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ejr
05-24-2007, 12:08 PM
After installing the JABB K2 player and K2 instruments, I am continuing to use GPO and JABB instruments in Kontakt 2.

The JABB instruments that I loaded into Kontakt play back fine, just as they were. But I can't load any more of the K1 instruments. Kontakt 2 loses them every time. I have to search for samples whenever I load Sonar projects and no matter what I do to point Kontakt to the directory where the libraries are stored, it doesn't remember.

But, that's beside the point. When I load the K2 instruments, which is what I really wanted to do (to gain access to all the other parameters by dials) I find that the volume level has been dramatically reduced. I set cc1, cc7 and cc10 parameters by entering them directly in Sonar's event list -- so that I can precisely control their initial values and when those values change.

I have to set JABB trumpets to cc7=127 and cc1=127 to hear them at a reasonably moderate level -- and even then the whole section can be drowned out with one or two ww instruments from GPO. I'm not kidding. One flute can totally mask two trumpets playing full blast. If I move the volume slider up in Kontakt, it just slides right back down to about 1/4 the way up the scale when I start playback (remember: the first two lines in each of my MIDI events lists for all JABB instruments is cc1=127 and cc7=127.)

I tried setting the Instrument Options for the cc7 volume range to -00..-12db. This gave me a small increase in volume. Nothing like it used to be. But louder than it was. Once again, as soon as I start playback, the volume slider goes down to about 1/4 of the way up the scale (when it hits those 127 values that should be pinning it to the far right of the meter. Nothing like this is happening with the GPO upgrade.

MORE - It is not recognizing MIDI pan (CC10) settings either. Check the box that allows it to recognize cc7 and cc10 events and it still only responds to the slider. This is very bad. The slider uses values from L100 to R100. Every other instrument in my project uses standard MIDI values from 0 to 127 to determine stereo positioning. It is very difficult (and a lot of work to try to make the JABB precisely pan where they are supposed to be).

What an upgrade! I am much worse off than if I had kept using the old version. Other users should be warned: this upgrade does not appear to be ready.

Nickie Fønshauge
05-24-2007, 01:24 PM
You have two productive options, that would serve you better than uneducated complaining.

1: In KP2 | Options | Audio Engine, make sure to select 0 dB.
2: In the Instrument Options (click the "wrench" then "Instrument Options") | Controller tab select "-infinity to 0 dB" or higher.

Markleford
05-24-2007, 02:43 PM
Nickie is correct again: use the Options to set maximum levels as appropriate.

As I mentioned in the general update thread, JABB and GPO use a different volume range for gain at cc7=127, -6db and +12db respectively. If both are set to 127, then yes, a GPO instrument will be three times as loud as the JABB instrument.

However, you should generally be setting your max levels by hand and then leave cc7 alone *entirely*, making dynamic level changes with cc1 instead (which also affects timbre). This is how the libraries are intended to be used.

- m

ejr
05-24-2007, 04:47 PM
First of all, I don't enjoy being called "uneducated" or having my bug report (and warning to others who might be tempted to apply this upgrade) as "complaining". I have spent a lot of money on Native Instruments products and a lot of my time trying to get them to work.

Secondly, neither of the two suggestions solutions has resolved the problem. Setting the instrument options to infinity to 0 db had no effect whatsoever on the volume. And setting the KP2 Audio Enginge to 0 actually lowered the volume of all JABB instruments even further.

The implication that the JABB instruments are SUPPOSED to sound 3x softer than GPO instruments doesn't wash with me. That effectively means that I can't combine the two. Most of the instruments are brass and percussion. If anything they should sound louder. This isn't the way that the K1 JABB library instruments behave. They can be set to volumes every bit as loud as those in GPO. Using the new instruments effectively means LOSING that capability. Any "upgrade" that takes away features is one I think that some users may want to avoid.

(Re: cc7 vs cc1. I use both, to get a finer adjustment on where the timber changes. For example, sometimes I need to get a bit more volume out of a trumpet or French Horn, to be heard in the mix, without it getting too brassy. Now I have to boost both controls to their max just to make them heard at all -- or to lower the volumes of every other instrument -- and then have to artificially boost everything just to hear a mix on a CD. They are REALLY LOW compared to what they used to be and it is only this upgrade for this library - JABB - that is behaving this way. So I don't think the problem has anything to do with my system or how I am using it.)

Markleford
05-24-2007, 05:28 PM
The "implication" here is that you'll have to normalize the volumes of the instruments, since they use two different ranges. It's not pretty, but that's the way it is for now.

If you like it loud, go to the 'gear menu' (Instrument Options in full Kontakt version), hit the Controller tab, and set 'Midi Controller #7 (Volume) range' to "-Inf..12dB". Do this for each instrument. If you want this setting to be the default, then resave the instrument.

THEN you will need to send a new cc7 message to each instrument to get them to reset volume on this new scale. Until you send such a message, the old volume will remain as it was!

Please understand that you are using a combination of cc7 and cc1 in a manner that isn't prescribed by normal use of the library. As such, your "warnings" of "this upgrade does not appear to be ready" don't necessarily apply to all the people out there who use it differently than you.

It's unfortunate that the libraries have a different volume scale, and this should be fixed. But what should the 'standard' maximum volume be? Many people will disagree, and whatever is the final decision will make some people unhappy. (though honestly, people like me never touch cc7 and won't notice either way)

If you'd like, I believe the Notation sets have the same scale (-Inf..0dB), so you could use those.

In the meantime, though, it's within your power to fix this. Set the ranges yourself and resave the patches. You can make the maximum whatever you'd like. Alternately, you could create a separate instance of KP2 in your host and boost the volume for JABB within the audio track's output such that they were normalized: then the cc7 volume changes would be even.

Finally, if you truly believe you are "much worse off than if you had kept using the old version", then you are always quite welcome to go back to the old version. Fortunately the upgrades were free for users, so you're not losing any money. If there is no advantage for you in the new software, and if you do not want to wait for a programming update, you're welcome to use the previous version.

However, given that multitudes of other users are happy with the update, I don't think it's going to be pulled based on your warnings.

- m

dcrigger
05-26-2007, 01:50 PM
However, you should generally be setting your max levels by hand and then leave cc7 alone *entirely*, making dynamic level changes with cc1 instead (which also affects timbre). This is how the libraries are intended to be used.

- m

Hmmm.... really???? Then why even make cc7 addressable by MIDI?

My understanding was that in JABB cc1's closest standard MIDI analogy would be Expression (cc11) meaning for the dynamic expression variations within the instrument itself. With cc7 being saved for the adjustment of the instrument's level - static or varying - in relation to other instruments. The real world analogy might be - cc1 is the player and cc7 is the guy at the mixing board.

I don't see where EJR was implying any use other than that.

(Though yes, I agree the proclamation about the release being unfit overall was uncalled for - considering the vast number of hosts that this release is available to - it is unreasonable to expect every last permutation to be working at 100% iMO)

David

Markleford
05-26-2007, 02:53 PM
Hmmm.... really???? Then why even make cc7 addressable by MIDI?
That's a good question. Mainly, I believe it's a holdover from General MIDI and tradition of other instruments that can *only* respond to cc7. In fact, in GPO and JABB the default in the past was to *ignore* cc7 and cc10 entirely, back when it was a default setting, and that's why K2P supplies it as a per-instrument option. Honestly, I think it should've stayed global, but that's NI's choice to make.

To that end, leaving the instruments responding to cc7/cc10 in their "enabled" default state *was* a mistake. This will be fixed in a future release, and will solve problems with people complaining that "It's moving pan and volume sliders without me telling it to!" That's due to the fact that many hosts will reset standard controllers and playback start and stop (which you typically have to disable in the config features). And again, since K2P doesn't allow that as a global default anymore, not everyone will be happy with it.

Of course, that even ignores the issue that in most synth implementations cc7 and cc11 are interchangable: they're multiplicative volume controls. By contrast, cc1 also controls timbre. That's a lot of overlap in functionality, so there's bound to be some confusion over controller appropriateness.

Incidentally, all Garritan K2P libraries will also be changed to produce a gain of 0dB when cc7 = 127. As I mentioned before, not everyone will agree on what the "max volume" should be, but at least it should be consistent, as ejr pointed out. It *was* a mistake for GPO to be at +12dB and JABB at -6dB, but it's not the end of the world considering that a user can fix this himself, or simply wait for the next update that combines many programming fixes from a variety of people.


My understanding was that in JABB cc1's closest standard MIDI analogy would be Expression (cc11) meaning for the dynamic expression variations within the instrument itself. With cc7 being saved for the adjustment of the instrument's level - static or varying - in relation to other instruments. The real world analogy might be - cc1 is the player and cc7 is the guy at the mixing board.
That's a perfect analogy. And to that end, cc7 really shouldn't be touched by the guy at the mixing board: it's a "set and forget" controller, as opposed to cc1, which should be controlled to countour the whole track according to dynamics.


I don't see where EJR was implying any use other than that.
Actually, it seems that he *is* using both controllers dynamically, in combination (see his "Re:" text in his last post). Whereas cc1 controls both timbre and volume together, he wants finer control of both parameters independently. And I can't fault him for that. Really, it would be best if he had two special purpose controllers at his disposal for that approach, but GPO and JABB are designed to support one particular paradigm.

If someone was so inclined, however, they could use the full version of Kontakt 2 to provide this sort of control: all the Garritan library sample content is available for use, and any K2P program loaded and resaved will still work in K2P.

- m

dcrigger
05-26-2007, 05:28 PM
While I can understand how cc7 and cc10 can cause confusion for those new to this stuff - though probably no more so than the confusion already created by commandering the Modulation control in such a non-standard manner. Brilliant and effective - certainly. Confusing for the novice - undoubtably.

My point being there seems no way around a bit of learning curve here regardless. And that being the case, I think it would a terrible mistake to "fix" what you say the mistake of having cc7 enabled per instruments. It would seem unfortunate to make difficult getting to something as useful, if not essential, particularly in a multiple-instrument plug-in, as the automation-capable mixing (or submixing rather - within the plug-in) that cc7 (on top of cc1) provides.

Surely after having played a full ensemble arrangement - one instrument at a time - while utilizing the full expressive range offered by cc1 - one finds that the Bari Sax and Trombone section are jumping out a bit for 8 bars in the bridge. This is where the volume controls on the plug-in being "set and forget" would be a real liability. Without that ability, one would have to go back and edit all the cc1 data - not at all convenient for novice or expert.

Especially not when 20 years of MIDI production has taught otherwise - there should always be two layers of "volume" control - both able to be automated.

1. the player - cc11 - or in this case cc1, then,

2. mixing - cc7 - for trimming, balancing from section to section.

I don't see how a multi-instrument can be effective without both.

<<<but GPO and JABB are designed to support one particular paradigm.

If someone was so inclined, however, they could use the full version of Kontakt 2 to provide this sort of control: all the Garritan library sample content is available for use, and any K2P program loaded and resaved will still work in K2P.>>>

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that GPO and JABB as sold (without upgrading to Kontakt) are specifically designed to not work in this IMO most basic manner? And if so, I'd be very curious to know why?

David

David

Nickie Fønshauge
05-26-2007, 05:45 PM
To that end, leaving the instruments responding to cc7/cc10 in their "enabled" default state *was* a mistake. This will be fixed in a future release, and will solve problems with people complaining that "It's moving pan and volume sliders without me telling it to!" That's due to the fact that many hosts will reset standard controllers and playback start and stop (which you typically have to disable in the config features). And again, since K2P doesn't allow that as a global default anymore, not everyone will be happy with it.
And I won't be happy if CC#7/CC#10 are disabled by default in a future release. I prefer to be able to set them from the host to achieve maximum dynamic headroom. I don't look forward to having to edit all instruments.

I'm all with David on this.

ejr
05-27-2007, 03:00 AM
I have found that the use of cc7 is necessary to normalize the difference in relative volumes from different sample sets and also to give a finer control of where the timber change happens.

Believe me, I fully understand the GPO & JABB conceit regarding use of cc1 (and I do use it to control timber changes and velocity values to control attacks) as well as the differences in how these controls are used in my other libraries. It would be a lot easier on everyone, and easier to discuss, if people didn't automatically jump to the conclusion that someone who works differently than you is uneducated, inexperienced or just not following directions when he just wants a little more precise control.

Yes, it is a lot of work, but if I spend the time to shape each track exactly the way I want it, I end up with something that is much better than I can play in real time -- and much closer to what I imagined when I composed it.

Markleford
05-27-2007, 08:42 PM
I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that GPO and JABB as sold (without upgrading to Kontakt) are specifically designed to not work in this IMO most basic manner? And if so, I'd be very curious to know why?
Rather, I am arguing that the following is the most basic manner in which traditional acoustic instruments are recorded, and thus is what is attempted to be modelled in GPO and JABB ("as sold")...

A stationary instrument in an ensemble is capable of creating a maximum volume from the perspective of a listener or microphone, PERIOD. That is the physics of the instrument in combination with the player's abilities: a trumpet going full blast is not going to get any louder, ever, unless the player walks towards the listener or the microphone.

Instruments in GPO and JABB are set up by default to have panning and relative maximum volume in respect to their physics and traditional placement in their respective ensembles. Instruments *can* get softer than this maximum volume at will. But this is the prerogative the player, following dynamics on their chart and the wishes of their director/conductor.

If these musicians are sitting in their seats, then all you need to shape the contour of their dynamics is the cc1 control. Think of it as your virtual baton. If these musicians are stationary, you NEVER need to use cc7 (volume/gain) and cc10 (pan) on the fly.

That's not to say you *can't* change their position and relative volume. In fact, if you're building your own smaller ensembles then it's pretty much required, as the default volumes and panning are for the biggest groups (orchestra and big band).

And you can get even crazier, defying physics. Do you want to have the clarinet drown out the tuba? You're welcome to do that. And defy traditional positions! Do you want to put all the brass on the extreme right side of the stage and the strings on the left? Sure! Knock yourself out!

But you *don't* need to use cc7 and cc10 to do this. There are two chunky sliders on the GUI for GPO and JABB: use *these* to set the instrument's position and relative volume! But you only need to set them *once*.

Why don't people use these? Is it because these controls aren't explicitly labelled on the GUI? If you haven't found them yet, they're the two horizontal sliders, side-by-side, with "Pan" under the master Tune knob and "Volume" under the VU/level/peak meters. Go on, touch 'em! Wiggle 'em! They don't bite! They just want to be your friends!

Why use those instead of cc7 and cc10? Because these factors aren't going to change dynamically in a performance. You set them once and then you forget about them, because that's how the physics of the situation works.

You shouldn't be sending cc7 and cc10 messages throughout the span of an entire track, unless you want to simulate musicians running around onstage, travelling from side to side, or approaching and retreating from the audience or microphones. But again, you want to do that? Go ahead! Maybe it's important to your Marching Band mock-ups. Then knock yourself out.

So Garritan programming actually *allows* you to have your crazy acrobatic troupe of musicians, bouncing around the stage... at the simple price of having to enable a checkbox in the GUI. That's all! You don't have to pay extra for it either! You open a dialog, check the box, and that's *it*. Suddenly you can send all the cc7 and cc10 messages you want.

Yes, it's a shame that NI doesn't allow this as a global feature anymore. But it's simply no longer an option. And in that void of configuration ease, Garritan and Company has to make a choice: do we leave these controls enabled or disabled by default?

And again, it's an either-or thing: there's no middle ground. And that means that you can't make everyone happy. It would be nice if that could happen, but it can't.

So in lieu of making *everyone* happy, we're going to make the *larger* group happy. This is the group that gets annoyed or confused about levels or panning positions mysterious changing on them when their playback starts or stops. It makes their lives easier when spurious control messages don't get in their way.

And honestly, it makes the Garritan crew happy, too. I'm sure if Tom never again had to answer a support question like "Why does the volume and pan reset?", he'd be a *very* happy man. Eliminating the source of a technical support problem is an *extremely* desirable thing.

So I apologize in advance: I'M SORRY FOR ALL THE TROUBLE IT CAUSES YOU. But in the end, a developer who is *not* spending all his time answering questions that could be avoided in the first place is a developer who can be working on new products and new features. We don't want to deal with bugs any more than you do: in fact, we want them even *less*.

But to get back to the heart of the cc1/cc7/cc11 issue...

Some may argue that the some recording engineers mic each individual instrument to be able to even out individual parts in performances. They may even "ride the levels" to account for a player bobbing in front of a microphone, or to compensate for an occasional performance flub of a loud or quiet note.

And that's true. But *you* are not a recording engineer. *You* are a mind-controlling multitasking puppetmaster Time-Lord of a conductor! Each player is a robot under your control: they don't bob, they don't flub. And if they do, you can rewind time to correct them. You can get each player to play *exactly* how you want.

And the only tool you need to shape the contour of that performance is cc1, the Mod Wheel. You don't need to 'ride levels' like a recording or live sound engineer. And that means it's incredibly likely that you don't *need* to touch cc7, ever. All you need to do as the sound guy is to set up the mics ahead of time, and that's done with the "Volume" slider on the GUI if you don't like the default.

Now, I *do* understand that not everybody works the same. And I'm not saying it's better or worse. In fact, ejr has developed a fairly novel approach to account for some of the shortcomings of the library.

All I'm saying here is *this* is how Tom Hopkins envisioned these libraries functioning. It's his design, and I think it's a good one. So this is what the current programming supports by default, since global functionality has been taken away by NI in K2P.

So please understand why these hard decisions we made. They're not an attempt to marginalize any specific composer's personal style. And also remember that you *still* have the ability to get what you want out of these libraries, though it might take such a small amount of effort on your part. I don't think it's too much to ask that you set some instrument options when you build your ensembles, and K2P gives you the ability to save your instruments with custom defaults so you never have to do it again, or even save the full ensemble as a custom Multi program.

And finally, if the benefits to K2P do not outweigh the disadvantages for you, you are always welcome to use the previous version of the libraries. But for us to allow MacIntel users to have compatibility, a move to K2P was necessary, and that came at the cost of changes to what people were used to.

We're trying to get everyone back on track and making music again. Honest! It will just take some work from Garritan & Co and some patience from the users.

Thanks for listening,
- m

Tom Hopkins
05-27-2007, 10:42 PM
I guess I should chime in here too, although Mark has covered a lot of territory. For one thing, it sounds like people think we are about to change something with the default cc7 and cc10 settings. We're not. What we are doing is putting them back to the way they have been in KP1 up until now. We alway intended the KP2 settings to be the same as the KP1 settings. That's what we are about to correct. While we were immersed in dealing with some very big KP2 problems we missed two changes that NI had made in the new player. One was the cc7 and cc10 controller default. For standard instruments KP1 has always had cc7 and cc10 *deactivated.* For the notation instruments they have been *activated.* NI made the KP2 default *activated* in general, so that ended up in both the standard and notation instruments - which was not our intention. So, the default setting for standard instruments will go back to what it was in KP1 - deactivated. The default setting for the notation instruments remains activated, just as it has been in KP1. The second change that slipped by us was the new MIDI controller #7 range menu. A very nice feature, but one that didn't exist in KP1 and apparently the default (or their conversion algorithm) was modified by NI between the time we did the GPO conversion and the time we did the JABB conversion because we never went near that setting and the two libraries ended up with different defaults. We've decided to set the volume range of all our libraries to a consistent "0db." Makes more sense for the future.

As Mark pointed out, whatever the settings happen to be, the user can modify them to be whatever he/she prefers and that setting can be saved as a custom default. Any default is always going to be a convenience for one person and an inconvenience for another.

When it comes to defaults, if there is a conflict between settings for the novice and settings for the professional, the novice gets the nod from us. The professional is capable of taking care of him/herself so long as the options are there to be modified and the necessary features exist. Conversely, the novice is often adrift in a very confusing technological sea and the sea just got significantly rougher with the increased complexity of the KP2 Player. In our initial concept for GPO we made a conscious decision to at least try to make things easier. Gary and I discussed at length what our goals were for the software. Up to that point we had designed strictly for the professional market. GPO was going to be different; we wanted it to be for everyone, including the 15 year old kid in his bedroom who was just having fun and the retired office worker who had always wanted to write a little music but possessed little knowledge of MIDI. Of course we still wanted it to have all the necessary features for the project studio and the well-heeled pro but our primary target audience was much larger than that. Because of that decision the software had to be especially accessible and easy to use. To this end, we needed to assess which tools we could be pretty sure a new-comer had at their disposal - "lowest common denominator" tools. Most people have at least a keyboard with mod and pitch wheels, and a sustain pedal. We couldn't rely on any other controller hardware being present - certainly *not* a cc11 expression pedal. So, the mod wheel took on a job that was similar to cc11, but not identical. The mod wheel added dynamic EQ tied to changes in volume, something not normally present with cc11. That was the first of many departures from the standard MIDI spec and the development of the Garritan paradigm. Having cc7 and cc10 deactivated as a default was another. In ordinary use ("lowest common denominator" again,) these two are static adjustments - "set and forget." Especially with GPO, the instruments are programmed with a nominal level and panning position so that users need only load the instruments and a reasonable approximation of position and balance will happen automatically. Users aren't "stuck" with these settings either. An adjustment of the Instrument interface volume and pan controls can override the default; any changes to these controls will then be saved with the song file. This makes it very easy for the novice to get started without having to make panning and level decisions under typical conditions. By understanding just a few basics they can load the instruments and play; the rest is taken care of for them. GPO Studio even gave them reverb, ready to go.

Advanced users will almost certainly want to automate cc7 and cc10 in their tracks and that choice is there to be made if they wish. As the novice becomes more familiar with how things work in the world of MIDI they too will eventually explore the purpose of these two (and other) controllers, but the point is: They don't have to when they're getting started. That is why the default settings are what they are and why they are getting put back to the way they were in KP1. KP2 has already added a considerable amount of complexity in comparison to KP1 which is wonderful for experienced users and not nearly as wonderful for the novice. We are going to at least try to maintain as many of the easy things as we can. That is, the ones we can control. The evolution of the Kontakt player is, of course, out of our hands.

Tom

dcrigger
05-27-2007, 11:49 PM
Tom,

Thank you so much for your response - most especially...



Advanced users will almost certainly want to automate cc7 and cc10 in their tracks and that choice is there to be made if they wish.


I completely get Garritan's desire - particularly with these products - to effectively find the balance between the needs of novices and advanced users. Including tilting the balance, particularly in regards to convenience, simplicity and just plain "works right out of the box", in favor of the novice user.

Actually I don't have a single problem within any part of your explanation of this. Again thanks so much.

As for Mr. Markleford's response, you're right - lots of ground was covered... of the most condescending nonsense I've ever read. And I'm not sure, but it appears that Mr. Markleford posts here as a representative of Garritan Libraries. I certainly hope that I'm wrong - and Mr. Marklefords rantings are just that of a well meaning, but inexperienced and overjealous forum member.

Sincerely,

David Crigger

Markleford
05-28-2007, 03:21 PM
As for Mr. Markleford's response, you're right - lots of ground was covered... of the most condescending nonsense I've ever read. And I'm not sure, but it appears that Mr. Markleford posts here as a representative of Garritan Libraries. I certainly hope that I'm wrong - and Mr. Marklefords rantings are just that of a well meaning, but inexperienced and overjealous forum member.
David,

I take this as retalitory invective due to your misconstruing the tone of my post. I'd only intended my reply to convey wry humor of hyperbole: I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

Due to what I perceived (possibly in error) as *equal* condescension on your part, you got the facts laid bare with a dash of sarcasm, and some people apparently take that as a personal attack. Unfortunately, that garnered your ire, as reflected in your defamatory words.

I've just now stopped myself short from posting a lengthy response to your fallacious (though "well meaning"!) insults, engineered to deconstruct and erode every facet of credibility you might imagine the above quote to have.

But before I pull the trigger, I'd like to ask if there's a chance for peace.

My posts and opinions do not represent those of Garritan Libraries. That's why I don't put words to that effect in my signature.

So I'm free to speak from the perspective of a user who has helped many, many people over the years in the spirit of community, using my free time and unique skills to enrich people's creative efforts. I think that most people around here (including Gary and Tom) see me as a bit more than an 'inexperienced and overzealous [sic] forum member' who writes 'condescending nonsense'.

And for the record, there was absolutely zero "nonsense" in my post: it's 100% factual and applicable to the topic at hand. I notice that you didn't attempt to disprove any of my assertions in your reply. Then again, since you not only insult me, you insult me in the third person, it seems your game probably *is* condescension.

Am I wrong? If I am, I'm sorry, and I'll let it drop. If not, we can continue this dance, though I'd at least hope you'd have the courage to address me directly when making slanderous remarks.

And I didn't mean to imply that you're *actually* composing music for acrobatic musicians... not that there's anything wrong with that.

- m