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A question of 'divisi'.

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A question of 'divisi'.

Postby SysExJohn » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:06 am

The recent talk of string ensembles has prompted a question, 'how does one deal with 1st or 2nd strings playing divisi?

Does one have two string sections, or put two notes into one section, which of course won't work for legato playing. i.e. 4 sections for 1st and 2nd strings both playing divisi.

What practices do others use, I wonder?

Regards,
John.
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby Michael.B » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:53 am

Hello John,

I don't remember if you're using Finale or working with a DAW like Sonar.

In Finale, divisi would be easy to do using layers. Each layer works independently so, for example, Layer one could have legato and Layer two could have staccato. Finale has four layers to work with.

If using a DAW like Sonar then I would asign a track for each 'part' so two tracks for splitting a part into two and four tracks if splitting into four.

However, I must add that, at the moment, if using Finale 2014 HP is broken so no articulations will be picked up until this is fixed; hopefully in the next update. If using Finale 2011 or 2012 then this should be fine.

I hope this helps. :)
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby SysExJohn » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:57 pm

Thank you Michael,

Yes, that's what I'm currently doing. But it strikes me that each time I use another iteration of violins 1 section used divisi, I double up upon the actual number of violins actually sounding, i.e. violins I becomes 32 violins instead of 16. now I suppose one can pull the volume (cc7) back -3dB for each section to simulate half the group, But there's still the full group of musicians playing ... twice. I don't believer there's a way round this, is there?

BTW I'm using 2012c so hopefully the HP thing won't affect me?

Hopefully in some future product!
Regards,
John.
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby Michael.B » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:00 am

SysExJohn wrote:Thank you Michael,

Yes, that's what I'm currently doing. But it strikes me that each time I use another iteration of violins 1 section used divisi, I double up upon the actual number of violins actually sounding, i.e. violins I becomes 32 violins instead of 16. now I suppose one can pull the volume (cc7) back -3dB for each section to simulate half the group, But there's still the full group of musicians playing ... twice. I don't believer there's a way round this, is there?

BTW I'm using 2012c so hopefully the HP thing won't affect me?

Hopefully in some future product!
Regards,
John.

Hello John,

Ah, that's a good point. As far as I know there is nothing in Finale that can fit in other than, as you say, make up our own ensembles.

I'm not sure either if there's anything in the Aria Player within Finale that can actually divisi the section strings. I hope Randy sees this and knows of anything that can be done in the Aria Player.
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby rbowser » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:09 am

Michael.B wrote:I hope Randy sees this and knows of anything that can be done in the Aria Player.

No, there really isn't anything in ARIA that would help with this.

Suddenly having your strings doubled in size because of divisi is something I've seen people be concerned about, but I really think the difference in the sound is negligible, John - You've thought it through really, bringing volume down for instance. I suppose you could do some real notation acrobatics to get what you want, but this could be another case where we do need to keep in mind that the virtual orchestra isn't a perfectly literal model of a live orchestra.

Randy
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby Michael.B » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:12 am

rbowser wrote:
Michael.B wrote:I hope Randy sees this and knows of anything that can be done in the Aria Player.

No, there really isn't anything in ARIA that would help with this.

Suddenly having your strings doubled in size because of divisi is something I've seen people be concerned about, but I really think the difference in the sound is negligible, John - You've thought it through really, bringing volume down for instance. I suppose you could do some real notation acrobatics to get what you want, but this could be another case where we do need to keep in mind that the virtual orchestra isn't a perfectly literal model of a live orchestra.

Randy

Hello Randy,

Thanks for replying on this.

Michael
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby Michael.B » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:23 am

Hello again John,

So Randy has also confirmed that there is nothing in Aria to help with this.

I was just wondering; I've used divisi many many times and the resulting sound hasn't been too much of a consideration for me. I tend to agree with Randy that the actual difference in sound is probably not that great.

Are you finding a huge surge in volume when you try divisi in Finale?
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby Derrek » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:04 pm

The biggest effect I notice in Finale is when two layers play a unison (especially if they are on different channels). The sound really does increase.

I agree that dividing a strong section does not halve the sound, although it does diminish it some, and I agree that the timbre is still that of two full string sections. One can, of course, use a hidden dynamic mark in Finale to change the volume, so at least that fix is not a complicated in Finale as Randy imagined.
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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby rbowser » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:44 pm

Derrek wrote:...so at least that fix is not a complicated in Finale as Randy imagined.

Hi, Derrek - You misunderstood me, my reply was so brief. I was agreeing that it's simple to just bring the volume down. I was suggesting that trying to set up a "true divisi sound" with the user putting together a smaller section with solo instruments, using hidden staves etc wouldn't be worth the effort. Over the years I've seen people do all sorts of unnecessarily complicated things to make their virtual orchestras behave more like live ones, but to no noticeable effect.

Randy
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Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

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Re: A question of 'divisi'.

Postby SysExJohn » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:55 pm

rbowser wrote:No, there really isn't anything in ARIA that would help with this.

Suddenly having your strings doubled in size because of divisi is something I've seen people be concerned about, but I really think the difference in the sound is negligible, John - You've thought it through really, bringing volume down for instance. I suppose you could do some real notation acrobatics to get what you want, but this could be another case where we do need to keep in mind that the virtual orchestra isn't a perfectly literal model of a live orchestra.

Randy


Thanks for your input Randy,
I kinda knew you'd be 'listening in' and would jump in where needed. ;)
So glad you did.

It's much as I thought and, since I do the final mixing in DAW s/w like you, it's no real trouble to drop in the appropriate reduction in cc#7 in the primary strings channel (whether 1st, 2nd or violas, cellos, etc.) and then resume the original volume setting when not divisi. I also have the pan setting for the second divided 'set' slightly offset. I don't try to do any notation gymnastics, to be honest I'm not quite sure what to do there.

It works well enough, but I'm sure a nice 16 seat, and twice 8 seat, even a 6,6,4 would be so nice to have. We can but wish, I suppose. :cry:

You're so right about this not being 'the real thing', but you probably recall that I use the libraries primarily to make rehearsal and performance tracks for my wife, so I'm trying (still learning) to make them as good as I possibly can.

so far every one has been a marginal improvement on the previous one.
I'm now trying to master Finale, in preference to my previous notation program.
Quite a steep learning (and unlearning) curve.

Thanks for your input.
Kind regards,
John.
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