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  • Tips for good dynamics with Vienna Choir

    I just picked up the vienna choir and, while it's fantastic, I'm having some difficulty getting quality-sounding dynamics out of it. To be honest, I have trouble with dynamics on all of the VIs, it's just particularly noticeable with the choir.

    Does anyone have any tips for how to get nice, natural-sounding dynamics using these (without, sadly, the use of a breath controller which I can't currently afford)?

    Thanks in advance!

  • The success of controlling the dynamics with velocity, has probably more to do with the way your keyboard produces the velocity data.  Non weighted keyboard tend to be too easy to produce high velocity values, and so are hard to control the inbetween bits. 

    But, assuming it's not a keyboard velocity generation thing, it's important to know where the sample crossover point are, the choir has 4 velocity layers, so be aware of which tonal layer you need.  Don't play softly (low velocity) and then turn the volume up to compensate, and the opposite applies too,  don't play loud (high velocity) and turn the volume down - you need the right tonal character for the level you are at.

    I woulld always help the dynamics along with EXPression (CC11), and I also tend to use the FILTER (CC24) as well, maybe not quite so much with the choir, but using the filter as a dynamics control create the lower harmonics at lower level thing, that most instruments adhere to.

    The CC data will need to de drawn on after your performance in your DAW (Cubase in my case), as it generally needs to be gentle curves.  If you do have any spurious notes that are the wrong level,  you will have to edit the velocity value to correct this.  Don't let CC and velocity values put you off,  the numeric values can sometimes look odd - use your ears, as that is all that really matters.

    And don't be afraid to use as many articlation choices as you have available to help it sound convincing - you will not/cannot achieve this detail in realtime - it has to be done afterwards.

  • anything that happens off a breath controller is something you can draw in in the controller lanes, really. I found the idea very compelling until I had one. I found I didn't really have a lot of use for it, vs. drawing the values, which was easier to control, for me. I'm not a wind player, so...

    you'd likely be remapping it to CC11, which is the bread and butter of your dynamics with VSL. Also see velocity cross-fade.

    Andy is right, we really create the performance in the editing. there may be super-co ordinated athletes that accomplish a lot live, but it's a matter of more than one controller as well as switching articulations, which can get to be extensive.

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    Hi Drilian

    Most time I use the sus performance legato (4-levels layer) combined with X-Velocity. Most of the other Midicontrollers only change either the volume or a bit the sound colour.

    Important is, that you cross through the different layers which belong to different volumes. This only can do the X-Velocity function.

    Have a look here: (No. 24)

    and here: (No. 30)

    If you like you can support this dynamic a bit with the volume of the audio signal.

    How does it sound: Watch and listen to this Example

    BTW: All the dynamics are produced with the X-Velocity - (strings, brass, ...)

    A lot of success


    - Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra":