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Nigel Mackay

Reducing total dynamic range

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Ok, this would apply to any system, DAW or hardware, but where else do I ask.

If if have a MIDI arrangement that has too much dynamic range, what is the best way to handle it without destroying it? It is classical music. Want to hear that little solo run as well as the piercing blasts on the combined trumpets and trombones.

I have tried putting a Sonitus Compressor on each track - Threshold minimum (-60dB), Ratio 1.5:1, Knee 10dB, Attack 0ms, Release 200ms. Am I basically correct?

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If it is a MIDI arrangement the first thing you could do is to adjust the midi velocities a bit. You would loose some differences in the dynamics but that is what you are asking for.

Compressors are another way to even things out but you really have to practice so you know what they sound like. A compressor will reduce the dynamic range but all the parameters and settings will depend on the track material and what you want to accomplish with it.

Another option is volume automation. You can affect the volume of the audio on each track to reduce dynamics with out affecting the timbre of the articulations.  

Finally, you should be aware that classical music is my its nature very dynamic. By reducing the dynamics too much you may remove a part of the music that makes it classical.

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Thanks.

Fiddling with the velocities is not really an option. 19 instruments. Lowest velocity is 15, highest is 127. If I do nothing the dynamic range is 57dB. On reflection, maybe it is just me that struggles with that much!

I will let someone with younger ears listen to it. 😀

 

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So why is fiddling with velocity not an option? Is it that you have too many instruments to adjust?  If you took all your velocities lower than 127 and moved them up to 127 then you would not have hardly any dynamic range, which is what I though was the direction you wanted help with. Of course this would not sound very good so it is only an illustration.

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Can you not make use of one of the MIDI FX {MFX) to compress the MIDI velocity data (non-destructively too)?

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1 hour ago, Kevin Perry said:

Can you not make use of one of the MIDI FX {MFX) to compress the MIDI velocity data (non-destructively too)?

That's what I would try. The FX Velocity tool can limit the velocity range either destructively or non-destructively.

 

1332112369_MIDIFXVelocity1.JPG.611ab9e8e1e2c033a468c47b137a9477.JPG

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17 minutes ago, Kevin Perry said:

Thanks - I couldn't remember which MFX it was!

It's a great tool. I use it in every project.

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Another option is this user created MFX

That said, volume and clip gain automation on the audio side may be the most transparent.

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59 minutes ago, Chappel said:

It's a great tool. I use it in every project.

I do too...that doesn't mean I can remember the name of it 🙂

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The CSCompander is just that, a compander. It has a bottom knee and an upper knee. Values between these two points are not affected. The result is non-linear. Great for processing a drummer that is a bit errant.

Cakewalk FX Velocity: Scale. Set to 50%, every velocity is changed to 50% of it's value. (All of them downwards.) Loud notes are softer, but so are soft notes. Useful if one track is much louder/softer than the others, but won't help when used on every single track

So, I have written a CAL script which scales the velocity. Velocities below 63 are moved proportionally closer to 63, those above 63 are moved proportionally downwards towards 63. Every single velocity is processed.

Unfortunately is not "live", so MIDI data must be stored safely first.

But you all gave me a great idea‼️👍 I have posted to @Variorum asking for just such  a tool. 😀

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Maybe this

with a custom Lua script is will do

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