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SynthManDan

Garritan Orchestral

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Swapping to alternative articulations is accomplished these days by using a "keyswitch" mechanism, abbreviated to "KS".

In other words a note is entered at a pitch outside and below the normal range of the instrument concerned, and that note switches to a different set of samples.

Let me give you an example, here's what occurs with "Violins 1 KS" sample set in the standard ARIA sample player.

The instruments play from the G below middle C (MIDI note #60) up to the C three octaves higher (MIDI note #96).

From the C an octave lower (note #36) are positioned the keyswitches.

They run as follows: C = Sustains, C# = Heavy Vibrato, D = Grand Detache,  D# = Marcato, E = Martele, F = Pizzicato, F# = Portato, G = Col Legno, G# = Sautille, A= Spiccato,  A# = Staccato, B = Sul Tasto.

There are 11 other, less commonly used,  articulations offered for Violins 1, but they would have to be entered on alternate MIDI tracks.

If you are adept at modifying SFZ files then I suspect that some of these alternate articulations could be substituted for the standard ones.

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Oh I see, that looks more like regular Kontakt-style keyswitching :). Still I think Maestro Tools was more automatic, read intelligent, unless things like alternate bowing, legato-slur etc, are coded into GPO5 patches/instruments. This is a fragm. of text taken from SOS (https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/garritan-orchestral-strings):

"However, one of the best articulation tricks can be found in the ALT détaché patches, where samples automatically alternate between up and down bow strokes as you play them. This is achieved with MaestroTools, a utility that sits between the notes played on the keyboard and the GigaStudio patch. (ALT 88 patches are also included, where the up and down-bow samples are mapped to different areas of the keyboard.) MaestroTools is also capable of a second trick when used with the special legato (LEG) patches where, to create realistic smooth legato lines, you can use the sustain pedal to trigger 'masking' samples that subtly bridge the gap between the end of one note, and the slow attack on the next. Whether the results of all this articulation magic are convincing depends on the context of the music, and the care taken in programming, but it's possible to create some amazingly convincing textures you'd never believe were produced with a sampled string orchestra. There are other controls for altering 'warmth', attack, and the length of short bowed notes."

I know Orchestral Strings sounds beautiful alone but these scripts really took them to a whole new level of realism.

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The alternate up and downbows are there in the standard string patches (not GOS), but in addition you also have, again via keyswitches, individual up and down bow patches. So you can insert a brief keyswitch to get the desired precise effect you require.

Legato playing (slurs) is achieved by overlapping the first note with the next and so on for the phrase. Then, if manually playing the notes in (if your chops are good enough), you can use the 'loud' pedal (Hold1, CC#64) to make the track enter monophonic mode and the effect is to cut out the attack portion of the overlapped samples. Alternately, there's a simple way, by leaving CC#102 permanently 'on' in a track, whenever the ARIA player detects overlapped notes it will automatically slur to the second and subsequent notes in the phrase.

Since the note on velocity mainly effects the attack volume, where the level of MIDI expression effects the overall volume, I generally reduce the velocity of the subsequent notes, in a slurred phrase, until I get the effect I require.

Using GPO5 does require quite a bit more in the way of MIDI programming skills, but the eventual effect is well worth while, IMHO.

With GPO5 a convolution reverb was added, with quite a number of hall reverbs to choose from.

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