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Topic: absence of bow attack on solo string samples

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  1. #1

    absence of bow attack on solo string samples

    GPO4 in both Finale 2011 and Sibelius 6 and 7, all keyswitched solo strings. The problem is that fast notes (e.g. sixteenth notes at quarter = 116) do not "speak". If they are not marked staccato, they are not at all detache but blur into each other; and if they are staccato, they are nearly inaudible, the note is over before the slow rise time has gotten more than a small portion of the way up the hill. At quarter = 132 they are just about gone.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: absence of bow attack on solo string samples

    Have you tried using the keyswitch pitches? I use Sibelius, but couldn't get the up/down bows to kick in; I added the keyswitch pitch, and voila, it worked - I imagine it would be the same in Finale, as both are using the ARIA player. I found that for the KS Viola solo that the attack was quite good.

    Hope that helps.
    Ron Pearl

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  3. #3

    Re: absence of bow attack on solo string samples

    Thanks for your suggestion. It is a very promising idea and it will probably work, but it should not be necessary. I take it that you are talking about the D keyswitch pitch. Must it then be cancelled by the C for any longer notes? By the nature of the problem, a large number of notes are involved; this could get very, very tedious and fragile, cluttering the score with a huge number of hidden notes, zillions of ledger lines below the staff. I found that I could improve the sound by going into the Sibelius playback dictionary and defining staccato to increase volume and attack to something like 135% -- 150% and changing the duration percentage from 50% to 65% ; but it doesn't sound authentic -- a little like a record being played backwards -- and of course it would not work in a score that also used non-string instruments.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: absence of bow attack on solo string samples

    Well, you are right that it could become tedious. But then up/down bow markings are work to enter (a little work), too. It takes a lot of time to get playback to sound good, regardless of the library. It's probably why many people use a sequencer to do this as opposed to a notation program - but it will work.

    Does changing the Velocity have any effect?
    Ron Pearl

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    ronaldmpearl.com

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  5. #5

    Re: absence of bow attack on solo string samples

    Yes, it works. I wish I had thought to try it sooner. I had asked you whether it was necessary to explicitly go back to "sustain". I find that it isn't, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. It would be twice the work to have to do it explicitly, but it's being done based on a heuristic and I have no idea what that heuristic is. Now there has to be a way to make "auto alternate" the default for all strings, as it should be, instead of "sustain" -- except maybe for "hearts of space" type music. I am still very afraid of what all those hidden notes will eventually do to my layout. I should give Sibelius the benefit of the doubt, as it is clearly "genuine software", but I wasted twenty years of my life on Finale and I'm deeply, deeply scarred. Thanks again for your help.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: absence of bow attack on solo string samples

    Well, I'm not sure how it is handled in Finale, but in Sibelius, I put the keyswitch note in another voice (so as not to mess up beaming), and then hide it so it doesn't print. Hasn't been a problem with making a score look the way I want. The problem with any default is that we want them to do the opposite of what they are set to do - you want alternate bowings, but for long sustained lines, not so much...So, we have to make the determination.
    Glad it works - I'm sure the m,ore you do it, the less time it will take to implement.
    Ron Pearl

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    ronaldmpearl.com

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    http://myspace.com/rmpearl

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