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Steve Harder

Improving creativity with Articulation Maps

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I didn't know what I was missing until I started using articulation maps.  Art maps have given me a more fluid and intuitive and creative way of using  my sample libraries.  

Now I want to go further.  Now I want to use a single keypress or button to select the most used articulations across libraries.  I'd like to use my external midi controller's assignable buttons to select the most often used articulations in a map.  Using Streamdeck is also a possibility.

This would require a consistent art map structure, a blueprint that is always followed.  Babylonwaves Art Conductor does incorporate a consistent structure in their maps.  But you could create your own maps to your own blueprint.

So the next step is the connection between the external buttons and Cakewalk.  It's as though we need a keyswitch or trigger that will control the articulation map interface that will then assign the articulation.

As this is just my "woke up this morning with an idea" brainstorming , I don't yet see a clear pathway to implementing this in Cakewalk. So I'm interested in input from others.

Art maps are in their first iteration in Cakewalk.  If my goal has interest among other users I'm hopeful that Cakewalk can provide the access to internal features to help make this happen.

Your thoughts please ...

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so maybe having the synth/instrument articulation track respond to the external (or virtual) controller key switch? if for example, using the BBCSO Discover with "Flutes", if i have my articulation map for the track set to "Flutes", then as i'm performing, the key switches i use are applied as articulations in the articulation track?

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The problem is that no standards exist for keyswitch mapping, even across products from the same vendor.

The best you could hope for is a method for creating a starting point that you'd then have to complete by hand. Imagine a kind of "MIDI Learn" feature where you'd simply press every assigned keyswitch and that would generate an entry in an articulation map. There'd be no way for the software to know what those keyswitches do, but you'd at least start out with a list (with the correct octave numbers - no more figuring out if it's C0 or C1). Like MIDI Learn, this could be generated from playback if you wanted to map only those keyswitches that are used in a particular song.

Another idea: a translation table similar to drum maps, where articulations from one instrument could be remapped to another. For example, you've created a project using an entry-level string library but now you've saved up your pennies for a high-end symphonic collection. A translation table or MIDI plugin could allow easy substitution of another library.

Caveat: I have only begun to start using articulation maps, so I wouldn't be surprised if these things are already possible.

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Cubase actually has this functionality - they call it "Remotes".  It basically allows you to map any MIDI key to any articulation note (regardless of what the real articulation is).

We deliberately left this out for the time being as:

1. Part of the point of having articulations is that you don't have to play them in real time; and
2. There were other complexities involved, and we didn't want the scope to creep.

There is another complexity in that you don't have an articulation lane until you've added an articulation from a map... So in addition to supporting re-mapping real-time MIDI input to articulations, we'd also need to provide a way of choosing an articulation group up-front before you start recording.

Of course all this is possible... it's just a matter of time, resource & priorities.

However, in the next update you will  be able to extract articulations from an existing MIDI data.  So if you've recorded your articulations in real-time (or you've got an older project with your key-switches in the main MIDI clip), you'll be able to convert them to articulations.
 

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