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Topic: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

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  1. #1

    Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    Not sure if this is the correct place for this question, but I'll start out here. In discussing some things with rbowser regarding using Garritan GPO, a question comes to mind. I am a notation guy, not a keyboard guy. My resume has a gaping hole where keyboard ought to be. In using Garritan GPO (I use it as a VST plugin with Sonar Producer 8.5) I am trying to figure out how to best simulate the difference between whacking a key and tapping a key on a keyboard. I mean, how does the Garritan synth track that this note was hit harder than that note for playback? The note velocity value in Sonar does not seem to greatly affect note attack in GPO except at the extreme settings. I use a track envelope for CC1 and much can be done with that. However, editing the velocity eludes me. There are a number or controllers listed in the Garritan manual that have no CC values. However, it seems to me that if a person records MIDI through a keyboard, some value has to be assigned to a note or envelope somewhere for accurate playback.

    I can duplicate the velocity setting somewhat by using a clip envelope for velocity, but unfortunately that seems to be a little bit buggy in Sonar.

    I apologize if I sound rather ignorant. I've been working with Sonar 2.2 () for years with the old Edirol VSC and all of the new stuff with VSTs and samples is a bit overwhelming at times. However, after listening to the terrific Garritan sounds, I've bitten the apple, and I can't go back.

  2. #2

    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    Are you working in the Track view or the Piano roll?
    Marcelo Colina

  3. #3

    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    To expand on Marce's question every MIDI note has a velocity associated with it. In the Piano Roll View (PRV) it is represented as a vertical line at the beginning of every note. It can be changed dynamically by clicking at the top of the note toward the middle (the mouse will change to an arrow with several lines through it - they look like ledger lines on a music staff).

    In the Event List window the velocity is listed with each note event.

    Now, every instrument made by Garritan responds to velocity in some way. The non-sustaining instruments (such as piano and celeste) respond by changing the volume of the note played. for sustaining instruments (such as violin and oboe) the velocity affects the intensity of the note, but not the volume (which is, of course, controlled by CC1, 2 & 11).

    Please keep asking questions!

  4. #4

    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    Thank you for your help. These forums have SO much to offer! First of all, marce, I do most of my work in track view. In my old Cakewalk program, I used to do quite a bit in piano roll view, drawing in my controllers freehand. However, once Sonar introduced the use of envelopes, I got away from the piano roll view.

    I think I understand the concept that the Garritan instruments respond to velocity. I guess my problem is without inputting MIDI with a keyboard, how do I adjust velocities for individual notes or a series of notes. I usually adjust my note velocities in staff view by right clicking on them and putting the values where I want them, or else if I need to adjust a series of notes I will highlight them, scale the velocities in the general direction up or down, and then tweak individual notes. It just seems that I haven't been able to get enough punch even with adjusting individual note velocities up to 127, especially into staccato brass notes.

    One question for raweber, though. You mention the conrollers CC1, 2 & 11. I use a track envelope for CC1. However, the Garritan GPO manual says that CC2 and CC11 mirror CC1. I assumed that this meant that they functioned the same, so I have not touched either of those controllers because I already use a track envelope for CC1. Are you saying that they perhaps may have slightly different functions?

  5. #5
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    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    I prefer to use Piano roll view for working with controllers. Pan is the only controller I use envelopes for. Using envelopes for something that is note specific sounds like too much work.

    If you use an envelope that isn't all the way up to 127 and then adjust the note by right clicking and making it 127 won't give you a velocity of 127. It will only go as high as the envelope is set. So if the envelope is at 100, then you will only get 100 as the top velocity. So I recommend not using an envelope for velocity.

    Jim

  6. #6

    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    Thanks Haydn. More info for the grist mill. The Sonar velocity envelope is a clip envelope. It acts a bit strangely. You can draw the envelope, but if you bounce the clip, the envelope disappears and the individual note velocities within the clip are reset to the value of the velocity envelope. It acts more like the "Scale Velocity" function in staff view. I may need to revisit the piano roll!

  7. #7

    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    Hi - Glad you've continued the questions here at the good ol Garritan Forum.--I'm just now seeing your thread.

    You've been given a lot of info - I don't think the simplest thing has been spelled out though.

    First - I think you should forget about the velocity envelope on clips, for now at least. I never use those - They aren't for detailed velocity work. They're for re-scaling what's already in the track, as it looks like you've discovered.

    In the PRV, click the control that shows the controller pane. The basic info displayed is the velocity. With your cursor, whack away at those vertical velocity beams, changing them to what you want. That's the basic method - Simplest, best.

    What you still seem confused about is how the Garritan instruments don't use velocity for volume. The velocity values just slightly change the attack envelope. Low values gives you a softer, slower attack than the high velocities. Your actual volume work is done with CC1.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    Sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner, Randy. Had company here the last couple of days. After all of the Pete and Re-Pete between here and the Sonar forum, I think it is finally sinking in how to use the CC1 envelope, the note velocities, and CC7. I haven't used the PRV view either, and I'm still not sure how much I'll use it, but at least I know I have it. And thanks for the tip on CC23. Ooooops. That was the Sonar forum I think.

    The one thing I'm still wondering, though, is if there is any real difference between CC1, CC2, and CC11.

    Thanks again

  9. #9

    Re: Tracking velocity in Garritan GPO using Sonar Producer?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkuehlok2 View Post
    Sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner, Randy. Had company here the last couple of days. After all of the Pete and Re-Pete between here and the Sonar forum, I think it is finally sinking in how to use the CC1 envelope, the note velocities, and CC7. I haven't used the PRV view either, and I'm still not sure how much I'll use it, but at least I know I have it. And thanks for the tip on CC23. Ooooops. That was the Sonar forum I think.

    The one thing I'm still wondering, though, is if there is any real difference between CC1, CC2, and CC11.

    Thanks again
    Hi, Marv - Good to hear from you again.

    Working through your new post backwards - The difference between those controllers:

    CC1 - Usually used for Modulation, Vibrato control. But the Garritan programmers have unusually used it for volume control on most instruments.

    CC2 - Breath control - This controls volume when using a breath control MIDI controller.

    CC11 - Standard "Expression" control, which is also for volume. It works with most Garritan instruments, but CC1 is the preferred controller, as per the above.

    The Piano Roll View is simply the heart of MIDI editing. You need to explore it, get comfortable with it. Until you do, it would be nearly impossible to explain why I think of it as "the heart of MIDI editing"---I can just assure you, it is. The visual feedback instantly showing you clearly the relationship between notes and all the controllers you use is the most direct and intuitive way to make your MIDI tracks come alive.

    Reliance on envelopes is less precise, makes you work in a more cramped space - I've experimented with MIDI envelopes but never use them. Envelopes for Audio is a different matter.

    My projects are in two basic phases - and this is true of many MIDI musicians. First comes all the MIDI work. Then those tracks are rendered into Audio. The mixing, fine tuning of balance etc all happens in the Audio realm.

    Keep having fun in your endeavors!--and congrats on your first GPO project - the Star Trek entry you submitted!

    Randy

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