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Topic: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

  1. #1

    traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    Hi all.
    I was wondering, for those of us, poor bastards, who don´t have several different samples of a given instrument, let´s say an staccato cello, what´s the best way to avoid the dreaded machine gun effect?

    I tried a thing I read somewhere at the net which consisted on using again the same program, but detuning it half (i.e. down) a tone and then transposing half (i.e up) a tone from the sequencer. This worked to some extent, but not totally. It did improve somewhat though. I also played a bit with velocities to add some random attacks feel. Still needs a little bit of an improvement.

    Any other nice hints from the über geniuses around? I would also thank a lot any replies which didn´t require me to study a sound enginner major, heh,heh...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    One way avoid machine guns.....

    Don\'t write music which will use machine guns...
    or Write music which is suitable for the sounds you have....

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gary M. Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Myrtle Beach, SC (USA)

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    Hi Netvudu... here\'s just a thought.... I think the often used term \"machine gun effect\" comes into play when musical passages are recorded in \"step time.\" And, IMHO, it\'s always better to record all your music in \"real time\" and try to avoid \"quantizing\" if at all possible. You don\'t want your music to sound too mechanical.. and, sometimes, recording in step time, with the same velocity and exact quantizing on each note will make it sound that way. Try to make your music flow naturally. Even with a repeating ostinato bass or cello line... it\'s gonna sound much more natural and less \"machine gun-like\" if each note is recorded/ sequenced naturally... even if you must initially record it at a slower tempo. Hope this helps...... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] Gary

  4. #4

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    Try to use noticeable dynamics on the machine gun parts. Level changes from one note to another should help mask the identical repeats. If it does, you can go a step further and use a low pass filter to alter the timbre slightly on each repeat.

    Detuning the way you mention might work, but it may not work as well if the sample is being stretched already. If your cello is sampled at close intervals, you may be able to fake the method libraries like VSL are using.

    Try this:

    1. Say the machine gun part plays G3 several times,
    2. Instead of playing the same G3 each time, copy and paste the cello section to another area of the keyboard which isn\'t being used (say three octaves higher)
    3. In the copied area, delete the G3 region, and stretch either of the adjacent regions so that it covers G3. You now have two different samples on the keyboard which play G3. The original, and a stretched version of a sample close to G3, not the same sample.
    4. Edit your ostinato part so that every second note transposes to the alternate G3.
    5. Using variations in velocity and filter will help out in this situation as well.
    6. Maybe adding a detuned/transpose G3 in the way that you read could add a third note option to the mix.

    If you don\'t like the sound of your adjacent cello notes being simply detuned, consider a little off line editing using a good time stretching program. You\'re probably only going to be stretching adjacent samples by about ten percent, which is well within most stretchers\' abilities to do without creating flangy artifacts.

    The machine gun giveaway has a lot to do with the repetition of what should be unique transients in many naturally performed notes. Being able to vary that transient would be a big help. Gigastudio has the facility to change the sample start point. You could copy the machine gun note\'s region to empty keys a few times and alter the sample start time of each region. Be careful with your timing once you\'ve done this. If the original sample start included \'air\' or a bit of a ramp in the attack transient, you\'ll have some notes which have air, and some which don\'t. The ones with air will seem delayed. Naturally, you need to compensate if this happens. My guess is that V3 will allow midi control over sample start time, using something like the mod wheel - which would allow you to alter the attack characteristics of a sound in real time, rather than in this rather kludgy way.

  5. #5

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    Thanks everybody for your replies, specially Chadwick. What you wrote makes a lot of sense and I´m gonna try it ASAP.

  6. #6

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    What library do you use?.If,like me, is AO ,despite its cheap,it have for some instruments/articulations(like flute,violins marcato etc.)two variations each.
    With progrm change you can easily change between the two.
    I also use custum variations of such patches.

    Simply edit it adding in giga editor a pass bass filter triggered say by mod wheel and control to attack triggered for example by portamento time(cc5).
    Of course you can use other control change of your choice.

    With pass bass filter its possible to emulate a ostinato crescendo(with the opening of the filter)
    With attack control you can lightly change it,helping you to avoid machine gun effect.
    I suggest to edit such control change after recording with the editor of the sequencer for fine tune it.

    Hope this help

  7. #7

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    HI Netvudu,

    Depending on your keyboard skills, you really want to play every thing in real time - absolutely no quantitizing. If needs be slow down the passage a tad and play the part. I really try to stay away from cut n\' paste for tutti lines. Play them one voice at a time. Resist the urge to \'perfect\' the \'esemble\' when done. These slight imperfections are what makes an orchestra or choir sound so good (human). Anytime you can have a vln or reed player double a fast line - the better it will also be (not always practical with budgets and time allowed).

    If after all this \'natural\' input you just can\'t live with a note or two being \'off\' just simply go to just those notes in your sequencer editor and nudge them to where you want them.

    Hope this helps.


  8. #8

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    The easiest, but most time consuming method is to simply detune every other note in the machine run. It works....

  9. #9

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    layer and edit tremlolos/flutters with time stretching or starting in the middle of the sample.

    I\'ve found that alternating samples can actually give an alternate sense of \"falseness\", because you\'re repeating a simple variation, and the ear catches it.

    The best option I\'ve had is tremolo layering with strings, but you need to have some variable starting points, and the tremolo cant be too fast.

  10. #10

    Re: traditional way to avoid machine guns?

    If I\'m without a keyboard, I like to increase the volume slightly on every other note to get the \"up and down bows\" effect for strings. I also vary the starting points on EVERY note - some notes will start earlier, and some will start later than the givin set-line on the piano roll. It works a little, if it\'s not the only thing thats being heard.

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