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Full Version: Beta testers for VPO 2.0?
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So, here's where I am with this whole cross fade, expression, volume control issue, based off my reading of the .sfz spec and experiments with the sample player Sforzando.

If I don't interfere, by default, CC#7 provides complete volume control. You can use it to adjust the volume from "off" to "full volume". If I add cross fade control to CC#7, it's volume control changes. At best, it can only add volume, it is no longer possible to use CC#7 to reduce the volume to "off". I've seen no sfz opcode that allows me to configure any continuous controller for full volume control. The only way is to leave CC#7 with it's default configuration.

If I combine expression and cross fade control and map it to the mod wheel, then the mod wheel all the way down at is minimum position will enable the lowest velocity samples, and will add 0db to the current volume. As you move the mod wheel up, you add more gain and increase the use of the loud velocity sample while reducing the use of the low velocity sample.

What I don't seem to be able to do is combine both full volume control (the ability to reduce the volume to "off") and cross fade in to a single controller. If I want to have a crescendo from ppp to fff, I need to move 2 controllers. In the mod wheel scenario, I would need to simultaneously move CC#7 and CC#1. This brings me back to where I started. If I need to move 2 controllers at the same time, I'm better off using 2 sliders. CC#7 and CC#11 because they are likely adjacent.

I don't see any other way but I would like to discover that I'm wrong about that.

With a better understanding (I think) of volume, expression, cross fade, I'm wondering if I should add extra patches for expression control (but not dynamic cross fade because I don't have velocity layers) to the strings and woodwinds? (dynamic cross fade would be reserved for the brass) Would that actually be useful? I personally prefer to draw a volume automation curve within my DAW but perhaps others would rather perform and record volume automation as they play?

I'm also thinking, after a little experimenting that the expression should be configured to add a maximum of 5db (or less).  More than that, and it is really easy to go well beyond the 0db level, although I'm not sure I should combine expression and cross fade control in the brass. I should have one controller for volume and the other for just cross fade, rather than one controller for volume and another for added volume +cross fade.
I think honestly so long as you remove key velocity, the volume + modwheel scenario will be okay. Ideally people will set volume at a point that makes sense and leave it unless they need to. Even in VSCO 2, we made the conscious decision that 0 on the modwheel isn't 0 in volume (mainly because it doesn't make much sense to allow people to access volumes below 40 dB or so, as people extremely rarely use instruments that quietly, at least professionally).
(03-16-2017, 11:19 PM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]I think honestly so long as you remove key velocity, the volume + modwheel scenario will be okay. Ideally people will set volume at a point that makes sense and leave it unless they need to.

I've spent the better part of my day today figuring this out. I couldn't let it go until I exhausted every possibility. I even found a reliable way to crash Sforzando (they said they'd fix it). I've discovered that there is a way to permit simultaneous volume and cross fade control with a little help from each DAW.

In the .sfz file, I need to leave CC#7 alone to control volume. There is no point configuring CC#11. It won't work properly unless the sample player automatically makes it work. There is no proper support for it in the .sfz spec.

If I use a CC# like CC#16 to control the cross fade (it's a general purpose CC number), within the DAW, it should be possible to use a CC mapper, to map CC#7 to be controlled by the mod wheel (CC#1) and also map CC#16 to be controlled by the mod wheel, or just remap CC#16 to be controlled by CC#7. Either way, a MIDI mapper in the DAW is needed to get this to work. I hope remapping MIDI from one CC to another is a common DAW feature. I only know it can be done using Reaper.
I don't think it is... from the amount of trouble I had having to explain to a continuous stream of people how to route MIDI channels in their DAW to use a multi-timbral plugin from VSCO 1, my philosophy is, "If it's free, don't ask anyone to do anything more complicated than copy and paste unless you want a million e-mails."
However you were very polite when I sent you my email asking! ;P Lol seriously people asked me if I knew how to route midi channels in VSCO1, that's how I first learned you existed!
I'm beginning to think that cross fading requires more study and I should release version 2.0 without it, making version 2 mostly about looped samples. This would potentially lead to a future 3.0 with dynamic cross fade of the brass samples after I've had a lot more time to experiment with it and consider the limitations of the .sfz format. Right now, it's cross fading that's holding up the release of 2.0.

I'm also thinking I might not keep 3.0 compatible with 1.x, 2.x because I want to rename at least some of the .sfz files.

Thoughts?
(03-17-2017, 05:52 PM)Paul Battersby Wrote: [ -> ]I'm beginning to think that cross fading requires more study and I should release version 2.0 without it, making version 2 mostly about looped samples.

I can support this. I would also support adding a solo bass clarinet in 3.0 Wink Wink Big Grin Big Grin
(03-17-2017, 06:54 PM)Michael Willis Wrote: [ -> ]I can support this. I would also support adding a solo bass clarinet in 3.0 Wink Wink Big Grin Big Grin

If I find myself in the mood to loop more samples, I might look into adding bass clarinet, alto flute, bass trombone. SSO has alto flute and bass trombone but to be consistent, I want to have my usual articulations and I'd want to loop the samples. I've had to abandon a particular set of samples from VPO 1.1 because I just couldn't loop them and I spent a lot of time trying. I had to replace them.
(03-17-2017, 08:20 PM)Paul Battersby Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-17-2017, 06:54 PM)Michael Willis Wrote: [ -> ]I can support this. I would also support adding a solo bass clarinet in 3.0 Wink Wink Big Grin Big Grin

If I find myself in the mood to loop more samples, I might look into adding bass clarinet, alto flute, bass trombone. SSO has alto flute and bass trombone but to be consistent, I want to have my usual articulations and I'd want to loop the samples. I've had to abandon a particular set of samples from VPO 1.1 because I just couldn't loop them and I spent a lot of time trying. I had to replace them.

To be clear, there is absolutely no obligation to add any more instruments to VPO, I was mostly just being silly. I'm already thrilled about the current set of instruments and articulations, which is very comprehensive for a free orchestral sfz library. Honestly, I had quite a time just making a project template for myself with the sounds included in VPO 1. Now I need to finish the composition I'm working on before I can really be justified even suggesting such thing.
Last chance for new feedback before I release Virtual Playing Orchestra 2.0. I've tried to address the feedback so far for the official release. I'm planning to release it early this week (Mon or Tue) without the -EXP samples. I'll save that for later.
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