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Topic: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

  1. #1

    Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    I\'m just in middle of translating SISS into Halion 2.0 which can now deal with multidynamic crossfades (hurrah!) but unfortunately the translator doesn\'t deal with them (boo!) so I\'m in the position of setting them up myself, and I was wondering the best way to structure it.

    One of the things Halion 2.0 can do (and I\'m sure giga can too) is have the amplitude be affected by note on velocity. It seems to me best to switch this off, otherwise you could have the modwheel set to fade mainly a piano sample, hit a note at velocity 127 and get a nice loud piano sample which would be a bit inappropriate.

    So, if you\'re not going to control volume with note on velocity, what\'s the best way to do it? Do you tend to program crossfades with the modwheel so that they produce increasing volumes too, or do you just use the crossfade to change the timbre keeping a relatively constant volume, and then create changes in volume with midi controllers 7 or 11? I think you could do it either way, but I was wondering what the pros do.

    Any thoughts on the subject before I dive in and do all the crossfades would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    No-one with any passionate views on this one? Ok, not to worry, I will go for the tried and tested approach of trying different ways and see which one works for me best.


  3. #3

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades


    if the samples are normalized, then I attenuate the softer dynamics so that they are quieter during the Xfade

    If they aren\'t, then there is no need to.

  4. #4

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    Thanks for that King. I\'m not sure whether the SISS samples are normailsed or not. I don\'t think they are, but I will check that and also let my ears decide.

    It\'s a fair bit of work getting this library into Halion 2, but for the sound of these strings, it\'s time very well spent.

    Thanks again for the advice. Very timely as the last part of the translation of the library (the crossfades) is now upon me - phew!


  5. #5

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    If the mod wheel based crossfades are going to be truly dynamic (ie across the whole dynamic range of the strings), isn\'t that all the volume control you\'d need? I can\'t see the point of having two volume controllers.

  6. #6

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    I like to use note on velocity to control the sharpness of attack of a note. Breath control is not sensitive enough generally to easily handle shaping the critical attack phase of the note. Also it is hard to get the differences in percussive effects due to hard or soft note attacks with breath alone. Typically I layer staccato attack samples on top of sustain ones, using velocity to switch between the different attacks. In some cases I use a single forte attack sample and fade its relative amplitude using velocity. Both the attack and the sustain have their amplitudes modulated by breath.


  7. #7

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    Breath control doesn\'t have to be like that, of course. An EWI triggering a VL1 can produce envelopes as sharp as a knife. The trick is that they send velocity as well as breath control.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    Same experience here. I use a WX-5, and it tracks beautifully. However, I have breath control modules for my two KX-5s, and those are very sluggish.

  9. #9

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    Steve, if I remember correctly SISS is not normalized,

    You\'r going to have a real tough time getting levels attenuated correctly.

    What you may want to do is do a batch normalize based on \"percieved loudness\" in a wave editor like Wavelab. Do this accross each dynamic range (piano, then Mp, then mf, and last forte)

    This way you can just attenuate the whole piano layer the same amount in halion. As it is you\'ll have to go through and attenuate specific notes differently to have them play evenly. Another side benefit of this is that you dont get as much shelving/bumps in the Xfades.

    but it doesn\'t mean this is THE way to do it [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: Thoughts on Dynamic Crossfades

    (Sorry Steve, I don\'t mean to highjack your thread)

    Bruce, could you give me some more of your impressions about your WX-5? I am about to purchase one, being a saxophone player, and am curious how you like it using it without the VL70 module thingy. I figure it should be ideal for controlling giga/EXS woodwind instruments... are you saying the attacks/note velocity thing is not a problem? Sorry, my music store doesn\'t stock them so I can\'t really try it out before buying so I just wanted to get a valued opinion on it first...



    Originally posted by Bruce A. Richardson:
    Same experience here. I use a WX-5, and it tracks beautifully. However, I have breath control modules for my two KX-5s, and those are very sluggish.
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