I’m quite new to making music using samples and sample software. I purchased G.P.O a few months back and just recently JABB and the latest Strad violin.
And I’m very happy with GPO and JABB, I find them easy to use. I notice with GPO and, JABB its possible to audition the sounds immediately without any other software. And for auditioning purposes there’s no need for a midi controller. I have no controller at this stage. In the case of the Strad things seem totally different and not what I expected. I’ve spent much time reading the Strad manual and fiddling with the Kontakt 2 player, its quite likely that I’ve missed something. One question I’d like to ask, is it possible to audition the Strad as a standalone application without a midi keyboard, like JABB and GPO? The sound that I’m getting is mainly a rasping attack followed by some hiss. The hiss is the same volume as the tone following the attack. Even if I needed a marcoto attack, the attack is far too powerful. I’ve tried all the key switches, It would be nice to know exactly where the key switches are to help beginners like me.
I can get the marcato attack, pizzicato, tremolo, trills and harmonics but its hit and miss, but never the legato which is the default. In my case the default is the marcoto attack. At the moment the tone is nothing like as sweet as the solo violins in GPO.
I’ve noticed that its possible to hear the samples in lowfi. The low fi in my case is extremely distorted. Yes I’ve checked the latency settings. My PC is a Dell with 2 GB RAM. Dual processor. The only software I have for composing is Encore, which is inadequate. But it works with GPO and JABB. I realise I need to purchase a decent sequencer eventually. But at the moment the sounds coming from the Strad are not encouraging.
The manual doesn’t recommend using a mouse to trigger a key switch, so how do you trigger a key switch without a midi keyboard and sequencer for the purpose of auditioning the sound quality?
The Strad is designed to be used with a keyboard controller or other controller for real time playing. You need to be able to control the attack, expression, modulation and aftertouch controllers to be able to shape the sound. Just playing a note without adding the other controllers is not going to sound good.
What your are hearing now is just the attack and bow noise (the hiss). You need to be able to control expression (CC11) to bring up the sustained portion of the sound. Velocity changes the amount of the attack. Changing the velocity amount and overlap between notes controls the legato and slides. You add vibrato with CC1 (modulation) and change the speed of the vibrato with aftertouch. You will need either a controller or a program that allows you to edits the controllers once you record the notes to get good results.
"The Strad is designed to be used with a keyboard controller"
Thanks for replying Haydn!,
Yes I thought that was the case. So its going mean open wallet surgery. But I was planning on buying a controller and a sequencer. So as the Strad stands at the moment its quite usless.
To try it out you don't strictly speaking need a controller, you can just enter the keyswitches and midi notes in a sequencer and draw in the required controllers. There used to be a couple of freeware sequencers that were not too bad but I don't know what's available now, or if they have everything you would need to try out the strad.
You can use Tobybear's MIDI Control Center (MCC) to send CC data - via a virtual MIDI cable like MIDI-Yoke - to KP2. Use it with KP2's virtual keyboard and/or the computer keyboard (KP2 | Options | Handling | "Use computer keyboard for MIDI playback"). This is OK for auditioning and testing.
I have no sequencer or midi controller so I've downloaded a demo version of Sonar 4 producer edition (4.0.1) to audition the Strad 2.0 before actually buying Sonar 6. Will this demo be sufficient just to experience the sound quality (not necessarily all the wonderful expressive qualities of the Strad 2.0 of course). I did try to get some audio response using Sonar with the Strad but no luck yet, but I'll keep trying, it might not be possible. But I admit, being a beginner in this game I’ve got a lot to learn.