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Kontakt Key Switches

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Hi,

A lot of Kontakt instruments use key switches which takes up keys on the keyboard.

Is it possible to use a 2nd keyboard like the Korg Nanokey or similar 25 key controller for the key switches in Sonar/CbB to work along side my 61 key synth?

Thanks

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IF you simply want access to those notes on your keyboard, and aren't really needing to change the sounds with those key switches, I suggest using an option that is FREE :) - instead of dealing with setting up an additional device to deal with them  I figured this out when wanting to play on some of the notes that were assigned as key switches.

What I do, in the above situation, is to edit the note numbers in the Kontakt instrument, for the key switches, so that their note numbers are lower than the lowest notes on the keyboard.  SO, if Sustain is assigned to C2, and I wanted to be able to play notes on C1, then I might edit that key switch to be C0 or even C-1.  Same goes for other key switches.  I have done this for some Kontakt Factory Instruments, such as VSL Strings - after I edited the key switch note values, (to C-1, C#-1, D-1, etc), I SAVED the edited instrument, in the same library, but with the name Bob's VSL Strings.  This way, any such edited instrument will all be grouped alphabetically in the "Bob's" section.

While I am in an instrument, I also typically go into that instrument's Instrument Options (click on the wrench, then on Instrument Options), and under the Controller options, I remove the check for the box labeled "Accept Standard Controllers for Volume and Pan".   This severs the connection between the instrument's master volume, and external controllers/knobs/faders.  SO, most instruments have the volume pretty cranked, and I almost always drop that master volume to something like -12 db, and I will save those changes, again with the Bob's prefix. 

Then, anytime I load up one of these saved instruments, its master volume is already dropped to a reasonable level, and I can fine tune it in Cakewalk without having to drop the channel gain too much before I even begin to record that instrument.

Hope that makes sense, and hope it helps.

Bob Bone

 

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Good to know Bob. Thanks. I actually want to access the keys as well as play the whole range. Hard to do with a 61 key synth, so I got an 88 key controller.... Guess it's too late for "free". :(

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Well - congrats on finding a reasonable justification for new gear!  WAHOO!  I do understand needing the full keyboard of a 61-note controller.  When I play live, I always have one of my keyboards as an 88-note controller.

I don't recall where I saw it, but I think I remember seeing something about assigning key switches to be triggered by the drum pads on many controllers (I have zero other real use for those, but they ARE fully assignable, so maybe I can do that - it will be a fun exercise to try it out.  If I either find doc on the internet explaining it, or manage to figure it out, I will post back to this thread on my findings, and will also shoot you a private message, as even though your shiny new 88-note controller addresses the initial situation you opened with this thread, it may help you for being able to also do articulation changes on 61-note controllers....

Bob Bone

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On 3/17/2019 at 2:44 PM, Robert Bone said:

IF you simply want access to those notes on your keyboard, and aren't really needing to change the sounds with those key switches, I suggest using an option that is FREE :) - instead of dealing with setting up an additional device to deal with them  I figured this out when wanting to play on some of the notes that were assigned as key switches.

What I do, in the above situation, is to edit the note numbers in the Kontakt instrument, for the key switches, so that their note numbers are lower than the lowest notes on the keyboard.  SO, if Sustain is assigned to C2, and I wanted to be able to play notes on C1, then I might edit that key switch to be C0 or even C-1.  Same goes for other key switches.  I have done this for some Kontakt Factory Instruments, such as VSL Strings - after I edited the key switch note values, (to C-1, C#-1, D-1, etc), I SAVED the edited instrument, in the same library, but with the name Bob's VSL Strings.  This way, any such edited instrument will all be grouped alphabetically in the "Bob's" section.

Bob Bone

 

This is very interesting Bob, and I'm going to try it on my VSL instruments. I work in staff view, and I hate having those keyswitch notes all over the place. sometimes they even play, introducing an unwanted sound which I have to track down and set velocity to 0 and duration to 1. I have previously tried Craig's method of using another track for those notes, which is fine when you only have a hand-full of instruments, but when you have 30 or 40, you don't need any extra tracks.

If I have success with my VSL libraries, I'll post it on their forum, and give you credit. I'm sure it will work with the Vienna Player or Vepro, but I'm not sure if it will with the Synchron player.

 

 

Edited by mdiemer

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Kewl - experiment with them, and find something that works for you.

I would like to offer an additional recommendation to the notion of keeping articulations in separate tracks than the original midi data for a given track.  Like Craig, I learned that it is MUCH easier to have any articulation changes on a 2nd track.  Finding the tiny little blip of a key switch change when it is merged into the same track as a full piano track, for example, is a royal pain.  It's just easier to deal with on a separate track.

If you find yourself drowning in the number of tracks you have - I separate audio tracks from midi tracks, with track folders, with a further classification into track folders for keys/strings/vocals/guitars/drums, whatever.  So I may have the following track folders: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Strings, Midi tracks, and Drums.  When I am working on the midi tracks, I would typically collapse the other track folders, leaving only the midi tracks folder open.  I DO have the drums midi track in with the Drums track folder, because it is imported as a giant set of audio tracks (I have a Track Template set up for each and every midi drum kit I use), one for each kit piece, with relative kit piece volumes already all set at a good starting point for the song.

Anyways, whatever works for YOU, is how you will work best.  Best wishes for success with all of it. :)

Bob Bone

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3 minutes ago, Robert Bone said:

Kewl - experiment with them, and find something that works for you.

I would like to offer an additional recommendation to the notion of keeping articulations in separate tracks than the original midi data for a given track.  Like Craig, I learned that it is MUCH easier to have any articulation changes on a 2nd track.  Finding the tiny little blip of a key switch change when it is merged into the same track as a full piano track, for example, is a royal pain.  It's just easier to deal with on a separate track.

If you find yourself drowning in the number of tracks you have - I separate audio tracks from midi tracks, with track folders, with a further classification into track folders for keys/strings/vocals/guitars/drums, whatever.  So I may have the following track folders: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Strings, Midi tracks, and Drums.  When I am working on the midi tracks, I would typically collapse the other track folders, leaving only the midi tracks folder open.  I DO have the drums midi track in with the Drums track folder, because it is imported as a giant set of audio tracks (I have a Track Template set up for each and every midi drum kit I use), one for each kit piece, with relative kit piece volumes already all set at a good starting point for the song.

Anyways, whatever works for YOU, is how you will work best.  Best wishes for success with all of it. :)

Bob Bone

Another alternative to a separate track, is an additional take lane. This has the advantage of keeping it within the same track (so no need to use a folder), whilst keeping it separate for editing.

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Hadn't thought of that.  I will play around with that, on my next project.  I will be tracking at some point in the next couple of cups of coffee, and if I get through it quickly enough, I will also try assigning key switch notes to unused drum pads on my Roland midi controller, just to see if that works, too.

Thanks, 

Bob Bone

Edited by Robert Bone
Added a little more text

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I am using that method with the Synchron Appassionata Strings from Vienna Insts. It works great, especially if you use staff view. It keeps things much neater, all your keyswitches and CC events are on a separate staff, and you can view all your strings without calling up the keyswitch staves, so all those weird out of range notes are not visible. No reason it would not work with Kontakt. Keep all routing the same. You also may need to solo both the inst. as well as the keyswitch track for the switches to be effective.

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