• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Topic: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    What exactly does the polyphony setting do? Isw it safe to set it as low as possible to save CPU usage? Does this help performance?

    If I am using vibes for instance, and only have a max of 4 note chords that will be played can I set it to 4 without loss of any other performance characteristics?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Re: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertcomposer
    What exactly does the polyphony setting do? Isw it safe to set it as low as possible to save CPU usage? Does this help performance?

    If I am using vibes for instance, and only have a max of 4 note chords that will be played can I set it to 4 without loss of any other performance characteristics?

    Thanks
    yes, setting the polyphony as low as possible is good for many things, one fo which I believe is CPU or RAM usage (not sure!), however, there are also other considerations - a flute set to 1 single note of polyphony will render a more convincing legato, from what I've read. Also, if you have 4-note chords for your vibes and set the polyphony to 4 notes, then you will probably get some clipping... the nature of the vibraphone is for notes to hold over when you play new notes. I'd set the vibe to a much higher polyphony for the effect to be as realistic as possible.

    I'e noticed that in Finale setting the polyphony as low as possible helps the performance of Finale and helps eliminate distortion (Esp. with percussion)

  3. #3

    Re: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    Thanks Cowboy - the vibes observation did not occur to me but makes perfect sense.

    Appreciated!

  4. #4

    Re: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    Keep in mind that the polyphony settings indicate the number of sample layers playing at once, not the number of notes! Sometimes a single note will consume 2 samples of polyphony, depending on the instrument.

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  5. #5

    Question Re: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    OK, I don't get this and haven't for a while. I can never get a decent legato with polyphony set at 1 for expressive instruments. It always ends up being detatched, and the fast notes are just barely struggling to sound. However, if polyphony is set at 2 of higher, the legatos are butter-smooth and fast passages fly with ease. It should be the opposite, right?

    Is there some sort of option or control I'm missing? Why is this happening? Maybe something went wrong during installation? I'm very confused by this!

    Thanks,
    -Chris

  6. #6

    Re: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    Chris,

    Why don't you post a short MIDI or Sonar file of a problem passage, and I'll take a look at it for you. Try something simple like a scale on a solo flute, and we'll go from there.
    - Jamie Kowalski

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

  7. #7

    Re: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    Again, it's because polyphony is for sample layers, and that sort of thing is needed to do bits of trickery such as legato, requiring an overlap of two samples playing at the same time to smooth out the transition. So setting polyphony to 1 will only serve to mess this up.

    Luckily, you don't *need* to set the polyphony yourself. For wind instruments, it's completely unnecessary: it will only use exactly the layers it needs for the line you write. Having it higher won't hurt you any, either: no additional RAM or CPU for layers you aren't using. To test this, drag the polyphony setting as high as it will go and look at your machines performance meters. They won't even move a bit!

    The only time where you might want to tweak polyphony is with long-ringing instruments such as timpani, especially when performing rolls. In this case, sample layers can stack up very fast and eat your CPU (but not RAM: the same sample is already in memory), so it's best to limit the polyphony. After all, if you do a roll with 16 notes, the first ones will have faded enough to be unmissed if you remove them entirely by the time the last ones come about.

    Again, though, GPO is set with reasonable presets. Generally the don't require too much tweaking, if any!

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  8. #8

    Re: What exactly does the polyphony setting do?

    Thanks, Skysaw, for your concern. Unfortunantly, right now is a bad time because I'm building this computer and my room's a mess and I'll have to rearrange quite a few wires before I can get my old computer back up and on the internet.

    So if anyone else wants to experiment and post their findings in the meantime, we can figure out if it's just me or we can put the issue aside for now untill I get my new computer online and working properly.

    -Chris

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •