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David Rubenstein

Workflow for changing articulations in MIDI

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Some VST instruments include keyswitches to change articulations (staccato, pizzicato, sustained, legato, etc.). But many VST instrument libraries do not have keyswitches; each articulation is contained within a separate preset. So, one approach would be to load all the articulations you think you will need into an instantiation of the sampler (for example, Play or Kontakt).  Then, you sort individual MIDI notes into the various presets.

Is there an easy way to do this? In Cubase, I am told that you use "Expression Maps". For Cakewalk, I read somewhere that "Drum Maps" can be used for this purpose, but I don't understand how to do this. And, how do you easily sort the MIDI notes into the various presets/articulations?

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As far as I am aware, you can create an articulation map using a drum map, but there is no way to map notes to different tracks. Drum maps simply give you labels for the articulations on the keyboard so you know where they are, they are not expression maps.

The easiest way to do it is exactly like you said: have a group of tracks with the various articulations and move notes between them.  I generally pick the most generic articulation to compose with just to get the music down. Then make another pass to manually edit note placement, articulation, modulation, volume and so on.

Dan

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7 hours ago, dcumpian said:

As far as I am aware, you can create an articulation map using a drum map, but there is no way to map notes to different tracks. Drum maps simply give you labels for the articulations on the keyboard so you know where they are, they are not expression maps.

Drum maps aren't just about labeling notes, they can remap the output channel of each event (as well as note number and port). Assuming the different articulation presets are assigned different channels in the synth, a drum map could help with that. But you would need to write the different articulations in different octave ranges of the track, and the loss of easy duration editing with the notes moved to the drum pane of the PRV makes it not a very practical solution.  Using separate tracks with appropriate forced output channels assigned is probably preferable overall. Once you have it all worked out, you can consolidate by embedding the channel assignments in the events, and moving them to lanes of a single track. 

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15 hours ago, David Baay said:

Drum maps aren't just about labeling notes, they can remap the output channel of each event (as well as note number and port). Assuming the different articulation presets are assigned different channels in the synth, a drum map could help with that. But you would need to write the different articulations in different octave ranges of the track, and the loss of easy duration editing with the notes moved to the drum pane of the PRV makes it not a very practical solution.  Using separate tracks with appropriate forced output channels assigned is probably preferable overall. Once you have it all worked out, you can consolidate by embedding the channel assignments in the events, and moving them to lanes of a single track. 

Thanks David. I did not know drum maps were that complex. In any case, as you point out, it is still more practical to use separate tracks and move notes from track to track if keyswitches aren't available.  I mean, you would have to create a separate drum map for every instrument that uses a different preset for each articulation, remap the notes and make sure the various tracks are octave-switched. That's a ton of work, IMO.

Dan

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Thanks for all the discussions and potential answers!

After some  experimentation, I am finding the following workflow to be the easiest for me. Again, this approach is appropriate when the instrument does not include keyswitches.  I like to have all of the notes for a particular instrument in a single track, so that it is easy to adjust note durations, start times, velocities, CC's etc. I assign that track to a single synth (either PLAY or KONTAKT, for example). Into that synth, I load many instrument presets, each with a different articulation, and each with a different MIDI channel.

Then, I assign a MIDI channel to each note in the track. I found two ways to do this; either by selecting individual notes and using the "Edit Tool", or by selecting a group of notes, and entering a channel number in the "Event Inspector". Each channel will correspond to a different articulation preset.

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26 minutes ago, David Rubenstein said:

Then, I assign a MIDI channel to each note in the track. I found two ways to do this; either by selecting individual notes and using the "Edit Tool", or by selecting a group of notes, and entering a channel number in the "Event Inspector". Each channel will correspond to a different articulation preset.

Yeah, that works. I think it will be a little easier to keep track of the process - and know at a glance what's doing on after the fact - if you put the different articulation in different lanes.

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Just bumping this discussion.  

I'm seeking an "expression map" workflow for managing EastWest articulations.  These articulations are not keyswitched.

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It would be really nice if Cakewalk developers could add an expression map capability--a capability that worked whether or not there are key switches available in a VST instrument.

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Hi there - it would work with saved Presets in the Step Sequencer, if anyone can tell me, how you can deactivate the looping an overlay it above a MIDI Track.

See the video in this post:

 

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