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Topic: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo  (Read 1136 times) previous topic - next topic

Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
I know you guys are probably tired of my questions but when I search for answers I don't usually find what I'm looking for and then I wonder If I am looking at the most recent information.

I found this discussion
https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=6972.msg47794#msg47794

My  midi files are not usually very good because I can't seem to control the subtle nuances that I can produce on an acoustic instrument. Now that I am sending the files to conductors along with my scores for their consideration than I really need to step up that part of things.

I also have trouble with piano notes decaying too quickly in the left-hand. For example I had a two  measure cord in the left-hand and by the time the second measure came around the sound had completely disappeared.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #1
NWC produced MIDI files will always be somewhat rough when compared to a "real" instrument.

Partly this will be a result of the MIDI synth on the computer used to play back the MIDI file, partly this will be the limited ability to add such nuance using NWC, and partly it will be the quality of the sound source the synth is using.

Probably better to distribute an .mp3 created on your own MIDI synth so you can absolutely control the result.  Export the NWC produced MIDI to some other sequencer that allows greater control, tweak as required then export to .mp3. *

Software sequencers are available all over the web, some are free, some will cost you heaps.  It is another step in the creation process and only you can decide if the effort is worthwhile.  It may be that simply improving/replacing the MIDI synth you are currently using and improving your knowledge of playback manipulation within NWC (I.E. playing around with it) will be sufficient to create .mp3s that are suitable to your purpose.

If you are using the MS GS Wavetable synth that comes with Windows then your first step is to get a better synth...

Perhaps look into VST or DX (m$ preferred tech)

If you want to consider VST, there are a couple of guide on the Scripto that can help here.  I wrote one, but the one by Rich Nagel is much better.  Perhaps a read of both is worthwhile.
https://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful.html#Vst

* I create .mp3s by playing back using NWC whilst recording the output with "Audacity" then exporting from Audacity to .mp3.
https://www.audacityteam.org/download/
There are many useful plugins for Audacity you should get too.  IIRC you need a plugin for the .mp3 export.
https://www.audacityteam.org/download/plug-ins/
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #2
Just realised I missed a couple of points:
<snip>
I also have trouble with piano notes decaying too quickly in the left-hand. For example I had a two  measure cord in the left-hand and by the time the second measure came around the sound had completely disappeared.
Firstly, getting cresc/decresc to work properly in NWC for SUSTAINED notes needs to be done using either volume or expression controllers (MPC's)  Actual functionality will depend on your MIDI synth.

The too quick decay on things like piano will be directly attributable to your wavetable (either built-in or soundfont).

If it's a built-in wavetable you're pretty much stuck with it.  If it's a separate soundfont there are tools that allow you to fiddle with 'em.  E.G. Soundblaster used to distribute such a tool with their soundfont enabled soundcards.  I think it was called Vienna...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #3
I also have trouble with piano notes decaying too quickly in the left-hand. For example I had a two  measure cord in the left-hand and by the time the second measure came around the sound had completely disappeared.
The sustain pedal is your friend for that.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #4
Of course I would use that in real life but inserting the pedal down symbol had
No effect  on the midi  playback.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #5
Of course I would use that in real life but inserting the pedal down symbol had
No effect  on the midi  playback.
It should - it's a standard MIDI instruction...  Perhaps there's an issue with your synth.

How long a note are we talking about here?  Perhaps you can test with a crotchet and the pedal..
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #6
Of course I would use that in real life but inserting the pedal down symbol had
No effect  on the midi  playback.
Really? Then, to quote Lawrie, "your first step is to get a better synth..."  :D

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #7
I'm talking about two tied semibreves. By the time the second semi breve appears there is no more sound. In real life the piano is still decaying nicely.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #8
I'm talking about two tied semibreves. By the time the second semi breve appears there is no more sound. In real life the piano is still decaying nicely.
This depends on the soundfont.
And is quite a different matter from "the pedal down symbol had No effect  on the midi  playback".

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #9
I should try it on my old computer because I don't recall noticing this before.
  • Last Edit: 2018-05-20 12:13 pm by SEBC

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #10
Another trick I've used in the past to get this type of piano playing is to insert a "legato" performance style in your piano staff. It can have a similar effect to inserting separate pedal down/up for each note.
  • Last Edit: 2018-05-20 12:25 pm by Mike Shawaluk

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #11
Another trick I've used in the past to get this type of piano playing is to insert a "legato" play style in your piano staff. It can have a similar effect to inserting separate pedal down/up for each note.

I tried that as well and still didn't get the notes to sustain in that two bar section.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #12
Another trick I've used in the past to get this type of piano playing is to insert a "legato" performance style in your piano staff. It can have a similar effect to inserting separate pedal down/up for each note.
Even better: tenuto.
But in this case I expected what SEBC just wrote.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #13
I'm talking about two tied semibreves. By the time the second semi breve appears there is no more sound. In real life the piano is still decaying nicely.
This simply confirms my feeling that the decay rate in your synth's wavetable record for the piano is set too fast (for your preference).

If you are using a soundfont capable synth you might try alternative soundfonts OR see if you can get an editor as I previously suggested and alter the piano's decay rate in a copy of the one you're using.

FWIW I think most soundfonts decay too fast for Piano.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #14
My  midi files are not usually very good because I can't seem to control the subtle nuances  ...
@SEBC : Out of interest - what is your "sound creation tool chain": Which "synthesizer" (soundfonts, virtual instruments, ...) do you use, and do you use any "container" (like a VSTi container, or Kontakt)? I'm interested because my long (or medium?) term goal is to create nuanced (MP3) results from NWC scores - that's why I developed the Envelope user objects, for example; and I hope that I can create some additional plugins for better sound rendering.

H.M.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #15
I'm not sure where to look for that info on this new computer. It's whatever the default is on the Lenovo ultra book.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #16
It's whatever the default is on the Lenovo ultra book.
In this case I have no doubt.
To quote Lawrie again: "If you are using the MS GS Wavetable synth that comes with Windows then your first step is to get a better synth..."

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #17
I have an old version of VST instruments that I used with Cubase two computers ago. It kept knocking out the playback on NWC. So I stopped using Cubase. It wasn't any good at scores anyway. See, even back then I didn't know what I was doing.

I could try and install the VST on this computer if it would  be worthwhile.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #18
I have an old version of VST instruments that I used with Cubase two computers ago. It kept knocking out the playback on NWC. So I stopped using Cubase. It wasn't any good at scores anyway. See, even back then I didn't know what I was doing.

I could try and install the VST on this computer if it would  be worthwhile.
I refer you to my earlier message as a starting point:
https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=9751.msg69717#msg69717
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #19
I suggest using SyFonOne, which doesn't require any complicated setup, although you'll need a virtual MIDI driver (I use LoopBe) and a sound font (FluidR3 works well). Another approach - although this doesn't work on the fly - is to export as MIDI and then use an online service such as SolMiRe to convert it to an MP3, using the sound font of your choice from their list.

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #20
Even better: tenuto.
But in this case I expected what SEBC just wrote.



I'm not sure I hear a difference between using legato and tenuto. What should I be hearing?

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #21
You're right.
For example, 1/4 tenuto is 192 MIDI tics while 1/4 legato is... 192 MIDI tics!  :D

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #22
Thanks for checking that. You just saved me a lot of work from changing over all the legato markings in my scores!  :))

Re: Learning to crescendo and decrescendo
Reply #23
I suggest using SyFonOne, which doesn't require any complicated setup, although you'll need a virtual MIDI driver (I use LoopBe) and a sound font (FluidR3 works well). Another approach - although this doesn't work on the fly - is to export as MIDI and then use an online service such as SolMiRe to convert it to an MP3, using the sound font of your choice from their list.


I have been using the SolMiRe website this year to do conversions, and the sound is much better than my own computer, but I would like to get things set up on my computer so I don't have to outsource it. Thus, I am revisiting this topic again.

I found this sound font that I would like to try out. I have been using the "music box" setting to imitate handbells, but am hoping this would be better for preparing a sample mp3.

https://www.fmjsoft.com/instruments.html#handbells

I'm just not sure the best way to get set up for this. I did find some other free sound fonts.