The slides are easy, you just add some fast pitch bend at the end of some notes. I you want, you can also add some middle-high frequencies with band equalizer to add realism on those same spots, I mean, if you want to emulate a more 'enthusiastic' bow changes. (I play cello myself, so I have the feel for the changes, that helps me.) The speed of the bow sometimes increases at the end of the stroke when you are in a hurry changing bow direction, and the result, I think, is the increase of certain frequencies. In this demo, however, I didn't add those frequences.
The removal of the vibrato was somewhat tricky. Of course, there are sample collections with non vibrato patches, but I wanted, just for fun, to try what could be done with garritan Solo Cello 1 samples.
There is a program called Melodyne (from Celemony Software), that makes this kind of operation easier.
1. In my sequencer I played in every note
of Solo Cello 1, and rendered everything.
2. Then I loaded the wav file into Melodyne and removed vibrato as far it could be done. You could also use, for example, Antares Autotune or similar for that purpose, and I suppose some audio editors could do the job also. In any case, the aim is to somehow eliminate pitch changes that occur in vibrato. In vibrato there is of course also velocity fluctuation, so the removal of pitch changes doesn't get you finished, so,
3. in order to hide rest of the vibrato I applied very heavy timestretching, slowed the tempo down, until the vibrato started to resemble the normal pressure variation that occur in long bowed non vibrato articulation.
Of course I didn't time stretch the attacks, only the vibrato part.
4. Then I loaded the tweaked samples into the sampler in my sequencer, and played the scales, adjusted velocities etc.
Flageolet tones are easy to produce with a software that does formant changes. Melodyne does this fairly easily, you just change the color of the tone to your liking, and export the samples. Of course, this could be as easily done with a good parametric equalizer, I think.
Oh, and in the flageolet scale I deliberatly added some pitch bend to make some notes out of tune, not so that you notice too much, but in order to make it more human, it is guite difficult to hit the right notes when playing flageolets.
I am not a native english speaking person, so I apologize if there are spelling and grammar mistakes.
I am just kidding, of course - this is a very impressive sample and a useful post! I knew that Autotune had some redeeming value...
So I've got a related question: what proportion of time do folks spend drawing controller gestures in order to get detail such as the slides? At least in Sonar, this is not the most pleasant of tasks; I suspect that other programs are slightly nicer UI-wise, but I find it curious that more powerful editors have not emerged for the task. Perhaps you use other techniques, such as controller overdubs with breath/ribbon/pedal controllers, to make this task easier? I've wondered about this for a long time (since while you're drawing/dubbing in all of those miniscule details you have lots of time to think....)
Your work to get rid of the vibrato produced extremely realistic results. It sounds like a fun project, but as for me with limited time for such fine tweaking, I think IÕll just beg Gary for pure non-vibrato string samples, and then wait for them to happen.
There has been talk in times past on this forum, that Gary will someday release a set of 24 bit solo string samples. Of course I have no idea when, if even Gary does. But, that this was to be and I suppose still is in the works. I wouldnÕt be surprised if what you are trying to emulate is in them. So For me IÕll just look forward to the day when all is perfect in the sample world, and struggle along with what is easy to obtain and figure that it has to be good enough.
I really envy you all that have the time to play with these things and be so inventive as you have been with this project Mika.
Jerry, this doesnÕt relate to this topic, but I want you to know that I have played with your lullaby and I still think it is quite lovely and would like to make a guitar solo out of it. IÕll try and pm you later today about it.
Mo, I also have been waiting for specialized tools for just this kind of work. Perhaps some kind of vst plug-in...I use a relatively new sequencer called Tracktion, in which it is pretty easy to draw controller curves. But things really could be easier. Using mouse is extremely frustrating some times, trying to hit the little squares and drag them around... I think some kind of automation could help.
Karl, thanks for your words! I'm afraid I'm one of those crazy people that reeeally love tweaking for it's own sake, so I find time now and then.
Gary, thank you for your comments! This seems to be a good time for me to thank you and your team for the existence of this sound collection. It is... impressive to say the least. And it is lovely how personal this Personal Orchestra community is. Back in my Soundfont days I experimented with similar methods of real time controls, and when Soundfont 2.1 with modulator routings emerged, I actually did sample a cello at home that worked very much like yours. The quality of my sampling wasn't so great, but when my copy of GPO arrived, the way of controlling the sound felt instantly familiar and satisfying. For dynamics control I used pitch wheel, though, because my Roland has that combined pitch/modulator wheel system, and the modulator part is inaccurate. Luckily, now I also have an assignable midi controller. This way of programming has, IMO, the benefit of encouraging the composer to create and think like a performing musician. You have to know you instrument more intimately. It means that it takes a little bit more time to master the instrument in some ways, but in the process your ear improves.
It is great to hear that you have plans for senza vibrato instruments! Perhaps Bartok pizz with key switching or velocity layered on top of the regular pizz and nice contemporary music stuff for us extremists?