Music Composers Unite!
I'm in the middle of the composing process with one of my bands. It's a metalband with massive orchestration. I'm composing all the music with Eastwest Quantum Leaps Hollywood Strings and Hollywood Brass. The biggest patches in the stringsection allows me to crossfade between 13 layers of vibrato during one singel tone.
I have asked other EWQL-users about this but they haven't any experience as a string-musician.
To "write" the crossfade I use an envelope (instead of the Modwheel on the keyboard) in the sequenser (Cubase 6). Is there anybody out there who plays any stringinstrument in a real orchestra who can explain to me what is the most common way to increase the vibrato in longer/slower epic parts.
Now I just like to increase every tone from for instance 30- 110 to create a more authentic sound, but I really don't know what is correct. Is it common to held the lower non-vibrato a bit and then increase at the end? Well, hope someone can help me to produce midi orchestration as authentic as possible. It's actually sounds quite amazing as it is now, but I'm not satisfied until it's perfect.
A lot depends on the phrasing. I suppose the rule of thumb would be that for the first note of the phrase vibrato takes a while to sink in, while for the rest it happens very quickly (might even be instanteous, depends on the dynamics); the last note's vibrato will fade out, but not too early. With long notes being the basis of a phrase, short ones work okay with close to none vibrato. As for increasing at the end, well, if the phrase calls for more expression as it progresses, then sure... but really, it feels hard to give any detailed advice without sufficient knowledge about what kind of passage you're working on ;/
Ok, thank you.
The music (metal) is very bombastic and huge (check out www.gromth.com ) but I like to think of the symphony as kind of a very advanced synth in the background on the calmer parts and more expressive (and with more brass) in the more extreme parts. Actually I write an envelope-track with expression above the envelopetrack with vibrato. Often I just duplicate the expression line to the vibrato track. It sounds very good actually, but I really want to find out if this is the common way to do it. But especially in the longer notes (often used in the 2nd violin) I like to increase both expression and vibrato together.
But what you are writing helps me a lot, it was a kind of rule of thumb I was looking for. Thanks again!
Mind you, I'm talking from the violinist-gone-engineer perspective. There may be some tricks that actually work better despite being not as authentic as what I can come up with by analysing my playing.
i typically try to avoid MIDI strings all together. They just don't seem to give me that "vibrato" like the real thing. I usually get a quartet. Trust me! It's worth it!
Vibrato in a section of strings does not have the sonic characteristics of solo instruments playing vibrato. In fact, here's a shock, no two insturments in a string sction play a given note with exactly the same pitch. For example, the A two octaves above tuning A (440) is about 1760 cycles per second. What happens in a live string section, depending on what happens before and after that note, is that likely no two violinists in the first section play exactly 1760. The pitch varies roughly from 1759.5 to 1761. We don't preceive this as a discord but as "body," the note just sounds warmer and bigger.. When you add vibrato to that inherent variation in pitch the net result is that the note sounds pretty much as it did without a vibrato. This is one of the major defects and differences in an electronic high A and one played by a live string section. Electorinclly the note is 1760 CPS and that is exactly what you get, which means there is likely less "body' to the sound. In a live string section you get a buzz around and incuding 1760 so it sounds richer.
if you want to indicate something about vibraton exection you have to write it as an instruction. An example is Bartok 4th quartet where he begins "Senza Vibrato" and then directs the players to "gradually warm the tone." i.e. increasing the vibrato.
But adding these instructions to sectional playing really adds nothing.
^^^^Man, /can I quite you on this! WELL PUT!!