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Topic: Softer dynamics from EXP instruments

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  1. #1

    Softer dynamics from EXP instruments

    What settings would I change in the editor to make the bottom end of the MOD wheel cross fades on the EXP instruments softer? I\'m setting these up to work with a wind controller, but they just don\'t get very soft. I\'d like to have the bottom end of the mod wheel completely silent.

  2. #2

    Re: Softer dynamics from EXP instruments

    Aenigma,

    I\'m pressed for time right now but I will come back to this soon and post a step-by-step for you to accomplish this (or something close).

    Tom

  3. #3

    Re: Softer dynamics from EXP instruments

    OK, I\'m back.

    Here’s how to modify the dynamic range of the EXP instruments using the Instrument Editor. Because the dynamic range curves in GigaStudio do not apply to this type of instrument it is necessary to modify the actual level of the sample layers to achieve wider dynamic range. Here\'s an example of how to do it:

    1. Open the Instrument Editor and load \"1st Violins Long Bows 1.gig\" into the Editor.

    2. In the instrument list on the left, highlight instrument #2 (1st Vln SusV EXP).

    3. \"Rubberband\" all regions (G3 to C7, below the keyboard graphic) by placing your cursor to the left of the regions, click and hold the left mouse button, draw your cursor to the right across all of the regions, and release the mouse button. If you have done this correctly all regions should turn yellow.

    4. In the middle of the screen is the \"layer\" area. There are 4 segments under the word \"layer.\" Place your cursor in the far left segment and left click. This is the \"p\" layer. The left segment (only) should be green.

    5. On the far right of the region area there is a calibration fader. Pull it all the way down. This will display the maximum available dynamic range.

    6. Locate the left drop-down menu above the keyboard graphic, click on it and choose \"attenuation\" from the menu list. The left menu bar should now say \"attenuation.\"

    7. Carefully place your cursor over the first region\'s attenuation indicator (blue ball) and left click. This is important: All regions should remain yellow during this operation. If the region you click becomes the only yellow region, go back and rubberband all regions again. Click and hold the left mouse button and move the \"blue ball\" upward (all \"blue balls\" - if you\'ll pardon the expression - should move together, even though you are only moving one of them). Notice that as you hold the mouse button a number appears at the cursor position. This is the amount of attenuation in decibels. As a beginning experiment, move the cursor up until the number reads around \"30.\" You will probably need to choose a close fraction. This will attenuate the softest layer by approximately 30db.

    8. Place your cursor over the next \"layer\" segment (second from the left) and click. The second segment (only) should turn green. Follow the same procedure to increase the attenuation value to around \"20.\" This will attenuate the \"mp\" layer by approximately 20db.

    9. Place your cursor over the 3rd \"layer segment (second from the right) and click. The third segment only should turn green. Follow the same procedure to increase the attenuation value to around \"10.\" This will attenuate the \"mf\" layer by approximately 10db.

    10. It is unnecessary to modify the final \"f\" layer.

    You now have an EXP instrument with much wider dynamic range, but the softest level is not silence. You could use larger (evenly spaced) values to further increase the dynamic range if you wish. As you approach very large attenuation values (e.g. p=60db, mp=40db, mf=20db) you will get very close to silence at the softest levels. Larger values can significantly reduce the smoothness of layer transitions, though. Experiment with your breath controller - see what works best.

    Keep in mind that such extreme settings are accompanied by a considerable loss in realism. Controlling dynamics in EXP instruments is very different from controlling dynamics with MIDI volume (cc#7) or MIDI expression (cc#11). The softest point in a default EXP instument isn’t silence, it’s the softest level of the players at the original recording session. With real players the bow/string has a \"threshold of onset\" for vibration. This limit is especially true to produce a steady, quality sound. So, a player attempting to perform an extended diminuendo doesn\'t get continuously softer until he/she eventually disappears into silence. Neither does an EXP instrument. Thought of in the other direction: EXP instruments give you dynamic control from a point slightly above the onset of vibration - up to the level of the forte layer. The EXP instruments are calibrated to the dynamic range of the players at the original recording sessions but there is no reason to feel bound by that. Use it as a reference point, not an absolute. The same musicians at a different time might have played with a somewhat different total dynamic range. Feel free to experiment.

    Since you already appear to know how to change the attenuation control from \"mod wheel\" to \"breath controller\" I won\'t go into that.

    Tom


    [This message has been edited by Tom Hopkins (edited 04-14-2002).]

    [This message has been edited by Tom Hopkins (edited 04-14-2002).]

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