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Topic: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

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  1. #1

    Exclamation Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    There are different libraries on the market.

    Some comes with using many keyswitches and midi-controllers and some have many different patches with their different articulations.

    Two different workflows for the composer!

    I would like to know what you do prefer?

    Thanks

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  2. #2

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    Personally i hate keyswitches mostly because every manufacturer uses a different system and im too old and lazy to learn them and it feels awkward for me to play harmonically unrelated notes with my left hand when i have to fully concentrate to play the right notes in time with my right hand in the first place.
    I prefer setting up a multi that contains all the patches that i need and assign a different midichannel to each part of the multi.
    Then i play the phrase with the most common patch (sustain/legato etc) and after i am happy with what i played i will go thru the track in the event editor and change the midichannel for every note that i needs a different articulations.
    I can see how keyswitches are useful for skilled players that use them in a livesituation but in the comfort of the studio i prefer my approach.

  3. #3

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    Modern developers allow you to set your own keyswitches. Old fashioned developers tend not to. Therefore KS can be a pain, if you use various different products for similar purposes. However, using something like a Lemur (my new toy) makes these inconsistencies a thing of the past, as I can have an interface that looks the same for all different versions of KS, no matter where they are on the keyboard.

    D

  4. #4

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    I agree with Hans, 100%. Only to add that, entering keyswitches creates an additional problem when printing scores etc.

    I just wish DAW/Host developers would do more to improve our workflow with multi-articulation instruments. I seem to recall reading that Steinberg have taken some steps with this but I use Logic, so it's not helping me!

    For instance, how about a simple method of renaming and remapping MIDI controllers? (you can't even rename them in Logic). You could then have multiple sets/maps which route controller information (and perhaps specific controller values) correctly to each VI - maybe you could even save each setup with the instrument/channel strip for instant access.

    Then you could add a function which would create a selected controller event and value a couple of ticks before all selected notes. Just select your notes, choose from the list of articulations and 'boom', it pops in the controller data at the correct value for you. At the moment this sort of thing takes a deep understanding and memory of all the different VIs you have, as well as a great deal of time.

    Maybe there is already a neater way of achieving this but I'm not aware of it.

  5. #5

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    Quote Originally Posted by cwillsher View Post
    I agree with Hans, 100%. Only to add that, entering keyswitches creates an additional problem when printing scores etc.
    Just hide them in the score so they won't print.

    Quote Originally Posted by cwillsher View Post
    I just wish DAW/Host developers would do more to improve our workflow with multi-articulation instruments. I seem to recall reading that Steinberg have taken some steps with this but I use Logic, so it's not helping me!
    You need to hassle the developers that haven't taken this on board. Some, such as VSL (and up to a point EW), have.

    Quote Originally Posted by cwillsher View Post
    For instance, how about a simple method of renaming and remapping MIDI controllers? (you can't even rename them in Logic). You could then have multiple sets/maps which route controller information (and perhaps specific controller values) correctly to each VI - maybe you could even save each setup with the instrument/channel strip for instant access.

    Then you could add a function which would create a selected controller event and value a couple of ticks before all selected notes. Just select your notes, choose from the list of articulations and 'boom', it pops in the controller data at the correct value for you. At the moment this sort of thing takes a deep understanding and memory of all the different VIs you have, as well as a great deal of time.

    Maybe there is already a neater way of achieving this but I'm not aware of it.
    As I aid in my original post, these sort of things possible with my setup, using Nuendo. If it's not possible with yours, and it is important to you, maybe a change of sequencer/host is in order.

    D

  6. #6

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    Generally, I don't like key switches to change articulations-- for myself. I'm not against it... just I don't find it appropriate to the way I work and for my jobs at hand. I like to be able to look at my project and see exactly what is going on without having to open up the parts and check for key switches. For example... when I score a movie, I score in 1 big project (2000+ measure in Nuendo)... if I were to use all KS patches... I'd have no visual idea what was going on. I'd have to play the parts and open the parts to see what's going on.

    Also, I like to layer patches, for examples a staccato patch on top of a tremolo patch to give a sort of more pronounced accented tremolo. If all your patches are Key Switched... then you can't do this unless (of course) you have duplicates of all KS patches.

    Finally, when I do use Key Switching, I have Nuendo transform it to either Prog Changes or CC events so that they are chased. There's nothing like picking up a cue in the middle and having all the wrong patches play because you haven't initiated all the Key Switches yet.

    Also, for me, I find it easier to prep scores when all the (say) pizzicato or staccato parts are on their own tracks. I can globally quantize all tops-and-tails of the notes so they look nice in Sibelius or Finale.

    But... this is just me. To each their own. I say ... "whatever works best for you.".

  7. #7

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thonex View Post
    Finally, when I do use Key Switching, I have Nuendo transform it to either Prog Changes or CC events so that they are chased. There's nothing like picking up a cue in the middle and having all the wrong patches play because you haven't initiated all the Key Switches yet.
    If the keyswitches are legato (minus a bit) you can get chase to work. It also means that you don't have to open up loads of controller lanes to edit stuff.

    I also have a macro that reduces KS to a few ticks, switches on Step entry, and another that switches it off, legatos all KS and shaves a few ticks off the end. As my keyswitches are in 2 octaves, the macro selects each octave separately.

    It sounds very complicated (although I know you love macros), but the workflow is this:
    Hit Step button on the Lemur
    Click where I want the KS to go
    Hit the KS button
    Hit Step button

    That's it. My new KS is integrated with the old KS and everything will chase. The thing is, you can't use controllers (AFAIK) when in step entry mode , and there are times where I have 8-10 KS within a bar, so I'm not good enough to play them all in real time. :>(

    D

  8. #8

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    Chasing Keyswitches (Sonar) is my biggest problem with them, as well. It's really annoying to hit play and have the wrong articulations playing because of the keyswitches.

    I always load in the individual articulations (I'm using Garritan, so this generally isn't a ton of instruments) and run each on a separate MIDI track. I output them all to the same audio out so that I can keep the same levels, effects, etc. on them.

    In Finale I load the various articulations, and send the four layers of my staff to the four channels of my articulations. So, when I want pizzicato, I just switch to layer 2 - for tremolo switch to layer 3, etc. (I've had issues with Human Playback accurately switching, so I avoid that now).

  9. #9

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    I usually re-program keyswitches to use cc16, then create non-printing articulations to set them in Finale.

  10. #10

    Re: Keyswitches and Controller use or different patches with different articulations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daryl View Post
    and there are times where I have 8-10 KS within a bar, so I'm not good enough to play them all in real time. :>(

    D
    8-10 KS in a bar?? My lord man... what are you writing??? ;-)

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