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Topic: Between sucking and attacking.

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  1. #1

    Between sucking and attacking.

    I've noticed through a fair deal of research that sampled strings often come in two categories.
    Legato (Sucking)
    Sustain (Attacking)

    I'm wondering if the middle ground is relatively untouched. I appreciate we, as users, have the opportunity to manipulate variations of these two to almost nth degrees.
    But i also wonder if a straight 'semi legato/semi sus' sample would fill many needs when creating expressive string lines. There seems to be a gap that we work regularly to fill, creating a very lightly attacked string expressive medium legato sound without the hesitation, or alternatively, bump at the start of a note. I can deal with vibrato, immediate or delayed, but putting a leg/sus sample straight in would save a lot of time. Then the differences in expression requiring a full legato in a phrase, or sus to keep a sense of motion would be a lot easier and a lot quicker to input.

    Legato (sucking)
    Leg/sus (light expressive, (medium vibrato with little delay) starting immediately)
    sustain (a little more bow attack)

    Any thoughts on this?
    I'm thinking of those rich smooth string lines indicative of Delibes (Adagio from Spartacus), Sibelius (The Swan of Tuonela), and Tchaikovsky (R and J) in particular.


    regards,

    Alex.

  2. #2

    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    I don't own a lot of string libraries but from what I have, the KHSO strings (and the Chamber Strings too) are programmed to deal with this. I only have the GS version but from the K2 demos it seems the K2 scripts Kirk wrote enhances these possibilities a lot too.

    Cheers,
    Frankie
    Dell Precision T3500 (Xeon W3520, 12GB RAM) / Windows 7 x64 / Sonar 8 / VE Pro / WIVI 2.3 / Kontakt 4 / G-Player 1.2

  3. #3

    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    a few libs have this type of sample/performance. It really does help, but you still find that its not the "all in one"/"magic bullet" it wants to be in your head. Moderate to faster performances like this for sure, but if it becomes too consistent it jsut sounds "static" and you start to miss the nuances of change or "inbetweens", also for slower performances it starts to jsut sound plain weird.

    However adding some pitch bending and attack envelope changes really helps (but you cant relyon these either, they tend to trick your ear and you get used to the sound because you focus on the change in attack instead of the overall performance...atleast I do...:P)
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    The Digital Bitphonic Orchestra
    -Ashif "Ash" Hakik

  4. #4

    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingIdiot
    a few libs have this type of sample/performance. It really does help, but you still find that its not the "all in one"/"magic bullet" it wants to be in your head. Moderate to faster performances like this for sure, but if it becomes too consistent it jsut sounds "static" and you start to miss the nuances of change or "inbetweens", also for slower performances it starts to jsut sound plain weird.

    However adding some pitch bending and attack envelope changes really helps (but you cant relyon these either, they tend to trick your ear and you get used to the sound because you focus on the change in attack instead of the overall performance...atleast I do...:P)
    Ash,
    I can appreciate the remark about the sound in your head. Yes, like any sample that's overused it becomes static and doesn't present the dynamic variety we wish for. And it's a bias of mine that i write mainly concert work that does involved bright passages as a high percentage of the total. (That's the way i write, not a rule i've learnt and followed. Call me old fashioned!)
    I try not to use pitch bend if i can help it, as it almost immediately becomes unreal to to the point of distaste.
    But i still wonder if in medium passionate passages that have some motion, if a 'medium' sample wouldn't aid the variety more.

    Regards,

    Alex.

  5. #5

    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrozeN
    I don't own a lot of string libraries but from what I have, the KHSO strings (and the Chamber Strings too) are programmed to deal with this. I only have the GS version but from the K2 demos it seems the K2 scripts Kirk wrote enhances these possibilities a lot too.

    Cheers,
    Frankie
    Frankie,
    K2 may well do this, but i don't use it. Hence the question. And from the demos i've heard from those using k2, the articulative sense is excellent yes, but there's still a mechanical feel to some of the work, I tend to play my stuff in live, and for better or worse, it 'feels better' when i do that, even to matching different artics on different tracks.

    Regards,

    Alex.

  6. #6
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    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    LOL! I genuinely thought the title of this thread was aimed at the way various members conduct themselves in threads.

    Ok.....I'll move along

  7. #7

    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    I always try to automate the attack of the strings, based on some kind of natural performance parameter. For example back when I used soundfonts, my strings had a slowish attack right in the samples themselves, so I made two extra layers that just doubled the attack phase itself, and turned those into fake velocity layers. Now with K2, I can automate this more fluidly by setting the attack phase to lengthen at low velocities and shorten to 0 at high ones, but usually when in need I just layer VSL's 0.5sec patches and have their volume respond greatly to velocity. Then of course there's lengthening/shortening note overlaps, release values, etc.

    My opinion though is that I kinda don't think attack length should be frozen into a single "perfect" patch. It might be very convenient (especially for notation users who don't do much editing), but I think that having automated or realtime control over the space between notes is important for getting a fluid dynamic result.

    But, maybe having a medium patch like that might be a better starting point for such automation. I've been debating with myself while typing this post whether or not to mention it, but I will say that a "certain" library does already have very middleground patches like what you're describing, in addition to modwheel automated attacks. I don't use it for strings though, half for tonal reasons and half just because it kind of makes things too "easy", which seems to decrease the realism of the patch.

    It could be that with long, dynamic samples, we've come to expect a degree of motion within each sample; to simplify that motion with a middleground patch might remind us of the old static pre-Miroslav samples, and trick us into thinking it's less realistic somehow. I guess the solution is to make the samples respond realistically to your dynamics, instead of having dynamics frozen within the sample itself; so perhaps if it's coupled with some extended form of dynamics management, a middleground patch would be an ideal starting point.
    Wilbert Roget, II
    Composer
    Rogetmusic.com

  8. #8
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    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Roget
    I always try to automate the attack of the strings, based on some kind of natural performance parameter. For example back when I used soundfonts, my strings had a slowish attack right in the samples themselves, so I made two extra layers that just doubled the attack phase itself, and turned those into fake velocity layers. Now with K2, I can automate this more fluidly by setting the attack phase to lengthen at low velocities and shorten to 0 at high ones, but usually when in need I just layer VSL's 0.5sec patches and have their volume respond greatly to velocity. Then of course there's lengthening/shortening note overlaps, release values, etc.

    My opinion though is that I kinda don't think attack length should be frozen into a single "perfect" patch. It might be very convenient (especially for notation users who don't do much editing), but I think that having automated or realtime control over the space between notes is important for getting a fluid dynamic result.

    But, maybe having a medium patch like that might be a better starting point for such automation. I've been debating with myself while typing this post whether or not to mention it, but I will say that a "certain" library does already have very middleground patches like what you're describing, in addition to modwheel automated attacks. I don't use it for strings though, half for tonal reasons and half just because it kind of makes things too "easy", which seems to decrease the realism of the patch.

    It could be that with long, dynamic samples, we've come to expect a degree of motion within each sample; to simplify that motion with a middleground patch might remind us of the old static pre-Miroslav samples, and trick us into thinking it's less realistic somehow. I guess the solution is to make the samples respond realistically to your dynamics, instead of having dynamics frozen within the sample itself; so perhaps if it's coupled with some extended form of dynamics management, a middleground patch would be an ideal starting point.
    Interesting Thread and especially this post. Regrettably I have nothing of substance to add, but only a question.

    At the risk of showing that I'm completely uninformed, what is the "certain" library?

    Maybe a hint?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
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    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jibrish
    Interesting Thread and especially this post. Regrettably I have nothing of substance to add, but only a question.

    At the risk of showing that I'm completely uninformed, what is the "certain" library?

    Maybe a hint?
    I suspect it *could* be the NorthSouthQuant'emHeapSomeChronicArcOfStraw....

    .....also known in literary circles as " the love that dare not speak its name"

    oder auf Deutsch " das andere Ufer " ....

    don't use them samples boy, they from the other side of town!

    Nigel

  10. #10
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    Re: Between sucking and attacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel W
    I suspect it *could* be the NorthSouthQuant'emHeapSomeChronicArcOfStraw....

    .....also known in literary circles as " the love that dare not speak its name"

    oder auf Deutsch " das andere Ufer " ....

    don't use them samples boy, they from the other side of town!

    Nigel

    hahahaha..... thanks!...... close enough.

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