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  • Dimension String Template

    just in case someone is interested: last weekend i created a dimension string template from scratch. it has 10 first and 8 second violins, 6 violas, 6 celli and 4 basses (basses not DS up to now), each section divided in two for divisi writing (5+5/4+4/3+3/3+3/ and basses non-divisi).

    for the violin sections i mixed different but similar articulations (legato vib, legato espr, performance trills) to get more than eight players. and i mixed regular, forced G, forced D etc to get some variation into the section. not really a puristic 'real-world'-approach but it works fine for me.
    in vienna instrument pro i made some cells for fast legatos selected by playing speed. for those cells i created a set of extreme 'find-tune'-humanizing. so when playing faster the instruments get out of tune but find together again on long notes.

    i was surprised by the lush and warm sound of this section. but the real fun is the playability. i have extra tracks in my daw for long and short notes and in all examples below i didn't use any keyswitch and only one controller (CC1 by TECrontol breath). even the trills were played with legatos!
    room is just some early reflection from vsl hybrid verb and a tail of relab on the complete string bus.

    here are a few examples:

    legato only:

    stacc, spicc and detaché in the lower sections, fast legato in the violins:

    legato only again (including trills):

    peter alexander will write in detail about this template soon. thanks for that!

    i'm very happy with DS! first time it's really like arranging for strings instead for samples!

  •  Hi Saxer,

    If you want to share the template, I certainly would give them a try.

    Your examples sounds incredibly good!

    Can I contact you directly?


    Jean Roy

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    @Saxer said:

    for the violin sections i mixed different but similar articulations (legato vib, legato espr, performance trills) to get more than eight players. and i mixed regular, forced G, forced D etc to get some variation into the section.

    very well done, but i think in this case we have exclusive template for Legato patches (legato vib and legato espr) but in other cases we have not any chance to extend an existing articulation such as long or short detache. in this case for short articulations, by mixing regular, forced G and forced D etc,... combination of these causes reflection and will produce the same sounds.

  • this template is still work in progress. sorry, don't want to share at the moment... but that's not forever. i hope you understand.

    and yes, it would be easier to have 20 different violin players recorded... especially the articulations which don't have variations like non-vibrato sustains and detache. i think about time stretching those to make them 'extra players'. other possibility might be to add orchestral or chamber strings. needs more time to try out.
    i like the flexibility of this library. but i have to keep an eye on the computer ram/cpu (i have a slave macmini quad i7 with 16gb). when playing trills or fast runs the voice counter rises up to 1250 voices and give klicks and pops from about 1000 voices. offline bounce makes a crackle free recording but it's not nice to arrange without a clear signal.
    i just ordered a new macpro... we'll see if this problems will be gone (and replaced by others) :-)

  • Your approach of doing similar sounding articulations that are actually different recordings can be used well, especially with solo instruments (such as horn which I remember using - for example with short portato on hn 2 against staccato on hn 1, or vibrato legato hn against non-vibrato legato hn).

    However, a more CPU friendly approach is to use the same articulations, but do a pitch shift and transposition.  That is best done up a half or whole step in transposition, and down in the same in pitch shift.  This way, you double the number of players but it is much lower amount of CPU/RAM useage. 

    There was some concern voiced here this would interfere with the Dimension recording technique, but actually, as long as you do it for all 8 players (or 6 in violas and cellos) equally, then you will be able to do the exact same doubling of players used with non- Dimension instruments such as Appassionata strings, 2nd clarinet (non-vibrato - ha-ha!) etc. because they have the same interaction of solo vs. ensemble within each transposed group.

  • [quote=Saxer]legato only again (including trills):

    I really like this a lot. Sounds a little "Stephen Sondheim-ish", (That's no insult though) -- In fact I half expected to hear the words "Isn't it rich, Are we a pair..." at about 0:15. [;)]

    Very warm, lush and beautiful. Love the swells and the overall dynamics. A good advert for DS.

    I'm thinking of getting Dimesion Strings at the moment, so I'd be interested to know how much work it was to get this result.

  • haha, now, after listening to it at youtube, you are right with the clowns… funny, as the intro was the last thing i wrote in this track. now i will never forget… thank you! ;-)

    concerning your question: it takes some time to get familiar with the vienna instrument pro. the tutorial videos by vsl are very good. and there are good shortcuts when editing in standalone mode to copy instrument settings from one violin player to the other inside a patch. i got the tip here in the forum and it was very helpful! so it took me a couple of hours making "my" section from scratch… but it's still in progress.

    once done the actual musical work is easy. for dynamics i use the TEControl breath controller, trills are played on the keyboard, short notes on extra tracks, so no key switches in all my examples.

  • Sorry if I've ruined it for you forever! -- You may have to rename it "Banish the clowns". ;-)

    A quick question about your workflow....

    Can you explain why you avoid keyswitches by putting short notes on separate tracks? I would have thought that it would be easier (or more natural) to keep all notes for each part on a single track by using keyswitches or crossfades so that it can be recorded in a single take (but perhaps that's just me... and I am quite ignorant of how to work with these libraries in general).

  • Really nice work, very musical and realistic.

    Just on my monitors (Genelec 1030) I feel a kind of harshness in the high frequencies.  I don't think my monitors are the culprit, because other material sounds good on them.  I run often into this problem and am still to find the right eq that will sweeten the highs without eliminating them and the detail that goes with them.  My best take for now has been the Shepp 73.

    But your "working horse" setup seems to work very efficiently.

    Best regards.

  • thanks collin! meanwhile i have some eq's in my presets to soften the highs at about 2KHz.

    @phil: i'm not a friend of keyswitches because i often work on different parts of the song. it happens much too often that the wrong articulation is running as i didn't pass the right key switch when starting somewhere in the track. might be no problem with cubase expression maps but i'm working in logic and there it's a nightmare. i love samplemodeling instruments as they need no keyswitches at all to play musically. dimension strings are close to that. at least for me.
    and sometimes it's helpful to have some short notes extra to double long notes with attack.

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    @Another User said:

    i love samplemodeling instruments as they need no keyswitches at all to play musically

    Sorry, I'm new to this stuff. What exactly do you mean by the term "samplemodelling"?

  • Samplemoeling is a company that produces virtual instruments.

  • [quote=Saxer]

    That's easy to solve. Just make sure that the KS are legato, and then no matter where you click, there is a note active. TBH if you only use a few KS it probably doesn't matter, but I sometimes have 4 or 5 a bar for bars on end, and that would be a nightmare using separate tracks per articulation.


  • good idea! i must try that! thanx!

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    @Saxer said:

    good idea! i must try that! thanx!

    I also have a macro that shrinks the KS to a short length and puts me in Step Input mode, so all I have to do to enter a new KS is:

    1. Hit Macro KS
    2. Click where I want the KS
    3. Enter the KS
    4. Bit Macro again (it is a toggle) and everything is back to being legato (with a slight gap, to avoid 2 note ons active at the same time.

    Using this system means that it is really quick to enter incredibly complicated patterns, and saves having multiple MIDI Key editors open at the same time.


  • Daryl,

    Are you using the macro to step through and then clicking your Lemur to actually input the KS?  Or are you manually entering the KS?  Why not setup your own VST Expression map and let it do it for you?  Or are you using a combination of the macro plus the VI PRO Midi input system to type in your KS?

    I am interested in seeing this macro in action.  I am always looking for the fastest possible way to enter patch changes.


  • Button on Lemur enables Macro

    KS entered by touching the correct button on the Lemur

    Button on Lemur switches Macro off.

    VST Expression is too basic for my needs.


  • @Saxer:

    I was wondering, apart from DS, what other intruments did you use in the FirstView piece?

    Obviously there's a piano, but there's also a hint of a harp (SE Harp?) if I'm not mistaken at about 1:00.

  • Hi, I love your templates! Is it possible to get my hands to it? :-) :-) Cheers, -N.

  • Now that I use the Ipad to control Vienna Ins, I've changed keyswitching to cc 12 and use the Ipad to switch. Now all samples play correctly no matter where I start.