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  • The Noob Questions Never End: Sustain Pedal?

    What is the point of the sustain pedal in VSL (I have Chamber Strings and Tenor Sax).

    I see that it 'sustains' on certain patches, but I was wondering if it is part of some larger 'plan' in more advanced presets.

    I'm asking because I was wondering if I could  assign it for another controller purpose... like X-Fade on/off. But I wanted to check before I tried that to make sure there isn't another deeper functionality I'm missing. (I guess I don't see the purpose of a sustain pedal for -real- string part writing.)

    BTW: I tried William's suggestion to use Pitchbend to turn X-Fade on/off but on my keyboard it acts as a momentary switch--not a -toggle-. ie. it only turns X-fade off as long as the bender is + zero. I'd like a controller that will act as a true toggle. Is it possible to use the bender in a 'latched' mode?



  • Sustain pedal can be useful if you want to force a start note when playing a Performance Legato patch. Leave a gap big enough, and cover it with sustain pedal.


  • Sorry. I must be even thicker than usual today... I have no idea what you mean. Can you give me a fer instance where I'd 'force a start note'?


  • Yes the sustain pedal as DG noted is good for that purpose.  It is if you want a connected but not slurred note.  YOu press it down after letting up the fingered note, and the next note of a legato instrument will be a fresh attack, not another legato, even though the notes are close together.  In other words you do not have to have a big gap between notes just to get a fresh attack.

    Maybe you didn't want to have to hold the pitch wheel controller on during crossfade?  Yes, then you might want a different controller.  But with the problem of the pitchbend being treated as a momentary on, then resetting ---  one  thing I forgot to mention is you go into  perform - map control on the instrument, and click on the pitch controller.  (I still do this with regular Vienna Ensemble, not within Vienna Ensemble Pro because it is a bit simpler to access basic controls  - you can at the end convert the project to Pro if you need to.)  You then drag the line in the display over to the right, so that it is balanced far beyond the straight line default towards the end value - any large amount.  THEN the pitch will always default to  pitch wheel OFF, and you have to hold it all the way up to get it to go ON or in your sequencer, place a single CC line all the way up.  

    That might sound complicated, but you can do it only once and copy the empty instrument template for any new patch you create.  Also, in a sequencer, it is totally simple to use.   On the first measure of your piece you have an otherwise  blank "zeroing" bar in which you put a single point at zero for mod, pitch wheel, and a single point at 128 for expression.  Then each time you want crossfade, you just slap in a single point for pitch wheel at 128, and from then on everything is crossfaded.  To cancel that and go back to note-on velocity you put in the single 0 point.  And everything remains at that until you again change it.  It is extremely simple in practice.  i have taken to doing a passage of music, then always "re-zeroing" the pitchwheel so that I go back to note-on velocity as a default.  Because it is the most natural state of the sounds.  The crossfade is a bit specialized (even though a lot of people use it constantly and unthinkingly) because you are no longer using "pure" samples, but blended ones.  So I tend to use it only when necessary, and go briefly into crossfade, then immediately get out when possible.  You could ignore that, but I am finding more and more that less is more.  And with sounds as good as VSL you can do a huge amount with the simplest controls. 

  • Thanks William... a lot to think about. I try to use X-Fade as little as possible. It has an addictive quality--everything sounds 'bigger', but the more I use it, the less 'real' the lines sound... so I'd like the on/off to be right to hand.

    I wish sequencers had a way to store those controller defaults... rather than have the 'zero bar'... but of course one can set up a 'template'. So much to keep track of! But if it makes it faster to perform the lines? I'm there!