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bitflipper

Why isn't this subforum more active?

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Just curious. Articulation maps are the coolest addition to Cakewalk since, um, maybe drum maps twenty years ago?

Possible reasons:

  • They're so simple to use that no discussion is needed
  • They look too complicated to get started with
  • Building art maps is so time-consuming that they're treated as trade secrets by composers
  • Users have spent years memorizing keyswitches and are too proud of that accomplishment to switch
  • Everybody's into death metal or EDM and don't need no frickin' pansy-***** articulations
  • "What's an articulation?"

 

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i think it's the middle 2 bullets for people who are even slightly interested. i'm playing around more and more with guitar (some Kontakt instruments and AAS Strum) and i think it's pretty cool. i've made a couple of custom maps to make it easier to use on some songs, but it's just really nice to compose something, then have the computer play the parts as if i taught someone... 

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I just haven't had the time to learn how to use them yet :(

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Overtly complicated. But so was the rest of the program at one point. I tend to leave such features on the shelf until I need to figure them out or it simply hits me in the face one day just how blazingly simple they are.... so far neither one has happened for AMs.

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Artic maps are very powerful while using orchestral libraries but other instruments may not benefit from them as much.

 

The quick replies to this thread indicate that some folks are using them, or at least paying attention.

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I would only use them for pedal steel tracks but the learning curve is too steep ATM for my needs. I've always used 2 or 3 MIDI tracks to accomplish the task of varying bend routines.

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It's true that articulation maps are most helpful in orchestration. So useful that they actually make composing and arranging more fun and less tedious, and thus inspire greater experimentation.

But that's not the only use-case. Any virtual instrument based on strings is a candidate for AM joy, especially faux guitars. Another application would be the more sophisticated voice and choir libraries that offer articulations beyond basic oohs and aahs.

Speaking of being scared off by excessive complication, sjoen's mention of pedal steel reminded me of the time I decided against buying a pedal steel VI for that very reason. The demos sounded great, very expressive. But making that happen required some deep articulation switching that didn't look fun at all. I might have to revisit that decision.

 

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I make my first track with cakewalk and made my first artic map for ni sunbird deluxe melodie. It not so Complicade. The only problem is when you have a ksw -C2 for example it didnt work you must choose for example C3. Thats a little bit tricky. And i have this issue with every instrument i try to map

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5 hours ago, Sascha Denda said:

I make my first track with cakewalk and made my first artic map for ni sunbird deluxe melodie. It not so Complicade. The only problem is when you have a ksw -C2 for example it didnt work you must choose for example C3. Thats a little bit tricky. And i have this issue with every instrument i try to map

Try setting the "Base Octave for Pitches:" to "-2" 

in Cakewalk Preferences > Customization > Display  (at the end)

Kontakt uses C -2 as the base (MIDI 0) for numbering octaves.
 

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I have been making a few of my own. I would be willing to share them but I also have moved the keyswitches of most of the instruments to my liking so I thought that would put off a fair number of people from using them

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Yeh, there's that; no point in sharing an articulation map for a customized instrument. 

Or, for that matter, an instrument that isn't widely used. I've begun work on an articulation map for an older library, Kirk Hunter Concert Strings 2. I used to love this library but haven't used it in a while, mostly because I rarely need its level of detail. I'm more likely to reach for Amadeus Symphonic Orchestra, which isn't nearly as deep but sounds just as good. My thinking is that if I had articulation maps for CS2, I might start using it again.

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I can understand people saying they are difficult to create, but they are trivial to use.

Let's say your are using ABC Violin.
Without articulation maps: You want tremelo. You look in the user manual, it says keyswitch F#3. So you insert an F#3 note. Next month you have to look it up again because you have forgotten the keyswitch.
With articulation maps: You want tremelo. You insert articulation tremelo.

You don't have an articulation map for ABC Violin? Ask on this forum.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/29/2021 at 4:23 PM, bitflipper said:

Yeh, there's that; no point in sharing an articulation map for a customized instrument. 

I agree that custom instruments might be a big part of the problem.

Case in point: newer libraries from 8DIO. I have a lot of virtual instruments from 8DIO and they are brilliant. All their older 8DIO Kontakt libraries have traditional fixed articulation keys so that once a library is loaded, pressing C1 will always trigger say Sustains in that library. But most of their newer releases are more versatile in that you have ten empty slots and it’s up to you to load those slots from a pool of available articulations. A key switch of C1 will thus trigger slot 1, but the actual articulation depends on what you’ve loaded into that slot. Once set up you can of course save it for future reuse.

The benefit is that you can have all the articulations you want available at your fingertips and only those you’ve selected will be loaded into memory (a scarce resource for most). But it also means that an articulation map is of no use for those that have loaded the slots with different articulations. Personally, once I’ve loaded the slots for an instrument to my liking, I’ve saved it as a separate Kontakt instrument and then created an articulation map in CbB targeting that custom instrument. As most instruments have more available articulations than slots, I have in e.g. 8DIO Anthology Strings - Cellos - Ensemble created one instrument called Cellos - Ensemble Short and one called Cellos - Ensemble Long.

It works for me, but is of no use for others.

Edited by Canopus
Splleing ...

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If you're just dealing with key switches, creating articulation maps should be trivial using the MIDI learn function. You just engage MIDI learn, press the key, name your articulation and repeat for each key switch. This is especially true if all the key switches are mutually exclusive (i.e. each key switch overrides all of the others).

I appreciate that the base octave can be confusing as there's no standard here.  Personally, I just ignore this and either look at the MIDI note number itself, or more often just go up and down the keyboard until I find the right octave and use MIDI learn from there.

Where things start to get more complex is where you've got groups of key switches that aren't mutually exclusive.  In this case you need to put all the key switches that override each other in their own group.  Most VSTi's / Kontakt libraries are pretty good at colour coding these on a keyboard display to make these groupings more obvious, so you just create your groups to match what you see on the plugin/library.  Not grouping articulations properly is the #1 reason why people think that chase doesn't work, and end up changing their articulations to "Full Chase". 

For the most part, you can ignore the transforms section unless:

  • You're using a library that doesn't support key switches, in which case you can fake them by using a MIDI channel transform and organise your sounds to match the MIDI channels ( e.g. legato strings on Ch 1,  pizzicato strings on Ch 2)
     
  • You're using a transposing instrument (e.g. clarinet, saxophone etc) and you want the staff view to show what the musician is playing vs the actual pitch being heard, in which case you use a Key +/- transform.
     
  • The VSTi uses velocity switching (e.g. Shreddage uses the lower velocity range for palm mute, the upper range for clean, and 127 for pitch squeal), in which case you can use a Vel +/- transform to force your performance to clamp to the velocity ranges you want.

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Question I always ask: Why? When one can play them yourself with more creativity and flexibility? 

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I'm impressed. How did you ever find the time to become creative and flexible with all those instruments?

Heck, I didn't even know what "Bartok Pizzicato" was until it appeared in a string library, and still I had to look it up.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, bitflipper said:

I'm impressed. How did you ever find the time to become creative and flexible with all those instruments?

Heck, I didn't even know what "Bartok Pizzicato" was until it appeared in a string library, and still I had to look it up.

The old man used to listen to Bela every single day and he was a string player too. I would watch him hammering with two fingers on his own compositions for hours on end. Guess that's why apart from Guitar and piano and little bit of drums - Cello kinda grew on me too. I'll never be as good as him with that double bass snaps and emotions on it though. The glissando, gelato, fermata oh-man! It brings back sweet memories of him. 

Edited by Will_Kaydo

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8 hours ago, Will_Kaydo said:

.... The glissando, gelato, fermata oh-man! It brings back sweet memories of him .... 

The gelato makes me hungry...:)

  • Haha 1

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16 hours ago, bitflipper said:

I'm impressed. How did you ever find the time to become creative and flexible with all those instruments?

Heck, I didn't even know what "Bartok Pizzicato" was until it appeared in a string library, and still I had to look it up.

When you use a wind controller like the TEControl USB MIDI Breath Controller, you have all articulations at hand and once set up correctly makes it much easier to create realistic articulations. You can use it to play any kind of instrument. Mostly used by keyboard players, but I've also seen demos on the internet where guitar players use it to play different VST instruments in a DAW. I use one next to the articulations in orchestral libraries, especially for solos.  

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