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Topic: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

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  1. #1

    Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    Has anyone successfully turned solo string patches into an convincing chamber string section?

    I'm a Logic 7 user and am trying to create a "chamber strings" sound out of VSL solo strings for the EXS. I have fooled around with "de-tuning" in the EXS player, but I'm getting phasing. I'm assuming this is because they are both playing the same samples, and thus I need to go into the exs editor and de-tune the actual samples, correct? Is this the best way to detune samples without messing up the original? For those EXS gurus here, do I have to select and de-tune each layer individually or is there some sort of key command to effect all layers? What is Selecting all doesnt seem to work.

    Beyond this, lets say I managed to create a decent sounding 6-violin chamber ensemble through de-tuning the samples. Is it now possible to combine these 6 violin players into say 2 exs patches of 3 violins or 3 exs patches of 2 violins, instead of having to load all 6 violins on separate channels?

    Has anyone successfully turned solo string patches into an convincing chamber string section? Is this even possible? If so, have any tips to share? Is it worth the time and effort involved? I am a student with little to no money and cannot afford a chamber strings package right now so I'm hoping I can somehow turn my VSL solo strings into a chamber ensemble.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can spare!

  2. #2

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    You can get up to three tracks from the same sample library instrument - provided the instrument was sampled in whole tones.

    Copy the track and transpose it up and/or down a whole tone. Then use the pitch wheel to bring it back into unison. You can edit the ptich wheel so it doesn't go the full 200 cents to give a little detuning (5 or 8 cents usually works well, but you could do 13 cents if it warrated it). then shift the timing of the tracks (or you can really do a good job by shifting the timing on individual notes to give a more random and realistic feel) slightly to make it less 'perfect'

    this way you are triggering different samples, so no phasing. I found this works very well and is quite quick and simple. Ideally you would use this method, but play each part separately to have it more live sounding.

  3. #3

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    Thanks for the tips guys! I know it's probably not going to sound like VSL chamber strings, but if I can get it to work decently for a couple of years, I'd be happy!

  4. #4

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    I know this won't help with the phasing problem, but you could also try separate EQ curves on the different violins to give the impression that each is a different make than the others. In other words, make one just slightly brighter, another darker and warmer, another with no changes, etc. I had some luck with this method when combining multiple Garritan Strads.

  5. #5

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    Real instruments have the interaction of the room to eliminate the phasing. Take the ambience away, and you'd get really nasty phasing even with real instruments - try two violins playing unison in an anechoic chamber. You probably couldn't stand the sound of it...

    That brings up a point. It's the room ambience that mixes up the waveforms, and the fact that each instrument is in a slightly different position in that room. You can simulate it with pretty good results by using convolution at 100% wet setting and placing two instruments at different positions in that space, just like in physical world. That, and the performance differences in the players, make the difference, as no two artists are playing exactly the same pitch at the same time.

  6. #6

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    I think I've said it elsewhere but anyways:

    What about actually shifting slightly every one of the different takes? That would elliminate all phasing problems, since the samples won't be starting and ending, and being together.

    No?

  7. #7

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    Yes, nikolas, that would help. You have to be careful with note attacks though.

  8. #8

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    JT3_Jon, it's too bad that you aren't using Kontakt since I've written a script which does the transpose/pitch-bend as well as humanization (random delay and detuning) automatically. But I guess doing it manually should work as well. Good luck! Here's a quick demo of four VSL Solo Cellos layered this way.

  9. #9
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    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    I recently read about the transpose/detune method here in another thread, but haven't tried it until now. I don't yet own any solo strings, but I just tried it with the Opus 1 violas (sampled in whole-tones). I used a different gigapulse perspective for each version of the ensemble, inverting the stereo image for one of them, and applying different eq curves. I am quite pleased with the result. I can see this being a great way to fatten a string ensemble. Potentially very useful for divisi/non-divisi contrast. Cool. Thanks guys!

    Belbin

  10. #10

    Re: Create chamber strings out of solo patches: Advice?

    Wow, thanks for all the great advice!! I will be trying it out this weekend, and will post if I have any further questions. THANKS!!

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