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  • Velocity, Expression and more (Newbie questions)

    Some questions from a VI and VSL newbie, so apologize in advance:

    1. To me, it sounds like Expression (CC11) is actually adjusting the dynamics, while "Velocity X-Fade" is sounding more like musical expression (there's a change of timbre for example). So I'm quite confused about the terminology because things are not behaving as I'm expecting with such terms. 

    2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using faders to adjust the dynamics vs your own attack level on the midi-keyboard? Many of my libraries are set to "fader control" by default, while my VSL libraries are set to "keyboard attack control". I'm sure these terms are wrong, but again, I'm new to all this. So especially if I layer libraries, I guess it would be best if they were controlled similarly. I'm a pianist, so when playing the piano I would of course not need a fader, but playing strings on a keyboard are not at all similar to using a bow, so then the fader would be better to get the feeling of a bow, or?

    3. Can I change the velocity range of each articulation? 

    4. Are there just close microphones in the VSL Woodwinds? I wonder how I can bring out a solo. With some libraries, I'm using Decca tree mics for the ensemble and turn on a close mic for a solo.

  • 1. Velocity Crossfade ("X-fade") fades from one velocity-layer to another. The result is a change in timbre and volume, but there are sometimes phasing effects. The other downside is that if activated all velocity-layers are played at the same time. This can be a problem with larger projects.

    If you want to make a little change / having trouble with phasing -> use expression; if you want a change in timbre -> use velocity crossfade

    3. Yes. In VI in advanced mode under "perform" is a fader called "DynR" -> Dynamic Range

    4. All of the non-synchron VSL libraries are recordedd dry and only with close mic-position (exceptions: Pianos and organ). -> Have a look at

    Best, Ben

    Ben@VSL | IT & Product Specialist
  • To piggyback off the original question. I have also been trying to get a better handle on how to use X-Fade vs Expression (and Dynamic Range Slider).

    I have assigned X-Fade to the mod wheel and I only use that when recording. I then adjust xFade within Cubase for more detailed adjustments. I have not been using Expression (yet). I simply set it and forget it. I think I will go back in later for expression tweaks to ensure everything fits together. Dyn Range I also set and forget (at least for now).

    And Master Volume - I might adjust this only at the very end if the section as a whole is too high.

    Any thoughts on this? What should the default values for Expression, Dyn Range, and Master Volume be? I want to set defaults that will work for my initial work but also give me wiggle room up or down as I get further along?


  • If you activate velocity crossfade, VI ignores velocity of the notes.

    @clehnert: Use as default value what ever suits you and your workflow.
    I do not use the DynRange and MasterVolume fader. Expression is set initially between 80-100, crossfade is off (If you are working with short notes, velocity crossfade is not usefull anyway and it will stream all velocities).

    Ben@VSL | IT & Product Specialist