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Topic: Polyphony Problem with Sonic Implants Drums

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  1. #1

    Polyphony Problem with Sonic Implants Drums

    I\'m having a problem with polyphony and voice stealing in GigaStudio 96. I\'ve been using
    Sonic Implants Giga Drums Sessions2 and I notice an enormous amount of polyphony
    is used up when I use this drum program. When I execute a fast ride pattern on the cymbals
    the polyphony in GigaStudio will go up into the 50s and sometimes even higher and some
    other voices in my composition will drop out.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to eliminate or minimise this voice stealing?

    (Pentium 4. 1.4, Windows 2000, 1 Gig Ram)

    Marko

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Polyphony Problem with Sonic Implants Drums

    Originally posted by Marko:
    I\'m having a problem with polyphony and voice stealing in GigaStudio 96. I\'ve been using
    Sonic Implants Giga Drums Sessions2 and I notice an enormous amount of polyphony
    is used up when I use this drum program. When I execute a fast ride pattern on the cymbals
    the polyphony in GigaStudio will go up into the 50s and sometimes even higher and some
    other voices in my composition will drop out.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to eliminate or minimise this voice stealing?

    (Pentium 4. 1.4, Windows 2000, 1 Gig Ram)

    Marko
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Marko,

    Open the file in the Giga Editor, select all regions and velocity layers, and check the \"self mask\" checkbox on the mix/layer page.

    That should decrease your polyphony use dramatically, and the algorithm lets \"louder\" samples ring out over softer ones, so it\'s fairly transparent.

    If it\'s already checked, time to go for Giga 160!!

    Best regards,
    Bruce

  3. #3

    Re: Polyphony Problem with Sonic Implants Drums

    Yes, there is a way to minimize the voice stealing.

    First of all, you should be aware of the reason you are encountering the voice stealing. As with just about any sample playback instrument, one voice is used per layer, for each note (two voices per layer [per note for stereo samples) and the voice is held until the amplitude decays down to either 0dB, or some other extremely low level of amplitude.

    In the case of cymbals, they tend to have an extremely long decay time (which affects both the decay if the key is held, and the release time if the key is let go). So when you strike the key and let it go, the voice is still an active voice of polyphony for several more seconds. Add to that the fact that they are stereo samples, and you can see how playing a bunch of notes would use up quite a bit of polyphony very quickly.

    But there is a solution...

    Open a Bank in the GigaStudio Editor. Then select the key or keys that you want to \"fix\". Make sure to select all Velocity groups and both sides of the stereo for the selected keys.

    Then, on the Mix/Layer Tab, click on the box for the Self Mask parameter, to turn it on. Finally click the Apply Mix/Layer button.

    The Self Mask parameter allows the Gigastudio to cut off a voice once it has decayed to an amplitude that won\'t be noticeable when more of the same notes are struck. So voices are freed up quicker and you are much less likely to have other sounds in your sequence being cut off.

    Since it does seem like this would be a good idea to do for all the cymbal samples on that CD, we will plan on creating an .art file that will update the cymbals to have Self Mask turned on. I can\'t say exactly when the engineer will have a chance to do this, but check the Sonic Implants web site in the future for this update.

    David Fox
    Sonic Implants

  4. #4

    Re: Polyphony Problem with Sonic Implants Drums

    Bruce and David,

    Thanks for the tips. I recovered a lot of polyphony by following your suggestions.

  5. #5

    Re: Polyphony Problem with Sonic Implants Drums

    Marko, there are a couple of other options you can try if you want to squeeze a little more polyphony out of the box:

    1. Envelope control. Set the release on EG1 to a compromise so that when you\'re playing fast ride patterns, the releases are all dying out relatively quickly. Copy the ride to an adjacent key and use it as a long release version for when the ride has to be full length - like on the last note you play in a section, or just use a long decay and sustain any exposed notes for the length you need.

    2. Key grouping (right click on a region to get this dialog). This is Nemesys\' answer for guys who want to do be able to choke open hi hats with closed ones. You give two regions the same keygroup number (other than 0) and they will cut each other off. I haven\'t tried this, but one way you might use keygrouping to limit polyphony theft is to:

    a. Consider how long you really need the first ride you play to ring before you don\'t notice its wash disappearing.

    b. Work out how many rides notes hits happen in that time.

    c. Copy the ride region this many times. The idea is that you\'ll have this many rides ringing freely, but after that they will start to cut each other off. For this example, lets say 8 rides need to be played across each other before you want to do any choking. Make 7 copies of the ride you like, on comfortably placed keys.

    d. Right click on each ride region and give it a unique keygroup number.(eg, 1, 2, 3...8).

    e. Save your changes

    f. Now, when you play, cycle through the different regions - 1, 2, 3...8, 1, 2, 3...8.

    e. If I\'m right, what should happen is that the 8 rides will all ring across each other, because they belong to unique keygroups, but when you play the ride in a keygroup which is already playing a ringing voice, that new ride will cut off the \'old\' one. So when you play ride number 1 a second time, the release of the first ride in keygroup number one one will go to zero. This should sound ok because it will be masked by the ringing of eight other rides.

    You can compromise with the number of copies and keygroups you use depending on how you value \'realism\' against polyphony. Even with 8 unique keygroups programmed, if you get desperate you can cycle through just three or four, which will use only half the polyphony again...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Polyphony Problem with Sonic Implants Drums

    The Giga \"self mask\" feature is already fairly sophisticated. It only \"masks\" when one plays a louder sample that would effectively drown out the release of a softer one anyway.

    So...

    If you play six rides starting with forte and each is softer than the last, all six will ring.

    However, if you reverse the situation, playing six rides from piano to forte, each louder than the last, the louder strikes will cut off the release of the softer ones.

    In practice, a very good feature, which works quite transparently since it is following the psychoacoustic principles of our own discernment pretty closely. It\'s not just a \"cutoff\" feature behaving like basic polyphony reduction. And because you can apply it on the individual sample level, you can make some very complex choices even as an end user. For instance, you could choose to let certain dynamic ranges ring regardless of others, allowing buildup in some while masking others.

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