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Topic: String Bowing Keyswitches

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  1. #1

    String Bowing Keyswitches

    No response over in the general forum - I'll give it a shot here...

    I see in the list of String (Solo and Section) keyswitches there are "Upbows", "Downbows" and "Automatically Alternating Ups and Downs", and then for the Short Bow patches, there are Bow Strokes 1 and 2.

    I've played and listened to these various keyswitches, but I'm not sure how they are supposed to fit contextually within a section of music. I've not a lot of experience with arranging for strings (although I am certainly enjoying it). My results aren't half bad, but I'm sure they could be even better if I could employ the appropriate keyswitching.

    So, what I would love to see is a tutorial showing, with notational examples if possible, appropriate contextual use of the various bowing keyswitches. Or point me to one if it already exists.

    Thanks,

  2. #2

    Re: String Bowing Keyswitches

    Hi Rob - Well, now your question is lying fallow in this Tips Forum also.

    I think the reason for the non-response is people just aren't sure what the answer is. I know I don't!

    I'll tell you - when I first got GPO, I was studiously using the pedal to trigger bowing changes, applying it how I thought was logical depending on the passage. Lots of work and time was spent in doing that.

    But then one day I stopped to give a good listen to what I was doing - I focused on the String sounds, soloing them with the various keyswitches to control bowing - Um, I couldn't tell any difference in most cases. And once the Strings were layered into a project, any subtlety that was being added was completely buried in the mix.

    As a result - I dusted my hands off of the whole issue and never bothered with all of that again.

    NOW - someone who knows more about Strings and has mastered what's going on with bowing in GPO will hopefully see this response from me and come on here to explain why I'm a dolt. LOL!---Because it seems there has to be more to it than what I've described here - There Must be a method which will make using these keyswitches worthwhile--I just couldn't figure it out.

    ANd I suspect that a lot of people have just shrugged off the bowing programming also - and that's why we've been sitting here shamefaced, unable to reply to your question!

    Let's see if we get any more replies now.

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: String Bowing Keyswitches

    I tried using the bowing keyswitches, but also didn't hear any difference once they were added. So either I did it wrong or the difference is very subtle. If you ever get an answer, I'd appreciate you sharing the new knowledge. (grin)

  4. #4

    Re: String Bowing Keyswitches

    Raweber, I am speaking about Section Strings here.

    Normally we have C1 for Sustain Short. The name is not good. You can make them longer and shorter. The length will be determined by setting CC#21. I learned from another thread (pre-historical times) that the max length is 7 seconds.

    Then we have D1 for up- and downbows alternating. I never noticed any difference. Next the E1 is downbows and is equivalent to Stroke 2. The other one D#1 is upbows and is equivalent to Stroke 1. Only when you use these two alternating you can hear some difference, but not enough compared to real life.

    Strangely enough those Section string keyswitches don't have the same behaviour as their counterpart for Solo strings. You should try some fast played notes for the section with D1 and do the same for solo string also D1. There is a huge difference. Never knew why.

    Moral of this story: experiment with it and pray for a more sophisticated string sample (there are rumours that within some....... there will be an enhancement, but keep your voice low...) I can't help you more than this, sorry.

    Raymond

  5. #5

    Re: String Bowing Keyswitches

    Thanks, everyone, for the input. I guess I'll experiment and see what sounds good. I have a friend who is a violinist (she lives down in Atlanta) and I think I'll run one of my scores by her and see what she thinks. Then I'll program it the way she would play it, and program it without fussing with the up- and down-bows, and see if I can hear any difference.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

    Re: String Bowing Keyswitches

    I'd like to continue in this discussion if I may. I am using my daughetr's computer (well, I paid for it as I did fpr the software but you know how it is) . Since she has been in Italy stydying I have been playing around with her desktop computer and the wonderful string sounds she has. I guess they were part of her composition studies but she has since moved on to otehr areas of music so I got free reign.

    I have a couple of questions about the keyswitches too. In both the solo and ensemble instruments I fail to hear the difference in many of them. Especially those that play 2 notes one after the other. I understand that's supposed to be some kind of legato, but I would much prefer to find staccatos and other varioations than those.

    For one thing, the second note is not notated (or I guess I could notate it and mute it, if that's even possible) but in general I have little use for it.
    My dautfhter also has the excellent IK Philharmonick which has no keyswitches but works wioth velocity to load different samples. I find both cumbersome but I really fail to see the advantage of having these legato notes in the keyswitches and not have the other playing modes.

    The other thing that baffles me is that I keep on reading about these "other": modifier keys I am supposed to use, but for the life of me I can't find them.

    I asked my daughter but evidently she has never explored her soundsets in detail. If I were forced to compose for school maybe I wouldn't either.

    Where are the best resounces to learn how to use GPO for Finale (5) and Sonar (6)?

    By the way, this forum is awesome. Easily the best digital composition forum on the web and the Garritan sounds are also very good. That's why I'd like to learn them better.

  7. #7

    Smile Re: String Bowing Keyswitches

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    Raweber, I am speaking about Section Strings here.

    Normally we have C1 for Sustain Short. The name is not good. You can make them longer and shorter. The length will be determined by setting CC#21. I learned from another thread (pre-historical times) that the max length is 7 seconds.

    Then we have D1 for up- and downbows alternating. I never noticed any difference. Next the E1 is downbows and is equivalent to Stroke 2. The other one D#1 is upbows and is equivalent to Stroke 1. Only when you use these two alternating you can hear some difference, but not enough compared to real life.

    Strangely enough those Section string keyswitches don't have the same behaviour as their counterpart for Solo strings. You should try some fast played notes for the section with D1 and do the same for solo string also D1. There is a huge difference. Never knew why.

    Moral of this story: experiment with it and pray for a more sophisticated string sample (there are rumours that within some....... there will be an enhancement, but keep your voice low...) I can't help you more than this, sorry.

    Raymond
    I think I now have a clue about the perceived lack of difference between upbow and downbow. I have no idea about playing the violin, but I asked my wife's cousin who does and he said that the downbow stroke is heavier. (Contrary to what I thought!) This is borne out by using GPO in Sibelius, which will switch simply by inserting the 'up' and 'down' signs. BUT ... when you go into what they call the Playback dictionary, you read that the Downbow is set to produce a velocity 10 higher than the norm at that position in the score and the Upbow 10 lower. So it looks as if it would be worthwhile trying inserting those — a velocity difference of 20 should be appreciable.

    Monty.

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