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Topic: keyswitch/articulation confusion

  1. #1

    keyswitch/articulation confusion

    When looking at the Kontakt 2 player while playing around on the strad, I noticed something I did not expect. It seems to happen whether I load in version one or two, and happens in the full Kontakt 2 as well.

    Short description - Keyswitch C1 does not disable the downbow attack articulation. According to the manual (pg 31) the C1 keyswitch "uses short attacks...", but it doesn't if the F1 keyswitch has been used. In other words, C1 does not set the articulation at all, and uses whatever is already in play.

    When testing this, be aware that there is a tricky bit to pay attention to. The E1 and F1 keyswitches only seems to really activate if you follow them with a note in the playable range of the violin. In other words, playing C1-F1-C1 will keep the violin playing with the spiccato attack. However, playing C1-F1-G2-C1 will keep the violin playing with the downbow attack.

    It occurred to me that C1 isn't meant to change the attack articulation at all, just to set it back into mono legato mode, but if that's the case, the manual is worded confusingly. And more importantly, it makes sequencing a little complicated... here's why:

    The very first note of music in a sequence might be preceded by a C1 keyswitch to make sure it plays in the right mode. However, the attack might be played spiccato or with the downbow, depending on what state the player was left in... if for example you stop the sequence half way through, and restart.

    You might reason that this can be overcome by placing an E1-C1 keyswitch at the beginning to get a needed spiccato attack (for example), but it still may not work. The reason is that if it is in downbow mode, it will stay there unless a note is played after the E1 keyswitch, but before the C1 keyswitch. The only solution that seems to work is to put in a C1 followed by an E1 before the first note.

    It is safest for sequencer users is to precede the very first note of music in the strad first with a C1 or D1 to set the mono/poly mode (or C#/D# for sordino), and second by the attack type. This is the only way you can be sure the first note will use the bowing and mode you want in case of a subsequent rewind of your project.
    - Jamie Kowalski

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

  2. #2

    Re: keyswitch/articulation confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw
    It occurred to me that C1 isn't meant to change the attack articulation at all, just to set it back into mono legato mode
    With version 1 you don't even need C1 for that. E1 or F1 will kick it right back into mono legato mode. The only thing you really need C1 for is to switch from "con sordino" to "senza sordino". If you select poly legato mode, E1 or F1 will revert you to mono legato mode. Does version 2 behave the same way?

  3. #3

    Re: keyswitch/articulation confusion

    What Jamie says is correct. However, I believe that the current programming should net lead to any confusion.

    Upon loading the instrument, the default C1 activates spiccato attacks. The subsequent choice of the attacks is then solely determined by F1 (downbows) and E1 (spiccato).

    This is particularly useful when temporarily switching from auto mono/poly to polyphonic mode, trillo, tremolo, pizzicato etc. Restoring the previous mode presently requires pressing only C1 (or D1).

    With a different programming, restoring the previously selected attacks would require simultaneous C1 & F1 (or E1) keyswitch activation on each exit from the transient articulation. Omitting this step would lead to unexpected attack changes.


  4. #4

    Re: keyswitch/articulation confusion


    Sorry for the confusion.

    I understand the implementation as you explain it, and agree it is the best way. But I will make the small gripe that the manual should have explained it more clearly. For example, on page 33 under "Shaping Attacks & Articulations" after the three steps, it says "You will hear just the pure spiccato attack..." which is not necessarily the case. If you press C1, you might in fact hear the downbow attack if that was the last articulation you were using. This is probably the part that made for my confusion in the first place.
    - Jamie Kowalski

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

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