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Topic: String Library Idea...

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  1. #1

    String Library Idea...

    I was toying with an idea that I\'m sure many have thought up already regarding string sizes. This would be a monumental task, but it would set yet another standard.

    How about a library that has a, \"smart section,\" feature implemented? That is, a string library that alters the section size depending on how many notes you play in a chord. Say that you are playing a two note chord: The, \"smart section,\" would split that in half from a normal section of 24 or so violins into 12 on each note. A four note chord would split it into 6 players per note.

    Just a thought.

  2. #2

    Re: String Library Idea...

    Originally posted by A_Sapp:
    How about a library that has a, \"smart section,\" feature implemented? That is, a string library that alters the section size depending on how many notes you play in a chord.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'ve had this kind of idea too...I think it\'s a great idea...if you\'re going to go that far, for that matter, why don\'t you have it split the parts out over the entire string section when you played large chords ? That would make it exponentially more complex...you\'d have to have all kinds of crazy setup options...you\'d need all the different samples i.e. 4 violins, 8 violins, 16 violins, 2 celli, 4 celli, etc. as well as some kind of midi-input interpreter that looks at what you\'re actually playing and analyzes it quickly enough to split it out into the different channels to the different parts.

  3. #3

    Re: String Library Idea...

    I\'d love an idea like this, but I\'d also need a sampler with the ability to stream 512+ stereo voices to keep up with the poly uses. Nice, but at this point in sampling it seems a little unrealistic (who knows -- we may see it in as little as two years).

  4. #4

    Re: String Library Idea...

    Aaron, well this is almost impossible to do with MIDI. First of all, you probably wouldnt want to use chords of strings playing on the same MIDI ch - so somehow the player/sampler/whatever way this is to be implemented, would have to analyze all your tracks AHEAD and find out what is playing and what is gonna play. And even if it just was to work on a single channel basis, you would still need to do some ahead analyzing.

  5. #5

    Re: String Library Idea...

    I\'ve done something similar with Bigga Orchestral Brass (BoB).

    BoB ships with two recordings of each note at each of the three velocity levels. This allows a poor-man\'s ensemble sound. I expanded upon this by making two additional instruments, each pitch shifted down one half step. This gives me four unique samples for every note (at each velocity) to play with.

    Here\'s the fun part: I then combined the four instruments into a single instrument, using layers, crossfaded with the mod wheel. I set the mix to progressively add mix in the instruments. At 0 it\'s just horn 1. At 1/3 it\'s horn 1 & horn 2. At 2/3 it\'s horn 1 & horn 2 & horn 1-shifted. At full tilt I get them all. Sure, it\'s not automatic, but I can control the number of voices from one to four with the wheel.

    Now, to make it really sing, I altered the velocity profile of each voice. I made the first horn tend to play the piano setting, and only play the fortissimo setting on the hardest notes. I pulled the thresholds down on each horn in succession, until the final voice tends to play the louder samples.

    The result is that I get a progressive mix of voices, which I find very realistic. Even though BoB only comes with three velocity levels, this technique yields a very smooth response, and the mix of voices is quite rich.

    This may not be as good as recording lots of players in multiple groupings, but it\'s an economical way to fatten up an ensemble, and to allow you to choose how many players will be active for any given note.

  6. #6

    Re: String Library Idea...

    I can see how the idea Aaron mention could be usefull, but not the one that Hildog mentioned. How is the program supposed to know what sound you\'re after? There are different ways to give the same chord to the same string ensemble. For example, say you have a really high G and the G right above the staff in a chord. The G right above the staff could be given to 2nd violins, or violas if you want it to sound far more intense. I don\'t see how you\'d make a program that can know which one you want at any given time. As another example, how will it know when to use the cellos in the upper register? This register overlaps with both the violins and violas.

    Anthony Lombardi
    www.mp3.com/alombardi

  7. #7

    Re: String Library Idea...

    Jon, there are patches in the Dan Dean solo libs that do pretty much what you\'ve explained, without the velocity profiling I believe. Which is probably the thing that would make it work well, since I dont like them as is.

  8. #8

    Re: String Library Idea...

    KingIdiot,

    I think that the key to a good ensemble is different players with different instruments. The mix of the tones is what makes it interesting. Doubling the same player adds some beef, but ends up mostly adding a chorus effect - a complex one when different samples are used - but still a chorus effect.

    The velocity profiling is really key. With most players at mf, and one or two at f it no longer sounds like a single musician. It really adds to the richness of the sound.

  9. #9

    Re: String Library Idea...

    I\'d worry more about sampling of divisi sections itself than some automation tools for chords. How many string libraries offer real divisi? Not many...

    Please also consider an automation tool you mention could cause you some trouble on the balance: If you play a 6 notes chord on violins grounded by cello and doublebass section (these are often even unison in octave), you\'d loose the proper balance of the section.

    If you have divisi samples, I think it\'s not that big problem to cut written chords/unison passages into two MIDI channels to the proper divisi section.

    Hansi

  10. #10

    Re: String Library Idea...

    Originally posted by tonylombardi:
    How is the program supposed to know what sound you\'re after? There are different ways to give the same chord to the same string ensemble...I don\'t see how you\'d make a program that can know which one you want at any given time. As another example, how will it know when to use the cellos in the upper register? This register overlaps with both the violins and violas.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Well, I\'m not saying that I have the answer to that question...if I did, I\'d be working on it with plans of selling it as opposed to giving it away for free here...

    It\'s not going to be perfect...Anytime you have software \"deciding\" stuff that like that you to such a large extent (not just doing auto-alternation or any of the Maestro Tools or other stuff we have now), you\'re not going to get exactly what you\'d get if you sat down and did the orchestration and programming the old-fashioned way. But the program could make some educated guesses based on instrument ranges and parameters that you could define ahead of time...and those parameters could be stored as presets that could be changed via ProgChange or whatever. You could get a hell of a first pass from something like this (that you would have to edit afterward)...and it could be great for live performance.

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