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Mod wheel volume cntrl

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Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby Unison » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:05 am

Hi.
When I play without any volume change - everything's OK. But when I start using my modwheel, the overall volume gets very soft, unless I continuously hold the wheel in center position. Obviously I'm doing something wrong. Can anybody give some advice for a novice? How do I create a given minimum volume level for when the Modwheel is released?

Thank you!
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Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby rbowser » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:08 am

Unison wrote:Hi.
When I play without any volume change - everything's OK. But when I start using my modwheel, the overall volume gets very soft, unless I continuously hold the wheel in center position. Obviously I'm doing something wrong. Can anybody give some advice for a novice? How do I create a given minimum volume level for when the Modwheel is released?

Thank you!


Hi, Unison - Well, virtual instruments without dynamic volume control are like days without sunshine! - So, we gotta figure this out, and I'm sure we will.

It sounds like you must have a spring action mod wheel/stick that snaps back to its starting point because of the spring. My keyboard has that too, but I still think it's unfortunate manufacturers ever started making mod wheels that way - It makes them much more limiting.

A real mod wheel is totally - freewheeling! You move it around, it'll be there in the same place later if you let go. If you want it full bore, you just leave it at the top.

That kind of mod wheel, the original kind, is the design GPO was designed for, not these mod sticks that snap back in place. Since the mod wheel/stick/thingie is sending out CC1, it's controlling the volume, but the unfortunate result is that it will zoom your instruments down to an almost inaudible level when you let go.

That's what you've described. Sorry you have that kind of wheel - BUT, notice I said I have that on my keyboard too. What did I do--?--

When I ordered this keyboard (from Sweetwater, by the way - great company) I knew I wouldn't be able to use its spring action Mod Stick, so I also ordered an Expression pedal to go with it. That had me up and going with Garritan immediately - Because ARIA inteprets CC1 (Mod Wheel/Stick) and Expression pedal (CC11) in exactly the same way.

Hopefully your keyboard has an input for an Expression pedal so you can work the same way. If it doesn't hopefully there's a control on your keyboard that you can assign to either CC1 or CC11 which you can use instead of the stick, like a slider or a knob.

If you don't have an Expression input, then you'll need to draw your volume data into a controller pane of your program's Piano Roll View.

In any case, that's what's currently happening - Your Mod controller is zooming the volume back down to zero all the time. Hope one of these alternatives will work with what's available on your board!

Randy
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Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
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rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
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Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby Unison » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:57 am

Aha! That clears things up [in my mind, at least...]. Thank you very much!
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Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby rbowser » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:11 am

Unison wrote:Aha! That clears things up [in my mind, at least...]. Thank you very much!

Good, Unison - The only explanation for the problem was a spring loaded wheel. I read a post from someone once who took his keyboard apart so he could remove the spring and make his Mod Stick into an "old fashioned" Mod Wheel again, and he was happy with the results. That's pretty drastic, but in theory, that would be a fix if your keyboard doesn't have an Expression socket or assignable controls.

Even if you'll have a way of recording volume performance in real time, touching up the results in the Piano Roll is usually needed. Here's a screenshot for the sort of data that needs to be emulated, no matter how the data gets entered, and especially if you need to draw the CC1/11 in totally by hand. It's a view of just velocities and real-time volume data:

Image

Hope you out a good working method for this.

Randy
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Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby Unison » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:41 am

Thank you very much for all this extensive explanation. I am a pretty much beginner in this field, [even though being a musician for many years] and as you point out, feel much more comfortable filling in the extra-note data afterwards.I find trying to get everything at once in real time confusing, like learning a new instrument... Unfortunately, I cannot see your screenshot, but I get the general idea.
I don't really have a serious keyboard, just a microkorg, which can become a limited midi-controller. If one could program the CC inputs in Garritan itself [like in Miroslav], that would be nice.
Once again thank you for all the info.
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Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby rbowser » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:49 am

Glad to help - And I'm here with more:

Unison wrote:...I am a pretty much beginner in this field, [even though being a musician for many years] and as you point out, feel much more comfortable filling in the extra-note data afterwards.I find trying to get everything at once in real time confusing...


Don't even try to do it all in real time! Hardly anybody does that, because when you're a MIDI composer/musician using a computer and software, there's no need to try and be a one-man-band with 8 arms like an octopus. MIDI music work is all about layers and layers of data. A quick sketch of how I work, which is typical of what others do:

--Record the notes for a brief passage in a piece. That may be no longer than a measure or two.

--Go back over the same passage and record the volume performance.

--Go back over the same passage and record vibrato.

--Go back as many times as I want, recording whatever other MIDI data I want - Pitch Bend, AfterTouch, etc.

As long as you have your recording program set to not erase previous data (and the default for most programs is to keep adding layers) - then that's the only way to go.

You open up the Piano Roll View (or whatever your program calls the MIDI editor) and fine tune things, most often needing to improve the velocity value of notes, re-draw volume data that may have come out choppy, move notes that are too far off - etc.

Repeat - Live musicians are of course all about real time, MIDI composers aren't.

Unison wrote:...Unfortunately, I cannot see your screenshot...


??? That's awfully strange! The photo is linking to a storage site I use constantly for posting pictures online. There's nothing unusual about how it's posted - Just the link to the picture, and I can see it here on your thread as I type. Something has to be really off/strange about settings you have, blocking linked pictures somehow?? I've never heard of someone not seeing what I post - !

Unison wrote:...I don't really have a serious keyboard, just a microkorg, which can become a limited midi-controller...


There's nothing wrong with that keyboard. It's a synth, instead of a controller keyboard, so its emphasis is on the built-in sounds, and the vocoder. I've looked at info, and I see there are limitations of course - a MAJOR one is that there are no inputs for pedals of any sort. You can't even use a sustain pedal with it - That's too bad.

BUT--VERY IMPORTANT - My impression now is that your keyboard does NOT have a spring loaded Mod Wheel. In the photo it looks like the good old standard freewheeling kind, and posts online seem to be confirming that. Well, it's easy to know if it's spring loaded or not. When you move it up, does or does it not snap back to the starting point when you let go? The Pitch Bend is spring loaded, those always are because they have to be built that way to serve any purpose.

---I thought for sure your problem was this spring loaded problem. So - Since now I think your wheel is normal, run a simple test. If you're recording, and push the wheel up, then let go - doesn't the volume stay at that high level you pushed it to?

---Maybe you're losing sound from the instruments once you've stopped playback of your project, and when you push Play again, then you have the problem? If you're using a version of Cakewalk/Sonar, there's a simple fix for that. In your Preferences, there's a default MIDI setting to "zero controllers" when playback is stopped. You MUST un-check that option, because it does exactly what its name infers - It brings MIDI data back down to zero when you stop. For Garritan instruments depending on CC1 (or 11) that means the volume of the instruments will snap back down to zero, and you won't hear anything until you record more CC data. -

If you don't use Sonar, then your program probably has a setting similar to that. This could be the actual culprit for your sound cutting off problem. Check it out.

It really wouldn't help you with this particular volume problem, but you mentioned re-assigning controls. I found a thread at KORG Forums which explain how you can re-program your wheel:

EDIT: The linking URL function isn't working for some reason - I really wish this Forum used a different method, this one is clumsy - and today, I can't get it to work. I'll have to leave the naked URLS

"Change assignment of Mod-wheel"

http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/ ... b9c9aaeb43


Post #4 on this page at the Renoise forum specifically says the Mod Wheel on the microKORG isn't spring loaded. What's funny is this guy wishes it would be!

KORG Wheels info

http://forum.renoise.com/index.php?/top ... itch-wheel

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby Unison » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:35 pm

Gee - I see you're not going to give up on me.
1. OK - I get the idea. I work the same way, more or less, with vocals using Melodyne [since none of my singers are really super, including me...]. For orchestration I use Notion3, but am very disappointed. I grew up in a chamber-music string-quartet household, but am not a string player myself, so all these programs sound terribly false and synthetic to my ears. Even when I write specific instructions and dynamics, it sounds terrible. I'm not in this for money, so I'm not planning on buying these hefty string libraries for a small fortune... I hoped with Garritan and some editing I could get a more decent sound that would be acceptable [Not enough money to hire real players...]. Guess there's still a lot to learn and get acquainted with.
2. I have some sort of message filtering on my internet line, which is probably the picture-problem. I could call my provider but that's a hassle. If you're still keen on this you can send me a link. [ by the way, the URL you posted appears as a direct link on my side...]
3.My mistake - I have a korg microstation. You were right the first time. sorry about that. very springy wheel... I also feel that I don't have enough fine control over it - the volume jumps too much. I've read about using CC11 together with cc1 to get more fine control, but I assume this is not possible with Garritan. I Don't think I'm up to getting an expression pedal right now. pretty expensive in my area. I guess I'll have to write it all in by hand, to get those small cresc. and dim. AS you say - you have to go in there and fine-tune everything anyway.

once again - thank you very much for all this caring. This is pretty extensive writing for such a seemingly small issue!
All the best!
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Unison
 
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Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby rbowser » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:47 pm

When I have time, this is one way I like to take breaks from work during my day. The Forum has been extremely dead, so I'm happy there's someone starting out who needs some tips.

Unison wrote:...I hoped with Garritan and some editing I could get a more decent sound that would be acceptable [Not enough money to hire real players...]. Guess there's still a lot to learn and get acquainted with...


That's it exactly. I'm sure you've heard some of the terrific examples of Garritan orchestral work online. When the tools are mastered, some very satisfactory recordings can be the result.

You mention using Melodyne - Are you using that in Sonar, or what program? You still haven't said. I understand you're using Notion for notation. - I'm sure it won't be a surprise hearing that it is extremely harder to get good sounding results from notation programs. People who create the best audio demos of their scores usually use DAW software for that. Some people do all the work in just the DAW program, after they've adapted to how to work in a Piano Roll View and the more limited Staff View in recording programs.

I'll upload the picture to this post so you can see what I tried to show you earlier. That's pretty heavy filtering, to not see a photo in a post -!! -I'd look into changing that - Far too restrictive.

Unison wrote:...My mistake - I have a korg microstation. You were right the first time. sorry about that. very springy wheel...


Ah, OK - Now I've looked at info on that. Very different keyboard than I was looking at earlier. This is a much better unit - Has more keys, 61 - that works fine, it Does have a jack for the sustain pedal, - but yes, it has an X-Y joystick which is a combination Pitch Bend and Mod Wheel. It seems so odd to me that people actually prefer that now. Well, it's probably fine for pop music, but really doesn't work for what we're doing.

Now - you have a misunderstanding in the next part that I need to have you get straight:

Unison wrote:...I've read about using CC11 together with cc1 to get more fine control, but I assume this is not possible with Garritan...


My posts have probably had too much info in them. Several times now, however, I've explained that CC1 and CC11 are totally interchangeable with Garritan instruments. You NEVER use them together for volume control - that wouldn't give you "fine control," that would give you a complete mess. You can use either one or the other. That's why I explained that if your keyboard had an Expression Pedal input, then that would be what you want, and you'd have the control the Garritan programmers intended.

SO - hope you got it this time - It's not only "possible with Garritan" - that's the way it is! You can use either CC1 or CC11.

Unison wrote:...I Don't think I'm up to getting an expression pedal right now. pretty expensive in my area...


Well, to use it, you have to have a keyboard that has an Expression pedal input - Yours doesn't. You would need a keyboard with both a sustain pedal jack and an Expression jack. The pedal I have cost around $40 I think, by the way. There are more expensive ones, but I guarantee they're no better.

Unison wrote:...I guess I'll have to write it all in by hand, to get those small cresc. and dim...


Just get to know your MIDI editing tools really well, keyboard shortcuts, whatever you have available, so you can get proficient and working smoothly and efficiently with the process.

Attaching picture now - hope it's not too big. It's just a basic shot showing the kind of detail you can have in a CC1/CC11 controller lane that brings instruments to life.

Later!

Randy
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Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby Unison » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:59 am

Hi.
Here I'm thinking you are helping me, while it turns out I'm really helping you take a work-break... :) Many thanks anyway...
1. I've used up untill now [please don't laugh] Cubase Essential 5, which suited my needs. HAve just switched [or rather, trying to switch. I hate learning curves...] to Studio One Pro - still trying to get to grips with it [specially concerning midi. It took me a few years to fully comprehend what cubase could do with midi].
2. My misunderstanding is from reading Gilreaths Midi Orchestration book - page 238 [4th edition]. As usual you're right - he deals there with cc11 and 7. not cc1.
3. The microstations pedal input can take in an expression pedal - just have to change the settings from sustain to expression. can't use both of them at once, that's all.
4. Thank you for the picture - I get the picture... :) like I metioned before, I feel I'm not able to get a smooth and gentle cresc. or dim. using the lane, even when drawing it by hand. Guess I have to learn this inside out and get to know how to do that.
Once again - a big thank you. Good to know someone's willing to take his time and explain fundamentals to a beginner.
All the best!
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Unison
 
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Re: Mod wheel volume cntrl

Postby rbowser » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:54 am

Unison wrote:...HAve just switched [or rather, trying to switch. I hate learning curves...] to Studio One Pro...


I'm in the middle of my own learning curve pain. I'm learning Sonar X3 after holding out for several years, using Sonar 8.5 which I know so well. When Cakewalk went to the X series, they changed a huge number of things - locations of tools, ways of working - No joy in re-learning a program. So, I feel your pain!

Studio One will be just fine. It's very much like Sonar, so naturally, I think that's a good thing. 8-)

Unison wrote:...My misunderstanding is from reading Gilreaths Midi Orchestration book - page 238 [4th edition]. As usual you're right - he deals there with cc11 and 7. not cc1...


And that brings up today's main lesson:

--CC11 is the standard MIDI controller for "expressive" volume control of instruments. That's why it was very helpful when the Garritan team changed their programming a few years ago so that we can use CC11 instead of CC1. As I said earlier, ARIA interprets the two controllers in exactly the same way. You pump some CC1 into ARIA, it will respond with instrument volume changes. Pump CC11 into it, the exact same result.

Using CC1 for volume is non-standard, and incompatible with other software instrument libraries. In the MIDI spec, CC1 was designated to be for Vibrato control, and that's the way it still works in instruments designed strictly to the MIDI spec. So it was unusual for the original Garritan developers to use CC1 for volume control.

Expressive volume control can effect not only volume, but, to some degree, the timbre of an instrument. This is true in Garritan. Lower values produce a slightly darker tone, higher values produce a slightly brighter tone. As a musician, that will make sense to you, because that programming emulates how the timbre of physical instruments can change in proportion to how loudly they're played.

--CC7 is the other volume control which is standard to the MIDI spec. It's used to control the relative volume of instruments via mixer sliders like those in ARIA and the MIDI channel strips in programs like Studio One. Usually the CC7 values are "set and forget." You set up the relative balance between instruments and leave them that way for the duration of a piece. It's incorrect to use CC7 for the fluctuating volume control CC11 is used for.

An important note is that the MIDI sliders in a program will control the volume sliders in ARIA. So you'll probably find that the best way to set your relative mix volumes in Studio One is with its sliders - Move those, and you should see the sliders in ARIA move.

Unison wrote:...The microstations pedal input can take in an expression pedal - just have to change the settings from sustain to expression. can't use both of them at once...


Interesting - but inconvenient. Not very practical to keep replugging pedals and re-setting the keyboard. hmmmm.

Unison wrote:...I'm not able to get a smooth and gentle cresc. or dim. using the lane, even when drawing it by hand...


I can't tell for sure what the behavior is in Studio One's Piano Roll View when you draw in controller data. It looks like it could be a different than in Sonar, but I saw posts online from users talking about drawing in hills and valleys of data, which is standard. I think you just haven't yet found what the intended method is for getting smooth continuous streams of data. In Sonar X3, you just move to the appropriate controller lane and start drawing however you want.

I recommend video tutorials. They all use video screenshots these days, so you get a clear picture of what's being done in the program. Just now I looked for a Studio One tute that may show working with volume data in the PRV, found a tute at YouTube which focused on the PRV, but it only dealt with inserting and editing notes. I'm sure there are more complete vids floating around that you could look for.

Try to have fun as you learn your program!

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

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