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Topic: Need a little controller help.

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  1. #1
    Senior Member CString's Avatar
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    Question Need a little controller help.

    Howdy peoples. I just upgraded to GPO 4 and was looking at Appendix A of the manual - the MIDI controller reference. How is the mod wheel volume related to velocity? The descriptions are a little nebulous. I can see that velocity is just attack, but I can't quite imagine a stout down bow at a pianissimo volume. Can anyone clarify?

    -Chad
    Me fail English? That's unpossible.

  2. #2

    Re: Need a little controller help.

    In string and wind instruments:

    Modwheel mostly controls volume. Velocity mostly controls attack.

    From a synthesizer/sampler perspective, the strength of velocity controls the length of the attack envelope (how quickly the sample fades in). Higher velocities have a faster envelope, so more of the initial attack in the sample is heard and the note appears toungued.

    The modwheel controls overall volume level of the entire sample being played, and some EQ modifications to the instrument to affect the timbre of the sound. With higher modwheel volumes, the high end of the sample is usually emphasized more, giving the instrument a more brilliant sound, which is what happens at higher dynamic levels.

    For plucked (pizz) and struck instruments (perc):
    Velocity controls overall volume level and any timbre effects. (The snare roll is a small exception, since it grows in volume by the modwheel).

    Hope this helps!

    Reegs

  3. #3
    Senior Member CString's Avatar
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    Re: Need a little controller help.

    It does help a great deal, Reegs. Thanks! This leads me to my next question...

    In Sibelius 6.1, what numbers would be a good starting place to get the combo of mod wheel and velocity dialed in? In relation to dynamics, I mean. Say I want fff as my top end (both controllers at 127 I assume) and ppp as the bottom. Where would I place mod wheel and velocity numbers for a realistic forte?
    Me fail English? That's unpossible.

  4. #4

    Re: Need a little controller help.

    Quote Originally Posted by CString View Post
    It does help a great deal, Reegs. Thanks! This leads me to my next question...

    In Sibelius 6.1, what numbers would be a good starting place to get the combo of mod wheel and velocity dialed in? In relation to dynamics, I mean. Say I want fff as my top end (both controllers at 127 I assume) and ppp as the bottom. Where would I place mod wheel and velocity numbers for a realistic forte?
    Hi, CString - welcome to the Forum. As usual, one of our experts, Reegs, has done a great job of succinctly replying to your initial question.

    You're apparently wanting not only good print-outs of your music via Sibelius, but good play backs that you can record. That's a challenge, and Reegs is one of the guys who knows how to do that. Others of us work primarily with sequencer programs, like Sonar, where it's more intuitive and natural to produce good recordings.

    But it sounds to me like you have a good grasp on your task at hand. Your example of achieving fff in a notation program is very reasonable. I think you can imagine that forte would be about 3/4 of that. A value of 64 is considered an average median for volume/dynamics, so that could be considered mf perhaps. It really depends on the piece, and I would add that the more variety to your dynamic levels, the better your rendered file will sound.

    In the perhaps more "pure" MIDI world of sequencers, we're constantly flowing between a volume level of almost 0 to 127, and speaking for myself, I'm not quite so concerned with what the notation equivalent is of what I'm doing.

    But in both notation and sequencing, lower values obviously equate to softer/quieter dynamics, and higher ones equate to the opposite.

    So while in general lower velocity values will go in hand with lower volumes, there are those cases where you want a strong attack which zooms down to a low volume, and other cases where you want a soft attack which crescendos up to a loud volume - so much depends on the piece you're working on.

    Even though you're working in the rather theoretical realm of a notation program, I encourage you to not reduce your work to formulas.

    Randy B.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CString's Avatar
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    Re: Need a little controller help.

    Hey Randy. Thanks for the response. My primary concern is definitely the score since 98% my work is orchestral in nature. It's nice to be able to have a recording available, though, that sounds half decent. My problem is that I don't have enough hours in my day to do all the MIDI editing.

    I'm totally with you on the don't-make-it-a-formula thing. In order to achieve what I'm after, though, I'm thinking I might have to resort to it. At least, I'll have to resort to loose formulas and make a little extra time to tweak here and there in Cubase.

    I like your idea of mf being around 64. In your experience, would the velocity follow suit or be a little higher? In the time I've worked with GPO I've found that the strings seem like they could always use a little extra attack. Even at lower volumes.
    Me fail English? That's unpossible.

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