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Topic: Legato Problem with World Instruments

  1. #1

    Legato Problem with World Instruments

    I am putting together a piece for Native American flute and have a problem with legato.

    For the life of me, I cannot hear the slightest difference in attack after applying legato through CC68, 64, or even the new auto-legato feature. I am handling implementation exactly as I have done so many times before. Therefore, I do not believe I am in error; although I hope I am since there does not yet seem to be an update to the Garritan World Instruments library.

    I am confused by what appears to be legato in a little video Randy produced demonstrating this flute prior to the library’s release. Frustratingly, I cannot reproduce what I hear there.

    I need a solution to this since, as we know, legato is very important, especially when using an instrument like this flute that has such a punch to its attack.

    By the way I am running Overture SE with Aria. And I updated both Aria player and engine to the most resent release.

  2. #2

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Sean, your post made me go check on the Native American Flute, since I hadn't opened that for quite awhile. It's working as I remember it, sounding fine. Auto Legato is on by default with that instrument, so without making any changes in the settings, you can play it characteristically. There's also a nice default setting for Portamento also helping to have it all set for playing.

    I'm not sure what video of mine you're referring to. Maybe an MP3 file? I did use that flute for underscoring cues in a play, and that was before World was released I think. You must mean that.

    But, it's working for me now just as it did back then.

    So - I can't imagine what's going wrong for you. There's an Air Noise control (CC12) that you've probably noticed. Turning that down of course minimizes the breathiness - hmm, I doubt if that's the problem though.

    I know nothing about using Overture, but I imagine there are the usual limitations and hoops a user has to jump through to get an instrument sounding right. Is there a way to edit the velocity values? I do know that in DAW software, you'd want to drastically lower velocities to around the level of 10 or even less, because that always helps smooth things for legato.

    --Otherwise, I'm stumped.


  3. #3

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Thank you for responding, Randy.

    Aria is new to me and I am still learning how to use it. Of the three Garritan libraries I have, World Instruments is the only one I run on this engine. I still run GPO and GJ&BB on Kontakt, so functions like Auto-Legato are unfamiliar.

    To anyone in this community who uses Overture or any other notation program, can you help me with this?

    I have been able to achieve legato with the Auto-Legato function, albeit with unsatisfactory effect. However, after much trail and error it actually seems that the CC64/68 approach is a no go. There is no problem at all with Kontakt, but Aria with World Instruments will not read this particular CC data. I have no idea why this is. Maybe it is because the minimum polyphony setting for instruments in Aria is 8, unlike the 1 we have in Kontakt. Maybe it is because I am running Aria with Overture SE via MIDI Yoke. But if that is the problem, then why do other CCs work fine--vibrato, flutter tongue, etc? Maybe it is because there is no “options” section in Aria with a “sustain/sustenuto pedal mode” menu. Whatever the case, I am really annoyed. If I can’t find a resolution to this serious problem, I am at a dead end with this library; one I was so excited about for so long.

  4. #4

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Hello again, Sean

    To reach a larger audience with your questions, it works better to post in General Discussion. People don't come by here very often, but everyone visits GD, and all topics are invited, especially technical ones.

    I did an extremely quick improvisation just now with the American Native Flute. There are 3 moments of Legato in it, and I think they sound pretty smooth:

    Native Flute clip

    That's with Auto-Legato off, since you don't care for the results you're getting with that. This is with CC64, the traditional Garritan Legato control. I used a touch of AfterTouch on sustained notes for vibrato. Otherwise, the only thing I did besides insert CC64 events in the usual places (On after first note starts, Off after last note), was to make sure all of my velocities were of a very low value, like I mentioned in my other post.

    Here's a screen shot of ARIA with the instrument loaded. You may not have the most current version. If it doesn't look like this, go to your account, which is now at MakeMusic, and download the newest version they have there.

    I've circled where there's now a control for Polyphony. BUT, notice for this I have it set on 2 - because actually, more than one layer is used at a time, so setting it to one produced some silent notes.

    --So, I think that clip sounds the way you want? I just need to emphasize that editing the velocity values down to 10 and under is essential. I hope you have a way to do that in Overture.


  5. #5

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Thank you, Randy.

    Sure enough, I did need to update. However, as you can see, my info screen looks different than yours. There is no library logo, no Garritan logo, and no indication of the library version. This concerns me. In my uninstall utility, Garritan World Instruments is listed as version 0.003. I notice in your screenshot that your version of the library is 1.02. What am I missing here?

    After updating to the latest version of Aria player and engine, I see that the player now has the polyphony selector that you indicate. But I am afraid that my problem with CC64/68 still persists.

    Yes, I know about the velocity angle. It does shave off the note’s attack, thereby facilitating something of a smooth slur sound. Indeed, I may wind up resorting to the adjustment of velocities as a fix to this problem. I do, nonetheless, find it quite distressing that I may have lost, for no apparent reason, the use of those two crucial controllers.

  6. #6

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Hello again, Sean

    Well, you're right that you still don't have the current updates for ARIA. You should have the visuals in your GUI that you saw in my screen shot. There are important bug fixes in the newest version - Please go to MM and look again. Just a few minutes ago another user updated his ARIA through MM, and seems to now be on the version I have.

    Your version of World also needs updating. That's correct that the current one is 1.02. Once you sign in at MM that should be available as a download on your account page.

    "...But I am afraid that my problem with CC64/68 still persists..."

    You didn't offer any feedback on the little test recording I made for you. Doesn't it sound the way you want? That was done was CC64 (CC68 is just for use in Finale with the Notation samples) - I use the Garritan Libraries all the time, and only in ARIA, since all Libraries have had improvements since the Kontakt versions, and I can assure you CC64 still works as it always has.

    This particular instrument, the Native American Flute, does have a characteristically sharp attack, more so than most instruments. So, in combination with cc64, the Velocity editing is critical. That's not a work-around that you have to "resort" to though. Getting the best legato with any Garritan instrument has always called for low velocity values.

    You haven't lost CC64 - you said "two crucial controllers"--I guess you meant CC64 and 68.

    All I know is that I use World instruments often, and have none of the issues you're talking about.-- Do go to MM and seek out the World update and look again for the newest ARIA update.


  7. #7

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Randy, I appreciate the time you are giving me on this problem. I’m sorry I didn’t acknowledge your sound-sample. I neglected to comment on it because I had already realized your success in slurring that instrument here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPbp5sRdPEk

    Since we have to do this via forum posts rather than in person, I will try to make myself as clear as possible by enumerating my steps.

    1. I have nothing installed.
    2. I open the ZIP file containing Garritan World Instruments, which I purchased as a download from the Garritan store on 27 December 2011.
    3. I run the installer which then puts GWI 0.003, Aria Player 1.111, and Aria Engine 1.111(?) on my Windows machine running XP 32.
    4. I then apply the updates from MakeMusic.com. I have tried installing all of these files over each other (not including the Steinway patch, of course) to no avail. I have tried installing only Aria Player patch 1.620 to no avail. I have tried installing Aria Player patch 1.620 with Aria Engine patch 1.626 to no avail. For me, they all result in this.

    Again, Garritan World Instruments loads, but clearly does not respond to CC64/68. It does respond to other controllers, but not those. Check this out:


    By the way, the player/engine in the video are patched to 1.620 and 1.626 respectively.

    Probably I am in error. But the fact remains that I have not yet found a solution to this problem.

  8. #8

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Hello again, Sean

    Ah, now I understand what video of mine you're talking about. I should have realized, but I was thinking you meant a tutorial video on how to use the flute, and I haven't done one of those. Right, that YT video has some flute work I did for underscoring cues in a production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in 2010 and for the video, I featured art work by my cousin.

    The reason I asked if that new little flute MP3 sounded acceptable is because there have been so many ARIA updates since I did the flute you hear in the video, and World was also updated. I wanted to make sure the results were still sounding as you expect.

    I am sorry you're having this hassle of trying to get ARIA up to date. It has been confusing, with updates coming so often, and with updates of the two elements, the Engine and the Player, not always coinciding. At some point the extra image elements should have been added to your ARIA -the ones that display what Library each instrument is from when you've loaded it.

    Figuring out that whole ball of wax is beyond me. You really should fill out a support ticket at Make Music, explaining that you've tried numerous times to update your ARIA, but you know it's still not right. Sorry, Sean.

    HOWEVER - I know what you're doing wrong with the flute test, thanks to the video you posted. Screen captures, both stills and video, sure can make things clear.

    Problem: You're not overlapping your notes! CC64 Garritan Legato doesn't call for just having On and Off events in the right place, but all the notes in a legato section need to be overlapping a bit. Without that, the Legato effect is broken every time there's a gap in the sequence.

    I understand you're working in notation, and so everything is quantized. But that's why Finale has "Human Playback" which roughs up the quantization, making the playback more natural. Maybe Overture has something like that?

    But the real problem is the way all of these notes in legato sections are butted right up against each other. If there's a way to turn off that snap-to-grid action and drag the lengths out a bit, then you'd have what's needed, BUT it would make for ugly notation. Make two different versions of the project perhaps?

    It's because of things like that which make a lot of notation users export MIDI files of their projects which they then import into DAW software where all of this sort of thing can be more easily done.

    Here's a screenshot of that little flute MP3 I cooked up for you. I zoomed out to show the whole sequence, but I think you should still be able to see that in the legato section, the notes are always overlapping a bit. After recording a line, if some notes ended up not overlapping, I hand edited them in the PRV.

    Other things - you can see how I lowered the velocities during the legato passages. As we've saying, that's critical. The rest is easy enough to see - the CC11 volume performance (CC11 and CC1 are interchangeable in ARIA), AfterTouch on two of the sustained notes for vibrato, and CC64 On/Off events inserted as needed. I left the instrument settings to their defaults in ARIA, except I turned the breath noise all the way down:

    And below is a screenshot in the Staff View of Sonar, showing how the last three notes of this are displayed. A total mess, naturally, since the Staff display is attempting to accurately show what's in the track - and none of the notes are quantized, and they're overlapping - so - that's all Staff can possibly display. And that's analogous to what would happen if you attempted to display a humanized, "messy" MIDI file like that in Overture.

    --Side note. I can hear that Overture is smoothing tied notes out so they sound continuous, even though there has to be two notes in the staff. In Sonar, tied notes would need to be changed to single notes of whatever length is needed. Otherwise, Sonar would trigger the note twice. Just a little observation.

    SO!-- Please contact MM Support about this ARIA mess. And even though I'm not sure there's a way you can fix the situation in Overture, now we know that there's no way you'll get the legato you want with the flute with a project file like that. The notes Must be overlapping slightly or it's a no go!


  9. #9

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Oh goody--a unique, obscure, and persistent problem for me to deal with. I will do what you advise and hope that I can get the help I need on GWI.

    You raise an interesting and somewhat disconcerting point about my handling of notes in the “graphic” pane of Overture. Aside from the fact that CCs 64/68 still do not work within my installations of GWI/Aria and putting the whole GWI/Aria issue aside for now, I see that, indeed, you are right; overlapping in conjunction with the CC64/68 on/off does insure smooth legato.

    I am speaking now of Kontakt, which I have used all along, producing all of my Garritan renders. Though I have always known about the overlap principle in general, I never realized that the Garritan samples were designed to be handled in that way. I had overlapped other soundfonts that did not have any kind of legato controller option, e.g. Papelmedia Irina Brochin.sf2. But in the case of Garritan, I simply slurred the notes as per my written score and then applied the CC64/68 on/off. The funny thing is that, despite this apparent error, my renders display beautifully convincing phrasing due to realistic legato effect. I even compared the two techniques side by side using an oboe from GPO in its Kontakt host. Your method does seem to sound slightly smoother, but mine sounds good too, which is very fortunate for me since the idea of remastering all of my renders is most distasteful. I have uploaded a good example of my erroneous but, nevertheless, convincing technique to the Listening Room if you are interested in hearing it.

    Anyway, I understand the overlap issue now. Hopefully I will soon enjoy similar understanding regarding the World Instruments issue.

  10. #10

    Re: Legato Problem with World Instruments

    Sean, I'll be sending you a private message after I post this.

    "...I see that, indeed, you are right; overlapping in conjunction with the CC64/68 on/off does insure smooth legato..."

    CC64/68 doesn't work without the overlapping notes. Overlapping doesn't just "insure smooth legato," - that's how the programming works. Without it, at least in ARIA, there's no legato.

    The World manual's information about legato is an abbreviated version of what's in the GPO manual:

    "...Strings, brass, and woodwinds can also be used with the Auto-Legato feature as an alternative to using the sustain pedal. This feature automatically detects note overlaps and applies changes to the attack and decay characteristics of the note transitions. Auto-legato is located in the Control tab on the ARIA Player.

    Auto-Legato is the most convenient method to use and can give good results when it is applied to take advantage of its intended design, but has some limitations. Those limitations are related to the way it handles polyphony. Its detection of overlapping notes and automatically stopping the first of the overlapping notes in favor of the second means that it functions in what is commonly known as 'mono mode.'

    In contrast, using CC#64 is more flexible and can potentially give superior results but requires more work on the part of the user. It is up to the user to place the CC#64 “switch” data in the MIDI tracks as needed. It is also up to the user to precisely determine note overlaps since the amount of note overlap won’t be automatically determined as with Auto-Legato. This gives the user great flexibility in adjusting the sound of the note transitions but requires considerable attention to detail to get the best results..."

    So I'm glad you understand the overlap issue now, but why are you saying:

    "...Aside from the fact that CCs 64/68 still do not work within my installations of GWI/Aria..."


    "...Hopefully I will soon enjoy similar understanding regarding the World Instruments issue..."

    ? CC64/68 hasn't been working because you haven't been using it correctly. What other issues do you think you're having with World--?

    Please check your PM folder, I'll be sending another message later this morning.


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