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Topic: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

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  1. #1

    Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    I'm using GPO4 with Sonar 7.

    I've written a piece for Violin and Viola in Sibelius, exported it to MIDI and loaded it into Sonar. I've added two MIDI tracks for these instruments, added the Aria player into a synth track, loaded violin and viola into the player, etc, etc, and it plays back just fine. Now I'd like to add various controller data using automation, first into the violin track. I've followed the procedure outlined by Scott Garrigus in his Sonar Power book. I tried doing volume first using the CC1 knob in the Aria player; I hear the volume changes while I manipulate the CC1 knob during playback/(supposed) recording, but no controller data is being recorded into the violin track.

    I can give more details about each step but first let me just ask, should I be able to do this? What might I be doing wrong?

  2. #2

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Hello, Mabry - I use both Aria and Sonar, so I can help you out.

    Those controls in Aria are primarily for auditioning purposes. Like you described using the CC1 (volume) knob during playback, and you could hear the changes.

    But to record MIDI data, you don't do it through Aria's knobs. That's where Sonar comes in.

    I have the impression you may not have a keyboard. The easiest and most intuitive way to use MIDI controllers is to "play" them from your keyboard. A foot pedal that sends out CC11, for instance, is a great way to get a natural and dynamic recording with a constant change of volume throughout a MIDI track.

    Or using the Mod Wheel on a keyboard sends out CC1 data that you can record in Sonar.

    Those controllers can still be added and edited in Sonar without a keyboard. You need to use the Piano Roll View (PRV)--which is the heart of MIDI in Sonar.

    Open that up, click the button that makes the controller panes appear beneath the note data window. That's where you can either insert controller by hand, or edit data already recorded.

    There's a bit more to it than that - but you need to start experimenting with the PRV to get exactly what you're talking about.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    So I assume the procedure outlined by Garrigus in his book only works for certain soft synths?

    I actually do have a keyboard and I'm familiar with the PRV and have used it to enter MIDI data, I just wanted to have the option of automating various MIDI controllers via the soft synth interface. But I guess you can't always get what you want.

    Thanks for your help!

    -Chris

  4. #4

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Hi, Chris - That's correct, that the automation Garrigus is talking about is only available on some synths. Somewhere on this Forum's pages is a post by one of the Garritan developers who explains why that kind of automation wasn't made available. Basically he explained that MIDI automation of that sort is not as reliable.

    It's good you already know how to use the PRV - What I don't think you're seeing is that using it is the most direct, reliable way to control the instruments in Aria. Instead of controlling controls which control the instrument, you're directly Playing the instruments. There's nothing better than recording your MIDI Controller data, either at the same time you're playing the keyboard, or in successive passes.

    You may think you would prefer doing it the round about way, but from experience I can almost guarantee you that you'll be happier with the results you can get with the way Aria is programmed. You just need to start trying it.

    Randy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabry View Post
    So I assume the procedure outlined by Garrigus in his book only works for certain soft synths?

    I actually do have a keyboard and I'm familiar with the PRV and have used it to enter MIDI data, I just wanted to have the option of automating various MIDI controllers via the soft synth interface. But I guess you can't always get what you want.

    Thanks for your help!

    -Chris

  5. #5

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    It's good you already know how to use the PRV - What I don't think you're seeing is that using it is the most direct, reliable way to control the instruments in Aria.
    I tried it out over the weekend and I'm starting to see what you mean.

    Do you know if most controllers allow you to assign the CC# to the mod wheel? My current keyboard lets you do this so I can use it to send, for instance, CC1 and CC7 to the GPO strings. But the wheel itself is rather flaky, so I'm thinking of getting something like the Novation SL MkII. (I requested it for my birthday and now I'm wondering if this is what I want after all!)

  6. #6

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabry View Post
    But the wheel itself is rather flaky, so I'm thinking of getting something like the Novation SL MkII. (I requested it for my birthday and now I'm wondering if this is what I want after all!)
    I took a closer look at the Novation webpage and it looks like that wheel is indeed assignable.

  7. #7
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    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Another option to get extra controller sliders (and buttons) is the Korg NanoKontrol. I picked mine up for $60. I prefer the older one over the newer NanoKontrol II.

    Jim

  8. #8

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn View Post
    Another option to get extra controller sliders (and buttons) is the Korg NanoKontrol. Jim
    So you can, say, have one of those buttons set up for CC#64/127 and another for CC#64/0 and tap those into your tracks in real time in order to control legato/non-legato?

    I'm pretty sure I'll be getting the Novation but I'll probably pick up something like this Korg NanoKontrol at some point. I could even take that on the train during my morning commute to work (heck, that's where I get most of my musical activities done now, anyway).

  9. #9

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    You just need to start trying it.

    Randy
    I've been trying things out more over the last couple of days. Specifically, I have been adding cc64 to GPO4 solo violins, violas and cellos. When I add cc64 with a value of 127 to the solo violas and cellos, I do not hear the attack portion of the samples. And when I add cc64 with a value of 0 to these two instruments, the attack portion is very audible, especially on the cellos. This is of course what I would expect.

    But for the solo violins, the difference between cc64 at 0 and 127 is hard for me to make out. And strangely enough, values of 127 for the solo violins seem to make the initial sound a bit sharper than values of 0. However, I don't really hear any string noise at 127 but I do seem to be hearing a bit at 0. Since the viola and cello are quite a bit bigger than the violin, I suppose the former two would have a more noticeable attack in 'real life' but I don't understand what is going on with the GPO violins.

    How much of a difference do you hear for the violins for cc64?

  10. #10

    Re: Automation using GPO and Sonar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabry View Post
    How much of a difference do you hear for the violins for cc64?
    Yeah, so last night I had been listening to my stuff using a pretty good pair of headphones but not as good as they could have been because today I've been repeating my tests from above using my keyboard and monitors and I can now detect, in the solo violins, the attack portion of samples at cc64 values of 0 and cannot detect them at 127. But the attack is definitely less prominent than in the violas and cellos. So that little issue is resolved for me.

    But now I find that when I add cc64/127 to the solo violins for sustain that I get a definite increase in volume until the sustain is turned off via cc64/0.

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