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Topic: Emerald: Vel or Mod volume, and other questions

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  1. #1

    Emerald: Vel or Mod volume, and other questions

    Ok, I am finally getting around to messing around with Emerald, which I purchased a few weeks back. I just read through the "manual". The first thing that stands out to me is that wow, there are a lot of NKI files to figure out which 10 of them I really need most of the time. So I am looking for some advice to trim down my set and decide which mode of operation makes the most sense. I realize this depends on every situation so please don't respond saying that. Please tell me which NKI's of Emerald you have found the most useful in your situation and why. Particulary when you are in composing mode, rather than big production mode.

    - Do you use Velocity based volume or Mod wheel based volume? What are the pros and cons of each?

    - Do you primarily use the Keyswitched patches or do you go through the effort to only load the specific articulations you know you will be using?

    - If you use the keyswitched ones, there are several varieties of VelVol and modVol, which variety do you use in which situations?

    - Did I interpret the manual correctly to read that LegatoLive is only available with Velocity based volume patches?

    - Has anyone (including Kirk) been able to create some NKI's which use modVol but have all the other controllers also available using different CC#'s to control them to control all the other variations? Did I read correctly that most of those variations only work in velVol mode?

    - With non-keyswitched patches, I assume that means you have to load each variation into a seperate kontakt slot and listen on seperate midi channel and find a way for your sequencer to switch which channel it sends on. Correct?

    thanks much for your advice. I intend to hide 90% of these NKI files in an unused folder so that I only have showing the 2 dozen or so that I know I'm going to need. If I find myself in an odd situation I can always go find the special one I need and move back into operation.
    "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

  2. #2

    Re: Emerald: Vel or Mod volume, and other questions

    - With non-keyswitched patches, I assume that means you have to load each variation into a seperate kontakt slot and listen on seperate midi channel and find a way for your sequencer to switch which channel it sends on. Correct?
    This is probably the easiest question to answer: Kontakt 2 has a wonderful feature called Instrument Banks. You can load up to 127 separate patches into ONE K2 slot. This way, you can pick and chose what articulations you want to use without having to go through the bother of creating your own Keyswitches (which I do on occasion anyway as the situation dictates.) Then using your sequencer or a controller aware notation software, you can send controller changes "on the fly" to K2 and use whatever patch whenever you want.

    As for which patches I use, I mostly stick with the ModWheel patches inasmuch as I strictly use Emerald with Overture 4, a notation program with powerful VSTi hosting and some sequencing capabilities. For this reason, I tend to mostly use the ModWheel patches, but that's not to say I couldn't use the Velocity patches. It's just that I feel I can control dynamics and volume better while getting the correct timbre changes that are inherent in the crossfade ModWheel patches.

    And there are ModWheel LegatoLive patches. You just need to sit down and "audtion" them either from a notation/sequencer program or keyboard. In my case, my keyboard skills are virtually nonexistant so I stick with the ModWheel patches loaded into Ove4 as I've said. It seems the Velocity patches are geared more towards live performance using a velocity sensitive keyboard, and the ModWheel patches can be used in either case. (Am I correct in thinking this, Kirk? Or am I potentially missing out on something?)

    Best of luck and have fun. Emerald is an incredible package. You'll enjoy it.

    Steve

  3. #3

    Re: Emerald: Vel or Mod volume, and other questions

    I start with the keyswitching ones and go from there. The Legato Live with the mod wheel has a decided portamento effect that you can't get from the keyswitched legato. I load them as a multi in K2 in logic, but this has a buggish problem in that any midi volume information on any track of the multi affects the master volume. I'm still trying to solve this one -- I think I have to use multiple outputs and do volume automation on aux tracks in Logic. With this bug, you have to use modwheel volume to have any control. I wish there was a way to use expression for volume the way EWQL does; does anyone know if this can be easily turned on in Kontakt?

    I would not move unused .nki's to a different folder, as that would probably break the link to the samples. I think you could use the checkboxes to make only the one you like show up in the quick load.

    Don't forget that you can use "update sample pool" to get rid of unused samples in the keyswitched instruments so you shouldn't shy away from them when you start.

  4. #4

    Re: Emerald: Vel or Mod volume, and other questions

    Thanks for comments thus far.

    I'm not afraid to move the programs I don't intend to use. I can always move them back if I want to use them. I realize they will not work properly in their "moved" location. The point is that I probably won't use them much and its just easier for me to take all this in if there are a few keyswitched patches that do everything I need.

    I am also using Overture4 at the moment. Steve, Are you saying that Overture can't deal very well with velocity Vol setups of Emerald? Why do you feel that the modVol patches are more suitable for Overture?

    When you're using the modVol setups, it seems there are a bunch of expression setups you don't get, for example, the ones where the mod wheel controls attack or release, etc.. I didn't realize there was a LegatoLive that works in modVol mode somehow, but I wonder how you turn on/off the LegatoLive feature and control its portamento...with velocity or some other controller?

    Kirk, In general I wish you had one massive keyswitched instrument that provides all the control of everything using different CC#'s for each aspect..including modVol, XFade, vibrato intensity, attack, release, etc.. But then maybe I'd be loading a gillian samples into memory that way, I dunno.

    Obviously I need to play around with this a lot more. Just trying to get a feel for the pros and cons of the different setups provided by Kirk. Perhaps I will just end up building my own NKI's based on the existing ones, in order to get keyswitching, modVol and other CC's to control other aspects...as noted above. If I am using modVol approach to volume, I'd like to know how I can get access to some of the other control that Kirk has provided in velVol setups (such as controlling attack and release, etc.).

    In GPO, I believe attack is controlled always by velocity. It sure would be nice if emerald allowed me to control volume with mod and attack with velocity in similar manner.
    "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: Emerald: Vel or Mod volume, and other questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dewdman42
    It sure would be nice if emerald allowed me to control volume with mod and attack with velocity in similar manner.
    You can do that already. In the 24 violins, for example. If you load up a keyswitched instrument where the mod wheel controls the volume, the 4th articulation's attack (keyed at D#0) will respond to velocity. This is true of ALL symphonic string's keyswitched instruments. If you want to just load the one articulation that has the attack controlled by velocity rather than the keyswitched load, look for "vmc" (which means 'velocity marcato') in the instrument's name. For instance: 24Vns_vmc_modVol_HVib.nki

  6. #6

    Re: Emerald: Vel or Mod volume, and other questions

    Thanks for responding. I'll check it out. Its definitely daunting to wade through all these NKI files..even though you painstakingly documented your abbreviation rules.
    "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

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