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  • Yes, Another Noob Question: Slurs & Legato

    NB: While searching this forum I just found a December update with a Slur patch. I haven't tried it yet, but I think my question is relevant regardless.

    OK, I'm having trouble understanding the 'algorithm' VSL uses to 'join' notes in the Legato patch.It seems like the 'distance' between the end of one note and the start of the next is matters, but is there a 'rule' to it? If the notes overlap, what determines if the notes are taken in one bow or merely played 'legato' (ie. as smoothly as possible but with alternating bows).

    No matter what I do, I -always- hear at least -some- sawing (ie. an attack) on each note.

    So what are the -rules-?

    TIA,

    ---JC


    1. If you leave a gap between the notes, you won't get a legato transition. However, I can't remember how long the gap has to be, or even what unit of measurement is used to measure the gap, as I don't use the regular Vienna Instruments player any more. Maybe it's in the manual?
    2. If you overlap notes, you will always get a slurred transition.
    3. The new slur patch (not very appropriately named, IMO) adds a little bit of portamento, so when you play faster notes, in particular, it sounds a little bit messy. This emulates the real world quite well, where players don't all necessarily play at the same time, or even use the same fingering.

    DG


  • Really? I forget the italian term but it doesn't sound like 'hammer-ons'... (ie. everything done with the left hand.)  There is -always- (especially in the celli) a slight sound of the bow pushing. Is this something one needs 'Pro' for?

    BTW: What does one use 48gb of RAM for?


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    @Another User said:

     

    BTW: What does one use 48gb of RAM for?

     

     Loading an orchestral template. [:D]

    DG


  • From you description, it is not quite clear what you are referencing.  One thing to remember is that in any legato patch, if there is a gap between notes, the release sample of the previous note will sound again as an individual note at the start of the new note.  Leaving any significant gap between legato notes will likely cause problems.

    You might find VI Pro 2 to be of use, as you can vary the speed of the initial legato attack (and create new patches with alternate speeds).  This could be of real use particularly in chamber strings, where there are no fast legato patches.

    Also - although perhaps OT - in some types of bowing a "pulse" will result even if the bow direction is not changed where a player will play consecutive notes on the same bow stroke, but add a slight attack as it were to each note, even though the notes themselves remain connected in a legato fashion.


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    I'll post an example a bit later. But how much of that 48gb do you use? Just curious for the future. I'm getting to 11-12gb but that's a chamber orchestra with few articulations. My mobo only has room for 4 sticks so I'm wondering how that would work.

    Thanks,

    ---JC

    @Another User said:

     

    BTW: What does one use 48gb of RAM for?

     

     Loading an orchestral template.

    DG


  • Suntower, although your question is to DG, I will chime in here, as my needs are roughly between your current situation and DG's (one of the most advanced power users on the board).

    For me, using the older MIR SE, 12 gigs would not allow for the loading of all needed instruments/articulation templates coupled with MIR SE (MIR Pro 2 would require more CPU power than I currently have).  For a typical moderate sized template using full VSL library instruments, 24 gigs seems to be the standard norm (and is what I have).  For power users, using virtually all of the full VSL collections (not to mention libraries made by other companies), 48 gigs can be needed (the new options available using SSD's may very possibly change that).  When you start layering orchestra/chamber/solo strings with each other, that alone begins to eat up a great deal of RAM (depending on # of articulations loaded, etc.).

    OTOH, for lighter uses (and where I started), all four of the Vienna SE libraries, will fit quite comfortably on a system with just 8 gigs of RAM, with an older Q9xxx CPU.

    Also, if all you intend to do are smaller chamber type works, using only a few instruments, even with the full collections, 12 gigs may be enough.


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    @Suntower said:

    I'll post an example a bit later. But how much of that 48gb do you use? Just curious for the future. I'm getting to 11-12gb but that's a chamber orchestra with few articulations. My mobo only has room for 4 sticks so I'm wondering how that would work.

    My template (including MIR) used to be around 30GB, but these days it's a bit slimmer. I would still find it tight on 24GB, so whatever my new rig (when I get one) I will need at least 32GB. The reason I have 48GB as opposed 32GB is that it is triple channel RAM.

    DG


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    @DG said:

    I'm afraid you'll have to post a link to an audio example, because I can't reproduce that here. What patch are you using when this happens (full name please)?

    OK, here is an example with Chamber Strings I Legato VC3_Perf_Legato_Me. Most of the notes are the same length and velocity (90?). The odd thing is that the transition between the octave leap is smoother than the notes which descend down 1 step at a time!

    http://jchmusic.com/downloads/residue-vc.mp3

    What am I doing wrong?

    ---JC


  • No one? [:(]    <---- the unbelievably sad icon


  •  Sorry, I haven't had time to listen. Hopefully tomorrow...

    DG


  • I am having this problem too and would love to know how to do it.

  • Yeah! :D

    Paul? DG? Kaufmann? Guy? Any other experts wanna give this a try?


  •  suntower - thanks for your pleasant words! 

    I listened to the excerpt.  You are not doing anything wrong, it is just that the different legatos sound more or less connected.   For example the regular legato articulations include some bowed legato as well as slurred on the same string.  So if you want a more pronounced sliding legato, you could switch to portamento or sul.  But as DG said the notes overlapping will trigger a legato transition.  The legato on each of the these string sections sounds different by the way.  The Chamber, Orchestral, Solo, Appassionata have different legato depending on what was recorded.  It is not entirely consistent.  So that on Appassionata, you have an a/b switch for portamento within the legato instruments.  You don't have that on Chamber or Solo, and so need to use either portamento articulations or sul. 

    Also, one thing you can try changing is - hit the first note with a slightly higher velocity.  If you then hit the second transition note a little lower, the legato often sounds smoother. 


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    Thanks for the detailed comments. I will try your suggestions. If I may trouble you for some quick follow up:

    1. You wrote: "So if you want a more pronounced sliding legato, you could switch to portamento or sul." I did not realise that there is a dedicated 'sul' articulation. What is -that-? Does that mean 'try to take all notes on the same string?'

    2. Any suggestions on using Portamento? I frankly have not yet found a good application... it always sounds too much like a synth. What am I doing wrong?

    3. Would VI Pro help with more consistent legato? I understand that there is some sort of time-stretching. Does this make connected notes smoother?

    Thanks again,

    ---JC

    @William said:

     suntower - thanks for your pleasant words! 

    I listened to the excerpt.  You are not doing anything wrong, it is just that the different legatos sound more or less connected.   For example the regular legato articulations include some bowed legato as well as slurred on the same string.  So if you want a more pronounced sliding legato, you could switch to portamento or sul.  But as DG said the notes overlapping will trigger a legato transition.  The legato on each of the these string sections sounds different by the way.  The Chamber, Orchestral, Solo, Appassionata have different legato depending on what was recorded.  It is not entirely consistent.  So that on Appassionata, you have an a/b switch for portamento within the legato instruments.  You don't have that on Chamber or Solo, and so need to use either portamento articulations or sul. 

    Also, one thing you can try changing is - hit the first note with a slightly higher velocity.  If you then hit the second transition note a little lower, the legato often sounds smoother. 


  • Regarding portamento: the portamento in the basic VI is rather difficult to use.  It has only one speed, and that speed cannot be changed.  Quite often the speed of that portamento does not fit very well within the context one had hoped to use it in.

    That situation is radically different in VI Pro 2.  In VI Pro 2 you can adjust the speed of the portamento and create a new articulation reflecting the adjusted speed.  It therefore becomes possible to create different portamentos designed to work in different musical contexts.

    Personally, I would never go back to using the basic free VI.


  • Thanks. I'm gonna really go heads down with the VI Pro demo this weekend. It sounds like almost a 'must have'.

    ---JC


  • The sul legato is a connection between notes on one string.  The portamento is as you said much more pronounced and so you cannot use it very much.  However sometimes it is exactly what is needed and would be used in live orchestra - for example, in a big crescendo where you want a very dramatic connection to a high point.  Here, the conductor would tell the strings to do a portamento and their bowing wold actually be changed to allow it.  nolder is right about being able to alter the portamentos, though I haven't actually been doing that yet.  VI pro has all sorts of great things you can do with the samples. 


  • One more thought regarding portamento: It is important to use portamento very carefully and in a correct context.  As a strings player, one of the things that screams "samples" as opposed to a live player is improper use, particularly over use of portamento, as well as portamento slide speeds that do not mesh with the phrase/passage.

    As mentioned in the other post, that is where VI Pro 2 is so important.