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Topic: New Strad user with questions

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  1. #1

    Question New Strad user with questions

    I treated myself to Solo Strad and have been playing with it a few days. So far, I love it, but have run into a couple of issues:

    1) When I play it with the standalone Kontakt 2 player with the audio settings at 44.1KHz, or in a 44.1KHz SONAR project, it sounds fantastic. But if I put it in a 96KHz SONAR project (or bring the player's audio settings up to 96KHz), it sounds really reedy, almost more like a shawm than a violin. I assumed this was just because I was hearing high-frequency data that I couldn't hear at 44.1KHz, and added a high-cut EQ, but it just didn't have the same "body" as it does at 44.1. Is there a way to fix this, or can someone suggest a decent EQ curve I can use? (I really want to add the Strad to some existing SONAR projects, which unfortunately are all 24/96.)

    2) Notes C2-D2 (immediately above the keyswitches) seem to shut the sound off entirely. They're not mentioned in the manual; is there some special use for them?

    3) Is there any way to turn off the IR altogether on the 2.01 version (or a way to get the "mono dry" sound from 1.08)?

    4) My expression pedal goes through my Behringer BCF2000; I've also mapped some of its sliders and buttons to the things the Strad listens to (channel aftertouch, CC1, CC11, CC64, CC67). When Solo Strad has been running for a couple of hours, either in the standalone player or SONAR, it will eventually quit listening to the BCF2000 (though it still responds to keypresses and CC data from the keyboard); I have to exit and restart for it to respond to the BCF2000 again. Is there a trick to avoiding this? (I've tried changing the MIDI channel away from Omni and back, but that doesn't do the trick; neither does power-cycling the BCF2000.)


    Also, this isn't a problem with Solo Strad per se, but I'm hoping someone will know of a utility to help me: my aging keyboard and my fairly new expression pedal don't produce very linear data; for example, my expression pedal goes from 0 to 100 when pressing it in only about 25% of the way; the other 75% goes from 101 to 127. Same sort of thing with the mod wheel on my keyboard (though to a lesser degree); aftertouch seems reversed from that, and the keystrike velocity [i]begins[i] at around 45 with the lightest pressure (which gives me only quick portamenti). Is there any kind of MFX plugin which will remap the value curves in realtime so I can get them to act in a more linear fashion? (Alas, the TenCrazy "CC Map" doesn't do keystrike velocity, and it also only seems to do linear-to-linear remapping.)
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  2. #2

    Re: New Strad user with questions

    Hi Jeff,

    1. I am using Sonar and I don't hear a noticeable difference switching between 96 and 44.1. Not sure what is going on there. What machine, audio card, etc. are you using?

    2. Yes, I noticed that the unused keys between the last "key switch" key and the lowest key mapped to the strad samples caused the instrument to go silent.

    I can't help you with the other questions as I have not had those problems.

    Good luck and I hope you get your problems sorted out.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

  3. #3

    Re: New Strad user with questions

    Jeff,

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey
    1) When I play it with the standalone Kontakt 2 player with the audio settings at 44.1KHz, or in a 44.1KHz SONAR project, it sounds fantastic. But if I put it in a 96KHz SONAR project (or bring the player's audio settings up to 96KHz), it sounds really reedy...
    This is has been reported, as a more subtle side effect, for 48 KHz as well.
    It looks like K2 and K2 player have problems, perhaps due to aliasing, handling higher sampling rate. I’m not aware of any workaround.

    2) Notes C2-D2 (immediately above the keyswitches) seem to shut the sound off entirely. They're not mentioned in the manual; is there some special use for them?
    Not to be used.

    3) Is there any way to turn off the IR altogether on the 2.01 version (or a way to get the "mono dry" sound from 1.08)?
    These IR have been adapted to vers. 2.01 to get the “lyrical” sound. They cannot be exchanged with vers. 1.08 IR.

    4) My expression pedal goes through my Behringer BCF2000; I've also mapped some of its sliders and buttons to the things the Strad listens to (channel aftertouch, CC1, CC11, CC64, CC67). When Solo Strad has been running for a couple of hours, either in the standalone player or SONAR, it will eventually quit listening to the BCF2000 (though it still responds to keypresses and CC data from the keyboard); I have to exit and restart for it to respond to the BCF2000 again. Is there a trick to avoiding this? (I've tried changing the MIDI channel away from Omni and back, but that doesn't do the trick; neither does power-cycling the BCF2000.)
    This needs to be further investigated.

    Also, this isn't a problem with Solo Strad per se, but I'm hoping someone will know of a utility to help me: my aging keyboard and my fairly new expression pedal don't produce very linear data; for example, my expression pedal goes from 0 to 100 when pressing it in only about 25% of the way; the other 75% goes from 101 to 127. Same sort of thing with the mod wheel on my keyboard (though to a lesser degree); aftertouch seems reversed from that, and the keystrike velocity [i]begins[i] at around 45 with the lightest pressure (which gives me only quick portamenti). Is there any kind of MFX plugin which will remap the value curves in realtime so I can get them to act in a more linear fashion? (Alas, the TenCrazy "CC Map" doesn't do keystrike velocity, and it also only seems to do linear-to-linear remapping.)
    Are you sure your pedals are of the linear type and not logarithmic ?

    Also, it has been clearly shown that the velocity response of many keyboards is far from linear, the resolution is much less than 128, and the minimum value can be much higher than 1.

    Midioxe is a free utility which may correct some mapping problems.

    BTW did everybody know that the pitchwheel resolution is in steps of 128

    Best,

    Giorgio

  4. #4

    Re: New Strad user with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgio Tommasini
    BTW did everybody know that the pitchwheel resolution is in steps of 128
    In K(P)2? I didn't know that, but I guess it kind of makes sense (in the NI sense of the word ) in a script, since KSP treats Pitchbend like a controller. If you use PitchBend as an external modulator in one of sampler modules (Source etc.), resolution should be 16,384. I hope this is not what you mean.

    It would be very nice to get NI to support PitchBend and Aftertouch properly in KSP (full resolution), though.

  5. #5

    Re: New Strad user with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie Fønshauge
    In K(P)2? I didn't know that, but I guess it kind of makes sense (in the NI sense of the word ) in a script, since KSP treats Pitchbend like a controller. If you use PitchBend as an external modulator in one of sampler modules (Source etc.), resolution should be 16,384. I hope this is not what you mean.
    Nickie,

    I'm afraid this limitation has nothing to do with K2, or its script, rather is affecting the output of many, if not all, keyboards.

    We have tested so far several professional master keyboards and synths of various manufacturers. The tests were conducted by moving the pitchwheel very slowly across the entire range. The output was moinitored in the following ways:

    1) direct observation of the midi monitor in K2.

    2) recording pitchwheel values in Cubase, and analysing them with the List Editor.

    3) watching the input in Midiox.

    Each valued turned out to be a multiple of 128. Moreover, Midiox showed that data1 (first byte) did not change for any position of the Pitchwheel, while data2 (second byte) ranged from 0 to 127.

    This is consistent with a resolution of 128 rather than 16,384.

    Further experiences may help clarify this important issue, and are very welcome.

    Giorgio

  6. #6

    Re: New Strad user with questions

    Giorgio, I just tried watching the output from my own keyboard in the Ox. You're right, of course. Complete bummer!

    Thanks for the heads up.

  7. #7

    Re: New Strad user with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Long
    1. I am using Sonar and I don't hear a noticeable difference switching between 96 and 44.1. Not sure what is going on there. What machine, audio card, etc. are you using?
    Kenny,

    I'm using an Athlon64 with 2GB RAM, Windows XP Home, with an M-Audio Delta 1010LT.


    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgio Tommasini
    This is has been reported, as a more subtle side effect, for 48 KHz as well.
    It looks like K2 and K2 player have problems, perhaps due to aliasing, handling higher sampling rate. I’m not aware of any workaround.
    Giorgio,

    Thanks for your quick response!

    That's disappointing -- is NI looking into it, or is this going to be a permanent limitation?

    I was trying to come up with a workaround for it (record the MIDI data in the 96KHz project, export the MIDI, import it into a 44.1KHz project, export the audio, and then import the audio into the original project), but I noticed that if I have "Fast Bounce" turned on when I export from SONAR, a lot of the notes cut off abruptly or are skipped altogether, even with Offline Interpolation Quality set to "Perfect". Other than exporting with "Fast Bounce" off, is there a way to stop this from happening? [Update: I just had it happen with Fast Bounce off, but it was only one note in a section a minute and a half long.]

    (For what it's worth, when I import an exported 44.1KHz WAV file of the Strad into a 96KHz SONAR project, the audio sounds identical to what was exported -- no aliasing; it sounds perfect. So that is at least a valid workaround, if somewhat tedious.)

    Are you sure your pedals are of the linear type and not logarithmic ?
    Well, the pedal (which has no manufacturer markings on it at all) certainly isn't acting linearly, so it probably is logarithmic. The keyboard is a Kurzweil K1000 SE II; I've edited the master program settings and set the XPressureMap and RPressureMap parameters to "Linear" (which made the aftertouch a LITTLE more linear, but not perfect), but there doesn't appear to be an equivalent setting for the mod wheel.

    Midioxe is a free utility which may correct some mapping problems.
    Awesome, I'll check it out. Thanks!

    BTW did everybody know that the pitchwheel resolution is in steps of 128
    That I did know, and since I had read the entire manual before beginning to play, I knew that "[t]he Pitchwheel is mapped to a nonlinear, quasi-exponential scale" (p.41), so its non-linearity didn't bother me. I like the way that was done, BTW.
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

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