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Topic: Minimum volume???

  1. #1

    Minimum volume???

    Has anyone noticed that with the mod wheel all the way down, there is still some very noticable volume? It would be nice if the sound would swell in from nothing instead of starting at a low volume and then on up. Does this make sense? It\'s getting late and I\'m not sure if it does to anyone else. Or maybe this has to do with the limited (0-127) values of the modwheel. Any suggestions to help would be great. I\'m using GPO in SX 1.06. I could also swell the vst track but it seems like an awful lot of work just to swell in a note or chord. Thanks in advance.

    Eric W

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Hamburg, Germany

    Re: Minimum volume???

    Yep, most sounds have this problem. I really don\'t know why it\'s programmed this way.


  3. #3

    Re: Minimum volume???

    We are considering changing this in a future update but most instruments are presently designed to reflect the way instruments actually behave in real life. That is, wind and string instruments are incapable of creating continuous dynamic change down to silence. There is a physical limit to just how quiet a particular instrument can play before vibrations abruptly cease. Each instrument has a threshold, a point where enough energy must be present to cause the onset of resonant vibrations. Below that threshold the instrument\'s vibrations stop. This is true of string excitations and also of the Helmholtz resonant behavior in tubes (brass and woodwinds). There is no such thing as a fade-to-silence in the real world of acoustic string and wind instruments. To very quiet yes, to silence no.

    There was also the practical tech support matter of new users loading instruments and getting silence when they tried to play something (if they didn’t read the instructions to raise the mod wheel). At least with an instrument set to its minimum level the user hears something even if the mod wheel isn’t used properly.

    Despite these reasons we are considering changing this (at least as an option) to give people more choice and flexibility - e.g. to do an UNrealistic fade-to-silence when they wish to.


  4. #4

    Re: Minimum volume???


    I can usually fade in or fade out from and to a significantly softer volume on strings than is currently programmed in GPO. I\'ve played in some orchestras and garrantee that every musician can fade to virtual silence, at least from the audience\'s perspective. It\'s no doubt impractical to record samples at such low volume, but in performance fade in and out to silence is done frequently. It\'ll be good to have that feature in GPO. Thanks

  5. #5

    Re: Minimum volume???

    I understand both sides of this. I actually kind of agree with Tom\'s point that most instruments can\'t go to silence, thought I\'m pretty sure most of them can get quieter than the samples currently allow. Strings especially should be able to get quieter than the minimum mod setting. Of course, you\'ll never hear a double-reed fade to anything near silence.

    That being said, I don\'t think it\'s a big deal to use MIDI volume control at the lower end to fade things where necessary. I\'ve done this in a number of places already, and didn\'t feel terribly inconvenienced.

  6. #6

    Re: Minimum volume???

    Originally posted by Tom Hopkins:
    We are considering changing this in a future update...
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">FWIW, please accept my $0.02 that I would prefer you didn\'t change it. If folk want to fade down to silence, well, that\'s what MIDI volume messages, faders, etc. are for as far as I\'m concerned.

  7. #7

    Re: Minimum volume???

    I think it\'s fine the way it is, though perhaps the ability could be added (as an option) to fade to silence on the mod wheel. I like jmc\'s idea, though!

  8. #8

    Re: Minimum volume???

    Remember, if a live orchestra \"fades to silence\" (particularly in fermata: moving parts are trickier), it can be done though psychoacoustic effects. Doubled parts (within a section) can stop playing at successive points to reduce overall volume. If notes are doubled across instrumentation, then some of those notes can be dropped after that (though this produces a timbre change as well). Then you can drop octaved pitches. The last instruments to drop out are ideally the ones that can play the softest without \"failure\", and the remaining perceptual instant of \"music\" that is heard is actually the reverb of the space trailing off.

    Oh, and you could also do this \"fade\" effect \"directionally\" by range of instrumentation, as well, \"muting\" parts from high to low or low to high, depending on the effect you want.

    Yours, in theory only, [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
    - m

  9. #9

    Re: Minimum volume???

    Why not fade to silence? True, we are attempting to emulate a real orchestra, and the physics underlying fades may not allow real instruments to do so... But... sample instruments aren\'t real, so why not give us the extra ability?

    If folk want to fade down to silence, well, that\'s what MIDI volume messages, faders, etc. are for as far as I\'m concerned.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Are you actually suggesting that while contouring our mod envelopes, for each and every fade out we switch to cc7, edit our midi, switch back to cc1, and resume contouring? It may work fine, but controlling everything from one controller certainly would be better.

    Also, even if you WERE happy doing it that way, it\'s not possible in GPO since cc7 turns the volume knob but doesn\'t actually change the volume.

    Personally, in the majority of my work, not fading to silence isn\'t really that big of a problem since by the time the instrument gets down that low it\'s barely audible. But sometimes I would like it to go all the way down. *shrug

    Let\'s make our virtual instruments more versatile than the real ones! hehe

    - Junkm

  10. #10

    Re: Minimum volume???

    Thank you Junk Monkey. This is exactly how I feel. In order to reproduce the real sounding articulations of an orchestra, we have to have some extra-ordinary tools to get the job done. I mean, it\'s not like GPO was designed to make me stroke the keyboard with a bow or blow into it to produce a flute sound. Were already well past the point of what\'s \"real\". And I think that it\'s been proven time and again by some of the demos and posts that total conventional realism isn\'t at all the only desired effect from GPO. I know that when I watch the Illinois Symphony chamber orchestra, I can hear what sounds like fading to and from silence from the front row only 15 feet from the concert mistress. They can do it so I wanna be able to also. Please take this as constructive criticism. I love GPO. I just want us to be able to make it better.

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