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Topic: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

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  1. #1
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    Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    Forgive me if this is a well-worn topic ...

    I bought GPO about a year ago and have found it to fill a critical place in my instrument kit. But something that's always bugged me has been the missed opportunity to provide a truly comprehensive manual with explanations of critical features like keyswitching. My manual mentions the existance of KS sample sets, but absolutely fails to say what this means, how it works, or even what the keys correspond to which sample sets. Even a paragraph or 2 have taken some of the mystery out of this, but I've been simply having to guess what's what.

    So could someone please come up with a reasonably unambiguous description of the feature, with a proper list of which keys switch which sets? A tutorial would be nice. But a slightly more thorough manual would be appreciated, even as a downloadable PDF. And is the upcoming "advanced" version of GPO going to be the next logical upgrade? Or is it a completely new package altogether?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    Well, if you check out the Garritan site, you will find the answers there. Look for information on the October 2004 update, which has all the answers. Once you have read this, and tried it, if you still have specific questions, you will be able to get help.

    Perhaps not intentional, but your request seemed to me more of an attack, quite antagonistic. A gentler approach might elicit more offers of help.

    Richard

  3. #3

    Smile Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    " My manual mentions the existance of KS sample sets, but absolutely fails to say what this means, how it works, or even what the keys correspond to which sample sets. Even a paragraph or 2 have taken some of the mystery out of this, but I've been simply having to guess what's what"

    You are absolutely right. KS has been mentioned and thrown about in the description of lots of synths and it is hardly ever explained clearly.

    To sugget that your attitude is antagonistic is ridiculous and shameful. These forums exist to help explain things to people not to berate them for asking for help.

    Here is my explanation.

    Key Switching (KS) is implemented in GPO in order to allow you to switch, while playing the keyboard from, for example a flute patch without vibrato, to one with vibrato.

    You do this by pressing a note "key" on the keyboard (the manual tells you which key- although I could not find it just now. I do remember seeing it somewhere maybe readme file?) which is below the normal playing range of the instrument, in our example the flute. This note will not produce any sound, but serves only to "switch" from one sample to another.

    For example if you have loaded the Flute KS switch sample it will by default play without vibrato (I don't remember if this is so but lets assume it is). There are 3 notes "keys" below the normal range of the flute such that pressing one instantly switches to the vibrato sample and pressing another switches to the non vibrato sample, and the last one switches your flute sample to the flutter tongue sample.

    Once you have pressed this key any note that you play will play with whatever sample that particular "key" is programmed to switch in.

    Similarly for the KS trumpet sample, use of key switching (KS) lets you swithc from vibrato, to non-vibrato, to mute.

    You can also use key switching (KS) with the notation software Overture SE included with your GPO. You simply insert the note corresponding to the key switch value (KS). Remember these notes do not produce any sound -they simply act as an instruction to change the sample on the fly.

    The new Overture 4.0 has more advanced KS feature built in so that you don't have to look up or remember the KS notes that you need to use for a particular sample change.

    I hope this make the "KS" somewhat clearer. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    Good luck,

    Dan

  4. #4

    Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    For what it's worth, I'd like to add two things: you press the key BETWEEN the end of a note and the beginning of the one that will play with the new sample set, switching while holding a note generally will not switch at that moment, but could cause problems (although I'm not aware of any from GPO.) Second, keyswitching is sometimes done above the range of the instrument (e.g., bass.) It is just a series of keys outside of the rage of the sample set.

    But I disagree with the above poster about attitude. That was your first post, and I definitely get the feeling of, 'well,, somebody better explain this to me right now' (a demand) rather than 'could someone please help.' You catch more flies with honey than vinegar...
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  5. #5
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    Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    OK ... I'll try to pull my horns in. I perhaps did start out too aggressively. I'm afraid that I'm just very frustrated with paying for music software (and I do buy quite a lot) that seems to expect the user to intuit the meaning of features or detail of what are, mostly, very complex or unique or concepts or approaches. And though this might have been my first posting, I have spent a lot of time trying to derive useful information from this website and from forum postings that will make up for the paucity of practical information in the manual. I'm afraid that, much of the time, the information simply isn't there. I am trying to write music and though there may be information hidden away on the site, I just don't have the time to continually go burrowing, just on the off-chance. So though this seemed like a hasty posting to you, it comes after a lot of frustration for me ... and it was not a personal attack. I'm sorry if you took it that way.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    KeySwitching has apparently been around a long time. Many samplers (Kontakt2 and HALion2 and 3 among them) indicate the "control keys" with either a separate color (pink seems to be a predominant choice) or tiny letters on the keys.

    My big complaint is that there seems to be NO real "standard" (above the range? below the range? how far away from the notes of the particular instrument?) and few -- if any -- seem to take into consideration 61-note MIDI controllers as the de facto standard and will have 3 octaves of violins at G2 to G5 (or whatever) and then place the keyswitches at C0 through G0 (which is now one octave below what is playable). Of course, if you simply switch the instrument UP an octave, you can no longer get to the violin notes C#5 and up.

    In Kontakt, you can relatively easily re-assign the control notes and save the patch as a custom KS, which is what I have resorted to in many cases.

    KevinKauai

    SIDE NOTE: I'm still searching for a way to EXCLUDE the key-switch notes for the SCORE for the instrument (better yet: provide a key-switch text conversion to put over the instrument, like "arco", "pizz" etc). I use Cubase SX and the only way I've found to print scores (which I personally use during the "work in progress") it to copy the instrument line to an additional channel and strip away the KS notes. If anyone has better approaches, kindlly join on in!

  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    The following link, obtained from the sticky post on the Support and Technical page of this site has provided many answers for me. I found it useful for key switching information.

    http://www.garritan.com/support/GPOUpdate.pdf

    It is a 21 page pdf file, may take a bit to download, but worth it. I printed it and keep it within easy reach. Probably best to read the whole thing first, then use it as a reference.

    There is a new manual coming soon, but I don't know if my idea of soon is in agreement with Gary or Tom. Meanwhile, this is a useful manual.

    Richard

  8. #8

    Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKauai
    SIDE NOTE: I'm still searching for a way to EXCLUDE the key-switch notes for the SCORE for the instrument (better yet: provide a key-switch text conversion to put over the instrument, like "arco", "pizz" etc). I use Cubase SX and the only way I've found to print scores (which I personally use during the "work in progress") it to copy the instrument line to an additional channel and strip away the KS notes. If anyone has better approaches, kindlly join on in!
    I've created a plugin for Sibelius (for use with VSL samples included with Kontakt 2) that does just this as well as a bunch of other useful things. I know this isn't directly applicable to your immediate problem. But it's an approach you may want to emulate.

  9. #9

    Re: Is there any decent explanation of Keyswitching available?

    I sympathize with shirrefs, including the (justifiable) tone of frustration. I have been complaining about incomplete documentation in several posts since I got GPO early last July. To no avail. The existing GPO instructions are a mess, scattered all over the place, and are insufficient to explain such a complex set of samples and their use. A thin little manual, downloadable PDF updates, various posts on this forum. The program will be underused, and new and even experienced users will be frustrated, as long as the documentation is so spotty.

    The reason for this is probably that the GPO staff is very small and there never has been any professional tech writer involved. Moreover, a lot of GPO users seem to be very experienced digital audio experts, way ahead of me technically, and they seem to be able and to like to figure things out by themselves. I would rather get good clear instruction up front so I don't waste time. I want to make music, not fool with arcane software.

    As for keyswitching, Budde's plug-in looks very promising. Haven't tried it yet. It should ideally solve a lot of problems.

    There are several good sources you should read for the background on keyswitching and other effects. You definitely need the PDF that Richard refers to above. Also there are several threads that have contained very useful suggestions or information. Just search the forums on "keyswitching."

    For the same reason as shirrefs expresses, I have compiled a rough file of these forum contributions for my own use. I also redid the chart of string keyswtiches so it made more sense (the existing ones are upside down). There is some repetition in the file, and I won't spend any time to edit this since the new Sibelius 4 GPO Edition coming out later this month will purportedly render manual keyswitching obsolete. But you are all welcome to it.

    You can get my doc file on GPO keyswitching here:

    http://www.geocities.com/renlute/keyswitching.doc

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