I am wondering how difficult/easy/time-consuming it is to program a good quality \"strumming\" guitar part with Matt Ragan\'s Max Strength Acoustic Guitar Library. I like the demo and I applaud the idea of bundling MIDI files and maybe even maintaining a \"User MIDI file exchange\" (...?).
I am, however, still trying to get a feeling for how much time and effort it takes to create a credible track. I guess the problem is the same with other acoustic guitar libraries ... or are there libs out there that are more suitable to create \"strumming guitars\"?
I haven\'t got Matt\'s library, but I have got the Acoustic Essentials guitar, and I have a feeling they use a similar approach, only I have the \'budget\' project version. If you\'re worried about how easy to play this style of instrument is, maybe a description of how the instrument works for me will help:
In Acoustic Essentials making a strumming part is pretty intuitive.
1. You have one guitar which has been sampled.
2. You have three basic \'instruments\' to choose from - fast, medium and slow strums. You load one of these depending on the pace of the piece you\'re working on.
3. You have down and up strums mapped in two different areas of the keyboard, so you can change your strum direction easily. The strums are single strums, not rhythms. Hold a note and the chord will ring out.
4. The strums are mapped with a range of velocity switches (three or four I think), so you have tonal dynamics as well as volume.
5. Keywsitches allow you to change chord types (maj, min, sus, aug, dim).
6. There are a couple of effects samples also.
Basically I pick a strum speed, pull it up, keyswitch to what my first chord type will be, and run the sequencer. After playing around for a bit, I usually get a feel for a good strumming pattern and work around that. If I need to use two hands to do the strumming I insert the keyswitches for the chord changes into the sequence track first - that way you can concentrate on the feel of the strumming and not worry about the chord types. Sometimes I reach the limit of the chords and move out of range. Then I just make a mental note and drop down the octave at that point next time I play the part. This could be fixed with yet another dimension switch which lets you change inversions.
If I had to improve anything, I\'d make the strums more even in each velocity layer. It can muck up your feel quite a bit if you\'re playing at a certain pace and run into a slightly slower played strum. I\'d add some more chord types as well. All in all though, the Acoustic Essentials bundle is very easy to write with, and I can only see that Matt\'s library would give you primo sounds, chord type and inversion choices and programming. Of course, I haven\'t got it... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Max Strength strums are not as versitile as the Acoustic Essentials -- they only have major and minor chords. However, the real power of the Max Strength is in its individual notes. Individual notes can be assembled into excellent strums if you put some time into the programming. I have used both Acoustic Essentials for background strums and Max Strength for up front guitar in several sessions.