VSL Podcast Show 039
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wedge Opening

wedge Opening Music and Intro

VSL podcast Firday August 24th, 2007. A community show for users for the Vienna Symphonic Library.
* Welcome all to the VSL podcast

wedge News

* I move from North Germany to Netherlands where my studio is now at work to churn out this podcast and a third album.

* Special offer from VSL on the Pro Edition and Horizon series libraries
wedge "Preserving the stream of thought", Part II

wedge These next comments by Nathan Pinard
* Basically it's quite simple. Everything that is non-percussive based (strings, woodwinds, brass, some synths) I control with my Akai EWI 4000s (Electronic Wind Instrument). This is basically a device that has existed since the 80's, made popular by Michael Brecker.
It has touch sensitive keys, pitch bend plates, and a breath sensor. The breath sensor is what makes the control so expressive, it's nearly impossible to get the same results with a MIDI keyboard controller. I save a lot more time not editing as much volume curves in the strings. And woodwinds are pretty much a no-need-to-edit case with the EWI.
You can set it to flute, clarinet, or sax fingering (even brass fingerings, but it's not quite the same obviously) and simply play it. It has onboard synths for live performance, but it also sends MIDI data. You can set the pitch bend plates that you touch to sample switch on the lower back thumbrest. It can help for portamento.
It works wonders with VSL, because all you have to do is right-click on the velocity cross-fade and expression controllers in the performance window, then blow into the EWI. The controllers are set, and your ready to play.
It still takes a bit of editing when you play strings. Some passages you have to edit the volume curves based on how you played it with the EWI. However, it's forever changing velocity that makes it sound realistic.
When it comes to percussive elements such as staccato string "chucks", drums, mallets, etc. I simply use my CME UF8 MIDI Keyboard Controller. You can play staccato with the EWI, but it can be hard to tongue continuously based on how the mouthpiece works.
With this tool I always sequence the strings first depending on the piece and what instrument carries the tune, from bottom to top. I usually have an idea in my head, but I don't write it down on paper (except maybe the chord progression if it's elaborate) after laying down a bass line, I simply "improvise" my way up. I find it's the best way for me to write, since my original training was very jazz oriented.
As an example, the strings, brass, and woodwinds in "Waltz with Death" were all sequenced using an EWI instead of a keyboard mod wheel. I also plan to get a MIDI drum pad for more velocity based percussion.

* How do you compose, with a keyboard .. or with notation. And how do you manage dyanmics. Send in your ideas for workflow and how you compose using sample libraries.
* And Finally some thoughts on music and how sometimes technical things can really overpower your natural music instinct. Some thooughts on how to reclaim your muse.

wedge Break music from Beat Kaufmann

* Play Piece "BK Appassionatas Articulations" by Beat Kaufmann
wedge Composer Showcase - 83 Tanuj Tiku

* Regarding the mixing - I used Altiverb and the Mechanics Hall Impulse Response. I set one Altiverb for each section of the orchestra.

And then I adjusted the colour knob and Wet/Dry according to sections to blend them in together. I also increased the treble by 3dB roughly. And the rest is just - getting the levels right and trying to get the orchestration good. I am really bad at it and in my relatively low experience i think - good Orchestration itself solves many problems.

And I used all the tail ends in the mix - Actually this has made the mixes a bit muddy I think. I am working on something right now - where there is only one Master Tail and the section are just going through room
reflections etc.

As far as the samples go - I used a LOT of velocity X-fades and that makes a HUGE difference. makes the legato jumps smoother - also adjusting the release time fader also helps. I guess these are just standard techniques everyone is using - nothing new as such. I also use the CC 11 Expression Control. I dont use it via my actual controller - but I program this in Cubase by drawing curves - This combined with velocity X-Fades makes it sound more realistic. Rest is the magic of VI!


* Play piece "Title" By Tanuj Tiku
* Play piece "Summerhouse" By Tanuj Tiku

wedge Composer Showcase - 84 Elan Hickler

* First of all I started out the project by setting all the faders on
the mixer to -3.0db. Kontakt already has a default -6.0db. How did I
mix it? Basically I went by ear. I used one reverb and did not reduce
stereo image on anything. I panned instruments that played at the same
time like the glockenspiel and celeste. I didn't pan instruments like
the violin and harp because I wanted them to be in the center to take
up the most stereo width. For reverb I adjusted the send level on all
the instruments and auditioned the instrument solo till my ears
agreed. So as I went on I adjusted volumes and panning when I felt it was
necessary to get the right balance.

About the midi: I always used humanized timing on any plucked or
hammered instruments like harp, celeste, and glockenspiel. I didn't
randomize the bell because it always had slow passages. Sometimes I
randomized staccato too. I also used different amounts of humanization
for different sections of the song. Rule of thumb about strums: The LAST note of a quick strum is the note
that should be put on the beat (or off beat if that's what you're
going for).

I used a combination of crossfading and volume automation. I used
volume automation whenever I needed the instrument to fade out from a
forte sample. Now one thing I noticed is that it is impossible to
crossfade with solo instruments because of the phasing/chorus effect
you get when two samples are playing at the same time. I used volume
atuomation for solo instruments.

Lastly: I love the harp. Please take care of it in your mixes by
giving it more than a simple arpeggio melody.

* Play Piece "Vesper Project" By Elan Hickler / Ultima Online
* Play Piece "Tavern Tales" By Elan Hickler / Ultima Online

wedge Support the Podcast

* Elven Moods II is available from various vendors in many different formats. Buying this album of Hetoreyns VSL work helps to support the podcast. So have a listen to the demos on Hetoreyns site (elvenmusic.com) and if you like it please feel free to purchase and let Hetoreyn know what you thought.
wedge Feedback

* Request listener comments on
Please send any comments on the show to my e-mail address. If anyone has any questions that they'd like to ask of course we have the VSL forum, but if there is a big topic that people would like me to put out on the show, send it to my e-mail and I will get it up on the show, for later comments and suggestions.
* Request for listener compositions to showcase

If you like the idea of getting your stuff heard for comments and appraisal please send it in to me along with some details on who you are, what your VSL forum name is and a little bit about the piece that you are submitting. I claim no copyright towards other peoples pieces, as I say this is a community show and is all about showcasing the music.
wedge Closing

* Play outro music - "Hava Nagila" by Hetoreyn

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