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Topic: Simulating realistic guitar playing (Read 1551 times) previous topic - next topic

Simulating realistic guitar playing
Hello,

I'm wondering if there is a way to take a group of notes and change them in a way that would make the notes sound more realistic - in terms of the "spacing" or timing between notes.

Currently, if I were to just put 8 of the same 1/8 notes in a row, it sounds dull and robotic - I am trying to get a more "human" feel to the notes, without actually playing any instruments myself (because I am not very good at that.)

I am trying to attain a realistic sound overall, and by exporting the MIDIs to SynthFont I can get pretty close with most instruments, but no matter what VSTs or whatever I use on the guitar tracks, repeated notes just don't sound good.

Any suggestions or what I can do inside the notation or as a VST or something similar after the fact would be very much appreciated.

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #1
Hello,

I'm wondering if there is a way to take a group of notes and change them in a way that would make the notes sound more realistic - in terms of the "spacing" or timing between notes.

Currently, if I were to just put 8 of the same 1/8 notes in a row, it sounds dull and robotic - I am trying to get a more "human" feel to the notes, without actually playing any instruments myself (because I am not very good at that.)

I am trying to attain a realistic sound overall, and by exporting the MIDIs to SynthFont I can get pretty close with most instruments, but no matter what VSTs or whatever I use on the guitar tracks, repeated notes just don't sound good.

Any suggestions or what I can do inside the notation or as a VST or something similar after the fact would be very much appreciated.
There are several things that make a "pure" score sound mechanical: the same precise timing (start time and note duration), the same volume for each repetition, and the identical timbre of each note's occurrence. While it may be difficult to "randomize" all of these in a NWC score, I personally think that small changes in the volumes of the notes would do a lot to make things sound less mechanical. Of course, this would be tedious to do by hand; perhaps a user tool could automate this?

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #2
<snip>
I'm wondering if there is a way to take a group of notes and change them in a way that would make the notes sound more realistic - in terms of the "spacing" or timing between notes.
<snip>
I am trying to attain a realistic sound overall, and by exporting the MIDIs to SynthFont I can get pretty close with most instruments, but no matter what VSTs or whatever I use on the guitar tracks, repeated notes just don't sound good.

Any suggestions or what I can do inside the notation or as a VST or something similar after the fact would be very much appreciated.
Many years ago, a chap who is sadly now deceased made serious contributions to the NWC universe.  His name was Fred Nachbaur.

Fred addressed creating a realistic guitar sound quite extensively.  Please see:
Fred's "Alley Cat" https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=6030.msg39728#msg39728
plus on the Scripto:
his "Air on a 'D' string": http://nwc-scriptorium.org/db/rock/airondst.html
and his "Serrenade No.4" by Schubert: http://nwc-scriptorium.org/db/schubert/standgit.html

You may need to actually go to the Scripto site ( http://nwc-scriptorium.org ) and enter these links directly as the Scripto site doesn't permit linking to specific locations from other sites (I think the manager of the Scripto was looking into changing this for linking from the NoteWorthy site but I don't know if he's done it)

These files use fonts you may not have installed so you should check the Scripto for these fonts (info on the linked pages) if you want to see them the way Fred intended.

Otherwise, check out the hidden staves.  Fred used separate staves for each string on the guitar to give him the control he wanted and to simulate the way guitar strings ring out when played.  The results are very realistic.

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #3
Currently, if I were to just put 8 of the same 1/8 notes in a row, it sounds dull and robotic
IMO, A little dynamic variation goes a long way:
Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.75,Single)
|Clef|Type:Treble|OctaveShift:Octave Down
|Instrument|Name:"Acoustic Guitar (nylon)"|Patch:24|Trans:0|DynVel:10,30,45,60,75,92,108,127|Pos:6
|Dynamic|Style:mf|Pos:-10
|Rest|Dur:8th,Grace|Opts:Diminuendo|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=First
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Dynamic|Style:mp|Pos:-10|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=End
|Dynamic|Style:mf|Pos:-10|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=First
|Rest|Dur:8th,Grace|Opts:Diminuendo|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Dynamic|Style:mp|Pos:-10|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=End
|Bar
|Dynamic|Style:mf|Pos:-10|Visibility:Never
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=First
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=End
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=First
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:0|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=End
|Bar|Style:LocalRepeatClose|Repeat:4
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End
Registered user since 1996

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #4
The clip you posted is very interesting. I'm trying to decipher exactly what does what... please keep in mind, I have basically no music theory knowledge so I don't really know any of the terms.

I see that you're using the mezzo forte to change the volume of the notes, and a grace note that is a rest to get a little pause in there. What's the difference between a mezzo forte and a mezzo piano?

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #5
I see that you're using the mezzo forte to change the volume of the notes, and a grace note that is a rest to get a little pause in there. What's the difference between a mezzo forte and a mezzo piano?
The terms used for dynamics are relative ones, although MIDI uses defined volumes (actually "velocities" which can be understood as relating to how fast you press down a key on the piano which in turns affects how loudly the note will sound).

The normal range is from Pianissimo to Fortissimo (pp to ff) though you will see ppp and sometimes fff and even ffff (if you play trombone  ;)  )
pp = pianissimo = very softly
p = piano = softly
mp = mezzo piano = moderately softly
mf = mezzo forte = moderately loudly
f = forte = loudly
ff = fortissimo = very loudly

Outliers:
ppp = pianississimo = very, very softly
fff = fortississimo = very, very loudly
ffff = minor earthquake
fffff = major earthquake
ffffff = armageddon

Good explanations here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamics_%28music%29
  • Last Edit: 2016-01-09 05:48 am by Lawrie Pardy
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #6
Nice explanation, Lawrie. Love your terms for the loudness beyond fff. Remarkable Fact: I once saw ten f's followed by an exclamation point (ffffffffff!). Don't remember the composer or the work, but I do remember thinking: Ya think maybe he wants it LOUD?

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #7
Nice explanation, Lawrie. Love your terms for the loudness beyond fff.
Thanks mate :)

Remarkable Fact: I once saw ten f's followed by an exclamation point (ffffffffff!). Don't remember the composer or the work, but I do remember thinking: Ya think maybe he wants it LOUD?
Must have been for the trombones!

Actually, we trombone players interpret dynamic markings rather differently:
pp = Pretty Powerful
p = Powerful
mp = Mighty Powerful
mf = Mighty Forceful
f = Forceful
ff = Flaming* Forceful

* some players choose a rather less repeatable adjective here, but I choose to be gentlmanly  :))

Another interpretation is:
pp = Pretty Pointless
p = Pointless
mp = Mildly Pointless
mf = Finally, almost something to play
f = Now we can start to play something
ff = getting there...
fff = normal volume
ffff = ooh, getting some work to do
fffff and greater = YES!!!
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #8

   Going back to Musicalgenocide's query ... I am not a guitar player, but I can imagine strumming the strings - with successive down and up strokes - where each down stroke is slightly more vigorous, and thus louder, than the following up stroke, with the first down stroke of a set a bit louder still.  So, with this strumming on one note staff, why not include a hidden corresponding, "parallel", staff, using the same Midi channel, on which is notated simply a matching succession of rests and a suitable set of dynamics (preferably effected using the MPC Volume or Expression command rather than an actual dynamic, so that they do not affect the overall loudness set for the note staff).  Something like the attached.

   Possibly there could be made micro tempo changes (using the MPC Tempo command) in the same way.

   MusicJohn, 9/Jan/16



   

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #9
I see that you're using the mezzo forte to change the volume of the notes, and a grace note that is a rest to get a little pause in there.
No, that is not what I'm doing. Grace rests do not change the timing (This is new as of version 2.5.) I'm using them as a place to insert a dynamic variance without cluttering up edit or spilling ink in view/print.
What's the difference between a mezzo forte and a mezzo piano?
For my clip, mezzo forte sets the note velocity to 75, and mezzo piano sets the note velocity to 60.

Registered user since 1996

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #10
So, Musicalgenocide; how are you getting on with this?  Did you find the suggestions useful?

MusicJohn, 14/Jan/16


Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #11
I know this topic is getting a little old, but I thought you might want an easier way of simulating realistic guitar strums than has been suggested, especially easier than using a separate staff for each string.  The chord notes should be written as an arpeggio of 32nd or 64th notes until the last note of the chord, which should be tied to notes making up the remainder of the time duration of the chord.  Place a Pedal Down mark before the first note of the arpeggio and a Pedal Up mark before the next note after the last arpeggiated note of the chord.  This keeps all the notes sustaining naturally while making the notation much more simple than using separate staffs.  Of course, guitarists not only strum down vertically, from low strings to high, but also up vertically, from high strings to low, and a truly realistic strum should allow for both.  Also, guitar chords are limited in their voicings by having only six notes max available and by the tuning of the guitar.  Lots of work.

Fortunately, as a guitarist myself, I have done all that work for you! :D   All the open chords and bar chords with down and up strums arpeggiated properly and Pedal Down and Pedal Up markings as well as instructions can be found in a zip file I uploaded to the Scriptorium Helpful Files several years ago.  The files are in NWC 1.75 but of course it is easy to import them into NWC 2.  Here is the link: http://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful/guitarstrum.zip  Hope you find the files helpful and make heads turn looking for the invisible guitarist!

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #12
The chord notes should be written as an arpeggio of 32nd or 64th notes until the last note of the chord, which should be tied to notes making up the remainder of the time duration of the chord.

Unless you really want to show the notated chord, a ChordPlay.nw or GuitarChord.ms object is usually a much easier, quicker, and more flexible approach.

Re: Simulating realistic guitar playing
Reply #13
The NWC files in the GuitarStrum.zip file have two staves, one hidden sounding staff with the arpeggiated chords and Pedal Up and Pedal Down controls and one visible muted staff with the chord notes notated on a single stem.  So all the apreggiation, etc. is already done and the chords have only to be copied and pasted into another NWC file.  The key signature will change the type of chord, major, minor, etc., so the text chord symbol should be changed accordingly.  The process is not automatic, but very realistic sounding results are not difficult at all.