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  • let's list all the possible solutions for Xfade phasing

    Hi guys I red different post about this subject, but since the information given are quite scattered I didn't succeded in having a complete idea on what to do to avoid at best the annoying effect of doubled voices on solo instruments ...

    The main thing seems to be: "use dynamic samples" what does exactly mean ? and how should I do this? And more important can you pls exactly list which dynamic samples are included in the differents libraries ?

    I own SE extended, and as I said it is not clear to me which dynamic samples i dispose, I guess sforzato is one of them, then what else ?

    Anyway what am I supposed to do with sforzato ? Should I put sforzato on some notes even if it is not on the score ? It sound quite weird to me ...

    The only thing I can Imagine is let's say I have a line that goes from mp to mf and instead of using the xfade slide I activate the sforzato when it passes on mf and tweak the expression slide accordingly. Is this the way ? I hope not  ... sforzato is a specific technique and I can't play entires bars in sforzato if not needed in the score, only to avoid phasing problems!

    Then, what is the problem with legato exactly ? someone suggested to put some detachĂ© and sustain in legato phrases to have a more natural sound ... but why and how ? Should I create some legato patches with a different sound in the second cell or should i switch between legato, sustain,detachĂ© ( randomly ? ) during the phrase ?

    Otherwise, if the dynamic samples included in the SE are not sufficient for the tweaking suggested, is it better to switch off the Xfade and use the expression controller instead ?

    Last question, I use notion 3 for scoring and then I pass to reaper for editing/tweaking the midi and finally for mixing and I noticed that the matrix used in notion have the C11 controller set on both the xfade and the expression, so when I write some dynamic change in the score notion move both sliders accordingly, what do you think about that ? To my ears that isn't correct since the instruments get too loud expecially on piano and below parts.

    So I normally set to none the expression slider and set it at a medium value, then I tweak it a bit on reaper manually for more expression in certain passages and for crescendi/ that correct ?

    I'm sorry for the long post but I think that it is important, not only for me, to clear out once for all, how to manage solo instruments.

    I whis there was a tutorial about all this stuff ... :D 

    Thank you!

  • Hi Arkam,

    I am sorry that I cannot answer all of your questions, but there is a very good tutorial on Beat Kaufmann's site where he talks about how to use different articulations with a solo violin. He also talks about using the sfz sample also,  - and I quote "

    "To get the real violin sound we have now to load up more articulatons. Most time it is a good thing to combine the sfz-sample with stac- samples."

    If you would like to take a look at the tutorial from where I just quoted from, here is the link:

    If you go to step 5 on that page, which is where I quoted from, you will find an example of how Beat uses the sfz articulation combined with the staccato and other samples.

    I hope this is helpful to you.


    Steve [:)]

  • Hi Steve thank you for your reply, this site seems very interesting, and it answers to one of my question, so it seems that we have to switch between different samples ... anyway I find it quite weird ... I mean he is creating the score step by step ... he added a sfz in cubase and then in the score ... it is not normal for me, I compose a score and then I do the programming stuff, but I want to respect the score.

    I mean if i have a score where a note is intended to be a simple sustain it is not correct to me to transform it as a sforzato...

    It seems that to have natural sounding we have to transfigure the original score ...

    For the rest I have to check if I have the dyn patch, I don't think so, the guy says that are in the extended library, which I own, but I think that are instead in the plus version ...

  • Hi Arkham,

    I am glad that I helped in some way.

    May I ask, which library are you meaning when you talk about your library? Are you talking about the Vienna Special Edition for which you have the Extended library that you mentioned towards the very end of your post?

    thanks and best,

    Steve [:)]

  • Yes I'm talking about the special edition, now that you are pointing it out ... maybe the beat tutorials are based on the bigger libraries ?

    In this case I relaunch one of my questions : 

    If the dynamic samples included in the SE are not sufficient for the tweaking suggested, is it better to switch off the Xfade and use the expression controller instead ?

     For solo instruments I mean

  • Hi arkham,

    First: You should get away from your idea of sticking literally to the score. If in a specific spot an sfz-articulation sounds good, just use it! If not - don’t. Beat K. for example uses them also for fast legato passages to simulate a change of bow-direction, when a regular detache or sustain would be to not prominent enough.

    Another example: the sfz articulation, when played short, also works very well for staccato notes - so within the SE you can choose between two different staccato sounds: the regular one, and the sfz. Especially when you use certain notes quite often (as staccato) it helps to keep the voice lively to use as many different samples as possible (as the ear soon will recognize when you use the same sample too often)

    But to clear up your main question: By "dynamic" samples the other users normally mean the crescendo/decrescebdo patches, that come with the DVD libraries, or the extended DL-instruments. Look at the sample content on their specific product pages - you find crescendo samples of different length and intensity. You don’t have any of them in any SE Library.

    For your second question: If a legato line is too long for a specific instrument the player will have to breathe, or change the bow direction. With the legato patches it is possible to play "endless" lines, which will sound quite unnaturally, thatswhy it is suggested to insert some detaches or other articulations to interrupt the legato, to create a little gap, to simulate breathing or bow-change.

  • Hi MassMover, thanks now it is more clear.

    So to come back to the main question : phasing problem on solo instruments using xfade, it seems that SE users don't have much choice, Xfade must be off to avoid phasing and chorus like effects ...

    Am I correct?

  • Yeah, SE users (like me) have to use crossfade, which can cause some passages to have that "chorusy" or "comb filtering" effect.

    However, I found several points that save this from being a terrible problem:

    (0) Sometimes, while adjusting the performance of instruments individually, I did feel that the crossfade was obvious and hard to remove.  But once I listened to it tutti, and after "forgetting" what automation I had done, I could no longer pinpoint where those crossfade problems existed, even though I try hard to listen for that artifact!!

    (1) If you're willing to adjust the orchestration of your work, doubling the passage on a different instrument almost always helps to mask the crossfade problem.

    (2) try experimenting with the reverb.  Some reverb settings may help mask the chorusy effect.  I'm not sure, but I think it would especially help if you can reduce the pre-delay (without making the reverb sound unnatural of course).

    (3) luckily, that chorusy problem seems to occur in a relatively small range of the entire crossfade parameter.  It can help to crossfade more quickly over that smal chorusy region, and compensating with volume automation if its really necessary. It also helps to try and mask that chorusy part by timing the crossfade so that occurs just after some other even that may psychologically mask the crossfade.

    (4) Sometimes the crossfade on a different articulation can be satisfactory (usually it ends up being sustain versus legato).  In those cases, sometimes you have to do additional hard work to adjust the attack of the note, so that it sounds more like the other articulation.

    Well at least, these techniques have worked pretty well for me.  Maybe they will be helpful!

    Best Regards,