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Topic: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

  1. #1

    Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Hello gentlemen,

    I am wondering if quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds and stopped notes are a part of the library.

    If they are not, what other sounds can I use instead?

    Do pizzicato stopped notes occur in the library?

    Thank you,

    Mario Ciancio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Hi Mario,

    I\'m not sure exactly what you mean by chittara. My translating dictionary says it means guitar but it seems that you may be referring to something else.

    It is possible to acheive stops by the use of multiple controllers. Here is an example of a double stop achieved by key switching from a slide to a marcato and using the expressive control for legato. Also, there are stopped pizzicato samples in the basses.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Hi Gary,

    I\'ll try to explain this better.

    The effect I\'m talking about is really a kind of pizzicato.
    \"Quasi chitarra\" (\"almost like a guitar\"), means that the strings have to played with the fingers with an up-and-down movement.

    It occurs in the following pieces,

    Debussy - Iberia, third movement, rehearsal nr. 56-57

    Ravel - Bolero, bars 291-309

    Bartok - Music for strings, percussion and celesta, fourth movement, bars 1-15

    Debussy wrote \"quasi guitara\", whereas Ravel and Bartok simply wrote \"pizz.\". It\'s the same effect.
    I have tried to produce this sound by using pizzicato sounds and let Finale play arpeggios in the chords, but I\'m wondering if there is a better solution.

    As for the \"stopped\" notes (I\'m not sure \"stopped\" is the right word), the sound I\'m talking about is produced by playing pizzicato with the right hand and holding the left hand finger on the string without pushing it.
    Actually this effect doesn\'t produce any pitch, but just noise.
    It only occurs in contemporary music. (By the way, rock guitarists use it a lot!)
    This effect can be used both with \"pizzicato\" and \"quasi guitara\", the difference being in the number of strings stroken (1 vs. 4).

    What\'s the best way to produce these sounds?

    Thank you,

    Mario Ciancio

  4. #4

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds


    As you know, guitar strumming, even that simulated by a string orchestra, is not a simple case of arpeggiation. I know squat about how Finale generates arpeggios from \"block\" chords, but I doubt it comes close to emulating the non-linearity of a strum, whether performed by a guitarist or a violinist. I would, therefore, recommend against using the arpeggiator and, instead, encourage you to play the up and down strums on a keyboard or, better yet, a guitar controller. You should be able to find numerous web sites that discuss the technique. Bear in mind, you’ll have to adjust the voicings to accommodate the tunings of the violin, viola, cello, and bass.

    If you prefer not to strum the chords in real time, and if Finale allows it (otherwise, use a sequencer), you can manually adjust the attack delay of each chord tone, as well as each tone’s velocity or volume, with respect to the desired tempo and amplitude curves (speed and volume) of the strum as a whole. Typically, the first tone in a \"down\" stroke (from the players\'s perspective) is plucked with a bit more emphasis than those that follow, which should probably be no farther apart than, say, a 64th note, depending on the tempo. However, don\'t use equal values between successive chord tones: e.g., if the second tone occurs 26 ticks after the first, have the third tone start 24 ticks after the second (i.e., 50 ticks after the first), and so on. Adjust according to taste: e.g., you may want your “up\" strokes to accelerate toward the end, rather than at the beginning.

    BTW, make sure you vary the samples, particularly for unison doublings. For example, in the Bartok excerpt that you cited (I love that piece), the cellos \"strum\" the A major triad as follows: E2 (C string), C#3 (G string), A3 (D string), and A3 (open A string). Yes, you might get away with using the same sample for the repeated A3, but the effect of strumming across all four strings will be much more convincing if you use a different sample for the open A string. Of course, with GOS you have several options, including switching between “tight” and “loose” pizzicato samples.

    Our guitarist friends should have more to say on this subject and may even set me straight (I’m not a guitarist and don’t pretend to be, accept when goofing around with the kids).

    Good luck! And share the results when you\'re ready.


  5. #5

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Alas, I don\'t have a solution for the \"stopped\" effect. A friend of mine is a fine quitarist and periodically will produce that sound during one of our goof-off sessions in his studio. I suspect you would have to process the existing pizz instruments considerably to \"blur\" the definite pitch of each chord tone. If I recall correctly, the sound is truncated and dry, so you could start there. Perhaps \"excessive\" chorus with no reverb and no natural decay at the release is the trick, although I\'m just guessing here. I don\'t remember the frequency content of that effect, so I wouldn\'t know which filter to apply (low pass, high pass, etc., probably low pass). I think we\'re better off handing this problem over to Ashif (King Idiot) and any other guitarist out there who loves to tweak samples.


  6. #6

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    muted pizz?

    I\'d say tighten up the volume decay/release alot, and add a low pass filter with a slightly faster decay/release on its envelope (to mimic the muffling of the string) then add reverb.

    Thats about all I could think of at the moment. I\'m not exactly sure how close this would get you either.

  7. #7

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Hi Pat and thank you for your advices.

    I\'ve been experimenting a lot and the results are quite good. Actually, I\'ve had a much more convincing effect by switching between different pizzicato samples for the open strings!

    But what about the \"stopped\" notes?

    I\'ve been thinking of changing the attacks in the pizzicato samples.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you,


  8. #8

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Sorry, I meant to say,

    I\'ve been thinking of changing the DECAYS in the pizzicato samples!


  9. #9

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Thank you Pat and Ashif,

    I\'m tweaking the samples and I\'m getting closer and closer to the sound I need...


  10. #10

    Re: Quasi chitarra / alla chitarra sounds

    Hi Gary,

    as for the quasi chitarra sound, I have to say that I\'m quite satisfied with the results.

    I have tried many things, but this is what has worked best for me.

    I have defined two new articulation shapes with Finale, one for the up stroke and one for the down stroke, after some tweaking with the top note/bottom note values for achieving a realistic strum.

    The pizzicato samples are fabulous and the only real difference - in my ears - is that the attack is a bit stronger than the real sound, something that can be improved further by tweaking the attacks.

    I haven\'t found a really satisfying solution for the \"stopped\" pizzicato, though. In any case, some heavy tweaking is necessary here.

    So I would be very glad if you would consider about this for a future update.

    All in all, the samples required are quite a few, as one for every string would be enough - it doesn\'t really matter where you hold your finger or where you strike the string, (as long as you avoid the harmonics).

    Thank you,


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