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Topic: Violin Runs

  1. #1

    Question Violin Runs

    I've listened to so many demos in the last few months it's ridiculous. A lot of the violin demos I've listened to showcase the ability to do these realistic sounding (to my ears anyway) runs. How are these accomplished? I can't play that fast - Is the technique as simple as slowing the tempo down when playing your run at a moderate speed then speeding the tempo back up for playback purposes?


    Can you go into your sequencer to manually adjust velocity and attack of each MIDI note so that you don't get that "machine gun" effect? Or is that accomplished with this "key switching" thing.

    Forgive me for I am a newbie. I'd be up and running with my GS3 by now but the guy putting my PC together broke my heatsink/fan when he was trying to install it So I have a little more time to think up these questions.

  2. #2

    Re: Violin Runs

    Some of the runs are included in libraries -- major scale, harmonic minor scale sometimes. As long as you use the same scale at the same speed, they sound great. Otherwise ...

  3. #3

    Re: Violin Runs


    Say I wanted to create my own ...

    You knew that was coming.

  4. #4

    Re: Violin Runs

    What I've done in the past is just play quickly between two notes in tempo and then edit the Midi data to be the notes and velocities that I actually want.

    Similarly with Harp glissandos. I'll just play a gliss in C/Am and then transpose to the scale I want instead of trying to manually hit all the right black keys with speed and accuracy.

    The "machine gun" effect usually refers to repeating the same note and shouldn't be a factor in a run.
    Westgate Studios
    Sound Libraries for Gigastudio and Kontakt

  5. #5

    Re: Violin Runs

    Hi, I'm a violinist myself and am quite picky about this sort of thing, naturally. Recently did a mix (after hours) at our orchestra studio with a main stereo/flanking mics array and recorded descretely thirty takes (myself), from where the individual players would sit (on DAT), then 'stacked' them in Logic, just used the studio's natural reverb. I had a headphone mix to sync my playing to. 4 hours recording plus 8 hours 'fiddling' with the tracks, and I had a spine-tingling Mancini thing happening, no way to sample and sequence THAT (and what rapport among the musicians!) Sometimes I can buy some time with my cello- and other string-playing mates with a couple of beers, but I will normally just use good samples (I bought Ultimate Strings for $99.95 and these dry samples are very good general purpose tools, in fact for slow steady music, with some 'riding' of control change 7, to simulate that temptation we have to 'swell' or 'bulge' in the middle of the bow (conductors always complain, but it's a fact of life, so go with the flow and recreate reality), these samples even fool me, and certainly fool 'blind' professional listeners. I haven't tried the GS3 convolutions yet. A little tip on these scale runs, from experience: I often rig up a synth (old Roland U220, Korg whatever) with a standard 'strings' patch and have it running in parallel on a separate Logic track, either as an alias or a real copy, with delay adjusted if necessary to sync with the 'real' sample track(s). On runs, I would tip the balance of the mix over towards the string patch, dropping out the heavy-duty samples, because the general-purpose patches do flow better in a run on many occasions. With tempo, I suggest just playing the thing at speed, stuff-ups and all, and then go back in and toy with the note positions and velocities. It is tremendously difficult to get a natural result on quick scales etc, at half or third tempo. Same with harp (commented on above), just remember the harpist has pedals which can only adjust the string up or down one semitone, so there will be almost always additional 'unwanted' notes (but you DO want them, they are part of the charm of this gorgeous instrument). Example: Hollywood ripple effect - go hand over hand in a rolling motion (like you are winding up cable really quickly) and do this on the white keys of the midi controller (with your fingers loosely outstretched), descending a bit as you do so. This is the equivalent of the same motion on a real harp with the pedals all set at middle (natural position). Now we will create a chord, lets do Dm7, setting the 'pedals' properly, we get (in the order of the pedals as the harpist sees them) D, C, B#, E#,F,G,A. The G is a rogue note that will create that spot-on harp sound, as do the 'repeated' or 'doubled'Cs and Fs. So in the event list will need to be adjusted, on all 'instances' of the white notes you played in: every B is now B#, every E, E#, with everything else left 'as is' (well, you will probably want to doctor the velocities). Quite realistic with a good harp sample. (I remember the night I worked this out, after trying for so long to do it 'live', which will never ever work as well, no matter how virtuosic you might be.) Good luck with my 'el cheapo' suggestion. Happy New Year!

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