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Topic: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

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  1. #1

    Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    I\'m having a hard time getting this to sound realistic. I\'ve tried it all kinds of ways and sometimes even on the same note sequence the portamento goes all crazy on me. Tried it with the sustain pedal up and down, but I don\'t think its made that much of a difference either way. Anyone have any help they can give with this. I\'ve read Adam\'s post before, but it still doesn\'t seem to work 100 percent of the time or it goes nuts and it sounds like I just shot my neighbors cat and sometimes it seems to work beautifully (on the same note sequence in various parts of a song.) [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    Hi,
    I use sometime the portamento specially on trombones and violin solo, but I set it around 20%. Even if you can\'t hear an effective change, this little settings gives an impercetive but present realism, specially when you play far notes. In the other hand most musicians know that the portamento sounds really false on acoustic instruments. Hope my considerations will help you.
    Best
    Francesco

  3. #3

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    I just started using portamento (Ctrl#20) on a string piece. But as you said, it went crazy in a few places. It doesn\'t seem to reset to the next played note very well. What you expect to hear is a slide up to the next higher note sounds like it is sliding down from some mysterious place. Not good. More experimentation might reveal a consistent behavior. I resorted to using it subtly on two solo instruments mixed way back with the section on only a few places. That extra bit did add a sense of realism, however slight.

  4. #4

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    Originally posted by Joseph Burrell:
    ... and sometimes even on the same note sequence the portamento goes all crazy on me. Tried it with the sustain pedal up and down, but I don\'t think its made that much of a difference either way... doesn\'t seem to work 100 percent of the time or it goes nuts and it sounds like I just shot my neighbors cat and sometimes it seems to work beautifully
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">
    Originally posted by tabtech:
    ...But as you said, it went crazy in a few places. It doesn\'t seem to reset to the next played note very well. What you expect to hear is a slide up to the next higher note sounds like it is sliding down from some mysterious place...
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'ve found two problems with portamento.

    1. Sustain Pedal can disable portamento (briefly) under specific conditions, in the following order,
    </font><ul type=\"square\">[*]<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Enable Portamento</font>[*]<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Sound a note. (Ok, no portamento.)</font>[*]<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">SustainPedal=127 (Ok)</font>[*]<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Sound another note. (PROBLEM. You expected portamento but you don\'t get any.)

    If you alter the order, then you may not get a problem. For example, set SustainPedal=127 before the first note and you have no problem, hence confusion in another thread about whether you want SustainPedal down or up. It all depends when you turn the SustainPedal on.</font>[/list]<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">
    2. Kontakt Player left in unstable state.
    </font><ul type=\"square\">[*]<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">The Kontakt Player holds onto the Portamento setting after you have stopped the sequence. Specifically it remembers if you left Portamento ON the last time you sent MIDI to the Kontakt Player.

    When you send your sequence again to the Kontakt Player, it is still in \"Portamento Enabled\" state. The Player \"remembered\" the Portamento setting, even if the PORTA knob does not reflect that fact.

    But, the \"prior\" note was lost. The note was not retained in the Player. The Player doesn\'t have the information to know where to start the Portamento slide from. Hence you get this screaming cat sound from hell down to your note. I assume the high pitch is the default Portamento pitch as specified in the software internals.

    This is not a problem if you close then restart GPO</font>[/list]<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">
    I can tolerate all this. No big deal. I am careful when editing to stop the sequencer when Portamento is Disabled. If you use very little Portamento, then you may never hear a problem.

  5. #5

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    OK, let me see if I can clear up some of the confusion concerning the portamento. First of all, Haydn is right about there being a bug in the latest version. It was easy for me to spot and correct. The fix will be in the next version of the player. The portamento is designed to be active only with the sustain pedal down. The latest version has inadvertently applied it to both layers, up and down, with several unfortunate consequences. One problem created by this is the inability of the portamento to determine the correct direction of the portamento if there is any intervening pedal data. Without going into boring detail here this is because the two layers are independent and portamento direction requires consistent data from the same layer to be accurate. This is not a problem when the portamento is confined to the legato layer only as was the design intention. That problem will be gone with the next version.

    The portamento data is intended to be entered on a transition-by-transition basis not set for a single value across multiple notes. This is because each note requires a unique value depending upon the desired strength of the portamento and the actual interval between notes. So, when you draw in your data it should be placed just prior to the interval and then returned to zero just after the interval. Each packet of portamento data consists of 2 points prior to the transition – zero followed by the portamento value (e.g. 40) – and 2 points after the transition – the portamento value (e.g. 40) followed by zero. This always returns the portamento value to zero before it moves on to the next note. By doing this you can adjust the value of the portamento to whatever amount is required for a given interval and the strength you wish to apply. Smaller intervals require larger values, larger intervals require smaller values. In practice, you will rarely need values higher than 60. All intervals can be successfully used including half steps. I’ve just created a couple of test files to confirm this and I experienced no difficulty with smaller intervals. At least that’s the case with the correct legato layer programming.

    Until the next version fixes the layer problem you will need to be extremely careful that you only apply portamento data to the legato layer and always return the data to the zero point before moving on to the next note (a habit you should get into anyway). By applying the data to only the legato layer any sequences you create will not be “broken” by the fix in the next version.

    Tom

  6. #6

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    Tom,

    I for one think your design is brilliant. I eagerly await the fix, as it appears that it will make portamento a breeze to use.

    [In the mean time you can find me hiding under a rock until everyone forgets that in the past couple of days I wrote a bunch of crap concerning this. [img]images/icons/blush.gif[/img] ]

  7. #7

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    While we are on this subject; any chance of seeing midi files showing the techniques of GPO used realisticly? Not a whole song, per se, but just a snippet of notes showing how certain techniques are properly utilized within the sequencer. I know this kind of thing is offered for GOS, but I think it would be beneficial to all if this kind of thing were available. Maybe this is in the works? Here I\'ve been saying Garritan should take a long vacation and I\'m giving him something to do!

  8. #8

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    Adam, don\'t get down on yourself you had the best of interests at heart. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    If you alter the order, then you may not get a problem. For example, set SustainPedal=127 before the first note and you have no problem, hence confusion in another thread about whether you want SustainPedal down or up. It all depends when you turn the SustainPedal on.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">This is a problem because putting the sustain pedal message in first will alter the attack of the note, by switching into legato mode.

  10. #10
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    Re: Anyone use the portamento effectively?

    Adam,

    The portamento has to be set after the sustain pedal is turned on, not before. This is why your getting the odd response.

    There appears to be a bug with the way portamento is working now. I\'ve also noticed that it is going the wrong way. It should have been sliding down on a passage but was going up. Need to have Tom Hopkins look into this. Didn\'t do this before.

    The portamento doesn\'t work if you go up in 1/2 steps which appears to be a flaw in Kontakt. Don\'t know if Tom\'s ever found a workaround for this.

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