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Topic: Alternating bow strokes

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  1. #1

    Alternating bow strokes

    Using the KS string instruments, when you play D(x) to change to alternating bow strokes (a lovely feature, by the way), I can't find a way to guarantee which the first note will be. It certainly isn't always one or the other and it doesn't seem to be affected in any predictable way by what comes before it. Is there an obvious answer to this? If not, and I want, say, down-up-down specifically, it looks as if I'll just have to use quick E(x), D#(x) and E(x)'s in between them.

    I'd also like to join the chorus of those lamenting the lack of vibrato controls for the strings. I'd like at least to be able to turn it off altogether - 'senza vib.' has been a common enough instruction for the best part of a century now, and in the case of Xenakis vibrato is never used without a specific instruction!

  2. #2

    Re: Alternating bow strokes

    Quote Originally Posted by csansom
    Using the KS string instruments, when you play D(x) to change to alternating bow strokes (a lovely feature, by the way), I can't find a way to guarantee which the first note will be. It certainly isn't always one or the other and it doesn't seem to be affected in any predictable way by what comes before it. Is there an obvious answer to this? If not, and I want, say, down-up-down specifically, it looks as if I'll just have to use quick E(x), D#(x) and E(x)'s in between them.
    That's why the D# and E keyswitches are there - if there had been a way to designate bow strokes for the alternating function then the D# and E switches would not have been necessary. If it is important to specify exact bow strokes it is easiest to add the D# and E switching data after the fact in editing.

    Quote Originally Posted by csansom
    I'd also like to join the chorus of those lamenting the lack of vibrato controls for the strings. I'd like at least to be able to turn it off altogether - 'senza vib.' has been a common enough instruction for the best part of a century now, and in the case of Xenakis vibrato is never used without a specific instruction!
    Natural sounding, controllable solo string vibrato is a difficult thing to deliver in sampled instruments. I won't go into the technical hurdles that must be overcome to give true expressive control but it is one of the most challenging aspects to emulate. Successful results require very advanced techniques such as those used in the new Strad library. GPO advanced may have some additional features for vibrato.

    Tom

  3. #3

    Re: Alternating bow strokes

    keyswitching is all very nice, but are there ways of using it in Finale 2006 with HumanPlayback? for example, Finale automatically uses the pizz/arco/mute/mute off keyswitches, and I believe that placing slurs also automatically uses a KS, but is there any way to place bowing KSs?
    if placing the actual up-bow and down-bow symbols is a KS, how does one then switch to non-differentiated bowing? What symbol is that?

    The problem with using Finale and HP and GPO is that this is basically three different companies collaborating.

  4. #4

    Re: Alternating bow strokes

    Not being that familiar with Finale procedures, I'll make a general suggestion. Someone with more intimate knowledge of the specifics of the program will need to supply details.

    Since the issue is one of how to apply the D# keyswitch I would suggest finding a rarely used (and probably inconspicuous) symbol that could be assigned to the D# as a custom symbol for "automatically alternating bow strokes." If you can choose to "hide" it, more the better.

    In standard practice, players often are given discretion on such things as bow stroke choice. When composers consider the actual bow stroke important to the effect they are trying to achieve they specify the bow stroke. Things are a little different in the land of sample mockups (and score playback.) These sampled "players" are so dumb they have to be told everything. Standard notational symbols won't ordinarily supply that kind of control so you will need to take custom steps, where you feel the need, to make it happen.

    Tom

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