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Topic: Non Western GPO Users

  1. #1

    Non Western GPO Users

    Dear friends,

    There a good number of non western users who use orchestral instruments.
    Every musician is suppose to see thing thru his or her own window.
    IMO, one's school of music plays an important role in perceiving things those are beyond one' school.

    Often my school helps me to see the World from my own window. (Good if learning curve does not bother one )

    Say, I am Carnatic musician. When a friend of mine was listening one of my composition, he asked "what chords are these, in this progression?"
    I said "Sorry I don't name them". He was a Guitarist having traditional training. He was not so dumb to see me rude.

    He asked me how did I do them. I said "I go by ears and always my ears distinguish a conchord and a dischord"

    I was learning those western stuff for a while and felt it was not a wise thing for me, for the reason that I am not going to perform any symphony in some western country. Really the learning curve bothered me.

    IMHO, a life time is not enough to explore the wonder world of music irrespective of the Genre.

    In this point of view, I use to write songs what makes sense for me, when it comes for polyphony or harmony, where my traditional school does not entertain.

    When I tried to learn Glissando, Legato, Portamento, what I could I understand was "kind of pitch bends". I am sorry I really don't know whether I am making sense. I fail to understand them where I understand / handle fifteen prominent types/styles of pitch bends in Carnatic. Probably the tutorials or articles I could find may be less descriptive in aesthetic beauty of those things, what a musician really need to grasp.

    Likewise vibrato, tremolo , etc.,

    My intention is to request musicians who have a western tradition in a way or the other, to explain little technical and aesthetic aspects of above said parameters (?!!)

    A person like could be benefited from those posts, samples if possible, where a non western GPO user could understand these concepts, to put them in use and to tailor them.

    I humbly request you friends, kindly put up with the faulty expression, if you find one in this post.

    Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

  2. #2

    Re: Non Western GPO Users


    In western music we play dis-chord and dat-chord.

    Sorry, since you're not American, that is probably a bad joke.

    I suggest you listen and study the masters first. Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart to name a few.

    Once you hear and understand the difference between what you know and western music, you will need to learn the vocabulary.

    Like many musicians in the United States, I am self taught and learned from reading books.

    In Carnatic music there are an infinite number of tones, although there are usually 22 or a few less. In western music there are usually 12 tones. Although many Western instruments can play an infinite number of tones, 12 is the accepted number since many instruments are only capable of 12.

    If you knew all of that already, then I guess I wasted your time.

    I am sure that there are plenty of books written in your language that deal with western music.

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  3. #3

    Re: Non Western GPO Users


    No need to feel that you have wasted my time.

    I am afraid I have wasted your time by not being clear in my initial post. Sorry.

    I just need the to know how following things are defined "acoustically"


    No more no less. 'dis and dat' does not serve my purpose

    Thanks for your concern

    Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

  4. #4

    Re: Non Western GPO Users

    OK lets try.

    Portamento - sliding from one note to the next. Can be used on stringed instruments without frets, like violins or brass instruments like the trombone. Cannot be realistically used on plucked or struck instruments like a piano where separate strings play each note. Very skilled musicians can sometimes get the effect on other instruments.

    It is very similar to, but not quite the same as pitch bend, where the note is played and then altered as in a lot of modern pop guitar music or perhaps the way sitars are played. Pluck the string then stretch it.

    Legato - this means running one note into the next. On woodwind and brass separate notes are formed by tongueing that is lightly stopping the air flow. Legato notes are played without this effect - the notes are joined together without a noticeable break. The opposite effect is staccato, where there is a pronounced break between the notes. There are other effects as well in between these two extremes.

    Tremelo and vibrato
    These are variations added to the notes (usually on instruments blown) but sometimes on others.
    Tremelo is the rapid but subtle alteration of the volume of the sound.
    Vibrato is the rapid but subtle alteration of the pitch of the sound.

    These are rather hard to describe but you would notice immediately when you heard it.

    I suggest you check in Wikipedia - there are examples - look up vibrato first, Tremelo is also a town in Belgium so that wont help.

    If you are not familiar with Wikipedia just go to


    Hope that helps a bit to get you started.

    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX

  5. #5

  6. #6

    Re: Non Western GPO Users

    Dear Derek,

    Ah! Thanks that your post is really informative. Thanks for your Wiki link. I would highly appreciate if you could give me the cc parameters for tremelo and vibrato. Hope those parameters could be controlled / made NULL

    Attn: Randy tremelo - typo error recognized
    Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

  7. #7

    Re: Non Western GPO Users

    And..as Wiki describes tremelo is the change (function of) in amplitude of sound and vibrato is the change in frequency.

    I wonder is it possible to perform a pure tremelo or vibrato, as frequency/(wavelength) and amplitude are tightly coupled under the governance of physics.
    Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

  8. #8

    Re: Non Western GPO Users

    Quote Originally Posted by rolifer View Post

    In Carnatic ..... many instruments are only capable of 12.
    In Carnatic, "Which 12" does not matter as it deals with relative pitch, not with an absolute. Pitch is relative, and subjective too at times (Carnatic).
    Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

  9. #9
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: Non Western GPO Users

    Hi Gokul, The CC#'s for tremolo and vibrato may change from one hardware device or software program to another. Each manufacturer programs in their own peculiar functions. There is a general MIDI spec that gives an overview but it is not always maintained. Here is a reprint of an article that gives the basic outline.

    Here's a handy list of MIDI continuous controller commands (or CCs) defined in the official MIDI Spec.
    The MIDI specification is the agreed upon standard the manufacturers follow when building midi devices.
    It is published by the MIDI Manufacturer's Association (MMA).
    It is important to understand that manufacturers are not required to follow this spec or fully implement it in their devices. Nearly all MIDI synths do implement the basic ones, which I have put in bold.
    You can check to see which controllers your synth can send and receive by looking at the MIDI implementation chart in the back of your manual.

    You can read the official MIDI spec all day long and still not get a clue on how to set up your synths knobs to control other stuff. So I am going to give you a very unofficial real world "loose" definition of what is really going on in the area. I use the term "loose" because manufacturers only loosely follow the spec. They wrote it that way on purpose. The more you try to read it literally, the more confused you may become.
    Nearly all take great liberty to interpret controller definitions to suit the needs of the product. For example, if a knob on a synth is labeled "filter cutoff", they might use an unchangeable controller 74 for that.
    Or they might not. They might use 74 as a default, but let you change it to any value you want.
    Or they might use 21, or 98 followed by 99. I know some of you are getting worried this may be a bit much to grasp, but bear with me, it's all really simple. When you are done with this article you should be able to set up all your synths in a consistent fashion, where the filter knob on one actually controls the filter on another.

    The knobs on your synth typically send controller data.
    You can also generate and output such controller data from faders and and editors within the software.
    Whether they work or not depends solely on if the feature is implemented in the product.

    Sometimes controllers are freely assignable in your midi device.

    MSB and LSB
    Don't let this bit of technical jargon scare you off.
    MSB stands for Most significant byte and LSB stands for Least significant Byte.
    This data format is used when 127 values are not enough for the control.
    Think of it like a shortwave radio. The MSB sets the coarse tuning and the LSB is the fine tuning.
    Synths with very finely articulated knobs may send out an MSB and LSB, but most just send an LSB.
    You can tell by recording a knob tweak in your sequencer, then looking at the data in the event editor.
    If there are two sets of controllers, each with a range of 0-127, that's what's going on,
    it's sending a MSB and an LSB.
    Don't worry about learning hexidecimal code that the programmers have to deal with.
    Unless you are writing music software, all that stuff is a waste of time.
    Just remember, coarse and fine tuning.

    One of the beautiful, but confusing things about controller definitions is the way manufacturers can creatively use them to control the innards of their synthesizers. Remember, it's just code. Send the right code, the synth reacts.
    List of Standard MIDI Continuous Controllers (CCs)

    0 Bank Select (MSB) Never re-route anything to Controller 0. It will mess up your program changes.
    1 Modulation Wheel or Joystick (positive polarity) (MSB) Can be effectively remapped to other controllers on some synths
    2 Breath controller sometimes Joystick (negative polarity) (MSB) Can be effectively remapped to other controllers on some synths
    4 Foot Pedal (MSB) Don't mess with it
    5 Portamento Time (MSB) Only use this for portamento time
    6 Data Entry (MSB) Better leave this one alone too.
    7 Volume (MSB) If you re-route to Controller 7, your software mixer will mess up
    8 Balance (MSB) Some synths use it
    10 Pan position (MSB) If you re-route to Controller 10, your software mixer will mess up
    11 Expression (MSB) Roland synths use it. Some synths use it for LFOs, some for crescendo/ decrescendo (loudness). Sometimes routed to keyboard aftertouch.

    The group below are sometimes "hard assigned" to faders and knobs on your synth.
    But usually they are set as a default you can change to match your other synths

    12 Effect Control 1 (MSB)
    13 Effect Control 2 (MSB)
    14 Undefined
    15 Undefined
    16 Ribbon Controller or General Purpose Slider 1
    17 Knob 1 or General Purpose Slider 2
    18 General Purpose Slider 3
    19 Knob 2 General Purpose Slider 4
    20 Knob 3 or Undefined
    21 Knob 4 or Undefined

    22-31 are undefined, available for use by synths that let you assign controllers.
    These are a good choice if you can freely assign controllers on all your synths.
    If you can use them in a consistent way, all your synths will react the same way.
    For example if you always assign 22 to Knob A and you always assign Knob A to filter cutoff,
    then all your programmable synths will sweep the filter when you turn knob A no matter what synth
    is selected on that channel in your sequencer. This works until you get a synth that hard assigns
    filter cutoff to controller 74, as many general midi synths do. To make it more confusing, some synths
    will let you assign filter cutoff to CNTL 22 but will still let the synth react to CNTL 74

    32 Bank Select (LSB) It's critical that you do not assign this controller to other functions.
    Unless you like random bank changes running through your song.

    These may or may not be implemented in your synth, most likely they are not.

    33 Modulation Wheel (LSB)
    34 Breath controller (LSB)
    36 Foot Pedal (LSB)
    37 Portamento Time (LSB)
    38 Data Entry (LSB)
    39 Volume (LSB)
    40 Balance (LSB)
    42 Pan position (LSB)
    43 Expression (LSB)
    44 Effect Control 1 (LSB) Roland Portamento on and rate
    45 Effect Control 2 (LSB)

    46-63 may be in use as the LSB for controllers 14-31 in some devices, but I have not seen one yet.

    This group controls pedals typically. Leave this group alone when reassigning controllers.

    64 Hold Pedal (on/off) Nearly every synth will react to 64 (sustain pedal)
    65 Portamento (on/off)
    66 Sustenuto Pedal (on/off)
    67 Soft Pedal (on/off)
    68 Legato Pedal (on/off)
    69 Hold 2 Pedal (on/off)

    This next group controls parameters on some synths.
    Here's where you need to closely inspect your midi implementation chart to see what's going on.
    Synths with lots of knobs may "hard assign " them to specific knobs.
    If you can use 71 and 74 for frequency and resonance, it's a good idea to do so.

    70 Sound Variation
    71 Resonance (aka Timbre)
    72 Sound Release Time
    73 Sound Attack Time
    74 Frequency Cutoff (aka Brightness )
    75 Sound Control 6
    76 Sound Control 7
    77 Sound Control 8
    78 Sound Control 9
    79 Sound Control 10
    80 Decay or General Purpose Button 1 (on/off) Roland Tone level 1
    81 Hi Pass Filter Frequency or General Purpose Button 2 (on/off) Roland Tone level 2
    82 General Purpose Button 3 (on/off) Roland Tone level 3
    83 General Purpose Button 4 (on/off) Roland Tone level 4

    84-90 are undefined, typically available for use by synths that let you assign controllers

    Effects Group Controls 91 and 93 are active on nearly all general midi synths I have played,
    and many others use these too.

    91 Reverb Level
    92 Tremolo Level
    93 Chorus Level
    94 Celeste Level or Detune
    95 Phaser Level

    It's probably best not to use the group below for assigning controllers.

    96 Data Button increment
    97 Data Button decrement
    98 Non-registered Parameter (LSB)
    99 Non-registered Parameter (MSB)
    100 Registered Parameter (LSB)
    101 Registered Parameter (MSB)

    It's very important that you do not use these no matter what unless you want to invoke these functions

    120 All Sound Off
    121 All Controllers Off
    122 Local Keyboard (on/off) You might actually crash your keyboard if you use this one.
    123 All Notes Off (Heh, your song will go haywire if you use this assigned to a knob.)

    you typically don't want your synths to change modes on you in the middle of making a song, so don't use these.

    124 Omni Mode Off
    125 Omni Mode On
    126 Mono Operation
    127 Poly Operation

  10. #10

    Re: Non Western GPO Users

    quite excessive portamento demo of a clarinet in Garritan Jazz and Big Band

    quite excessive portamento and heavy vibrato demo of a Garritan Stradivari violin

    Tremolo violins demo

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