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Topic: expression vs. volume

  1. #1

    expression vs. volume

    what\'s the difference between these two? I\'ve heard others say they use a lot of CC11 to get moer realism from the samples. But why not CC7 instead?

    Thanks for any clarity on this?

  2. #2

    Re: expression vs. volume

    When (if) both controllers are implemented on an instrument, the use of either has the same effect on its output.

    If you only use a single controller for level and expression changes, like CC#7, it\'s very hard to adjust the overall level of an instrument because all your \'expression\' work throughout the track overides the initial level you set. You\'d have to go in and trim every curve you put into it.

    What most people tend to do is use CC#11 for expression throughout the track and CC#7 to set an overall level for the track. This keeps mix level and expression as two independent elements.

  3. #3

    Re: expression vs. volume

    Thanks, mate. I often confuse velocity with CC#7 because most sample libraries set up the velocity so that higher means louder.

    I tended to tweak louder/softer via velocity. But on held notes when I need a crescendo, or the like, I\'ve been drawing in CC#7.

    Which is what raised my question. It sems if I drw in CC#11 it gives very similar results as CC#7.

    But if I do as you suggest, use CC#7 as overall volume and CC#11 for cresc/decresc. and (I assume) use velocity more for triggering a different attack or articulation (a different sample perhaps if the mapping is set up so), then I will probably be using my sequencer the most \"musically\".

  4. #4

    Re: expression vs. volume


    I thought when peopel referred to \"expression\" I thought they were talking about adjusting the \"volume\"...

    can anyone clarify?


  5. #5
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: expression vs. volume

    Steve: Yes, exactly. I approach it as a sculptural process. My basic playing expression exists in velocity. Once that is in, I tweak the velocities to get the best result that can happen on that level. Then I use CC11 to further refine things, and to essentially play the same \"role\" as a conductor, refining the phrasing and stylistic approach of the track. Finally, that leaves CC07 to be used in the mixdown, to correct balances in the overall ensemble.

    The goal is exactly as Rick describes--to have the different musical \"goals\" uncluttered and unaffected by one another so that in going back to tweak, you do not get into a situation of re-doing a lot of work and destroying things you\'ve already accomplished.

  6. #6

    Re: expression vs. volume

    So, if I set my CC07 at bar 1 of my piece (e.g. in Track 1) this overall volume level will keep throughout.

    It\'s basically the \"fader\" without messing up the expression (CC11) and velocity curves.

    Thanks, all. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: expression vs. volume


    CC#7 = mix level,
    Velocity = note-to-note dynamics and (possibly) timbre,
    CC#11 = intra-note dynamics,


    If you\'re using a layered crossfade like in some of the SAM Horn patches, then

    CC#7 = mix level,
    Velocity = note-to-note dynamics,
    Mod Wheel = intra-note dynamics & timbre,


    If you\'re using GPO, then most patches are

    CC#7 = mix level,
    Velocity = attack
    Mod Wheel = note-to-note and intra-note dynamics & timbre,


    If somebody has programmed something completely different.

    I think that covers it. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Re: expression vs. volume

    Another question is do any of you have any kind of secrets for making realistic sfortzandos?

    Mine always sound like they\'re drawn in (which they are). And I do tweak a lot the initial attack length to sudden diminuendo to crescendo. But I can never seem to get it sounding realistic.

    and if I have three instruments doing it simultaneously, it\'s even harder. I\'ve even copied and pasted the expression data from one part (that I got sounding okay) to the other parts, but because sample responsiveness is different, it never quite turns out.

  9. #9

    Re: expression vs. volume


    I think realistic sforzandos are difficult unless you have control over both volume AND timbre change. You really need the tone to brighten as the note gets louder.

    The solutions to this are:

    1. Record a real sforzando sample for every possible length - yeah, right.

    2. Use a crossfade system which allows you to crossfade at any time from a sustaining tone to a sforzando of fixed length. This doesn\'t work well with solo voices because of the double-up during the crossfade, and there are triggering issues for the sforzando note (which maye be solved with GS3\'s midi rules).

    3. Develop a clever timestretch facility which allows you to vary the length of a sforzando sample without changing the pitch, and not introduce stretch artifacts.

    4. Modelled instruments - a long way off yet before they sound truly real.

  10. #10

    Re: expression vs. volume

    Jon, I\'ve been using that technique for some time, but I can\'t except sample denial anymore [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Instruments that I mostly need sfz is with pop/jazz brass (Earth wind fire, big band jazz type of stuff). After a syncopated rhythm then hitting that final phrase chord. If that chord just had the energy that a sfz gives, my horn part would really shine.

    I try drawing them in with CC11. I\'ll experiment with meshing samples and crossfading. Let\'s see what happens.

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