-in to address this issue is a great one. It would make a huge difference in the playability of this new generation of super-responsive instruments.