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Topic: Program Change in SONAR

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  1. #1

    Program Change in SONAR

    I have Overture.
    Overture can handle Program Changes to skip to other instruments or articulations (set as program changes: VSL!!)
    When I do this instead of keyswitches can SONAR 8.5.3. handle this? I looked thru the manual and help files but couldn't find anything on this subject.


    Raymond
    [Explanation: In VSL solo strings, purchased last week, you can setup quite a lot of matrices for just one instrument. Each matrix cell contains a variety of articulations, triggered my keyswitches, e.g. C1 = stacc. / C#1 = susvib / etc.
    Since it is also possible to trigger those articulations with program changes [ProgramChange='x'] and since Overture can handle this, I rather opt for Program Changes than keyswitches. In theory I can have 127 different Program numbers 'x', anyway much more than a keyswitch-set of 12 on a certain octave]

    Keyswitches for calling things:



    Now program numbers instead:



    Greetings,

    Raymond

  2. #2

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    Hello friends,

    just found out that Program Change is a normal MIDI command which should be obeyed by SONAR........

    Raymond

  3. #3

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    ...found out that Program Change is a normal MIDI command which should be obeyed by SONAR...
    That's correct, Raymond, that Sonar's able to do Program Change - Any DAW program can, because that utility has been part of the MIDI spec since its inception in 1983. Back then, before software instruments, Program Change was an essential tool for MIDI musicians. With it, whatever instrument is being played on a particular MIDI Channel could be switched during the course of playback.

    Old school synths were of course not sample based. The data which comprised an instrument patch on a hardware synth was teeny. Because the data was so tiny, it could be instantly loaded when the user either used a Program Change, or pushed a button on the synth.

    But sample playback engines, like ARIA, and all the sample based software instruments we're used to, have to load an entire set of samples in order to play a particular "patch"- a particular instrument. When you open up a Sonar project which is in progress, you can see those progress bars which show you that the samples are being loaded. Each instrument is pretty fast to load, and of course the larger ones take longer to load.

    Notation programs work differently than DAW programs in many ways, including this one. Notation programs will have a huge amount of instruments loaded for a score and is able to instantly switch between them because they're already loaded. But in a program like Sonar, if you want to switch to a different instrument, you'll need to either use keyswitch instruments or switch to a different MIDI track which is set to play the new articulation you want.

    In other words, Program Change won't work the way you expect, because you'd be asking the program to load a big group of samples in a split second - and that can't be done. See? The old hardware synth change happened instantaneously - but sample based instruments take some time to load. Notation already has the instruments loaded, and the Program Change in that case is simply switching to a different instrument slot and different MIDI channel. But in Sonar - as I've explained, things are very different.

    Do experiment with this - You'll soon see what I'm trying to explain here.

    EDIT: And, to be perhaps more clear - What you'll find is that ARIA won't respond to Program Changes, because of the technical impossibility of that as described above. But it's always good to run our own experiments, see things for ourselves. Lessons are learned better that way. In Sonar, it's easy enough to use the KS instruments, inserting the needed articulation changes, or even playing them from a keyboard in real time.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    Randy wrote:
    In other words, Program Change won't work the way you expect, because you'd be asking the program to load a big group of samples in a split second - and that can't be done. See? The old hardware synth change happened instantaneously - but sample based instruments take some time to load. Notation already has the instruments loaded, and the Program Change in that case is simply switching to a different instrument slot and different MIDI channel. But in Sonar - as I've explained, things are very different.
    Your reply makes sense. Never thought of the warning written here. But when I call for the Vienna Violin (second picture in my original message) all samples are already loaded into RAM at loading time of the project. Accessing those will be very fast. But that is theory. I will experiment with it the next couple of days. By the way, I am doing this only for Vienna stuff, not for ARIA or PLAY.

    Greetings,

    Raymond

  5. #5

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    ... I am doing this only for Vienna stuff, not for ARIA or PLAY...
    Oh, that's right - I forgot you don't use ARIA/Garritan anymore, Raymond. I have no idea how it will work with Vienna stuff. But let us know how it turns out, that will be useful info to know. - I thought your screenshots were from Overture, your notation program, so I've been doubly confused.

    Best of luck with all that.

    Randy

  6. #6
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    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    As long as the Vienna stuff is loaded into memory it shouldn't be a problem using program changes.

    I've noticed that others are able to use program changes when the libraries are loaded on SSD drives. Haven't tried it myself. I have noticed that I can now purge patches in Kontakt with libraries on my SSD and they will load without glitching so I don't think program changes would be a problem. This is a great memory saver as I don't have to load the patch into memory first.

    Jim

  7. #7

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Oh, that's right - I forgot you don't use ARIA/Garritan anymore, Raymond. I have no idea how it will work with Vienna stuff. But let us know how it turns out, that will be useful info to know. - I thought your screenshots were from Overture, your notation program, so I've been doubly confused.

    Best of luck with all that.

    Randy
    Randy, I am still using ARIA for the woodwinds and timpani. The ProgramChange instructions will only be used for the Vienna Libs. I wouldn't know how to apply ProgramChange with ARIA and/or PLAY. Some forum discussions told me that this isn't possible with those.

    I'll keep you all posted,

    Raymond

  8. #8

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    ...I wouldn't know how to apply ProgramChange with ARIA and/or PLAY. Some forum discussions told me that this isn't possible with those...
    That's correct, Raymond. ARIA doesn't respond to program changes. - Always being interested in work flow approaches people develop, I'll look forward to your next post about trying Program Changes with Vienna. Thanks.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    A fast reply. I managed getting Program Changes working in Overture. Exporting the score to MIDI takes all PC's with it. Importing the midi file in SONAR shows all Program Changes and in the Event List you can alter them.

    Those blue dots are the Program Changes in the track.



    And here you see the Events List, look for Patch.....



    When editing those by double click on the value, unfortunately no name will be displayed. Whatever I tried, it never came up (even the names of the various controls in the PRV view aren't displayed - DON'T KNOW WHY).

    It works, simple as that. Of course your instrument definition must have those PC's declared.



    In VSL you can alter the keyswitches into Program Changes (see the blue-ish prg-button). With PC's you ca have a lot more articulations then Keyswitches. My latest setup has 22 different calls (PC's). It doesn't work for ARIA and PLAY!!!

    More later. [PS Remember the numbers are minus 1, the PC's in SONAR start with 0.]

    Raymond

  10. #10

    Re: Program Change in SONAR

    That's really slick, Raymond. - In your screenshot, you're showing that you're doing a program change for every single note-?? wow--

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    ...It doesn't work for ARIA and PLAY!!!...
    That's correct, Raymond. ARIA isn't built in such a way that program changes could work. Instruments are loaded in discrete slots, each with a MIDI Channel assigned to it. If it could respond to a PG, it would have to load each instrument on demand - and we know that would be totally impractical. That's why it doesn't respond to PG, and Play doesn't either - Any conventionally constructed sample player couldn't possibly load instruments on demand like that. If all the instruments needed are loaded and ready to be switched to, and they have a mechanism for making all that possible, then, as you're doing now - then it can work, but it calls for software with totally different architecture than ARIA.

    And, also as I said earlier, notation programs work very differently from DAW programs. They load scads of instruments, and behind the scenes, they figure what the user needs, switching back and forth between the instances of sample players it's loaded to accommodate the score.

    Randy

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