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Topic: Advice on string glissandi needed

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  1. #1

    Advice on string glissandi needed

    Hi all,

    I found this thread on gliss started by musicpete:
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ight=glissandi

    I am afraid I think the glissandi with portamento sounds really awful. When I notate the gliss in Sibelius it sounds much better. When I turn it into a midi file and load in Tracktion, you can see there is pitchwheel data instead of portamento. But unfortunately something is going wrong in the midi translating because it sounds really weird. I can't get it sound the same as in Sibelius.

    Does anyone have this experience? Some tips perhaps? What are your methods of creating realistic string gliss?

    cheers,
    Frank

  2. #2

    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    With solo strings, many times pitch-bending works better than portamento. Try messing with an individual portamento value first (between notes X and Y); if you can't make it realistic, try pitch-bending the note Y at the beginning (if note X was lower, then bend from the bottom to zero, and v.v.)
    Cheers Matt

  3. #3

    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    I'm probably stating the obvious here, but if you need a long glissando it sounds utterly fake unless you use all or most of the intervening notes. So to get a (more) convincing glissando over two octaves, programme a fast 2 octave run, chromatic or otherwise, make sure legato is on and then tweak the Portamento until it sounds right. It's also more convincing if you do this seperately for different layers.
    I say more convincing, because it's not a sound I've ever heard really well done, except by an actual sample of strings playing gliss.
    "A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules,often with the assistence of unsuspecting musicians"

  4. #4

    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    I haven't tried this yet, so let us know if it works. But basically it sounds like you need what is referred to as a "string rush" in hollywood music circles. Essentially, with the real players you write this onslaught of really fast notes..(like 128th notes or something ridiculous like that). The idea is that when 40 string players try to play it together, none of them will play it "together" and the end result will be a "whoosh" up or down...

    To get that effect in GPO you'd have to record a bunch of seperate solo string tracks, each one with timing differences on the ridiculous 128th notes... I want to try to do it one of these days..

    If you're looking for a solo string glissando, then I'm not sure what to tell you. Sounds like there maybe not be a good solution for that.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  5. #5

    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    If someone does come up with a good sequence of notes and instruments to achieve a convincing glissando and would share the MIDI file, that would be very appreciated, eh? Other users could probably adjust it a bit in terms of timing and/or note range to fit their needs, but it would be good to have a starting point that's in the ballpark.
    www.EricHermanMusic.com
    - Cool Tunes for Kids -

  6. #6

    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    yea, interesting idea. A "String Rush" template...
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  7. #7

    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Danielle
    I can see how that would work however that might be a major spike with a cpu using that many at once(I tried with a bunch of solos at once and it really hogs your system, add to this factor backing music). I would suggest ensemble/mixed with a solo and move the solo in time quite a bit to obscure things. Unfortunately I do not have the midi file anymore since I changed it to a different experiment. But the closest I think youll get is with pitch bend and a secondary instrument to obscure(also good to use the var 1 for such things so tuning is blerbed).
    Im not sure if this is what your looking for, but here is what I did. Started with just initial ensemble (violins 1 sust and short) drew in individual bends depending on direction then simply copied this to another track and slid it quite a bit from the original to obscure. Secondly after an initial attack back off the velocity. Though its not "truly" a gliss you can probably hide such things when you put it in a musical context.

    If you have access to a piano roll you can further tweak it till your satisfied. I like dewds idea but unfortunately I think if you want to keep everything in midi and have other instruments going as well it might just cause a dropout. I have tried it with solos all going at once and it spikes pretty high.

    Sorry no midi file(should have kept it grr). Anyway if your looking at a piano roll view you can zoon in very very close and write the individual bends for each note, and in addition you need to move the doubling instrument a bit out of time of the ensemble.
    http://home.cfl.rr.com/delly/songs/C...1%20octave.mp3

    http://home.cfl.rr.com/delly/songs/c...1%20octave.JPG

    As far as a single violin, have not even tried that yet Hope this is what your looking for.
    Wow. I take back what I said about it not being really possible. That would sound convincing in a mix. I don't know quite what the original poster was after, but that was exactly what I was trying for. I've got a lot to learn.
    "A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules,often with the assistence of unsuspecting musicians"

  8. #8
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    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    I've done very short gliss (major second/whole step) using the pitch bend. After putting them in during performance I went back and drew them in to make them all about the same length. I think it came out well. I would assume for longer you would just use intervening steps.

    I don't have a good clip, but if you wade through this at about 4:40 in the bacground I used this in the violas and at about 5:30 I use it with a solo violin:

    http://trentsworld.com/music/posting...-8-15-2004.mp3
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9

    Re: Advice on string glissandi needed

    Hi again,

    Thanks all for sharing your ideas. Danielle and Trent, thanks for the examples. They show that pitch bend will produce good results. I'll do some more experimenting and let you know if I can come up with something else.

    cheers,
    Frank

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