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Topic: Strad not sounding right

  1. #1

    Strad not sounding right

    Hi all,
    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 violin 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?


  2. #2

    Re: Strad not sounding right


    Everything you are reporting has been repeatedly discussed in this forum.

    The simple truth is that you're not sending any CC#11 to the instrument. This fully explains the problem.

    Please consider what is reported on Garritan's site concerning system requirements: "System Requirements: Kontakt Player 2 is included. The entire Stradivari instrument works on PC & Mac platforms, and works with all sequencers that support VST, DXi, TRAS and Audio Units. It works in real time on a P4 2.6+ GHz (or a comparable Mac), with a CPU load of about 20-25% (convolution included). A faster computer will yield more efficiency. A keyboard with a six octave range, Pitch Wheel, Mod Wheel, Sustain Pedal, Channel Aftertouch and Expression Pedal or similar controllers are required to get full use of the product."

    Please also refer to the manual. Use of CC#11 is clearly explained.

    In case of further needs, please send me a private message.



  3. #3

    Re: Strad not sounding right

    Hi David,

    Welcome to the forum!

    As I understand them, JABB and GPO are aimed primarily at people working with notation and arrangement programs.

    The Strad is a different animal altogether – it's designed to be played live, with expression relying on constant interaction between the performer and the many dynamic controls – modulation wheel and aftertouch for vibrato, key velocity and MIDI CC (controller) #11 for 'strength', 'level' and 'attack', key overlap for legato and slurs, sustain pedal for bow direction change in a sustained note, etc.

    For instance, the Strad defaults to CC #11 = 0 or 1 or some low number (out of 128 possible values) and that's when you get that "rasping attack followed by some hiss". You have to feed it higher CC#11 values to get 'normal' tones.

    I think it's difficult to learn and appreciate the Strad without a decent controller keyboard with aftertouch and with a continuos control pedal attached, and then a lot of practice.

    Concerning the advice not to use a mouse for selecting keyswitches, I suspect it's just a reflection on the 'hands (and feet) on keyboard and controllers' paradigm behind the Strad – of course you can use the mouse on the player keyboard for non-realtime work.



    Nihil sine labore

  4. #4

    Re: Strad not sounding right

    I appreciate your help Georgio,
    I must say Georgio!, the sound quality of the Strad demos are superb! - thanks.
    I was hoping that a controller and/or a sequencer is what is required and now that I know that things are working normally, I'm happy.

    Thanks for your help Spitfire31, Its nice to know that there's some experienced users on this forum to put the inexperienced guys on the right path.

    Best regards

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