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  • VSE pro + Special Edition plus + Sibelius 6.1: legato problem

    Hi,
    I've just finished a fresh install of my system under Snow Leopard (10.6.2) with all the latest software updates.
    I now experience some weird things when playing back legato instruments under Sibelius. It sounds as if there were small accents at the beginning of each note. So much for the smooth legato effect...
    No idea if it's a Sibelius or VSL issue, probably just an option or some settings that I've missed. I would really appreciate some help with that.
    Best,
    Denis

  • I forgot to mention that I imported a midi piano part from Logic 9 (I exported the piano part as midi file). I took the main melody of the piano part and simple copied it to my 1st Bb clarinet.

  • Hello Denis!

    Are you working with the Special Edition PLUS sound set and SE+ clarinet matrix or did you just load the legato patch?
    When you import MIDI files, there could be some MIDI controller data, that does strange things to your playback. To see this data, you will have to turn on View/Hidden Objects.

    Please notice, that the legato patches are monophonic. If there is more than one note played at the same time a sound similar to the one you have described can occur.

    Best,
    Andi


    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Hi Andi,

    Yes, I'm working with the SE plus soundset and matrix.

    From what I understand (and what I feared), it's not a VSL issue. Sibelius acts very strangely when it comes to midi. It looks like every note's attack has a CC11 value of 76, then a very weird peak before coming back to whatever value it should be.
    The other thing I noticed is that Sibelius would write sometimes up to 4 keyswitches for the same note, giving the right articulation a random chance to be triggered.

    It might be due to some misunderstanding of how Sibelius works with midi, but although it's a great tool for notation, it seems it lacks a lot of useful features when it comes to midi handling. I know: it's not a sequencer... I wish you guys at VSL could come up with your own notation / sequencer software specifically designed for your products. Something simple that would allow users of your libraries to produce some decent mock-up as soon as they've composed a piece, rather than spending 75% of their time struggling with technology, import / export and third party tools.

    Yeah, yeah... Dream on...
    D.

  • Hello Denis!

    Sibelius sends CC11 and velocity according to the dynamics you have entered. It's not true, that every note has a CC11 value of 76, unless you have such a setting in your score. Maybe this is some MIDI data you have imported with the MIDI file. You could use the Sibelius Advanced filter and delete all MIDI commands. These are text commands starting with "~". Also make sure, that Live Playback is enabled.

    Best,
    Andi


    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Hi Andi,

    I've tried to illustrate my problem with an example. Here is what I've done (starting from scratch):

    1. launch Vienna Ensemble Pro Server (64-bit)

    In Sibelius 6.1:
    2. create a new score with only Violin I
    3. import VSL House Style with all options ticked
    4. create playback configuration:
    - Device = Vienna Ensemble Pro
    - Soundset = VE Special Edition PLUS
    - Use manual sound set ticked
    - No. channels: 1
    - Channel 1 / Program Name: Violins Orchestral / Sound ID: strings.violin.ensemble
    5. click on Show, then Connect

    In VEPro:
    6. load matrix /Special Edition /03 Orchestral strings /21S Strings violins +
    7. once loaded, in Perform window, turn Velocity X-Fade on, and assign CC11 to Velocity crossfader
    8. edit cell 1B and lower the volume of 01S VI-14 staccato to 75 (only because I prefer the sound it makes)
    8. save project

    In Sibelius:
    9. save playback configuration and close
    10. create 4 bars of music (see here: http://www.denisducasse.com/midifromsibelius/test_violins.jpg)
    11. export midi with the following options:
    - The current playback devices
    - Type 1 / 256 PPQN
    - Export pick-up bars as full bars padded with rests
    - Omit muted instruments
    12. quit Sibelius

    In Logic 9.1:
    13. create a new project with new software instrument
    14. insert a Vienna Ensemble Pro stereo instrument and connect it to localhost

    In VEPro:
    15. load the viframe saved earlier (oops, I could have used the "Keep this instance loaded when disconnected function")

    In Logic 9.1:
    16. import the midi file
    17. delete the reverb, volume, pan, sustain and reset controls events as i'm not interested in them here, then manually set volume to 0db and pan to centre

    Here is the midi file created by Sibelius: http://www.denisducasse.com/midifromsibelius/midi_from_sibelius.jpg
    Here is what I would like to see: http://www.denisducasse.com/midifromsibelius/midi_modified.jpg

    Chances are that I miss the point, but it looks like Sibelius doesn't trigger the correct articulations (totally obvious with the portamento) and the expression goes all over the place (for example, can you see this weird CC11=76 when there is a new keyswitch note?).

    Given what it is doing with a such a short example and how much I need to clean the midi file to start working on it in Logic, imagine what happens with a 30-bars arrangement for strings, winds, brass and percussion!? ie. an average project for an advertising pitch.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on what I'm doing, on Sibelius behaviour, and if the VSL House Style and Sound Set need a revision.

    Best,
    Denis

  • Hi Denis,

    Just a quick reply. Don't panic ... ;-) I'm working with the same products as you do with fine results. It's mainly a matter of time to really now what's going on; it took me about 6 months to get proper results ... (but with a lot of fun).

    And yes, sometime Sibelius isn't working correctly with key switches and selecting the right Sound ID's. A restart of Sibelius is or re-doing some settings in the mixer solves this strange behaviour in my setup. BTW: I returned to OSX Leopard because a lot of strange behaviour of Sibelius under Snow Leopard ... .

    Sorry, I don't have the time right now to really grasp the details of your mail. Just something about my basic configuration to get VSL working fine with Sibelius and Logic (actually, you'll only need your DAW to do the final finishing touch because pretty much can be done in Sibelius in quite an efficient way):

    - keep faders in Sibelius at 0db (in other words: start with CC07 at 0db)

    Configure all strings, woodwinds and brass as follows:
    - keep faders (as a starting point) in VE PRO at 0db
    - in VE pro -> Perform -> Perform Control -> switch on "velocity cross fade"
    - in VE pro -> Perform -> Map Control -> set 'expression' at 'none'
    - in VE pro -> Perform -> Map Control -> set 'velocity crossfader" at "CC11"
    - in VE pro -> Perform -> Perform Control -> set the EXP fader at "62" as a starting point (in the end values between 62 and 72 will work fine)

    Change the dynamic settings in Sibelius as indicated in my seperate posting (which will be continued soon, I hope ... ).

    My to cents to your thread. The strange behaviour of Sibelius disappeared in my setup by downgrading to OSX Leopard ... .

    AbraƧos,

    Wim

  • Hi Wim,

    Thanks for your input.

    This is already what I used to do - apart from setting expression at none in the map control (so CC11 was commanding expression and x-fading). I've also added ~C7,90 and ~C10,64 at the beginning of the staff. It seems to do the job re: pan and volume, even if it doesn't show in Sibelius' mixer (?).
    Unfortunately it doesn't solve any of the problems I experience with weird CC11 jumps, and wrong articulation selected.

    Talking about articulation, I was surprised to see that Portamento wasn't defined as '+portamento' in the Staff Lines even after importing the VSL House Style. I added it, but now my first note is also played portamento, meaning that - in my example above - a portamento occurs between B3 and E3, and between E3 and E4 while the portamento should only happen between E3 and E4. I don't get it?!

    By the way, I witnessed exactly the same unexplainable behaviours when I was still running Leopard (I mean before I upgraded to Snow Leopard).

    I'll be following your other thread re: dynamics and VSE+ with great interest!

    Best,
    Denis

  • Hello Denis!

    It is true, that Sibelius (with help of the sound sets) sends more key switches, than necessary. Due to the structure of the sound sets this is unavoidable. But they do no harm. ;-)

    You are right that the "+portamento" command for the portamento line was missing in the House Style files. I fixed that and the new version of the House Style files should be online soon.

    How you handle portamentos with Sibelius is explained in the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual on page 15.

    Best,
    Andi


    Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Hi Andi,

    I referred to the "Optimizing Sibelius Playback" manual earlier today and understood the portamento issue. Thanks for that and for the key switches info.

    Do you have any idea about what is happening with CC11 and these jumps all over the place? You can see the CC11=76 problem I'm telling about in my example above.

    I'm now going into VSL SoundSet for VSE+ to understand what is going on, how things work, and how to trigger some articulations. I'm focussing on the orchestral strings for now.
    I can see in the dictionary that tenuto adds +portato. But portato isn't defined in the SoundSet. So I added +tenuto and +portato to play detache (KS=C#1, CC1=0). I've also added +staccato.detache, +staccato.tenuto and +staccato.portato to play short detache (KS=C#1, CC1=127).
    These additions make sense to me. What do you think? Maybe it's something that could be added to the SoundSet and also be done for solo and chamber strings (not for appassionata as there are barely any articulation coming with VSE+).

    Best,
    Denis

  • Hello Denis!

    Without seeing the score, I cannot tell you, what causes the jumps in your CC11 curve. Maybe the Sibelius/Play/Performance/Espressivo setting has something to do with that.

    When you add a tenuto symbol to longer notes, the detache notes would be to short. That's why this isn't triggered by default. I wouldn't change the sound set this way. If you want to trigger detache samples with tenuto symbols, you could change the dictionary entry to "+detache". This is saved with your score and will not have any negative effect on other scores, where you don not want this.
    "+staccato.portato" will not work, as these two commands are defined by Sibelius as either staccato or portato.

    Best,
    Andi


    Vienna Symphonic Library
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