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Topic: How do you guys approach divisi

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  1. #1

    Question How do you guys approach divisi

    Say for instance, you would like to divide BOTH the 1st and 2nd violin sections. How would you go about doing this? What are the methods that you guys use? Can I get some examples in overture (preferably)? Is there any way to use the section samples and divisi at the same time without temporarily increasing the number of players?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2

    Re: How do you guys approach divisi

    Quote Originally Posted by 88chopin
    <edit>...
    Is there any way to use the section samples and divisi at the same time without temporarily increasing the number of players?...
    On the Garritan site you can find tutorials. The recommended way is to build your section, using not the section strings, but by using a combination of solo strings. This gives you control of the number of players in the section when considering divisi, etc.
    ~Rudy
    helmproductions.com
    =====================
    Rock-a-doodle-doooo!!

  3. #3

    Re: How do you guys approach divisi

    The only issue I can think of is that you may not have enough violins to have a 1st and 2nd violin section when using the ensemble + solo since you'd end up with a total of 12 voilins. I wonder how you could circumvent this? Hmmm... Interesting scenario. Anyway you slice it, you either come up short or come up with waaaayyy to many violins to do both sections as divisi at the same time.

  4. #4

    Re: How do you guys approach divisi

    I still use the full sections, but play them a bit quieter.

    However, it is not necessary to halve the volumes. It is well known that when you double the number of players, you do not double the volume. So it works in reverse: when you halve the number of players you do not halve the volume. I just play to about 2/3 of normal.

    Think on, divisi is common in orchestral writing. When you attend a concert and the violins play divisi, do you say mentally "Ah, that sounds thin there!" Of course you don't. You don't even notice.

    Terry

  5. #5

    Re: How do you guys approach divisi

    I'm with Terry on this one. Since I rarely have the time to do full ensemble building, I just cut back on the volume at the divisi. Works pretty good for divisi in 2... might be hard to do a convincing take in three parts, but unless it's very exposed, I still might give it a go.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  6. #6

    Re: How do you guys approach divisi

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolman
    I still use the full sections, but play them a bit quieter.

    However, it is not necessary to halve the volumes. It is well known that when you double the number of players, you do not double the volume.

    Terry
    Actually, doubling the source of sound production increases the sound pressure level (i. e., "volume") by approximately 3dB, which is barely discernable to the trained ear. To get an apparent doubling in volume (10dB), you have to successively double the sound source between three and four times. Compared to a solo violin, one needs somewhere between 8 (1 * 2 * 2 * 2) and 16 (1 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2) violins playing at the same volume as the solo violin to subjectively sound twice as loud as one violin.

    So, as you say, playing divisi doesn't really affect the balance all that much. However, the texture on each line is notably affected. True divisi lines tend to sound somewhat less dense and more intimate. As one would expect, the character of strings divisi lies somewhere between the sound of the full section and the solo instrument.

    Personally, with GPO I just pretend (!) everyone is playing double stops when employing divisi writing and get on with it.

  7. #7

    Re: How do you guys approach divisi

    I think I read on this forum once or twice that Gary likes to layer solo strings on top of section strings, I guess, the objective being to achieve that 'far-and-near' texture.
    Hmmm....I suppose as far as divisi is concerned, one might consider just lowering the volume of the section strings and keep the solo strings mix as is. Yeah, that's it. You can thank me later.
    ~Rudy
    helmproductions.com
    =====================
    Rock-a-doodle-doooo!!

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