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Topic: Bugs in legato layer, Vlns I short+sust.

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  1. #1

    Bugs in legato layer, Vlns I short+sust.

    NOTE
    I discovered these in the wee hours this morning, and haven't had a chance to delve too deeply, but I think this information should pinpoint the problems. I believe the bugs affect all dry section string samples for short+sustained, as well as dry solo samples. They do not seem present in the keyswitched section strings. My testing was all done on Dry/Vlns I/Short+Sustained, and are 100% reproducible.

    It's my feeling that fixing these is crucial. I've always had some trouble getting good legato strings, and I think this finally tells me why.

    BUG #1
    With the legato layer active (pedal down), response to velocity appears to be suppressed. This in itself is consistent with the way the winds work, however it seems to give a default velocity that is somewhere in the mid-range, making every note accented. This is not usually what one wants when attempting to make legato strings. I've now discovered that the best legato strings are achieved without the pedal, and with all velocities set to 2. (Why not velocity=1?... see BUG #3). I suggest that the behavior for pedal-down passages should be completely suppress the short bow sample layer, unless it is the first note in a series (when velocity should be able to be set). The first note condition is necessary since portamento messages only work if the note is on the legato layer (See IMPLICATIONS).

    BUG #2
    With the legato layer active (pedal down), very long sustained notes are cut off after 8 seconds or so. I think the cut-off time depends on instrument and exact note. I can't recall if I checked this on section strings or not, but it is there for the strad solo for sure.

    BUG #3
    With the legato layer active (pedal down), velocities of 1 create no sound, regardless of mod-wheel setting. This one I can't recall if I tested on solo strings, so check on sections first.

    IMPLICATIONS
    While I'm happy that I've now found a workaround to my general legato problems (keep the pedal up, and set all velocities to 2), this completely destroys the interplay with the portamento control, which requires the pedal to be down. It is further complicated by the fact that in order to use portamento, the pedal must go down *before* the first note in the slide, meaning I am forced to use a default attack value for that note. It also means that the second note in a slide cannot be longer than 8 seconds or so.

    MY SETUP
    Pentium 4, 2.3GHz, 1GB RAM
    Windows XP Home
    Sonar 5 PE
    GPO as VST plugins
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  2. #2
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    Re: Bugs in legato layer, Vlns I short+sust.

    BUG #1

    I don't see this issue on my system. The short bow sample doesn't play when in legato mode for me. You may hear a bump in attack sometimes depending on where in the sample that it starts playing back. The bump can be caused by some samples being different in volume which I have noticed. Not all samples start at the same time. This was fine tuned for each sample.

    BUG #2

    Haven't had this issue either.


    Jim

  3. #3

    Re: Bugs in legato layer, Vlns I short+sust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw
    BUG #1
    With the legato layer active (pedal down), response to velocity appears to be suppressed. This in itself is consistent with the way the winds work, however it seems to give a default velocity that is somewhere in the mid-range, making every note accented. This is not usually what one wants when attempting to make legato strings. I've now discovered that the best legato strings are achieved without the pedal, and with all velocities set to 2. (Why not velocity=1?... see BUG #3). I suggest that the behavior for pedal-down passages should be completely suppress the short bow sample layer, unless it is the first note in a series (when velocity should be able to be set). The first note condition is necessary since portamento messages only work if the note is on the legato layer (See IMPLICATIONS).
    Like Jim, I can't reproduce this one. The layered short bows do not exist in pedal down mode. The portamento control (cc20) cannot be extended to the pedal up layer due to technical limitations in the player (it can't keep track of cross layer strength and direction changes to the portamento information.) That's why cc19 was added in the update as a workaround (see portamento tutorial at: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=33376 )

    BUG #2
    With the legato layer active (pedal down), very long sustained notes are cut off after 8 seconds or so. I think the cut-off time depends on instrument and exact note. I can't recall if I checked this on section strings or not, but it is there for the strad solo for sure.
    Are you by any chance using DFD streaming? One of the reasons we don't recommend streaming is because loops are not always recognized by the player when using DFD. The library was designed to be used in RAM. I've only had reports similar to yours when people were trying to use streaming. This is a player bug that is not likely to be fixed until the K2 version of the player is made available to developers. Also, note that in the solo violins only the Gagliano uses standard looping; both the Strad and the Guarnarius loop at the bow change so there are clearly audible discontinuities when the bow direction changes. But they do not stop playing the way you describe.

    BUG #3
    With the legato layer active (pedal down), velocities of 1 create no sound, regardless of mod-wheel setting. This one I can't recall if I tested on solo strings, so check on sections first.
    This has been discussed in the past. It's a known player bug. Also unlikely to be fixed until the K2 player. The workaround is to avoid values of "1."

    Tom

  4. #4

    Re: Bugs in legato layer, Vlns I short+sust.

    Tom,

    As to BUG#2, I did indeed have DFD enabled. I will try it again later without. Thanks for the tip.

    As to the main legato problems, I believe I made a false assumption about what was causing the problem. Nevertheless, I can demonstrate the problem to you here. I thought perhaps that the harder attack was due to the short bow layer, but if that is not present, it must simply be that the default attack for the sustained sample is too harsh when the pedal is down.

    Please regard the following sample files:

    1. vln_legato_test.mp3 - (rendered passage)
    2. vln_legato_test.mid - (MIDI example)
    3. vln_legato_test.cwp - (my Sonar 5PE file)

    In this test, dry section I vlns sust+short were used. The passage is a D major scale played twice. The first time with the pedal down (legato), and the second with the pedal up. There is a single Mod Wheel value at the start of 64, and there is no reverb or any other effects on the file. Each note is an eighth note quantized 100%, with a length just long enough to slightly overlap the following note. Every velocity was set to 2 to minimize accents.

    What I hear:
    Passage one sounds to me tenuto, but with a heavy bow change and stroke on each note. This is not what I think of as legato. Passage two is much closer to legato, with only one or two slightly accented notes.

    Please listen to these to see if you hear what I hear. If you agree with my musical assessment, please download the midi file, import it into your sequencer, and render the passages to verify what I've found. If you get different results, I'd like to hear them.

    I wouldn't mind so much simply using pedal up/velocity=2 for all my legato needs, except that this makes the use of portamento impossible.

    Thanks for your attention.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

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