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Topic: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

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  1. #1

    Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    What\'s the deal with this \"Auto-VAR\" feature in Maestro Tools? Is it what I hope it is? While we\'re on the subject, what about Pseudo-EXP & Pseudo-LEG?

  2. #2

    Re: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    Just started digging into this myself last night. THis is a very cool update to this utility. The auto var works with \"VAR\" sample. it essentially automatically selects different samples on fast short bowed passages. It does wonders at reducing the \'machine gun\' effects of rapid succesion of similar sample notes. Horse around with it and you will see great results. The pseudo legato essentially \'hangs\' the previous note over by whatever you set it to. This has an effect of making the line more legato. Season to taste on this one - it can get sloppy pretty fast. Hope this helps.

    Rob

  3. #3

    Re: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    Sounds great. Thanks Rob.

    Chris

  4. #4

    Re: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    Hi Chris,

    No problem, glad I could help. Gary and his team are doing a pretty good job of keeping this library from being \'long in the tooth.\' Their are other very nice string libraries but I think many would agree that Gary leads the pack in updates and service.

    Rob

  5. #5

    Re: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    Hi,

    yes, and the Pseudo-EXP feature makes the modulation-wheel control the outgoing velocity and CC11 (expression/volume) of the instrument you are playing. This is done by a special remapping of expression and velocity values to simulate the behaviour of true multi-layer-crossfade patches (EXP in GOSish). This way you can easily play dynamic progressions within short note repetitions and add dynamic control to sustained notes.

    This works quite well with VMT (Virtual MaestroTools for Logic), I don\'t like Jeff\'s remapping version the same (MaestroTools for Maple), feels a little \"jumpy\" most of the time IMO (sorry Jeff [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ).

    Best

    Roman

  6. #6

    Re: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    Gentlemen, I\'m afraid I don\'t follow. I was only aware of ALT Up/Down for varying sample attacks. Is there a later version of MaestroTools than shipped with GOS Update 2? How do I access the auto-VAR functionality?

    Thanks.

  7. #7

    Re: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    SPF,

    Auto VAR is a convenience option in the latest version of Maple/MaestroTools. It is included in the Maple folder on disc #20 of the last update. When you choose the MaestroTools plugin in Maple you will see selections under \"Patch Type.\" When you choose \"ALT\" the grayed-out \"Subtypes\" will become active. One of them is \"Auto-VAR.\"

    To use Auto-VAR you need to select the Auto-VAR option and have a VAR short bow instrument loaded into the corresponding MIDI channel. With the occurrence of each note-on Auto-VAR generates random controller data for Mod Wheel (changes in intonation and character) and GPC-7 (changes in \"rosin on the bow\" brightness). I referred to it as a convenience option because Auto-VAR must be used with caution since it has a number of potential drawbacks. These include:

    1. The first six Mod Wheel layers introduce variations in intonation. Layers 7 and 8 introduce variations in character due to the use of transposed adjacent samples. The transposed mod wheel layers (layers 7 and 8) can introduce samples that are very similar in character to the \"home\" note (if derived from a sample played on the same string) or very dissimilar in character (if derived from a sample played on a different string). For best results their use must be judged carefully and specifically in context. Auto-VAR generates random mod wheel data without regard for the layer differences.

    2. Where intonational variations can indeed be effectively random, brightness is more problematic. While many situations can be effectively random others are best applied intelligently to specific bow strokes and usage.

    3. VAR features were originally intended to be applied to specific problem passages as a result of rapid, repetitious phrases (the dreaded \"machine gun\" effect) - not generally engaged for the entire length of a track. This feature was intended as a \"problem solver.\" Having said that, the only real penalty for using it at all times (beyond unpredictable musical results) is the increased density of controller data arriving at GigaStudio. Probably of no consequence in most situations.

    4. One of the most effective tools for VAR is attack control (GPC-1). This can add subtle note-to-note variations in the note attacks and, quite properly, is NOT incorporated in Auto-VAR. Experience shows that these variations must be applied intelligently or perceived note emphasis can be affected (subtle accents where you don\'t want them). Random generation in Auto-VAR would have made each playback different from the last and unpredictable in its effect on the musicality of the passage. Which brings us to the most important drawback of Auto-VAR:

    5. Auto-VAR gives non-repeatability on playback. By randomly generating data each playback will be different (as opposed to hard data in a sequenced track giving identical results with each playback). Most passages will require unique and specific treatment to give the most believable results. Repeatability is essential. This one is extremely important.

    Why use Auto-VAR when there are so many drawbacks? Because it is easy to turn on and works in real time - no extra effort required. The results may not be as effective as the thoughtful manual application of all of the VAR tools but it can be a time-saver when you are in a hurry. It\'s certainly worth a try.

    Tom

  8. #8

    Re: Maestro Tools "Auto-VAR"

    Originally posted by Tom Hopkins:
    5. Auto-VAR gives non-repeatability on playback. By randomly generating data each playback will be different (as opposed to hard data in a sequenced track giving identical results with each playback). Most passages will require unique and specific treatment to give the most believable results. Repeatability is essential. This one is extremely important.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Perhaps future versions can incorporate track data for expressive control? Or alternatively, use a pseudo-random sequence with a deterministic start seed value? That way the pseudo random sequence always starts in the same place and can be repeatable. Or how about linking to an external user-defined file which contains expression data?

    John

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