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MarkP

How do you handle unison in CbB?

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I've created MIDI parts for a brass section in which trombones play in harmony most of the time. This is conveniently done in CbB by putting the parts together in a single clip. A problem arises however when the parts are in unison. At such points I entered just the one note but, because two voices are replaced by one, the power of the overall sound falls noticeably, just when it should focus. I have found that I can double the sound, by entering a second note a semitone sharp and dragging it down on top of the first in the piano roll. Tests with TTS-1 and my ESQ-1 show that this works, even when the two notes differ in duration. There are clearly two voices and staggered note-off events seem to apply intelligently to single voices rather than to both. That's encouraging, but the editing remains messy.

To make editing clearer I suppose I could separate parts on to different clips, lanes or even tracks, maybe just at the points where unison is called for, but before I go through all the parts and do this I wondered if there is a better way - is there a recognised 'best' way to handle unison? I am concerned that later, as I try out different virtual instruments, I might run into unexpected effects and have to re-edit; I am not confident note-on and note-off events would work the same way with all plugins.

 

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Yes with some synths any overlapping double notes mute that note. This can even happen if the duration of the first note overlaps a second note. Sometimes you have a note you can't hear and it is hidden underneath an overlapping note. 

You need to think of your parts as the way they would be in real life. A Wind instrument cannot play 2 notes simultaneously. If there are 2 players then yes. Best practice is to put each instrument ( player) in it's own track and in the case of the TTS_1 this also requires assigning a different channel. Very easy to do. 

Create part one using a only one note at a time and assign it to TTS_1 Channel 1. This is done in the track header in the output option boxes You have Channel/ Bank/ patch 

Now create a second midi track and assign it to TTS-1 Channel 2 and so on. 

And generally TTS-1 is a good starting point but most of us use Sample based VST's which have higher sound quality. I made these videos to demonstrate TTS-1 options. Video IV is about replacing TTS-1 tracks with other VST's.

 

 

Edited by John Vere
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Thanks to both of you for responding. It looks like I have 10-15 new parts to create now. Oh well, so be it.

BTW John, I started working through your tutorials yesterday. Thanks for doing them. Cakewalk does not behave quite as I had assumed.

I am sure I will be replacing TTS-1 sounds with others, once I've settled on which set to get.

 

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More than just separate tracks: when you are using the same synth patch, even using two different instances or channels, playing two of the same notes can sometimes cause some undesirable phase cancellations. Two different patches may be needed, or at least some detuning or chorusing. By separating the parts, you will guarantee yourself to be able to work around any unison problems.

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That makes sense.

I can see this job ballooning before my eyes; I am glad there are only two parts for the 32 violins!

I think I will literally play this by ear - see how simpler setups sound before making things more complicated. In the mean time I'll investigate the detuning and chorusing options you suggest. I suspected I would have to anyway.

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One way to make good unisons is bounce the track to audio to create the second (or third, fourth..) instrument, and edit the audio track with Melodyne.
Pitch a little up and down here and there, minor timing changes, and maybe even a very gentle formant change to add a little depth. That is also one way of handling phase issues.

Edited by Kalle Rantaaho

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I don't really use TTS-1 anymore but while making the video on separate outputs and then adding good VST effects to the sounds I was impressed at how much improvement just EQ, Compression, reverb and even TH3 could make. 

When your ready to investigate some new VST's ask here as most of us have a lot of sources for free or very cheap stuff that we use. 

First stop is try the SI instruments that come with CbB. They are in the additional downloads from the Bandlab Assistant.

Log on to Plugin Boutique  https://www.pluginboutique.com/   and from there grab the Ample Bass and the guitar. Verberate Basic 2, You Lean Loudness meter and the Yojo Banjo. 

Then I also use  https://plugins4free.com/     lots of good stuff here as well. 

If you have a Focusrite Interface grab their free collection as well as you get a free add pack from XLN audio. XLN audio has a demo version of AD keys and drums which are very good. All you got a do is create an account and install the manager app. 

Edited by John Vere

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